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Miami bars ‘Sweet Micky’ from performing at music festival


Miami police will not allow former President Michel Martelly, known as “Sweet Micky” on stage, to perform at a music festival in Little Haiti on Saturday, citing safety concerns amid pressure from community members who say the controversial politician and singer shouldn’t be welcome in the city.


Michel Joseph Martelly, the president of Haiti from 2011 to 2016 and a popular musician, drew protesters at a 2018 show in Miami that, like the event this weekend, took place at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in celebration of Haitian Flag Day.


A Miami Police Department spokesperson said Friday morning that a permit for the “Best of Haiti Music Fest” has not yet been issued because of other, unspecified reasons, but that any permit granted would be revoked if Martelly remains in the lineup.


“If Mr. Martelly is scheduled to perform, based on a risk assessment and in the interest of public safety, Chief (Manny) Morales will revoke the event permit,” the spokesperson said.


Police said multiple events taking place simultaneously on Saturday would “strain” their ability to maintain order, but wouldn’t explain why they were concerned specifically about Martelly’s performance.


The former president has faced backlash ahead of performances in other cities, including Montreal, where a show was canceled 2019 after opponents cited misogynistic comments and alleged corruption.


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