Sunday, March 21, 2004

Ja: Is this how it begins?

Sharing a platform with rebel leaders, Haiti's interim leader yesterday praised the gunmen who began the uprising that chased Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power and even paid tribute to an assassinated gangster.

About 3,000 people cheered and clapped for Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, who held his first rally in his hometown of Gonaives, where Haiti's independence was declared 200 years ago and starting point for its recent rebellion.

"I ask you for a moment of silence for all the people who fell fighting against the dictatorship, and especially for Amiot Metayer," Latortue said as the crowd went wild. Metayer was the leader of the Cannibal Army street gang, and his death sparked the rebellion.

Rebel leaders who still run Haiti's fourth-largest city sat on a platform alongside Latortue, Organisation of American States representative David Lee, recently installed interim Cabinet ministers Bernard Gousse and retired General Herard Abraham, and new Haitian police chief Leon Charles.
Also, there is this:
At the rally earlier, Latortue promised his government would ensure clean drinking water in Gonaives, provide medical equipment and build at least 100 homes and a four-lane highway to replace the potholed two lanes that are Haiti's main south-north highway.

People shouted they also needed working telephones and electricity.

Latortue urged patience: "I cannot give you everything at once and I will not lie to you."
Perhaps Haiti needs to be weaned away from Big Brother government who "gives" things to citizens?


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