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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
``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
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
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