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THE FUTURE OF UNITED STATES
ASSISTANCE TO HAITI
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIRST CONGRESS
MARCH 14, 1989
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
DANTE f. FASCELL, Florida, Chairman
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana
GUS YATRON, Pennsylvania
STEPHEN J. SOLARZ, New York
GERRY E. STUDDS, Massachusetts
HOWARD WOLPE, Michigan
GEO. W. CROCKETT, JR., Michigan
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
MERVYN M. DYMALLY, California
TOM LANTOS, California
PETER H. KOSTMAYER, Pennsylvania
ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
LAWRENCE J. SMITH, Florida
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
MEL LEVINE, California
EDWARD F. FEIGHAN, Ohio
TED WEISS, New York
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
MORRIS K. UDALL, Arizona
JAMES McCLURE CLARKE, North Carolina
JAIME B. FUSTER, Puerto Rico
WAYNE OWENS, Utah
HARRY JOHNSTON, Florida
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
DOUGLAS H. BOSCO, California
FRANK McCLOSKEY, Indiana
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
WILLIAM S. BROOMFIELD, Michigan
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York
ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO, California
JIM LEACH, Iowa
TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
MICHAEL DEWINE, Ohio
DAN BURTON, Indiana
JAN MEYERS, Kansas
JOHN MILLER, Washington
DONALD E. "BUZ" LUKENS, Ohio
BEN BLAZ, Guam
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
PORTER J. GOSS, Florida
JOHN J. BRADY, Jr., Chief of Staff
PATRICIA A. WEIR, Staff Assistant
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
GEO. W. CROCKETT, JR., Michigan, Chairman
GERRY E. STUDDS, Massachusetts ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO, California
PETER H. KOSTMAYER, Pennsylvania HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
TED WEISS, New York MICHAEL DEWINE, Ohio
JAIME B. FUSTER, Puerto Rico PORTER J. GOSS, Florida
HARRY JOHNSTON, Florida DAN BURTON, Indiana
STEPHEN J. SOLARZ, New York
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
VICTOR C. JOHNSON, Subcommittee Staff Director
TABOR E. DUNMAN, Jr., Minority Staff Consultant
NANCY AGRIS, Subcommittee Staff Consultant
FRANCINE MARSHALL, Subcommittee Staff Consultant
/'. CONTENTS ( (
Hon. Walter Fauntroy, a Representative in Congress from the District of
C olum bia ..... ................................................................................................................... 3
Richard H. Melton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs,
U .S. Departm ent of State ................................................................................... 5
Ray Joseph, editor and publisher, the Haitian Observateur................................. 28
Vivian Lowery Derryck, vice president, Meridian House International............. 38
Dr. Georges Fauriol, senior fellow and director, Latin American Studies,
Center for Strategic and International Studies................................. ......... 50
Kenneth Roth, deputy director, Human Rights Watch.................................... 75
1. Ambassador Richard H. Melton's letter to Congressman Ted Weiss in
response to his request for details on U.S. Government assistance provid-
ed to Haiti since the November 29, 1987, elections ....................................... 97
2. Translation of President Avril's decree establishing the Haitian Electoral
C ou n cil........................................................................................................................ 100
3. Statement of the Haitian Federation of Private Sector Association
(FH A SEP)............................................................................................................ 105
4. Statement of William G. O'Neill, deputy director, Lawyers Committee for
H um an R ights....................................................... ............................................. 107
5. Statement of the Washington Office on Haiti............................................... 111
6. Biography of Vivian Lowery Derryck...................................................................... 113
THE FUTURE OF U.S. ASSISTANCE TO HAITI
TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 1989
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS,
The subcommittee met at 2:02 p.m. in Room 2255, Rayburn
House Office Building, Hon. George W. Crockett, Jr. (chairman of
the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. CROCKETT. The Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Af-
fairs will come to order.
The Subcommittee meets today to discuss the current situation
in Haiti and the prospects for future United States assistance to
We meet in what are still difficult times for the people of Haiti.
Progress there is slow and fragmented. We are encouraged
that President Avril has finally issued decrees reinstituting several
sections of the 1987 Constitution and re-establishing an independ-
ent electoral council. Yet at the same time, security issues loom
large and the human rights situation is dismal. According to Amer-
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
In November, three people were arrested-and two of them
killed-for having denounced certain individuals who had partici-
pated in the September 1988 attack on the St. Jean Bosco Church.
In December, the government granted safe passage out of the
country to Franck Romain, who was or is the apparent mastermind
of that very massacre.
In January, two men were arrested and beaten for writing anti-
government slogans on walls and for distributing anti-government
A few days before the party leaders were meeting to discuss the
electoral law in February, two opposition leaders were arrested and
held in jail for ten days.
Bodies, we are told, continue to appear on the streets, and no one
is arrested for or even charged with these killings.
In my view, the United States Government has not been suffi-
ciently outspoken about these abuses. We are reminded that the
last Administration failed to oppose vigorously and publicly similar
acts of violence leading up to the aborted elections of November,
1987. I think our silence at this time sends a misleading signal. I
hope this new Administration will not repeat the same mistake
made by the previous one. I look forward to finding out from our
State Department just how the Administration views the present
human rights and the present electoral situation in Haiti.
U.S. AID TO HAITI
We also are interested in the Administration's views with respect
to aid to Haiti. Under what conditions should we be prepared to
renew aid? What should be required on the part of the Haitian
Government? And how should such aid be dispensed?
Again, in my view, the current restrictions on aid should remain
in place until the Haitian Government has embarked on a credible
transition to democracy, including taking adequate steps to provide
electoral security and to disarm the Tonton Macoutes. Now, once
that transition has begun, then renewed assistance should be pro-
vided, but on a step-by-step basis and in response to specific actions
taken by the Government of Haiti to implement an electoral time-
table, to protect human rights, to reform the bureaucracy, to pro-
mote broad-based economic development, and to halt narcotics traf-
Regularized and sustained aid should not be resumed until a
freely-elected civilian government is in power and the Haitian
armed forces have demonstrated a willingness to submit to that ci-
vilian authority and to abide by the Constitution.
Now, before I introduce our first witness, I want to recognize our
distinguished Ranking Minority Member of the Subcommittee,
Congressman Lagomarsino of California, for any opening comments
he may wish to make.
Mr. LAGOMARSINO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess I can start
off by saying amen to what you have just said. I suppose if we were
discussing actual language of a resolution or a piece of legislation
we might have a difference or two but I certainly have no differ-
ences at all with the thrust of what you just said and the condi-
tions which must occur before we resume aid.
As this is the final scheduled hearing in our series in preparation
for the Subcommittee's recommendations for the foreign aid bill, I
want to commend you, Mr. Chairman, for calling attention to the
important issue of Haiti. I do not think it is true that we have for-
gotten about Haiti, but that could certainly be the impression and
will be if we do not continue to speak about it and show our inter-
At the time of the ouster of Jean-Claude Duvalier as Haiti's
ruler, all of us who are anxious to see democracy established in
Haiti held out great hope that we were seeing the beginning of
that transition. Now, three years later, we are still clinging to the
hope that somehow Haiti will find its way to democracy. Our con-
cern for the form of government that nation should enjoy is a re-
flection not only of our interest in seeing the development of that
nation and the advancement of its people, but also in seeing that
the protection of the individual person and human rights are as-
We have two distinguished panels of witnesses here today, Mr.
Chairman, and I look forward to hearing their testimony.
Mr. CROCKETr. Thank you, Mr. Lagomarsino.
Our first witness today is the Honorable Richard Melton, Deputy
Assistant Secretary for the Caribbean at the State Department.
But before we proceed, Ambassador Melton, I would like to inquire
if any other Members of the Subcommittee care to make opening
Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. CROCKETT. Congressman Gejdenson.
Mr. GEJDENSON. Thank you. I would just say that it is an amaz-
ing occasion when both our Chairman and our Ranking-Minority
agree. I think that there is a tremendous amount of concern in the
country about our failure to have a coherent and well-directed
policy in Haiti. Many of us were frankly very concerned during the
election when it seemed that the American Embassy was very slow
to denounce the violence that was occurring at that point and we
frankly hope to see more of a coherent, articulated policy for the
future that we can all work together on.
I do not think there are political differences here as there are in
other areas of foreign policy. The difficulty is in just getting an Ad-
ministration that has lots of issues before it, as everyone does, to
focus on a very small country.
The advantage of having a very small country as a target is that
it is relatively easy to do something if we put our minds to it and
to get some of our allies to join us. So I am looking forward to
working with you on this issue. Thank you.
Mr. CROCKETT. We are pleased to welcome Congressman Faunt-
roy, who represents the District of Columbia, and who is also
Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Haiti. Do you care to
make some opening remarks, Congressman?
STATEMENT OF HON. WALTER FAUNTROY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Mr. FAUNTROY. I would, Mr. Chairman, if you would be kind
enough to yield. I want to thank you and each Member of the Sub-
committee who participates on the Congressional Task Force on
Haiti, which as you know is comprised not only of Members of the
Foreign Affairs Committee but numerous Members across the spec-
trum on both sides of the aisle who want to see the kind of policy
that you have outlined here implemented by our country with re-
spect to Haiti.
I am thankful for your sustained leadership and that of so many
Members of this Subcommittee in providing much needed public
policy oversight of our nation's relations with Haiti.
HOUSE AND SENATE RESOLUTIONS
Mr. Chairman, last Fall in the closing days of the 100th Con-
gress, both houses, as you recall, passed without dissent House Con-
current Resolution 383 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 349.
These identical bills express the sense of the Congress regarding
the direction that U.S. policy should take toward Haiti, with re-
spect to the establishment of democracy in Haiti, and on conditions
for the resumption of United States assistance to that country.
You may recall that the criteria set by the two resolutions was
for evaluating progress towards democracy, reflected in the demo-
cratic agenda set by the Haitian people as expressed in their mag-
nificently ratified Constitution back on March 29, 1987.
Those criteria are four:
One, that the disarmament and retraining and restraining of the
Macoute paramilitary infrastructure of terrorists should take
place; that the promotion of and respect for human rights would be
a clear mark of the new government; that the restoration of the
Haitian people's Constitution as the law of the land would move
forward; and fourth, that the formation of a genuinely independent
electoral commission in accordance with that Constitution would
then conduct as soon as possible an open and fair election enabling
the Haitian people to choose a civilian government accountable to
The Congress also resolved in the legislation that it was the
sense of Congress that the resumption of economic or any other as-
sistance by the United States to the Government of Haiti should be
clearly linked to tangible actions by the Government of Haiti
regarding the criteria set forth in those resolutions.
The position of the Congress is crucial, for development in Haiti
is clearly linked to the democratization process. Failure to assure
tangible progress leading to a Constitutionally-elected civilian gov-
ernment significantly retards development in Haiti and calls into
question the utility and the wisdom of much of our assistance port-
folio for Haiti.
Recently, Mr. Chairman, an electoral forum was conducted in
Haiti which led to the promulgation of an electoral decree to estab-
lish a provisional electoral commission to conduct elections. This
decree appears to conform in a positive way with requirements of
the Constitution. It has also been reported that Section Chiefs
there representing the basic level of state authority in the rural
areas were called to the National Palace and lectured by interim
President Avril on the requirement to promote respect for human
rights and to disengage from the corrupt practices that have been
noted by us all.
Perhaps most importantly, the interim President, Mr. Avril,
moved just yesterday to restore by decree the 1987 Constitution as
the law of the land. There remains a need to carefully review the
articles which remain in suspension before a definitive conclusion
can be reached on this apparently bold step.
Clearly on the negative side of the ledger, Mr. Chairman, are the
continual chilling reports of terrorist incidents conducted by those
who are known to serve certain privileged elements determined to
retain the unjust status quo in Haiti. I am glad to have heard you
mention them in your opening statement. Because of past failures
in Haiti to make progress toward democracy, there is clearly a
need for a comprehensive assessment of the democratic infrastruc-
ture and its capabilities and I hope our witnesses here today can
help with just such an assessment of the status of political parties,
the press, labor unions, private voluntary organizations and the
I want to thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me to
make this opening statement at your hearing.
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you very much, Congressman Fauntroy.
Now, Ambassador Melton, welcome. You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD H. MELTON, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SEC-
RETARY FOR INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
Ambassador MELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Subcommittee, ladies and
gentlemen: I am pleased to be here today in response to your invi-
tation to speak about our relations with Haiti.
Since the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier in February 1986,
the situation in Haiti has been marked by a disappointing cycle of
failed governments, violence, and economic deterioration. We
shared the Haitian people's hope that after 30 years of dictatorial
rule under the Duvaliers, a new, more democratic era had begun.
Those hopes were dealt a brutal blow on November 29, 1987 when
widespread violence, perpetrated by Duvalierist forces and counte-
nanced by the Haitian Government of Lieutenant General Henri
Namphy, forced the cancellation of Haiti's first attempt at free
elections in more than half a century.
THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION'S POLICY
The Reagan Administration's response to that violence was quick
and unequivocal. Except for programs on narcotics and illegal mi-
grant issues, we cancelled all direct assistance to the Haitian Gov-
ernment, to include $60 million in balance of payments support, de-
velopment assistance and military aid. However, in our determina-
tion not to abandon the Haitian people, we continued humanitari-
an and development programs run through private voluntary and
non-governmental organizations. These totaled nearly $36 million
in Fiscal Year 1988.
The Administration further publicly criticized the flawed Janu-
ary 1988 elections which installed Leslie Manigat as President of
Haiti. That process was not free and open. It was not a free and
open expression of the will of the Haitian people. Nonetheless,
many Haitian political figures were prepared to give the Manigat
Government an opportunity to attempt to strengthen the founda-
tions of the democratic process. Hence, although the Administra-
tion did not propose restoration of assistance to Haiti, we worked
to influence Manigat in positive directions.
Sadly, that attempt ran afoul of the vested interests of the Duva-
lierists and their allies in the Government and military, and the
Manigat Government was brought down in a coup in June which
reinstalled Namphy as head of a military government. We strongly
condemned the coup and reiterated our concern that there be strict
observance of human and civil rights, and called for the establish-
ment of a credible transition to democratic rule.
Even more objectionable events were in the offing, however.
Namphy dissolved the legislature, abrogated the Constitution, in-
stalled a -military cabinet, and ruled by decree. -)n September 11,
1988, -armed thugs with the backing of prominent Duvalierists, and
the .countenance of the Namphy Government, attacked parishion-
ers attending Mass at St. Jean Bosco Church. The attack left 11
people dead and more than 70 wounded. This attack was followed
by still further assaults on radio stations, political party headquar-
ters, and two other churches.
The U.S. Government reacted strongly to these events, publicly
reminding the Namphy Government of its obligation to maintain
order and calling on the Haitian Government to investigate and
bring to justice those responsible.
The ensuing descent into near anarchy preordained the early
and unlimited demise of Namphy's ill-considered regime. On Sep-
tember 17, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the Presiden-
tial Guard, as disgusted by these abuses as we, overthrew Namphy
and asked Lieutenant General Prosper Avril to head a new govern-
ment which would restore order and put Haiti back on the path to
Although much remains to be done, we have been encouraged by
progress under Avril.
President Avril and his supporters initiated a political house-
cleaning, retired or forced out of the Army several dozen of the
most corrupt and brutal officers of the Duvalier era. These forced
resignations included the late Colonel Jean-Claude Paul, then
under indictment in the United States on drug charges. Avril also
appointed a mostly civilian cabinet of technocrats and immediately
opened a dialogue with political, professional, business, social and
church leaders. The difficult process of returning the country to
order and restoring both domestic and international confidence
As a consequence of Avril's dialogue with the opposition, in late
October he circulated for comment a draft decree to establish a
permanent organization which would oversee new elections. Details
of the document were criticized for being at variance with the Hai-
tian Constitution of March 1987.
Reacting to this criticism, Avril called for a forum to be con-
vened to propose an alternative method to re-establish the demo-
cratic transition process. He stated his willingness to accept any
reasonable proposals the forum might recommend.
The Electoral Council Forum convened on February 9. A cross-
section of leading opposition figures, representing 28 political par-
ties and opposition groups, including several from both the extreme
left and right of the Haitian political spectrum attended. Duvalier-
ists, constitutionally barred from participation in the November
1987 elections, were expressly excluded from the Forum.
On February 17, the Forum presented recommendations for the
establishment of Provisional and Permanent Electoral Councils.
With only minor variations, these recommendations conformed to
provisions established in the Haitian Constitution. On February 23,
_ __/_ _____~_~__~___)__ __ __.__ ____ _
the Avril Government, consistent with its earlier pledge, accepted
the Forum's recommendations by issuing a decree re-establishing
the Electoral Councils.
Some opposition political figures, who refused to participate in
the Electoral Council Forum, have criticized the decree, but a large
and representative cross-section of other opposition political leaders
publicly have commended the government for keeping its word on
this important step toward the restoration of democratic reform in
Let me turn now to human rights.
The human rights situation in Haiti is complicated. The Admin-
istration is concerned about abuses which clearly continue, both in
Port-Au-Prince and the provinces. We are in close contact with
human rights organizations in Haiti, and we continue to express
our concerns to Avril's Government, both in Haiti and in Washing-
Some of the recurring incidents of violence are perpetrated by
provincial soldiers and Section Chiefs. The Avril Government, at
the request of local community groups, has dismissed several dozen
such officials, but others implicated in abuses remain. On March 1,
Avril convoked the Section Chiefs and military Department Com-
manders. In no uncertain terms, he told them that they must re-
spect the human rights of the Haitian people and he warned them
not to abuse their powers. He had previously announced that the
position of Section Chief would become an elected office as soon as
the government was able to organize new elections in Haiti.
Some of the violence in Haiti is less political in nature than
criminal. Given the weakness of the government and judicial insti-
tutions, some people are taking advantage to settle local scores.
Some of the actions taken result from political disputes, but many
others are local social, economic and even personal matters.
In an attempt to stabilize the climate of insecurity which arises
from this combination of criminal and political violence, the Avril
Government has been engaged in an attempt to confiscate illegal
weapons in the hands of former Macoutes and other potentially
violent elements in the society. During the past week, more than
100 people have been arrested for suspected criminal activities and
illegal possession of weapons. Thousands of weapons have been con-
fiscated over the past six months. The searches are being conducted
by uniformed police officers and soldiers during daylight hours and
in the presence of judicial officials to ensure that due process pre-
While abuses continue, we believe the Avril Government has,
within the limits of its resources, acted in good faith on the human
rights issues. Its record, while far from perfect, represents a sub-
stantial improvement over those of its predecessors.
OBSTACLES TO DEMOCRACY
But despite this progress, much remains to be done if Haiti is
successfully to manage the transition to an elected civilian demo-
Both the extreme left and right remain opposed to reforms. In
paradoxical fashion, these two political extremes share an objec-
tive: to exploit the relative weakness of Avril's Government and
the dismal economic situation in Haiti to forestall reform. "the
worse, the better" seems to be their motto.
Aside from opponents at the extremes, Avril also faces the inher-
ent obstacles of a disorganized and divided democratic opposition.
Their disorganization and division is an obstacle because Avril
needs the cooperation of the political center to combat his extrem-
ist antagonists and to move the country to free elections.
In light of all these obstacles, it would be decidedly premature to
say that democracy is at hand in Haiti. However, of the four gov-
ernments to rule Haiti since the departure of Jean- Claude Duva-
lier, we judge the Avril Government as offering the best, and per-
haps the last, real chance for democratic reform for the foreseeable
But despite encouraging developments, we are not prepared to
write the Avril Government a blank check. Given the recent histo-
ry of disappointments, no military government in Haiti should
expect a full resumption of U.S. assistance. It will not be forthcom-
ing. Nonetheless, we do believe the time has come to act. With the
concurrence of the Congress, and based on continued demonstrated
performance in areas of concern to the United States, particularly
on human rights and democratic reform, the time has come to pro-
vide the Avril Government modest amounts of humanitarian as-
sistance and aid specifically targeted at moving the electoral proc-
ess forward. We believe such action is consistent with current legis-
lation and is decidedly in the U.S. and the Haitian interest.
