Local January 12, 2012 | 1:43 pm

Dominican leader keeps promise to Haiti, asks others do likewise

LEMONADE, Haiti.- President Leonel Fernandez kept this promise to the Haitian people after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, and on Thursday delivered the symbolic keys to a university with a capacity for 10,000 students and three buses to transport those who live in distant communities.

In a speech in fluent French and Spanish, Fernandez expressed his satisfaction and of the Dominican nation for having made that commitment a reality and said he hopes the international community can also fulfill its promises to the Haitians after the catastrophic quake of January 2010.

He said today’s ribbon cutting for the Henri Christophe University is a gesture of solidarity that reflects the sensitivity of Dominicans to contribute with Haiti’s reconstruction. “It’s an act of love, it’s an aspiration of progress and well-being for the Haitian people.”

In his speech the Dominican chief executive described that afternoon of January 12 when the quake took place, which despite not causing damage to Dominican infrastructures, did unleash anguish and fear. He regretted the death of the around 250,000 Haitians, among them thousands of students and teachers and the fact that nearly 80 percent of university constructions ere destroyed.

Fernandez said however, that the time has come to pass from tragedy to hope, from pain to optimism and from anguish to joy.


For his part Haiti president Michel Martelly thanked Fernandez “for the gift that your country and you have given the Haitian people.”

He said that contribution shows the Dominican Government’s desire to participate in Haiti’s reconstruction effort. “We’re never going to forget that your nation and you supported us at first moments of the catastrophe. This makes us understand that you understand our suffering and hope of a better future.”

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