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Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

Reblogging this from March, 2010 because on MTP Mike Pence and then Hugh Hewitt insulted this effort to help Haiti.

Leaders from all over the world – government and NGOs – have convened to assist earthquake-stricken Haiti.

International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York
March 31, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Secretary General, and thank you for your leadership and your personal commitment to this international endeavor.

President Preval, to you and the members of your government, we thank you for the extraordinary work that you have done leading up to this point.

To former President Clinton, with whom I first went to Haiti many years ago about two months after we were married, thank you for taking on another assignment from the Secretary General.

And to all of the countries and international institutions represented here, thank you. Thank you for the immediate response to the overwhelming catastrophe that afflicted the Haitian people and thank you for your continuing commitment.

We have had over 140 nations working to support the Government of Haiti in delivering food, temporary shelter, and medical care to thousands of survivors. But the emergency relief is only the beginning of what will be a long road to recovery, as the Secretary General just pointed out; one that will require global support.

Some people wonder, “Why Haiti? Why this great outpouring of international humanitarian concern and commitment to Haiti’s future? Why is Haiti’s fate of such consequence to the region and the world that it deserves sustained help? Why should we hope that this time, with our collective assistance, Haiti can achieve a better future?” These are questions that deserve answers and I believe that this conference will begin to do so.

The humanitarian need, we know, is great. Therefore, as fellow human beings, we respond from a position of conscience and morality to help those who, but for the grace of God, we could be in a world where natural disasters are often unpredictable, inflicting great costs. Haiti was a country of 9 million people before the earthquake. Today, more than a quarter of a million of those people have died. More than a million are homeless. Hundreds of thousands live in temporary camps without enough food or sufficient access to sanitation. Nearly every government agency has been destroyed along with universities, hospitals, and primary schools, which we know are the foundations to a nation’s long-term progress. Close to a million young people were preparing to enter the job market within five years. Now their opportunities have crumbled while the need for jobs has multiplied.

Before the earthquake, Haiti was on a path to progress. The government, led by President Preval, had started enacting critical reforms. Haiti’s economy grew by nearly 3 percent last year. Two international chains launched new hotels, a sign of a rising tourism industry. New factories were opening and others had been contracted to begin production. But with the earthquake, the results of much of this hard work were wiped away. But the people of Haiti never gave up. As they mourn their losses, they gathered the resources they had left and began working around the clock to put their lives and their country back together. They relied on the strength and the spirit that have carried them through tough times before. But they need our help. They cannot succeed without the support of the global community, and we need Haiti to succeed. What happens there has repercussions far beyond its borders.

There are two paths that lie before us. If Haiti can build safe homes, its citizens can escape many of the dangers they now face and return to more normal lives. If Haiti can realize broad-based, sustainable economic growth, it can create opportunity across the country beyond Port-au-Prince so Haitians don’t have to move to their capital or leave their country to find work. If Haiti can build strong health and education systems, it can give its people the tools they need to contribute to their nation’s progress and fulfill their own God-given potentials. If Haiti can create strong, transparent, accountable institutions, it can establish the credibility, trust, and stability its people have long-deserved. And if Haiti can do all of those things with our help, it will become an engine for progress and prosperity generating opportunity and fostering greater stability for itself and for countries throughout the hemisphere and beyond.

But there is another path that Haiti could take, a path that demands far less of Haiti and far less of us. If the effort to rebuild is slow or insufficient, if it is marked by conflict, lack of coordination, or lack of transparency, then the challenges that have plagued Haiti for years could erupt with regional and global consequences. Before the earthquake, migration drained Haiti of many talented citizens, many of whom live in our country. If new jobs and opportunity do not emerge, even more people will leave.

Before the earthquake, quality healthcare was a challenge for Haiti. Now, it is needed even more urgently. Haiti has the highest rate of tuberculosis in the hemisphere, the highest rate of HIV, the highest rates of infant, child, and maternal mortality, one of the highest rates of child malnutrition. And with the public health system now shattered, those numbers will climb. The lack of sanitation services could cause outbreaks of lethal illnesses. And the lack of reliable medical services could give rise to new drug-resistant strains of disease that will soon cross borders.

Before the earthquake, hunger was a problem for Haiti. Years of deforestation had stripped the land of its rich topsoil and people struggled to grow or purchase enough food to feed their families. The riots over food that broke out in 2008 toppled Haiti’s government. Now, food is even more scarce, and people more desperate.

Before the earthquake, security was a challenge for Haiti, and a United Nations peacekeeping mission, MINUSTAH, helped promote the rule of law. Now the dedicated UN workers in Haiti have suffered terrible losses. So have the Haitian National Police, which were building their ranks and their capacity. With so much destruction and dislocation, security is even more tenuous. Drug trafficking is a half a billion dollar a year industry in Haiti. It thrives on political and social instability. Trafficking in human beings is also rampant. Tens of thousands of children are trafficked in Haiti every year, and now even more are vulnerable.

Now, each of these problems directly affects the people of Haiti, but they indirectly affect us all. And if they worsen, it is not only the people of Haiti who will suffer. Yet I have great confidence in the resilience of the people of Haiti. Their history has tested them and now they are being tested again. So are Haiti’s leaders, in whom I also have great confidence. So we are called to do better than we have in the past. Many countries here have helped Haiti in the past. Many NGOs have helped Haiti in the past. We cannot do what we’ve done before.

