The proximity of Haiti to U.S. shores makes the island-nation seem strategically important to some in the United States. But perhaps the United States taught islands in the region that they cannot depend upon the U.S. for great relations. The United States has been generous with relief towards Haiti in the past but has applied various restrictions unexpectedly and unevenly to other island-countries throughout the previous half century.

Haiti would love to feel safe depending upon the United States for economic growth and development. Close proximity means U.S. imports and exports can become increasingly important to Haiti. And the United States could easily become credible in Haiti - even the dominant economic and security relationship - by overcoming the opposite perception resulting from less friendly relations with other islands in the region. The Haitian community in the United States has joyous hopes. But the United States has so far seemed too insecure for this possibility. And Haiti understandably strives for successful relations with all countries at the United Nations, instead of only with the geographically closest ones, as a result.

Haitians believe they need superb international relations after past weather events set them back significantly. Haiti benefited from foreign aid but seeks a continuously successful growing economy with investment and trade from everywhere. Therefore, the highly creative nation is striving for great friendships at the United Nations, where Haiti has been exceedingly well represented. Perhaps the United States will respond with increasing generosity towards Haiti because its morally and ethically the right thing to do. Perhaps the U.S. will pursue closer relations with all islands in the region. (There has been great progress announced recently in this regard.)

The predominant language is Haitian Creole. This writer isn't sure whether the words "peace" and "love" appear with similar frequency in English as in Creole. Perhaps the currently increasing use of those words in popular culture can benefit Haiti-U.S. relations (following the already principled example currently being set by Haitian leaders).

Jean Victor Geneus

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of the Republic of Haiti

The Haitian people are extraordinary. They're advanced, artistically creative, culturally exceptional and peace-loving in the United States. The Haitian community is more than just successfully integrating there. They're an important constituency and some of the most respected members of society.