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9616: Cong. Barbara Lee & Donna Christensen in Congress on Haiti (fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

Congresswoman Barbara Lee:
Representatives - November 15, 2001)
   (Ms. LEE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute 
and to revise and extend her remarks.) 
   Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to urge the United States to lift its block 
on approved loans by the Inter-American Development Bank to Haiti. 
   Haiti is now in the midst of a political impasse that began months after 
the May, 2000 elections, and has become a national crisis. The United States 
has since blocked foreign assistance, as well as international financial 
institutions' funding for Haiti. 
   Meanwhile, a severe humanitarian disaster looms large over the population 
of 8 million people, including a devastating HIV/AIDS pandemic, extreme 
poverty, and high infant mortality rates. 
   We must address this injustice. The people of Haiti need our support. Our 
country can help alleviate human suffering in this country in the Western 
Hemisphere. We must release these approved loans. They are not grants, mind 
you, but they are loans to Haiti. 

Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen (Virgin Islands):
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN HAITI -- (House of Representatives - November 15, 2001)
   (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN asked and was given permission to address the House for 
1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.) 
   Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak of humanitarian crisis, not 
half a world away in Afghanistan, but in our own hemispheric neighborhood of 
   Mr. Speaker, airline security, the economy and the war have our full 
attention, and rightfully so, but closer to us in Haiti, the last election 
has been hopelessly deadlocked with no resolution in sight. 
   To compound the problem, because of the opposition of some to the outcome 
of those elections, our country and international financial institutions 
which hold the lifeline of aid dollars to this struggling democracy have 
blocked the release of loans to Haiti. 
   This has created a crippling effect of economic consequences where the 
poorest country in our hemisphere cannot meet its financial obligations and 
food, medicine and life itself have been hung in the balance for 8 million 
   Let us not make the same mistake and ignore another country's turmoil, 
until a disaster too great for the imagination or easy recovery unfolds. 
   The people of Haiti need food, medicine and funds to combat an HIV 
infection rate of 4 percent of the population, an infant mortality rate of 74 
deaths out of every 1,000 babies born and to improve their quality of life. 
   Mr. Speaker, the people of Haiti have voted and they know who they want to 
govern them. Let us respect that and allow the dollars for food and medicine 
to flow

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