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8584: Miami now sister city of the Haitian capital (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Miami now sister city of the Haitian capital

Sunday marks the 200th anniversary of the promulgation of the first Haitian 
constitution, and a crowd gathered at City Hall Friday to commemorate yet 
another milestone.

Whether dressed in drab business suits or in brightly colored island garb, 
the several hundred attendees on the balcony at 3500 Pan American Dr. 
watched eagerly as Miami Mayor Joe Carollo and Port-au-Prince Mayor 
Marie-Yves Pouponneau Duperval solemnly inked the documents declaring their 
communities as ``sister cities.''

The ceremony initiated what both anticipate will be an era of unprecedented 
cultural, economic and educational partnership between the locales.

Guests navigated between the griot -- Haitian-style fried pork -- and the 
arróz con pollo as they enjoyed Caribbean music of all flavors.

As a member of the Prison Fellowship of Haiti, Frantz Edoard believes the 
Sister City program will foster awareness about the condition of those 
incarcerated in Haiti.

``The situation is very bad. No food, no rooms, no respect for human 
rights,'' said the lawyer and politician, who hopes the new relationship 
will promote a willingness to rehabilitate the inmates.

Less optimistic about the future was Cliff Richard, who expressed his 
concern that the United States has already interfered too much in Haitian 
affairs, specifically its elected leadership.

``We could have had a better relationship, but we didn't,'' Richard said. 
``Relationship, partnership -- there is none, just words against facts. What 
you see is Haiti going down.''

But as the beat of the island billowed over the crowd, the figures swaying 
in rhythm found themselves united by more than the music.

``We all miss our country,'' said Yolande Thomas, who sang about her home. 
``Here we have money, good jobs and everything, but the love for your 
country you never forget.''

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