Haiti's president visits South Florida
While Martelly addressed Haitian-American community leaders and business owners at a North Miami Beach library, demonstrators gathered at the United Nations base in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, to ask the U.N. to take responsibility for bringing cholera into the country after the earthquake.
Many people attribute cholera's introduction in October 2010 to a unit of U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal, where the intestinal disease is endemic.
Martelly said he would like the U.N. to take responsibility, though he was more interested in increasing funding to fight cholera than assigning blame.
Magaly Prezeau, CEO and president of a social service agency, and other community leaders who met with Martelly said his administration's efforts have been transparent and inclusive of Haitians living abroad, including a pledge for a constitutional amendment that would allow them to vote in the country's elections.
Martelly also was right to focus on Haiti's tourism, Prezeau said.
"In all the other Caribbean countries, tourism is the priority," she said. "I think every country has its challenges and diseases, and every country finds its way to address them. Why is ours sensationalized more than every other tourism country? It's because they have a better PR system and maybe they don't have other people bringing them down as much as Haiti does."