Dominican Republic aid roils Haiti politicians
Santo Domingo.- Haiti interim presidentJocelerme Privert on Saturday defended the Dominican Republic’s right toprotect its equipment operating in Haitian territory as part of the aid tothousands of victims of Hurricane Matthew, and criticized those sectors thatquestion the presence of Dominican troops in his country despite his nation’s shorcomingsto help its own citizens.
In a press conference in Port au Prince togetherwith UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, Privert asked if after the Dominicangovernment provides Haiti with 80 trucks representing millions of dollars forhis country, should Haitian authorities "abandon them to be victims ofplunder?," as occurred with the truck loaded with the latest internationalaid last week.
Presidential candidate Jude Célestin backed Port-au-Prince’sposition, but rejected by other contenders, who demanded the immediatedeparture of Dominican troops
The Haitian Senate on Friday issued a 24 hourdeadline to Privert’s government to remove from Haiti Dominican Republic’s soldierswhich escort the convoy of humanitarian aid pledged by Dominican presidentDanilo Medina to the Haitian leader during a visit to Port au Prince on Sundaylast week.
Privert noted that Medina’s visit expressed Dominicans’solidarity with the Haitian people and their concrete support to the victims,so it’s a pity that some of his "compatriots do not appreciate the truevalue of this voluntary and generous help of our neighbor and brother country."
Haiti’s president also stressed that in theirmeeting, attended by officials from his administration, business leaders and thepresidents of both chambers of Haiti’s Parliament, Medina’s only question tohis colleague was how Dominicans could help Haiti in this situation and what wereHaiti’s most urgent needs.
"The Haitian state is devoid of means tomake accessible ways to assist the victims. When a brother country, aneighboring country, tells us that it can help us repair the roads, should Isay no and let thousands of people starve because we cannot bring help?"
"The Haitian state is deprived of the meansto make accessible roads to assist the victims. When a brother country, aneighboring country, tells us that it can help us repair the roads, should Isay no and let thousands of people starve because we cannot bring help?"