US warns Haiti could risk aid freeze

13 December 2010

Lachlan Carmichael

WAKEFIELD, Canada (AFP) – The United States and Canada Monday signaled mounting impatience with the leaders of Haiti warning them to make greater efforts to resolve their nation’s problems or risk an aid freeze.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there was “a growing frustration… that as we’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake that there hasn’t been the kind of coordinated, coherent response from the government of Haiti that is called for.”

Haiti, hit by more upheaval and unrest following the disputed results of November presidential elections, topped the agenda for North American talks in Canada.

The United States and Canada have led efforts to pump aid and know-how into Haiti since the January 12 earthquake which devastated the capital Port-au-Prince, killed 250,000 people and left 1.3 million homeless.

“We understand that the government itself was badly damaged, individuals were traumatized, but there has to be a greater effort and there has to be a more focused approach toward problem solving,” Clinton said.

She met with Canadian Foreign Ministers Lawrence Cannon and their Mexican counterpart Patricia Espinosa in Quebec to discuss Haiti, as well as Canada-US-Mexico border security, regional trade and the fight against drug cartels.

Clinton said Friday’s call to suspend direct aid to Haiti from Senator Patrick Leahy, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, “should be heeded by the leaders of Haiti that this is a very strong signal that we expect more and we’re looking for more.”

Leahy also urged Washington to deny travel visas to top Haiti officials to force a fair outcome to the Caribbean nation’s disputed presidential elections.

His appeal came after violent protests — triggered by charges of vote-rigging — left five dead in cities around the impoverished Caribbean country.

Clinton said Washington continues to support sending technical experts to Haiti “to try to resolve many questions raised by the election.”

“People are trying to push forward in a difficult environment and we want to see progress on the ground,” she said.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon stressed Haiti “remains a grave concern,” adding the international community “cannot do everything.”

“Haiti’s political actors must fulfill their responsibilities and demonstrate a firm commitment to democratic principles, including respect for the integrity of the electoral process,” he said.

Cannon said it was “critical” that a recounting of the November 28 ballot be addressed in a “timely and transparent manner” and “that calm be restored in the streets.”

Tuesday’s results sparked angry declarations from rival candidates who have vowed to use legal means to secure a place in the race to succeed Haiti’s President Rene Preval.

In the wake of two days of clashes, the electoral commission is reviewing the results that showed singer-turned-politician Michel Martelly had been defeated by less than 7,000 votes by Preval’s handpicked protege Jude Celestin, who won a place in next month’s presidential run-off.

Martelly’s supporters have alleged vote-rigging in a nation with a history of political upheaval, corruption and violence.

In a bid to counter widespread allegations of fraud, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has announced plans to add up all the tally sheets in the presence of the three main candidates.

The election commission gathered key parties Monday in a bid to unblock the impasse.

Monday’s meeting offers hope of breaking the political stalemate and perhaps some clarity on whether or not the main candidates, especially Martelly, will support the planned tally sheet recount.

Clinton, Cannon and Espinosa also reaffirmed their commitment “to trilateral cooperation and coordination” in policing and disaster preparedness, as well as to bolster continental “security” and “competitiveness” in global trade.

Senior US officials had said North American governments feared drug cartels could relocate to Central American nations as they faced government crackdowns in Mexico and Colombia.


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2 thoughts on “US warns Haiti could risk aid freeze

  1. New Trilateral Commission or New World Order for Haiti?
    Jete – Ranmase – sonje.

    Si yon peyi pa endepandan, li pa kapab manm nan Nasyonzini.
    Ni gwo peyi, ni ti peyi, yo chak genyen menm dwa.
    Anbasade gwo peyi, anbasade ti peyen, menm dwa.

    Anbasade Ayisyen toujou respekte prensip ak ako entenasyonal ki reji fonksyonman relasyon diplomatik ak konstitisyon peyi kote y ap fonksyone ya.

    Anbasade Ayisyen pa janm pedi wol yo pou yo foure bouch yo nan zafe lot peyi, ni rive enteprete konstitisyon lot peyi.

    Tanpri, Anbasade tout peyi etranje ki ann Ayiti yo, fe yon ti lekti nan papye ak dokiman yo te ba nou le yo t ap aksepte nou kom anbasade nan pale nasyonal Ayiti a, Let akreditasyon an, pou nou ka we limit ponyet nou ak bouch nou nan zafe peyi a.

    Se pa lajan ki bay okenn diplomat dwa pou l manke souverente peyi sa a dega le l vle.

    Ayisyen tre ospitalye, men, le w soti pou kreye epi nouri dezod sou ti bout te ke Zanset yo te kite pou li a, li tre sansib pou sa. Li pret pou li fe tout sa l konnen pou li fe w sonje, ke w kapab achte pati politik,ou kapab achte apatrid, men jame, ou pa p janm kapab rive achte Ayisyen konsekan yo, ni konsyans ak libete yo.

    Tanpri, gwo anbasade yo, le n ap fe deklarasyon, veye bouch nou tande, paske, menmsi nou we ke Ayisyen ap goumen antre yo, pa konpran ke le yo we tout bon vre, kiles k ap simen divizyon an, ke yo pa p mete tet yo ansanm pou yo bay yon repons ki koresponn ak sitiyasyon an.


  2. HA HA HA What an insult to our intelligence. This is a mess they created. They can’t organize a fair and honest election in a small island republic. Either they failed or they don,t care about Haiti.

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