Tet Kale

Michel Martelly, bad-boy musician, is Haiti’s next president, according to preliminary results released Monday.

He called himself an outsider to Haiti’s corrupt political machine and when I met him at his home in December (see photo), he told me about how he would do things differently than all his predecessors — dictators and leftist priests alike. Sitting in the entertainment room of his Peguyville house, I thought: Wow. How can a musician lead Haiti out of all its woes? Earthquake, cholera, poverty, corruption, more poverty, more corruption.

But he laid out a plan that began like this: “Don’t hand Haitians money. They don’t know how to handle it. I am Haitian. o don’t even hand me money. Just come and rebuild for us.”

I thought him earnest.

Out on the streets of Port-au-Prince, they were chanting “Tet Kale!” It means bald head, as in Martelly’s. We will see now if the people will still be calling his name as he takes charge in Haiti.

His win made me want to get on a plane back to Haiti. He told me, after all, that he would take me around Port-au-Prince himself, if he were elected. I might just have to hold him to that promise.

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