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Quake-hit Haiti's Cabinet Meets -- in the Open-Air

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:28 PM
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Quake-hit Haiti's Cabinet Meets -- in the Open-Air
Source: Reuters

Grieving for their own losses and those of a nation, the exhausted and overwhelmed officials sat in a circle on a concrete slab outside a police station, seeking to put some order into their response to a catastrophic earthquake.

Loosely-speaking, the United Nations is leading the relief effort, while the U.S. military is in charge of air-traffic after Tuesday's disaster that Haitian officials say killed between 100,000-200,000 people.

But in line with diplomatic propriety, Haitian leaders are being consulted, and are giving approval, at every step.

Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive led Sunday's cabinet meeting. President Rene Preval raised a hand of greeting to the team as he entered the police station that has become his home and office since the presidential palace partially collapsed.

Foreign ambassadors and heads of U.N. and other international agencies joined the ministers in what officials said would now be a twice-daily meeting to try to coordinate the world's rush to help Haiti.

"They say the government is not fast, but we are doing our best," Information Minister Marie Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue told a Reuters correspondent who simply pulled up a chair to listen in to the cabinet meeting.

"All the ministries have fallen down. Everything in Haiti is broken. There is not one person in this country without a friend or relative dead. The minister of finance lost his girl of 12. The minister of tourism lost his father and mother. The chief of police ... lost two of his three children."

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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:55 PM
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1. Perhaps it is a blessing....let outside agency handle most all of this.
At least the aid and supplies stand a chance of getting to where they are needed instead of being blackmarketed or stockpiled by some corrupt government official.

I watched an MSNBC reporter interviewing a Canadian aid representative on live TV this morning.

The rep. did his best to honestly answer the interviewers questions especially regarding the heavy military presence. One of the comments put to the rep. was along the lines of the military planes, etc. are taking up space that could be used for incoming shipments of emergency aid.

The rep. gave a oral bullet list of the problems and +'s and -'s of the military, how doctors, supplies and other aid need to be rationed and how they were to be rationed etc.

What stood out to me was the rep adding one word in his list of things. CORRUPTION. He said it so fast that if you weren't really paying attention to it, you'd have missed it. But he did say it clearly.

The MSNBC interviewer heard it too and after the rep finished, he immediately asked the rep what did he mean when he said corruption?

The rep. quickly said he never said the word corruption and that it must have been the wind in the microphone.

MSNBC interviewer quickly said, yes - must have been the wind. :wtf: strange.

I found that extremely unnerving and perhaps I'm reading far more into the exchange than I should but I KNOW that that Canadian aid representative said the word "CORRUPTION", so did the MSNBC person. It was almost like he was trying to send a message of warning out there on live TV.

What a hell fire mess we have in Haiti. I hope and pray that this time there will be real change for these people.

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