Secretary General praises Haiti on bicentennial of its independance

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), César Gaviria, congratulated the people and government of Haiti on the occasion of that country’s bicentennial celebration, on January 1, 2004. “More than the independence of one country, Haiti’s bicentennial marks the triumph of freedom over slavery and colonialism,” Gaviria said.  The Secretary General also noted that Haiti, the world’s first sovereign black republic, greatly assisted other nations of the Hemisphere in their struggles to gain independence:  “Haiti was both an example to the peoples of the Hemisphere and a direct supporter of independence movements throughout the region.”Gaviria closed by expressing the hope that on this day of celebration of the country’s past, “the people of Haiti look forward to a future marked by the economic prosperity and the democratic rule that they so richly deserve.”