Raymond Joseph

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Raymond Joseph
Haitian Ambassador to the United States
In office
2005–2010
Personal details
Born August 31, 1931
Les Cayes, Haiti
Alma mater Wheaton College, University of Chicago

Raymond Alcide Joseph (born August 31, 1931) is a Haitian diplomat, political activist and journalist. He was the Haitian ambassador to the United States from 2005 to 2010, when he resigned to present himself as a candidate in the 2010 Presidential Election in Haiti. He is the uncle of singer and rapper Wyclef Jean.

Early life and education[edit]

Joseph was born on August 31, 1931, in Les Cayes, Haiti, and spent his early years surrounded by Christian missionaries. By age 10 he was fluent in Haitian Creole, French, Spanish and English. In 1954, he volunteered as an interpreter for a Baptist preacher, who assisted Joseph in coming to the United States. Joseph enrolled in the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois in 1954. Joseph remained in Chicago and later earned a BA in Anthropology from Wheaton College.[1]

During his time in Chicago, Joseph became fluent in Hebrew and Greek. After graduating he returned to Haiti and created the first translation of the New Testament and Psalms into Haitian Creole.[1]

In 1957, the dictator François "Papa Doc" Duvalier was elected President of Haiti, and Joseph became increasingly uncomfortable with the government. Joseph returned to the United States in 1961 and enrolled in the University of Chicago where he earned an MA in Social Anthropology.[1] In 1964, for publicly opposing the brutal practices of the Duvalier regime, Joseph was condemned to death by the Government of Haiti. By remaining in the United States, however, Joseph avoided execution.

Career[edit]

Joseph subsequently moved to New York and became a leader in the opposition movement against the Duvalier regime. Along with his brother, Joseph founded the Haiti Observateur in 1971, which became influential and widely circulated among the Haitian Diaspora. Joseph subsequently worked as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and a columnist at the New York Sun.[2]

The regime of François Duvalier's son collapsed in 1986. In 1990, Joseph was appointed the Haitian Government's chargé d’affaires in Washington, DC, and the representative of the Haitian Government to the Organization of American States.[3] In this role, Joseph organized election observers from the international community to participate in the Haitian Presidential Election.

In 1991 Joseph returned to the Haiti Observateur where he remained until 2004, when he was again appointed Chargé d'Affaires in Washington, DC. In 2005 acting president Boniface Alexandre chose Joseph to be Haiti's ambassador to the United States. In the aftermath of the catastrophic January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Joseph played an active role in mobilizing the international community's response to Haiti.[1]

Presidential candidate[edit]

On July 27, 2010, Joseph confirmed his intention to run for President of Haiti in the November 28, 2010 election. He resigned the ambassadorship on August 1, 2010 and moved to Port-au-Prince. Joseph was dismissed from the Haitian presidential race by Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Kurczy, Stephen (July 27, 2010). "Wyclef Jean's uncle to run for president of Haiti". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  2. ^ Lipsky, Seth (January 20, 2010). "A Haitian Tale". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
  3. ^ "Haiti Sees Glimmer of Hope Amid Despair". The Washington Diplomat. October 2005. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Joseph, Raymond (September 9, 2009). "Haiti presidential election: justice on the line". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
  5. ^ Padgett, Tim (August 21, 2010). "Wyclef Dumped From Haiti's Presidential Ballot". Time. Retrieved 2011-02-02.