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6264: Events in Haiti (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
(from Caribbean Insight newsletter)
(15 December 00)
President-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide named a team to handle his
transition to power which included Richard Coles, head of the employers'
association ADIH, and other members of the private sector. He also
appointed a commission to look into the disputed May 21 legislative
elections. Opposition spokesman Micha Gaillard said the two bodies were
just window-dressing and that the political crisis was "too serious" for
such gestures to solve it.
A US embassy official denied a claim by Fanmi Lavalas spokesman Sen
Yvon Neptune that US President Bill Clinton had congratulated Aristide on
his election. Clinton's letter to Aristide had simply expressed "hopes and
concerns" for democracy in Haiti and "the need to build an inclusive
society around the goals of justice and the rule of law." The US demand to
correct the errors in the May 21 results and make the electoral council
more credible still stood, the official said.
Three US congressional committee chairmen called on December 9 for
Aristide to be banned from the Americas summit in Canada next April because
of what they called his "sham" election to the presidency. The call was
made right-wingers Benjamin Gilman and Jesse Helms, chairmen of the House
and Senate foreign affairs committees, and Porter Goss, chairman of the
House intelligence committee. They also said drug traffickers and others
around Aristide should be stripped of their US visas.
About 900 fishermen attended the first national fishing congress in
the village of Luly, northwest of the capital, on December 9, along with
President René Préval. A national association was set up to represent
country's estimated 30,000 fishermen. About 6,000 tonnes of fish are
caught every year in Haiti, of which 800 tonnes are exported. $15 million
worth of fish are imported each year.
Twelve people died in severe flooding in southern Haiti in early