The leaders of Haiti must take responsibility for their country’s reconstruction. They must make the tough decisions that guide a strong, accountable, and transparent recovery. And that is what they are starting to do with the creation of a new mechanism that provides coordination and consultation so aid can be directed where it is most needed. And we in the global community, we must also do things differently. It will be tempting to fall back on old habits – to work around the government rather than to work with them as partners, or to fund a scattered array of well-meaning projects rather than making the deeper, long-term investments that Haiti needs now. We cannot retreat to failed strategies.

I know we’ve heard these imperatives before – the need to coordinate our aid, hold ourselves accountable, share our knowledge, track results. But now, we cannot just declare our intentions. We have to follow through and put them into practice. Therefore, this is not only a conference about what financially we pledge to Haiti. We also have to pledge our best efforts to do better ourselves – to offer our support in a smarter way, a more effective way that produces real results for the people of Haiti.

So let us say here, with one voice, we will pass this test for us. To that end, the United States pledges $1.15 billion for Haiti’s long-term recovery and reconstruction. This money will go toward supporting the Government of Haiti’s plan to strengthen agriculture, energy, health, security, and governance. We are committed to working with the people and organizations throughout Haiti, including civil society groups, private businesses, NGOs, and citizens. And I’m very glad to see so many of them represented here today.

We will also be looking for ways to engage our Haitian diaspora. Haitian Americans have much to contribute to this effort. And we will seek specifically to empower the women of Haiti. I’ve said this so many times that I know I sound like a broken record, but investing in women is the best investment we can make in any country. And investing in the Haitian women will fuel the long-term economic recovery and progress, not only for them, but for their families.

Over the years, all of our countries have learned many lessons, particularly from the tsunami that the United Nations was instrumental in leading the response to. Now, we must put those lessons to work in Haiti. I’m very excited and very committed on behalf of President Obama, the Government of the United States, and the people of the United States to help Haiti and to help the leaders of Haiti lead a recovery effort worthy of their highest hopes.

Thank you so much, Secretary General. (Applause.)

NEW YORK - MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the "International Donors' Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) and Hatian President Rene Preval (R) listen during the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) and Hatian President Rene Preval (R) listen during the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

NEW YORK - MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the "International Donors' Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 31: (L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval and former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton attend the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon (L) speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon (L) speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) listens at the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

NEW YORK - MARCH 31: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looks on during the opening session of the "International Donors' Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti" at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 31: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) speaks as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looks on during the opening session of the “International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” at United Nations headquarters March 31, 2010 in New York City. The United Nations and United States are jointly hosting the donors conference for the Haitian government which is seeking about $3.8 billion in funds to assist the country in recovery from the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (R), a U.N. special representative for Haiti, speaks as Haitian President Rene Preval (2nd R), U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listen during the International Donors' Conference meeting towards a "New Future for Haiti" at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (R), a U.N. special representative for Haiti, speaks as Haitian President Rene Preval (2nd R), U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listen during the International Donors’ Conference meeting towards a “New Future for Haiti” at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, March 31, 2010. Some 120 countries, international organizations and aid groups are meeting at the United Nations in New York to pledge support for a Haitian government recovery plan that includes decentralizing the economy to create jobs and wealth outside Port-au-Prince, the capital of some 4 million people. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

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Hmmmmm… I thought helping Haiti was a good thing! Did you think so too? Why not chip in what you can to support our former secretary of state who was kind to a stricken neighbor on our behalf!

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I lived and worked in Haiti for a good portion of my adult life when I was a very sure-of-myself thirty-something who knew my fellow Americans very well.  I knew they would never elect a celebrity to the Oval Office. That was 1980 … and they did.

When I lived there, Haiti did not have elections. They had a President for Life. I was reminded of this on my way to and from work twice a day by the huge billboard on the Champs-de-Mars across from the National Palace.  Nobody in Haiti voted for him.  His dying father made him president while he was still in his teens. Nobody in Haiti ever called him “Baby Doc” – ever!  Sometimes American tourists would use the term, and we would gently whisper corrections.  You never knew who might be listening. “But I have freedom of speech,” they insisted. Nope, not there you didn’t.

When I sensed trouble coming in the early 80s, I left. In 1986 Jean-Claude Duvalier was overthrown and also left. Haiti embarked on the long, rocky road to democracy. It was and is very bumpy ride – sort of like a ride on a Haitian tap-tap.

A president was elected, then overthrown by the army and exiled, and then returned again to fulfill his elected term.  N.B. We did not install Aristede, and he was not our “puppet.”  President Clinton 42 merely restored the elected Haitian president to his rightful post.  Just saying because I have heard that allegation.

On January 12, 2010 a catastrophic earthquake killed more than 200,000 people. Colleagues told me, when they heard early estimates of one-tenth that many, that they did not think that toll was possible and must have been an exaggeration.  They did not know Haiti, and they did not know Port-au-Prince.

Our Secretary of State at the time, Hillary Clinton was on the ground in Haiti within days, the first foreign official to arrive.  The President at the time, Réné Préval, met with her at the airport. It would take him 12 additional days to finally show his face on the Champs-de-Mars where thousands of homeless Haitians congregated in a makeshift tent city in front of the collapsed National Palace.  It was an astounding abdication of leadership.