We reiterate that we envision such assistance as being tied to
demonstrated performance on human rights and democratic
We believe the United States should be prepared to assist Avril
on a step by step basis, only so long as his government continues to
move forward without undue delays on a transition to a freely-
elected, civilian government.
HUMANITARIAN FOOD AID
For the moment, we think the most appropriate form of assist-
ance would be the kind of humanitarian food aid that would also
generate funds for job creation programs in Haiti, particularly in
regions of greatest social tensions.
What we propose is modest amounts of monetized PL-480 Title
II assistance. Such assistance would not only provide needed food
supplies, but would also have the advantage of generating local
currency funds which could only be spent on projects of mutual
The Provisional Electoral Council, once established, we would
also want to be able to assist its efforts to organize new elections in
Haiti. We have now very modest sums available for that purpose.
Once the Council has undertaken to organize new elections, larger
_ __ I I__~__ ~_ _I X ___ _____
sums will be required, but clearly, we have not arrived at that
The success of the ongoing reform efforts, indeed the Avril Gov-
ernment's very survival, may depend on our ability to respond in
measured fashion to the demonstrated achievements of the present
Government's efforts on democratization and human rights.
We cannot guarantee that our assistance will ensure the success
of Avril's attempts at democratic reform in Haiti. Neither can we
say with certainty that failure to provide this assistance would
doom those efforts. In the end, it is the Haitian people themselves
who will make the difference, who will decide by their own com-
mitment to democracy whether Haiti joins the community of demo-
cratic nations or languishes among the increasingly small number
of countries in this Hemisphere which live under dictatorial re-
U.S. Government assistance, let me stress, will not guarantee
success or failure of democracy in Haiti, but in our judgment it is
the right time and is the right thing for the American people and
the U.S. Government to do for the people of Haiti. We hope the
U.S. Congress will concur in this judgment.
Mr. Chairman, we look forward to continuing the close and con-
structive working relationship we have shared with you, Members
of the Subcommittee and your staffs. Again, I want to thank you
for this opportunity to appear before you in Subcommittee today. I
will be pleased to respond to any questions you might have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Melton follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RICHARD H. MELTON
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERAMERICAN AFFAIRS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MARCH 14, 1989
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am pleased to be here today in response to your
invitation to speak about our relations with Haiti.
Since the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier in February,
1986, the situation in Haiti has been marked by a disappointing
cycle of failed governments, violence, and economic
deterioration. We deeply felt and shared the Haitian people's
hope that, after thirty years of dictatorial rule under the
Duvaliers, a new, more democratic era had begun. Those hopes
were dealt a brutal blow on November 29, 1987 when widespread
violence, perpetrated by Duvalierist forces and countenanced by
the Haitian Government of LTG Henri Namphy, forced the
cancellation of Haiti's first attempt at free elections in more
than half a century.
The Reagan Administration's response to that violence was
quick and unequivocal. Except for programs on narcotics and
illegal migrant issues, we cancelled all direct assistance to
the Haitian Government, to include over $60 million dollars in
balance of payment support, development assistance, and
military aid. However, in our determination not to abandon the
Haitian people, we continued humanitarian and development
programs run through private voluntary and non-governmental
organizations. These totaled nearly $36 million in FY-88.
The Administration further publicly criticized the flawed
January, 1988, elections which installed Leslie Manigat as
President of Haiti. That process was not a free and open
expression of the will of the Haitian people. Nonetheless,
many Haitian political figures were prepared to give the
Manigat Government an opportunity to attempt to strengthen the
foundations of the democratic process. Hence, although the
Administration did not propose restoration of assistance to
Haiti, we worked to influence Manigat in positive directions.
Sadly, that attempt ran afoul of the vested interests of
the Duvalierists and their allies in the Government and
military, and the Manigat Government was brought down in a coup
d'etat in June which re-installed LTG Henri Namphy as head of a
military government. The United States Government strongly
condemned the coup and reiterated our concerns that there be a
strict observance of human and civil rights and called for the
establishment of a credible transition to democratic rule.
Even more objectionable events were in the offing. Namphy
dissolved the Legislature, abrogated the Constitution,
installed a military Cabinet, and ruled by decree. On
September 11, 1988, armed thugs, with the backing of prominent
Duvalierists, and the countenance of the Namphy Government,
attacked parishioners attending Mass at St. Jean Bosco church.
The attack left eleven people dead and more than seventy
wounded. This attack was followed by still further attacks on
radio stations, political party headquarters, and two other
The U.S. Government reacted strongly to these events,
publicly reminding the Namphy Government of its obligation to
maintain order and calling on the Haitian Government to
investigate and bring to justice those responsible.
The ensuing descent into near anarchy prefigured the early
and unlamented demise of Namphy's ill-conceived regime. On
September 17, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the
Presidential Guard, as disgusted by these abuses as we,
overthrew Namphy and asked LTG Prosper Avril to head a new
Government which would restore order and put Haiti back on the
path to democracy.
We have been encouraged by the progress, although much
remains to be done.
President Avril and his supporters quickly undertook a
general housecleaning, retiring or forcing out of the Army
several dozen of the most corrupt and brutal officers of the
Duvalier era. These forced resignations eventually included
the late Col. Jean-Claude Paul, then under indictment in the
United States on drug charges. Avril also appointed a mostly
civilian cabinet of technocrats and immediately opened a
dialogue with leading political, professional, business,
social, and church leaders. The difficult process of returning
the country to order and restoring both domestic and
international confidence began.
As a consequence of Avril's dialogue with the opposition,
in late October he circulated for comment a draft decree to
establish a permanent electoral body which would oversee new
elections. Details of the document were criticized for being
at variance with the Haitian Constitution of March 1987.
Reacting to this criticism, Avril called for a forum to be
convened to propose an alternative method to re-establish the
democratic transition process. He stated his willingness to
accept any reasonable proposals the forum might recommend.
The Electoral Council Forum convened on February 9. A
cross-section of leading opposition figures, representing 28
political parties and opposition groups, including several from
both the extreme left and right of the Haitian political
spectrum attended. Duvalierists, constitutionally barred from
participation in the Novemeber 1987 elections, were expressly
excluded from the Forum.
On February 17, the Forum presented recommendations for the
establishment of Provisional and Permanent Electoral Councils.
With only minor variations, these recommendations conformed to
provisions established in the Haitian Constitution. On
February 23, the Avril Government, consistent with its earlier
pledge, accepted the Forum's recommendations by issuing a
decree re-establishing the Electoral Councils.
Some opposition political figures, who refused to
participate in the Electoral Council Forum, have criticized the
decree, but a large and representative cross-section of other
opposition political leaders publicly have commended the
Government for keeping to its word on this important step
toward the restoration of democratic reform in Haiti.
The human rights situation in Haiti is complicated. The
Administration is very concerned about abuses which clearly
continue, both in Port-Au-Prince and the provinces. We are in
close contact with human rights organizations in Haiti, and we
continue to express our concerns to Avril's Government, both in
Haiti and in Washington.
Some of the recurring incidents of violence are perpetrated
by provincial soldiers and Section Chiefs. The Avril
Government, at the-request of local community groups, has
dismissed several dozen such officials, but others implicated
in continuing abuses remain. On March 1 Avril convoked the
Section Chiefs and military Department Commanders. In no
uncertain terms, he told them that they must respect the human
rights of the Haitian people and warned them not to abuse their
powers. He had previously announced that the position of
Section Chief would become an elected office as soon as the
Government was able to organize new elections in Haiti.
The Government has not been tolerant in these cases.
Hundreds of low ranking soldiers, NCOs, police officials, and
military officers at all levels, as well as dozens of Section
Chiefs, have been dismissed, some as a result of allegations
concerning human rights abuses and corruption.
Other abuses in Haiti are just as clearly carried out by
elements of the extreme left and right. They hope their
actions will destabilize the situation by provoking the
Government into harsh actions which would undermine its
credibility. To date, the Avril Government has acted with
considerable restraint in dealing with such provocations.
Some of the violence, which has been portrayed in the
general human rights context, is less political in nature than
criminal. Given the weakness of the Government and judicial
institutions, some people are taking advantage to settle local
scores. Some of the actions taken result from political
disputes, but many are local social, economic, and even
personal matters. Others are simply common criminal activities.
In an attempt to stabilize the climate of insecurity which
arises from this combination of criminal and political
violence, the Avril Government has been engaged in an attempt
to confiscate illegal weapons in the hands of former Macoutes
and other potentially violent elements in the society. During
the past week, more than a hundred people have been arrested
for suspected criminal activities and illegal possession of
weapons. Thousands of weapons have been confiscated over the
past six months. The searches are being conducted by uniformed
police officers and soldiers during daylight hours and in the
presence of judicial officials to ensure that due process
Against this record, it is our view that, while abuses
continue, there is little if any evidence to link these abuses
to policy levels within the Avril Government. We believe the
Avril Government has, within the limits of its resources, acted
in good faith on human rights issues. Its record certainly
represents a substantial improvement over those of its
While Avril has made noteworthy progress in the six months
since he assumed the Presidency, much remains to be done if
Haiti is going to successfully manage the transition to an
elected democratic government. To accomplish this task, Avril
still faces formidable obstacles.
Both the extreme left and right remain opposed to reforms.
In paradoxical fashion, these two political extremes share an
objective: to exploit the relative weakness of Avril's
Government and the dismal economic situation in Haiti to
forestall reform. "The worse, the better" seems to be their
motto. To this end, they have seized on the legitimate
grievances and aspirations of the country's impoverished
peasantry and cynically attempted to manipulate the peasants'
hopes to their own ends.
One of the more egregious and irresponsible examples of
this was the recent spreading of rumors in Haiti that Haitian
boat people would be given unrestricted entry into the United
States if they arrived during the next ninety days.
no Q oj RO 2
This rumor has encouraged hundreds of poor Haitians to sell
their belongings and risk their lives in small unseaworthy
boats in an attempt to reach American soil. The ultimate fate
of these poor people was of little concern to those who only
wanted to profit from their misery in their own self-serving
attempts to destabilize the political situation in Haiti. The
United States Government strongly condemns such behavior and
notes that it is the worst kind of human rights abuse cynically
to put the lives of so many hundreds of-people at risk.
On the extreme right, unreconstructed Duvalierists are
unhappy with Avril. Most probably, they are also involved in
many of the reported human rights abuses which threaten the
still-precarious climate of personal security in the country.
Their agenda is also to undermine the stability and credibility
of Avril's Government in an attempt to return Haiti to the
deplorable conditions which prevailed under the Duvaliers, and
from which they profited enormously.
Aside from opponents at the extremes, Avril also faces the
inherent obstacles of a disorganized and divided opposition in
the broad political mainstream. Their disorganization and
division is an obstacle because Avril needs the cooperation of
the political center to combat his extremist antagonists and
move the country to free elections.
Many mainstream opposition leaders recognize the need to
cooperate with the Government to move the reform process
forward. They demonstrated this recognition conclusively.in
their participation in the Electoral Council Forum.
Others have been less cooperative. Some have demurred from
what we assume-are their legitimate fears that they may be
politically compromised by cooperation with the Government.
Haiti has had such a long history of corrupt and abusive
governments that one must understand and accept such fears on
the part of the legitimate democratic opposition.
Unfortunately, some others seem to have adopted a
non-cooperative posture as an element in their own electoral
campaign strategies. They believe, evidently, that they are
likely to win more votes by smearing their own democratic
political opponents with a kind of "collaborationist" label.
We think this is a high-risk strategy to the extent that it
plays into the hands of the non-democratic opposition and their
attempts to prevent the electoral reforms from moving forward.
At a minimum, it makes the daunting task of moving Haiti along
the road to democracy even more difficult.
In light of these conditions, it would be decidedly
premature to say that democracy is at hand in Haiti. However,
of the four governments to rule Haiti since the departure of
Jean-Claude Duvalier, we judge the Avril Government as offering
the best, and perhaps the last real chance for democratic
reform in Haiti for the foreseeable future.
Avril has pledged publicly that he intends his Government
to be a transition to a freely-elected civilian government.
More important, he has demonstrated by concrete actions that he
has a commitment to that pledge.
Despite some encouraging developments, we are not prepared
to write the Avril Government a blank check. Given the recent
history of disappointments, no military government in Haiti
should ever expect a full resumption of U.S. assistance. It
will not be forthcoming. Nonetheless, we believe the time has
come for us to act. With the concurrence of the Congress, and
based on continued demonstrated performance in areas of concern
to the United States, particularly on human rights and
democratic reform, the time has come to provide the Avril
Government modest amounts of humanitarian assistance and aid
specifically targeted at moving the electoral process forward.
We belive such action is consistent with current U.S.
legislation and is decidedly in the U.S. and Haitian interest.
We reiterate that we envision such assistance as being tied
to demonstrated performance on human rights and democratic
reform. We believe the U.S. Government should be prepared to
assist Avril on a step by step incremental basis, only so long
as his Government continues to move forward, without undue
delays, on a transition to a freely elected civilian government.
For the moment, we think the most appropriate form of
assistance would be the kind of humanitarian food aid that
would also generate funds for job creation programs in Haiti.
What we propose is modest amounts of monetized PL-480 Title II
assistance. Such assistance would not only provide needed food
supplies, but would also have the advantage of generating local
currency funds for GOH which could only be spent on projects of
Job creation programs are at the top of our list of
prospective projects which would be funded from PL-480
commodity sales. People in Haiti can, and do, disagree about
what constitutes the best method for solving Haiti's deeply
rooted economic problems. But, everyone agrees that,
in a country with better than 50% unemployment, job creation is
a first priority.
Once it is established, we also want to be able to assist
the Provisional Electoral Council in its efforts to organize
new elections in Haiti. We have now very modest sums available
for this purpose. Once the Council has undertaken to organize
new elections, larger sums will be required but, we have not
yet arrived at that point.
The success of the ongoing reform efforts, indeed the Avril
Government's very survival, may depend on our ability to
respond in measured fashion to the demonstrated achievements of
the present Government's efforts on democratization and human
We cannot guarantee that our assistance will ensure the
success of Avril's attempts at democratic reform in Haiti.
Neither can we say with certainty that failure to provide this
assistance would doom those efforts. In the end, it is the
Haitian people themselves who will make the difference, who
will decide by their own commitment to democracy whether Haiti
joins the community of democratic nations, or remains among the
increasingly small number of countries in this hemisphere which
live under dictatorial regimes.
U.S. Government assistance will not guarantee success or
failure for democracy in Haiti but, it is the right time, and
it is the right thing for the American people and the U. S.
Government to do for the people of Haiti. We hope the Congress
will concur in this judgment.
Mr. Chairman, we look forward to continuing the close and
constructive working relationship we have shared with you,
members of this Subcommittee, and your staffs. Again, I want
to thank you for the opportunity to appear before this
Subcommittee today. I will be pleased to respond to whatever
questions you may have.
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you, Ambassador Melton. I thought your
presentation was an excellent one. I have a feeling that it an-
swered all of the basic questions that I had. And I think I find
myself in general agreement with just about everything that you
In my opening statement, however, I mentioned five or six recent
happenings and I expressed some concern that State Department
had not at least publicly made comments about those happenings,
assuming that the happenings did take place.
Are you in a position to make any comments about them at this
point, as a part of your presentation on the issue of what Haiti is
doing on the question of human rights?
Ambassador MELTON. I would make a general comment and then
undertake to develop additional information for you, Mr. Chair-
And the general comment goes along with what I said in the
statement, is that human rights is really at the top of our concerns
in Haiti. We believe strongly that the best protection for human
rights in Haiti as in other nations is a freely-elected, democratic,
civilian government. And that is our objective. I am sure it is the
objective of everyone here.
That is why we are advancing this proposal this morning and
why we are trying to move forward to encourage that process.
The human rights abuses in Haiti certainly have not been erased
by the Avril Government. Many of those abuses are rooted in the
30 years of Duvalierist rule, and the Haitian people will not enjoy
the kind of system, the kind of liberties, the kind of absence of
those abuses, until they have a democratic rule, until people of
their own choice make those decisions and until the judicial system
is greatly strengthened.
One of the great weaknesses now is the absence of an impartial
judicial system. That is one area that in the future perhaps we can
provide some assistance. But it underscores the difficulty of ad-
dressing the overall problem.
Mr. CROCKETT. Now, you indicated, and I think I had used simi-
lar language in my statement, that the State Department should
be prepared to assist Avril on a quote "step-by-step incremental
My question: if Congress gives the State Department the author-
ity and the money to do just that, what kind of consultation with
the Congress is the Administration prepared to commit itself to in
order to ensure or to assure us that the assistance is being given in
the amounts and the times that would accord with the Congres-
You see, it is all a part of this whole question of to what extent
Congress should particularize what the State Department is to do
as opposed to the amount of discretion Congress should leave to the
What I want to know is let's assume, since both of us agree, that
is, you and the Congress, that perhaps there should be some step
by step incremental increase in aid. How can we be reasonably as-
sured that you are going to do it the way we want it done?
Ambassador MELTON. That is a very good question. I think in
this case we both want to see the same thing done and I would
pledge to you the closest kind of consultation. I think that the
record shows that in past months we have engaged in just that
kind of consultation.
The assumption that I operate under is that we go no place that
Congress does not want to go with us in matters relating to Haiti.
And I followed this, we follow this in developing our policy toward
Haiti and we will continue to do that. We should move forward to-
gether. I think we share the same objectives. And from the state-
ments, the opening statements and from your statement, Mr.
Chairman, I think that is confirmed.
I think we are heading in the same direction and I think there
may be only very minor differences over the pace of that progress.
But I can assure you that we will continue the closest possible
Mr. CROCKETT. Mr. Lagomarsino.
DEATH OF COLONEL JEAN-CLAUDE PAUL
Mr. LAGOMARSINO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In your statement,
you referred to the forced resignation of the-OK, I had forgotten.
It answers itself. The late Colonel Jean-Claude Paul. What has
happened with that? There was a murder investigation. Is that still
going on or has it been concluded?
Ambassador MELTON. Well, in the hours following his death,
members of his immediate family were detained. My understand-
ing is they have subsequently been released. And I do not know
that anyone has been brought to trial or that there has been any
definitive judgment on just what the circumstances were surround-
ing his death.
There is the story about the pumpkin soup and the poison and
the rest of it. But I have seen no definitive explanation of just what
was the cause.
Mr. LAGOMARSINO. I ask only out of curiosity, not out of any
great concern as to what happened to him.
Ambassador MELTON. Yes.
Mr. LAGOMARSINO. But it was an interesting story at the time.
What influence can we use other than what we are talking about
directly here, aid, withholding of aid, conditioning, and so on, to
discourage the terrorist tactics used by the remaining remnants of
Ambassador MELTON. Well, I think speaking out against them is
an important tool which should not be discarded. I would say that
the various monitoring groups can and do perform useful services
as well. Putting the spotlight on these kinds of abuses I think is
But in the longer term, I would reiterate that the only way you
are really going to get at these things is getting at the social condi-
tions which contribute to these kinds of abuses and permit them to
~1~ --~--i ------'ir- L~ --i ----l^m-L~4-L------- ------I -
Mr. LAGOMARSINO. What reforms have occurred within the mili-
tary if any that bear on narcotics trafficking and drug enforce-
Ambassador MELTON. Well, you mentioned Colonel Paul. I think
his separation from the armed forces was a big plus in anti-narcot-
The new authorities have separated from the armed forces a
number of officials who were alleged to have had connections with
trafficking. The Avril Government has cooperated very closely with
us in our anti-narcotics efforts. There is a joint information center
which has been established. A Memorandum of Understanding was
agreed to with the State Department's Bureau of International
Narcotics Matters to help support that center and other centers in
the country. The Haitian Government agreed to participation in a
week-long joint drug interdiction exercise, in which U.S. Customs
and DEA personnel participated, and is disposed to do more in that
area. Its resources are very limited, however.
