The EPI Haiti Action Page ((To go to the main EPI/CALC Haiti Actions page, click: HERE.)
From: Pierre Labossiere
Haiti - Disinformation and News You Do not See or HearDear Friends,
During this period of intensified disinformation about Haiti, please visit the website of Agence Haitienne de Presse www.ahphaiti.org for daily reporting of events.
Much of the disinformation about Haiti focuses on the issues of "human rights" and "freedom of expression". There has been however, a deafening silence from Haiti-focused human rights "advocates" in instances of
victimization of people and independent media that give a different picture than what is being portrayed in the mainstream press.
Radio Solidarite http://www.haitiwebs.com/radiosolidarite/ [offers] the latest example of this blatant double-standard (See the story below). Please express support for Radio Solidarite. The principles of human rights must be the same for all.
Agence Haitienne de Presse (AHP) News - December 15, 2003 - English
Radio Solidarité resumes broadcasting after having found it necessary to close for one day
Port-au-Prince, December 15, 2003-(AHP)- Radio Solidarité resumed broadcasting after having been forced to stop working for one day following threats of arson attacks against the station's headquarters.
The threats, made both by telephone and during demonstrations by the opposition, began after Radio Solidarité broadcast information concerning the dispersal of a demonstration Thursday near the National Palace.
Several media outlets had reported that the police fired directly at the crowd of demonstrators. However the Radio Solidarité reporters at the scene reported that they saw nothing to substantiate those reports and that what
they observed instead was that the police had fired into the air in to disperse the demonstrators who wished to break through the restricted security area with the objective of occupying the National Palace.
The Radio Solidarité reporters wondered why, if the police had indeed been firing directly at thousands of demonstrators, there were no deaths or injuries reported as a result.
Instead, however, it was Radio Solidarité that was accused of providing disinformation, due to the fact that its reports differed from the others.
For the past several months, as a result of the political confusion prevailing in Haiti, the public is receiving information broadcast with a great many reservations. And the credibility of the press has never been so
severely tested. Many broadcast reports have subsequently proven to be false.
The risk of disinformation arises also from the fact that some members of the media choose to gather information by telephone from anonymous listeners to the station's broadcasts. As one Haitian remarked, these stories are aired "so long as these listeners say what certain people wish to broadcast -- and pity the poor listener who blindly accepts what she hears".
- Last month, journalists based in Gonaïves reported that a baby had been burned beyond recognition in a fire that broke out during a police operation. The following day it was revealed that this infant had never existed and that the presumed mother had had an abortion two weeks earlier.
- Two weeks ago, the media broadcast reports that severed heads had been discovered in several neighborhoods of the city. In reality, one head was found, that of a bandit killed by the residents of Delmas. But the head had been moved around to several different locations as an expression of satisfaction at the bandits demise before the police intervened.
- Also two weeks ago, the media affirmed that the leader of the Northern Opposition Front, Jean-Robert Lalanne, suffered gunshot wounds during an attack perpetrated by supporters of the government. Quoting opposition officials, these media organizations stated that the attackers wore t-shirts displaying a picture of President Aristide. One day later, Jean Robert Lalanne acknowledged that he had not been injured by gunshots and that he could not accuse government supporters of responsibility for his injuries, which were inflicted with a knife. In any case, great confusion continues to surround the circumstances of the injury.
- Last week, much of the press reported that the Director General of the Ministry of the Interior, Bell Angelot, had gone into exile as had two populist organization leaders, Paul Raymond and René Civil. In truth, these three individuals were working as usual in Port-au-Prince.
- Some of the media also reported Friday that a student was killed the day of the demonstration by the Group of 184. However until now it has been impossible to learn the identify of the student or where he was killed.
- During a demonstration by the opposition last Saturday led by Théodore Beaubrun, known as Lòlò, some reporters stated that they had been forced to go into hiding due to the presence of members of populist organizations armed with machetes and axes who wished to kill them. However reporters from Radio Solidarité, as well as other media who were also at the scene of the demonstrations, said that nothing like that had happened and that the story was pure fabrication. There have been countless similar cases in recent weeks.
