Barack Obama Election, What Does it Mean to Haiti?

United States President Barack Obama's recent re-election has been welcomed by the Haitian government. President Michel Martelly congratulated Obama, who defeated Republican Mitt Romney. Martelly wished Obama the best of luck in running the United States for the second term. He also expressed hope that the two countries would continue their strong ties and that bilateral cooperation would strengthen even more.


Haiti is seen as one of the Caribbean nations that were probably relieved by Obama's victory. However, Interior Minister Rosnard Saint-Cyr said before the U.S. election that whoever wins the race does not really matter because the U.S. policy towards Haiti will not change. This was somehow opposed by some critics who believe that an Obama victory would be better for Haiti than a Romney leadership.

They said that a Democratic leader is more willing to provide assistance to poor people in Haiti, while a Republican will likely approach relevant issues in a stricter and hard-line way. Democratic supporters, they added, are more sympathetic and ready to help poor countries such as Haiti than Republican ones. Moreover, Obama's government is expected to push for liberal policies compared to Republican policies that jeopardize women's rights and immigration system.

The U.S. was in the forefront of helping Haiti during its darkest times. In 2010, Obama launched one of the U.S.'s largest relief operations when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the Caribbean nation. However, the assistance was not really maximized. U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton earlier aired concerns over the fact that millions of dollars of foreign assistance still could not improve the lives of poor people in Haiti and other parts of the world.

This is the reason, she said, why the U.S. government established a stronger relationship with Haiti. Instead of simply working in Haiti, Washington has decided to partner with Port-au-Prince, Clinton said.

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