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a541: BBC: Haiti: Minister, Convergence spokesman deplore Haiti's"poor image" abroad (fwd)




From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

 Haiti: Minister, Convergence spokesman deplore Haiti's "poor image" abroad
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jan 31, 2002


The image of the Republic of Haiti is being tarnished more and more
overseas. In an article published this week, the Wall Street Journal warns
Argentina against any drifting similar to that of Haiti. Wendell Theodore
reports the following:
[Theodore - recording] The image of chronic instability which Haiti projects
abroad continues to provoke comments by the international press. The Wall
Street Journal has encouraged Argentina, which is going through a
socioeconomic crisis, not to follow Haiti's example.
Culture and Communication Minister Guy Paul (?dodges) the debate on the poor
image that Haiti projects abroad. But Foreign Minister Joseph Philippe
Antonio recognizes that this poor image is not the consequence of the active
democracy that is being structured. Antonio considers the remark of the Wall
Street Journal, which also calls Haiti a banana republic, idiosyncratic and
considers this bad perception to be the consequence of the crisis that is
ravaging the country.
[Joseph] Actually, there are a lot of difficulties. But the difficulties
that we are now experiencing since we have been confronted with
international [opinion] are not the consequences of a new diplomacy. They
are the consequences of an internal situation that is exploited excessively
by some people. When they called on Argentina to take care not to become
like Haiti, it sounds odd because the situations of those countries are not
comparable.
[Theodore] But if the country's image is tarnished abroad to that extent,
all Haitians are responsible, according to Convergence spokesman Evans
Paul...
[Paul] //The Wall Street Journal article only means that we are synonymous
with bad things. And I believe that we are all responsible. I do not agree
with people who talk about racism, colonialism and so on.
I think that we are the ones responsible for the image that is being
projected abroad. We are the ones who are killing each other, burning down
people's houses and doing all kinds of things that are not done anymore on
the international scene. Therefore, we are personally responsible for all
the bad criticism, because they are not lying about us.
Indeed I notice that there is such a tendency that is developing at the
international level. Apart from the Wall Street Journal article, I read
another article that appears in Jeune Afrique in which the journalist said
that a country such as Haiti should not have a seat at the UN because they
are a bunch of irresponsible people, they are a bunch of Zulu warriors.//...
[End of recording]
Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1145 gmt 30 Jan 02
/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.