Haitian President Michel Martelly, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, spoke at Brooklyn College Wednesday night drawing a crowd of supporters and protesters.
The protesters were primarily upset about fees placed on money sent to the country and on incoming international phone calls.
Some of the signs carried by protesters read:
- "Solidarity yes, occupation no"
- "Clinton shame on you"
- "Miki where is my phone?"
U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White told Patch, "The president is using the extra [money] to fund education for all, so it's a good thing."
Allen Kavanagh, a Haitian American accompanying the ambassdor said, "I was surprised to see this protest, he's using the money to finance education, but this is a very small minority of Haitians."
Reginald Belon, a Haitian American from Flatbush and political science major at Queens College whose parents were born in Haiti, was disappointed at not being able to get in.
"I came to get inside to see him speak but I didn't know you need to have a ticket."
But Belon was more disturbed by the attitude displayed by some of those who had gathered.
"When was the last time a Haitian President spoke in New York? Haitians are crazy. I support him 100 percent. He will go down as one of the best presidents Haiti has ever had. He's building roads, he's building houses. On his Facebook page he shows you all he's doing."
"Everybody has haters, these are his," Belon said.