Former Haitian president's concert cancelled at last minute

A concert by former Haitian president Michel Martelly was cancelled Friday. Various groups had campaigned to prevent the performer and former politician from travelling to Canada, citing what they say are Martelly's misogynistic comments and his alleged complicity in corruption scandals.

Promoter says performer was unable to travel from Miami

Michel Martelly's concert promoter said the former Haitian president and present-day performer was unable to travel from Miami to Canada, but didn't offer any further details. (Ricardo Arduengo/Associated Press)

Former Haitian President Michel Martelly, who sings under the pseudonym "Sweet Micky," will not perform Friday night in Montreal.

For several weeks, various groups have campaigned to have the concert blocked, citing what they say are Martelly's misogynistic comments and his alleged complicity in corruption scandals.

One of the concert's promoters, Bass-Mint Management Group, said Martelly and his group were unable to travel to Canada from Miami, but didn't provide further details.

Carl-Edward Osias, Bass-Mint's president, confirmed the cancellation of the show.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante told Radio-Canada on Friday morning that she asked Ottawa to refuse the former Haitian president's entry into Canada.

"We have communicated directly with the federal government and we have made it very clear that we are looking into this case," Plante said.

On Monday a number of organizations wrote to the mayor to ask her to use "all your political power" to prevent Martelly's show.

The letter describes Martelly as "a notorious misogynist who is an apologist for rape."

Sociologist Frédéric Boisrond, who was part of the effort to block the concert, told Radio-Canada he was proud of the campaign and relieved it had succeeded.

"It's a very good ending," he said. "You do not know how many people have been involved in this process. "

The Solidarité Québec-Haiti collective had planned a demonstration at 7 p.m. in front of the Plaza Centre Ville to prevent Martelly from performing.

With files from Radio-Canada


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.