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Latest in French-Speaking Blogs of the Caribbean and Oceania

NEW CALEDONIA

Gadji
Annoella near Gadji, New Caledonia. By Sebastien Merion.

A few months ago, we learned that Sebastien and Annoella of 5 minutes en Nouvelle Caledonie got married in Mauritius. Now watch a video of the newlyweds hiking up a hill overlooking the lovely beaches of Gadji. The post provides a multimedia experience including this clickable photomap of the hiking area. Sebastien recommends “flying over” New Caledonia via Google Earth and posts the shots to entice you. The blogger is also looking forward to an upcoming local film festival taking place in the village of Foa in which local fimmakers will have an opportunity to showcase their talents. A graphic designer, the blogger made this lovely wallpaper of a Mauritian fish.

Notre Vie a Noumea posts two slideshows of trips to Caledonian beaches.

Katuali complains about the loud nocturnal music played by workers of [local union] UTSKE during a sit-in accompanying their current strike.


MARTINIQUE

Celebrating Trinidad's Soca Warriors
Voicing a familiar balancing act for Martiniquans and other DOM-TOMers, InternetRapide.com writes:

Nous sommes de tout coeur derrière l'équipe de France pour la Coupe du monde de Football qui se déroule en ce moment en Allemagne. D'autant plus qu'elle s'appuie sur de nombreux antillais, tels l'abymien Pascal CHIMBONBA,le pointois Lilian THURAM, le guyanais Florent MALOUDA et bien d'autres champions originaires des antilles, tel Thierry HENRY…

Mais comment ne pas être également parmi les plus fervents supporters de l'équipe des SOCA WARRIORS, l'équipe nationale de Trinidad & Tobago !
Non pas parce qu’ s'agit de l'équipe du plus petit pays à avoir jamais participé à une Coupe du Monde de la FIFA (…) Mais parce que ces joueurs ont été élevés sous le même soleil que le nôtre, se sont baignés dans les mêmes eaux, partagent des pans entiers d'une même culture caribéenne, notamment la musique…

With all our hearts we support the French team in the Soccer World Cup taking place in Germany. Especially since the team rests on many Caribbean DOM-TOMers including [Guadeloupeans] Pascal Chimbonba and Lilian Thuram, Guianese Florent Malouda and many more champions from the French Antilles such as Thierry Henry…
However how could we not also be among the most fervent supporters of Trinidad & Tobago's national team, the Soca Warriors! Not merely because it is the team of the smallest country to have ever participated in the World Cup (…) but also because its players have been raised under the same sun as ours, have bathed in the same waters and share entire swaths of the same Caribbean culture, music and all…

Rising Tennis and Music stars
InternetRapide.com surveyed the Martiniquan and Guadeloupean talents who received acclaim in French American Idol-like show “La Nouvelle Star”: Sophie the Guadeloupean, Dominique the Martiniquan, and his favorite Jean-Philippe Fanfant who, says the blogger, “comes from a reknown Guadeloupean musical family.” Le Blog de [Moi] suspected racism had something to do with the 14 pages of comments that French viewers of the show posted on a web-based message board under the subject “Dominique is arrogant, attacks the public and does not take criticism well.”

InternetRapide.com
raved about half-Martiniquan, half-Guadeloupean rising star and number one French tennis player Gael Monfils for his performance at the French Open.

Women
In her usual provocative style, Le Blog de [Moi] wondered why even though statistics show that 82% of women masturbate, so few talk or blog about it. Bien Vu deplores an employer's lawsuit against his female workers who recently struck against his women's clothing store Minimum Maximod despite an agreement in which he promised not to sue.

GUADELOUPE

Habitation Murat, Guadeloupe

Habitation Murat, Guadeloupe. Built circa 1807. By Alex Faundez.

Remembering Battles against France in 1802
Convention pour une Guadeloupe Nouvelle remembers 1802 Guadeloupean slave and freedmen rebellions that paralelled those that led to Haiti's independence in 1804 and is campaigning for a mausoleum to be built in honor of the Guadeloupean heros who fought the French. Unlike Haiti's rebellion, the Guadeloupean one was sucessfully quelled by the French but the blog ekes out a nation-building myth from that bit of history:

Méditons pour clore cette période glorieuse de notre pays ces mots de DELGRES : ” ET NOUS LEGUERONS NOS EXEMPLES A SUIVRE A CEUX QUI VIENDRONT APRES NOUS . ET QUI PLUS HEUREUX , CONQUERRONS CETTE LIBERTE QUE NOUS N'AVONS FAIT QU ‘ENTREVOIR “.

