[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

9758: First Anniversary of Jean Bertrand Aristides Election as President Tension on the Rise between Port-au-Prince and Washington (fwd)

From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

 First Anniversary of Jean Bertrand Aristide’s Election as President –
Tension on the Rise between Port-au-Prince and Washington

November 26, 2001
November 26 is the first anniversary of the election that allowed Jean
Bertrand Aristide to obtain a second term as president. One year ago, the
population did not vote massively in that race, in spite of a last minute
call from the leader of Fanmi Lavalas, who was challenged by an eternal
loser in presidential elections, Pastor Arnold Dumas.
This first anniversary occurs against a background of political crisis so
far unsolved, social tension, and disappointment toward the current
government. This anniversary is also characterized by the increased tension
between Port-au-Prince and Washington, following the statements made by
President Aristide, accusing the International Community of "economic
terrorism" and the answer from American Ambassador Brian Dean Curran. The
tone between the two (2) capitals continues to become harsher.
The government published a press release accusing its American counterpart
of using several institutions to block international aid. Minister of
Culture and Communication Guy Paul, who signed the release, states that such
a behavior goes against the interests of the Haitian people. Mr. Paul
specifies that the 70 million dollars in aid announced by the American
ambassador are nothing but promises for budget year 2001-2002 and that the
loan portfolio of the World Bank for Haiti today amounts practically to
zero. The Minister of Culture adds that the European Union (EU) blocked the
aid for an important education project, while the government continues to
pay interests on an Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) loan that still
remains to be disbursed.
Following up on Guy Paul’s declaration, Senator Prince Pierre Sonson accused
the American government of practicing "economic terrorism." In a statement
made in Jacmel, the contested parliamentarian from Lavalas displayed an
extreme virulence in criticizing the attitude of the International
Community. "The Haitian government has not received any aid from the United
States, contrary to the claims of the American ambasador," declared Prince
Sonson Pierre. According to him, aid was made available to non-governmental
organizations controlled by the Democratic Convergence. And he alleged that
the opposition coalition is using that aid against the government. "By
depriving the Haitian people of that help, the United States is engaging in
economic terrorism," added the South-Eastern contested senator.
In spite of its grievance against the International Community, the Lavalas
regime wants to remain realistic. The Minister of Culture and Communication
reiterated the willingness of his government to negotiate, in order to reach
a political agreement. "Contacts were made with the parties involved in the
crisis to choose a date for the resumption of negotiations aimed at ending
the crisis," declared the Minister of Culture. Nevertheless, Guy Paul
questions the behavior of the Convergence, seen as double talk. "The
opposition is trying to overthrow the government while advocating dialogue
to solve the political crisis," said Mr. Paul who condemns the zero option.