Elections were scheduled for later that year. Once again Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a visit and met with the three run-off candidates. One of the candidates was a popular performer – a bit of a naughty boy with a distinctive head-style that became shorthand for his candidacy (têt kalé – or “shaved head” meant Martelly during the election season).  Another was a woman with a Sorbonne degree, experience in government, and former First Lady.

Mirlande Manigat was the presidential candidate for the Rally of Progressive National Democrats (RDNP) centre-right party. On October 18, 2010, Dr. Manigat also received the endorsement of the Collectif pour le Renouveau Haïtien (COREH).

Her platform for the presidency includes a focus on education of the youth of Haiti, and lifting the long-standing and restrictive constitutional conditions on dual nationality. She specifically promotes opening government positions for members of the Haitian diaspora. Manigat also aims for a more independent Haitian state, one less reliant upon and subject to foreign governments and NGOs. – Wikipedia

The winner was Michel Martelly with no government credentials or experience.

Martelly’s journey to the presidency is documented in the film Sweet Micky for President which is currently available on demand at Showtime. Given my love for and attachment to Haiti, of course I watched.

I was unprepared, however, for the parallels that emerged between the 2010 Haitian election and the election season we are experiencing.  Our democracy is so much older.  Theirs is like a toddler who runs before he can get walking under control.  I never thought our presidential campaign events could resemble some of the anger and violence that erupt during third world elections.  But then we have to look to the candidates and the way they run their campaigns.  That is where the similarities lie.

Older and wiser now, I know that yes, Americans absolutely will elect a celebrity for reasons perhaps very similar to those for which Haitians elected “Micky” Martelly.  I have learned never to underestimate what Americans will do in the privacy of the voting booth, never to trust what they might do with their precious ballots, never to assume.

Martelly fell into disfavor with the populace. It was probably inevitable.  In January 2015 protesters in the streets angrily demanded his resignation.  He resigned office in February of this year.  We will never know what Mirlande Manigat might have done as the first woman president of Haiti. I doubt that she will ever make another run.  I do know that we have a chance make our decisions based not on celebrity and visibility but rather on issues, plans, and policies.  Strutting and fretting your hour on the stage leads to being heard no more, after all, and ending up just a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing.

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This chapter is an intensely personal one for me.  Like anyone who has ever lived there, I remember exactly where I was – sitting in my car at an intersection I was at daily on my way home from work – when I heard the news of the earthquake on the radio.  As soon as I heard the magnitude, I knew what the number 7 meant.  I looked at the Getty station on the corner where I was waiting for the green light and imagined it crumbled.  I knew that many buildings I knew, loved, had been in, had lived, studied, and worked in had been destroyed.  I knew that people I cared for, had taught or studied with were gone. I was not prepared for this.
Haiti_National_Palace_before_after_2010_Haiti_Earthquake
No, I had never been in the National Palace, but like the Getty station I had been next to when I heard the news, it was a building I passed four times daily on my way to and from work at the Haitian-American Institute where I taught English.  That link goes to a whole new building.  The building where I taught was an old mansion on the east end of the Champs-de-Mars on Rue Capois.  Like the National Palace, it had collapsed – probably while evening classes were going on at the busiest time of day there.

 

original building

On July 4,1942, Haitians and Americans founded a bi-national center to reinforce friendship and cultural ties between their two countries. Located in the heart of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian-American Institute has enjoyed decades of continuous community service and remains faithful to the ideal of its founders.

The Haitian-American Institute itself stands on a landmark site. The original building was the house that once belonged to former Haitian President Elie LESCOT. This building, pictured in the pen and ink drawing at the top of this page, was destroyed in the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

It is a bi-national center run partially by the State Department.  It’s great to see this grand new facility!

In the old building,  I loved teaching at six in the morning in the classroom on that very top floor.  You could see the city waking up.  I would walk up the many flights of stairs early just to go out on that balcony and watch for a few minutes before the students arrived.  When Dr. Ainslie Minor was director,  as was his position as Cultural Affairs officer at the embassy, he was often on the front steps to greet me and the arriving students prior to the early morning classes.  We all loved him!  He loved the institute and everything about it.  We teachers were disdained by some subsequent directors until Millie McCoo arrived.  She, too, loved the institute, the students, and the teachers.

Passing the palace, on my way to work, I was usually on foot.   I nodded to the guards in the guardhouse every day – several times a day.  I later learned that the police headquarters adjacent to the palace had also crumbled to the ground.  I was in there regularly on my annual trek through the ministries to renew my visas.

All of those ministries were gone.  So were the people in all of them.  All the people in all of those buildings.  My HAI and all of the government buildings.

It was beyond my imagination, much the way the collapse of the twin towers had been on 9/11.  I heard the news only one traffic light away from where, that September morning, I had heard that a plane had flown into One World Trade.

How could it be?  Who could have survived this?  How on earth could my poor, dear Haïti Chérie recover?

As I had over those “green weekends” in June 2009 when the Iranians were protesting their elections, I took to Twitter.  A girl had texted, trapped in rubble beneath a supermarket that I knew.  One where I had shopped.  Many of us continually retweeted her location (and many others).  24 hours later, on the news,  I saw her pulled out alive and well and wept.  The reporter said they had found her from the tweets.

