Hillary Clinton’s visit to Haiti & Haiti-Dominican relations

The Dominican Today is reporting on Hillary Clinton’s visit to Haiti before the Summit of the America’s meeting this weekend:

Washington. – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Dominican Republic Thursday where she’ll hold several meetings including one with president Leonel Fernandez.

The U.S. State Department said Mrs. Clinton will also meet with Haiti president René Preval, to deal with “topics of joint interest that include stability, security and aid.”

The former American First Lady will also meet with the representatives of the U.S. Agency for International for Development (AID) in the country.

Prior to her arrival the U.S. official will visit Haiti and according to reports her visit’s main reason is to strengthen relations between Dominican Republic and its neighbor country.

As part of the advance preparations of Mrs. Clinton’s visit a U.S.Embassy delegation visited the National Palace Monday morning, and met with officials of the Presidential Guard and of the Presidency’s Press Office.

It was learned Mrs. Clinton will remain in the country until Friday and from here fly to Trinidad & Tobago to participate in the Summit of the Americas, event president Leonel Fernandez is also scheduled to attend.

She announced a proposed 50 Million USD in aid to Haiti (a mere drop from the entire bucket the US has proposed in foreign aid this year), the hemisphere’s poorest nation. It is not yet been announced how that aid will be broken down. But barring any changes in USAID/Haiti‘s mission from 06-09 it’ll likely go towards the five objective areas previously outlined in the Bush Admin’s strategic plan for the country: Peace & Security, Economic Growth, Governing Justly and Democratically, Investing In People, and Humanitarian Assistance.

USAID/Haiti Strategy Diagram

How the Clinton’s view what a healthy Haiti-Dominican partnership should look like is another thing that remains to be seen. One could reasonably guess however that main themes of mutual concern will be brought up: e.g. trafficking of persons/migrant cross-border and further integrating and better regulation of trade between the DR & Haiti and both countries with relation to the US. Haiti has long been on the losing end of the stick with trade. If the US is serious about their development they will stop insisting on harmful trade liberalization policies and focus on better macro-economic strategies to decentralize ownership of production in Haiti.

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