Secretary of State John Kerry visited Haiti this month with a message of support from President Barack Obama and from the American people. At a joint press availability in Port au Prince, October 6th with Haiti’s President Michel Martelly, Secretary Kerry said: “We know that you have been through difficult times and you’ve shown great tenacity, and we very much hope and want you to succeed.”
Noting that since the trauma of 2010, the United States has provided Haiti with more than $4.2 billion in assistance, the Secretary added, “but in the end, Haiti’s future will not be defined by the external help, necessary as it can be. Haiti’s future depends on the unity of its people and on your ability to develop strong and stable democratic institutions.”
Secretary Kerry congratulated Haiti’s government, President Martelly, and his cabinet, for the increased budget support that they are giving to balloting in the upcoming elections and gave assurance that American contributions, more than 30 million for the full electoral cycle, will continue as well.
“Haiti needs governing institutions that are legitimate and representative, and those cannot come into being without free and fair elections in which citizens take part without intimidation, without violence,” he said.
“President Obama and I join together in encouraging all Haitians to go to the polls on October 25th and to be patient and to refrain from any kind of disruption,” said Secretary Kerry, adding, that “the United States and other members of the international community will be working with the Provisional Electoral Council to support what we hope will be a smoother and more fully peaceful process than what took place on August 9th.”
Secretary Kerry reaffirmed the very deep and unwavering friendship that the people of the United States have for the people of Haiti. “We want the October elections and later rounds to go well,” he said, “because we want you to take the next big step towards a flourishing economy and the kind of vibrant, democratic system that your citizens need and deserve. And it is important to note that it is only through elections that a legitimate transfer of power can take place.