Mr. LAGOMARSINO. Thank you.
Mr. CROCKETT. The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Kost-
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Mr. Ambassador, is there a date yet for the elec-
Ambassador MELTON. No, it has not been set. The Electoral
Council is not yet formed. Under the arrangements agreed to, the
various constituent organizations have to select their membership
in the Council. A date has been set for that, March 22, for them to
come forward with their nominees for the Council.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Can you anticipate the date of the national elec-
tions at this point?
Ambassador MELTON. I really cannot. It is up to the Council
itself to make that judgment.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Will it be in 1989?
Ambassador MELTON. It could be anywhere from the end of the
year to 12 months, 18 months.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. But there is a good faith effort going on?
Ambassador MELTON. Absolutely.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Okay. Can you describe how the limits on dis-
sent manifest themselves even under this improved government?
What are the most vivid examples?
Ambassador MELTON. Well, I think the absence of some partici-
pants in the past election from the Electoral Forum is an example
of the kind of dissent which goes on. That included a number of
prominent political leaders who did not participate in the electoral
Mr. KOSTMAYER. The current one?
Ambassador MELTON. That is right. The one that was just con-
Mr. KOSTMAYER. They are prohibited?
Ambassador MELTON. No, no. They chose not to participate.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. They chose.
A W VA &AW -% AT- 3M a -
Ambassador MELTON. They were invited, but chose not to partici-
pate, for their own reasons. I think that some of them are looking
beyond to an eventual campaign and, as democrats, are intent on
establishing credentials as being more anti-establishment than
others. There are others who have other motives.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Do you think they will participate at a later
Ambassador MELTON. I think that they will wait and see how the
Council evolves and the kind of rules it establishes, what the cli-
mate is in the countryside, that sort of thing, and I think some of
them indeed will eventually participate.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. How substantial are their numbers?
Ambassador MELTON. It is very hard to say because there have
never been any real tests of popular mandate. And until there is a
genuinely free election, many of the leaders now will not, they
really cannot give any specific estimate, or we could not give any
specific estimate of what their strength is. We do not know.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Aside from the political climate, is there any
discernible improvement in the economy?
Ambassador MELTON. I think the economy is one of the more de-
pressing areas of Haiti.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. As opposed to those cheery parts.
Ambassador MELTON. Yes. It is a rather dismal picture. But the
economy has not improved at all. In part, it is a management prob-
lem on the Haitian side. But in larger part it relates to the pattern
of the past, the instability of the past. And investors respond to
that. Some investors who had gone in in an effort to get established
industries that could then export to the U.S. market have since re-
located. Once relocated, they are unlikely to move back very soon.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. They have left the country, you mean?
Ambassador MELTON. That is right. They have left Haiti.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Even though the climate is somewhat improved,
I gather, the political climate?
Ambassador MELTON. It is somewhat improved. The economic cli-
mate is not improved. The inflation rate is advancing, the parallel
market, the difference between the official and unofficial rates for
local currency and the dollar continues to edge up. It is not a rosy
It is one of the reasons why we are advancing the proposal that I
have made today, because of the sharp problems caused by absence
of and shortages of foreign exchange.
FAMILY PLANNING PROGRAM
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Do you know if there is a family planning pro-
gram, are we funding a family planning program in Haiti, do you
happen to know?
Ambassador MELTON. We do. I do not have the figures here, but
there is a family planning program.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. One last question, Mr. Chairman. Duvalier is in
France, is that right?
Ambassador MELTON. At last report.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Is there any communication between him and
former supporters in Haiti that you know of?
Ambassador MELTON. There is some communication. There are
some former supporters who have taken up residence in the Do-
minican Republic and some who come back from time to time and
some who remain in Haiti itself. And there is a communication
which goes on.
I would not say for sure that it goes back to Jean-Claude but the
former supporters of the previous regimes are still in communica-
tion with people inside. And some are still inside, of course.
Mr. KOSTMAYER. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. Thank you, Mr.
Mr. CROCKETT. The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Goss.
Mr. Goss. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Ambassador, nowhere
in your remarks did I hear the problem of refugees addressed in
any degree. As you know, that is a continuing problem. And I won-
dered if you had any comment on that aspect of the problem, be-
cause that is a direct, continuing problem to this country.
Ambassador MELTON. Absolutely. I think that it is the most
vivid, wrenching reminder of the situation in Haiti itself. Under
the Haitian Migration and Interdiction Operation Program that we
have had in effect for some years now, there have been some 18,000
Haitians who have been returned, who have been returned from
the high seas, many of them traveling in the most unseaworthy
kind of craft. I would note that just in the past week, this past Sat-
urday off the coast of Cuba, one of these crafts sank and 23 Haitians
were drowned. It is a tragic situation. It has its roots in the eco-
nomic situation, the social situation in Haiti itself. And until some-
thing is done to correct that situation, this is going to continue.
Mr. Goss. I think the follow-up there goes to your statement that
job creation programs are at the top of your list in terms of the
proposal that you are making to us.
The problem with the jobs in Haiti as I recall historically has
been really two-fold. First of all, there is not much investment in
Haiti, there is not much infrastructure. I wonder if there are any
programs to attract private investment or other types of invest-
ment that are not necessarily public funds?
Ambassador MELTON. There are private sector organizations,
businessmen's organizations, and I believe some are in Washington
this week attempting to do just that. But there is a tremendous
lack of infrastructure, and there is need for supplemental job cre-
ation programs. I do not think that in these circumstances we can
be confident that the market itself, which eventually will work,
can do the whole job. And I think that there is a need for the kind
of job creation programs that I have talked about.
Mr. Goss. Then I guess the final part of that question is, I am a
little bit of a student of the history of Haiti and as long as I can
remember, well before the Duvaliers, the problem of the military
always being in force one way or another has really been the rule,
whether it has been direct or indirect, it has been there. And I
wonder if you would care to comment if you see any change in that
in the foreseeable future.
Ambassador MELTON. I think that it will come with elections but
I would not say that the elections will mean that the military will
disappear as a force, and a political force in Haiti because I do not
think that is true.
But I think we have to put it in perspective, though. The Haiti
armed forces is not an immense organization. We are talking about
a group of some seven, eight thousand people. Some of the worst
elements have been purged since Avril came to power. There is
clearly more that needs to be done there. There is more that needs
to be done in training and civic education as well.
But the military, given the weakness, the relative weakness of
some of the other institutions in Haiti which will persist for some
time, I think we have to recognize that the military will be an in-
stitution with some political power for the foreseeable future.
Mr. Goss. Are you recommending that we pursue that line also?
Ambassador MELTON. What line?
Mr. Goss. To have credibility with the military there?
Ambassador MELTON. I think we have credibility with the mili-
tary now and the credibility is established by the consistency of our
message to Haiti. And that consistent message is that we support
democracy and human rights. As long as the authorities in Haiti are
moving toward those objectives, are making demonstrable progress,
they can look to.the United States for support, and we will respond
in kind to demonstrated progress on their part.
To the extent that they move the other way, then they can
expect no support from the United States.
Mr. Goss. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you, Mr. Goss. Mr. Weiss.
Mr. WEISS. Thank you. Could we get some more specificity from
you, Mr. Ambassador, as to what steps by the Avril Government
are required to move toward a democratic process in tandem with
aid from the United States?
We seem to have no reluctance in telling the Nicaraguan Gov-
ernment and some other governments when the time frame which
they have established is too stretched out. It seems to me that here
we do not just have an election date which is too far off in the dis-
tance, we have no date at all. Have we discussed a specific date?
Will our aid be conditioned upon a timeframe which we consider
to be sufficiently reasonable to indicate measurable progress?
Ambassador MELTON. Let me start off by saying that I have some
experience with the Nicaraguans, and the problem with the Nicara-
guans, the Sandinistas, is they simply do not listen to us and they do
not keep their word.
23 S L
L AJU 4 '89 A
Mr. WEISS. But at least we try to set standards. U W
Ambassador MELTON. Yes.
Mr. WEISS. Right? 0335-A
Ambassador MELTON. Yes. Yes.
Mr. WEISS. Okay. How about in Haiti?
Ambassador MELTON. I think that the standards are implicit in
the process as it evolves, at least I see them. And let me explain
The establishment of the Electoral Council has an initial dead-
line to name their people by the 22nd of March.
Then the action passes to the Council itself. It is up to the Coun-
cil as an independent body to set the rules and the timetable and
the conditions for the election. And that is the way it should be.
Otherwise, we would have the military government doing that.
And the constitutional provisions provide for an independence of
the electoral authorities. And that is quite proper.
There are conditions established, and I sought to outline them.
And the basic condition is that as long as there is demonstrable
progress on these fronts, particularly democratic reform and
human rights, that we will continue to encourage and support the
To the extent that there is backsliding or to the extent that for
example the Council were to be diverted from its function, to the
extent that the conclusions of the Council regarding the procedures
for the election, the timetable for the election were resisted or were
impeded, then the authorities and Haiti could not expect support
from the United States.
Mr. WEISS. How about as far as human rights are concerned? We
will be hearing testimony as the day goes on about repression and
violence emanating from the Avril Government.
Ambassador MELTON. Yes.
Mr. WEISS. How do we react to that? What have we said regard-
ing our specific expectations? Do we require that there be proof of
direct involvement by the President himself? Do we require that
they make good faith effort to stamp it out? What kind of stand-
ards are we using in regard to human rights?
Ambassador MELTON. On the general position that we have as-
sumed on human rights, I think there has been some concern that
we have not spoken out sufficiently.
I have sought to speak out this morning clearly and candidly on
this. On the specific cases, the ones that have been raised this
morning and the ones that may be raised in subsequent testimony,
we will take each of those cases, each of the assertions that are
made and we will ask our Embassy to look into those and we will
come back to you with our comments.
Mr. WEISS. Right. But it seems to me that you would not want to
hold off saying anything until you come to a hearing of this kind?
Rather there ought to be a reaction from the Embassy or from the
American Government, immediately upon an event like that
taking place? Then we should use our leverage to make sure that
at least there is a full investigation and if necessary prosecution or
determination as to what in fact had happened.
Ambassador MELTON. Yes. I think that is reasonable, that if
there are these abuses and there is even circumstantial evidence
that suggests that the authorities are responsible, you can expect
and you will see that we will speak out.
Mr. WEISS. Finally, hasn't there been instances of economic as-
sistance already given to the Avril government by the United
Ambassador MELTON. That is correct. Humanitarian assistance
through private and non-governmental organizations.
Mr. WEISS. Is there now an effort to transform that assistance to
be provided through the Avril government? Is that the plan that is
Ambassador MELTON. Not exactly. We would continue with the
pattern of humanitarian assistance that we have provided in the
What I have suggested is a small amount of monetized PL-480
Title II which would generate local currency which could be used
for job creation programs. That portion would go through the gov-
ernment, through the single flour mill that exists in Haiti.
Mr. WEISS. Hasn't that already happened? Have we not had two
instances where in fact we provided monetized assistance?
Ambassador MELTON. No, that is not true. The PL-480 that has
been provided has gone to the private voluntary organizations. A
problem we face now is one of absorptive capacity of these organi-
zations, which include CARE and CARITAS and the Adventist or-
ganization on the ground in Haiti, providing food aid to the most
needy, to children, to the destitute. They are being provided to the
abilities of these organizations on the ground. And that is a very
effective program. We would continue that program, and recommen-
dations are in the budget for Fiscal Year 1990 to continue at
approximately the same level which is $13 to 14 million.
In addition to that, we would propose a modest amount of PL-
480 Title II.
Mr. WEISS. I have information, and again I would appreciate
your comment, that in fact the Administration has on two occa-
sions granted a total of $19 million in credit guarantees--
Ambassador MELTON. Under the GSM-102 program we have pro-
vided guarantees for commercial sales.
Mr. WEISS. Right. Which would allow the Haitian Government to
generate revenues by purchasing and reselling basic commodities.
That is correct, is it not?
Ambassador MELTON. No. What we did do is we had local currency
generated from previous PL-480 transactions, and we agreed to
release some of those local funds. And that was in connection with
the Government in the sense that it was mutually agreed use of the
Mr. WEISS. Again, my only concern is that although there is ap-
parently a difference of opinion as to exactly what mechanism was
used, beyond that is the fact that we have done it already. At the
time that we undertook these actions which allow at least a curren-
cy availability to the Government, we must have done it with the
premise that in fact there was some movement toward a democrat-
ic system and or human rights progress.
Given when it appears the Avril Government has been going, I
am not sure that the justification was clear enough to do that. I
assume that in the future you are going to be requiring greater
demonstration of a commitment toward progress in those two
Ambassador MELTON. We really have not done what I am propos-
ing. What we have done, we have provided commercial guarantees.
I think the best way to do this maybe is to send you a short paper
that gives you the numbers and the explanations of the programs?
[See Appendix 1]
Mr. WEISS. I would appreciate that.
Ambassador MELTON. Certainly.
Mr. WEISS. It would be very helpful. Thank you very much, Mr.
Mr. CROCKETT. Congressman Fauntroy.
CONTINUED HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador Melton, I
want to thank you for what I think is a very comprehensive and
excellent summary of developments since the "dechoukage" [up-
rooting of Jean Claude Duvalier] and Mr. Duvalier's leaving. On
Page 3 of your testimony you referenced something to which Chair-
man Crockett gave reference in his opening remarks. That is, con-
tinuing incidences of what appear to be terror with people's bodies
showing up here and there. You mentioned in your testimony that
the human rights situation is complicated, that we are concerned
about abuses that continue. Congressman Weiss raised the question
what standards are we setting for the government.
I want to raise the question of what standards we might be set-
ting for another sector. It is the view of many of us who have been
observing Haiti for many years that there are a limited number of
business people in Haiti who may wish to, at all costs, maintain a
restricted economy there, that is based on government concessions
and franchises and monopoly, and that that group, however
small-and I think it is small, but powerful-fears that a freely-
elected government, accountable to the people of Haiti, might in-
trude upon their privileges, might force them to compete in the
world economy, and might reallocate the limited resources in Haiti.
And it is they, some of us fear, who may be involved in not only
fueling instances of terror that signal people that they are still
there, but who may also create a problem for the new Council. You
mentioned that the only way we can set a timetable is to give the
council an opportunity to operate.
I have one question. To what extent, candidly, do you think that
may be a factor in bodies showing up and certain of the Section
Chiefs and certain people who are associated in government, who
are involved in another government, keeping this pot boiling?
Ambassador MELTON. I certainly would not discount that. In
your description, I think that you have hit on a very important
point, that one of the reasons why the economy is in the sad state
that it is is because some of the people who are in the best position
to contribute, both through paying their taxes, paying their electri-
cal fees and the rest of it, are not doing so.
Action needs to be taken and has to be taken if the economy is
going to be restored, that they have to be made to pay their full
Mr. FAUNTROY. I am not going to trouble you to answer in a
public forum, but it seems to me that just as we have signalled the
government that it must do some things, and I am encouraged as
you are by the things that the government is attempting to do, that
some other people need to be signalled that they are to let the
people go, let my people go. And I would hope that in a subsequent
conversation we can talk about how we can signal some other
Ambassador MELTON. I would look forward to that.
Mr. FAUNTROY [continuing]. That we cannot allow Haiti to disap-
pear into the ocean as the price for their continued dominance of a
monopolistic economy that will not allow it to become a part of the
world economy and compete.
So I am happy that you want to talk to me.
Ambassador MELTON. I look forward to it and I agree with what
you have said that we certainly want to communicate that message
and we have to find the best way and most effective way to do that.
I look forward to it.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Good.
Mr. CROCKETT. I have one final question, Mr. Ambassador.
You and our Subcommittee seem to be agreed that, as the Hai-
tain Government moves toward democracy, there should be a step-
by-step furnishing of additional aid and economic support on our
You also indicated that the Haitian economy is in a very bad sit-
uation. What worries me is, assuming that Haiti moves toward de-
mocracy, when and if that occurs, will there be any money around
for us to give to the Haitians?
Now, I say that because we are presently considering the foreign
aid bill. And in the foreign aid bill, while the State Department
proposes let us say $20 million in ESF funds for the Dominican Re-
public, whose economy is, I think you will admit, far better than
the Haitian economy, and you propose, I do not even want to men-
tion how much you propose for El Salvador and Guatemala and so
forth. But for Haiti you make no recommendation at all, no ESF
funds for Haiti, and actually only a small amount in development
funds. You ask for $28 million in development funds but no ESF
Now, unless you have quite a bit of money in the pipeline for
Haiti, where are you going to get the money?
Ambassador MELTON. Mr. Chairman, I think we will be coming
back to you. The figures for Fiscal Year 1990 represent more or
less a straight line continuation of the reduced assistance programs
____~ ___ __~__~~_
that we are providing now under the strictures of the current pro-
It is clear that if the process goes forward as we hope that it
does, that certainly some amounts of ESF will be needed to support
the work of the Electoral Council.
The other resources that are available do not provide funds that
can be used for that purpose.
But assuming that things continue along the right course, we
will need substantial additional funds. If we go back just a year or
so ago, the program in Haiti was at the $100 million plus overall
level and I think that we have to contemplate that as things move
forward, we are going to have to go back to substantial programs in
Haiti. I think that is very clear. Haiti is the poorest country in the
hemisphere. It needs help desperately.
Mr. CROCKETT. Now, you also spoke about giving monetized PL-
480 assistance to the Government of Haiti. Can you do that under
existing law, or do you not have to come back to us for that?
Ambassador MELTON. Mr. Chairman, I think that is a judgment
call. We have gone over the terms of the legislation carefully with
our legal people and the wording, the pertinent wording is "* *
unless the democratic process set forth in the Haiti Constitution
approved by the Haitian people on March 29, 1987, especially those
provisions relating to the provision Electoral Council as being fully
and faithfully adhered to by the Government of Haiti," we believe
that, given the events which I have described in my testimony
today, the formation of the Electoral Council, the statements about
the Constitution and the movement that has been made, that those
terms are satisfied for now. But that does not mean that a month
From now or two months from now that we could make that same
That is what I think we have to keep in mind with an incremen-
:al, step by step approach.
Mr. CROCKETT. Do I understand you to be saying that when that
Joes become necessary, you will come back to the Congress to get
assistance in making that quote "judgment call" unquote?
Ambassador MELTON. I have tried to make the case this morning
that for now the conditions are appropriate to move forward. That
does not mean that one can go forward immediately. These things
cannot be done immediately.
There are some other dates that come up very soon. The March
22 date. That is an important date, too. This Council has to get its
membership in place and functioning.
So there will be checkbacks at each point. And we want to be
moving forward, but if there is a change in the situation-and we
would be consulting with you-if there were a change in the situa-
tion, we certainly would reconsider. We would not go forward in
the face of the considered views of the Members of Congress. That
is not our intent.
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador.
Ambassador MELTON. Thank you.
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you very much.
We will now hear from a panel of witnesses. And included on
that panel is Mr. Ray Joseph, the editor and publisher of The Hai-
tian Observateur; Ms. Vivian Lowery Derryck, the vice president of
the Meridian House International; Dr. Georges Fauriol, who is the
senior fellow and the director of Latin American Studies, Center
for Strategic and International Studies at the Center for Strategic
and International Studies; and Mr. Kenneth Roth, the deputy di-
rector of Human Rights Watch.
Mr. Joseph, I think that we will begin with you, and welcome
back to the subcommittee.
