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26210: Blanchet: (interview) Fwd: ENGLISH TRANSLATION INTERVIEW DUMARSAIS SIMEUS-CARL FOMBRUN ON SEPTEMBER 2, 2005 (fwd)
From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>
FROM JEAN-PIERRE CRESPO TO "CARL'S CORNER
SPECIAL EDITION, THURSDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2005.
FROM JEAN-PIERRE CRESPO TO "CARL'S CORNER."
ENGLISH VERSION INTERVIEW OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DUMARSAIS SIMÉUS WITH CARL
This is the English translation of Carl Fombrun's interview with Dumarsais
of Friday September 2, 2005.
A voluntary and impartial contribution to Carl's Corner,
as translated by Jean-Pierre Crespo
(INTRODUCTION WITH THE SONG "HAITI CHÉRIE" BY PRESSA WILFRID, CHAIRMAN OF
Dear listeners of Radio RCH in Homestead and Radio Kinam in Orlando, as we had
announced we have with us in studio "B" of Radio RCH and studio "C" of Radio
Kinam in Orlando, the well-known journalist Mr. Carl Fombrun. Indeed, CARL'S
CORNER is present this time in flesh and bone. Mr. Fombrun has his special
guest, and we give him the exclusive right to present to us, as he sees fit,
his Mr. Durmarsais Simeus, running for the next presidential elections in
Haiti, next November 2005.
Thank you, Pressa. It is a pleasure to be on the waves of Radio RCH in
Homestead and at the same time on Radio Kinam in Orlando with its chairman
Alfred Pekito. Indeed, I have with me here from Mansfield, Texas an "important
man" and I will introduce him in a minute, forgive me, I meant to say in a
second, because I can't waist any time, and neither can he.
He granted me the privilege to be the first journalist in Florida to interview
him, since his return from Pont Sonde, Haiti where he announced officially his
candidacy for the presidency. So, welcome to CARL'S CORNER Dumarsais Mécène
Siméus, popularly known by your friends as Duma. "How are you, Duma? How are
My dear Carl, thank you very much for the invitation and thank you to all
those who are listening to us today. Whether they are in Miami, whether they
are in Boston, whether they are in France or, whether they are in HAITI"
everywhere, everywhere, I say to them thank you very much FOR TAKING THE TIME
TO LISTEN TO OUR CONVERSATION.
Thank you. We have much to discuss and time is short. Duma, you are not only a
friend but I also admire you for your intrinsic qualities and your
achievements in the business world.
However, facing the vast audience of CARL'S CORNER this will not prevent me
from asking you tough questions having to do with your candidacy for the
presidency of the Republic of Haiti.
Knowing you as man of the world with an overdose of charisma, I realize that I
am not talking to the young peasant of Pont Sonde, who left his birthplace at
a very young age to make his fortune abroad, but to an accomplished man of the
world, knowing what it takes to succeed in the most advanced industrialized
country on earth, the United States of America.
Duma, you remind me of my friend who passed on, a "brother," Thomas Désulmé
whom I came to know well during nearly 40 years in Haiti and abroad. Tom came
also from peasant stock. He began his working life as a truck driver and then
successively he held high governmental positions. He had to leave Haiti as a
politically exiled senator after the arrival of François Duvalier in the
presidency, although he had helped Papa Doc in becoming president.
Thomas Désulmé settled in Jamaica and left his mark as a successful
industrialist in his country of adoption. Candidate to the presidency of Haiti
after the overthrow of Baby Doc in 1986, Tom did not win. He returned to
Jamaica and after his death a few years later, he was honored by the Queen of
England for his multiple contributions to the industry in Jamaica. And yet,
Tom had received a limited education and did not have any university diploma.