Il faut rapprocher cette déclaration de celle de TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE déporté en France en avril 1802 peu de temps avant l'invasion de la Guadeloupe par le corps expéditionnaire français : ” EN ME RENVERSANT , ON A ABATTU LE TRONC DE LA LIBERTE DES NOIRS . IL REPOUSSERA CAR SES RACINES SONT NOMBREUSES ET PROFONDES ” .

LA CONVENTION POUR UNE GUADELOUPE NOUVELLE milite pour la construction d'un Mausolée pour honorer ces vaillants ancêtres et tous les Guadeloupéeens qui après sont morts pour la Guadeloupe . En souvenir de ces héros , le drapeau de la Guadeloupe sera le DRAPEAU ROUGE qui accompagna les combattants de la cause Guadeloupéenne pendant le mois de mai 1802 .

Let us ponder, in closing this glorious period of our country, these words by [rebellion leader Louis] Delgres:”And we bequeath our example to those who come after us and who, more fortunate, will conquer the Liberty that we were only able to eye.”

We parallel this declaration to that of [Haitian Revolution Leader] Toussaint Louverture deported to France in April 1802 a little while before the invasion of Guadeloupe by the French expedition: “In deposing me, they have cut the tree of the Liberty of Blacks. The tree will grow back because its roots are numerous and deep.”

The Convention for a New Guadeloupe militates for the construction of a mausoleum in honor of these valliant ancestors and of all the Guadeloupeans who later died for Guadeloupe. In memory of those heroes, the flag of Guadeloupe will be the red flag that accompanied the soldiers of the Guadeloupean cause during the month of May 1802.


Building a Party and Lack of Transparency

Political fomation Convention pour une Guadeloupe Nouvelle posts an excerpt of a recent TV appearance by their spokesperson Jean-Paul Eluther:

Notre formation a un an et demi d'existence . Elle se développe normalement . Nous contruisons un parti pour la Guadeloupe , une Guadeloupe nouvelle , solidaire , débarassée des inégalités sociales et de toutes les discriminations , fière de son histoire , ambitieuse et résolue à se battre partout pour l'homme . Nous rejettons les conservatismes de droite ou socialiste qui visent à intégrer notre pays dans un ensemble Français qui refuse la différence et est champion de l'assimilation . Nous lancons un appel pour la construction d'un BLOC GUADELOUPEEN ET SOCIALISTE pour réaliser ces objectifs.

Our organization is a year and a half old. It is developing normally. We are building a party for Guadeloupe, a new Guadeloupe, united, rid of social inequalities and of all discriminations, proud of its history, ambitious and resolved to fight everywhere for man. We reject right-wing and left-wing conservatism which seek to absorb our country into a French whole which refuses difference and is a champion of assimilation. We seek the construction of a Guadeloupean and Socialist Bloc to achieve our goals.

The blog also denounced the lack of transparency of Guadeloupe's Departmental Assembly.

La Bella Gwada
FredGwadaventure posts gorgeous shots of “la bella gwada.” (Gwada is the island's nickname.)

HAITI


World Cup Fever in Port-au-Prince; Wycleff Jean to Represent in Music

Alterpresse telegraphed the temperature of the capital in anticipation of the World Cup:

Partout dans la capitale haïtienne, chacun arbore son petit drapeau représentant l'une ou l'autre des 32 sélections participantes. (…) Les compétitions sportives, particulièrement la Coupe du monde de football, donnent l'opportunité à des commercants, petits et grands, de dynamiser leurs affaires.Fanions, t-shirts, lacets de téléphones, bracelets et autres accessoires, symbolisant les équipes les mieux connues, sont exposées un peu partout dans la capitale haïtienne. Les maillots de certaines formations, considérées comme favorites, sont très demandés et les magasins très achalandés (…) Les recettes des marchands d'appareils électroniques (récepteurs de radio, téléviseurs) se sont accrues durant ces dernières semaines. (…) Malheureusement, Haïti n'a pas pu rééditer l'espoir de 1974 lorsqu'elle mena un but à zéro sur l'Italie de Dino Zoff. Cependant, tout n'est pas perdu pour cette République Caraïbe qui sera représentée en musique par Wyclef Jean. Cette star haïtienne, de renommée internationale, chantera en duo avec la Colombienne Shakirah, le 9 juillet, lors de la grande finale dudit championnat mondial.

