U.S. continues to make Haiti ‘a priority’

U.S. continues to make Haiti ‘a priority’
AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, file

As Haiti celebrates its 210th anniversary of political independence, the United States says it will continue to make the impoverished, French-speaking Caribbean country “a priority.”

In congratulating Haiti on its Independence Day anniversary on Jan. 1, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, on behalf of President Barack Obama, that Washington “joins you today in commemorating the courage and spirit of independence of all Haitians, as well as the ties of friendship and family that bind our peoples together.

“On this special day, I extend best wishes and reiterate our strong commitment to help all Haitians, as they chart a path toward greater peace, security and prosperity,” he said.

As a former Senator, Kerry said he was “proud” to introduce bipartisan legislation in the Senate to help Haiti rebuild after the Jan. 12, 2010 massive earthquake.

He also said he was delighted to help the country “develop in a way that creates an opportunity to emerge better off and better prepared.

“And that’s why I worked closely with dozens of families in Massachusetts to expedite adoptions of Haitian orphans that had already been underway before the earthquake,” Kerry said. “As Secretary of State, I will continue to make Haiti a priority.”

Kerry said he spent more than 30 years representing Massachusetts as lieutenant governor and senator, adding that he is also “proud to this day that my state is home to the third largest Haitian-American community in the United States.

“I was proud that my daughter’s first work as a doctor was in Haiti, where she experienced firsthand the determination and resilience of proud Haitians who cared so deeply about their country’s future,” he said.

“Having known and worked so closely with this exceptional community, I hold a special appreciation for Haiti’s journey,” the U.S. Secretary of State added.