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9079: RE: 9075: JEAN-ROBERT SABALAT (fwd)

From: "Hoover, Julie H." <Hoover@pbworld.com>

Here is my "Sabalat Story", which he heard me tell several times and always
seemed to enjoy with great glee.

When Aristide was initially elected President, our New York-based group,
Americans for Aristide, eagerly awaited his appointment of the Ambassador to
the U.S.  When Jean Casimir finally received Congressional approval, our
invitation for a visit was one of the first he received.  He came to my
house in New York for a meeting with our group's steering committee on a
very hot August evening.  Since I was the hostess, I was initially busy
taking people's jackets and serving beverages and missed the introductions.

Then Casimir spoke to us, seated in the most prominent chair in my living
room.  Another man sitting on a stool beside him began to chime in.  I
assumed he was Casimir's driver (due to the heat, everyone had taken their
jackets off and he looked like a regular guy), and thought this was a
wonderful expression of how people under the table, including drivers, are
now invited to sit at it and speak out.  I thought about inviting the driver
to go downstairs for a plate of Haitian food my mother-in-law could serve
for him, but never found a suitable opportunity to intervene.   As the
evening went on, however, I began to feel very sad about the "driver"-- he
spoke up many times and always said such intelligent things. He seemed so
astoundingly astute--too bad he coud not have some position in the

It was only when all the meeting participants were leaving that I learned
that Sabalat was actually Haiti's new Foreign Minister.