STATEMENT OF RAY JOSEPH, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, THE
Mr. JOSEPH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, it is a
great joy for me to be here again, to have the opportunity to
appear before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs
and to share with you my views on the situation in Haiti and the
posture that I will recommend to you as policy makers in this deli-
Last year when I testified in these chambers, the issues were
much sharper and I had no trouble calling for sanctions against
military strongmen that hid behind a civilian caricature of demo-
cratic government to carry out their criminal program, which
among other things included drug trafficking, smuggling, assassina-
tion of political opponents and wholesale repression.
Presently the situation in Haiti is not as critical as a year ago.
Thus, I find myself hedging somewhat on my suggestions. Stopping
the drug traffic through Haiti and curtailing smuggling are indeed
important issues. But remember that our goal is the establishment
of democracy in Haiti, and that should be the yardstick by which
any Haitian government should be measured.
To the credit of the Avril government, progress has been made in
Haiti on interdiction of drug traffic. A scant two weeks after as-
suming power last September, General Prosper Avril with appar-
ent ease discussed the late Colonel Jean-Claude Paul, and we know
that he was the kingpin in the drug traffic. And there were subse-
quent events beyond the realm of this testimony.
But for the record, I want to say that one top colonel in the Hai-
tian armed forces, Colonel Gary Leon, former Secretary of the
armed forces has just been tried and convicted in New York City in
federal court, and was found guilty on three counts and was sched-
uled to be sentenced on May 11th. This was for cocaine trafficking.
This shows the armed forces' involvement, at least some members
of it, and we got one of them in New York.
Mr. CROCKETT. Let me interrupt you one minute, Mr. Joseph. Ob-
viously, we have concern with the narcotics situation in Jamaica
and other nations that are covered by the President's certification.
But we recently concluded extensive hearings on that subject with
respect to the Western Hemisphere including reference to Jamaica.
So we would like to conserve our time at this hearing and concen-
trate on questions of the progress of the Haitian government
toward democracy and the protection of civil rights. So if you could
summarize that part for us.
Mr. JOSEPH. Sure. I was bringing up this issue especially because
people in the Avril government are saying that we have been very
helpful in cocaine interdiction, and we have been very helpful in
all of these things, and we are not getting the aid of the United
States. In fact, that is why I am bringing this up to say that sure
although cocaine trafficking is very important to us, but the yard-
stick in the case of Haiti and what concerns us is the establishment
So I am bringing this up to say okay, we give you good points on
these things, however there are other things. And I think that the
government of Haiti needs to address these. They are also saying
that we have been working on collecting funds from some of the
businessmen. The electricity case was mentioned. They are saying
we are getting $22 million from the big-wigs who are tapping all of
the electricity, and that the United States government and the
United States Congress is not giving us credit for all of these things
that we are doing.
I want to say all right, we give you credit for these things, but
there are other things. For example, there are criminal cases that
have not been investigated. Among them are the cases of Louis
Eugene Athis, Yves Volel, Lafontant Joseph, the Jean Rabel mas-
sacre and the massacre at the St. Jean Bosco Church.
The government has turned this into a hot political potato by
asking the human rights activists to form a commission to investi-
gate these crimes. Now I think that a government that is in power,
the main thing that it should do is to take these allegations and
deal with them. Even if they have to ask another commission to
look into them also, I think that would be good, but they have not
been doing this.
NEW WAVE OF VIOLENCE
But the main thing is the new wave of violence in Haiti. The
corpses discovered in early morning on the streets of the capital, in
the suburbs, in the provinces, and not of prominent people. Again
some say that the violence may not be at all political, that it could
just be a settling of accounts for drug deals. In fact, the president's
own brother-in-law was recently murdered. So the president could
not even say I am not responsible for what is going on.
Yet the people notice that this violence has resurfaced just about
at the same time that we are talking about free elections in Haiti,
and they remember what happened the last time around. I think
that the Avril government needs to be more transparent and
indeed more decisive in clearing the air of suspicion hanging over
it in these cases.
Granted two weeks ago that the government began carrying out
sweeps around the capital netting dozens of unregistered weapons
and arresting nearly one hundred individuals. Yet some of the ar-
chitects of the 1987 Election Day massacre are still moving about
freely, promising to wreck any electoral process which goes on
without their participation.
98-023 89 3
It is my impression after a recent visit to Haiti that General
Avril is caught between these competing forces, those who want
elections in a reasonably short time and those who would like to
enjoy with him the advantages of power for as much as four more
years, rounding out what they term the five year mandate of Leslie
Where does General Avril stand. I do not quite know. In fact,
after I finished writing my testimony, last night I had to revise
something. Mr. Chairman, yesterday afternoon I heard that Gener-
al Avril through decree, as the Honorable Congressman Fauntroy
said, reinstated the 1987 constitution. And there was a great sigh
of relief all over. Yet when we looked at the decree, we found out
that some articles were dropped from the constitution. And some of
the articles that were dropped showed the intention of the govern-
ment to have military running in the elections. I think that in this
case that we would have to ask will elections be held, when, and
under what rules. Will Mr. Avril be a candidate or any other mili-
This morning again the picture changed, and this confused me,
because the decree of last night I was told and by an official of the
government that there was a mistake. And the articles that they
had dropped, which meant that a military officer could not partici-
pate, should not have been dropped from the constitution.
So we do not know exactly as of this moment where we stand.
And for that reason, I would like to say that before we move for-
ward with any change in policy and with any change to those reso-
lutions that we had before that the Avril government becomes
more specific about what it intends to do.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Joseph follows:]
Statement of Raymond A. Joseph, Publisher of the Haiti-Observateur, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman for the opportunity to appear before th!
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs and to share with you my views on
the situation in Haiti and the posture that I will recommend to U.S. policy-
makers in this delicate period.
Last year when I testified in these chambers, the issues were much
sharper and I had no trouble calling for sanctions against military strongmen
that hid behind a civilian caricature of democratic government to carry
out their criminal program which, among other things, included drug
trafficking, smuggling, assassination of political opponents and wholesale
Presently the situation in Haiti is not as critical as a year ago.
Thus, I find myself hedging on my suggestions. Stopping the drug traffic
through Haiti and curtailing smuggling are indeed important issues. But
our goal is the establishment of democracy in Haiti, and that should be
the yardstick by which any Haitian government should be measured.
To the credit of General Avril's government, progress has been made
in Haiti on interdiction of the drug traffic. Certain U.S. agencies,
especially the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are in a better
position to comment on that. However, some obvious facts are indicative
of a changed situation:
A scant two weeks after assuming power last September, General
Prosper Avril, with apparent ease, dismissed the late Col. Jean-Claude
Paul, the former powerful commander of the Casernes Dessalines, who was
considered a kingpin in the drug traffic. Indicted in a U.S. Federal
Court in Florida, Col. Paul continued to increase his power in Haiti to
the point of becoming the "protector" of then President Leslie Manigat.
Subsequent events are beyond the realm of this testimony.
For the record, it should be noted'that the alleged involvement of
the Haitian Armed Forces in drug trafficking has been buttressed by the
recent trial in a New York Federal Court of Col. Gary Leon, former Secretary
of the Armed Forces under General Henri Namphy. Found guilty on three counts,
he is scheduled to be sentenced May 11. He could get from 5 to 120 years in
The U.S. was invited by the Avril government to physically take tons
of cocaine seized in Haiti and U.S. agents have been given free rein in
Haiti, including the power to search ships moored in Haitian ports. (This
was done in Cap Haitien two months ago.) There has never been better
cooperation on the part of the Haitian government to stem the flow of
drugs to this country.
Haitian officials say privately that their cooperation hasn't been
rewarded with U.S. aid, as if they should get paid for doing what is good
for the country. On the other hand, they note that the drug traffic
spurred a parallel economy that put cash into the general economy pa
gave some semblance of prosperity. Thus, the officials reason, they
should find alternatives to the drug money. Some observers assert that
the government could find some money internally by controlling smuggling.
Indeed, the government announced with great fanfare that it had
set up an anti-contraband Task Force to deal with the smugglers who, for
the most part, come from Miami with everything from toys to trucks. Yet,
the ringleaders of the smuggling trade are well known and move about
Despite the harm caused to local industry and commerce, smuggling
is not an easy matter to resolve, because it has resulted in some economic
activity in provincial ports where life had long ago come to a standstill.
An outright cessation of smuggling without substituting work would create
an explosive situation that could topple the government. Be that as it may,
the government should find a way to tax the millions of dollars of products
that come through the loosely supervised ports. For example, a recent
survey of the Port of Miragoane, some 60 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince,
showed that the government could easily collect about $2.5 million weekly
from import duties. The shipowners manage to pay about $400,000 in bribes
and fees. Other than the Port of Miragoane, there are about 6 others where
the illegal trade thrives. More insidious yet, the bulk of the smuggling
business is under the control of Duvalierist barons, including allies of
Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.
The government has shown some courage in recent actions against those
aho have been stealing electrical power. Electricity d'Haiti (EDH), the
government Power Authority, has been losing some $22 million in revenues
annually from the clandestine drain on electric power. A well-orchestrated
propaganda blamed the small users in the slums for the loss of about 44% of
the energy generated. But sophisticated electronic equipment showed that
only 7% was lost to the small users and that the big users are the main
culprits. Beginning in January the government has been moving forcefully
against some major industrial and commercial outfits.
There is much to be done on the security front. Early on, following
the coup against General Namphy, some purges took place and an attempt was
made to disarm the paramilitary forces, including the Tontons-Macoute thugs.
This came to a quick halt with the arrest or dismissal of some noncoms
and officers involved in the coup against General Namphy. It is believed
that the movement, as it was progressing, aimed at toppling General Avril
himself. And so, acting in self-defense, he moved first. But since then,
all pursuits were stopped and the government has given the impression that
it's business as usual.
Major criminal cases haven't been investigated, far less solved. Among
them the cases of Louis Eugene Athis, Yves Volel, Lafontant Joseph, the Jean
Rabel massacre and the massacre at the St. Jean Bosco Church. And it was
unconscionable for the government to rely on so-called investigations carried
out by the Namphy regime to allay the fears of the citizens. Turning the issue
into a political hot potato, the government has decided to leave the matter
of investigating some of the crimes (especially the case of Athis) to a civilian
board composed mostly of human rights activists. But these investigators have
no guarantee that they won't become the victims of those that are being pursued.
Perhaps it is too much to expect that a government whose previous members had
been implicated in some of the crimes would forcefully carry out an investi-
gation. This points out the need for a speedier change so that justice can
A new wave of violence is sweeping through Haiti. The corpses
discovered in early morning on streets of the capital, in the suburbs or in
provincial areas are not of prominent people. Some say that the violence may
not be political, just a settling of accounts for drug deals, for example.
Nevertheless, it has not been lost on the citizenry that the violence has
resurfaced at the time that serious considerations are again being given
to elections. Is it indicative that Gen. Avril is losing control of the
situation, or is it a shrewd move on the part of the General, as some
think, to perpetuate military rule to forestall what he may perceive as
___ __ _
The Avril government needs to be more transparent, indeed more decisive,
in clearing the air of suspicion hanging over it. Granted, two weekends ago
the government began carrying out sweeps around the capital, netting dozens of
unregistered weapons and arresting nearly 100 individuals. Yet, some of the
architects of the 1987 Election Day massacre are still moving about freely,
promising to wreck any election without their participation.
It is my impression after a recent visit to Haiti that General Avril
is caught between competing forces --those who want elections in a resonably
short time and those who would like to enjoy with him the advantages of power
for as much as four more years, rounding out what they term the "five-year
mandate of Manigat."( As'is known, Professor Leslie Manigat was selected
president of Haiti in a rigged election Jan. 17, 1988 and inaugurated Feb.
Where General Avril stands no one really knows. But he has taken some
steps that indicate he would want to abide by the democratic process. The
Forum of last Feb. 9-17 resulted in concrete proposals for the formation of an
independent electoral council to oversee the electoral process. The Council,
it should be noted, is a carbon copy of the one that was disbanded at the
time of the Nov. 29, 1987 massacre. The organizations that must staff the
Council have yet to present their candidates, mindful no doubt of the fate
of the original council members.
We are at a delicate juncture in Haiti. The government of General
Avril should be encouraged to carry out the reforms already begun and prodded
to go further by expediting the democratic process through general elections,
supervised by the electoral council and protected by the Army.
Given the experience of the past, the Army will have to be prepared
to provide the needed security. We hope that it is in this spirit that
General Avril summoned all the "chiefs of section" (the rural constabularies)
to the Palace early this month to charge them with their new duties. Among
other things, the President reminded the chiefs that they are part of the
Army and that their job was mainly one of security, not one of rendering
justice,which is a judge's prerogatives. He also warned them about being
ready to welcome and protect bona fide candidates that would be coming into
the countryside once the elections are decreed.
___ _*_ ____I__
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Sucommittee on Western
Hemisphere Affairs, I have agonized about the recommendations I should propose
to this committee regarding my country. As the record will show, I had written
a statement without recommendations waiting until the last minute for events
that I knew would be unfolding in Haiti.
In light of a decree yesterday by General Avril reinstating the
Constitution of 1987, I propose that this committee reaffirm House Con.
Resolution 383 and Sen. Con. Resolution 149 until such time that General
Avril clearly defines the goal of his government.
1. Will elections be held, when and under what rules?
2. Will he be a candidate, and if so under what banner?
Because the reinstatement of the 1987 Constitution, overwhelmingly
approved by the Haitian people and set aside by General Namphy, is not totally
positive. It may result in widening opposition to Gen. Avril and a crackdown by
the Army may ensue, further delaying the democratic process. By suppressing
certain articles from the Constitution, especially Arts. 267 and 267-1, General
Avril may be indicating that the Army will be the front runner in any upcoming
elections. That would be detrimental to the establishment of democracy in Haiti.
Mr. CROCKETr. Thank you very much, Mr. Joseph.
STATEMENT OF VIVIAN LOWERY DERRYCK, VICE PRESIDENT,
MERIDIAN HOUSE INTERNATIONAL
Ms. DERRYCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Members of the
Subcommittee. I am pleased to have the opportunity to testify
again today and to share some thoughts with you. I last testified
before the Senate Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs
on December 16, 1987, where I shared some impressions about the
aborted elections of November 29, 1987.
Since that 1987 testimony, I have returned to Haiti two times
under the auspices of the National Democratic Institute and with
the full support of my current employer, Meridian House Interna-
tional. However, any views that are expressed here are my own
and not those of either organization.
In my post-November visit in May 1988, which was during the
Manigat regime, staff colleagues and I found political parties de-
moralized and a real inability of any of the institutions of govern-
ment to function effectively. The Catholic Church seemed reticent
and fearful, and the army was restive and seemingly rudderless.
Our next visit was this past fall in October. On that occasion and
again with congressional staff colleagues, again we met with party
leaders, NGOs, government ministers, President Avril and others.
But on that particular visit, we had the opportunity to travel up
country and meet with rural leaders. That was probably the most
important visit and the most important occasion of my fifteen trips
to Haiti since 1986.
First, virtually everybody that we talked to, these being rural
people and not people in Port-au-Prince, cited the need for security.
They felt vulnerable to bands of brigands and macoutes who could
come and terrorize them any time of the day or night. The first-
hand accounts of brutality and physical violations were vivid re-
minders of the murderous capabilities of the macoute apparatus.
Secondly, this same world leadership focused on the urgency of de-
Now today more than sixteen months since the aborted national
elections, Haiti still remains the development challenge of our
hemisphere. Still we are talking about only two traditional institu-
tions which function, and both of those have been considerably
weakened since 1987. They are the church and the army.
DEMOCRACY THROUGH AN ELECTORAL PROCESS
But my comments today are really going to stress four issues. I
am not going to spend much time on the political situation, be-
cause I think that that has been adequately covered. But I want to
spend the minutes that I have really talking about how you move a
democracy through an electoral process and then give some recom-
Mr. CROCKETT. Let me suggest that you summarize your state-
ment. Yours and the statements of the other witnesses will be en-
tered in their complete form in the record of the hearing.
___ _i __ ___ _____(_^ I______~ _~_I_ ___
Ms. DERRYCK. Elections are certainly the process by which de-
mocracies move to change their governments. But for Haitians
given the experiences that they have had, elections hold virtually
no efficacy, and therein really hangs the dilemma for the United
The Haitian electoral process any way that you look at it is cur-
rently in shambles. So when I began to think about this, I thought
about first the authority. The authority issue has to be decided
prior to any other electoral issue this time. The last time we spent
virtually a year and a half in constant combat and tension between
the CEP and the government. I remember one courageous CEP
member saying to me that the CEP would hold elections with or
without the government. I replied that if that were to happen that
it would be the first time in history, and indeed we see that it did
So this time, that issue has to be determined prior to anything
else, who is going to have the ultimate authority. The constitution
and Articles 289 and 292 are fairly clear, but there needs to be a
commitment from the government that they are going to support
the CEP in these efforts.
Then if we could just turn to the administrative issues that are
looming large. First of all, nobody seems to know what happened to
the considerable body of work that was put into the last election.
There was a registration process that virtually registered people in
all sections of the country. We have asked each time that we are in
Haiti, and all of that material is just lost. If it were found, it would
probably be suspect, so that you have got to start all over again.
The question is going to arise about determination of electoral
districts, and then there are the questions about election parapher-
nalia. This time are the parties going to be responsible for the bal-
lots or is the CEP through some other kind of apparatus going to
be responsible. Who is going to secure the water-marked paper.
Who is going to make sure that these things are stored safely, the
paraphernalia, until election day.
Then you have got all of the election day responsibilities. What
are you going to about training officials, and who is going to estab-
lish the bureaus. Are parties going to be allowed to have poll
watchers, and who are going to be the independent observers, and
how will any voter challenges be handled.
Then, of course, there are the security issues. Where are the sol-
diers going to be, are they going to be in the barracks or are they
going to be put under a civilian authority and man the polls this
time. Authentication and validation of course are critical issues as
So all of these problems are those that must be addressed by the
CEP, but only with the stated involvement of the government and
a commitment of the government, of the Prosper Avril govern-
ment, that it is going to abide by the resolution of these matters.
I have six recommendations. First of all, that the fiscal year 1990
authorization and appropriation process, that through the process
that the Congress should enact special legislation to permit U.S.
A.. ^ -wv --ff&wia 'Y ---- -" -- .. -
AID to offer assistance for election related activities to the new
provisional CEP of approximately $10 million.
That secondly, international observers and government support
for their safety should be tied to any aid that the United States
offers, because this time the elections have to be held in the sun-
Thirdly, money should be provided for a needs assessment of the
capabilities of the various institutions involved. Just one example.
If you are going to have balloting in rural areas, it is virtually im-
possible to get the ballots there the day of the election. Some of
these places are accessible only by horseback. So somebody has to
look at the roads and the situation there to see if indeed they are
passable, are you going to have horses, are you going to have
helicopters, what is the status of the technology to get the election
materials in place.
Indeed, somebody has to look at the status of political parties
now. And the question was asked earlier by Congressman Kost-
mayer about the amount of support of those parties who did not
choose to participate in the forum. There is really not a good
answer, because it is unclear where the parties stand. So a needs
assessment is absolutely essential so that we can look at the infras-
tructural supports, the human resources needs, and the monetary
Fourth, civic education has to take place. This is the responsibil-
ity of course of Haitians, but it never hurts to suggest that this is
an important aspect, and that without some new civic education
given the lack of belief among Haitians in the political process that
the whole effort this time might be for naught.
Fifthly, we should continue our prohibition and provide no direct
government to government aid unless the Haitian government
meets the provisions detailed that I will talk about in a minute.
CONDITIONS FOR THE RESTORATION OF U.S. AID
You asked in your opening remarks for us to deal with condi-
tions of restoration of U.S. aid. For me certainly, the first priority
and the first condition would be the restoration of the March 29th
constitution. I agree with you that we have seen two different
things. As I understand it now though, the constitution has rein-
stated several of the articles that left in doubt the extent of the full
subordination of the military to civilian authority. But before we
can be really sure of this, we need to carefully review the articles
still in suspension.
