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#5034: Haitian Rally at UN Sept. 7 (in New York)

From: "K. M. Ives" <kives@gateway.net>

Coalition for Haitian Sovereignty
1398 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210  Tel: (718) 434-8100  Fax:
(718) 434-5551

For Immediate Release:                      Contact:
September 1, 2000                            Ray Laforest, (212)
219-0022  x113
                                                        Maude Leblanc,
(718) 434-8100
Benoit, (718) 773-9528


Haitians and their supporters will rally on Sept. 7, 2000 from
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th Street
between 1st and 2nd Avenues) to call for an end to foreign
meddling in their electoral process and internal affairs.

During the rally, Haitian President René Préval will be
addressing the United Nations General Assembly as a part of the
Millennium Summit.

On May 21 and July 9, Haiti held nationwide parliamentary and
municipal elections, which were swept by former President Jean-
Bertrand Aristide?s party, the Lavalas Family. Washington
disagreed with how Haitian election authorities calculated some
Senate races. It has sought to discredit the elections,
threatening an aid cut-off and diplomatic isolation. It has also
fed the mainstream media stories that Haiti is veering toward
?dictatorship,? since Aristide is expected to easily win
presidential elections scheduled for November.

At the same time, shadowy right-wing death squads are
destabilizing the country through a wave of murders and
robberies. Haitian government officials have said that the
insecurity is due in part to Washington?s withholding of 160,000
of Haitian government documents, containing names and information
about the death squads. U.S. troops spirited the documents from
Haiti to Washington in 1994.

Meanwhile, U.S. Special Forces soldiers are stationed with
Dominican troops along Haiti?s border with the Dominican
Republic, poised for invasion.

?North American and European powers have been meddling in our
elections and browbeating our government, acting as if they were
our masters,? said Ray Laforest of the Coalition for Haitian
Sovereignty, an ad hoc committee of different community groups
and individuals, which is organizing the rally. ?We are telling
them to back off and leave our people alone. Our ancestors
carried out the only successful slave revolution in history, and
we will never surrender our sovereignty. We also call on the UN
and other international bodies to take no part in Washington?s

                              ? 30 ?