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6236: Responding off-line (fwd)

From: archim <archim@globelsud.net>
     Dear Amy,

        I am VERY pleased that you questioned the presence of the Caricom 
     visitors in Haiti during the election on 21 Nov. I will even try to 
     get their names for you if you wish. You are exactly correct; there 
     were five persons (2 men and 3 women) who were in P-a-P during the 
     election, and were identified as being Caricom representatives. They 
     stayed at the Olofson Hotel. They were not "official" but they were 
     observing in downtown P-a-P. They did not go anywhere else; they were 
     not in Petion-Ville where I live.
        Since they were not official "observers", and since Caricom states 
     that it did not send any observers, then I would take it that John 
     Compton's statement was likewise un-official, and as a matter of fact, 
     UNREPRESENTATIVE of the situation in Haiti. Since those visitors were 
     not official, I find it hard to accept the statement of John Compton 
     regarding the percentage of voters, situation of voting stations, etc. 
     I hope you delve further into this. We who live in Haiti and KNOW what 
     is going on are completely ignored by the news media and persons like 
     John Compton.
        I have lived in Haiti for almost 15 years and I am pretty-much of 
     an authority on Haitian ways and activities. For instance, I gave a 
     portion  of our front yard to the polling station workers. The station 
     was set-up in front of my house. I watched them all day long, except 
     for the hours 9am - 11:30am when I was at church. I sent a report to 
     the Corbett List and it was posted. It was an "on-site" report. We 
     even made lunch for the polling station workers, provided them with 
     water all day long, and loaned them our outside chairs and table. The 
     guys in my house (we are a youth hostel) gave out free limeade to 
     those who came to vote...for part of the day. We even loaned a radio 
     so they could play music! It was a great day and we participated and 
     WE observed first-hand, and I can OFICIALLY state that many, many 
     persons came to vote. I did not count, but it was a big crowd and an 
     all-day affair. They opened at 8am and closed at 6pm when I drove the 
     workers down the hill to the local police station. Additionally, two 
     of our residents worked at another local polling station in Pelerin 2, 
     and the same situation existed there: lots of voters!
        Now, most of those coming to vote were the regular Haitians, not 
     any particular select crowd. Although I live in the middle of the 
     "elite" section, most of the "elite" persons did not come to vote 
     because they knew Aristide would win and were opposed to him. The 
     "elite"comprise no more than 5% of the Haitian people. In other words, 
     the PEOPLE chose their president, which is what democracy is supposed 
     to be all about, and they are ecstatic, as am I. None of the 
     opposition candidates even speak to one another, let alone try to work 
     for the development of Haiti
        So, please look into the situation with the Caricom 
     "representatives" and see what you can do; I'm tired of trting to 
     straightgen them all out!
        I am going to forward a copy of this to Bob and let him decide if 
     it is something he wishes to post. Also, if the article is still in my 
     file, I will forward a copy of my "Rooters" press release.
          Best wishes,
             Fr. Michael Graves (archim)