Secondly, the second condition that I would see is a fixed date for
elections. There has to be a time table. It is the only guidance by
which one can objectively judge the progress that is being made.
And while certainly you do not want to do something hasty as we
have seen in some other countries, you have got to have some
period of fixed time in which the election is going to take place.
And thirdly, the election has to take place in an atmosphere that
is free from intimidation and has some security guarantees for in-
dividuals and for voters. Because Haitians have bravely lost their
lives in the past in the effort to vote.
And that brings up an issue that is a little bit sensitive, and that
is that of an international peacekeeping force. This again is some-
thing that must be decided by Haitians. However, in November at
the end of the month, many Haitians were calling for an interna-
tional peacekeeping effort or support there.
And so, Mr. Chairman, I conclude that in essence the Haitians
themselves must take the lead. We should be supportive and we
can be supportive, and we should ensure that there are safeguards
so that we do not see $10 million go the way of $8 million. And in
the times that we are in now, it is not helpful to Haitians and it is
not helpful to democracy.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Derryck follows:]
INO& AV '% W' W J.0 w 'M VW 0 -fW -1 --. -
PREPARED STATEMENT OF
Vivian Lowery Derryck
Washington International Center
Meridian House International
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to have the
opportunity to testify before the Sub-Committee today and to
share with you thoughts on substantive steps Haitian leaders can
take to refocus that nation on democratic development.
I last testified before your Senate counterpart, the
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs of the Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations, on December 16, 1987, when I
shared impressions of the aborted elections of November 29, 1987.
At that time I was the Vice President for Programs of the
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs(NDI), a
political development institute which had been working to
facilitate a democratic transition in Haiti since March 1986.
For almost two years NDI had been working to promote
democratization in Haiti through a three-part program of
strengthening political parties, analyzing the electoral process,
and offering technical assistance to Haitian organizations such
as the CEP (Provisional Electoral Council).
Since that 1987 testimony, I have returned to Haiti two
times under their auspices of NDI and with the full support of my
current employer, Meridian House International. However, the
views and recommendations expressed herein are my own and do not
represent the official views of either organization.
In my first post-November visit in May 1988, Congressional
staff colleagues and I had an opportunity to meet with political
party leaders, NGOs and officials of the Manigat government. I
personally met with then-President Leslie Manigat. We found
parties demoralized and an inability of any of the institutions
of government to function effectively. The Catholic Church was
reticent and fearful. The army was restive and seemingly
My next visit was October 30 -November 3, 1988. During that
occasion, again with Congressional staff colleagues, we met with
party leaders, NGOs, government ministers, President Avril and
others. We had the opportunity to travel upcountry and meet with
rural leaders. Of my 15 trips to Haiti, this was perhaps the
most contructive as I listened carefully to what grassroots
leaders and ordinary citizens had to say. Two conclusions still
First, our informants cited the need for security. They
felt vulnerable to bands of brigands and macoutes who could come
to terrorize them any day or night. The firsthand accounts of
brutality and physical violations were vivid reminders of the
murderous capabilities of the macoute apparatus, often
masquerading as legitimate law enforcement officials. Second,
rural leadership were focused on the urgency of demacoutization-
the retraining and disarming of paramilitary forces loyal to the
Duvalierists. This urgency was exaccerbated by the fact that
several of the lower level local government authorities were
identified as functionaries of this apparatus of intimidation and
Today more than 16 months since the aborted national
elections, Haiti still remains the development challenge of our
hemisphere. Still only two traditional institutions function and
both of those are considerably weakened: the Church and the
army. The institutions of government are particular weak, as
they have been suspended and operated on whim.
From my perspective as an political development specialist
interested solely in a transition to civilian democratic rule,
Haiti is still hampered by fragile institutions and gripped with
uncertainty about the commitment of its fourth provisional
government in three years.
My comments today will address three issues: l)the
political situation; 2)prospects for moving to democracy through
an electoral process; and 3)conditions for U.S. support of that
A. The political situation.
I view politics from the prism of a democrat. An optimum
democracy is one in which citizens are able to make informed
decisions on the major issues that effect their lives. They do
make those decisions through five primary institutions: l)free
and fair elections periodically held; 2)a legislature in which
the opportunity for political competition and/or a loyal
opposition is an integral part of the national debate: 3)an
impartial judiciary that upholds and encourages respect for human
rights; 4)free press and other media that provide a rich
environment for the exchange of ideas; and 5)non-governmental
associations such as political parties which can shape ideas,
manage political conflict and mediate the apportionment of
Haiti, through examination of any of these criteria, is not
a politically viable democracy. If the elections of 1987 could
have occurred free of the mounting violence and intimidation
which culminated in the nightmare of November 29, Haiti would
have succeeded in a credible start toward elected civilian
government. But violence and intimidation fatally marred the
process. Elections were a sham. The process was further
distorted by the bogus election of Leslie Manigat in which only 4
to 6 percent of eligible voters participated, resulting in an
illegitimate regime which had no support from the citizenry.
The Haitian legislature has traditionally been a weak body.
This weakness was reinforced most recently when the newly
constituted bicameral legislature elected in the flawed process
of January 17, 1988 was suspended during the second Namphy
regime, as Namphy overthrew the Manigat government and assumed
No one has any confidence in the judiciary. The 30 year
legacy of the Duvalierists, capped by the ravages of the Namphy
regimes, severely weakened any judicial infrastructure and drove
off competent personnel. This is a particularly ominous finding
because the judiciary is charged with ridding the nation of Ton-
ton Macoutes and prosecuting lawbreaking Duvalierists. According
to a wide variety of persons to whom we talked, demacoutization,
more than any other single action would bestow legitimacy on the
government. The judiciary has an essential function, but enjoys
no confidence among the populace.
The media have been intimidated. The written press which
has limited outreach given the well-documented high rates of
illiteracy, by and large has fairly minimal standards of
journalistic excellence. Short on information and long on
defamation, many are more scandal sheets that news organs or
sources of information.
The political parties, for the most part, are hesitant and
lethargic--unwilling to take on the larger issues of developing
and articulating a platform. They have failed to become vehicles
for articulating and advocating the needs and concerns of Haitian
people. (This is certainly understandable in the atmosphere of
intimidation and fear that prevailed under the totalitarian grip
of the Duvalierists and has continued to prevail in Haiti since
the summer of 1987.)
In short, Mr. Chairman, Haiti is a political quagmire. With
weak to minimal functioning of all the institutions
traditionally associated with democracy, the prospects are pretty
There are four major problems looming on the horizon. The
first and perhaps most obvious is the weakness of the traditional
institutions of civil society. Political parties, the national
legislature, judiciary, media and civil service functional
Second, the situation described above has resulted in severe
citizen alienation from political participation and civic action.
Citizens have no commitment to and a deep distrust of the
institutions of government.
The third problem is the paucity of political leadership.
Since there is no visible, articulate party leadership--only
timid thrusts and rapid retreats--no party leader has been able
to capture the imagination and fierce loyalty of the people.
Fourth, perhaps most ominous, there is widespread fear among
the citizenry about participation in elections. The miracle of
the March 29 constitutional referendum was its ability to dispel
the fear of violence at the polls. That fear was banished
through elections that were generally perceived as free and fair.
Haitians expressed to my colleagues and me that their initial
fear of the Macoute apparatus was overcome by the peaceful
outcome of the day. That goodwill, understanding of civic rights
and obligation to participate and eagerness to do so were lost on
November 29, 1989. It will be a daunting task to rekindle any
enthusiasm for popular elections after that nightmarish
B. Electoral prospects.
Elections are the process by which independent democratic
nations choose their governments. Virtually every major human
international human rights covenant asserts the right of an
individual to participate in this fundamental exercise to
determine the shape of the polity in which he or she lives.
Haiti has a dismal history in terms of elections. From pre-
Duvalier times, through the 29 years of flawed elections,
culminating in the massacre of November 29, Haitians have not
viewed the electoral process as a vehicle to democratic
government. For Haitians, elections hold no efficacy. And
therein hangs the dilemma for the United States, for to date
there is no widely accepted method other than elections to
fairly and objectively determine who has more support and who
Add Haitian popular scepticism to the fact that elections
are one of the most complex institutions in a democracy and the
severity of the Haitian situation hits one squarely. To make
sense of it, let's examine the Haitian electoral process in terms
of authority/accountability, administration of elections,
election day management, authentification and validation of
results, and the roles in the process of major institutions: the
military, judiciary,non-governmental organizations and above all,
the military government that must promulgate an electoral
The authority issue raises the fundamental question of
ultimate accountability for the electoral process. According to
Article 289 of the 1987 ratified constitution, the CEP is
"charged with drawing up and enforcing the Electoral Law to
govern the new elections" (Article 289). The struggle to control
the process and the Namphy government's drive to wrest control
from the CEP ultimately resulted in the chaos of November 29.
The authority issue should be decided prior to any other
electoral issue this time. A commitment from the Avril
government stating its agreement to abide by those provisions of
the constitution relevant to a presidential election, namely
Articles 289 and 292 is essential to avoid the deep-seated
problems of 1987.
In that vein, the CEP is authorized to determine the
authorization of candidates. The whole issue of the right of
Duvalierists to contest is likely to be re-opened. Again, the
government should declare its commitment to abide by the
constitution and to support the decisions of the CEP. By the
same token, the CEP should seek assurances of government support
before agreeing to serve on the Council.
98-023 89 4
In addition to the authority/accountability issues, several
election administration questions must necessarily be revisited.
One such issue is registration. No one knows what happened to
the old lists, so the process must be restarted. Fraud-proof
voter registration cards would also be advisable.
Another major administrative task is determination of the
electoral districts. It would seem logical to maintain the same
districts as used in the referendum and aborted presidential
election. Training of officials and staffing of the bureaus are
two administrative and human resource issues that the new CEP
Then there are the myriad questions of election
paraphernalia. Who will take responsibility for printing
ballots. Traditionally, Haitian party leaders were responsible
for printing the ballots themselves, although in 1987 the CEP
assumed responsibility for the printing. The CEP must secure the
properly watermarked paper, determine where the ballots will be
printed and assure adequate safeguards prior to election day.
Clearly the Avril government must support this effort.
Election day responsibilities for the electoral process
raise a completely different set of issues. Prior training for
election workers and bureau staff is essential. Other questions
arise: will parties be. allowed to have pollwatchers; will the
church and ngos be asked to provide workers for the election; how
will voter challenges be handled?
Security looms large to protect the ballots before election
day, as well as during the polling and counting stages. Will the
military be in their barracks or will they be on duty to maintain
the peace at each and every polling station?
Authentification and validation are crucial to
legitimization of the outcome. The counting phase, another
key element of the entire process, requires the closest
attention. How to maintain the security of the ballots as they
are transported before counting, who monitors the count, who can
raise a challenge'to a ballot and how and when is the challenge
resolved are all questions that must be answered if the process
hopes to acquire legitimacy in the minds of the citizenry.
The roles of non-governmental organizations and the church
must be carefully explored. Finally, the question of
international observers must be raised. Their presence in 1987
was crucial is getting the word of the outrage to ring out across
Thus, Mr. Chairman, while we know that elections are the
best means to democratic government, it is clear that close
cooperation between the constitutionally charged CEP and the
provisional government is the only way by which Haiti can move to
free and fair elections.
1. Through the FY 1990 authorization/appropriation process,
the U.S. Congress should enact special legislation to permit the
U.S. Agency for International Development to offer assistance for
election-related activities to the new Provisional Electoral
Council of approximately $10 million.
2. The presence of international observers and pledges of
government support for their safeguard must be tied to any
election-specific aid. While the CEP cannot insure government
support, our insistence on elections in the sunlight must be
3. Money should be provided for a needs assessment of the
capabilities of the various institutions cited above that will be
involved in the electoral process. Simply the
exercise of setting forth some of the considerations for
the newly reconstituted electoral process makes it clear that the
state of the art is really unknown in several key areas. A needs
assessment that includes examination of available and depth of
resources should be funded.
One key area for the assessment is political parties and
other associative groups. The National Democratic Institute for
International Affairs has begun this process by sending a
detailed questionnaire to all Haitian party leaders asking them
candid questions about their membership, resource base,
coalition-building skills, etc.
An assessment of human resources capabilities would also be
useful. For instance, it would be helpful to planners to know if
there is adequate manpower in the civil service to provide a
first class politically neutral cadre of election officials.
The needs assessment would also evaluate the infrastructural
capabilities of the country. Infrastructural capabilities
determine to a large degree the feasibility of various electoral
plans, e.g. are the roads in good enough shape to transport
ballots by truck, or must they be helicoptered to various rural
areas. If the ballots must be helicoptered, are the helicopters
in good enough shape to make the necessary number of trips.
Telephone communication will be necessary on election day. Are
the phones working or are walky-talkies necessary.
4. The urgent need for civic education should be
underscored to Haitian CEP, political party and NGO leaders.
Ultimately, Haitians must come to believe in their own
institutions, and no outsider can teach that belief. Local
currencies should be earmarked to Haitian indigenous NGOs for use
in civic education programs.
5. The U.S. should continue its prohibition and provide no
direct government to government aid unless the Haitian government
meets the provisions detailed below (see section E). The U.S.
should not offer food assistance through the P.L. 480 Title I and
III programs. The net effect on Haitian productivity raises
serious concerns and the absorptive capability of PVOs and others
to administer such a program is questionable.
E. Conditions for restoration of U.S. aid.
1. Restoration of the March 29,1987 popularly ratified
Despite the debacle of November 29, the sham election of
January 17, 1988, the overthrough of Manigat by Namphy in June
1988, the countercoup by Prosper Avril in September 1988, some
good has endured. The miracle of the last two years was the
development and popular ratification of a constitution and the
creation of a new, democratic, popularly mandated institution--
the Provisional and Permanent Electoral Councils (CEP).
Although President Prosper Avril reinstated the constitution
yesterday, March 13, 1989, it appears that there are several
articles still suspended which leave in. doubt the extent of the
full subordination of the military to civilian authority. While
careful review of the articles still in suspension is required
before making any final judgement, the principle of
reinstatement of the constitution in all relevant articles and
provisions is a principle and a condition to be clearly stated.
2. Fixed date for elections.
While no one desires a Paraguayan situation of a national
election hastily called, clearly a well thought out timetable is
desirable. Some Haitians have suggested a December 1989 election
date so that the new president can be installed February 7, 1990.
If more time is needed to prepare for an election, an alternative
may be holding the election close to February 1990 and the
inauguration on March 29, 1990, a bright date in Haitian history.
However, Haitians on the scene will have the evaluate their
resources and propose a course of action in the end.
3. Maintenance of civil and human rights in an atmosphere free
Clearly, for elections to have a reasonable chance to go
forward in Haiti, there must be physical safety and security of
individuals, property and election materials. This is not an easy
matter to deal with, but it cannot be ignored by an international
community that claims concern for either democracy or the welfare
of the people of Haiti. How this problem of security will be
dealt with poses a major challenge to all those concerned with
democracy and development in Haiti. Indeed, the question of
security is the paramount issue for democrats who wish the
Haitian people well.
Some have suggested that an international peacekeeping force
may be necessary. However, this is a matter that must be decided
by the Haitian people. One thing is certain, those who have
financed and encouraged the violent maintenance of the status quo
in Haiti have shown no proclivity to adjust to democratic
procedures and the provision of economic justice.
As an international observer, I heard many Haitians asking
for international support. If brave Haitians were willing to die
for the opportunity to vote, then those efforts can surely be
memorialized through the presence of an international body if
I conclude, Mr. Chairman, on a personal note. As Americans,
I believe that we are committed to the Haitian people and their
legitimate aspirations to a nation democratically governed, a
nation that can take a proud place as one of the first republics
of this hemisphere. However, previous Haitian governments have
used our American commitment and generosity against the Haitian
The U.S. spent $8 million to no avail to aid in the November
1987 elections. Further U.S. monies must be safeguarded. As
taxpayers, with limited funds and multiple priorities, we do not
want to see $10 million lost to the vampire elite and forces of
repression in Haiti. In these days of restricted U.S. budgets
and Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, Americans want to see a free, socially
just and economically equitable Haiti, but with safeguards.
We are democrats and we want to join forces with democratic
counterparts in Haiti to insure a more socially and economically
just and environmentally sound hemisphere for us all.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you very much, Ms. Derryck.
STATEMENT OF DR. GEORGES FAURIOL, SENIOR FELLOW AND
DIRECTOR, LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, CENTER FOR STRATE-
GIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Mr. FAURIOL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have submitted a writ-
Mr. CROCKETr. And it will be included in the record.
Mr. FAURIOL. I would like to draw from it in my brief comments.
During a twelve month period, I have been asked to appear twice
before this subcommittee regarding Haiti. The first time was exact-
ly a year ago this month. And now a year later, the central ques-
tion facing us is not all that different than it was about a year ago.
What policies should the United States pursue vis-a-vis a Haitian
situation whose tragic and convoluted features obviously keep frus-
trating policy makers in Washington?
My impression is that the challenge for the policy makers lies in
calibrating realistic hopes for Haitian democracy and development.
Before this committee a year ago, I argued rather unsuccessfully
that the weak hopes of the Manigat government should be an-
swered by reinstating the economic aid package cut off in late 1987.
Today I do not propose such a similar course of action.
However, let me raise the following preliminary questions. Is the
continuation of a policy of economic sanctions under which human-
itarian aid is still provided anyway by the United States likely to
achieve Washington's desired goal of democratization, or to put it
differently, is moral suasion and what I would describe as poverty
aid enough to coax General Avril or any of his possible successors
towards political and economic modernization?
These are the kinds of issues which I believe Ambassador Melton
attempted to address in his remarks earlier this afternoon. I be-
lieve that few would disagree with his overall assessment, Mr.
Chairman. So let me therefore focus on the following three points
which I draw from my written statement.
MAKE THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION
First, it is obvious that the United States must make the best of
a rather bad situation. It was the case last year and it was the case
in 1986, and it is again the case in 1989. The bright spot is that
General Avril is a smarter politician than his immediate predeces-
sor and CNG veteran General Henri Namphy.
Clearly, Avril is no saint by any stretch of the imagination as his
association with the Duvalier regime and his most recent behind
the scenes roles would suggest. The fact that Avril probably has
presidential pretensions in future elections may not be particularly
Although Haiti is nowhere near "democracy", Avril does at least
seem to have some of the right instincts to carry the nation for-
ward toward that potential desirable objective of a democratic
Haiti. This includes attempting to control the violent excesses of
the army or elements within the army of the Tonton-Macoute rem-
nants, entertaining a semblance of a dialogue with the civilian po-
litical leaders, and perhaps also allowing the media to at least sur-
But is that enough to lift the present sanctions. Probably not,
even though I am not even sure whether sanctions themselves have
really achieved very much.
CONSIDERATION OF AID TO HAITI
Secondly, these general considerations of aid to Haiti are condi-
tioned by what I would describe as paradoxical factors. On the one
hand, Haiti is not likely to achieve democratization any time soon.
It is a process that must be preceded I think by a semblance of do-
mestic security, a national political consensus among Haitian lead-
ers, and an associated institutional development process, party de-
velopment and so forth, and a modicum of economic and social sta-
bilization if not progress.
On the other hand, United States political support is not likely
to be forthcoming unless the Haitian government is also somehow
able to demonstrate that very process of democratization.
Furthermore, the reality of U.S. economic sanctions policy at this
point is such that the bulk of U.S. assistance avoids the very target
of U.S. concern which is the government of Haiti.
U.S. aid is presently channeled by my count, through some 25-
odd private voluntary organizations, PVOs, and other non-govern-
mental institutions. This operates in a broader context, a broader
flow of assistance from other donors, such as Canada, West Germa-
ny, France and international agencies from the U.N. family of or-
ganizations. Acting as direct channels to the Haitian people in that
context are some 250 PVOs.
