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9588: Former President Bill Clinton on Haiti (fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

ďBut if people are being disruptive because they cannot win elections fairly,thatís not good for the people of Haiti.Ē  Former President Bill Clinton

Comments made by former President Bill Clinton during interview aired on November 7, 2001 on Radio Soleil (New York) with journalist Ricot Dupuy on the eve of New York City's local elections:

Former President Bill Clinton:  I will always be proud of the fact that we restored President Aristide and restored constitutional order to Haiti.  Our relationship with Haiti has not always been the best and Iím proud of what we did and proud of the Haitian community in the United States and especially here in New York, my home now.

(talks about Mark Green's candidacy and the value of democratic elections)

Thereís one other point Iíd like to make.  You talked about my restoring constitutional order to Haiti.  Why was that important?  Because the people of Haiti chose President Aristide, not me, the people of Haiti, through their voices.  And all Haitians all over the world felt that they had been disenfranchised when he was thrown out in favor of the military dictatorship.

(More on Mark Green's candidacy)  I think the Haitian American community understands as well as anyone how precious this right to vote is.  (More on Mark Green's candidacy).

Ricot Dupuy:  Before you left office, the most important action you took on the Haiti front was to obtain an 8-point letter from President Aristide where
he highlighted steps he would take to bring the Haitian electoral crisis to a solution.  The letter was deemed acceptable and sufficient by yourself and him and the international community.  But since then more and more stringent demands have been made by the opposition which have caused the already difficult situation to deteriorate.  Do you have an opinion on this?

Former President Bill Clinton:  Obviously since Iím not in office I havenít been able to see the official correspondence and follow this as closely as I
would like.  But I thought that the letter and the commitments that President Aristide made were a very good step forward in the right direction.  And I
think that the people of Haiti deserve to have a stable and normal political situation and if the opposition disagrees with President Aristide they have a
chance to put their candidates forward and we asked for assurances of good elections and we were given those assurances.  And of normal relations after the elections, and we were given those assurances.  And if those things are followed, thatís all we can ask for.  

But if people are just being disruptive because they cannot win elections fairly thatís not good for the people of Haiti.  Haiti needs a lot of help and the United States should help Haiti but the Haitians have to have a normal political situation so that they can receive the help and make the most of it.  So I very much hope that the situation will return to normal.  

It troubled me greatly after all the efforts that so many of us made to give the people of Haiti another chance that elements of the political system
would be fighting over a country that is still too troubled and it needs economic help, it needs an economic future and can only have it in a stable
political environment  Iím still pulling for the Haitian people.  I love that country and I think the people are wonderful. Their political leaders need to
give them a stable situation. There needs to be a role for the opposition, a role for the majority. The people deserve to have the people they want in office. And we [the U.S.] ought to follow the normal rules of democracy. -end-