VHeadline News Editor Patrick J. O’Donoghue reports: Haitian President Rene Preval is on a tour of Cuba, Jamaica and Venezuela in an attempt to muster more support for his reconstruction efforts in the country devastated by an earthquake in January.
During his visit to Venezuela and Cuba, Preval said he will be reviewing cooperation agreements and is taking along his health and agriculture ministers. Cuba and Venezuela were the first two countries that send emergency teams and aid to Haiti in the wake of the disaster. Both countries still have medical teams working in Haiti.
One news release suggested that the President’s tour coincided with a push to boost regional cooperation before elections.
The first stop in the trip will be Cuba, followed by Jamaica and finally Venezuela on July 8. After the tour, the Prime Minister said he will remain in Haiti to administer reconstruction work. Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) countries have been foremost in securing funds for the reconstruction of Haiti and overcoming red tape to make the financial part of the aid was delivered without delay.
There have been concerns among international observers about check ups on international financial aid which the Haitian government has received.
This year, the President has announced presidential and legislative elections for November 28, rejecting recommendations from the US Senate against holding elections. The Provisional Electoral Council is under fire after opposition politicians and community leaders (and the USA) rejected the nine members of the board as corrupt.
However, Preval insisted before leaving Haiti for Cuba that the discussion about the composition of the electoral council has finished.
It is time to prepare for elections, he concluded.
Patrick J. O’Donoghue
Good that Preval is visiting those bastions of Democracy – Cuba and Venezuela – before Haiti’s elections.
Dictators must stick together.
Then he handles the criminal element by visiting Jamaica where his exiled gang-leaders worked as mercenaries supporting a drug lord, who worked for the Jamaican Prime Minister.
Criminals/drug lords must stick together.
Preval/Castro/Chavez/Gooding…all birds of a feather