Hillary Clinton Meets With Haitian President-Elect Michel Martelly

April 21, 2011 9:59 am 0 comments

Haitian President-elect Michel Martelly.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Haitian President-elect Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly met Wednesday with senior U.S. officials in Washington, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to discuss continued reconstruction of the earthquake-battered nation and reestablishing an army in the country.

Martelly said a top priority of his administration was to relocate the hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims living in tents.

“It’s been 14, almost 15 months since the earthquake, and little effort has been made” to help the displaced, he said, according to The Washington Post. More than 600,000 people still live in camps after last year’s earthquake.

After his inauguration on May 14, Martelly plans to impose a a five-cent tax on phone calls into Haiti to raise money for reconstruction and will also be able to use the $260 million in debt payments forgiven by foreign lenders.

Martelly also stated his hopes to reestablish the army, which was disbanded by former-President Jean-Betrand Aristide. He said the new, “modern army” would guard the borders, help in natural disasters and fight drug-trafficking.

Also on Martelly’s list was combating the cholera epidemic, which began last October, and boosting agricultural production.

However Martelly said that the pace of reconstruction in Haiti is “desperately slow” and that he is counting on the U.S. to ensure international aid would be used effectively.

Clinton admitted that the rebuilding of Haiti is a daunting task and revitalizing the country “takes leadership.” She added, however, that the U.S. was excited about Martelly’s presidency.

“Now he has a chance to lead and we are behind him,” said Clinton, according to The Associated Press. “He is committed to results. He wants to deliver for the Haitian people. And we are committed to helping him do so.”

Martelly also met earlier in the week with leaders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to discuss food prices, job creation, education and the improvement of the business environment in Haiti.

“My new vision for my country is to begin all the useful and necessary reforms,” Martelly said, according to AFP.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • While the Honduran government and former U.S. President Bill Clinton claim that the Central American nation is protecting human rights and combating drug-trafficking, Honduras is actually killing opposition members and using U.S. money to fund corrupt police officials, according to a leader in the Honduran resistance movement. Read the story here.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

Central America

  • Former President Manuel Zelaya plans to return to Honduras in May, in the wake of efforts started this month with the mediation of Venezuela, Deputy Coordinator of the National People’s Resistance Front (FNRP), Juan Barahona announced.
  • The Guatemalan government on Tuesday declared a nationwide “nutritional risk alert” to avoid a food crisis in the country’s poorest areas where thousands of people don’t have enough food to survive.

Andes

  • U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said on Wednesday he is confident Congress will approve free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia but they are likely to be submitted in separate bills.
  • OPEC sees oil prices between $80 to $90 as “adequate” and has no plans for an emergency meeting because the market is well supplied despite unrest in Libya, Ecuador’s oil minister said on Wednesday.
  • Bolivia’s plans to nationalize mines owned by Pan American Silver Corp. and Swiss commodities trader Glencore International AG appear to have hit a snag, with local workers’ unions at the two companies rejecting the move.

Southern Cone

  • Seven members of the rock band Callejeros were convicted on Wednesday in the deaths of 194 people in a nightclub fire in 2004.
  • President Fernando Lugo is about to realize Paraguay’s long-held dream of receiving millions of dollars more from Brazil for energy from their shared hydroelectric dam, money he promised would finance land reform and transform his impoverished, agrarian nation.
  • Chile inaugurated the first quick-charging station for electric cars in Latin America on Wednesday at a ceremony attended by the country’s president and other senior officials.

Image: MediaHacker @ Flickr.