That tarmac, where I had boarded and disembarked so many, many times was the tarmac where Hillary landed only five days after the worst disaster in memory in that country – the very first high foreign official to set foot on Haiti’s shaken soil after the quake.  This was no photo op or campaign junket.  Hillary’s visit was from her heart.  It was dangerous, responsive, and crucial.

That, and much more was in my heart as I started reading this chapter and Hillary’s words about landing at the airport that, when I lived there,  was named for François Duvalier and had undergone a major upgrade just before I left the country for good.

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Hillary was in Hawaii on her way to Asia when the quake – that came to be known as “Haitiquake” – occurred.

Hillary Clinton: “… it is Biblical…”

Hillary had to change her plans.  She flew back to D.C. immediately.

Hillary Headed Home to Manage Help For Haiti

She was at the White House the next morning and the pain was in her face … the terrible pain.

I  followed her progress to Haiti partially thanks to Greta Van Susteren who tweeted generously from the plane where she sat beside Andrea Mitchell and less so thanks to the old State Department Twitter that went by the handle “Dipnote,” which, in retrospect,  was not so bad and pretty democratic.

When Hillary landed I thought of her as really and truly “superwoman.”   I am sure the Americans at the airport waiting to be evacuated thought of her that way too – or as an angel of mercy.

She was landing on menacingly shaky ground. People who demand further service from her ought to consider the risks she has already taken, the sacrifices she has already endured,  the time in the air and on sometimes dangerous foreign soil,  away from her family.  When does this “superwoman” get a chance to step back and let someone else take the reins?

Hillary Clinton, Angel of Mercy: Her Press Conference & Details on her trip to stricken Haiti

The guy with the argumentative comment on that post was wrong.  She did come in by military transport, as I had predicted. She brought needed supplies and left the press entourage behind to bring injured Americans out.  The purpose of her visit was to get an agreement from the President of Haiti to allow American military to take over the airport operations so that aid – waiting and blocked – could begin to flow.  Sometimes, in a disaster, you must, judiciously, let one important visitor in for the greater good.  Haiti was no textbook case.  Who knew there was such a thing as a portable airport control tower?  That is what the FAA sent and that would not have happened without Hillary’s intervention and visit, i.e.  sometimes more is more.

Video: Hillary Clinton’s Press Briefing about her trip to Haiti

Hillary Clinton is Wheels down in Haiti (MSNBC)

Video: Hillary Clinton Arriving in Haiti

Hillary to the rescue!

Video: Hillary Clinton Speaks to The Haitian People

Over the course of some of those posts I heard from some aircraft experts that I had misidentified the plane as a C-130, but Hillary, in her book, validates me.  Sometimes it takes years to be validated!  My dad was an aircraft expert, not I.  He built them and knew anything that was in the air that was not flapping its own wings.  But once you have been floating on the Hudson River and seen a C-130 over your head on its way to Newburgh, you know one when you see one.  It’s sort of like the Queen Mary over your head.

Hillary Clinton in Haiti: Some Images From Today

01-16-10-17
Hillary was accompanied by Cheryl Mills and USAID Director Rajiv Shah (2nd and 1st on the right respectively above).  Cheryl, from what Hillary says, must have been the one who got the “people-finder” set up as well as the text system for sending donations easily from your cell phone.

Rajiv was on the ground at the Champs-de-Mars in front of the collapsed National Palace where it seemed much of the Port-au-Prince population was camping out.  I remember him finding some enterprising young folks who had managed to have two car batteries and one car.  They had set up an enterprise allowing people, for a fee, to charge cell phones off one car battery while another of the crew ran a taxi service to charge the other battery.   It was so Haitian!

Secretary Clinton Announces Launch of State.Gov Person Finder Tool for Those Missing in Haiti

So this is where she starts – on the tarmac which is serving as the seat of government largely because it is flat and open and if you sit in a tent and there is a big aftershock you won’t be crushed.  Most roads were impassable and for the first 48 hours, planes could not land at the airport.

 

Secretary Clinton’s Daily Appointments Schedule for January 15, 2010

Hillary reminisces at this point about her honeymoon trip to Haiti when she and Bill went to one of Max Beauvoir‘s voudou shows at Le Péristyle in Mariani and saw TonTons Macoutes  (VSN) and Jean-Claude Duvalier en route somewhere.  1975 was the first Christmas that I came back home – well to Florida where my sister was living. –  or maybe I would have met them.

After the earthquake, President Préval told Cheryl Mills that he really needed Hillary and needed her now!  He was Hillary’s friend.  He needed help.  I perceived him as a nice guy, but not as a strong leader.

Hillary Clinton is NOT the President of Haiti!

In retrospect and fairness, and after having had my own house blown apart by Sandy, I have to say that at the time I probably did not appreciate Préval’s state of mind with his house having collapsed before his eyes (and thankfully not over his head) just as he and his wife were about to enter.  With most of his government officials missing or already known dead, the poor guy must have been in deep shock. When you go through something like that having a buddy like Hillary – well – yes, I would call her, too.  If I needed to pull my country together after something like that – yes, I too would call her.  But Hillary also sees that there was a need for him to go out among the people camping on the Champs-de-Mars and everywhere.   Their question/complaint at the time was “Where is our president?”