Today, in Florida, I miss Thomas Désulmé where I enjoyed his company and the
great restaurants of Coral Gables where we spent wonderful moments discussing
national and world problems. I will never forget those exchanges of ideas and
In short, Duma, you are also of peasant stock and contrary to Thomas Désulmé
you received an education in higher learning. Your professor was none other
than the illustrious Milton Friedman, professor in economy and universally
recognized as the leading expert in the field of business. The pupil proved
that he had learned his lessons well. Your company, Siméus Food International,
Inc., is estimated in the news at a value of 120 million dollars. Is this
My dear Carl, you have spoken well, except if I may insert a small correction.
CARL Go right ahead.
I would not say that the value is 120 million dollars. Here in the United
States one speaks about sales turnovers. i.e.. the total of the annual sales
of the Company. As you know , the sales turnovers may or may not have a
relationship with the value of the Company. I only wished to make this small
As candidate for the presidency, do you intend to give us your personal
financial disclosure report
Ok, Here is how I can answer this question. We abide by the law and that means
we maitain our integrity. We want to operate within the boundary of the law.
If they ask us that, then we have no problem. However, for the listeners,
something mus be very, very clear I am not the only member of my family. I
have a spouse and children.
You know how things are done in the US, concerning tax questions I have lots
of things. My spouse and children have their own revenues. They are not
running. The assets of my spouse and children are values to be put apart.
Of course we understand that, but let's go back to Haiti. Are you in need of
100,000 votes to be eligible in September as proof that you are campaigning
seriously for the presidency ?
Yes and No, Let me answer the Yes first. Since we have to petition our intent
to be be an INDEPENDENT candidate at the time of registration 100,000 votes
or a little less will be needed.
Now these rules are not too clear, the electoral rules according to some are
set to be 2% of the electors. Which means if 3 million people are regitsered
to vote 2% is 60,000 votes. Since they estimated about 5 million registration
it will require 100,000 votes. So the answer as independant is « YES »
There are groups approaching us to make a fusion of one party. We are
studying the situation and the requirements. In that case only 5000 votes are
needed by September 15 for a registered established party.
If we find political parties or other groups that have a similar vision to
ours we may make a coalition with them ; in this case we will be under one
political banner already in existence, therefore eliminating the need of
100,000 signatures for qualification.
Ok, I understand you well, but I have another question. Recently, at a radio
station in Miami, there was a non-scientific survey asking the majority of
people, especially in Little Haiti in Miami, who did they want as prime
miniter or as president ?
The majority of 98% stated they want Simeus as Prime Minister and Chalito
Baker as President ? Others said that they want Simeus as President and
Chalito as Prime Minister. If you are not elected as President would you
accept the position as Prime Minister ?
Well, that is an interesting question. I can not give you an answer at this
time,Carl, because my main political objective is to change things in the
country and for this I will need a direct mandate from the Haitian people.
I would like it for the people to vote for us, to give us their ballots . I
say that because the country needs profound changes. There were a series of
economic models that were implanted to no avail during 200 years, economic
models that did not produce any results.
So there will be a new outlook, not complete or absolute change, but a
significant new style of institutional operation, and so on . If mandated
directly for a change by the people of Haiti, it will make it easier for us to
bring positive results, so that we can satisfy the majority of the Haitian
At this time, the constitution gives most of the power to the Prime Minister.
It is not the President who exercises power.
Yes...Along with what you and many people are saying the Prime Minister has a
lot of power to run the country. It is him who makes the rules. He is the one
making all the decisions. He acts like a chairman.
However , Carl your questions are so appropriate that I may slow down a bit in
answering you . "The successful method of operation of an organization whether
it is a government, a country, a group with lucrative or non profit goal
depends on its team work. Everyone brings something positive to the table.
The Prime Minister's function , is the day to day business of the country ,
but the President follows a series of strategies.
The function of a president involves many things, whether it is the search for
foreign investment for the country, whether it is the applied models. He
struggles for the constant progress of the country, he helps the Prime
Minister to hold the path on the socio-economic road of development, to create
jobs, to send children to school, to give them at least one meal a day, to
give them health, and especially to create a tourist industry.
Both, the Prime Minister and the President are mainly responsible to work with
their colleagues and the general managers of the important sections in Haiti.