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

No Comments

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America

    Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Top Story — The governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero stepped down from his position on Thursday as the disappearance of 43 students there late last month continues to reverberate across the country. Ángel Aguirre, 58, is barred by law from resigning his post, but said that he is taking a leave of absence. Aguirre has faced widespread anger over his handling of the students’ disappearance, and many have called for his resignation during protests in Guerrero’s capital city […]

    Read more →
  • Southern Cone Today in Latin America Uruguay Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Top Story — Days ahead of Uruguay’s presidential election Sunday, the country’s top opposition candidate on Wednesday vowed to repeal the country’s historic marijuana law, which legalizes the commercial production and sale of the drug. Centrist National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou had not previously specified what actions he would take against the law. Lacalle Pou told Reuters that he would keep the articles permitting personal marijuana use and cultivation, but would repeal the rest, including the provisions for commercialization […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Top Story — Mexican troops executed up to 15 of the 22 suspected gang members killed in June in the small town of San Pedro Limón, according to an investigation by the government’s human rights agency. The account by Raúl Plascencia, president of the commission, contradicted several prior versions of a murky story offered at various stages by the military, the Attorney General’s office and an eyewitness. Plascencia called for prosecutors to investigate a potential cover-up by military officials. At […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean News Briefs North America As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    When the opening pitch is thrown Tuesday night in game one of the World Series, a number of Latin American players will be front and center under the bright stadium floodlights. What won’t be on display, however, are some of the darker stories behind how many Latin Americans make it to play in Major League Baseball in the first place. This season, Latin American players made up close to a quarter of all MLB players — a staggering 86 percent of […]

    Read more →
  • Chile Southern Cone Today in Latin America Pinochet Bodyguard and Ex-Mayor Arrested in Santiago

    Pinochet Bodyguard and Ex-Mayor Arrested in Santiago

    Top Story — Chilean authorities have arrested a former aide to Gen. Augusto Pinochet, accusing him of committing various atrocities under the 1973-1990 military dictatorship. A judge on Monday ordered the arrest of retired military colonel Cristian Labbe on charges of “unlawful association” with a group that ultimately became the DINA secret police force. Labbe was allegedly involved in the murder of 13 people under Pinochet’s dictatorship. Those 13 people, investigators found, were tortured and executed at the notorious Tejas […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America Latin American Ministers Will Meet in Havana to Discuss Ebola Fight

    Latin American Ministers Will Meet in Havana to Discuss Ebola Fight

    Top Story — Top health officials from several Latin American countries are meeting today in Havana, Cuba, to discuss joint efforts to combat Ebola, as fears grow over the virus’ potential to spread to the region. Leaders from the socialist ALBA bloc, which includes Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and several Caribbean countries, will meet to coordinate efforts following unilateral travel bans by several countries in the region. On Saturday, retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro penned a column in the […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Top Story — A Brazilian man confessed to committing at least 39 murders after police arrested him in the city of Goiânia on Thursday after a 70-day investigation. Thiago Henrique Gomes de Rocha, a 26-year-old security guard, seems to have targeted women, homeless people and homosexuals. De Rocha, who committed the murders over three years, approached his victims on a motorcycle before demanding their belongings and then shooting them. Police noted de Rocha’s “coldness” and extreme rage when recounting his […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Top Story — Analysts are worried about a new phase of economic chaos in Venezuela as falling oil prices continue to take their toll. Insurance rates on the country’s debt shot up Wednesday to a new high, more than three times the size of the rate in late June, after a drop in oil prices raised worries the country may fail to pay off its obligations to foreign bondholders. The spike in Venezuela’s bond insurance rates means it costs investors […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Haiti North America Today in Latin America U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    Top Story — The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will be renewed for another year, the U.N. Security Council announced on Tuesday. The council, composed of 15 nations, unanimously decided to renew the MINUSTAH mandate, though the number of military personnel in Haiti will be reduced from 5,000 to 2,370. The number of police personnel will remain unchanged. MINUSTAH was initially created in 2004 after former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in a coup, leading to violence and […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Top Story — Mexican activist and radio host Atilano Roman Tirado was shot on-air during his weekly program Oct. 11 in the state of Sinaloa. Two gunmen forced their way into the radio studio of Fiesta Mexicana where Tirado hosted his Saturday morning program “Así es mi Tierra.” Listeners of the program could hear a shot fired around 10:40 a.m. followed by a co-worker’s voice saying, “he killed him.” Programming on the station did not resume for another 30 minutes. […]

    Read more →