- On the same Friday, some radio stations reported that a weapons warehouse allegedly belonging to the police had been looted in Delmas 2. According to local residents, no such incident took place in the neighborhood. Some members of the Haitian National Police also stated that the security forces had no reports of lost weapons.
- At daybreak this Monday, several media organizations reported that there were anti-government demonstrations from Pétion-Ville all the way to Canapé-Vert. In reality all that was evident were several flaming tires in the road that were quickly removed by the police.
AHP December 15, 2003 3:00 PM
Port-au-Prince, December 16, 2003 - Agence Haitienne de Presse (AHP)
Tens of thousands of Fanmi Lavalas supporters demonstrate in support of the Constitution and President Aristide's term in office
Port-au-Prince, December 16, 2003-(AHP)- Several tens of thousands of members and supporters of Fanmi Lavalas demonstrated Tuesday in and around the Champ-de-Mars in Port-au-Prince in support of the Haitian Constitution and for respect for the constitutionally-specified length of President Aristide's term in office.
The demonstration took place at the close of the 2nd National Conference of the Fanmi Lavalas that opened Sunday at the Hotel Karibe.
The demonstration also marked the 13th anniversary of the first election of Father Jean Bertrand Aristide on December 16, 1990 as President of Haiti.
Since the morning, thousands of people have gathered near the National Palace, while thousands more were dispersed throughout the neighboring areas.
"We are here to say the President Aristide is not alone. We are present today just as we were on December 16, 1990 and November 26 2000" (the second time President Aristide was elected), they said, adding "we can not betray our blood because our blood is the blood of President Aristide".
Many other demonstrators said they are ready to give their lives to ensure respect for the decisions made through the popular vote.
"We will never again be forced into hiding, like after the lethal coup d'Etat of September 30, 1991 that caused more than 5,000 deaths", they shouted.
The demonstrators have accused the leaders of the Group of 184, who spearheaded demonstrations seeking the ouster of the government, of having financed the coup d'Etat of Raoul Cédras.
Toward late afternoon, more than 10,000 people who took part in the closing session of the conference converged at the Champ-de-Mars, creating a tide of human beings, together with those who were already there.
"We voted for a president for five years. He must complete his term in keeping with the Constitution", said the demonstrators in chorus, adding that all who hope to take power will have to do so through elections.
They reaffirmed their determination to see the democratic process through all the way, and called on those they labeled the forces against change to give the country a chance to celebrate the bicentennial of its independence
in peace on January 1st, 2004.
Since Thursday, supporters of Fanmi Lavalas have been holding what they call "patriotic vigils" near the Palace, in the wake of an attempt by the opposition, led by former members of the Haitian military, to occupy the seat of presidential power in order to then take over the government by force.
AHP December 16, 2003 12:45 PM
The strike call by the opposition is ignored by a majority of the public
Port-au-Prince, December 16, 2003-(AHP)- The call to strike in the Port-au-prince metropolitan area, issued for Tuesday by the new coalition of the political opposition, was not widely heeded by the public.
This political platform directed by the President of the Group of 184 and which also includes the Democratic Convergence and the Populist Star, launched the strike to seek the departure of the elected government.
Mass transportation functioned normally. Many drivers interviewed by AHP affirmed that they were not affected by the strike or had not heard about it.
The larger retail businesses in town and the private banks were closed. The small traders and public markets were open as usual.
Several small shopkeepers said they would not stand in solidarity with people who are cut off from the masses, who have never done anything for them and who are today making fallacious promises for their own benefit.
For their part, the customers at several commercial banks said they were shocked that the directors of these institutions would associate themselves with a strike without worrying about the needs of their customers.
They said that the banks are managing their customers' money. Some customers threatened to withdraw their savings from these banks in order to deposit them, they said, in public banking institutions.
As for the schools, the majority of them have been closed since Friday for Christmas vacation. However some students who needed to take exams went to school this Tuesday.
AHP December 16, 2003 12:45 PM
Some labor union leaders say they are pleased that the opposition's strike
was not successful
Port-au-Prince, December 16, 2003-(AHP)- The President of the Federation of Haitian Public Transporters, Duclos Bénisoit, minimized the impact of the strike launched Tuesday by the business community.
