New Haiti PM Garry Conille Names his Government’s Ministers

Garry Conille, Prime Minister and Interior Minister.

Garry Conille, whom the Transitional Presidential Council (TPC) appointed as interim Prime Minister on May 28, named his TPC-approved ministers on Jun. 11, and the list does not inspire confidence. One could expect nothing more from a government which Washington essentially controls.

Conille, who previously served as President Michel Martelly’s head of government from October 2011 to February 2012, retained the all-important post of Minister of the Interior and Territorial Communities, while the post of Defense Minister went to Jean Marc Berthier Antoine, who until recently lived and worked as an educator in Canada.

One of the more troubling appointments was that of Carlos Hercule, Conille’s personal attorney, to be Minister of Justice and Public Security, overseeing the nation’s crumbling, corrupt judiciary and the Haitian National Police (PNH).

Carlos Hercule, Justice Minister

“Hercule came with my lawyer, Mario Beauvoir, in October 2013 to visit me in the prison where I was being held at that time in Arcahaie,” former detainee Sherlson Sanon told Haïti Liberté. Sanon claims that, in early 2013, human rights figure Pierre Espérance tricked him into signing a false confession that he was a child soldier, for which he spent 10 years behind bars without a jury trial. A court freed him in January 2023. Sanon has held numerous press conferences and radio and television interviews since his release to denounce Espérance and demand justice for his unjust imprisonment.

“Hercule was representing Jacques Junior Khawly and Joël André Khawly, who were also implicated in the fake story that Espérance had concocted,” Sanon said. “He told me, ‘Sherlson, I know that you are innocent, and I will work to get you freed, but to do so, I have to get the Khawly brothers in jail. I need you to say that you worked for them selling drugs so that they are arrested.’ I said to Hercule that, first, it wasn’t true, and, second, I would be incriminating myself. He told me not to worry about that, he would take care of it.”

“I believe that the reason he was trying to put his own clients behind bars was so that he could make more money off of them,” Sanon explained, when asked. “This experience leads me to believe that Hercule is unscrupulous and corrupt, so his appointment as Justice Minister is not auspicious.”

Haïti Liberté tried to reach Carlos Hercule for comment but received no response by press time.

Another appointment is that of Antoine “Tenten” Augustin to two posts as Minister of National Education and Professional Training and Minister of Culture and Communication.

In the late 1980s, Augustin came up through the ranks of the National Popular Assembly (APN) headed by Benjamin Dupuy, one of Haiti’s foremost communist leaders. During President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s first eight months in office in 1991, he served as chief-of-staff of Information Minister Marie-Laurence Lassègue and was almost killed in the Sep. 30, 1991 coup d’état. He later went on to work as a professor at the State University of Haiti.

Antoine “Tenten” Augustin, Education Minister and Culture Minister

“Tenten” retained occasional contact and communication with his former APN comrades but in recent years became more distant as he integrated into the framework of the Montana Accord, which his former comrades frowned on.

However, when the Montana Accord completely surrendered to become part of the Washington-concocted TPC and endorsed a fourth foreign military occupation of Haiti, that was a bridge too far. Now that Augustin has joined a government which is the equivalent of Sudré Dartiguenave’s, the puppet president who served and was guarded by the U.S. Marines in 1915, former comrades can only shake their heads in disgust at his complete abandonment of any anti-imperialist principles.

“Sometimes one sees in history a person who was engaged in the struggle capitulate, renounce his principles, and sell himself to the imperialists,” said Henriot Dorcent, a Haitian radio personality and Haiti Liberté columnist, who was also an APN militant in the 1980s. “In the case of Tenten, this is pure opportunism, especially in this context. This Presidential Council endorses a third military occupation in 30 years, so they are traitors. The imperialists then parachuted in Garry Conille, who has been out of the country for 12 years, who doesn’t know the nation’s reality, and who wasn’t even a critic of [former de facto Prime Minister] Ariel Henry. It shocks me that Tenten has done this. He is no longer a partisan for the interests of Haiti’s workers and peasants. He’s a sell-out.”

Dominique Dupuy, 34, was also given two portfolios: that of Foreign Minister as well as Minister of Haitians Living Abroad. Recently Haiti’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Dupuy was the original TPC nominee of the RED/EDE sector but resigned in March, citing “unfounded political attacks against me and the threats on my life.” She may find that her new post will also become a hot-seat. (Ironically, she is the niece of Ben Dupuy.)

Dominique Dupuy, Foreign Minister and Minister of Haitians Living Abroad.

Meanwhile Ketleen Florestal was appointed Minister of Economy and Finance as well as Minister of Planning and External Cooperation. Vernet Joseph became Minister of Agriculture. Natural Resources and Rural Development, while Raphaël Hosty will become Minister of Public Works, Transport, and Communications. James Monazard was appointed Minister of Commerce and Industry as well as Tourism Minister. Moïse Jean-Pierre Fils is now Environment Minister while Georges Wilbert Franck is Minister of Social Affairs and Labor. Georges Fils Brignol will act as Minister of Public Health and Population, Marie Françoise Suzan is Minister of Women’s Status and Women’s Rights, and Niola Lynn Sarah Devalis Octavius will be Minister of Youth, Sports and Civic Action.

We will publish more about these other ministers as we learn more about their backgrounds. They, by and large, are not well-known in Haiti or its diaspora.

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