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a707: U.S. feels aid to Haitian government would not be well spent

From: JD Lemieux <lxhaiti@yahoo.com>

U.S. feels aid to Haitian government would not be well
February 8, 2002 Posted: 0226 GMT

Powell speaks at a press conference Thursday.


NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) -- Secretary of State Colin
Powell resisted pressure from Caribbean leaders
Thursday to free hundreds of millions of dollars in
aid to Haiti. He said Haiti has made too little

"We are concerned about some of the actions of the
government," Powell said. "We do not believe enough
has been done yet to move the political process
forward to assure ourselves that additional aid will
be used in the most effective way at this time."

Haiti was a key topic during a brief meeting between
Powell and the 14-nation Caribbean Community, which
just completed a regional summit in Belize.

Haiti has been mired in crisis since President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party won 80 percent of seats
in parliamentary elections in May 2000 that the
opposition alleges were rigged. About $200 million in
European aid and loans from the Inter-American
Development Bank have been frozen until some results
are revised.

The United States set aside $55 million in
humanitarian aid for Haiti in this year's budget,
nearly all of it channeled through nongovernment
groups. The Bush administration is reluctant to see
any money released directly to the nation until it
sees more political reform.

But Rudy Insanally, foreign affairs minister of Guyana
and a spokesman for the Caribbean Community, said
recent actions by Aristide are in the right direction
and Haiti should be given money to build the
democratic pillars demanded by donors.

Insanally also said Caribbean leaders pressed Powell
to get several island nations off a money-laundering

The United States believes that Dominica, Grenada, St.
Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent have failed to update
their banking regulations to standards that could curb
money laundering.

Insanally said it would be unfair to follow a "pattern
of naming and shaming to tarnish the image of these

Powell, a son of Jamaican immigrants, said he tried to
assure Caribbean leaders that their efforts to clamp
down on drug trafficking and the cash flow from
criminals are crucial in the struggle against

But Caribbean leaders told Powell that their
economically struggling nations -- where the tourism
industry was already hit hard by last year's recession
-- can barely afford the costs of increased security
since Sept. 11.

The leaders also touched on the U.S. deportation of
Caribbean nationals. Regional governments believe that
deportees from the United States are contributing to
rising crime in their countries.

Last year, the United States and Canada deported more
than 3,000 Caribbean nationals, mostly to Jamaica,
Guyana and the Dominican Republic.

Powell said he also discussed ways to stop narcotics
trafficking, money laundering and other sources of
instability in the region, especially poverty, lack of
health care and insufficient education for children.

"All of these issues, if we deal with them and we deal
with them successfully, then we dry up the havens for
narco-traffickers, we dry up havens for terrorists,"
he said. "You put solid financial systems in these
countries, you make yourself less attractive to
illegal terrorists."

Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.

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