What is the interrelationship between this general form of hu-
manitarian assistance effort and the uphill battle that we all agree
on to try to democratize or bring Haiti to sort of a democratic goal?
I raise the question despite the fact that I do not have the answer
to that question.
The issue is of relevance to the degree that that the Administra-
tion and the Congress are searching for ways to try to provide aid
to Haiti under the most appropriate of conditions. But how does
the humanitarian aid presently being provided actually relate to
the democratization process?
U.S. POLICY INTERESTS
Thirdly, where do these kinds of questions leave U.S. policy in-
terests? The interest of the United States lies in reestablishing gov-
ernment order in Haiti, and a reduction and preferably an elimina-
tion of the vigilante and anarchic form of political enforcement
that does exist in Haiti today.
Beyond that it is also in Washington's interests to prevent
Haiti's political, economic and environmental situation from dete-
riorating further to the point of creating an even broader regional
crisis. And even beyond that, I think obviously that Washington,
including the Congress, should reiterate a careful articulation of
strategic political preferences for Haiti's future; I would define
these as including political pluralism in the first instance, a func-
tioning democracy thereafter, and some sort of a meaningful devel-
opment strategy throughout this entire process.
At this juncture, the realistic policy options are few in number.
The United States can retain sanctions until the Avril regime for-
mally gives way or operates under the framework of a civilian
structure or some sort of electoral commission as in fact might be
the case, or a new constitutional process or even multinational su-
Related to this, one should obviously consider a clearer aid condi-
tionality process on the basis of progress towards democracy, and
others have already laid out the terms of what those conditions
The United States might also explore multilateral options work-
ing with other donors and other international organizations either
as an interim measure until conditions for direct U.S. aid to the
government of Haiti can in fact be met, or as a coordinated process
to move Haiti towards development and democracy. This was de-
scribed by another panel member as involving an international su-
pervisory kind of presence, or perhaps even military force.
Obviously, and this is the problem, the United States should also
be prepared for the eventuality that the Avril regime collapses
even before Washington has moved effectively on any of these op-
tions. What then? If a political vacuum were to develop, the possi-
bility of a plebiscite under some form of multinational supervision
could be explored. The question is where would that bring Haiti.
Would it bring Haiti back to the presidency of Leslie Manigat? Or
as some others would suggest, would it bring Haiti back to the No-
vember elections of 1987?
There are some groups, for example Latin America's Christian
Democrats who would argue that a plebiscite is an option which
should be pursued sooner rather than later.
If any increased assistance is to be considered now, it should be
towards strengthening Haiti's nonexistent democratic infrastruc-
ture either directly through AID or by means of support provided
to institutions such as the National Endowment for Democracy or
related networks. U.S. assistance in this area should be made a
precondition for any reconsideration of expanded economic support.
This is essentially the point Ms. Derryck proposed in her testimo-
ny just a few minutes ago. This is different from what Ambassador
Melton suggested in terms of increasing such items as Public Law
480, Title II food aid assistance.
Naturally, this is an undertaking in which the allies of the
United States in the Haitian environment, Canada, France, West
Germany, Venezuela, and international democratic party organiza-
tions should be encouraged to participate. A similar approach
might also be taken by the way regarding drug interdiction assist-
Finally, let me raise the possibility of a more radical or at least
My impression is that U.S.-Haitian relations, if not near an im-
passe, at least are unlikely to quickly produce the results that each
side perhaps presently seeks. For Haiti, it is an embrace from
Washington that would enhance its credibility. And for the United
States, it is a civilian led democratic and competitive Haitian
INTERMEDIARY MULTILATERAL COORDINATING VEHICLE
Preliminary consideration might therefore be given to some sort
of a third party or intermediary multilateral coordinating vehicle
that would focus international attention on Haiti's short-term hu-
manitarian needs, midterm economic problems, and long-term po-
litical reconstruction priorities.
U.S. participation and support for what I call the Haitian Inter-
national Development Commission would provide a mechanism for
Haiti's government to acquire good advice and some resources
without direct endorsement by Washington of Haiti's progress to-
This might defuse the U.S.-Haitian tension over what I would de-
scribe as the politics of aid while constructively addressing Haiti's
very real immediate problems. Although U.S. aid could be ear-
marked for such a commission, the latter in fact can be preferably
supported through private sector and foundation support from the
United States and elsewhere.
Mr. CROCKETT. I think that the rest of your presentation has to
do with this proposed Haitian international development commis-
Mr. FAURIOL. I was going to conclude right at this point.
Mr. CROCKETT. Could you summarize that for us.
Mr. FAURIOL. My impression is that this is a commission which
would be supported by private sector resources. It could galvanize
attention for Haiti's concerns, set up some priorities, and put to
good use people who are interested and who want to get involved
in helping Haiti and who at present do not seem to have the appro-
priate avenues through which to channel their resources.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Fauriol follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF
Georges A. Fauriol, Ph.D.
Director and Senior Fellow
Latin American Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies
U.S. Aid and Haitian Democratization
My name is Georges Fauriol, I am Director of -I Latin
American Studies at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies in Washington. I am here in my personal capacity. I
appreciate the opportunity to testify before this subcommittee
today. Haiti remains an item of concern for the United States --
a complex agenda not likely to be easily addressed.
In this testimony I have attempted to address a two-part
question, namely (1) whether present sanctions on U.S. aid to
Haiti should be lifted and (2) what the linkage might be between
the U.S. aid package and the strategic aim of U.S. policy.--
Haiti and U.S. Aid Policy
During a twelve month period I have been asked twice to
appear before this committee; the first time was exactly a year
ago this month. Now, a year later the central question facing
this hearing is not all that much different: what policy should
the United States pursue vis-6-vis a Haitian situation whose
tragic and convoluted features keep frustrating policy-makers in
The outlines of the problem and how they got there are
relatively obvious: against a historical backdrop of mediocre
-low 61V W
public governance, three decades of Duvalier leadership sapped
away much of the nation's leadership potential; Haiti's
precarious economic and environmental balance from time to time
triggered a humanitarian response from the international
community; when the Duvalier era came to an end, expectations
rose -- Haiti was on its way to political and economic
modernization. Democracy became the governing policy theme,
elections the operational vehicle, and foreign economic
assistance the fuel with which objectives could be achieved.
When this grand design broke down in 1987 and 1988, the United
States government -- with strong encouragement from the Congress
-- curtailed the "fuel" (foreign assistance) but retained the
political and economic objectives: political democracy and
Under these circumstances, how does the government of
General Prosper Avril restore the necessary political momentum
that will unlock the economic aid the nation desperately needs?
And will any of this work or be viewed with credibility by the
United States (and other foreign donors)?
For Washington, the challenge lies in calibrating realistic
hopes for Haitian democracy and development. One must defuse the
notion that Haiti is "not ready" for such objectives; but
simultaneously it serves no purpose for American policy-makers to
mouth political abstractions whose immediate achievability are
undermined by terrible in-country conditions and marginally
coordinated U.S. commitments.
The Failures of Governance
Haiti, the second oldest independent nation in the Western
Hemisphere, is about a decade away from its bicentennial and has
little to show for it. Discovered by Columbus in 1492 during his
first voyage to the Americas, the nation's experience has since
then encompassed all shades of development experience -- except
perhaps that of effective modern political and economic
management. From this unhappy and at times tragic record, Haiti
has from time to time entered the consciousness of the
international community, most recently with the fall of the
Duvalier dynasty in 1986 and its convoluted aftermath.
These facts would not be all that dramatic were it not for
the dysfunctional character of Haiti's political dynamics,
economic features, and social institutions. Born out of the
economic excesses of slavery and the political violence of the
French revolution, Haiti emerged in 1804 as an independent
nation. Its economy in ruins and its population exhausted,
Haiti's career as a modern nation began devoid also of any
foreign friends. In fact, its early status as an outcast among
the community of nations increased further its vulnerability to
both internal and external threats. By the beginning of the
twentieth century, this overlap of threats ultimately generated
direct U.S. political and military administration (1915-1934).
And in a more recent period, difficulties experienced by Haiti's
development process have also introduced into the life of the
nation a broad array of foreign government and multinational
economic assistance organizations as well as non-governmental
Despite these misfortunes Haiti has not lost the basic
features of its national character. Its roots lie in a hybrid of
French eighteenth century colonialism, African culture, a
marginal brand of Catholicism, and the after-effects of the
United States' strategic sweep in the Caribbean region. The
African cultural and spiritual features have remained almost
unaltered for a majority of the population since they were first
imported in the seventeenth century. The vitality of this
primarily rural environment has survived in the face of economic
adversity and the unusual disinterest of the political leadership
in the process of national development.
Roughly the size of the state of Maryland, Haiti occupies
the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares
with the Dominican Republic. It lies at a cross-roads of trading
passages and strategic interests -- Cuba lies to its immediate
west over the Windward Passage, while the open waters of the
Atlantic ocean bound Haiti on the north and the Caribbean Sea on
the South. Haiti remains ethnically and culturally distinct,
being 95 percent black and the only independent French-speaking
nation in the Western Hemisphere.
With an estimated average per capital GNP income of a little
over $300, Haiti is the poorest country in the region. In fact,
a 23 percent literacy rate and a life expectancy of 55 years
ranks Haiti near the bottom on a global basis. A mountainous
topography coupled with failing agriculture and neglectful land-
management have not only concentrated its 6 million people into
the nominally fertile 30 percent of the country but have also in
recent years accentuated the flows of out-migration. Revenues
from coffee and a few odd agricultural and mineral exports and
off-shore manufacturing have had limited economic impact, leaving
much of the work force on the margins of national life. Haiti's
best talent has left for other shores, including the United
States, constituting a population of Haitian origin that may be
as high as 1 million. Fortunately for Haiti, this expatriate
population may be contributing back around $125 million in inter-
Study of the Haitian'experience is frustrated by an absence
of identifiable political and economic development strategies.
In practice, the most charitable characterization of Haiti's
public administration since the nineteenth century focuses on.the
notion that government has been at its relative best when
pursuing a policy of benign neglect -- leaving much of Haiti's
peasantry to its own autonomous devices. A very small and
generally urbanized political and economic elite has for the most
part directed priorities at maintaining its own fragile status
quo and in sustaining a limited enclave of export-oriented
commercial activity. Ensuing descriptions of this environment
illustrate the challenge. Some writers speak of a "kleptocracy",
or a "predatory state", and of the "politics of squalor." Some
allude to the "colonial" or "self-colonized" character of the
Haitian society. Others borrow from development literature and
assess Haiti in the context of a "transitional society." What is
in fact a viable characterization of Haiti's political and
economic development process?
Sadly, Haiti's tragic history does not suggest an
obvious source of hope regarding the course ahead. The last
thirty years have only demonstrated that the pseudo economic
reforms of Jean-Claude Duvalier and his father's brutal political
tendencies are continuations of Haiti's eroding national
viability. Alternatives have not clearly surfaced in the wake of
Duvalier's collapse in 1986. Although mass opposition forced the
regime's ouster, the interim government that followed it was a
direct product of the Duvalier era. Nor have the three regimes
since early 1988 done much to tackle Haiti's major social and
ecological crises. Between malnutrition and deforestation, any
future Haitian government faces a daunting task.
A nation whose track record of purposeful government is
practically non-existent, in tandem with a desperate socio-
economic environment, faces limited choices. Haiti retains a
reservoir of individual skills and political acumen, but the
major challenge lies in the pooling of these human resources and
the development of relevant economic and political organizations.
Although there are egalitarian and cooperative features in the
nation's peasant environment, Haiti's traditional political
culture and linguistic bifurcation are profound obstacles to
lI E -h
complexities of modern democratic government. Likewise, the
dubious interest of portions of the elite to collaborate in the
economic, political, and cultural integration of the nation
renders near-term national development problematic at best.
Haiti is likely to stagnate, avoiding clear-cut political
and economic solutions. Humanitarian concerns will continue to
dominate and fears of political catastrophes will attract
external interest. The latter, made up of foreign government and
aid agencies, will attempt to set out priorities in the hope of
generating conscientious technocratic developments. This will
interact with a Haitian political leadership which under these
difficult circumstances is likely to be tempted by the viability
of generally authoritarian if hopefully more socially-conscious
The Avril Government
General Prosper Avril was declared president September 18,
1988, the result of a coup in which he succeeded General Henri
Namphy. The immediate circumstances for the change appear to
have been associated with both violent popular reaction to a
bloody September 11 attack on a church in Port-au-Prince and
growing resentment among noncommissioned officers with the state
of affairs under Namphy. Despite a promise to establish an
"irreversible democracy", the Avril regime has spent most of its
energies since last September consolidating governmental
Politically, this initially involved highly publicized
invitations to civilian opposition political leaders to meet with
Avril. More recently, in February the government called together
a "forum", designed to bring together Haiti's civilian political
leadership. Attendance was uneven, and Avril's notion that this
was an important step in the direction of democracy was not
shared by everyone. Yet, it did succeed in bringing together a
cross-section of Haiti's current political spectrum, including
communist leader Rene Theodore. In the framework of developments
since the downfall of Duvalier, the present regime appears more
conscious of the need to advance a national political agenda
while controlling the excesses of some segments of the armed
forces and paramilitary groups. The February 1989 Forum has
identified some tentative consensus regarding the formation of an
electoral council, under whose aegis elections could be held.
There was even some talk of a transitional or national coalition
government. When all of this may happen is less clear, and what
role associates of the deposed Duvalier governments may play is
even less certain.
Excesses by the government's opponents have fueled a
continuing wave of protests, violence,and arrests. Avril's
response has, by comparison to his predecessors, been tempered --
although he is not likely to win much support from human rights
organizations. The fact that the casualty totals have declined
is more a reflection of the extraordinary level of violence in
Haiti over the last few years than an indication of a reform
minded government in Port-au-Prince. Yet, one must recognize the
dangers that Avril faces if he attempts to move quickly against
Duvalierist opponents of the regime and simultaneously pushes
forward a democratic agenda: the result would likely be further
chaos and a nation no closer to democratic political
modernization. As a result, while some observers were watching
closely the February "forum" as a sign of hope, others were
viewing with suspicion the government's recent (Feb. 17) cabinet
shake-up that appeared to bring in less-than promising figures
(Col. Acedius Saint-Louis, Port-au-Prince police chief, as senior
minister -- Interior and National Defense -- for example).
If the Haitian regime is delaying moving ahead quickly with
an electoral timetable, part of the problem may lie in the
intractable dangers emanating from continued paramilitary
violence -- and of particular interest to Washington -- the
dangers of drug trafficking. Combined, this has been aptly
characterized in a New York Times editorial (The New York Times,
October 5, 1988) as Haiti's "rotten old order", to which has been
grafted the incentives of the drug trade. That elements in the
military and remnants of Duvalier-era corruptions would link-up
with the drug trade was to be expected. Avril retired the
principal object of U.S. drug-related ire, Colonel Jean-Claude
Paul, who in November was to suddenly die while eating his soup.
The degree to which a poor country like Haiti, made worse by
government budgetary constraints through international sanctions,
is able to oppose Colombia-based narcotrafficants remains
uncertain. As of late 1988 Haiti's anti-drug squad was made up
of a few policemen, two jeeps, and five radios. Haiti has become
an attractive transhipment point for trafficking pushing north to
Miami by ship. Significantly, the U.S. has agreed to provide
resources to beef up Haitian drug enforcement capabilities --
unlike other aid to Haiti, having in this case to work directly
with the government; anyway, little of this aid has been
In this environment, General Avril's political margins are
being further constrained by Haiti's rock-bottom economic
picture. Attempting to get a handle on this appears beyond the
immediate resources of the Haitian government; the professional
expertise that had tentatively been addressing these concerns
after 1986 has seen its enthusiasm reduced by Haiti's recent
political upheavals. Although the Avril regime is generally
composed of non-descript if capable civilians, the national
challenge may be beyond their immediate capabilities.
It is in this context that U.S. policy and particularly U.S.
aid become key variables. Washington's expectations have been
reduced since the bloody electoral fiasco of November 1987. But
Washington's hopes remain the same: the government of Haiti needs
to show progress on the drug and human rights fronts, and it must
put in operation an electoral timetable that will at minimum
suggest the mechanism by which Haiti is to attain democratic
governance. The lack of real progress in the state of U.S.-
Haitian relations may leave the rest of the international
E R ........
community's enthusiasm for affairs in Haiti in partial
suspension. France, Canada, West Germany, U.N. agencies, and
multilateral groups remain present if less active. Not much can
be expected from our neighbors in this hemisphere; although some
in the Caribbean and elsewhere (Venezuela, for example) have
expressed grave concern over Haiti's troubles, broader Latin
American interest is marginal at best.
The traditional policy of the United States toward Haiti has
reflected the following basic perspective: events' in Haiti are
of some interest but never of high priority. This approach has
been shaped by regional interests that have historically revolved
around ideology, the regional-presence of potentially hostile
forces, and violence within the nations of the Caribbean.
Occasionally, catastrophic socio-economic and even natural forces
have provided an important backdrop to U.S. activity. With only
two major exceptions in this century, until recently none of the
above factors had moved up sufficiently in the U.S.-Haitian
agenda to warrant state of extreme crisis in Washington. The
parading of President Sam's torn body through the streets of
Port-au-Prince in January 1915, and the rapid downfall of the
Duvalier regime in February 1986, altered these policy
calculations and in each case led to major American actions.
The immediate aftermaths of both 1915 and 1986 have involved
a fairly determined United states action aimed at three broad and
inter-related objectives: 1) restoration of a semblance of
order; 2) attention to acute problems of economic management; 3)
a more amorphous hope of planting the seed of modern governance
in Haiti. Departing in each case from a near vacuum, the role of
the United States has therefore been difficult and prone to a
degree of well-intentioned naivete regarding the chances of
long-term success. The challenge has perhaps been made even
greater due to the character of American involvement preceding
these historical flash-points.
In early 1986 the United States midwifed the fall of the
Duvalier regime and began to envision a democratic Haiti. But
the execution of that mission implied a deep U.S. policy
commitment. The challenge involved a sustained watch on a
Haitian agenda that interacts closely with regional security
developments. The possibility that Haiti can add to an already
turbulent southern border and unstable Central America inevitably
increases strategic concern with America's traditional "backyard"
to create another potential drain on United States resources.
The United States played an important role in Haiti's 1986
rebellion against Duvalier. However, the achilles heel that
existed then to a degree continues to affect U.S. policy today.
Then and now, when it comes to developing a modernizing regime,
the cast of characters is either limited or frightfully untested.
This seriously limits U.S. options. In 1986 Secretary Shultz's
call for democracy in Haiti a week before Duvalier's collapse
covered up the fact that this mission could not be accomplished
in the near term. It catapulted American policy designs into the
future without defining the near-term process. Washington paid
the price for this lack of definition when the elections of late
1987 did not match expectations and when the short-lived Manigat
government subsequently collapsed. Now, Haiti's limited fortunes
lie with General Prosper Avril, an experienced hand at Florentine
politicking. What next?
United States policy vis-a-vis Haiti should most of all
recognize that there are certain things it cannot realistically
accomplish. Diplomacy does involve the art of the possible, and
as a result the Washington policy community should temper its
missionary enthusiasm toward Haiti -- unless it is willing to
pursue a vigorous policy. The latter entails resources,
political will, consistency, and a long term commitment; assets
that are not always strong points in the present framework of
American politics and foreign policy.
United States' preferences should be clearly stated for all
to understand the values and objectives of this nation's
policies; but by the same token, there should also be a firm
understanding that there is a wide gap between our ideals and
global realities -- particularly in Haiti.
Before this committee a year ago I argued unsuccessfully
that the weak hopes of the Manigat government should be answered
by reinstating the economic aid package cut off in late 1987.