According to Duclos Bénisoit, this was not truly a general strike since, he remarked, the public, the small shopkeepers and the public transportation drivers went about their normal daily activities.
The union leader said this is a sector-based strike, as only the larger businesses, banks and gas stations owned by the people who called the strike were closed.
Duclos Bénisoit also deplored that after each strike by the private sector, the prices of goods increase in the shops.
For his part, labor activist Paul Loulou Chéry stated that the strike by the group of 184 does not correspond to the reality of the present situation.
According to Mr. Chéry, this strike, far from solving problems, aims at penalizing the disadvantaged masses in the country.
"Instead, the time has come for joining together in unity in order to celebrate the 200th anniversary of national independence with dignity", declared Mr. Chéry.
The head of the organization known as "Mouvement Pour Changer la Vie" (loosely translated as Movement to Change People's Lives), Louis Serge, also said that this strike goes against the interests of the disadvantaged
"In rejecting the strike, the public is clearly expressing its desire to make a clean break with government by coup d'Etat", he said.
AHP December 16, 2003 10:45 AM
From: Haiti Action Committee via Pierre Labossiere
Subject: FW: Haiti - Important Information
Date: Dec 12, 2003 1:18 PMDear Friends,
Please circulate widely this informative article about the subversion of Haiti's democracy. It appeared in the Black Commentator issue of December 4, 2003:
In the last three months Haiti has seen a spate of political assassinations of Lavalas militants, charges of government complicity in the killings by the opposition, and the corporate media's constant trumpeting of the evils of Aristide's Lavalas regime. These intrigues resulted into a media circus on November 14th with the opposition Group 184 holding an anti-Aristide demonstration in front of the national palace with a heavy contingent of international press in tow. Since the posting of this article, other events have taken place.
The revelations about the "Haiti Democracy Project" call to attention the misuse of the term 'Democracy'. Many in that crew are careerists with a great deal of experience at subverting democracy and fomenting coup d'etat. As the latest events show, the destabilization of Haiti's democracy is in full swing.
Your solidarity is greatly needed particularly in the midst of a full-scale misinformation campaign.
Haiti Action Committee (Web)
In 1893 Frederick Douglass, then envoy to Haiti, said he felt compelled to defend Haiti against the prejudices of "newspaper correspondents and six-day tourists" by pointing out that Haiti seemed capable of enduring crisis without "falling to pieces and without being hopelessly abandoned to barbarism".
Not much has changed... Laced with racism and condescension corporate media reports depict Haitians as failures at democracy and incapable of running their own country. Just as in 1990, when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was first elected, there is now a concerted campaign to destabilize, isolate and financially starve the Haitian government.
At a minimum, this intense international pressure severely limits the ability of the Haitian people and government to create progressive social and economic change.
- Excerpted from Myths About Haiti - by the Haiti Action Committee (510) 483-7481
Below are important statements from Congressional Representatives Edolphus Towns and Maxine Waters in support of the people of Haiti. They add much-needed clarity in regard to the true nature of this manufactured "crisis". Please call your Representative and Senator to urge their support for House Concurrent Resolution 382 and Senator Christopher Dodd's call for the release of the blocked funds.
HAITI -- HON. EDOLPHUS TOWNS (Extensions of Remarks - July 09, 2002) [Page: E1219]-------------------
HON. EDOLPHUS TOWNS OF NEW YORK IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESMr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, as our Nation turns its focus toward a full-scale battle against worldwide terrorism, there are some international human rights issues that are evading the scope of U.S. policymakers. This should be of great concern to those in this country who have long been concerned with the welfare of all humanity, be it in Asia, Africa, or in the Caribbean. Unbeknownst to many in this country, one of the hungriest and most neglected nations in the world lies not only in this hemisphere, but also in our own Caribbean backyard. The situation in Haiti is worsening by the day while international financial institutions refuse to provide development assistance, and the role of the U.S. is still unclear. What is certain is that a double standard has been created regarding Haiti, and that rather than being helped, the population is being further driven into the ground. [Page: E1220]
Tuesday, July 9, 2002
Andrew Blandford, Research Associate at the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), has recently authored a press memorandum entitled “As Catastrophe Approaches in Haiti, the U.S. Continues to Block International Loans.” This important analysis, which was released on June 13, will shortly appear in a revised form in the upcoming issue of that organization's estimable biweekly publication, The Washington Report on the Hemisphere. Blandford's research findings spotlight the developing Haitian tragedy and examine the role played by units of our own government in orchestrating the withholding of over $500 millon in loans and grants to our poverty-stricken neighbors.
