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Row over cruise ships visiting Haiti

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Row over cruise ships visiting Haiti


One of the controversies to emerge in Haiti has been the quick resumption of visits by international cruise ships.

Critics say it is morally wrong for people to relax and have fun, while there is so much suffering elsewhere on the island.

But local people say the ships are important for the local economy.

One man said: “How come I want the boat to stop coming? Without the boat we can’t even live.”

The cruise company that stops at the beach resort of Labadee rejects accusations of bad taste, and says it is delivering crucial humanitarian aid on every call.

David Southby, the site manager at Labadee for Royal Caribbean, said: “I think the initial criticism that we received in the press has tailed away a little bit now. And I think that people have come to realise that apart from anything else, if we’d stopped bringing the ships here, we would have basically abandoned the people in their hour of need.”

The company would not let reporters interview any passengers, but there have been reports of some people deciding not to disembark in Haiti.

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