Today, I do not propose a similar course of action. While one
could have at least made the case 12 months ago, the semblance of
a civilian democratically oriented government appears nowhere in
sight at present.
However, is the continuation of a policy of sanctions under
which "humanitarian" aid is still provided likely to achieve
Washington's desired goal of democratization? Is moral suasion
and "poverty" aid enough to coax General Avril or any possible
successor toward political and economic modernization? These are
the kinds of issues which this committee should ask of the
Administration as soon as President Bush's Latin
American/caribbean team is in place to address these serious
matters. Underlying any answer to these questions are the
following points which I offer to this committee for its
1. The United States must make the best out of a bad
situation. The bright spot is that General Avril is a smarter
politician than his immediate predecessor and CNG veteran,
General Henri Namphy. Clearly, Avril is no saint, as his
association with the Duvalier regime and his more recent behind-
the-scenes roles suggest. The fact that Avril probably has
presidential pretensions in a future election may not be
particularly encouraging either. Although Haiti is nowhere near
"democracy", Avril does seem to have the right instinct -- such
is controlling the violent excesses of the army/police and TTM
remnants, entertaining a semblance of a dialogue with civilian
political leaders, or allowing the media to survive.
Is that enough to lift the sanctions? Probably not --
despite the fact that the sanctions have most likely not worked.
2. However, these considerations are conditioned by
somewhat paradoxical factors:
a. Haiti is not likely to achieve "democratization" any
time soon -- a process that must be preceded by a semblance of
domestic security, a national political consensus, an associated
institutional development process and a modicum of economic and
social stabilization if not immediate progress.
b. But United Statesl.,political support is not likely to be
forthcoming unless the Haitian government is able to somehow
demonstrate progress toward "democratizing".
c. The reality of U.S. economic sanctions policy is such
that the bulk of our assistance avoids the very target of U.S.
concern -- the government of Haiti. U.S. aid is presently
channeled through 25-odd private voluntary (PVOs) and non-
governmental organizations; outside of symbolic drug interdiction
funding, much of the U.S. aid program is directed at rural
development, population programs, education, and a strengthening
of private sector capabilities. This operates in the context of
a broader flow of assistance from other donors (Canada, France,
West Germany, in particular), and international agencies (World
Bank etc.). Acting as direct channels to the Haitian people are
over 250 PVOs from the United States and around the world.
As one of the poorest nations in the world, the assistance
that does reach Haiti is characterized as "humanitarian." What
is the interrelationship between this assistance effort and the
uphill battle to achieve democracy in Haiti?
How does one judge humanitarian aid when the strategic
objective of U.S. policy is to push for the installation of a
democratically elected civilian government?
What is the primary motivation driving the $41 million U.S.
aid program requested for fiscal year 1990? Is the aid program
pegged at this level in part simply out of bureaucratic momentum?
3. Where does this leave U.S. policy?
a. The interests of the United States lie in a
reestablishment of government order in Haiti and a reduction --
preferably elimination -- of the vigilante and anarchic form of
b. It is also in Washington's interests to prevent Haiti's
political, economic, and environmental situation from
deteriorating further to the point of creating a broader regional
c. Washington must reiterate a careful articulation of its
strategic political preference for Haiti's future: political
pluralism in the first instance; a functioning democracy
thereafter; a meaningful development strategy throughout.
Realistic options are few:
Do nothing, in essence by continuing present aid programs
Retain sanctions until the Avril regime formally gives
way to (or operates under) the framework of a civilian structure
(interim government?; constitutional or electoral commission?;
Establish a clearer aid conditionalityy" process on the
basis of progress toward "democracy" (for example, last
September the Congressional Task Force on Haiti set out six
overlapping conditions); the President would certify progress as
a condition for an expanded aid flow;
Explore multilateral options (working with donor nations;
international organizations) either as an interim measure until
conditions for direct U.S. aid to the government of Haiti can be
met and/or as a coordinated process to move Haiti towards
development and democracy.
Obviously, the United States should be prepared for the
eventuality that the Avril regime collapses even before
Washington has moved on any option. What then? If a political
vacuum were to develop, the possibility of a plebiscite under
multinational supervision could be explored. This exercise would
bring Haiti back to the Manigat presidency.. Some, such as Latin
America's Christian Democrats, would argue that this is the
option that should be pursued sooner rather than later.
p. Washington may therefore wish to clarify or reiterate
the conditions under which the Haitian government will receive
the political and economic support it needs. These conditions
are set out in 1987 legislation and "sense of the Congress"
resolution which mostly focuses on the need to restore the 1987
However, in practice, what is the threshold of progress the
Congress will find desirable: Is the announcement of an
electoral timetable enough? What if the latter is stretched out
over three years, will this be viewed as a realistic assessment
of Haiti's political process potential or as an undemocratic
response undeserving of positive American consideration?
If any increased assistance is to be considered it should be
directed at strengthening Haiti's nonexistent democratic
infrastructure. Either directly through AID, or by means of
support'provided to the National Endowment for Democracy and its
network, U.S. assistance in this area could be made a
precondition for any reconsideration of expanded economic
support. Naturally, this is an undertaking in which allies of
the United States (such as Canada, France, West Germany,
Venezuela, international democratic party organizations), should
be encouraged to participate.
5. The case for a Haitian International Development
Commission. Is the U.S.-Haitian relationship, if not near an
impasse, at least unlikely to quickly produce the results that
each government is presently seeking? -- for Haiti, an embrace
from Washington that would enhance its credibility; for the
United States, a civilian-led and competitive Haitian polity.
Preliminary consideration might be given to a third-party or
intermediary multilateral coordinating vehicle that would focus
international attention on Haiti's short-term humanitarian needs,
mid-term economic problems, and long-term political
reconstruction priorities. This vehicle could channel the
considerable expertise and interest about Haiti in the United
States and elsewhere -- including members of Haiti's widespread
U.S. participation and support for a Haitian International
Development Commission (HIDC) would provide a mechanism for
dealing with Haiti's government, without direct endorsement by
Washington of progress toward democracy. However, Port-au-Prince
might be led to appreciate the fact that better ties with
Washington tand other donors would at first involve some degree
of cooperation with an international commission devoid of the
political or psychological baggage that dealing the Uncle Sam
involves. This might diffuse U.S.-Haitian tension over the
politics of aid while constructively addressing Haiti's very real
Although U.S. aid could be earmarked for HIDC, the latter
can in fact be supported through private-sector and foundation
support from the United States and elsewhere. The Ford
Foundation alone recently devoted $2 million to a U.S.-Mexico
commission. Several philanthropic institutions over the past
year also supported the International Commission for Central
American Recovery and Development [The Sanford Commission].
Haiti desperately needs the substantive, coordinated, and
multinational attention in part demonstrated by these other
efforts -- in fact, in view of the state of affairs in Haiti,
even more so. A yearly expenditure of $2 million over the next
four years would:
galvanize creative but policy-relevant research by
credible scholars and other experts in and outside Haiti;
provide a non-governmental but multilateral vehicle with
which the Haitian government could work in developing a
democratization strategy without, initially, direct contact with
foreign governments such as that of the United States (who find
it difficult to deal with Haitian regimes anyway);
provide assessment of democratization priorities for
potential donor countries; act as consultation mechanism from
which the U.S. Congress and deliberative bodies in other
countries could draw judgments regarding aid programs;
draw out a modicum of coordination among the 250+ well-
intentioned PVOs that presently populate Haiti's socio-economic
development environment, linking their activity more effectively
to Haiti's political modernization needs.
The very existence of the HIDC could diffuse the frustrating
character of contemporary U.S.-Haitian relations while
simultaneously encouraging those that can help Haiti with a
constructive mechanism for involvement.
Unless a creative and cost-effective approach is taken to
address Haiti's development problems, the annual review of the
U.S. aid program to Haiti is likely to remain a frustrating
exercise. Although Haiti clearly needs all the resources it can
attract, it is doubtful that these resources will achieve much
unless the obvious begins to take hold -- a modernizing regime in
Haiti; however, even that will require a more strategic vision of
the Haitian challenge by the United States and others.
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you, Mr. Fauriol.
Mr. Kenneth Roth.
STATEMENT OF KENNETH ROTH, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, HUMAN
Mr. ROTH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting me and thank
you for your attention to human rights problems in Haiti. I speak
on behalf of the Haitian human rights community as well as a
fairly broad sector of the democratic opposition in thanking you
and your colleagues for your legislative efforts here, which have
provided the crucial international leverage to support their efforts
to convince the military to hold elections and to respect human
Today Haiti is ruled by the fourth military or military dominat-
ed government since the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier. Each
of those governments promised to respect human rights and to hold
elections, and none of them delivered. This one has promised as
well, and the question that we face today is how can the U.S. help
ensure that it finally does deliver.
AVRIL'S HUMAN RIGHT'S RECORD
It is worth noting that the Avril government has taken several
positive steps in this regard. On the eve of a visit by an expert rep-
resenting the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, it en-
dorsed four international human rights treaties in December. On
the eve of these hearings, it agreed to the proposal suggested by
the democratic forum to create an independent electoral council.
And indeed yesterday it reinstated the constitution with certain
very significant exceptions. (The one that we are the most con-
cerned about is the one that exempts the military from the juris-
diction of the civilian courts for the human rights abuses that it
commits or has committed.)
Now parallel to the positive aspects of these developments, there
have been serious abuses, as Mr. Chairman, you alluded to in your
opening statement. I will summarize a few of those briefly, some of
which you also touched on.
We have noticed first of all a fairly regular effort to suppress ef-
forts to organize the citizenry and particularly peasants as well as
to hold demonstrations. And to simply cite two quite recent exam-
ples, just ten days ago on March 4th a group of unemployed people
tried to hold a demonstration at the Church St. Jean Bosco, the
site of the earlier massacre in September. That demonstration was
broken up by soldiers from Fort Dimanche who arrested two of the
leaders and brutally beat them.
On February 15th, roughly a month ago, a youth organization
tried to hold a demonstration in Port-au-Prince in the midst of the
democratic forum, and there again police broke up the demonstra-
tion with tear gas and clubs and beat reporters while confiscating
Similarly, outspoken opponents of the military government have
been targeted. You alluded in your opening statement to the fact
that two residents of Cite Soleil, a section of Port-au- Prince, and
members of the organization Verite were murdered by a group of
armed men led by a uniformed soldier shortly after they had issued
a public statement identifying certain participants in the St. Jean
A third individual was arrested and put into regular military
custody. The government clearly knew who committed or who were
involved in these murders, because it accepted the third individual,
yet it has done nothing to remedy this abuse.
On January 16th, members of the National Association of Peas-
ant Organizations were distributing anti-government leaflets and
putting anti-government slogans on the walls of Cite Soleil. Two of
them were arrested and brought to the National Palace itself
where they were beaten and forced to sit on their knees holding
rocks on their heads overnight. When three others went to rescue
them at the police headquarters opposite the National Palace, they
too were incarcerated overnight.
On February 6th three days before the forum, two leading oppo-
nents of the forum were arrested and held during the duration of
THE GOVERNMENT'S TOLERANCE OF ABUSES
In each of these incidents, and I take issue with Ambassador
Melton's comments in this regard, it is difficult to understand how
General Avril could not have been fully aware of these actions.
And particularly if one looks at the arrests of the leading oppo-
nents during the forum, how he could not have been personally un-
aware of these abuses.
Other evidence of the involvement of the highest reaches of the
military government are shown in the government's treatment of
what I would refer to as progressive forces in the army. We heard
earlier about its effort to rid the army of certain corrupt or violent
sectors, and in fact those efforts have taken place and we applaud
them. At the same time, progressive forces have not fared so well
under General Avril.
Fifteen of the more progressive leaders of the September 17th
coup were in prison for two months under trumped up charges of
plotting a second coup.
At the same time that General Avril accepted the recommenda-
tions of the democratic forum to allow an electoral council to be
installed, it forced the resignation of Colonel Carl Dorsainvil as the
Defense and Interior Minister. Colonel Dorsainvil was generally re-
garded as a moderate, and he was replaced by Colonel Acedius
Saint-Louis who it is fair to say has a long established and appar-
ently self-cultivated image of brutality.
At the same time, General Avril chose to keep in power the in-
formation minister, Antony Verneges Saint-Pierre, who has been a
principal proponent of the military crack down on opposition lead-
These actions are indicative of the fact that many of these abuses
are being at least tolerated if not often directed by the highest
reaches of government.
As you noted, Mr. Chairman, in your opening remarks, there
have been no prosecutions whatsoever of any of the abuses that
have plagued Haiti since the fall of Duvalier. The two published in-
vestigations ended in whitewashes. One was the murder of presi-
dential candidate Athis where Athis and his coterie were blamed
for entering an area where they should have known that they
might be murdered. And the investigation into the November 29th
massacre essentially exculpated the army and did not name
anyone as a possible perpetrator.
Once more as you noted, Franck Romain, the generally regarded
mastermind of the St. Jean Bosco massacre was granted a safe
conduct out of the country. The Haitian Government has cited the
Inter-American Convention on Diplomatic Asylum stating that
they were compelled to grant that safe conduct. What they have
seemed to have ignored is that the section that would have com-
pelled them to do that was one with which the Dominican Republic
government had taken an exception to that. So in fact, the Haitian
government was not compelled to do that, but in fact made a politi-
cal decision to rid the country of Romain before he could be
brought to justice.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM HISTORY
Now it is worth asking how can we break out of this cycle of vio-
lence and how can we ensure that an elected civilian government
can take office. And in that regard, I think that it is worth bearing
in mind history, because we believe history has a fairly important
lesson to teach here.
If we look at what preceded the debacle of the November 29,
1987 elections, we can recall that there are many parallels to the
current situation. At that time, the CNG with General Avril as a
key behind the scenes advisor was led by what was generally
viewed as a fairly benign officer, General Namphe. He came to
power in 1986 with a fairly clean reputation. He allowed the enact-
ment of the constitution much as General Avril has now reinstated
it. He allowed the creation of an independent electoral counsel
much as General Avril has said that he would do. He allowed a
date for elections to be set, a step that General Avril has not yet
However, it is worth recalling that the CNG's actions were very
frequently contradictory to these vows. And as a human rights or-
ganization, we tend to look at actions as speaking far more loudly
than words. The CNG sponsored and tolerated violence against par-
ticipants in the electoral process and opponents of the military gov-
ernment. And as we have documented in a book recently published
on Haiti, the Avril government seems to be sponsoring and tolerat-
ing a similar set of abuses.
We all recall that the United States funded the CNG. I am
hoping that the avowed intentions of the CNG would prevail over
its actions. Unfortunately, that was not the case. We are faced today
with the question of how do we avoid a similar duplication of that
And I think that Congress has so far done the correct thing. As I
indicated in my opening remarks, the legislative conditions have
been crucial in providing leverage to Haitian democrats in seeking
to force the military government to ultimately relinquish power to
an elected civilian.
STATE DEPARTMENT'S POSITION ON ASSISTANCE
I was disappointed to hear Ambassador Melton apparently
changed the State Department's position on the resumption of aid,
to Haiti. The State Department had vowed repeatedly during the
course of the summer and fall that they would not renew aid not
only until the democratic process had begun-and I would differ
with Ambassador Melton as to whether that program has been
made-but also that they would not resume aid until there had
been strict observance of human rights. And I think that it is fairly
clear that that second condition which has repeatedly been articu-
lated by the State Department has not been fulfilled.
Ambassador Melton's remarks seem to state that it is necessary
to reward step by step the Avril government for certain positive
steps that it takes. It seems though that this approach has been
tried with this government. I believe that it was Congressman
Weiss who was alluding to the fact that a $10 million loan guaran-
tee had been given this fall to U.S. exporters to Haiti.
As I understand it from AID, that translated into roughly $10
million of currency to .the Haitian government. In addition, as I un-
derstand it, approximately $15 million of what were essentially the
remnants of earlier Public Law 480 sales was also turned over to
the Avril government shortly after it came to power.
Despite what in essence amounts to $25 million in aid, a very
troubling human rights situation persists. So what we would urge
is that the current legislative conditions as well as the conditions
that until today had been articulated by the State Department be
adhered to strictly, and that aid not be funneled to the government
directly or indirectly regardless of the title or law that the State
Department purports to proceed in accordance with.
The one small exception that we would make is that we welcome
aid to an independent electoral council insofar as that council is es-
tablished and is opposed to the military government and that the
council requests the aid. And certainly at that moment, we would
welcome Congress providing aid explicitly and solely for the elec-
toral process. Anything beyond that we feel would undercut the im-
portant leverage that this Congress has provided to Haitian demo-
crats. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Roth follows:]
TESTIMONY OF KEN ROTH. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs
Tuesday, March 13, 1989
Thank you for holding this important hearing,
Chairman Crockett, and for inviting us to testify.
The staff and board of Human Rights Watch and Americas
Watch appreciate the attention paid to human rights and
democracy in Haiti by yourself, Rep. Lagomarsino and
other members of the Subcommittee. My name is Kenneth
Roth, and I am Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch is a private human rights monitoring
organization which includes Americas Watch, Helsinki
Watch, Asia Watch, and Africa Watch. We welcome your
inquiry into human rights in Haiti in the context of
your consideration of foreign assistance for the coming
fiscal year. The Chairman's excellent opening
statement of concern about Haitian
human rights is a strong message of support for Haitian
democrats and human rights advocates.
As you know, the prospects for democratic elections in Haiti
are inextricably linked to respect for human rights, including
freedom of speech and assembly, and most important, freedom from
fear of violence. Since the coup of September 17, 1988 which
brought Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril to power, there have been a number
of positive developments relating to the possibility of
elections, but, paradoxically, they have taken place in the
context of increasing repression of political dissent.
In late November 1988, the Avril government, under pressure
from all sides to show some movement towards democracy, proposed
the creation of an Electoral College of Haiti, which was to have
been under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice. The
proposed body would not have been independent, and its members
would have been subject to military influence. Political parties
and human rights groups were highly critical of the proposal,
particularly the lack of independence of the proposed college.
They also underscored the need for urgent measures to improve
security before elections could be considered.
In mid February 1989, General Avril's proposal for an
electoral commission was debated in a forum with representatives
of some 28 political, labor, and professional groups. A number
of democratic groups boycotted the forum, principally because of
their view that the current government, given the level of
ongoing abuses, could not be trusted to usher in free elections;
the boycotting groups included KONAKOM (the National Committee
of the Congress of Democratic Unions), CATH, and the Papaye
Peasant Movement (the largest and most politically active union
federation and peasant organization, respectively.) The forum
recommended the establishment of an independent electoral council
to run the elections which closely paralleled the original
electoral council established under Article 289 of the
Constitution. The proposed council would be composed of nine
representatives from nine different sectors of Haitian society,
e.g. human rights groups, the journalists' association, the labor
unions, the Catholic Church, and one seat for the military
government. On February 23, the Avril government accepted this
proposal, although the body has yet to meet and no date for
elections has been set. Nor have crucial issues been addressed
such as the manner in which the independence of the council would
be guaranteed, and the extent to which the military government
will provide logistical support and security assistance to the
council -- areas where the lack of government commitment
seriously undermined the work of the independent electoral
council in November 1987.
Two other positive developments are worth mentioning. In
December 1988, on the eve of a visit by a representative of the
UN Commission on Human Rights, the Avril government announced the
ratification of several international human rights conventions --
an important commitment to uphold basic rights. Then,
yesterday, on the eve of these hearings, and during a visit by
IL -XCL~--*^PI `-
Mme. Danielle Mitterand, Gen. Avril announced that he was
reinstating portions of the popularly enacted Constitution of
March 1987, which Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, his predecessor, had
suspended. (Unfortunately, some 37 constitutional articles
remain suspended, ostensibly those that are incompatible with a
military government, but including, for example, the article that
makes soldiers subject to the jurisdiction of civilian courts for
human rights abuses.)