When you run for the office, before you even win, you need to consider this kind of situation and how you will react – even if you did just miss having your house fall on top of you.  That is the role you assume as leader of a country.

Try to imagine the White House or the Capitol this way.  This is what happened to Haiti.


When Hillary arrived,  injured Americans were being cared for by a devoted embassy nurse who worked non-stop.  Our Cultural Affairs officer, Victoria DeLong,  had been killed when her house collapsed on her.  I had been in that house several times on very happy occasions.  Dr. Ainslie Minor and his lovely wife, and later Millie McCoo had generously invited the teachers to barbeques and parties.  I had danced the merengue under that roof and met Millie’s sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.,  there.  Now that roof had killed a Foreign Service officer.

There was a massive and effective U.S. response. Hillary remarks that U.S. military felt so refreshed at being welcomed somewhere.

One year we had no electricity from the last night of Carnaval in early February until about mid-June.  The lights went out when Carnaval ended at midnight. From then on sectors got one hour of electricity a day on a rotating weekly basis.  If you needed to do anything that required power, you needed to be home at your hour for that week.  If you were working at that time … too bad.  From Boutillier, the mountaintop above the city, you could see a sector darken and another light up on a clockwork schedule.

Then the United States Marines arrived with generators and I don’t know what all else.  I would be leaving my early morning classes at the institute (we taught from 6 -9 a.m. and from 3 – 6 p.m. or 4 – 7 p.m.) and they would be on the steps of the Hotel Plaza waiting to be picked up.  We cheered them every time we passed them.  “Thank you!”  Our electricity was returning.  Nice that after the earthquake the troops got the same reception.  We have a sort of edgy relationship with Haiti as far as troops go. Americans built the best roads there – during the occupation.

In this case, the distrust engendered by the history of the occupation could have been Préval’s political enemy.  Yet to unblock the shipments of aid at the airport and seaports someone needed to be in charge – not to take over the country – just to lubricate the flow of aid.  Hillary got Préval to sign an agreement that U.S. military would, temporarily in the emergency,  administer the airport and seaports.

Hillary Clinton is Wheels Up!

The plan was to establish camps.  Préval worried that putting displaced people in camps would make camps permanent.  The U.N. contended that camps provided the best efficiency for necessary distribution of aid.

To my mind, and this is just me, the camps were newer, safer, cleaner than the neightborhoods some people had come from,  like Cité Soliel, but many were not from those slums, so there was something to be said on each side of the argument.

For Haiti, the approach would involve both short-term aid and long-term plans for development that had already been in the incubator.

Bill Clinton Arrives on Mission to Haiti (CBS/AP)

On-the-Record Briefing on Consular Services Being Provided to American Citizens in Haiti and in the United States in the Aftermath of the Earthquake

U.S. Government Response to the Haiti Earthquake

Secretary Clinton’s Update on Haiti

The outpouring of support and assistance from around the world has been extraordinary, and I’ve been very proud to see generous Americans from every corner of our country open their hearts in solidarity with the Haitian people. These are the times when we remember our common humanity, when we pull together across cultures and borders to help those suffering and in need.

Hilary Rodham Clinton

Secretary Clinton at the Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti 01.25.2010

Today, Secretary Clinton announced that she will run an International Haiti Donors Conference in March at the U.N. You may remember her words at the Haiti Donors Conference last April in D.C. That speech was simply spot-on.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to Haiti Earthquake Volunteers

From U.S. Department of State: Some Details on the Upcoming International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

We have had over 140 nations working to support the Government of Haiti in delivering food, temporary shelter, and medical care to thousands of survivors. But the emergency relief is only the beginning of what will be a long road to recovery, as the Secretary General just pointed out; one that will require global support.

Some people wonder, “Why Haiti? Why this great outpouring of international humanitarian concern and commitment to Haiti’s future? Why is Haiti’s fate of such consequence to the region and the world that it deserves sustained help? Why should we hope that this time, with our collective assistance, Haiti can achieve a better future?” These are questions that deserve answers and I believe that this conference will begin to do so…

Before the earthquake, Haiti was on a path to progress. The government, led by President Preval, had started enacting critical reforms. Haiti’s economy grew by nearly 3 percent last year. Two international chains launched new hotels, a sign of a rising tourism industry. New factories were opening and others had been contracted to begin production. But with the earthquake, the results of much of this hard work were wiped away. But the people of Haiti never gave up. As they mourn their losses, they gathered the resources they had left and began working around the clock to put their lives and their country back together. They relied on the strength and the spirit that have carried them through tough times before. But they need our help. They cannot succeed without the support of the global community, and we need Haiti to succeed. What happens there has repercussions far beyond its borders.

Hillary sees development as a key component in national security and USAID as an essential agency which played a huge role in addressing long-term plans to assist Haiti.  She recounts the war against USAID waged by Jesse Helms and celebrates this initiative which she and Rajiv Shah initiated in 2011 and she proudly saw launched earlier this year.

Hillary Clinton at U.S. Global Development Lab Inauguration



A year after the earthquake, Hillary returned to see the progress of the response (including to the subsequent cholera epidemic) and met with the presidential candidates.   There remained many challenges but things looked greatly improved.

