Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

France pledges $450m to Haiti

From Al Jazeera English Sarkozy is the first French president to visit the former French slave colony [Reuters] Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has pledged an aid and debt relief package amounting to about $450m to earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The amount includes a cancellation of Haiti’s debt to France of $77m, Sarkozy said during a brief visit to the Caribbean nation on Wednesday. Sarkozy arrived in Haiti to support international relief efforts after last month’s deadly earthquake which killed around 230,000 people and left more than a million homeless. His visit is the first ever by a French president to the former French slave colony, which fought for and won its independence in 1804, becoming the first independent black republic. Staying in Haiti for less than four hours, Sarkozy greeted French embassy staff and aid workers and took a helicopter tour to see […]

Angry demonstrators demand Sarkozy to pay up and return Aristide to Haiti

  Demonstrators show photos in support of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Feb. 17, 2010 Supporter of Jean-Bertrand Aristide calls for his return to help in relief and recovery efforts Haitian president Rene Preval turns his back on the crowd and leaves after demonstrators demand he allow ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to return by Kevin Pina Port au Prince, Haiti – HIP — Thousands of supporters of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide took to the streets on Wednesday as French president Nicolas Sarkozy toured the earthquake ravaged capital of Port au Prince. Holding pictures of the ousted president aloft they chanted for France to pay more then 21 billion dollars in restitution and reparations and to return Aristide as Sarkozy’s helicopter landed near Haiti’s quake damaged national palace. Their demands stem from a long held dispute over compensation a nascent Haiti […]

French leader’s Haiti visit revives bitter legacy

  By MICHELLE FAUL (AP) – February 16, 2010 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit Wednesday, the first ever by a French president, is reviving bitter memories of the crippling costs of Haiti’s 1804 independence. A third of the population was killed in an uprising against exceptionally brutal slavery, an international embargo was imposed to prevent slave revolts elsewhere and 90 million pieces of gold were demanded by Paris from the world’s first black republic. The debt hobbled Haiti, it seemed for life. A country plagued by natural and unnatural calamities of Biblical proportions was desperately poor and mismanaged even before a magnitude-7 earthquake smashed up Port-au-Prince, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving more than a million homeless. Haitian politicians this week diplomatically skirted the question of reparations — a demand put to Paris by ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide […]

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