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#3280: Jesse Helms Puts the Squeeze on Haiti AGAIN! (fwd)


Remember back when Ol' Jesse threatened to cut off the entire USAID budget in 
Haiti, because USAID funded Planned Parenthood organization PROFAMIL, and 
PROFAMIL was doing culturally appropriate reproductive health care outreach 
to majority class Haitian women which included rara-type songs, which Ol' 
Jesse characterized as "supporting witchcraft"? (See 
http://members.aol.com/roots125/bigot.html if you have forgotten).

NOW Ol' Jesse is supporting worse than "witchcraft"!  He is coming up to bat 
for a company perpetrating customs fraud against the Haitian government, by 
suspending $30 million in aid following the confiscation of the company, Rice 
Corporation of the Haitian government.

Apparently majority class Haitian women deserve to die of cervical cancer 
simply because most of them are Vodouisants, but American businessmen are 
permitted to rip off Haiti any way they want.  ( I mean, not that rip-offs 
are not the modus operandi of Haitians at all economic levels too, but if you 
are going to claim the moral high ground, then....?)


Sen. Jesse Helms orders hold on Haiti aid
WASHINGTON -- (AP) -- Sen. Jesse Helms has quietly ordered a suspension of 
more than $30 million in U.S. aid because of Haiti's confiscation of a rice 
company almost wholly owned by U.S. investors.

Haitian authorities said the confiscation of the Rice Corporation of Haiti 
was the result of customs fraud but the company has denied any wrongdoing. 
The aid suspension went into effect in March without announcement.

According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the suspension 
affects programs in agriculture and education and in the development of 
democracy, the rule of law and small businesses.

The largest of the affected programs were in agriculture ($11 million) and 
small business development ($6.5 million). Programs for feeding needy 
Haitians and for hurricane relief were not affected.

The administration said it opposes Helms' action. ``We don't support 
congressional holds on funds we've requested,'' said State Department 
spokesman James P. Rubin.

``Often we need leverage and funds to solve problems, and we can't solve 
problems without any tools,'' he said.

Haitian customs officials accused the Rice Corporation of falsifying a 
customs declaration. In mid-March -- after Helms suspended aid -- the plant 
was allowed to reopen under customs supervision while the company pays a $1.4 
million fine, according to Justice Minister Camille Leblanc. A ship that had 
been confiscated was also released.

But Larry Theriot, a co-owner of the company, has denied wrongdoing and said 
the plant remains closed in the hands of Haitian customs officials. He said 
the fine being sought would bankrupt the company.

On March 7, Helms asked U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to deny 
U.S. visas to 10 Haitian nationals ``who had abused their authority'' in the 
dispute, including Leblanc, Police Chief Pierre Denize and Finance Minister 
Fred Joseph.

``Under the guise of a customs dispute, Haitian officials have run the 
proprietors of the U.S.-owned Rice Corporation of Haiti off their property at 
gunpoint'' and ``appear determined to extort money from several U.S. 
businessmen and confiscate their property,'' Helms said in a March 7 letter 
to Albright.

Ira Kurzban, a Miami-based attorney for Haiti's government, said that even 
after the fine is paid off, the plant may remain closed pending resolution of 
an unrelated ownership dispute between the Rice Corporation and American Rice 
Corporation of Houston, Texas. That case is being argued in Haitian and U.S. 

The dispute comes as the United States is increasingly unhappy with Haiti's 
repeated delays in organizing long-overdue parliamentary elections amid a 
spate of street violence and politically motivated killings.

Albright said last week the administration is trying to enlist the 
cooperation of former President Jean Bertrand Aristide in easing the 

The administration is aware that Aristde wants to get back into office, 
Albright told the Boston Globe. Given his support among Haitians, Aristide 
``ought to allow there to be parliamentary elections, and then presidential 
elections...We are trying to persuade him he is going about it in the wrong 


Peace and love,

Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen

"Se bon ki ra", 
     Good is rare - Haitian Proverb

The VODOU Page - <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html">http://