Haiti’s Martelly Heads to Chile

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - January 22, 2013

Above: Haiti President Michel Martelly (Photo: OP Haiti)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti President Michel Martelly has departed for Chile to attend the summit between CELAC and the European Union.

Martelly will first stop in Miami for a “complete medical check,” according to a statement from the National Palace.

“We will continue to defend the interests of Haiti,” Martelly said.

CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, was formed in in 2010, aiming to promote integration of the Latin American and Caribbean region. It has been viewed by some as a competitor to the Organization of American States (Cuba is not a member of that regional body, although it is a member of CELAC).

This year’s summit comes just about a year after a similar summit between CARICOM and the government of Chile.

CELAC is currently chaired by Chile President Sebastián Piñera.

Haiti’s President said he would place an emphasis in talks on the Economic Partnership Agreement between CARICOM and the European Union.

Martelly is currently the President of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government. Haiti assumed the CARICOM Chairmanship for the first time Jan. 1.

Lat week, Mariano Fernandez, the head of the UN’s MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission in Haiti, urged Haiti to hold legislative elections “as soon as possible.” The elections have been delayed for over a year.

Addressing that issue, Martelly said “action is well underway,” toward the complete formation of a Permanent Electoral Council, a necessary prerequisite to hold elections.

He said a bicameral commission of Parliament would soon work to achieve the designation of three representatives of the legislature to that Council.

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