Brazil’s Lula Passes the Hat for Haiti

    Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took advantage of the Rio Group summit to call on the international community once again to help the people of Haiti. “This is a grave crisis that tests our regional solidarity,” he declared.

    Lula went on to summon the 19 members of the Rio Group to join him in a worldwide compaign to fight hunger and misery.


    Pointing out that peace and development were the best ways to do that, Lula declared: “Diplomacy and dialogue are valuable instruments that should be used for promoting peace and sustainable development.”


    Brazil’s president called the Rio Group an important tool that could be used by member states to build a stronger, more democratic region.


    The Rio Group was created in 1986 in Rio de Janeiro to promote economic and social development and consolidate democracy among member states.


    Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela are members of the Rio Group.


    Last month, the Brazilian government sent a fifth shipment of humanitarian aid to Haiti. This one contained 14 tons of food and followed a fourth shipment on October 6, which also consisted of 14 tons of food.


    The aid is in response to the destruction caused by recent hurricanes which killed thousands of people and destroyed many homes in Haiti.


    The neighboring islands of Jamaica and Granada were also hard hit by the storms and will be receiving some 756 kilos each of medical supplies.


    Aristide


    Brazil will send an envoy to South Africa to meet with former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in an effort to help stabilize Haiti.


    The Brazilian envoy will brief Mr. Aristide on Latin American efforts to reconcile Haiti’s rival factions. The move was announced at the conclusion of a two-day summit in Rio de Janeiro, where Latin American and Caribbean leaders vowed to work together to end political instability in Haiti.


    Since late September, at least 75 people have been killed in violence in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, between supporters and opponents of Mr. Aristide. The ousted president has been in exile in South Africa since February, when he fled a bloody revolt in Haiti.


    Meanwhile, the Organization of American States says it has reached an agreement with the United Nations on cooperating on organizing and monitoring elections in Haiti next year.

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