PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — French President Nicolas Sarkozy has landed in Haiti for the first visit ever by a French president to the former colony.
Sarkozy was greeted Wednesday by Haitian President Rene Preval as a brass band played. He is to tour the earthquake ravaged country and a French field hospital.
Some Haitians are welcoming France’s new interest in their nation as a counterbalance to the United States, which has sent troops there three times in the past 16 years. But Sarkozy’s visit, the first ever by a French president to what was its richest colony, is also reviving bitter memories of the crippling costs of Haiti’s 1804 independence.