Hillary Clinton in Haiti

“Shifting our focus from aid to development … The United States was not abandoning traditional aid … especially as part of an emergency response … we sought to break the cycle of dependence that aid can create …. Aid chases need; investment chases opportunity.” (Hard Choices)

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the Caracol Industrial Park Opening Ceremony in Haiti (with Bill Clinton!)

She recounts a personal moment with Préval after the disputed elections and credits him for being the exemplar – the first in Haitian history – to turn over the reins of leadership peacefully to  a successor not of his backing but chosen by the people.  When she speaks of the toughness of democracy, the danger of the running and the peril of the vote,  my memory rewinds to the Aristede election when Haitians literally risked their lives at the polling places and some were, in fact attacked and killed just for trying to vote.  This time, indeed, there was progress, and despite everything Préval might not have been, he, maybe, is their John Adams in some ways.

These images of the former and current presidents, Préval and Martelly, celebrating at the Caracol opening together were historic.

Rene Preval And Michel Martelly At Caracol Industrial Park Inauguration

Haiti - Politic : Martelly gives the brace to René Préval (speech)

In the book,  Hillary provides a thorough and fair accounting of what has worked and what has not in the aftermath of this disaster.  Shortly after she returned to the department following her health crisis in late 2012, this report was issued.

Haiti Three Years After: What Hillary Clinton’s State Department Has Done

Helping other nations build, profit, and rise among the economic powers on the globe is to everyone’s advantage, Hillary posits.  Especially our own.  In the case of Haiti’s disaster, the U.S. was, it cannot be disputed, the indispensable nation, but we were certainly not alone in the aid or in the investment, and that, Hillary points out, makes all the difference.

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

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The former president came to the defense of his lovely and hardworking wife in a pre-recorded segment on Meet the Press Sunday morning.  Interviewed last Tuesday by David Gregory during CGI America, President Clinton had a few items to straighten out regarding media spins on recent comments by Hillary and the endless right wing emphasis on her handling of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. outposts in Benghazi in September 2012.

Remarkably, Gregory’s interrogation failed to address any of the outstanding initiatives announced at CGI America 2014.  (Or were they redacted?)  Some were monumental and difficult to ignore beneath the CGI America logo flapping in the breeze. Here are a few that Hillary announced.  Clearly her record speaks for itself on the topic of being “in touch.”   Mr. Gregory could do with being a bit better in touch himself!

CGI America 2014: Hillary Clinton Announces New Commitments in Early Childhood Development and Education

CGI America 2014: Hillary Clinton Announces ‘Job One’

 

While this segment was airing, Bill Clinton was in Haiti launching a new enterprise to benefit peanut farmers there.  Hillary was home in Chappaqua preparing for her final book tour stop at the local library.   Monday she will be participating in the Aspen Ideas Festival to be carried live on Facebook.  (Join her there.  I  encourage you to.)

Such a life of privilege and leisure!

(Just a reminder:  The Clintons were doing this work on a Sunday.  You know, the supposed “day of rest?”)

 

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The Secretary called her return to Foggy Bottom to close down her operations “bittersweet.”  Indeed it is for those of us who have closely followed her tenure. Many will remember how, notified of the earthquake in Haiti,  she cancelled a trip to Asia and flew back to D.C. from Hawaii three years ago.  She was the first foreign official on the ground in Port-Au-Prince just days after the quake.  On this third anniversary of the earthquake that devastated  a country dear to Secretary Clinton’s heart, the State Department issued this amazing fact sheet of what her State Department has done to help.

U.S. Government Investments in Haiti’s Rebuilding and Renewal

Fact Sheet
Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator
January 11, 2013

In early 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made Haiti a foreign policy priority and committed to working to change the way we partnered with Haiti. For more than three and a half years, the U.S. Government (USG) has worked closely to be a good partner to the government and people of Haiti. After the devastating earthquake of 2010, the U.S. worked to support the Government of Haiti (GOH) and meet the most immediate life saving and life sustaining needs on the ground. For some time the U.S. pursued two tracks of engagement and has ensured that they complement one another: the first to address immediate humanitarian and emergency aid needs; and the second to continue to pursue a strategy to promote long-term sustainable development in Haiti.

Below is a high-level overview of some of the U.S. contributions to help Haiti on a path to economic prosperity and political stability.

Government Stability and Capacity Building: The United States and other donors supported the Government of Haiti’s free and fair presidential and legislative elections in late 2010 and early 2011. These elections paved the way for the complete re-establishment of all three branches of government. The U.S. provided capacity building support, including the provision of experts to work within the Government of Haiti and the provision of temporary office space. As a result, the Government of Haiti has been able to lead more effectively in many areas of governance, including efforts to: combat crime; prepare for emergency responses to Hurricanes Tomas, Tropical Storms Isaac and Sandy; collect taxes; increase transparency; alleviate housing shortages; promote foreign direct investments; and expand basic services for Haitians, including in education and health services.

Energy: Only 12 percent of the population has regular legal access to electricity. The Martelly Administration has made access to energy one of its priorities and views it as a necessary step in Haiti’s economic development.

