By Javier Manjarres
January 12th, 2013 marked the three year anniversary of the massive 7.0 earthquake that struck the Caribbean island of Haiti. While there have been many politicians who have praised the island’s ongoing reconstruction efforts since that fateful day, no one has been more active with Haiti’s recovery efforts than one of the U.S. Congress’ most energetic and colorful members, South Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.
In a recent op-ed penned by the congresswoman, Wilson said that she is “proud” to call the Haitian-American community her “friends, constituents and yes my family.”
“I use the term “we” because the Haitian people are my family. Miami-Dade County, parts of which I am fortunate to represent in Congress is home to the largest Haitian-American population in the United States, and I am proud to call these individual my friends, my constituents, and yes my family.” – Congresswoman Frederica Wilson - NBC
Rep. Wilson, whose congressional district consists of a large number of Haitian immigrants, has been one of the most outspoken supporters of relief efforts for the impoverished country since the earthquake. Wilson was interviewed by the Miami Herald’s Editorial Board last year and was asked thoughts regarding the ongoing reconstruction efforts in Haiti in the wake of earthquake that killed an estimated 316,000 people and injured countless others.
Wilson’s reply to the question posed to her about the reconstruction efforts raised some eyebrows but failed to get much scrutiny since, as she stated that the earthquake “was a blessing” and then lamented the unavoidable red tape hampering relief efforts, woeful conditions and ongoing corruption on the island.
I’ve been to Haiti prior to the earthquake, and I would consider the earthquake even it might sound strange, but the earthquake was a blessing, it eventually will be.-Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
The congresswoman added that the people inhabiting the numerous tents that have been erected as a result of the earthquake were “not necessarily people who are affected by the earthquake,” and were actually people who “moved into the tents after the earthquake because they can get free water, and food and everything.”
They moved from the countryside to the city, thousands and thousands moved because that was the place to be because that’s where you got the international aid, that’s where you got the international healthcare.” - Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
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