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Haiti wants “worthy” partnership with the U.S.

Washington, D.C. – Haiti’s new Defense Minister, Herve Denis says his country “is looking forward to a worthy US/Haiti partnership in various sectors with the goal of reinforcing our fragile democracy.”

That was the message he left with participants in a roundtable last Wednesday in the US Senate entitled ‘Economic and Human Security Policy and Implementation” hosted by US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

“I am here today with a message of hope that the government of our new president Jovenel Moise will be able to work with the United States and others to firmly move Haiti towards the prosperity and security our people desperately need,” the minister said, assuring that the Government of Haiti will make every sacrifice to achieving this goal.

The roundtable formed part of the Caribbean Heritage Month Legislative Week activities organized by the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) and was hosted by Senator Rubio along with Se. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D- New Jersey).

“The path that must lead towards achieving this goal is the development of a stable security force along with our developing police force and especially the Minustah Force whose mission will soon end in 2018 and which will no doubt create a vacuum in the security effectiveness of our nation,” he pointed out.

The defense minister referred to the growing threat of terrorism and the illegal drug trade which targets America and its citizens and for whose operatives Haiti’s poverty and vulnerability could serve as a safe haven.  “To add salt to injury the newly appointed Secretary of Homeland Security General Kelly has vowed to return thousands of Haitians back to Haiti. Needless to say that this would cripple the country’s law enforcement system and devastate our weak economy.”

Haiti wants “worthy” partnership with the US says new defense minister Herve Denis
Haiti’s Defense Minister Herve Denis (left), Senator David Small of Trinidad & Tobago and ICS President Dr. Claire Nelson in conversation with US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL back to camera) at Caribbean Legislative Week roundtable in the US Senate.
(Chris Daley photo)

Denis gave the assurance that a strengthened Haiti security force would also help to respond to the natural disasters which strike the nation and provide support to outside help which the country receives from agencies such as the US Southern Command. Additionally, he said, the force would help provide the stability to sustain economic development by containing crime thereby spurring investor confidence.

“We in Haiti have had a proud beginning as the first black nation in the hemisphere to gain our independence. However, we have not met the leadership responsibilities to flourish beyond that feat for various reasons some of which we must take responsibility for if we want to be successful. We have a new administration and I believe we have the right leadership in place to establish this new security force which will be an impartial enhancer in supporting successful unbiased elections and strong apolitical guiding principles in its mission to serve Haiti,” the minister assured.

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