Bill Clinton touts support for Haiti

Sept. 30, 2009 at 7:37 AM
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CORAL GABLES, Fla., Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton says the impoverished nation of Haiti is getting more support from its Latin American neighbors.

Speaking Tuesday at The Americas Conference in Coral Gables, Fla., Clinton, the United Nations' new special envoy to Haiti, told attendees with the many problems facing Haiti, its backing by neighbors is crucial, The Miami Herald reported.

"There has never been a time ... that Latin America has supported us better,'' Clinton said. "This is the best chance they've ever had to escape the chains of the past.''

The Herald said that while giving what he called a progress report on Haiti, Clinton called for non-governmental organizations to better coordinate their activities and touted a recycling project that uses briquettes made from garbage collected while cleaning streets as an alternative to charcoal, which needs to be conserved.

The former president also reportedly urged more tourism to Haiti, saying if the Caribbean nation could lure as many as 4 million visitors, "it would create huge numbers of jobs."

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