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6537: Fwd: ARISTIDE TRIES TO SOOTHE THE US (fwd)
From: radman <email@example.com>
>Subject: ARISTIDE TRIES TO SOOTHE THE US
> >From Americas.org -
> On December 28, the administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton
> released a letter it had received the day before from Haitian
> President-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who is to take office on
> February 7. In the letter, negotiated a week earlier with former
> national security adviser Anthony Lake and the State Department's
> special Haiti coordinator, Donald Steinberg, Aristide agreed to eight
> "reforms" demanded by the U.S. These include: runoffs for 10 Senate
> seats awarded to Aristide's left-populist Lavalas Family (FL) party in
> May; the inclusion of opposition members in Aristide's government; the
> establishment of a new electoral council, in consultation with the
> opposition; a semi-permanent mission of the Organization of American
> States (OAS) in Haiti to oversee domestic political negotiations;
> international monitoring of human rights; and what the Washington Post
> calls "working out an economic reform program with the International
> Monetary Fund [IMF] and World Bank."
> Aristide made the concessions without receiving any promises of aid from
> the U.S. U.S. analysts generally agree that Aristide was trying to
> smooth relations with Washington before January 20, when Texas governor
> George W. Bush takes office as president. Bush's Republican party has
> been especially antagonistic to Aristide. A week earlier, Sen. Jesse
> Helms (R-NC, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair), Rep. Benjamin
> Gilman (R-NY, House International Relations Committee chair), and Rep.
> Porter Goss (R-FL, House Intelligence Committee chair) issued a joint
> statement saying that the U.S. "must now deal with Haiti for what it has
> become... Narco-traffickers, criminals and other antidemocratic elements
> who surround Jean-Bertrand Aristide should feel the full weight of U.S.
> law enforcement."
> But other sectors in the U.S. call for limited support for Aristide, who
> has been "doing practically everything that critics in the United States
> and elsewhere have asked for in the past couple of years," according to
> an editorial in the Washington Post. "Aristide remains the country's
> only genuinely popular leader and perhaps the only one who, if he chose
> to, could implement the economic and political reforms the country
> desperately needs. The failure of his government would likely result in
> another massive wave of refugees setting out for Florida."