TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduran Defense Minister Marlon Pascua shows the weapons authorities seized from 13 alleged narco-traffickers who were arrested by the Navy aboard a vessel in the Caribbean Sea last week. Naval officials also confiscated US$658,000 during the bust. (Honduran Ministry of Defense/AFP)
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Haitian President René Préval has requested to decrease the international food aid arriving at his impoverished nation so the country’s economy can improve by producing its own food by employing workers. Préval said he would make a formal request to U.S. President Barack Obama when he meets with him in the White House on March 10. Préval also said he’s placed a high priority on preparing the residents of his battered nation for the hurricane season that begins in June and to return kids to school. When Préval was asked during a press conference in front of the damaged presidential palace what he planned to say to Obama, he replied: “First of all, thank you, for the aid that was spontaneously given by all the international community and by the United States in particular.” But Préval also said he would tell Obama the “first phase of the emergency is over,” and that the amount of aid being sent to his country must decrease. “If food and water continues to be sent from abroad, that will undermine Haitian national production and Haitian trade,” Préval said. “Now we have to move more and more toward creating jobs so people are paid, and so they themselves step in to help Haiti.” The earthquake on Jan. 12 killed more than 220,000 and left about 1.3 million homeless, according to the Haitian government’s latest figures. [Agence France-Presse (Haiti), 03/08/2010; The Associated Press (Haiti), 03/08/2010]
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