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Michel Joseph Martelly was born in Port-au-Prince on February 12, 1961, to Gérard and Madeleine Martelly, the latter born de Pradines, her father, Augustede Pradines known as Candio, was one of the most renowned troubadours in the history of Haitian music.
Joseph Martelly came from family lines that not only influenced Haitian music but also played a major role in Haitian politics. Martelly’s great-great-grandfather, François Linstant de Pradines, took part in the War of Independence side by side with the founding fathers.
Martelly pursued his classical studies at College Roger Anglade and Saint Louis de Gonzague, Michel where he obtained his baccalaureate degree at the Centre d’Études Secondaires.
In 1984, Michel Joseph Martelly travelled to the United States where he studied and trained in construction. In spite of this transposition, he remained true to his ideal.
In 1987, he was reunited with his childhood friend, Sophia Saint Rémy, a native of Gonaïves, whom he eventually married and fathered four children: Michel-Olivier, Michel-Alexandre, Michel-Yani, Malaïka-Michel.
In 1988, he returned to Haiti to begin, what turned out to be, a stellar career in entertainment. Popularly known by his stage name, Sweet Micky, Matelly was loved for his willingness to perform throughout the whole country, at mansions and humble abodes alike.
At the height of their success, the Martelly couple founded “Fondation Rose et Blanc” (Pink and White Foundation) that sought to improve the quality of life for hundreds of poor Haitians.
In the aftermath of the massive earthquake that shattered Haiti on January 12, 2010, Mr. Martelly threw his hat into the election ring. He surged ahead of 19 other candidates and edged out female contender, Mirlande Manigat, in a historic runoff.
On May 14, 2011, he was sworn in as the 56th President of the Republic of Haiti. His campaign for change secured more than 67% of the electoral vote.
- His vision of transformation rests on Education, Employment, the Rule of Law, the Environment and Energy (in French the 5 Es)
- Under his leadership more than a million children are attending school on a tuition-free basis.
- His ambition is to see all the children of Haiti attending school free of all charges by the end of his term of office.
- In September 2011, Martelly formed an advisory board that included business executives, bankers, and politicians such as former President of the United States Bill Clinton, that he hopes will improve business and economy in Haiti
Awards & Accolades
- Golden Great Cross of Merit Duarte Sanchez y Mella from Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic, March 26, 2012
- In July of 2012, the International Academic Unit of the University of Panama School of Law and Political Science bestowed upon him the Great Cross of the Order of Gil Colunje, one of the highest distinctions given to a foreigner, in recognition of his commitment to the development and restoration of his country.
Famous Quotes from President Martelly
“I saw Haiti, I indeed saw this country, I measured the gaps, the false antagonisms, and the malevolent polarization. But, I also saw all this divisiveness melt away; like so much snow in the sun when I was around!”
“Suffering is not for sale.”
“Haiti is a country that harbours too much wealth to be so poor!”
“The system is outdated and obsolete, and this very system has lost of all social awareness, all efficiency, and can no longer serve its citizens down to the most feeble.”
“Change is going to give rise to groans and tears, but it is inescapable.”
Itinerary for the State Visit to Jamaica
Wednesday, November 13th
- President of Haiti, His Excellency Michel Martelly arrives at the Norman Manley International Airport and is welcomed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller and members of the Cabinet
- President Martelly to attend welcome reception hosted by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller at Vale Royal
Thursday, November 14th
- President Martelly attends a meeting on bilateral, regional and multinational issues headed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller at the Office of the Prime Minister
- President Martelly attends State Luncheon hosted by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD
- Arrival at National Heroes’ Circle for Laying of floral tribute at Statue of Simon Bolivar
Friday, November 15th
- President and delegation to tour the Bob Marley Museum
- Meeting with the Sports Representatives of UWI, UTECH, GC Foster College, JAAA and JOA
- Tour of the UWI Bowl and the University of Technology Sports Facility
- Lunch hosted by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica
- Tours of Jamaica Broiler, Spring Village, Old Harbour and of the Amity Hall Agro Park with Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Roger Clarke
- Departure at the Norman Manley International Airport