Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jean-Bertrand Aristide says hunger Haiti’s biggest problem

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide recently emerged from months of seclusion for a second straight day and took several swipes at the current government. Speaking to a small group of mostly Haitian reporters and The Associated Press at his home in the capital May 9, Aristide covered topics ranging from his shock at seeing the devastation caused by the 2010 earthquake to his political party’s strength as the country heads to legislative and local elections.

He also thanked the thousands of supporters who cheered his motorcade a day earlier during a rare outing to answer a judge’s questions in a closed-door testimony in the case of a slain journalist. The crowds comprised one of the biggest demonstrations of its kind in years despite a police ban on all protests.
Aristide then took a few jabs at President Michel Martelly, saying the government has not done enough to address hunger and he referred to the administration’s tax on international calls and money transfers to fund an education program as a “problem.”

“With all the respect that I have for the authorities in place, they are not able to solve the hunger problem by themselves,” Aristide said in the office of his residence, calling hunger one of Haiti’s “biggest problems.’’

`People know that when a dog is hungry it’s doesn’t play,” Aristide said, quoting a Haitian proverb that roughly means hungry people can be unpredictable and even dangerous.

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