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SOS Hillary Rodham Clinton on Haiti’s Independence Day

December 30, 2010

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY CLINTON on the Republic of Haiti’s Independence Day

On behalf of President Obama and the people of United States, I join with the people of the Republic of Haiti to honor the 207th anniversary of your independence this January 1.

When Haiti cast off the bonds of slavery and declared its freedom from France in 1804, it made history, setting a precedent for independence in Latin America and creating the first post-colonial black-led nation in the world. Today, we see the courage of that struggle – from the leadership of Jean Jacques Dessalines and Toussaint L’Ouverture to the strength and unity of the Haitian people – reflected in Haiti’s response to the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. In the wake of a disaster that took the lives of more than 200,000 people, Haitians and volunteers from more than 140 nations came together overnight to pull survivors from the rubble and administer critical care and assistance. I witnessed this testament to our common humanity first hand in the days immediately following the earthquake, and I have seen it grow throughout the year as countries around the world continue to help Haiti recover and rebuild.

Despite all Haiti has endured, Haitians have shown an unflagging strength, will, and passion to forge ahead and build a more prosperous nation. The people and government of the United States stand firmly with the people of Haiti, and we are committed to helping ensure that your voice determines the way forward for your nation and government. We will continue deepening the partnership and friendship between our nations to achieve a brighter future for all our people.

I wish all Haitians a happy Independence Day and New Year. I look forward to working with you to make 2011 a year filled with peace and progress.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve permalink
    December 31, 2010 12:58 pm

    Haiti is a mess and the election has just made things worse. I think the most recent President of Haiti was ill-suited to the job. All the money we gave to Haiti prior to the earthquake- where did it end up? In someone’s swiss bank?

  2. GeorgeS permalink
    December 31, 2010 1:02 pm

    Honestly if I were a Palestinian I would probably take up arms against the illegal occupation forces too. Any American worth their salt would fight back against an occupying force that stole our land, murdered our families and made us third class citizens in our own country. Get a load of this. We tend to not hear about Israel’s terrorism against the Palestinians, do we?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/12/settlers-set-fire-to-home-as-seven-palestinians-sleep-inside.html#more-32495

  3. December 31, 2010 1:10 pm

    I believe in people and countries being responsible for themselves, but it is clear the global community interferes in myriad ways in Haiti – not just to provide aid…

    – The thought that the cholera epidemic may very well have been carried into Haiti by the UN peacekeepers is shocking. Haitians were not rioting in large numbers after the earthquake, but they were furious at the peacekeepers and wanted them out. The UN did not remove them. The strain of cholera found there was not the same as Latin American strain. Haiti hasn’t had cholera in decades. This strain was identical to South Asian strain. Peacekeepers from Nepal.

    – Also, the country was not prepared for an election. The international community, including the US I believe, pushed for the election to not be delayed. The cholera epidemic had already begun, and huge numbers of people were still homeless. How can a fair election be held under these conditions?

    Makes me wonder about the international community’s real motives regarding Haiti…

  4. twf permalink
    January 3, 2011 12:19 pm

    Of historical interest — You can see a clip of Toussaint’s last moments in prison from the award-winning new short film “The Last Days of Toussaint L’Ouverture” at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2468184/ This film is the basis for a new feature (not with Danny Glover) that is in development.

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