Canada has doubled down on its gross error of accusing Andy Apaid by sanctioning Carl Braun, head of Unibank. So in a country in which modern entrepreneurs are an endangered species, Canada is now accusing both Haiti’s top industrialist and its top banker.
There are corrupt businessmen in Haiti. But there are also well-established business families who for generations have maintained good reputations and are known to most Haitians for that. Apaid and Braun belong to that rarefied group.
The Haiti Democracy Project has included both Carl Braun and Andy Apaid’s son (Andy Apaid, Jr.) on its business delegations to Washington. During the twelve years 2003-2015 we brought twenty business delegations to Washington, comprising some sixty delegates in all. Each member of our delegations was carefully vetted by a Haitian expert imbedded in the business sector before being allowed to join. In all these twenty years not one has been credibly accused by either Haitian or foreign authorities. One has been falsely accused by Haitian authorities for political reasons, and one has been suspected of malpractice by a qualified analyst working for the Haiti Democracy Project. We have also brought ten legislative delegations, as part of a democracy project’s effort to support an elected legislature, but with little vetting, and there have been at least two allegations against them.
The fact-checking that our little organization scrupulously performed before introducing any businesspeople to members of Congress and the State Department turns out to be superior to that of the government of Canada with all its resources. This is because our fact-checker was eminently qualified and also impervious to political influence. It’s too bad that the government of Canada, before pointing the finger at others, couldn’t find people of similar caliber to work for it.
Anyone who has read our web page will recall that we were fans of Canada when it began its sanctioning of the top Haitian politicians this time last year, most of whom already had well-known reputations in Haiti for corruption and violence although you would never know it by reading the Haitian press (which rightly fears retribution). They were also untouchable until Canada leveled its accusations, well-founded in these cases. But when it comes to Haiti, there exists in the United States and Canada a small but vocal pro-Aristidian and pro-Lavalasien cult sector, who have always been hostile to the straight business sector in Haiti. The Canadian government’s immigration board sometimes reaches out to nongovernmental organizations such as the Haiti Democracy Project for information on Haitian personalities before admitting them. Here is a possible explanation for Canada’s costly faux-pas on these two Haitian business leaders.
The Haiti Democracy Project advises all concerned to disregard the Canadian government’s pronouncements on Andy Apaid and Carl Braun and to continue the respectful relationship due them.