As the world mourns for Haiti US evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson has described the earthquake as "a blessing in disguise" and claimed the country has been "cursed" because of what he called a "pact with the devil" in its history.
His spokesman said the comments were based on Voodoo rituals carried out before a slave rebellion against French colonists in 1791.
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," Robertson said during a broadcast.
"They (Haitians) were under the heel of the French ... and they got together and swore a pact to the devil.
"They said 'We will serve you' ... and so, the devil said 'Okay, it's a deal' and kicked the French out."
But spokesman Chris Roslan insisted that Robertson never stated that Tuesday's earthquake was God's wrath.
He said Robertson's Operation Blessing group was sending millions of dollars in medication and relief workers to the impoverished island nation.
Robertson has angered opponents many times before with comments on current events and criticism of other faiths.
He once declared that American agents should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip.
Video: Earthquake was 'blessing in disguise'