Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
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A Month After the Quake, Haiti Takes Stock

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A Month After the Quake, Haiti Takes Stock Empty A Month After the Quake, Haiti Takes Stock

Message  Sasaye Sam 13 Fév 2010 - 16:13

February 13, 2010
A Month After the Quake, Haiti Takes Stock

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — And on the 32nd day, Haiti rested.
One long, arduous month after the earthquake, the Haitian government imposed a national day of mourning on this battered country, which has been too preoccupied with survival to stop and take stock of the tremendous loss of life.

In a televised memorial service broadcast over loudspeakers in many locations, President René Préval, who has been widely criticized as failing to comfort his stricken people, told a somber audience at the University of Notre Dame of Haiti that his wife had urged him to address the nation immediately after the devastating quake.

“But I said to her, ‘What can I say to the people who are dead, the people who are injured, the people who have lost loved ones?’ ” Mr. Préval said. “Haitians, the pain is too heavy for words to express.”

Wearing a black armband, Mr. Préval urged his countrymen to pray for the more than 200,000 Haitians who, by government estimates, were killed.

In the next breath, he urged them to pray, too, for former President Bill Clinton, the United Nations’ special envoy for Haiti, who underwent a procedure to clear a blocked coronary artery on Thursday.

At 4:53 p.m., the precise time that the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck on Jan. 12, a moment of silence descended on this chaotic city, where commerce had been stilled for the day and the all-consuming recovery effort had paused. At churches, in tent cities and on the barricaded streets where many now sleep, Haitians, some dressed all in white, bowed their heads and, in places, fell to their knees.

After Mr. Préval’s memorial service speech boomed over a squalid encampment in the St. Therese Park in Petionville, Mertha Romelus, 32, said the president’s words were too little, too late and too dispiriting. “He made us focus on the dead, how much we have lost and what sorry shape this country is in,” she said. “And he interrupted us right in the middle of our own prayer service, which was actually joyous.”

But Michel Ernst, 27, a computer technician who listened to Mr. Préval’s second address at the overflowing Champ de Mars in the shadow of the collapsed National Palace, said Haitians were being too hard on their president.

“He doesn’t come before us like a president, but like a father blessing his children,” Mr. Ernst said. “Today, we must be Christian and give him a break. He is also homeless. He is also a victim.”

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, led a bipartisan Congressional delegation on a visit here on Friday, a day when almost all activity except prayer — and food distribution — had ground to a halt. The Americans were to meet with Mr. Préval.

“Let’s dry our tears and rebuild Haiti,” the president told his people. “Haiti will not perish. Haiti should not perish.”
Super Star
Super Star

Nombre de messages : 8252
Localisation : Canada
Opinion politique : Indépendance totale
Loisirs : Arts et Musique, Pale Ayisien
Date d'inscription : 02/03/2007

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