It must be a teamwork's effort.
Has the Bush government ask you to be a candidate ?
Many people have asked me this question. I can truthfully say no. But I like
to give you a straight answer. I have many friends in Haiti, in the US wether
in Miami, New York or Boston. I have also in France and in Germany. As you
know I do business with many countries.
CARL You are a citizen of the world.
Well, more or less, (laughing), but I say it with humility. I worked in 25 to
30 countries on this earth. So people, who do business with me always ask me
why don't I consider running for office to become President of Haiti so that I
can help my country.
Do you know George W. Bush ? Have you met him personnally ?
The answer is absolutely NO .
Are you a registered Republican ?
Let me answer it this way. I am so glad you asked me this question. I operate
on both sides of the aisle. You could say I am an independent.
I am a friend of the United States and I also support any political party
Republican, Democrat, Independent provided that I see they have a vision that
is in line with my vision, in terms of what the country of Haiti and also the
Do you think that Mr. Bush right now has a good vision for Haiti?
Well, let's put it this way. I know from speaking with various people and I
am going to give you a general answer. In speaking with people from the Black
Caucus, in speaking with people from the Democratic party in general and in
speaking with people from the Republican party, they all are unanimous in
wanting Haiti to become a better country where there are jobs, where there is
education, where there is better governance, where there is a better
agricultural industry, etc.
All of them want Haiti to prosper. They all have told me that with the right
leadership, they believe a country as beautiful as Haiti, a country that has
so much potential, can prosper.
Mr. Siméus I am going to let Pressa Wilfrid CEO of RCH ask you a question.
Ok. First let us salute the candidate, Good evening to the future President of
Well , we are not there yet.
But still that's the dream. I was enthusiastically listening to the questions
that the journalist Carl Fombrun asked you and your answers. My question for
you is about other young entrepreneurs that are starting to be successful in
the US. I do believe that CEO Pekito of Radio Kinam, Orlando would ask you
the same question. What has inspired you to start such a successful business
which made you a millionaire ?
Well let just forget about this millionaire stuff because I don't like to brag
about it. Success is not measured by the number of dollars or the number of
currencies you have. But this was a good question. The answer is a long one
but let me give you a short one.
Such inspiration started in Haiti, at Pont Sondé, with my mother, my father
they both never went to school. They never learned how to read.
My parents always mentioned to me the first thing to cultivate is the mind.
They said that constantly in Creole. Open your eyes and be smart (italian
expression - Appri l'occio que fatti furbo ! ) Study well what you want to do
and with God's help, your dream will come true, it will materialize.
Allow me to tell everyone who is listening that wether your mother was a
merchant from the streets, wether she works as a maid in a hotel, whether your
father is a waiter at a restaurant, wether he has a doctorate degree, whatever
your parents do for a living, remember, all of us must have a dream. One must
have a vision of what he wants to achieve. Maintain that dream steadily. Do
not allow anyone to tell you that since your parents are poor or your parents
are big shots, that you don't have to bother about a dream for the future.
Hang on to your dream, work on it because sooner or latter it will come true.
Candidate, thank you very much.
Duma, another question for you, let's talk about Haiti again.You are a
candidate for the presidency. You know about the rule requiring one to live
for 5 consecutive years in the country according to the Constitution. You are
a US citizen, your candidacy is not acceptable in relation to the present
rules. How are you going to fight this restriction.? Who will decide if you
are legitimate or not as a candidate ? Is it the "CEP" (the Election Boardl)
or the Justice Department? How is this problem going to be resolved ?
According to legal advice it is the « CEP » who is authorized to decide when
all candidate register their ballots,to examine their legitimacy. Having said
so, I have all my credentials in order. I was born in Haiti at Pont Sondé.
My mother is 87 years old, My father is 90 and they reside there.
I have a Haitian passport and a Haitian birth certificate.
My first residence, where I allways travel to is Pont Sondé. I never gave up
my first residence where I was born in Pont Sonde, in the district of the
Many of us, including you Carl, including the listeners, we had to emigrate
due to political reasons or economical opportunities, which unfortunatly our
dear Haiti could not offer.
