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#4977: Letter to OAS from St. Louis Haitians

From: Kathleen Compere <kcompere@ssd.k12.mo.us>

Combite Rsistance des Amis et Patriotes Hatiens
de St. Louis, MO
Concerned Haitians and Friends
P.O. Box 63161
St. Louis, MO   63163

TO:  Mr. Cesar Gaviria, General Secretary of
           the Organization of American States
        17th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.
         Washington, D.C.    20006

Your Excellency,

 Concerned Haitians and Friends of St. Louis extends its gratitude to the
Organization of American States for its official stance condemning the
dtat of September 1991 in Haiti and for backing the return of
Jean Bertrand Aristide to his country in order to resume his governmental
 However, today we are completely at a loss to comprehend the latest
initiatives of your organization toward Haiti.  First, enormous pressures
were brought to bear upon the acting Haitian government to force the
of elections with inadequate preparation.  But the Prval-Alexis government
held fast and encouraged the Provisional Electoral College to extend
electoral cards to 4 million eligible voters.
 Then, when the elections were finally held May 21, 2000 - free and fair,
besides some irregularities due to a lack of logistical support - the
observation team, apparently once certain that a landslide victory by
Lavalas Party was unavoidable, pulled out a secret weapon from its sleeve:
it declared the method of counting votes in the first round as being
and inaccurate.  This is the same method of tabulations used in Haitian
elections since 1990.  The present balloting is the fourth.  The O.A.S.
not find anything wrong with the previous, similar method of counting the
votes.  Why now, Mr. General Secretary?  The timing of this correction is
very suspicious.  One is willing to concede that the calculation
by the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council may not be very accurate, but
nevertheless is still a method used previously with the tacit knowledge of
the O.A.S and the international community  Moreover a change of venue
not have prevented an overwhelming victory at the polls by the Haitian
masses, loyal supporters of Mr. Aristide.  Could not the O.A.S. observers
have pinpointed this error in previous elections or even days before this
recent one and indicated a flaw in the process?  Why complain once the
outcome of the election was assured? Now, we even hear that efforts have
been deployed by the U.S. to expel Haiti out of the O.A.S.  Mr. Gaviria,
Haitian people who have an insatiable appetite for self-determination and
people all over the world who closely follow events in Haiti, view this
latest initiative as unfair, bullying and disruptive.
 This is the purpose of this letter.  We are asking you, Mr. General
Secretary to rectify the course of your policy and with all due respect to
abide by the Haitian popular verdict to the poll and accept the decisions
the  Electoral Council.
 To back up our aforementioned arguments, we refer you to the letter which
Mr. Leon Manus, when he presided over the Provisional Electoral Council,
addressed to Mr. Orlando Marville, chief of the O.A.S. observation mission
in Haiti. (June 3, 2000-Rf: CEP/SG/288)

    Respectfully submitted for the committee,

Harold D. Compre     Patrice Jean-Baptiste

Julio J. Rzidor      Kathleen Compre

Wilfrid Dsir