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25367: Wharram - news - U.S. CONGRESS - Action called for on Haiti (fwd)
From Bruce Wharram <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Posted on Sat, Jun. 11, 2005
Action called for on Haiti
Ten Democratic lawmakers urged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to take
immediate action on Haiti.
BY JOE MOZINGO
Ten members of Congress signed a letter calling Haiti ''a failed state'' and
the U.S.-backed interim government ''an instrument of repression,'' while
urging Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to take quick measures to prevent
In the letter sent to Rice on Friday, the Democratic lawmakers, led by
William Delahunt of Massachusetts, said the judicial system has become so
politicized against supporters of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
that it's ``a sham.''
''Although the unelected interim government was supposed to be composed of
nonpolitical technocrats, it has proven itself to be as fiercely partisan as
previous Haitian regimes,'' they wrote.
The group urged Rice to push for the immediate removal of Haitian Minister
of Justice Bernard Gousse, who has refused to free Aristide's former prime
minister despite requests to do so from the U.N. Mission in Haiti -- and
even the U.S. Embassy.
Former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune has been in prison for 11 months on
charges that he orchestrated a massacre of Aristide opponents, but Gousse is
yet to publicly present any evidence.
''Put simply, his attitude and his actions have actually increased Haiti's
instability and have guaranteed that Haiti will remain volatile even after
elections,'' the lawmakers wrote. Gousse declined to comment about the
The lawmakers noted that Haitian judges have exonerated dozens of military
and paramilitary officers accused of killing his supporters during the 1991
''The fact is that the Haitian interim government is widely perceived as a
U.S. puppet regime. So its failings are our failings,'' the group wrote.
Signing the letter were Reps. Alcee L . Hastings of Miramar, Sherrod Brown
and Dennis J. Kucinich from Ohio, Major J. Owens from New York, Neil
Abercrombie from Hawaii, Michael E. Capuano from Massachusetts, Zoe Lofgren
from California, Julia Carson from Indiana and Danny K. Davis from Illinois.
They concluded that if the international community does not take over the
administration of justice, ``Haiti will continue to be a failed state. And
U.S. Marines will eventually have to return to Haiti.''
A spokesman for the State Department could not be reached Friday evening.
Herald Staff Writer Jacqueline Charles contributed to this report.
© 2005 Herald.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.