Washington, D.C. -- On Capitol Hill today, Rep. Maxine Waters
(D-CA), declared that the Bush Administration's attempts to organize meetings
yesterday between Gerard Latortue, the illegally appointed prime minister
of Haiti, and Members of Congress were failures.
"There were two attempts
to arrange meetings yesterday between Gerard Latortue, the illegitimate
Prime Minister of Haiti, and Members of Congress," said Congresswoman Waters.
"Both of these attempts by the Bush Administration and a few misguided
Members of Congress were complete failures."
The first meeting was
supposed to occur yesterday at 10:30 a.m. between Gerard Latortue and members
of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). This meeting was boycotted
by Congresswoman Waters and a majority of the members of the CBC.
Only about six members of the 39-member CBC actually attended the meeting.
"Members of the CBC
support the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and their refusal to recognize
Gerard Latortue as a legitimate representative of Haiti," said Congresswoman
The second meeting
was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. between Gerard Latortue and members of the
House International Relations Committee. However, only six of the
49 members of this committee actually showed up for this meeting.
At a separate meeting
yesterday between Secretary of State Colin Powell and CBC members, Congresswoman
Waters and other CBC members expressed their views that Gerard Latortue
is presiding over a violent and crumbling country, and he has done nothing
to contain the violence or provide security to the Haitian people.
"Gerard Latortue embraced
the thugs and killers who are terrorizing the Haitian people," explained
Gerard Latortue held
a rally in the Haitian city of Gonaïves, at which he declared Guy
Philippe, Louis-Jodel Chamblain, and Jean Tatoune to be "freedom fighters."
Guy Philippe is a known drug dealer who returned from exile, occupied Gonaïves,
spearheaded burnings and killings and threatened to kill President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide. Louis-Jodel Chamblain and Jean Tatoune are both former
death squad leaders who were convicted in abstentia for the killing of
thousands of Haitians in the 1994 Raboteau massacre.
"Gerard Latortue is
presiding over widespread human rights violations since the removal of
the elected government of President Aristide on February 29, 2004," said
There have been over
1,000 killings in Haiti since Gerard Latortue took office. Members
of Lavalas, President Aristide's political party, have been found shot
in the head with their hands tied behind their backs. There are reports
of Lavalas members being placed in a container and drowned at sea.
Delegations from Amnesty International, the National Lawyers Guild and
Let Haiti Live have documented the repression and killing of Lavalas party
members. Many of President Aristide's supporters are now in hiding
in Haiti. Others have tried to flee Haiti as refugees and have been
forcibly repatriated to the island, where they continue to fear for their
"Gerard Latortue has
done nothing to obtain the support and trust of the people of Haiti," said
Congresswoman Waters. "He has not denounced the on-going killings
of Lavalas party members, and he has not opposed the forced repatriation
of refugees. He has not provided a credible road map for Haiti's
future, and he does not deserve to be called prime minister."
"Men anpil chaj pa lou" is Kreyol for - "Many hands make light a heavy
See, The Haitian Leadership Networks' 7 "men anpil chaj pa lou"
campaigns to help restore Haiti's independence, the will of the mass electorate
and the rule of law. See,