Above: Haiti PM Laurent Lamothe and IOC President Jacques Rogge (Photo: OPM Haiti)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe is back in Haiti following a week-long trip to the United States and the United Kingdom and high-level talks with a number of foreign leaders.
The trip was headlined by meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington and with the United Kingdom’s Prince Charles and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in London.
“England gives $120 million to Haiti in terms of aid,” Lamothe said. “We asked that these funds be challenged directly to the Haitian government so that we can use them to invest in budgetary support for the people.”
His London trip included a meeting with FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter. (Haiti’s football team has been on the rise in FIFA’s world rankings, recently overtaking Jamaica as the top-ranked national team in the Caribbean.)
Lamothe, who offered support to Haiti’s Olympians, said the country opened a “Maison d’Haiti” in London, a space that will “highlight and promote Haitian culture,” according to the PM.
The PM’s London visit was also marked by a meeting with International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, who signed a pre-memorandum of understanding with Haiti on the development of sports infrastructure in Haiti.
“I felt a sense of patriotism and pride while supporting our youth who are participating in these games.” he said. “I have given them all my support.”
Haiti’s team is led by triple jumper Samyr Laine, who is currently writing a Haiti Olympic Diary for Caribbean Journal.
Lamothe’s UK trip additionally featured talks with the British private sector, the Haitian community in Britain, and Lord Griffiths.
The PM was joined by a Haitian delegation including Senate President Simon Desras Dieuseul and Economy and Finance minister Marie Carmelle Jean Marie.
In a statement, Lamothe said he would continue to work to project a different image for Haiti abroad.