Following weeks of floods and increased potable water shortages in Haiti, residents are forced to spend, on average, nearly a tenth of their meager U.S. $1 a day income on such a fundamental staple as water. As a result of its scarcity and inflated price, less than half of Haiti's population consumes potable water, compounding the nation's abysmal health standards. Over 4% of Haiti's populace is infected with HIV/AIDS while only 1 in 10,000 has access to a physician.
The sanctions against Haiti include the withholding of a $146 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank that was intended to fund education, healthcare and infrastructure projects. Because the IDB loans have already been approved, we have the ironic situation where Haiti must continue to pay interest on money it does not receive. While U.S. dollars flow in record amounts to such undemocratic nations as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, our Caribbean neighbors live in abject poverty. We must recognize the injustice of withholding, international development assistance to a country previously ruled by the U.S.-supported Duvalier family dictatorship which distorted the country's institutions while running up record debts.
COHA researcher Blandford calls for action through the passage of H.C.R. 382, sponsored by our colleague Representative Barbara Lee and the Congressional Black Caucus. This resolution would urge the President to end the virtual embargo on development assistance to Haiti. Consequently, the article is of great relevance since the need to constructively engage Haiti is likely to grow in importance in the coming months, given the precedent for Haitian refugees to attempt to escape to Florida by means of a perilous sea passage when famine and destitution become unbearable at home, even though they face automatic interdiction and are forced to return to the island.
AS CATASTROPHE APPROACHES IN HAITI, THE U.S. CONTINUES TO BLOCK INTERNATIONAL LOANS
Less than a decade after the United States triumphantly pronounced the restoration of democracy in Haiti with the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the international community has financially repudiated the island nation. Only two years before its bicentennial, the unrest which has characterized much of Haiti's two centuries of independence has returned to the poverty-stricken nation. A loose and disparate opposition coalition of mainly tiny rightist factions, the Democratic Convergence, due to its tight links to conservative Washington powerbrokers, has been able to undermine the Aristide administration both abroad and at home.
THE DEVELOPING HAITIAN TRAGEDY
In recent weeks, in addition to Haiti's routine political and economic woes, its populace has been forced to spend, on average, nearly a tenth of their meager U.S. $1 a day income on water alone due to a lethal shortage of supplies. Because of its scarcity and price inflation, less than half of Haiti's population consumes potable water.
Dr. Paul Farmer, a Harvard medical professor and director of Haiti's celebrated Zanmi Lasante clinic, notes the close connection between contaminated water and the cataclysmic HIV epidemic that affects 4% of the island's population. Dr. Farmer has of late witnessed the number of untreated patients in Haiti multiply at an unprecedented pace: “I had worried about 60-70,000 patients for the year. Now it'll likely be well over 120,000. The blocked $146 million in IDB [Inter-American Development Bank] loans are for health, water, and education. It's insane for the richest country in the world to hold up financing of these projects in one of the poorest.” Dr. Farmer's invaluable role in spearheading the battle against AIDS, nevertheless, is thus far a losing effort. Currently there is only one physician for every 10,000 Haitians. The Pan-American Heath Organization's director, George Alleyne, laments that 74 Haitian babies die per every 1,000 live births and that life expectancy on the island is among the lowest in the Americas. To him the cause is clear: “It is poverty.”
THE U.S. ROLE IN HAITI'S PLIGHT
Due to the U.S. Treasury Department's virtual veto power over the IDB, a low interest loan of $54 million meant to improve Haiti's access to clean water cannot be disbursed, despite the fact that the bank's charter specifically forbids such political meddling. The IDB claims that no loans can be sent to Haiti because the country is in arrears, but the State Department has made it clear that international pressure will be removed only when the strict demands on the U.S. agenda are met. At June's OAS General Assembly in Barbados, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell asserted that Haiti needs the assistance of the international financial community “... but it is difficult to provide that kind of aid until there is political stability.”
