A Haitian Slanderer
James Morrell, director of the project, 2007-11-28
A Haitian journalist and pro-Aristide propagandist, Joseph Guyler C. Delva, has issued a slander against Haiti Democracy Project founder Sen. Rudolph Boulos, accusing him of sending men to intimidate him. This claim is false. Delva has been identified by the former head of the U.S. Information Agency in Haiti as a "Palace information activist." Following are some evaluations of Mr. Delva’s credibility over the years.
Daniel Whitman, counselor for public affairs at the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince in 1999–2001, in his book A Haiti Chronicle: The Undoing of a Latent Democracy, 1999–2001 (Victoria, British Columbia, 2005)
The following day (January 13, 2001), Palace information activist Guyler Delva seized control of the long-dormant Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH), publicly shredding in his hands a copy of its charter at a group gathering, after some of those present questioned the legality of Delva’s self-proclamation as AJH president.
Th Palace had apparently noted the challenge and danger of a truly independent press, now fully organized nationally under a decentralized structure, which stood as institutional impediment to any personality cult. The founding committee had created the Haitian Press Federation (FPH) to have a rotating presidency, giving the lead to each of the nine provinces in turn and prohibiting that any province succeed itself for two terms.
The government was alarmed to see the thriving of a loose confederation of some 2000 journalists country-wide, "not to be bought," while offering up its own AJH which by Delva’s own reckoning had at most one hundred members, all of them residing in the capital.
Shortly after Delva’s coup January 13 at the Hotel Caraibe, he went into high gear, denouncing his own former teacher Ady Jean Gardy and calling for Ambassador Curran’s expulsion from the country, from microphones in Port-au-Prince, Miami and New York.
A couple of genuine candidates for the AJH leadership had withdrawn after receiving credible death threats by phone. Delva’s friend and colleague Pierre Joel Jean agreed to be the straw man at the last minute, resulting in triumphal photos of Jean embracing Delva after Delva’s "victory" as president of the well-funded but largely shunned AJH . . .
Delva’s imprisonment for wife-beating in December of 1999 had drawn public support from only one man—Ady Jean Gardy, who published a letter in Le Nouvelliste by one journalist in defense of another. But now in early 2001, Delva turned against his earlier mentor after seizing the AJH as his plattform for indictments against the independent press in Haiti. Delva’s polemics rose out of frail arguments and scant support amongst Haiti’s rank-and-file journalists, but benefited from financial support from a Palace determined to burnish its image. With Delva the camouflaged lead, they went about reining in the larger stations, or delivering death threats to the holdouts, or a cocktail of both.
As the stakes grew higher and murder became a reality, the independent FPH only gained in strength, even drawing together rival local press associations who understood that an unleashed AJH would mean the end of free expression in Haiti.
Eventually in spring of 2001, even Delva himself had to go into hiding, as the Revolution proceeded to devour its children, every bone and organ of them.
P. 254. December 17, 1999. Journalist Guyler C. Delva, confidante of President Préval and recipient of privileged press leaks from the Palace, is incarcerated for beating his wife, and with rumors of the latter achieving intimacy with the President and being caught in fragrante.
P. 259. April 17, 2000. Palace press employee Guy Delva stages a march for slain Jean Dominique; most radio stations boycott the event because of their mistrust of Delva, and their suspicion that the regime was, itself, to blame for the assassination.
P. 262. June 10, 2000. Palace press employee Guy Delva rallies journalists to silence opponents to the regime.
P. 273. January 13, 2001. Palace information activist Guy Delva seizes control of the Association of Haitian Journalists, goes on the air to support a state law to restrict press freedoms, and advocating that the state prosecute journalists who print "wrong" stories. Delva violates the AJH charter in both leading the search committee for director, then assuming the job himself.
P. 280. April 12, 2001. AJH gangs disrupt a press conference byAmb. Curran in Cap-HaVtien.
P. 281. April 23, 2001. AJH self-appointed Secretary-General Delva smashes Ambassador Curran and me in public statements, for not supporting the AJH.
Robert Ménard, secretary-general of Reporters sans FrontiPres
L’organisation Reporters Sans FrontiPres rompt ses relations avec l’Association des Journalistes HaVtiens
Former prime minister Gérard Latortue: "A fabrication"
Le Premier ministre Gérard Latortue dément une information publiée par l'agence Reuters selon laquelle il aurait sollicité l'aide de Jean Bertrand Aristide et serait prLt B envoyer un émissaire en Afrique du Sud. Selon le bureau du Premier ministre, « cette dépLche est une machination éhontée de son correspondant en HaVti, M. Guyler C. Delva qui se base sur une hypothétique entrevue que le Premier ministre aurait accordé B la station de radio Tropic FM. Cette prétendue entrevue n'existe que dans l'esprit de M. Delva qui ne rate d'ailleurs aucune occasion pour faire de la désinformation sur HaVti en prLchant essentiellement pour sa chapelle politique ».Le Premier ministre espPre que de tels agissements ne se reproduiront plus et a profité de l'occasion pour rappeler que la loi sanctionne de tels comportements.
M. Guyler C. Delva a qualifié de farfelue les accusations de la Primature. Il a indiqué avoir fait son travail. (Radio Ginen)
Reuters News Agency
Issued a retraction of the above story when it was revealed to be without foundation.
Daniel Simidor, New York, N.Y.: "A Lavalas propagandist"
Joseph Guyler Delva’s latest Reuters report on Haiti,
later that year, would drop the first two lines of the
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