Contact: Mikael Moore
Saturday, November 12, 2005 (202)
225-2201CONGRESSWOMAN WATERS SAYS
THE UNITED STATES, FRANCE AND CANADA
ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHAOS IN HAITIWashington, D.C. – Today, in Ottawa, Canada, Rep. Maxine Waters
(CA-35) released a statement on the continuing repression, chaos and
violence in Haiti. The statement was released at a demonstration organized
by the Canada Haiti Action Network. The Congresswoman’s statement follows:
On February 29, 2004, President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide, the democratically-elected President of Haiti, was forced to leave
Haiti in a regime change supported by the United States, France and Canada.
A year-and-a-half later, the tragic results of regime change in Haiti are
clear. Haiti is in total chaos. Heavily-armed gangs roam freely. Many of
these gangs consist of former soldiers from the brutal Haitian army, which
was disbanded over ten years ago.
The interim government, which was put in power by
the United States, has been unable to disarm the gangs or restore security
to the Haitian people. Meanwhile, schools are shut down; hospitals are not
operating; and roads and infrastructure are in disrepair.
Human rights violations occur with impunity in
Haiti. Amnesty International has expressed concerns about arbitrary
arrests, ill-treatment in detention centers, and summary executions
attributed to members of the Haitian National Police. Several former
government officials and prominent supporters of the Lavalas political
party, including Father Gerard Jean-Juste, former Prime Minister Yvon
Neptune, former Interior Minister Jocelerme Privert, and Haitian singer Anne
Auguste are being detained illegally. There are hundreds of other political
prisoners in Haiti, and most of them have been detained illegally for months
without formal charges.
The interim government has had to change the dates
for the upcoming elections several times, due to technical difficulties and
sheer incompetence. The elections are now scheduled for December, but the
Provisional Electoral Council has not announced the dates or published a
final list of candidates. Meanwhile, most voters are still waiting to
receive the national identification cards they will need to present when
they vote. No matter what the dates of the elections, they will not be free
and fair as long as popular Lavalas candidates are kept off of Haiti’s
ballots and in Haiti’s prisons.
It is time for the United States, France and Canada
to accept the fact that regime change has failed in Haiti. It is time for
them to require Haiti to disarms the gangs, free the political prisoners,
establish security, and organize free and fair elections in which all
Haitians are able to participate. It is time for the United States, France
and Canada to clean up their mess.