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9562: Black Caucus ltr to President Bush re: Haiti (fwd)
Congressional Black Caucus of the United States Congress
November 8, 2001
The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We, the Congressional Black Caucus, would very much like to meet with you to discuss the current foreign policy of the US towards Haiti. It is our opinion that our current policy is contributing to the continued attrition of the quality of life of Haiti’s people, which, if left unchanged could lead to horrendous outcomes for the western hemisphere’s poorest people. The United States has the ability to provide humanitarian aid to Haiti. In this time of crisis we must not apply a double standard to this country, just as we have helped other countries at political impasses, we must also help Haiti.
The Congressional Black Caucus believes that it is wrong to impose an inflexible policy which conditions US relations and aid, be it loans or grants, entirely on a country’s political process. It is our understanding that the US has allowed individual countries to work out their own political issues internally as long as all relevant parties are included in the process.
Mr. President, the people of Haiti are suffering. Our current policy towards Haiti must be reviewed and changed to address the current state of economic devastation. In Haiti, AIDS and HIV are rising at alarming levels. The illiteracy rate remains at over 45%. In addition, the country’s infrastructure is in dire straits. Haiti has very few, if any, decent roads, very little potable water, and the fuel situation is catastrophic. It is imperative that the US remove its blockade of essentially all aid to Haiti, particularly the loans currently held up at the Inter-American Development Bank. Your help is critical in bringing about this change.
We are requesting to meet with you to resolve this pressing issue in the very near future. We would ask that you contact either the office of Congressman Conyers or Congressman Hilliard to schedule this meeting. We look forward to working with you and await your response.
Signed by all 38 members of the CBC