- Posted May 14, 2011 by
Port au Prince, Haiti
Thousands gather in streets to welcome Martelly
- nhieatt, CNN iReport producer
Thousands gathered in front of the crumbled palace this morning to watch the inauguration of Michael "Sweet Mickey" Martelly. As seen in the last video, mobs of people ran after the favored new president as his car arrived screaming and yelling, "Tet Kale!".
For hours they stood waiting for the historic moment, packed in like sardines under the hot Haitian sun. Trash, empty bottles and Styrofoam containers littered the area. Young and old crowd.ed around, eager for a glimpse of the president.
The people were desperate for water- shoving and yelling and grabbing when policemen handed out water sachets periodically through the day.
Umbrellas and carefully decorated sheets with sayings like "Never forget the people" and "A president with character and courage" were proudly displayed.
Kites with Sweet Mickey's face flew high overhead; hundreds of flyers were thrown in the air like graduation caps.
Tap taps decorated with publicity material blared out his music, as parades and marching bands traveled up and down the street.
The backdrop of the crumbled palace served as a symbolic reminder of where the country has come from, a country whose hopes now ride on the coatails of a new leader.
He left with parting words that elicited an eruption from his adoring fans:
"This is a new Haiti, and we are open for business."