Frictions Between Nations Rise Over Struggle of Getting Aid to Haiti - Mary Beth Sheridan and Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post.
Food and water trickled to the stricken people of Haiti on Saturday, as a global aid operation struggled with frictions and confusion over who was in charge to bring relief to this crumbled, earthquake-ravaged city. Four days after the 7.0-magnitude quake brought much of Port-au-Prince down on its residents Tuesday, a few signs of national survival flickered, even as some Haitians began an exodus out of the devastated capital and into the countryside. But there were growing tensions over which country's planes were allowed to land here first, with each nation insisting its aid flight was a priority, according to an official involved in the relief operation. France, Brazil and Italy were said to be upset, and the Red Cross said one of its planes was diverted to Santo Domingo, the capital of neighboring Dominican Republic. The French government became so annoyed when a plane with an emergency field hospital was turned back Friday that foreign minister Bernard Kouchner lodged a protest with the State Department, according to the French ambassador to Haiti, Didier Le Bret. Le Bret said that the Port-au-Prince airport has become "not an airport for the international community. It is an annex of Washington."