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9823: Lift the Blockade info/action flyer for distribution (fwd)
LIFT THE BLOCKADE AGAINST HAITI - NOW!
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
· 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 SANCTIONS ARE ILLEGAL!
· 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
``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
DON'T ABANDON THE HAITIAN PEOPLE. WORK FOR A JUST U.S. POLICY ON HAITI.
CALL OR WRITE TO LIFT THE ILLEGAL BLOCKADE AGAINST HAITI WHICH DESTROYS A
CIVILIAN POPULATION FOR POLITICAL END:
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.