In response to criticism from some Latin American leaders regarding the thousands of United States troops that have been sent to Haiti following the devastating earthquake on Jan. 12, the Secretary of State has dismissed the verbal attacks and stressed that the soldiers are performing humanitarian missions.
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez joined forces with leaders from Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba in accusing the U.S. of using the earthquake in Haiti as a pretext to occupy the country.
"There is not a shortage of guns there … doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals, that’s what the U.S. should send," said Chavez, who also promised to provide oil for electricity generation and transport purposes.
In Washington, Clinton stated that the more than 15,400 troops sent to Haiti acted to deliver the much needed humanitarian aid. "I deeply resent those who attack our country, the generosity of our people and the leadership of our president in trying to respond to historically disastrous conditions after the earthquake," she stressed.
Criticism of the U.S. role in Haiti has also come from Italy’s top disaster expert who pointed to a lack of organization and the reliance on soldiers with no training in humanitarian operations, although the Italian government has distanced itself from these remarks, according to Reuters.