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9752: Quixote Center Action Alert on Haiti Sanctions (fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

ACTION ALERT - Haiti Sanctions
The Congressional Black Caucus is currently spearheading an effort to push the Bush administration to lift the economic sanctions against Haiti. In a November 8 letter, all 38 members of the CBC urged President Bush to review his Haiti policy and to restore aid to Haiti. The CBC has requested a meeting with President Bush to discuss US foreign policy towards Haiti.

The Black Caucus has pointed out the "horrendous outcomes for the Western Hemisphere's poorest people" that continuing economic sanctions create in Haiti. You can read their letter and statements made in the House of Representatives below. After returning from his trip to Haiti in October, Bishop Tom Gumbleton said, "All of us have to participate in this kind of activity [working to have our government change its policies] so that our government does not press down against the poor and crush them but rather lift them up and bring real justice to these people."

Now it is a critical time for YOU to weigh in on this issue. You can:

Write to President Bush, or call the White House to express your support for a meeting between the President and the Congressional Black Caucus 
Call your Congressional representatives and ask them to join this crucial push in Congress for a change in US policy towards Haiti 
President George Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Urge him to answer the request of the Congressional Black Caucus and agree to a meeting with them about the situation in Haiti. President Bush should engage in meaningful dialogue about his administration's policies on Haiti.

As Congressman John Conyers of the CBC stated, "When you look at some of our allies [like] Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Israel, you begin to wonder what the differences are that account for some countries receiving sizeable quantities of assistance and other nothing until they quote, straighten up and fly right, unquote."


The toll free number for United States Congress is 800 393-1082 - at the prompt enter your zip code and you will be connected to the office of your congressperson.

Ask them to lift economic sanctions on Haiti. Economic sanctions against Haiti have been in place since the disputed elections in May 2000. In an effort to resolve the conflict, the seven Senators whose elections were contested have all resigned. Despite the resolution of this dispute, the United States continues to block over $500 million in international aid and loans to the Haitian government. This includes loans from the Inter-American Development Bank that Haiti has had to pay interest on without receiving these funds. This aid is intended for education, healthcare and infrastructure projects. Let your representatives know that you feel it is unconscionable to deny aid to the poorest country in the hemisphere.

You may also let them know that:

The United States Must Stop Harboring Terrorists - Return Toto Constant to Haiti Emmanuel (Toto) Constant, leader of the notorious FRAPH paramilitary organization, has been lively freely in the US since 1996. FRAPH was responsible for the murders, tortures and rapes of thousands of Haitians. Constant was convicted in absentia for his role in the 1994 Raboteau massacre in a Haitian court in October 2000. Tell your representative that the US must end this hypocrisy and immediately deport Constant to Haiti to be held accountable for his crimes.

For information contact Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center (haiti@quixote.org) or the Haiti Action Committee at 510 483-7481 (haitiaction@yahoo.com).