- When “propagandists and fabricators” misuse the name of a prominent journalist by Raymond Alcide Joseph
It’s unheard-of that journalists threaten to sue for defamation. Usually it’s the other way around. But that’s exactly what Jacqueline Charles, award-winning journalist, who has made a name for herself at the Miami Herald, threatened to do, following the misuse of her name by propagandists and fabricators apparently working for the Haitian government.
In a tweet Sunday evening, August 16, written in French, Jacqueline Charles asserts that she notices that “the fabrication and propaganda machine is working overtime in Haiti at this very moment, using my name [and] that of the Miami Herald to spread lies. In the United States, we take defamation seriously! Be forewarned!”
It’s unlike Ms. Charles to go on the warpath in such a manner. So, we contacted her to know, first, the authenticity of the tweet, which she confirmed. And what prompted it, which she explained. It has to do with a purported arrest of Dimitri Vorbe in Florida, driving under the influence of alcohol. In the statement circulating on social networks, Ms. Charles is said to have confirmed the information, something she totally refutes, adding that “this didn’t even happen.” We said, “Not true that Mr. Vorbe was arrested?” “All fabricated,” she snapped, “including that I confirmed it. Not true.”
It should be noted that President Jovenel Moïse, who singlehandedly broke a government contract with private electricity provider SOGENER, of which Mr. Vorbe is the CEO, has accused the company of overbilling the State and of providing mostly “blackouts.” Refuted in his denunciations based on no evidence, President Moïse began a political persecution against Mr. Vorbe and others connected to his company, leading, last week, to an international arrest warrant with flimsy arguments issued by the Haitian officials for Mr. Vorbe. Meanwhile, Mr. Vorbe has taken refuge abroad.
For the edification of all, we are translating the full text of the 10-paragraph smearing piece put out by the “fabrication and propaganda machine” denounced by the journalist whose furious outburst is better understood when the full text is read. It’s unbelievable to see the extent to which the fabricators have gone to prove a non-arrest, while at the same time sullying the image of a man being persecuted by the Haitian president who’s on a mission of character assassination.
Under the name of an unknown Perard Gasner, the piece is entitled: “Dimitri Vorbe, arrested, driving while drunk, has caused his situation to become more complicated.” To give credence to the “reportage,” at the outset, it is stated: “The information was noted and confirmed by Jacqueline Charles of the Mia mi Herald.” (bold ours.)
Here it is: “Dimitri Vorbe, the businessman of SOGENER, was arrested during the night [no date given] in Miami (southeast Florida) -sic- for driving dangerously at the wheel of a rented Jaguar car in the streets of Miami, visibly under the influence of alcohol, according to the Miami Herald.
“How far will Dimitri Vorbe go? He who, for some time now, has been in trouble with justice wherever he finds himself.
“The authorities have declared that Dimitri Vorbe had drunk strong alcoholic beverages commonly called ‘Kafanyyambio,’ and ‘Vodka.’
“This [latest] incident is in addition to recent entanglements of Dimitri Vorbe with Haitian Justice which has issued an arrest warrant against him for false documentation and overbilling, also for being involved in a criminal cons piracy, with his home being searched last week by the Police.
“The Miami Police had even twitted a photo of the arrest of the businessman Dimitri Vorbe.”
For the benefit of the readers who may not know what DUI entails, this Perard Gasner provides some pertinent information: “It is forbidden to drink one drop of alcohol if you’re driving in the USA, in 49 of the 50 states. In Florida, it is a Zero Tolerance law.
“Alcohol and the steering wheel in the United States is a subject matter that is taken very seriously. The DUI (Driving Under the Influence) [which] means driving while drunk and/or under the influence of drug causes 30 deaths each day due to someone driving while drunk.”
Furthermore, our fake reporter makes sure that his readers are fully aware of what may be in store for Dimitri Vorbe. Read on: “All the states in the United States have reached consensus to define the level of alcohol maximum to be 0.08%. The ‘BAC,’ ‘Blood Alcohol Content’ refers in that case to the percentage of alcohol in the blood: 0,08% means that a person has 8g [grams] of alcohol in 10L [litters] of blood.”
And the conclusion: “An affair with updates to come.”
Indeed, the Haitian government must have a unit dedicated only to doing “research” and putting out “fake” reporting, attributed to impeccable sources, hoping that their falsehood would have reached the ends of the earth by the time it is discovered. But Jacqueline Charles, on her toes all the time when it comes to issues having to do with Haiti, quickly discovered the dishonest use of her name and that of the publication for which she writes, and quickly warned he “fabricators and propagandists” that they are opening themselves to lawsuits for defamation, not a joke in the United States. I would suppose that the hunt is on to unmask the fakers.
RAJ August 19, 2020 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cet article est publié par l’hebdomadaire Haïti-Observateur VOL. L No. 32 (New York), de l’édition du 19 août 2020 et se trouve en P. 1, 7 à : http://haiti-observateur.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/H-O-19-aout-2020.pdf