So we had to leave our country of origin to survive. But that does not mean
that we had abondonned our roots or rejected our birthright and Haitian
I listenned to you and understand you quite well. Others say that to have a
legitimate candidacy , it must be based on the existing constitution, even if
I agree with you 100%, that when one leaves his country and returns he should
be recognized as Haitian.
Others said that it is a lack of respect because each time we violate the
Haitian constitusion it's a matter of accomodation, that what we need is
respect for the law. I really don't know how this problem will be resolved.
May I briefly comment on this issue for about 30 seconds?
Go for it.
Carl, I would like to call upon all Haitians, all patriots, wherever they may
be on this globe, those who like their country to gather together. Not for my
sake, Dumarsais Simeus, but to unite for the sake of saving their country.
The Dominican Républic which is way ahead of us does not have this problem.
The Dominicans, wherever they may be, or whatever they may have done in life,
as long as they were born in Dominican Republic, they are welcomed back home
by the Dominican government.
I would hope that with this spirit of socio-economic development of the
country which is of utmost priority, that all Haitians gather together for
the ecnomic development of their country. We ned the gathering of all the
leaders of the country wherever they may be, because our country is broken
apart in a despicable way, our country is ruined. It needs all possible
According to what I read in an American newspaper, those directing your
campaign are the same who ran Georges W. Bush campaign when he was running for
governor in Texas. Is that true?
That's a very good question. I have many political, economical advisors in
all branches There are many which are in Haiti, in the US and in many other
countries who are my advisors. People in other foreign countries I did
business with, businessmen, businesswomen.
We have some of them in Texas who are helping us. Why Texas? That should be
easy to understand . I live in Texas.
That's your company's headquaters ?
Yes . That's my headquaters. I have lots of contact there, at hand , also
every one in Texas who knows me always encourages me saying why don't you do
something to help your country at the highest level possible.
Tell me something , Duma, do you have enough funds to run your campaign or
are you going to ask people for money?
My dear friend , very,very good question . I am not going to use my own
money. I am very,very sure of that. I don't want any one to say that I am
giving money, that I am arrogant and that I bought the presidancy.
Having said so, many people from all social levels, Haitians in Haiti,
Haitians abroad, they all encouraged me to enter the race. Americans,
people from other countries, they all said that they will donate for my
In conclusion to your question, I want to bring your attention to Clinton, to
Bush and Reagan, people beleive in their causes and raised money for their
campaign. This is very important.
They allready are sending funds. I am not the one handling the campaign
funds. I am neutral in the fund raising and campaign financial arragement.
Someone else is in charge of receiving contributions, and to budget the funds,
by budgeting I mean for the campaign expenses. So anyone who wishes to
contribute can just call and do so.
I don't ask people money to put in my pocket. It is important to know that
this support is dedicated to the campaign.
When you announced your nomination at Pont Sondé, how many people where
there ? You must have had some of the people there with you? I did not get any
report on that?
Pont Sondé? Oh! My dear friend! I would like for you to see some pictures. It
was so packed, there was no room for a needle to be added ! Thousands of
people ! When I got there I got gooose pimples , my friend! I got to tell you
how surprised I was to see the crowd who was there ! Bunch of people ! Any one
who attended will tell you that. "Something one never saw before!"
Let me ask you a last very important question. Do you maintain any rapport
with the other candidates? Do you communicate among yourselves a lot ? It is
the country that we are trying to save. Even if you are competitors you still
should communicate. Do you speak to other candidates ?
I did speak to 2 of them already. In all the TV or radio chats I made I called
for the reunification of all the political leaders to get together. As long as
anyone shares a similar vision as mine, we must get together, we must converse.
Yes, that is very important. Pressa Wilfrid wants to ask another question.
Mister Siméus, you just mentionned about the great crowd that was at Pont
Sondé and that is your place of birth. Was the majority of the people there
from Pont Sondé only ? if you are to be president you are to be the President
of all the country of Haiti.
