[mgj-discuss] ACTION ALERT: CALL CONGRESS TODAY for Haiti
danb at quixote.org
danb at quixote.org
Wed Feb 23 15:30:50 GMT 2005
Support legislation for a congressional investigation into the U.S. role
in Haiti's coup d'etat
CALL CONGRESS TODAY, Wednesday, February 23rd
Call your Representative and ask for the foreign policy staffer. The
congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121. For fax and e-mail info:
House (www.house.gov). You can also find out who your members of Congress
are, through your local League of Women Voters (www.lwv.org). Remember to
thank your Representatives for any previous support.
Tell your Representative:
There have been many credible reports in the media including The
Washington Post showing the assistance that organizations funded by
Congress, especially the International Republican Institute (IRI),
provided to groups opposed to President Aristide and his Lavalas party.
There are also credible reports that U.S. Special Forces trained some of
the paramilitary forces that attacked cities in northern Haiti prior to
the coup a year ago. President Aristide himself has claimed he was
"kidnapped" and was a "victim of a coup d'etat."
Request that your Representative:
Consider co-sponsoring legislation reintroduced by Congresswoman Barbara
Lee that would establish a commission to investigate the extent to which
the United States Government impeded the democratic process in Haiti and
contributed to the overthrow of the democratically-elected Government of
Request that your Representative:
Co-sponsor the Haiti TRUTH Act (The Responsibility to Uncover the Truth
about Haiti), HR 946, sponsored by Representative Barbara Lee, that would
establish such a commission.
Also consider co-sponsoring the New Partnership for Haiti Act, HR 945,
that would provide technical assistance and resources to expand and
develop Haiti's health sector, also introduced by Representative Barbara
Thank you for your support. It does make a difference. Please let Haiti
Reborn know the results of your contacts. For sample letters go to
Contact Dan Beeton at Haiti Reborn, 301-699-0042, or consult the Haiti
Reborn website, www.haitireborn.org, for more information.
Talking Points for Talking With Congressional Offices: The U.S. Role in
 There have been credible reports in the media regarding the
financial and other assistance that organizations funded by Congress,
especially the International Republican Institute (IRI), provided to
groups opposed to President Aristide and his Lavalas party, including some
of the armed factions led by convicted criminals Guy Philippe and Louis
Jodel Chamblain, who killed dozens of people in attacks on northern
Haitian cities in February 2004.
 There are also credible reports that U.S. Special Forces trained
some of these same paramilitary forces, and there is reason for
speculation that U.S. shipments of rifles and other weapons to the
Dominican Republic may later have been used by these paramilitary groups.
 President Aristide himself has claimed he was "kidnapped" and was
a "victim of a coup d'etat." One of the only eyewitnesses to Aristide's
abrupt departure, a man who worked as a concierge at the Aristides' home,
also claims that the President was "forced to" leave by American soldiers.
 Documents, including a letter from Lawrence Harrington, the U.S.
Representative to the IDB, to IDB President Iglesias dated April 6, 2001,
show that the U.S. government led efforts to block forthcoming loans from
the Inter-American Development Bank.
Therefore, the U.S. Congress should establish a commission to investigate
the extent to which the U.S. Government impeded the democratic process in
Haiti, including the extent to which actions and policies of the U.S.
Government contributed to the overthrow of the democratically-elected
Government of Haiti, including:
- The circumstances under which Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
resigned his office and went into exile in the Central African Republic,
including the role of the United States Government in such resignation and
- In the events leading up to the coup d'etat, the extent to which the
United States Government fulfilled its obligations under article 17 of the
Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Democratic Charter
requiring that each OAS member country come to the aid of another OAS
government under attack.
- The extent to which United States assistance was provided or United
States personnel were used to support, directly or indirectly, the forces
opposed to the government of President Aristide, including the extent to
which United States bilateral assistance was channeled through
nongovernmental organizations that were directly or indirectly associated
with political groups actively involved in fomenting hostilities or
violence toward the government of President Aristide.
- The impact of the International Republican Institute, the National
Democratic Institute, and other organizations funded by USAID on the
political process in Haiti.
- The political and economic impact on Haiti of the decision by the United
States Government to discontinue all United States bilateral assistance to
Haiti and United States efforts to block loans and support for Haiti from
international financial institutions such as the Inter-American
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