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9823: Lift the Blockade info/action flyer for distribution (fwd)

From: Haiti123@aol.com


Is this the way we treat our neighbors? 

"… we have to begin to work to get our government to change its policies.  
All of us have to participate in this kind of activity 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."  Bishop Gumbleton after his trip to 
Haiti in October 2001

"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…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." Congressional Black Caucus letter to 
President Bush - Nov. 8, 2001

THE BLOCKADE MUST BE LIFTED NOW!  U.S. economic sanctions against Haiti have 
been in place since the elections in May 2000 and has influenced the freezing 
of funds from the European Union as well.  In an effort to resolve the 
conflict, the senators whose elections were contested have all resigned.  
Despite the resolution of this dispute, the U.S. continues to block over $500 
million in international aid and loans to the Haitian government, including 
loans from the Inter-American Development Bank earmarked for education, 
healthcare and infrastructure projects, such as potable water. Haiti is still 
required to pay arrears payments and credit commissions on loans that it has 
not received.  Now, to add insult to injury, the IDB, in an effort to save 
face and head off further ridicule fearing that they would close out their 
year with a zero balance of assistance going to the poorest country in the 
Western Hemisphere, are about to award one million dollars to the Pan 
American Health Organization earmarked for AIDS in Haiti.  In fact, reviewing 
the budget sheet for that 42-month project, $467,550 of those funds will be 
used directly for PAHO staff expenses, and none will be used for delivery of 
services to HIV/AIDS patients in Haiti!  Meanwhile, Haiti, whose budget on 
HIV/AIDS requires $13 million, hasn't received a penny of its own money while 
quality of life indicators on health care and infant mortality continue to 

·   The HIV/AIDS rate is 4% or 300,000 persons (163,000 children orphaned and 
30,000 new cases a year).
·   Haitian Health Foundation, a U.S. NGO providing healthcare in Haiti's 
rural areas where the ratio is 1.2 doctors for every 10,000, states that, 
"The U.S. government provided a modest grant to bring health care to 35,000 
people with no access to this basic necessity.  Since then, due to desperate 
pleas and very obvious needs, the number of villages that we serve has grown 
from 15 to 92, with a population that now stands at more than 200,000.  
Despite this dramatic increase, USAID has failed to keep pace, increasing its 
support by less than 20 percent."
·   Infant mortality rate is 74 out of 1,000 births.  *  Dramatic rise in 
refugees taking to the high seas. 
·   Only 40% of the Haitian people have access to potable water, which is 
critical in preventing infant deaths.
·   60% of Haiti's 8.2 million people are undernourished (1,977 calories per 
day compared with 3,754 calories a U.S. resident gets, according to the World 
Health Organization).
·   The president of Haiti's Diabetes Association recently said that stress 
from current conditions has caused a marked increase in diabetes in the 
·   UNICEF, citing the correlation between the blockade and rising problems 
amongst Haiti's children, is asking the international community to lift its 

·   The U.S. imposed an embargo during the 1991-1994 coup d'etat against a 
defacto government, which had ousted a democratically elected government!  
The defacto government was not recognized by any country in the world.  
Today, the U.S. imposes a defacto embargo against a democratically elected 
government that is recognized by every country in the world!  
·   The IDB lacks legal standing to block these loans since contracts have 
been signed for disbursement.  What is unusual about this situation is that 
the loans were blocked at the moment of disbursal instead of during the 
normal process of halting loans at the project review level or in the 
decision making process at the Board of Executive Directors.  Many legal 
experts believe that the IDB faces possible legal exposure for failing to 
honor signed contracts with the Haitian Government.
- OVER -
·   The Sanctions violate the Geneva Convention, the UN Charter, the World 
Health Organization Constitution, the Convention on the Rights of Children, 
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Charter of Economic Rights 
and Duties of States.

"We must address this injustice. The people of Haiti need our support…We must 
release these approved loans. They are not grants, mind you, but they are 
loans to Haiti." Cong. Barbara Lee

"The United States must change its current policy towards Haiti so that it 
may receive multilateral funds for pressing development needs."  Cong. Eddie 
Bernice Johnson

``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 sizable assistance and others nothing until they quote 
straighten up and fly right unquote.'' Cong. John Conyers

"…the U.S. government is blocking aid to Haiti in order to expand the 
influence of a single political party that is supported by less than four 
percent of the Haitian electorate…It is time for the United States to end 
this political impasse and restore bilateral and multilateral assistance to 
this impoverished democracy." 
Cong. Maxine Waters 

"With a humanitarian crisis looming large over this island nation of 8 
million, the U.S. cannot hesitate at any level or in any institution to 
maximize the delivery of development and relief programs." Cong. Earl 


President George Bush, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20500, 
Tel: 202-456-1414,  urge him to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus and 
change U.S. policy on Haiti.

Your U.S. Representative at Congress by calling their toll free number 800 
393-1082.  At the prompt enter your zip code and you will be connected to the 
office of your congressperson.

The Inter-American Development Bank, Enrique V. Iglesias, President, 1300 New 
York Avenue, N.W., Washington,  DC 20577, Tel: (202) 202-623-1000

Organization of American States, César Gaviria, Secretary General, 17th 
Street & Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006, Tel: (202) 458-3000.  
Ask them to honor their OAS resolution of June 2001 which stated they would 
assist to get the sanctions lifted "as progress is achieved in reaching a 
sustainable solution to the crisis." 

International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431, 
Tel: (202) 623-7000     

The World Bank, James D. Wolfensohn, President, 1818 H Street, N.W., 
Washington, DC 20433, Tel: (202) 477-1234

CARICOM, Edwin W. Carrington, Secretary General, Bank of Guyana Building, 
Church Street & Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown, Guyana, Tel: (592-) 
United Nations, Kofi Annan, Secretary General, United Nations Plaza, New 
York, N.Y. 10017

Delegation of European Union to the United Nations, 305 E.47 Street, 12th 
floor, N.Y., N.Y. 10017

Ask the media to report on the real life stories of the Haitian people whose 
primary concerns are food and jobs. Urge them to report on the daily violence 
of hunger and poverty that is attacking the children of Cite Soleil and La 

Ask international human rights organizations  where they stand on the daily 
violence of poverty.  

Speak out in your community or organize a vigil about the devastation caused 
by this illegal blockade against Haiti. Contact groups working for social & 
economic justice in Haiti, such as Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center, Bay Area 
Action Committee, Pax Christi, Witness for Peace, Global Exchange, Amnesty 
International, American Friends Service Committee and others.