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The United States delayed the bulk of its $1 billion pledge of reconstruction money until 2011. So far, it has sent $120 million to a reconstruction fund and provided about $200 million in debt relief.


The guys hanging in front of Aliodor’s house still call him Ti-Lunet, but his glasses are long gone. His hair has receded.

The afternoons are still baking hot, and tire fires from a daily protest burn black, acrid smoke nearby. Aliodor has criticism for everyone. He asks me to deliver a message to my country:

“I blame this on the United States, because the United States is the world power,” he says. “Why would you accept for us to be living in poverty?”

If Dessalines were alive today, Aliodor says, he would lead the people in a revolution against the government, foreign soldiers and other foreigners who aren’t helping. He hopes the spirits of the ancestors will come back and teach Haitians to be independent again.

“God is the only one we have hope in,” he adds.

Aliodor pulls out a photo album from under the bed and flips through pictures taken before the quake. There is Manette, in a nursing uniform. And there he is, fit and muscular, a gold cross hanging from his neck and nearly brushing the guitar in his confident hands.

He looks down at his stringy arms. They look like someone else’s.

Afternoon shadows come upon the tens of thousands of tents in the central plaza. Soon the people will be shrouded in darkness, just as they were on that night almost a year ago.

Beside them, the national palace lies cracked upon the lawn. There’s a gaping hole in the middle.