The positive aspects of these developments are welcome and
important steps toward underscoring a stated commitment by the
Avril government to hold elections and respect human rights.
They must, however, be considered in the context of contradictory
actions by the military government, including ongoing gross
abuses of human rights.
In this light, we recall the violently aborted elections of
November 1987. An independent electoral council operating under
a fully intact Constitution and verbally supported by an interim
military government was unable to avoid the violent crushing of
those elections by military and paramilitary forces. The reason
for this, in our view, is that the military government
contradicted its verbal commitment to hold elections by
consistently employing and tolerating violence against outspoken
government critics and other participants in the electoral
Americas Watch is deeply concerned that this bloody chapter
in Haiti's history not be repeated. Our concerns are raised
because, despite the Avril government's verbal commitments, its
military forces have continued to employ violence and
intimidation against outspoken opponents of military rule and
allied popular organizations. We are anxious to ensure that the
United States not align itself as a financial backer of the Avril
government until Gen. Avril and his military followers have
brought their actions in line with their stated commitments.
What follows is a summary of our concerns. These are set
forth in greater detail in a report published last month by
Americas Watch in conjunction with the National Coalition for
Haitian Refugees and Caribbean Rights, entitled "The More Things
Change...." The information set forth below is the product of
eight fact-finding missions to Haiti taken by representatives of
these organizations since the failed elections of November 1987.
1. Repression of Opposition Political Activity: Repeatedly
since General Avril assumed power the army and its paramilitary
allies have employed violence to discourage and at times prevent
demonstrations and other forms of collective political activity.
The most common targets of military repression have been the
popular organizations of the sort that precipitated the ouster of
the Duvalier dictatorship and have since led the opposition to
the various military-dominated governments: peasant
organizations, trade unions, and the progressive church. For
o On March 4, 1989, soldiers from Fort Dimanche broke up an
anti-government demonstration of about 40 people organized
by the Committee of Revolutionary Unemployed Workers
opposite St. Jean Bosco church (sight of a bloody massacre
by paramilitary troops with army support in the waning days
of the Namphy government in September) in the La Saline
section of Port-au-Prince. As the demonstration was about
to begin, the soldiers, in uniform, arrested two
organizers, Ernst Charles and a man known as Abellard, and
brought them to Fort Dimanche, where they were brutally
beaten in the head and back, at times in the presence of the
commanding officer, and then released. No military official
has been charged for this brutality.
o Similarly, on February 15, 1989, as the above-mentioned
electoral forum was in progress, troops attacked a peaceful
demonstration in Port-au-Prince organized by the National
Organization for the Defense of Youth, which was protesting
the arrest of two outspoken opponents of the forum (see
below). The troops attacked with tear gas and beat a number
of demonstrators. Reporters covering the event were also
assaulted, including Thony Belizair of Agence France-Presse
and correspondents for Radio Cacique and Radio Arc-en-Ciel.
Other journalists had their cameras smashed and film
2. Violence and Intimidation Against Outspoken Opponents of
the Government: Although leading political figures in Haiti,
protected by their international visibility, have been
relatively free to criticize the government, lesser known critics
have met with violence, particularly those connected with popular
organizations. For example:
o During the night of November 26-27, 1988, Michelet
Dubreus and Jean Felix, members of a community organization
known as "Verit4" in the Cite Soleil section of Port-au-
Prince, were murdered by armed men led by a uniformed
soldier, shortly after they had issued a public letter
identifying participants in the St. Jean Bosco massacre.
The third signatory of the letter, Rock Mondesir, was
arrested and held in army custody until the end of January
1989. Although the military must know who delivered
Mondesir into its custody, it has taken no action to pursue
the murderers of Dubreus and Felix.
o On January 16, 1989, soldiers arrested two members of the
National Assembly of Popular Organizations (ANOP) who were
writing anti-government slogans on walls and distributing
anti-government pamphlets in Cit6 Soleil. The two, Vesnel
Jean-Francois and Roland Pierre, were taken to the National
Palace, beaten, and forced to spend the night on their knees
holding rocks on their heads. The next day they were taken
to the Anti-Gang Investigations Unit of the Port-au-Prince
Police Department and beaten again while being interrogated.
Three days later, on January 19, three other members of ANOP
went to the Anti-Gang Unit to inquire about Jean-Francois
and Pierra. The three, Yves Sanon, Roland Paul and Alain
Zephyr, were themselves detained overnight. Jean-Francois
and Pierre were released. The Avril government has taken no
action against those responsible for this mistreatment.
o On February 6, 1989, three days before the scheduled
electoral forum, two leading opponents of the forum were
arrested by the Port-au-Prince police: Rockefeller Guerre,
head of the Union of Patriotic Democrats, and Dr. Sylvain
Jolibois, an outspoken Avril critic. The two were charged
with complicity in the purported discovery of a small
explosive device under grandstands erected in downtown Port-
au-Prince as part of the Carnival celebrations. No evidence
of their alleged role in this episode was ever disclosed,
and they were released at the conclusion of the electoral
3. General Avril's Reprisals against Progressive Officers:
General Avril was brought to power by a group of noncommissioned
officers who took umbrage at the ascendancy and increasingly
brazen violence of paramilitary forces operating under the
protection of Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy and his allies. These
soldiers continue to press for reforms and would be natural
allies of a government that acted to promote democracy and human
rights. Instead, Gen. Avril imprisoned fifteen of their leaders,
holding them for over two months without charge or trial, on
unsubstantiated allegations of plotting a coup. He has
reinstated corrupt and violent commanders who had been ousted by
their troops. He has halted, at least until this month,
significant efforts to disband the paramilitary forces that have
played a major role in the most violent episodes in Haiti's
recent past. And most recently, as he announced the acceptance
of the forum's proposal of an electoral council, he reshuffled
his cabinet, removing the moderate Col. Carl Dorsainvil from the
crucial post of Defense and Interior Minister and replacing him
with Col. Acedius Saint-Louis, an officer with a long
established and apparently cultivated image of brutality.
4. Torture and Killing in Police Custody: Torture and
killing in police custody continues, particularly in the Criminal
Investigations Unit of the Port-au-Prince Department. At least
through September 1988, inmates in the Criminal Investigations
Unit regularly died from torture or starvation, and severe
beatings were routinely practiced. Although the Avril
government renamed the facility the Anti-Gang Investigations Unit
and claims to have stopped detaining prisoners there,
approximately 40 were being held there as recently as January
1989, and reports have emerged of beatings and at least one
killing, that of Phael Joseph sometime between his arrest on
November 15 and the discovery of his body in a morgue on
November 24, 1988.
5. Use of Deadly Force Against the Population: Troops
continue to use deadly force against the population-at-large with
seeming impunity. The problem is most pronounced among rural
section chiefs, particularly in the Artibonite region in central
Haiti. Even within Port-au-Prince, killings and robberies
increasingly are committed by uniformed soldiers.
6. Random Violence: This disregard for the law has
encouraged a resurgence of what Haitians call "insecurity," the
killing of seemingly random citizens by unidentified gunmen.
Reflecting an apparent attempt to terrorize the population,
bodies continue to appear periodically on the streets of Port-au-
Prince. The number of such killings has increased noticeably
since the Avril government's announcement that it would agree to
the forum's proposal for an electoral council.
7. Failure to prosecute violators: Neither the Avril
government nor its predecessors have made any headway in bringing
to justice the perpetrators of the many political killings and
other abuses that have continued to plague Haiti since the fall
of Duvalier. No prosecutions have been brought and no
convictions have been obtained for a single act of political
violence. To the contrary, at the end of December 1988, the
Avril government issued a safe conduct out of the country to
former Col. Franck Romain, a close associate of ousted Gen.
Namphy, who is widely believed to have engineered the St. Jean
Bosco massacre. Although the Avril government claimed to have
been compelled to grant the safe conduct of Romain under the
terms of the Inter-American Convention on Diplomatic Asylum, a
reservation to that Convention entered by the government of the
Dominican Republic, in whose embassy Romain had taken refuge,
negated that obligation.
8. Government Whitewash of Massacres: The few announced
investigations into political murders have ended in whitewash.
In November 1988, the Avril government issued a report on the
August 1987 murder of presidential candidate Louis Eugene Athis
and his two aides which said that the victims should have known
better than to campaign in the area where they were killed. The
widely acknowledged mastermind of the killings, section chief
David Philogene, was released from protective custody and allowed
to flee to the Dominican Republic. Also in November 1988, the
Avril government issued a report on the November 1987 election
day massacre which failed to identify a single participant in the
killings. Popular outrage at the report led the government to
propose a new investigative commission, but procedural
constraints imposed by the government on the proposed commission
led Haitian human rights groups to reject the proposal. No new
investigation has taken place.
9. Attacks on the Press: The Haitian press, particularly
the all-important radio stations, such as the Catholic Church's
Radio Soleil and the private Radio Haiti-Inter, are particularly
courageous in their willingness to report on politically
sensitive topics, but self-censorship is prevalent in light of
periodic military and paramilitary assaults. For example:
o On December 21, 1988, in Port-au-Prince, Huggens Voltaire,
a journalist for the weekly Libdration, was brutally beaten
by soldiers-and armed plainclothesmen in front of the
National Penitentiary as he was covering the release of 12
o On February 7, 1989, the commander of the military
garrison in Hinche, Col. Ulysse Alcena, demanded that the
Hinche correspondent of Radio Lumiere, Delil Lexil, turn
over a copy of a letter signed by 30 people criticizing the
Avril government which had been read over the air.
Several steps are necessary to break Haiti's endless cycle
of repression and dictatorship, and guarantee reasonably fair and
free elections in Haiti. Members and staff of this Committee, as
well as members of the Congressional Black Caucus, have monitored
political and human rights developments in Haiti closely, and
strongly support conditions on aid which would assure respect for
human rights and a decent electoral process. Unfortunately, your
activism has not been mirrored by the executive branch. The U.S.
Ambassador to Haiti, Ambassador Brunson McKinley, has been
remarkably silent about violent abuses. During an interview with
an international delegation led by Americas Watch and the
National Coalition for Haitian Refugees in August 1988,
Ambassador McKinley seemed to excuse government involvement in
abuses by noting that "Human rights violations are endemic to the
Haitian tradition. It's part of the culture. The way Haitians
deal with robbers is stoning them to death. We may not like it
but its their tradition." When asked about a pattern suggesting
a policy of official tolerance or complicity in violent abuses,
particularly in the countryside, Ambassador McKinley responded:
"Most things that are done by the Haitian government are done by
gosh and by golly, and often by hazard. I don't see any evidence
of a policy against human rights, any more than they have a
policy about anything else. The countryside is out of control of
the Haitian government. It's pretty primitive out there."
Ambassador McKinley went on to note that U.S. influence was
limited: "Our ability to affect events in the countryside ended
in 1934 [the year that U.S. Marines left Haiti]. Since then, its
been the law of the jungle out there." The Ambassador's notion
that only American Marines can affect human rights in the Haitian
"jungle" insults Haitian democrats and squanders U.S.
opportunities to hold the authorities accountable for human
rights in that country. Finally, when asked why he rarely
protested human rights abuses, Ambassador McKinley responded that
"repetition becomes boring." Because of his attitude, and that
of other executive branch officials, it is particularly important
that the Congress' conditions for a resumption of aid to Haiti be
articulated in law.
We would appreciate it if the following conditions could be
included in foreign aid legislation, and considered a
prerequisite for the resumption of U.S. assistance to Haiti.
1. The electoral'process must be made free of violence and
the fear of violence. The acting government must exercise
control over the army, disarm paramilitary forces, and assure
that voter registration, voter education, campaigning and voting
take place in a secure atmosphere in which people can vote
without fear of reprisal. The armed forces must act swiftly and
within the law against brutality or intimidation from any
quarter, including its own ranks. The government must make its
opposition to rule by terror public, firm and unyielding.
2. The rule of law must be established. That means that all
sectors of society, including the military, must be subject to
the law as applied by independent judicial tribunals. An
important starting point would be ensuring that the authors of
past violent crimes -- such as the killings of November 1987 and
the September 1988 massacre in St. Jean Bosco church, as well as
the terror of the Duvalier decades -- be sought out, prosecuted
and tried openly by an independent judiciary.
3. Basic freedoms of speech, association and assembly must
be assured. A fair election can take place only when candidates
and the electorate are free to speak and organize without
endangering themselves or their families. The media, including
radio and television, must be permitted freely to cover the
campaign and the issues, presenting the candidates and their
views to a wide public. Haitians everywhere must feel free to
form political parties, labor unions and other civic
organizations, which in turn must be free to take part in the
4. An independent authority, such as the CEP. must be in
charge of organizing, carrying out, and tallying the vote. The
democratic forum has proposed this condition, and the Avril
government has apparently accepted this concept of an independent
electoral commission. This group must be free to carry out its
mandate without threats or intimidations, and with adequate
funding and active assistance from the acting government on both
logistical and security matters.
It is our understanding that this fiscal year the executive
branch is pressing Congress to provide "Food For Peace" (PL480)
commodities in the form of Title I and Title III grants which
involve concessional sales of commodities to the government which
in turn generates revenues by reselling them within the country.
IEIUWr;C~L~- rm- -
Americas Watch strongly opposes this form of economic assistance
to the Avril government, given the human rights violations we
have described, and we respectfully urge the Committee to
continue to insist that food aid be granted through private
voluntary organizations. (As you know, Section 112 of the
Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, as
amended, states that "No agreement may be entered into under this
title to finance the sale of agricultural commodities to the
government of any country which engages in a consistent pattern
of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights,
including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or
punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the
disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine
detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right
to life, liberty, and the security of the person, unless such
agreement will directly benefit the needy people in such
We would urge the Committee not to authorize foreign aid --
including PL480 sales and commodity credits -- to the Avril
Government as a reward for certain political developments, unless
the human rights situation warrants it. The one instance in
which the Avril government has been rewarded for small positive
steps short of full respect for human rights -- the approval this
past fall by the Commodity Credit Corporation of the US
Department of Agriculture of a $10 million loan guarantee to US
exporters to Haiti, which allowed the Haitian government to
generate revenues by purchasing commodities and selling them at a
profit -- was followed by an intensification of the use of
political violence by military forces. As the electoral tragedy
of November 1987 illustrated, there can be no real political
change in Haiti unless human rights are protected, and people are
free from fear. In this regard, we would urge that assistance
aimed at the electoral process, which we understand is under
consideration, be directed exclusively to an independent
electoral council (as defined by Article 289 of the Constitution)
and only when that body has been created and itself has requested
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Roth.
HAITIAN DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
Mr. Fauriol, this Haitian development commission that you were
talking about, I take it that it would be composed entirely of Amer-
Mr. FAURIOL. No. In fact, it should not be made up entirely of
Americans. Otherwise, it would be viewed as Uncle Sam's latest de-
velopment feature in the Third World. It should be a multinational
institution of which Americans would be part, but it would also be
made up of Canadians, Europeans, and folks from the Caribbean
and Latin America.
Mr. CROCKETT. But it would be funded substantially by Congress,
is that right?
Mr. FAURIOL. It is an option, although I would prefer that it be
funded by the private sector, and let me define that a bit further. I
know of two instances in the last two years of international com-
missions that in fact have been funded through U.S. foundations
for example. There is the Sanford Commission involved in Central
American issues. There was a Ford Foundation $2 million effort
funding the U.S.-Mexican Commission which recently produced a
report in late 1988.
So I think that there are examples that could be pursued in the
case of Haiti. And I would add that in the case of Haiti that they
would probably need it even more than these two other examples
that I have suggested.
Mr. CROCKETT. One question for you, Mr. Joseph.
COMPLIANCE WITH HAITIAN CONSTITUTION
Do you believe that the Avril government is attempting to
comply not only with the letter but with the spirit of the Haitian
Mr. JOSEPH. I have my doubts. As I said, when I was in Haiti, I
talked with quite a few people around Avril. And it seems to me
that a lot of people around him are just in love with power, and I
do not know where he stands. And they reinstated this constitution
at the eleventh hour, the eleventh hour before this hearing here,
and with some articles put in abeyance, and then we are told no
they are not put in abeyance. I do not see a clear commitment, at
least it has not been stipulated.
Mr. CROCKETT. Do think that he has the political will to lead
Haiti back to democracy?
Mr. JOSEPH. When I interviewed him two weeks after he took
power, I wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal in which I said
that Avril more than Manigat and more than Namphy could put
Haiti on the path of democracy, if he could resist the same thing
that all Haitian leaders have which is to go beyond their time in
power. I still believe that he has quite a bit of control of the armed
forces, more than anyone else. But it seems that he is being pulled
this way and that way. But I think that if he wants to that he has
more control of the armed forces of Haiti to push in the right direc-
-i^A,-t. u IW .. ---.
Mr. CROCKETT. Do you think that he still enjoys the confidence
and support of the noncommissioned officers who were instrumen-
tal in putting him in power?
Mr. JOSEPH. None of the noncommissioned officers were arrested.
He said that they were plotting. But he has the support of the four
major army corps. That is the Casernes Dessalines, the palace
guard, the Leopards, and the police. I do not put the navy or the
coast guard as a major force. But of those four forces based on an
honest evaluation, he does have their support.
ROLE OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT
Mr. CROCKETT. Mr. Roth, what is it that you would like to see the
State Department do about these apparent violations of human
rights other than speak out publicly condemning them?
Mr. ROTH. I do not minimize that as a suggestion. A problem
that we have seen is that Ambassador McKinley refuses to speak
out. I can count on less than the fingers on one hand the number
of times when he has spoken out over the repeated violent abuses
that we have seen in the past year.
Clearly maintaining the aid cutoff until there is a rectification of
the human rights situation is crucial. But in addition to that, the
U.S. should provide more leadership. And I think that as I alluded
to in my written testimony, Ambassador McKinley, in an interview
that I conducted with him with an international delegation this
past August, was almost contemptuous of the notion of protesting
violent abuses. He went so far as to say that repetition becomes
boring. I do not think that that is an appropriate remark for a U.S.
U.S. ELECTION ASSISTANCE
Mr. CROCKETT. Ms. Derryck, assuming that we were disposed to
give the $10 million that you estimate is going to be necessary to
conduct an election in Haiti, what conditions should we impose to
keep that $10 million from going the way of the previous $8 million
that we put up for the last election?
Ms. DERRYCK. I think that the first thing that we have to do, and
I really do not know how one does this as we come to a fundamen-
tal problem here. The CEP is ostensibly a non-governmental orga-
nization. It is rather unique in the kinds of power that it has.
Mr. CROCKETT. When you say non-governmental, you mean a
Ms. DERRYCK. Yes. As opposed to a governmental organization.
The first thing that has to happen is a clarification of terms, so
that you determine who is going to get which portion of the money.
Clearly, somebody has to train a cadre of people who can supervise
this election. I do not know whether that is a governmental func-
tion or a function of the CEP.
Again looking at the infrastructural needs, it is not the usual sit-
uation that you would have a group like the CEP that is going to
be directly the dispersion of the kinds of materials that you need.
So that has to happen first.
Mr. CROCKETT. The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to say that
I am here basically to listen and learn. This is an area of the globe
that I have not followed extremely closely. And being a new
member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I am sitting here basi-
cally to listen and learn. But I certainly would hope that democra-
cy could be restored in Haiti, a country with a tremendous histori-
cal background with many leaders, and back many, many years
ago world leaders.
I would hope that the pride and dignity that the early revolu-
tionary leaders had when they made Haiti a free country from the
colonies would in some way be restored. And to see that country
with so much intrinsic and creative ability from its ability to be
able to flourish as it ought to. Thank you.
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you very much. Your testimony certainly
has been most helpful to me. And I think that if my colleagues
were here that they would agree with that observation. The hear-
ing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 4:09 p.m., the hearing was adjourned, subject to
the call of the Chair.]'