Thursday, June 03, 2010
Haiti Summit at Dominican Resort
(Photo by John Carroll of Cathedral in Port-au-Prince)
Article below from Miami Herald quotes President Preval.
He is right that democracy has to rule in Haiti.
However, corruption in Haiti is still rampant. Containers of food sit in the port, not being released for months. Why?
President Preval needs to minimize corruption in Haiti. People care about eating and jobs and housing and sewage and sick kids. Maybe the word "democracy" would mean more to the Haitian people if they were provided with the very basics needed for survival.
Posted on Thu, Jun. 03, 2010
Haiti summit attendees call for promises to be kept
By JACQUELINE CHARLES
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- A summit of solidarity on Haiti's future called on the international community to support the earthquake-ravaged country politically -- and to deliver on its pledges.
Two months after more than 140 nations pledged $5.3 billion toward Haiti's reconstruction over the next two years and $9.9 billion over the next decade, little of the money has arrived.
So far, only Brazil has cut a check -- for $55 million.
Meanwhile, more than 1.5 million Haitians remain under tents and tarps as the government struggles with a budget deficit, and opposition and frustration over a lack of progress.
``Tangible change must be felt by the men, women and children living in desperate conditions in the camps in order to avoid this discontent being transformed into social and political instability,'' Edmond Mulet, head of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, warned.
``The international community must support political stability in the country. Without political stability the efforts deployed by the Haitian government or the international community will not bear fruit,'' he said.
Haitian President René Préval echoed those sentiments saying the cataclysmic Jan. 12 disaster had not just left a government-estimated 300,000 dead and equal number injured, but was impacting all aspects of an already fragile state. In recent weeks, opposition forces have tried to rally the masses to call for Préval's resignation.
``Haiti needs a systematic anti-seismic defense. It's called democracy,'' Préval said. ``Without political stability, without democracy, our project is doomed to fail.''
Préval emphasized his desire to leave office on Feb. 7 and called on the Haitian people to prepare for elections.
Later, he told The Miami Herald that Haiti has spent the last 50 years in a downward spiral. The first 25 years were stability propped up by dictatorship, while the last 25 years have seen a ``chaotic search for democracy,'' he said.
``The dictatorship forced all of the engineers, agronomists and doctors to flee to Africa, Canada, elsewhere. And instability forced us to lose a lot of people,'' he said. ``Haiti has to have democratic stability for it to develop.''
The summit was organized by Dominican President Leonel Fernández. Calling for better coordination, former President Bill Clinton reminded everyone that all projects must be consistent with Haiti's plans. ``It's their recovery plan because it's their country,'' he said.
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