Haiti’s President, Opposition Leaders Congratulate Biden on US Election Win

Haitian President Jovenel Moise congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory Sunday.    “I extend my congratulations to President-elect @JoeBiden, and Vice-President-elect @KamalaHarris. The USA is an important ally for Haiti, and I look forward to continued cooperation with this friend,” he tweeted.Je présente toutes mes félicitations au Président élu @JoeBiden, ainsi qu’à la Vice- Présidente élue @KamalaHarris. Les USA constituent un partenaire de premier plan pour Haïti qui souhaite poursuivre ses relations de coopération avec ce pays ami.— Président Jovenel Moïse (@moisejovenel) November 8, 2020Bilateral relations between the two countries have remained cordial during President Donald Trump’s administration.  President Moise joined Caribbean leaders at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, in March of 2019 to discuss trade and investment. The meeting was hailed by the Caribbean participants as extremely positive with Trump promising them renewed U.S. engagement in the region.   In Port-au-Prince Monday, opposition leader Louis Gerald Gilles of the Nou La party told VOA he thinks a Biden administration will bring positive changes to the bilateral relationship.    “I think Joe Biden’s victory is a breath of fresh air in terms of our relationship with the United States. We have to recognize that Trumpism – Donald Trump’s policy – was centered around his personality – it was ‘I am the lone ruler.’ But the Democrats adhere more to institutions and traditions, human rights, the constitution, respect for democratic principles – it’s a huge departure from a person who acts like a sheriff. The fact that he (Trump) lost the election shows that the world is against this type of autocratic government,” Gilles said.  But Wilson Joseph, leader of the youth opposition party Mouvman Jenes pou Refonde Ayiti (MJRA), says he doesn’t think Biden’s election victory will change much.     “Haiti’s problems have not changed. Remember, Obama was U.S. president not that long ago and after January 12 (2010, the year of the devastating earthquake) what changed? Not much, really. Joe Biden was his vice president. So what is there to celebrate? We (Haitians) have to stop relying on the United States, we have to learn to govern ourselves and look after our own interests,” he said.  Anti-corruption activist Ricardo Fleuridor of the PetroChallenger movement thinks a Biden administration will bring positive changes not only for Haiti but the world.    “Haitians cannot say we don’t need the United States when you consider how great America’s influence is throughout the world. But Haitians must also do their part to get the country back on track and work hand in hand with this important ally to make that happen,” he told VOA.   In early October, Biden made a campaign stop in the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami, Florida, where he courted the Haitian American vote and promised to take action on an immigration issue high on their list of priorities, the Temporary Protected Status program. More than 55,000 Haitians are currently enrolled in the program, which allows them to live and work legally in the United States, according to the National Immigration Forum. President Trump has said he intends to end TPS in September 2021. 



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