February 3rd, 2010
05:56 PM ET

Bill Clinton: Why is Haiti so special to me?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/03/bill.clinton.jpg width=292 height=320]

President Bill Clinton

Hillary and I went to Haiti for the first time in December 1975. A banker friend of ours had some business down there. He had built up a lot of frequent-flyer miles and called and said he was giving us a delayed honeymoon. We were married in October, and we went down there in December. Both of us just kind of fell in love with the country, and I have kept up with it ever since.

Why is Haiti so special to me? Haiti is completely unique in our hemisphere because of its history and culture. There are other French Caribbean islands, but none of them have Haiti's particular Creole influence. None of them feature Haiti's distinctive mix of West African religious and cultural influences, the most visible of which is the persistence of the voodoo faith, which is practiced alongside Christianity. Unfortunately, ever since the first slave revolt by Haitians in 1791, the country has been beset by abuses caused from within and without. It has never been able to fulfill its potential as a nation.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Haiti Earthquake
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Bill Clinton can find hope for a better future even with devastation around him and has the specifics on how to accomplish the goals he states. He is one of the most comforting people when things go bad and one of the smartest Presidents we have ever had. His outlook on Haiti is intriguing and I hope things will happen for Haiti like he envisions.

    February 3, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  2. Nicole Elkington

    .. and this is why I believe Bill Clinton is one of the best Presidents. Ever.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  3. Isabel Siaba

    Great story of former President Clinton!

    Haiti has always lived an earthquake every day. Haitians are thus suffered and hardened by decades of political and natural disasters.

    Now more than ever, they need help!

    February 3, 2010 at 7:17 pm |