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a162; Fwd: Weekly Vigils - Oakland Federal Building, Thursdays at , 4:30 P.M. (fwd)

From: Mark Schuller <marky@umail.ucsb.edu>

HAITI ACTION ALERT: Lift U.S. Sanctions Against Haiti

Weekly Vigil and Picket - Oakland Federal Building,
1301 Clay Street, Thursdays at 4:30 P.M.

First Vigil - January 4, 2002!

Last week, 30 commandos attacked the Presidential
Palace in Haiti in an attempted coup against the
democratically-elected government of President Jean
Bertrand Aristide.  This is the latest and most
serious assault in a widespread campaign of
destabilization  including increasing violence,
disinformation, and economic sanctions - aimed at
destroying democracy in Haiti. It is urgent for
friends of Haiti to raise our voices and be heard.

Lift the Sanctions Now!

Upon returning from a recent mission to Haiti, Bishop
Thomas Gumbleton deplored the injustices of the
international community led by the U.S., which have
prevented Haiti from receiving a $146 million loan
from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The
loan is intended for health care, education and public
works. This loan is part of a blocked total aid
package of $500 million earmarked for Haiti by
international financial institutions.

A letter dated Nov. 8 to President Bush and signed by
all 38 members of the Congressional Black Caucus also
deplored the unjust blocking of the loan and requested
a meeting to discuss aid to Haiti. The meeting has not
yet been scheduled nor has the Caucus received a

Contracts for the loan were signed by the government
of Haiti with the Directors of the IDB who fully
approved the loan toward the end of the year 2000. At
the point of disbursement of funds early this year the
U.S. Dept. of State and Secretary of Treasury, in an
unprecedented action, exercised their veto power at
the IDB. Since that time the government of Haiti has
been fulfilling its interest obligations on the loan
(so as not to void the contract) and by the end of
2001 will have paid the IDB almost $10 million for a
loan it has not received!

Consider the following:
 The UN has designated Haiti the third hungriest
country in the world.
 Average Illiteracy rate in rural areas is 85%.
 Average life expectancy is only 53 years.
 Dental care is almost non-existent; Medical care -
1.2 doctors to every 10,000.
 Infant mortality is 74/1000 births.
 Less than 40% of the population have access to
potable water.
 The HIV/AIDS rate is 4% or 300,000 persons (163,000
children orphaned and 30,000 new cases a year).


Haiti Action Committee at (510) 483-7481 haitiaction@yahoo.com

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Injustice feeds on cowardice