On quake memorial day, Trump comments shock Haiti




  • In US
  • 2018-01-12 18:43:36Z
  • By By Joseph Guyler Delva

By Joseph Guyler Delva

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Haiti summoned the top U.S. diplomat in the country for an explanation on Friday following reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had called the Caribbean nation a "shithole," and requested an apology if the vulgar term had been used.

Haiti's ambassador to Washington, Paul Altidor, said it was distressing that attention was drawn to the comments on Friday, the eighth anniversary and day of remembrance for about 220,000 people killed on the island by a devastating earthquake.

"Haitians don't deserve such treatment," Altidor said. "Haitians should not be seen as a bunch of immigrants who come to the United States to exploit U.S. resources."

Altidor said Trump should apologize for any vulgarity. He said Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio Rodrigue told him the U.S. chargé d'affaires in Haiti had been summoned to explain the reported comments.

Trump on Thursday questioned why the United States would want to have immigrants from Haiti and African nations, referring to some as "shithole countries" during a briefing on draft immigration legislation, according to two sources familiar with the comments.

The United States should seek immigrants from Norway instead, he reportedly said, in comments that were widely interpreted as racist.

On Friday, the Republican president denied making the vulgar reference during the meeting.

But Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, who had attended the White House meeting on immigration the previous day, told reporters that Trump had used "vile, vulgar" language, including the word "shithole."

Trump also denied saying anything derogatory about Haitians.

"Other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country," he posted on Twitter. "I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians."

The storm over Trump's alleged language follows a New York Time's story last year about a meeting in which Trump allegedly said Haitian immigrants "all have AIDS." The White House later denied he used the word AIDS to describe Haitians.

The U.S. embassy in Haiti, in a Twitter post on Friday, said "we remember and honor the many lives lost 8 years ago in Haiti," in reference to the quake.

African politicians labeled Trump a racist, while the United Nations human rights office also rejected the reported comments as "racist" and of inciting xenophobia.

REVOLUTIONS

Haiti, though the poorest country in the Americas, has played an outsized role in the history of the region. Its 1791 revolution against French rule was the first slave revolt to lead to a free nation, in 1804, making it the second country in the Americas to win independence, after the United States.

Later, Haiti gave refuge and support to Simon Bolivar, help that historians have described as crucial to the Latin American freedom fighter's successful liberation from colonial rule of Venezuela and Colombia, among other countries.

The ambassador said Haiti should be remembered for supporting the American Revolution by sending troops to the Battle of Savannah in Georgia in 1779.

"We have been here for a long time and have contributed to what the United States is today. We even made the ultimate sacrifice when we shed our blood in Savannah."

In 2015, there were 676,000 Haitian immigrants in the United States, up from 587,000 in 2010, accounting for less than 2 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population, according to the Washington based Migration Policy Institute.

Special status given to about 59,000 Haitian immigrants, that has protected them from deportation following the 2010 earthquake, will end next year following a Trump administration ruling last month.

(Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bernadette Baum)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Democrats, GOP hold out hope for ending government shutdown
Democrats, GOP hold out hope for ending government shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's budget director is holding out hope that feuding Democrats and Republicans in Congress can reach a short-term spending agreement before the start of the workweek Monday, but he worries that the government shutdown could last for several more days if progress

Trump: Senate should change rules if shutdown stalemate continues
Trump: Senate should change rules if shutdown stalemate continues
  • US
  • 2018-01-21 15:01:08Z

By Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that if the government shutdown stalemate continued, Republicans should fund the government by changing Senate rules, which currently require a super-majority for appropriations bills to pass. "The Dems (Democrats) just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked.

Make No Mistake, Trump's Government Shutdown Is About Racism
Make No Mistake, Trump's Government Shutdown Is About Racism

Lost in the shitstorm over "shithole" was another equally damning example of President Donald Trump's blatant racism and sexism. It was an outward display of a mindset that in many ways has paved the way for the government shutdown we're facing now. Last week, NBC News reported that last fall, the president of the United States asked a career intelligence analyst "Where are you from?" She responded, "New York," and that should have ended the conversation.

Government shutdown begins and so does the finger-pointing
Government shutdown begins and so does the finger-pointing

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans awoke Saturday to learn that bickering politicians in Washington had failed to keep their government in business, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration.

Trump, Schumer meet as Dems, GOP trade pre-shutdown blame
Trump, Schumer meet as Dems, GOP trade pre-shutdown blame

President Donald Trump and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer met Friday afternoon in an eleventh-hour effort to avert a government shutdown, with a bitterly divided Washington locked in partisan stare-down ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • Mr. Wizard
    (2018-01-13 13:10:22Z)

    Haiti has ZERO POWER to even summon a snail. I mean really! is their actually one building standing that they can meet in? The Haitians need to read the Bell Curve! It's time to wake the FK UP! The world knows Trump's comments are correct and factual!!

    REPLY

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.