American-Haiti Relationship Much Stronger ~ U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States said its relationship with Haiti had grown much stronger in recent times as the French-speaking Caribbean community (CARICOM) country celebrated its 216th anniversary of independence from France on Jan. 1.

Pompeo1 “Pompeo” “The ties between the United States and Haiti have grown stronger, because of our shared aspirations and the deep connections between the American and Haitian people,” said U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo.

“I wish the people of Haiti a happy Independence Day, as well as a New Year filled with peace, unity and progress in solving national challenges,” he added.

Pompeo said “the story of Haiti’s founding – from a rebellion of the enslaved to the creation of a republic based on democratic principles – is testament to what can be accomplished when people are determined to work together for the greater good.”

‘GREATNESS’

“Haiti’s Independence Day reminds us that greatness is within our reach when citizens and political leaders put their community and their country first,” Pompeo said, hoping that the New Year “will bring all parties together in an inclusive dialogue that ends the political gridlock and results in a government that responds to the pressing needs of the Haitian people.”

In November, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Mark Green said Washington remained “deeply concerned” about the current crisis in Haiti, where demonstrations, sporadic violence and political gridlock are causing further instability.

“The Haitian people are bearing the brunt of these actions,” said Green in a statement. “Local small businesses have been destroyed, which jeopardizes livelihoods. Families lack access to food and medicine, which puts them and their children’s lives at risk.”

Green said the U.S., therefore, is calling on Haiti’s political, economic, and civil-society leaders to “form a government that is responsive to the needs of all Haitian citizens.”

DEMONSTRATIONS

Opposition parties have been staging street demonstrations in support of their demands for President Jovenel Moise to step down, accusing him of corruption. But Moise, who came to power in 2017, has denied the allegations and instead is spearheading efforts to establish a government of national unity.

Amid the political stalemate in Haiti, the United Nations humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, warned on Friday of rising food insecurity in the French-speaking Caribbean country this year. OCHA said the number of Haitians who do not have sufficient food to eat is expected to surpass four million.

The Haitian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed on Jan. 1, 1804 in the port city of Gonaïves by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, as Haiti became the first Independent black nation in the Western Hemisphere.

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