Despite Aristide's democratic authenticity, the Convergence's provocations have effectively cut off international resources to Haiti while billions of U.S. dollars flow to authoritarian nations such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
In January 2001, Ira Kurzban, the Aristide administration's general counsel in the U.S., claimed that the IRI facilitated the allocation of $3 million of NED funds to the Convergence. Shortly thereafter, in a February 2 article, The Washington Post substantiated the IRI's connection to the origins of the Convergence. In effect, the IRI has arranged for the Convergence to have a de facto veto power over Aristide's constitutional mandate.
The Convergence essentially delivered an ultimatum to the Haitian president when it called for the annulment of the results of the May 2000 election, which its leaders insisted were flawed. Aristide agreed over a year ago to fire the seven senators whose votes were contested and to move up the elections despite the fact that an American delegation led by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) witnessed the balloting and characterized it as “the democratic process working, exceptionally well.” The Convergence, however, still stonewalls negotiations, choosing instead to advance its policy of economic
asphyxiation of the government.
The Republican leadership argues that USAID already delivers sufficient funding to Haiti. According to remarks made by Secretary of State Powell, the U.S. only provided $73 million in aid last year for emergency rations, but this figure will be slashed to $20 million for Fiscal Year 2002. Moreover, a USAID official in Haiti recently told visitors “79 cents of every USAID dollar worldwide is actually spent in the U.S.”
THE OAS-SPONSORED NEGOTIATIONS
A total of $500 million in approved international loans and grants have been withheld as a result of demands made by Aristide's political enemies that a consensus be reached between the democratically-based Aristide administration and the Convergence's questionable bona fides. Few analysts see any grounds for optimism as an OAS negotiation team is in the country on its twentieth visit in an attempt to produce a peace accord. Like Aristide, the OAS has been unable to accomplish its goal due to a lack of political and financial assets. Section nineteen of the OAS Inter American Commission on Human Rights Report specifically cites a lack of resources as the leading cause behind Haiti's inefficient judicial institutions and the OAS has displayed a particular lack of ability to operate independent of State Department dictates.
At a June 28 Haiti Symposium in Washington, the leader of the OAS peace initiative, Assistant Secretary General Luigi Einaudi, fresh from the island, agreed that it is now “the absolute critical time” to move forward and set a deadline for negotiations. This step would thwart the Convergence's strategy of issuing perpetual ultimatums. Einaudi stressed, “There is not one nation--certainly not one of the 34 in the OAS--which disputes Aristide's presidency.” The problem, as he explained it, is that the international community will not sign onto the process of renewing development support until Aristide and his administration's opposition reach an agreement. “I hate sanctions,” Einaudi griped, “they're easy to put on and hard to take off.”
Since a consensus in Haiti is far from assured, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and the CBC introduced in April H.C.R. 382, “New Partnership for Haiti,”' which calls for an end to U.S.-influenced sanctions on the island, regardless of the Convergence's obstinacy. However, while the resolution remains stalled in committee, and with Congress sharply divided along party lines, it is doubtful whether the legislation will reach the House floor. Furthermore, Haitian advocacy groups stress that a resumption of international development assistance is only the first step in addressing Haiti's dire condition. Once the Haitian government is able to establish its authority and marshals the necessary resources, It will have to begin to create solid institutions and reform its judicial process in order to effectively serve the nation.
RESTORE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE TO HAITI -- HON. MAXINE WATERS (Extensions of Remarks - July 12, 2002) [Page: E1247]----------
HON. MAXINE WATERS OF CALIFORNIA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, July 11, 2002
Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Yet the U.S. government is blocking aid to Haiti in order to expand the influence of a single Haitian political party. This party, known as the Democratic Convergence, is supported by only a small fraction of the Haitian electorate. Nevertheless, the Democratic Convergence and the Organization of American States raised questions about the May 21, 2000, elections in Haiti.