  • The U.S. Government, through USAID, is funding the services of an experienced management firm to help improve the commercial and operational sustainability of Haiti’s electric utility EDH. The firm is working with the utility to expand active customers by a third. Progress to date shows significant improvements in the utility’s financial performance and service delivery, having added over 20,000 households and business as active customers.
  • The USG is helping to improve the reliability of electricity in Port-au-Prince through renovation of five electricity sub-stations. The project is expected to be complete by the end of February 2013.
  • The USG commissioned a 10 mega-watt power plant in the north, contributing to reliable power for the tenants of the Caracol Industrial Park as well as houses around the park. The first households in the northern town of Caracol, which never had electricity before, were connected to the grid of the power plant in October 2012, designed to provide reliable power to residences and industry.
  • The USG also launched a competitive tender in December 2012 [available online at www.FBO.gov] to design, build, and operate Haiti’s first industrial scale solar facility. This is part of an ongoing effort to work with Haitian partners to harness renewable energy opportunities.

Housing: The United States has worked to address immediate shelter needs, including the removal of rubble to make space for shelter, as well as the construction of permanent housing settlements.

  • To date, the Government of Haiti, the international community, private firms, and individual households have removed approximately 7.4 million cubic meters of rubble, or 74 percent of the rubble created by the earthquake. The USG has removed one third of this total. USAID-funded programs helped some 65,700 households (roughly 328,000 individuals) find safer housing through the construction of temporary shelters (29,000), rental vouchers, and housing repairs (6,000).
  • The United States is currently constructing two new settlements, with construction underway of 750 homes in the north near Caracol and 156 homes near Port-au-Prince in the Saint Marc region. The next five settlements of approximately 1,250 houses, where all engineering designs, environmental studies and water tests have been completed and tenders are due to be launched shortly, will be developed together with a diverse set of partners such as the Qatar Haiti Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the American Red Cross, enabling the United States to leverage resources for greater impact.

Business and agricultural loans: Eighty percent of the credit available in Haiti is used by only ten percent of the borrowers.

  • The United States has partnered with Haiti’s existing banks, credit unions, and other lenders to provide credit guarantees and help design new ways to lend to entrepreneurs and farmers.
  • The United States has supported efforts to computerize data and processes for loan officers, in order to support approximately $21.7 million in loans disbursed to over 6,500 businesses.

Agriculture: With more than 60 percent of Haitians reliant on agriculture for income, the United States has expanded its support in the sector through its global food security initiative, Feed the Future.

  • To date the United States has worked with more than 9,700 farmers, introducing improved seeds, fertilizer, and technologies.
  • 2012 results include a 58 percent increase in rice yields, 341 percent increase in corn, 100 percent increase in bean yields, and 21 percent increase in plantain yields. Our goal is to increase incomes for 100,000 farmers in three geographical focus regions over five years.
  • Additionally, Feed the Future just launched the bean planting season at a cost of another $1 million, which will provide farmers with seeds and other inputs.

Transformation of Haiti’s North: The United States is partnering with the Government of Haiti, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the private sector to create access to jobs, housing, electrification, transportation, and agricultural development in Haiti’s north. These types of investments, when married with the entrepreneurial spirit of the Haitian people, are helping to catalyze growth in the region. As part of this partnership, by 2015, the United States will have helped create:

  • New housing settlements for over 13,000 people complete with electricity, water, social services, and job opportunities nearby;
  • 15,000 new formal jobs at the Caracol Industrial Park, one of the Caribbean’s largest industrial parks, which is projected to grow to 20,000 jobs by 2016;
  • Reliable electricity to up to 100,000 people and businesses that currently have none; and,
  • Rehabilitated health clinics and reference hospitals in regional towns.

The first tenant of the Caracol Industrial Park, Sae-A, one of the largest garment manufacturers in the world, already has 1,300 employees, most of them women who have never had a formal sector job before. Many are graduates of a new, nearby vocational training center that the USG built and supports. Sae-A is on track to reach the goal of creating 20,000 jobs by 2016. A second tenant, a Haitian company, has moved in September of 2012 and a third tenant is due to start operations shortly. Additionally, a new U.S.-funded power plant opened this year to serve the industrial park and surrounding communities. Nine buildings, including factories, warehouses, and offices, have been built. At least twelve new buildings are scheduled for completion in 2013, more than doubling the industrial park’s capacity.

Health Services: Prior to the earthquake, the United States was providing access to health care for approximately 50 percent of the Haitian population; after the earthquake, the United States has been able to maintain this level of care. The United States provides a basic package of health services (primarily maternal and child health) and more sophisticated HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services.

  • The Haitian Ministry of Health and Population is working to achieve a sustainable network of health facilities. To help them realize this goal, the United States entered into the Health Partnership Framework with the Haitian government, which promotes sustainability by emphasizing country ownership and leadership, and includes a five-year plan that encompasses contributions of the government, civil society, the private sector, and other donors.
  • The United States supports 251 primary care and 52 secondary care sites nationwide.
  • The United States increased the number of eligible patients on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment from 60 percent in March 2012 to 65 percent in June 2012. We are working with the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria to reach universal coverage of ARVs for all eligible patients by June 2015.
  • The United States recently convened the two largest umbrella networks of disabled people organizations to coordinate a single national strategy and move forward with plans to strengthen local advocacy groups. In addition, work is underway to establish four to six disabled service centers nationwide and to build government capacity to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in policy and legislation.
  • Through June 2012, the United States provided expertise and more than $95 million during the emergency phase of the cholera response.

Education: President Martelly has identified free and universal education as one of the key priorities of his administration.

