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From: Stanley Lucas <slucas@iri.org>

 10276 Phone: (718) 834-1296 / Fax: (718) 834-8853 

Memorandum To: 

 Organization of American States From: The Committee to Defend Democracy
 in Haiti The Organization of American States was party to the
 international embargo declared on Haiti, deemed the poorest country in
 the Western Hemisphere, to force out the military putschists who, on
 September 30, 1991 overthrew the then popularly elected President
 Jean-Bertrand Aristide. When the embargo failed to dislodge the Haitian
 military, the OAS passed on the dossier to the Security Council of the
 United Nations which eventually blessed a United States invasion of Haiti
 to "restore" and "uphold democracy" in Haiti. The Secretary General of
 the OAS was among the dignitaries who debarked in Haiti on October 15,
 1994 with President Aristide in a show of solidarity. Since the
 "restoration" of that "democracy," violations to democratic ideals and
 practices have been the norm. Infringements on the rights of the citizens
 and electoral fraud have been such that the legislative, municipal and
 local elections of May 21, 2000 haven't been recognized by the majority
 of the political parties and civil society. Even the president of the
 Electoral Council who oversaw these elections declared them null and void
 and had to flee Haiti in extremis to save his life, threatened as he was
 by the highest authorities of the country and official thugs unleashed
 after him. The OAS observer mission of those elections declared some of
 them fraudulent and called, without success, for rerunning them. In the
 last analysis, the OAS, as well as other international observer missions,
 refused to participate in the equally flawed election of November 26,
 2001 that crowned Aristide President ofHaiti, with a voter participation
 estimated at from 5% to 15% of registered voters. The lack of legitimacy
 of the Lavalas regime has caused a freezing of foreign aid to the country
 with devastating results for the population, especially for
 are the vast majority. Memo to OAS, p. 2 Faced with what he calls the
 "economic terrorism" of the international community that has withheld its
 aid to his government, Aristide resorted on December 17, 2001 to a bogus
 "military attack" on the National palace to give himself the pretext to
 physically destroy the opposition, officially represented by the
 Democratic Convergence. Various press and diplomatic reports have
 detailed the destruction of headquarters and residences of leading
 opposition figures. Even some foreign properties, such as the annex of
 the French Institute, have been ransacked. Some businesses belonging to
 opponents of the regime have been broken into in broad daylight and
 pillaged by the police and the official thugs called 'chimères"*from
 chimeric. Scores of people have been killed. In view of the foregoing,
 and considering that the OAS has undertaken 17 fruitless missions to
 Haiti in the past year in attempts to solve the crisis through
 negotiations, the time has come to take a firm stand against the
 State-sponsored hooliganism in order to keep a stranglehold on power.
 We'll note that the OAS Commission on Human Rights issued a strong
 statement on the situation late last week. But that is not enough. The
 OAS Permanent Council should have the courage to denounce the Haitian de
 facto regime that has decided to resort to past practices of the hated
 Duvalier dictatorship to maintain power over a prostrate nation. In that
 light no negotiation is possible with Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who has
 never kept his word and has always betrayed the trust placed in him.
 Consequently, the only solution to the lingering Haitian crisis is the
 departure of Aristide from the presidency and the establishment of a
 balanced provisional governent to prepare for honest, free and democratic
 elections in a reasonable period of time. 
For the Committee:
Raymond A. Joseph