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Charles A. Forbin: Haiti's consul general in New York is a pot-head who shares a bed with his mother

charless-antoine-forbin-consul-new-york-1BY: EMMANUEL ROY, NEW YORK, NY - In most countries including the United States, diplomatic posts such as ambassadors, consuls, ministers and Charge-D'affaires are often doled out to supporters of the current president. For example, President Obama appointed Caroline Kennedy an avid and early supporter as US ambassador to Ireland; Patrick Gaspard, a former political advisor as US ambassador to South Africa. Former president of the Dominican Republic, Lionel Fernandez, an American citizen appointed many of his friends and supporters to several overseas positions representing the Dominican Republic. Nevertheless, the practice does not negate experience and education. Caroline Kennedy holds a law degree from Harvard University; Patrick Gaspard is a well respected political advisor with unparallel experience in community organizing.

In Haiti, the reverse is true. The men and women who represent Haiti overseas are often mediocre bureaucrats who cannot find the country they represent in a map. When Martelly became president, he promised to revamp Haitian Diplomacy by appointing qualified people able to represent the interests of the Island nation. This was before Mr. Laurent Lamothe hijacked the Haitian Government. The first of many bad decisions Mr. Lamothe made was the appointment of Mr. Charles Forbin as Haiti's consul general to one of Haiti's most important posts - New York city; overlooking many qualified and experienced diplomats. Prior to his appointment as consul general, Mr. Forbin was peddling telephone calling cards on Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York for No-Pin a company owned by Mr. Lamothe. Mr. Forbin neither speak nor write in any language well enough to serve as a driver to a consul general, but yet he is in charge of one of the most important diplomatic posts.

According to several staff members, Mr. Forbin, a pot-head who shares a bed with his mother often reports to work high on marijuana; failing asleep at staff meetings while uttering incoherent and incomprehensible words.  One of the staff members who confronted Mr. Forbin about his drug abuse was threaten with dismissal.  The question is why does Mr. Lamothe insist on mediocrity when  there are available and competent people to do the job?

The answer seems rather simple. Haitian Government officials like Laurent Lamothe who are corrupt always need gullible mediocre underlings susceptible to manipulation. Educated and self-respected bureaucrats would not be "yes man" and easy to manipulate. Mediocre unqualified bureaucrats will do anything to please a boss like Mr. Lamothe. Because they are unqualified and are reminded of it daily, they will do back-flips over a sputtering volcano in order to retain the  position.

Educated and experienced professionals like Wilson Laleau, Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie, Bernice Fidelia, Duly Brutus and Moise Garcon would find it challenging to work under a prime minister with penchant for mediocrity and corruption.  as Mr. Brutus is preparing to take the helm of Haiti's diplomacy as Minister of Foreign Affairs replacing another mediocre (Pierre Richard Casimir), a thorough review of the qualification of the men and women in Haiti's diplomatic corps must be given due consideration.  If we are to be taken seriously by other countries, Mr. Forbin must be the first on the list to return to peddling telephone calling cards on Flatbush avenue, a more suitable venture.

By the way, there is nothing wrong with selling calling cards - A chacun son metier.

Emmanuel Roy
is a Freelance Writer
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