Everywhere in the Haitian capital, people are sporting the flags of any of 32 soccer World Cup teams. (…) Sports competitions offer local business big and small a boost. Flags, t-shirts, bracelets, telephone laces and other accessories symbolizing the best known teams can be seen anywhere in the capital. T-shirts for certain popular teams are in high demand and stores are readily stocked with them. (…) Revenues of sellers of electronics such as TVs and radios have increased in the past couple of weeks. (…) Unfortunately Haiti has not been able to replicate the promise of 1974 when she upset Dino Zoff's Italian team. However, all is not lost for the Caribbean nation which will be represented in music by Wycleff Jean. The world reknown Haitian star will sing a duet with Colombian Shakirah on July 9, to close the international championship.

Photo Album of Haitian Presidents
Collectif Haiti de Provence posts a slideshow of Haitian Presidents since 1804.

Franco-Haitian Solidarity
The blog also reported on recent franco-haitian solidarity meetings in which the collective participated:

FABULEUX, FANTASTIQUE, EXTRAORDINAIRE…EMOUVANT, TOUCHANT… Ce sont tant d’épithètes encore trop faibles pour décrire en peu de mots cet évènement, le premier du genre, organisé pour évaluer, repenser et remodeler les facettes de la solidarité franco-haïtienne. (…) La détermination de ces bénévoles qui décrivent avec une aisance et une simplicité époustouflantes leurs périples, péripéties et prouesses sur ces terrains difficiles et souvent oubliés par les gouvernements haïtiens, dans ces localités dont on a vaguement entendu parler pendant nos lointains cours de géographie…

Fabulous, fantastic, extraordinary … moving, touching… All adjectives that although weak describe succinctly this event, the first ever, organized to evaluate, rethink and remodel aspects of franco-haitian solidarity. (…) The determination of these volunteers who described with tremendous ease and simplicity their trials, tribulations and prowesses in the difficult backwater towns in which they lived, towns often forgotten by the Haitian government and of which we vaguely heard in our geography lessons…

The blog posts a slideshow of the franc0-Haitian solidarity events of June 3 and 4 that took place in Essone, France.


Telecom Wars Continued

Alterpresse reports today that a long-awaited interconnexion dealbetween Caribbean Telecom giant Digicel and local telecoms Haitel and Comcel is still on hold as local companies brace themselves for the new competitor.

Upcoming Jazz Tour, Renaudot Literary Prize and Haitian-American Jesus in Cannes
AlterPresse reported that an upcoming jazz tour sponsored by the Mexican and French embassies in Haiti will visit three Haitian cities and feature Mexican jazz musician Alfonso Medina, Haitian drummer Joel Widmaer and French bass player Pascale Monier. The Haitian newsfeed announced also that Haitian writer Danny Laferriere is being considered for the prestigious Renaudot literary prize which was awarded Haitian Rene Depestre over 10 years ago. AlterPresse added that a Haitian-American filmmaker Jean-Claude Lamarre presented his film Color of the Cross at the Cannes Film Festival on May 25 and 26. In the film, Jesus is black.

Civil Society on Environment and Full Citizenship for Peasants

AlterPresse reported that on June 5, International Environment Day, “and prompted by ‘Mobilization of Haitian Peasants Against Poverty’, many dozens of youth marched in the streets of the capital to sensitize the public on the preservation of the environment.” The newsfeed added that “Many peasant organizations demand full citizenship for peasants who should no longer be pawns of traditional politicians who only pay attention to them during elections.”


GUYANE (a.k.a. FRENCH GUIANA)

An earthquake took place today, reports the Saint-Laurent de Maroni Portal, but made no casualties. In the comments section, many expressed surprise that an earthquake could take place in a region officially deemed non-seismic.

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