Meanwhile, Haiti's population is facing a serious humanitarian crisis. Haiti's per capita income is only $460 per year. Four percent of the population is infected with the AIDS virus, and 163,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS. Every year, there are 30,000 new AIDS cases. The infant mortality rate is over seven percent. For every 1000 infants born in Haiti, five women die in childbirth. Furthermore, there are only 1.2 doctors for every 10,000 people in this desperately poor country.
Not only has the United States suspended development assistance to Haiti, the United States has been blocking loans from international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter-American Development Bank. U.S. policy has effectively prevented Haiti from receiving $146 million in loans from the Inter-American Development Bank that were already approved by that institution's Board of Directors. These loans are desperately needed by the people of Haiti.
The Board of Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank recently agreed to send a special mission to Haiti to review conditions for the renewal of lending to Haiti. This mission, which will take place later this month, is purely technical. Its purpose is twofold. First, the mission's participants will reassess past loans to Haiti that are in arrears. Second, they will assess current efforts by the Haitian government to resolve the political crisis. Unfortunately, there is no indication that participants in this mission will discuss conditions for the restoration of loans or development assistance to Haiti.
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has taken several steps to address the concerns raised by the international community regarding the May 21, 2000, elections. Yet the U.S. government continues to refuse to negotiate with the Haitian government.
It is time for the United States to end this political impasse and restore development assistance to this impoverished democracy.
From: Haiti Action Committee
To: Pierre LaBossiere
Subject: HAITI - Labor Support
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 06:52:29 -0700 (PDT)
On July 25, 2002, the 2-million member California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO adopted a resolution calling for an end to the sanctions against Haiti and urging support for House Concurrent Resolution 382.
Two days prior, on July 23, the NY-based health care union SEIU 1199 delivered a shipment of medical supplies and equipment to the Haitian Ministry of Health.
The resolution and the article by Agence Haitienne de Presse (AHP) about the shipment are reprinted below.
For information about "Let Haiti Live", the campaign to end sanctions against Haiti, please contact the Haiti Action Committee, (510) 483-7481.
Resolution of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO:Whereas, since the landslide election of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2000, the United States has spearheaded an international financial aid blockade of Haiti. Over $500 million in funds allocated for the government of Haiti are being withheld by the U.S., European Union, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank. These grants and loans, intended for health care, education and public works [such as providing potable water], are currently blocked. Secretary of State Colin Powell recently reasserted that the US will continue to embargo these funds in order to leverage a “political outcome” in Haiti ; and
Let Haiti Live!
Whereas, it is appalling that the U.S. is using humanitarian aid as a political weapon, particularly against Haiti, the poorest country in the hemisphere, where there is only one doctor for every 10,000 patients, where many Haitians have no access to potable water, and where the infant mortality rate [a key indicator of a pending humanitarian disaster] is 74 out of every 1,000 live births; and
Whereas, the US policy of sanctions is punishing Haiti, and the people are suffering. Haiti has the most serious AIDS crisis in the hemisphere. While a national AIDS plan was presented by the government of Haiti at the United Nations over a year ago and was lauded by health experts as sound, its funding has been withheld; therefore be it
Resolved, by this 24th Biennial Convention of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, that the Federation join the Congressional Black Caucus and religious, labor and grassroots organizations in solidarity with the Haitian people’s demand that the U.S. government release the funds and lift all sanctions against Haiti, by endorsing Let Haiti Live! – the Campaign to Lift the Sanctions against Haiti ; and be it further
Resolved, that the Federation encourage affiliated unions, area central labor bodies, and the national AFL-CIO to endorse and participate in Let Haiti Live! – the Campaign to Lift the Sanctions against Haiti ; and be it finally
Resolved, that the Federation support House Concurrent Resolution #382, introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and the Congressional Black Caucus Task Force on Haiti, urging the Bush Administration to end any embargo against Haiti, and release the blocked humanitarian and developmental aid.--Adopted by the 2 million-member California Labor FederationEssentially identical resolutions were also adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and by the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, San Francisco chapters.
