Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
Pascal's Feed
Mar 21, 2011

Haiti run-off was mostly calm, counting underway

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haitians voted on Sunday to elect a president for their earthquake-scarred country, choosing between a singer and a former first lady in a run-off called generally peaceful by officials and observers.

After polls closed in the Caribbean state, one of the world’s poorest, election officers began counting votes, in many cases by lamplight as much of the capital Port-au-Prince, and much of the whole nation, has no electricity.

Mar 20, 2011

Voting starts slowly in Haiti presidential run-off

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Voting in Haiti’s presidential run-off started slowly in some places on Sunday, with foreign donors hoping the poll would produce the stability needed to rebuild the earthquake-crippled nation.

In the wrecked capital Port-au-Prince, several polling stations were unable to open on time because materials such as ink to mark voters’ fingers and labels to mark the urns had not arrived, witnesses said. Arguments also broke out over which officials and party representatives should be there.

Mar 20, 2011

Stability at stake in close Haiti run-off vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haitians vote in a presidential run-off on Sunday that international donors hope can cement in place the stability needed to rebuild the crippled nation after last year’s huge earthquake.

The election presents Haiti’s 4.7 million voters with a choice between a political newcomer, energetic entertainer and singer Michel Martelly, 50, and former first lady Mirlande Manigat, 70, a law professor and opposition matriarch.

Mar 19, 2011

Aristide not on Haiti ballot but on voters’ minds

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – It looked just like a revved-up final election campaign rally, with crowds of fanatical supporters mobbing their candidate, chanting his praises and waving his portrait and Haitian flags.

But the object of their adulation, Haiti’s former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is not on the ballot for Sunday’s two-horse run-off to elect a leader for one of the world’s poorest states, struggling to recover from a 2010 earthquake.

Mar 18, 2011

Aristide back in Haiti before presidential vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti on Friday, ending seven years of exile in South Africa despite U.S. objections and just two days before a crucial presidential election.

Supporters whooped and cheered at Port-au-Prince airport as a smiling, clearly delighted Aristide, accompanied by his family and U.S. actor and black rights activist Danny Glover, emerged from the charter plane that brought him home.

Mar 18, 2011

Haiti’s Aristide heads home before runoff vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Exiled former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide headed back to his country on Friday after ignoring U.S. opposition to a homecoming some fear could disrupt Haiti’s presidential election runoff on Sunday.

Aristide, 57, who lived in South Africa after his 2004 ouster that he says Washington helped engineer, was flying home to Port-au-Prince in a charter plane with his family and was expected to arrive by noon (1 p.m. EDT) on Friday.

Mar 17, 2011

Aristide’s expected return looms over Haiti election

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haitian voters will choose on Sunday between a brash entertainer and a scholarly law professor for the unenviable job of trying to lead reconstruction of one of the world’s poorest and most battered countries.

But even before it takes place, the presidential run-off vote is being overshadowed by the expected return from exile of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, whose 2004 ouster in an armed rebellion harks back to a turbulent past many Haitians would like to leave behind.

Mar 16, 2011

Singer Martelly woos Haiti voters with popular touch

THOMONDE, Haiti, March 16 (Reuters) – Like the seasoned
entertainer that he is, Haitian carnival music star and
presidential contender Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly is
working the crowd.

Gesticulating with one hand, cracking jokes in Creole, the
50-year-old, shaven-headed singer draws cheers and hoots of
laughter from his audience, showing the powerful communication
skills and popular touch he hopes will propel him into his
country’s top job in a run-off vote on Sunday.

Mar 11, 2011

No Doomsday seen in recent quakes, just “bad luck”

MIAMI (Reuters) – Haiti, Chile, New Zealand, and now Japan.

Powerful killer earthquakes have rocked one corner of the globe to another in just over a year but scientists warn against looking for a Doomsday scenario in this recurring ripple of big earthshaking natural disasters.

“There’s nothing going on out of the ordinary,” Dr. Daniel McNamara, a research seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told Reuters.

Feb 15, 2011

U.S. aims Latam trade accords to Congress by mid-year

MIAMI (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s administration aims to send stalled free trade pacts with Colombia and Panama to Congress by the middle of this year after fresh analysis of the situation in both countries, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

The administration is coming under increasing pressure from lawmakers, especially leading Republicans, and from U.S. farm and business groups to lay out a fast timetable for winning congressional approval of the free trade agreements (FTAs)with the two Latin American states.

    • About Pascal

      "I am based in Miami, heading the editorial reporting team covering the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. This includes Cuba and Haiti and we are also in charge of covering the annual Atlantic hurricane season and Space missions from Cape Canaveral. Previously, I was Chief Correspondent for West and Central Africa, and chief correspondent, Venezuela, following earlier postings in Cuba, Brazil, southern Africa, Portugal and Spain."
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