Originally: U.S. Envoy Says Haiti Must Transform Itself

Published: April 29, 2004

ORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, April 28 – The American ambassador to Haiti, James B. Foley, said in a speech on Tuesday that Haiti must transform itself from a destitute, feudal state torn apart by strife into a modern nation or face deeper ruin.

“Haiti doesn’t really have the choice of missing this new last chance,” Mr. Foley said in his first public address since Jean-Bertrand Aristide was pushed from power during an armed rebellion.

Mr. Foley accused Mr. Aristide’s government of corruption and violence but also criticized Haiti’s elite, urging them to give up the predatory business practices that have left much of the country impoverished.

Mr. Foley outlined the United States’ policy toward Haiti and its new interim government and pledged American aid for the rebuilding effort.

“This government may count on the support of the United States,” Mr. Foley said of the appointed interim government, adding that Washington would announce “considerable aid to the country” in June. He offered no specifics.