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‘Louisiana Summit’ baffles some, could add to Haiti confusion, diaspora leaders say

BATON ROUGE, LA — Organizers of an event dubbed Haiti Unity Summit say they brought together nine Haiti-based civil society groups and, in the process, nominated their own transitional Haitian government last weekend. But to many diaspora leaders and Haiti experts, the event’s outcome and the way it was organized are the type of actions likely to impede progress in solving Haiti’s problems – long term and immediate. 

“I am not sure what was the point of this meeting, especially that it seems to be engineered by an American military figure,” said Robert Fatton, a University of Virginia political science professor.

Fatton was referring to Russel Honore, a retired U.S. Army general who helped lead the Jan. 13-17 meeting. Participants also nominated economist Fritz Alphonse Jean as interim president, which further surprised many engaged Haitian-American leaders.

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