Former US president Bill Clinton (1993-2001), now United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy for Haiti, said on April 17 that the international community needs to stay involved in Haiti if it wants to prevent violence from breaking out there. “We know one thing for sure: If you like the gunfight that’s going on in northwest Mexico, you will love Haiti 10 years from now,” he told reporters during a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. “If that’s what thrills you–this horrible chaos from Monterrey to the border–you will just love Haiti if you walk away from it.”
Clinton–who apologized on March 10 for his role in the virtual destruction of Haitian rice production–said he loved Haiti and its people and was optimistic about plans to rebuild the country. Along with former president George W. Bush (2001-2009), Clinton sent a letter to the US Congress earlier in the week asking it to extend the 2008 Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity Through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE II) to 2025. The act gives preferential treatment to Haitian apparel exports to encourage the development of garment assembly plants in Haiti. (Radio Kiskeya, Haiti, April 17, some from AP; Examiner.com, April 17 from AP)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, April 18
See our last post on Haiti.