But of course ! We had people that came from the valley of l'Artibonite, we
had people that came from Gonaives, Marchand, Dessalines, Ti-Rivière, Borel,
especially Verrettes, the birth place of president Dumarsais Estimé with whom
I share the same first name, and who is considered one of the best presidents
that Haiti ever had. We had people that came from the South. We had many
people that came from the deep West who were there and when becoming a
president I must represent the Haitian people as a whole. Why we went to Pont
Sondé ? Because that is were I was born inside a hut with only 2 rooms. I
want to give honor to my place of birth and want to honor my parents.
Well said ! Duma, another question. You maried an American, an American
woman. She is a caucasian.
Yes, and you met her.
Yes, I did . A lady for whom I have much respect and affection. Do you think
since you are married to a white woman, an American, and Haiti is a black
republic, do you think that can cause you some problems in Haiti. Do you think
that there is racism in Haiti ?
Well, listen. In Haiti there iare the bourgeois, the mulattoes, and there
are white people. Every one goes about their business. There are people with
some degree of racism. As for me, I may be a little naive but all the social
classes in Haiti are in need of a leader to get everyone together.
Wether you are rich or poor or whatever your skin color is, I do beleive that
the Haitian people has been ready for a long time to say : Listen. find us
someone to lead, to unite this country, whatever their social rank, whatever
their colors, whatever their ethnic background . Haiti belongs to Haitians and
to all the friends who sympathize and want to help , to create the sinergy of
progress for our country.
Duma, you know that you are a people's person. A man with lots of
capabilities, a pleasant guy that everyone will like . You answered me with
sincereity and I don't want to hold you any longer. I want to thank you for
giving CARL's CORNER the first interview since you returened from Haiti. Am
i right ?
That's rigjht ! That is exactly right !
So my dear friend, do you want to add a last word of advise to the Haitan
people ? Maybe something that you had forgotten to say ?
Yes, first I want to thank you for this invitation and I thank again all
listeners for their devoted attention.
And you ought to thank Pressa too for having us at the station of Radio RCH
for the interview. Ok ?
Thank you , thank you every one. Thank you to this radio station, thank you
to Pressa Wilfrid also. I would like to add a last word to unite Haiti . I
know that lots of people already are using the word "Gatherer".
If the people put their trust in me and elect me to represent them, I
guarantee you great results and a clean government to be in Haiti. Meaning
that you can rest assured that you will have a government that will not rob
the public funds so that they can live very comfortably in Miami or in other
The people of Haiti can have full trust in me, we will have a government that
will be for the people.
My Friend, I always say that is the last question but I want to know, did they
name you Dumarsais after President "Dumarsais Estimé?"
I'm glad you ask that. Very quick .
Carl, I was born in 1939. Dumarsais Estime was from Verrettes and at a young
age even slept in my father's back yard at Pont Sonde. In the good old days
they would make you a morning coffee for 1 gourde, 2 gourdes would get you a
nice bed to sleep. Then you would get up at 4 am to catch a ride to Port-au-
My father was so used to Dumarsais Estime and admired him so much that he
told him he would name his first son after him, since his home town of
Verrette was near by. That's how I got this name.
You are a man of destiny. Thank you very much Monsieur Dumarsai Mécène Siméus.
Why Mécène ? Mécène is due to what?
That's my father's first name. Well, you know , my dad wanted his name too
there. Just old fish bones in a soup(laugh).
It was such a pleasure to converse with you . I hope to do it again. The
elections are warming up. On my way to Canada and I will be back on time for
the elections in late fall.
I hope this is not our last interview. See you soon and thanks you every one.
Thanks again candidate. So this was CARL'sCRNER on Radio RCH. Thanksk to Mr.
Pressa Wilfrid, the fantastic CEO at RCH who granted me the opportunity for
this interview with Simeus who is Texas. Thanks a million!
(END OF INTERVIEW)
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