  • Since January 2010, the United States has constructed more than 600 semi-permanent furnished classrooms and provided teaching and learning kits enabling more than 60,000 children and 1,200 teachers to return to school.
  • Over the next two years, the United States will partner with the Haitian Ministry of Education to develop and test an instructional model in over 300 schools, reaching 28,000 students, and training 900 teachers.

Improving Access to Justice and Legal Assistance: The rule of law, as supported by justice and security institutions, is a basic foundation of citizen security and economic growth. The United States is committed to supporting a responsive, just, and effective Government in Haiti. Our efforts include:

  • Supporting the formation of the Superior Judicial Council (CSJP), a new body which will provide oversight of the judiciary – a major step towards judicial independence in Haiti;
  • Providing legal assistance to over 2,700 individuals in Cite Soleil, Martissant, Saint-Marc, and Petit-Goave since October 2011;
  • Renovating corrections facilities; and
  • Providing equipment and technical assistance to reduce pre-trial detention and improve case management in targeted jurisdictions.

Strengthening the Security Sector: The Haitian National Police (HNP) is Haiti’s sole indigenous security force. Improving and expanding the capacity of the HNP is critical to the Government of Haiti’s ability to maintain public order and protect vulnerable populations.

  • The United States is supporting the recruitment and training of new officers, bolstering the counternarcotics unit, and providing communications equipment.
  • The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) also helps promote a secure and stable environment in Haiti. U.S. support includes 100 UN police officers, 10 corrections officers, and nine military officers seconded to MINUSTAH.

Protecting Human Rights and Vulnerable Populations: Increasing protection of human rights and vulnerable populations is key to U.S. assistance in Haiti. The United States is funding a number of initiatives to provide services to victims of abuse, and empower vulnerable populations. Efforts include:

  • Supporting economic opportunities for women and survivors of sexual violence through microcredit and short-term jobs programs; and
  • Providing job skills training, health services, and reintegration and repatriation assistance to Haitian migrants.

10-22-12-y-05

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As always, even from her hospital bed, our Hillary remembers Haiti, a country dear to her and to me.
10-22-12-y-05

Haiti’s Independence Day

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 31, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Haiti as you celebrate your 209th anniversary of independence this January 1.

As the second-oldest republic in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti blazed a trail of independence that has inspired others seeking freedom and dignity. For more than two centuries Haitians have met and overcome challenges, even in the most difficult circumstances.

The United States is proud to be Haiti’s neighbor and partner today and in the years to come supporting Haiti’s work to ensure that every Haitian is able to live up to his or her god-given potential. May this year, and many to come, bring peace, prosperity and stability.

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Remarks to Investors Luncheon

 

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Sae-A Administration Building

Caracol, Haiti

October 22, 2012

 


(In progress) the formal dedication. With me is Senator Patrick Leahy. Senator Leahy, who has been – (applause) – a stalwart champion of support for Haiti; and Secretary Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor – (applause) – which (inaudible) as well in Haiti. And I think people know our great ambassador, Pam White, and her predecessor, Ambassador Ken Merten, who’s also here. (Applause.) And I don’t know where she is, but my chief of staff and the principal driver of (inaudible) what we’ve done in the Obama Administration, Cheryl Mills, as well. (Applause.)

Mr. President and Prime Minister Lamothe, thank you both for championing (inaudible) has done, which has been so critically important. I can’t help but recognize we have three presidents. President Preval is here somewhere in the crowd as well. (Applause.) (Inaudible.) And then, of course, President Clinton (inaudible). (Applause.) He and I first came to Haiti a very long time ago together. (Laughter.)

And I hope that what all of you have seen today – the expo, the industrial park, the housing development – has made very clear something we’ve been saying to everyone: Haiti is truly open for business, and we want your help. We see this partnership between governments like our own and the private sector as absolutely essential in promoting and supporting long-term prosperity in Haiti. We know very well that long-term prosperity cannot come from just the provision of aid; there must be trade and investment like we have seen here today.

So in our work in the Administration on behalf of Haiti, we have looked for ways to promote sustainable economic growth. And we have also partnered in a serious manner with the government, because clearly, we wanted our priorities to be following Haitian priorities. That’s the only way that those will be lasting accomplishments for the people of Haiti.

Now, in the years to come, there will be demand for more infrastructure, whether it’s building roads, expanding the power grid, or improving and even building ports. There’s a lot of opportunity in crafts and artisan work, in tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing, an untapped labor market that you’ve already seen here in Sae-A, and other companies that are setting up here. And of course, Haiti has an unmatched trading partner in the United States just a few hundred miles away.

For our part, the United States is encouraging more investment in Haiti by cutting down trade barriers for textile and apparel exports, and we’re also doing it in a way that respects the country’s environment and resources, re-invests in communities, and makes it clear we’re here for the long term.

A single building was not here a year ago, and now more than a thousand Haitians are coming to work. This is something that is remarkable. In fact, four months ago, the plane I flew in on could not have landed at the new airport in Cap Haitien. And today, its expansion is going to open up even more opportunities.

So it gives me great pleasure not only to encourage you to invest in Haiti but to introduce President Martelly, who has shown us the commitment from the Haitian Government and turned a slogan – “Haiti is Open for Business” – into a reality.

Mr. President. (Applause.)

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