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26006: RE: Businessman returns to Haiti to run for president ( USA TODAY ) (fwd)
From: Jean-Claude CASIMIR <firstname.lastname@example.org>
to :Dumarsais Simeus
If you are sincere Mr. Simeus here are a few area where you could help
our dear country:
-Come up with a railroad system that would alleviate Haiti's dependency
on gasoline finance
-finance 9 departmental industrial parks that you would lease to
investors (foreigners or members of the diaspora) Mr. Baker could become
head of that project instead of running for president,a business manager
may lack the skills for governing a country which has social and other
-Invest in low cost housing attached to the industrial parks that would
be rented to workers of the assembly industry in Haiti
-Invest in the sugar industry to help make Haiti an exporter of sugar
Subject: Businessman returns to Haiti to run for president (
USA TODAY )
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 08:23:24 -0400
Posted 8/17/2005 11:31 PM
Businessman returns to Haiti to run for president
By Danna Harman, The Christian Science Monitor
Dumarsais Siméus, the most successful Haitian-American businessman
in the United States, is going home to run for president of Haiti.
"I wanted my fellow native sons and daughters of the Artibonite
Valley to hear it from me first. ... I am a candidate for president
of Haiti," Siméus, the son of illiterate peasants, announced
Wednesday in his rural hometown of Pont-Sondé. "Today marks the
start of a new beginning for our country ... in a time of crisis."
After months of speculation, the CEO of one of the largest
black-owned businesses in the USA told supporters he will start
campaigning for the November election, the first since
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted following a violent rebellion in
"Running a country like Haiti, which is broke and in bankruptcy,
takes many of the same skills as a successful businessman:
leadership, knowing how to pick the right people to work for you,
knowing how to create jobs for people," Siméus said in an
"What a contender!" says James Morrell, director of the Haiti
Democracy Project in Washington. "Here is the richest and most
successful Haitian around — running to lead a country where nothing
works. ... Here is evidence of someone who can get things done."
But the hurdles ahead are many. Siméus has no political experience,
no name recognition and no party in Haiti. Then, there are the
worsening problems of the hemisphere's poorest nation: gang
violence, kidnappings and other crime now are such that it is
unclear whether the elections will take place this fall.
Even if the vote goes ahead, under the current interpretation of
the Haitian constitution, Siméus would be ineligible to run.
Article 135 states a presidential candidate must "be a native-born
Haitian and never have renounced Haitian nationality," and have
resided in the country for five consecutive years before the
Siméus, 65, has taken U.S. citizenship and has been living in the
USA for 44 years. But he dismisses potential constitutional
barriers. "I don't have anything to overcome in terms of the
constitution or getting on the ballot. I never renounced my
citizenship," he said. "I have been fortunate to have other homes
and other citizenships, but I never gave up my Haitian ones."
Siméus, a father of three, is a Howard University graduate with an
MBA from the University of Chicago. He has held management
positions in companies such as Atari, Rockwell International,
Bendix and PromoCapital, the first investment banking firm in
Haiti. He served as CEO of TLC Beatrice Foods, a $2 billion
Today, he is CEO of Siméus Foods International, based in Mansfield,
Texas, the largest minority-owned businesses in that state,
according to Black Enterprise magazine. It does some $160 million
in yearly sales to such customers as Denny's, T.G.I. Friday's and
He runs his own foundation, sending money to help poor communities
in Haiti, and he sits on Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's Haiti Task Force.
His parents, who once sold a plot of land to be able to send their
eldest of 12 children to college in the USA, still live in Haiti.
An estimated 2 million Haitians live in the USA, but significantly,
they cannot vote in Haiti. Siméus said he does not plan to put any
of his own money into his Haitian campaign, but will rely on
friends in the USA, Canada, France and Germany to help raise money.
"I am giving myself. My know-how, my desire to help and my
patience," Siméus said. "That will be my contribution."
An interim government and a 7,400-member multinational U.N. force
has been trying to keep order in Haiti since Aristide fled the
country in 2004 and lawlessness engulfed the capital. But Siméus
said he believes he can begin to change Haiti.
"We will create ... a country that can function properly and an
environment for investment," he said. "I want to be realistic about
how long this turnaround will take. It will take at least a
generation, but within the first year, change will start taking
off. We will start the rebuilding process."
Contributing: Harman is Latin America bureau chief for USA TODAY
and The Christian Science Monitor.
Tycoon in Haiti
Re the Aug. 17 story CEO seeks new job: the president of Haiti: It
would be a coup indeed if Dumas Simeus became president of Haiti.
As a Texan, a friend of President Bush's and a wealthy contributor
to the Republican Party, the Bush administration could not have a
As a U.S. citizen, however, Simeus is barred from becoming a
candidate in Haiti's election because he is not and cannot be a
Haitian citizen. Article 13(a) of the Haitian constitution states:
``Haitian nationality is lost by naturalization in a foreign
Haiti does not allow dual nationality. In addition, he renounced
his allegiance to Haiti as he was required to do to become a U.S.
citizen and is therefore barred by Article 135(a) of the Haitian
Constitution from running for president. None of this should bother
the Bush administration because Andy Apaid, a leader of the coup
against Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is also a U.S. citizen. Apaid was
funded by the U.S. government through Group 186.
What a spectacle: One U.S. citizen topples the democratically
elected government in Haiti, then another runs for president!
IRA KURZBAN, Miami