July 25, 2002
Agence Haitienne de Presse (AHP) July 23, 2002 1:30 PMA labor union of health care workers based in the U.S. offers a shipment of equipment and materials to the Ministry of Health
Port-au-Prince, July 23, 2002 -(AHP)- The labor union number 1199-
representing 210,000 health care workers including 40,000 Haitians offered a shipment of health care equipment and materials Tuesday to the Ministry of Public health and Population (MSPP).
At a news conference, the representative from the union, John Alexis indicated that this gift, valued at $70,000, should help to improve the conditions of the sick in Haiti.
Mr. Alexis announced that experts in hospital and clinic construction who are also members of the union, are available to work to modernize the hospital called the "Sanatorium".
According to Mr. Alexis, the members of local 1199 promised to help the Ministry of Public Health to combat tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
They are urging the health authorities to begin soon a campaign of civic education to raise the awareness of the Haitian population about tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
AHP July 23, 2002 1:30 PM
Please circulate widely.
LET HAITI LIVE!
End U.S. Sanctions Against Haiti
COALITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS HOLD VIGIL TO VOICE SUPPORT OF HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 382What: In solidarity with community-based organizations in Haiti, a coalition of Bay Area human rights organizations will hold a vigil at the Federal Building in Oakland, California, to protest sanctions against Haiti. This vigil is part of similar actions, May 22-24, to kick-off a call-in and write-in campaign urging Congressional representatives to support House Concurrent Resolution 382 (H.C.R. 382), introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and the Congressional Black Caucus. The resolution entitled “New Partnership for Haiti” calls for an end to the aid moratorium and the initiation of a program to bolster the economic base of Haiti.
Where: FEDERAL BUILDING, 1301 CLAY STREET, OAKLAND, CA
When: 4:30 PM, THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2002
Phone: (202) 224-3121 (Congress switchboard)
- Urge your Representative and Senator to support an end to the aid moratorium against Haiti and H.C.R. 382
Write: Send a letter or postcard to your Representative and Senator (sample below)
Why: For the past two years, the United States has led an international financial aid moratorium against the Government of Haiti, blocking over $500 million in grants and loans that were intended for health care, education and public works -- such as providing potable drinking water. Because of the moratorium and the terms of these loans, the Haitian government and its people are paying interest on loans they are blocked from receiving. Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that this policy was in place in order to “leverage a political outcome in Haiti.”
The aid moratorium is unconscionable in any country, but particularly in a country as poor as Haiti where there is only 1 physician for every 10,000 people, where only 40 percent of all Haitians have access to potable water, a rising infant mortality rate, an HIV/AIDS rate of epidemic proportions and crisis levels of poverty and environmental destruction. This moratorium is but a recent example in a long history of US, World Bank and IMF policies designed to severely curtail economic development for the impoverished masses of Haiti.
Sponsored by: Haiti Action Committee, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Global Exchange, Marin Interfaith Task Force
Supporters of the "Let Haiti Live" campaign: San Francisco Labor Council, A. Philip Randolph Institute, Bay Area Debt Coalition, Bay Area US/Cuba Friendshipment, Castagnola Family Inc., Coalition for African Immigrants & Refugees, Davis Religious Community for Sanctuary, East Timor Religious Outreach, Ecumenical Peace Institute, Friends of Peoples’ Weekly World, Haiti Sister Parish Committee of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, John George Democratic Club, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Letter Carriers Union #214, Parish Twinning Program of the Americas, Partners in Health, Pax Christi USA, Quixote Center, Richmond Diocese Haiti Outreach, Witness for Peace (partial list)
Contact information: Haiti Action Committee (510) 483-7481
I oppose the unjust development assistance embargo that is crippling Haiti's economy and compounding the misery of millions of poor Haitians. The sanctions are ineffective as a policy tool, counterproductive as a development strategy, and immoral as a way of treating human beings.
I ask you to support H. Con. Res. 382, which calls for an end to the sanctions. Similar resolutions have been passed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP), and dozens of human rights, religious, labor, and healthcare organizations in the U.S.
Haiti's people are the poorest in our hemisphere and the third hungriest in the world. Yet the sanctions prevent essential progress in healthcare, sanitation and education. We need to support the Haitian government's ability to provide these minimal services, not starve it.
Please Let Haiti Live!
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