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. ,'-? '. . .* - ,. 1
102d Congress OMM PRINT S. PRT.
2d Session COMMITEE PRINT 102-87
HAITIAN DEMOCRACY AND REFUGEES:
PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS
A STAFF REPORT
PREPARED FOR THE USE OF THE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION
AND REFUGEE AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED SECOND CONGRESS
w JUN 5 '92 A
FEBRUARY 27, 1992 0335-A
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
54-193 WASHINGTON : 1992
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., Delaware, Chairman
EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts STROM THURMOND, South Carolina
HOWARD M. METZENBAUM, Ohio ORRIN G. HATCH, Utah
DENNIS DECONCINI, Arizona ALAN K. SIMPSON, Wyoming
PATRICK J. LEAHY, Vermont CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, Iowa
HOWELL HEFLIN, Alabama ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania
PAUL SIMON, Illinois HANK BROWN, Colorado
HERBERT KOHL, Wisconsin
RONALD A. KLAIN, Chief Counsel
CYNTHIA HOGAN, Staff Director
THAD STROM, Minority Chief Counsel and Staff Director
SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE AFFAIRS
EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts, Chairman
PAUL SIMON, Illinois ALAN K. SIMPSON, Wyoming
JERRY M. TINKER, Staff Director
CAROLYN P. OSOLNIK, Chief Counsel
RICHARD W. DAY, Minority Staff Director
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
Washington, DC, February 27, 1992.
Hon. JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr.,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Enclosed is a bipartisan report prepared by
the subcommittee staff on their recent study mission to examine
the issues surrounding the recent flight of the Haitian "boat
The report includes their findings regarding the treatment of the
boat people by U.S. Government officials in Guantanamo, Cuba, as
well as conditions in Haiti following the recent military coup.
I believe this report makes a significant contribution to the cur-
rent debate over the Haitian boat people and regarding interna-
tional efforts to restore democracy in Haiti, and I request that it be
(Signed) EDWARD M. KENNEDY,
Chairman, Subcommittee on
Immigration and Refugee Affairs.
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
MEMORANDUM OF TRANSMITTAL
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
Washington, DC, February 27, 1992.
To: Senator EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Chairman, Subcommittee on Im-
migration and Refugee Affairs; Senator ALAN K. SIMPSON,
From: MICHAEL MYERS, majority counsel; RICHARD DAY, minority
chief counsel; NANCY SODERBERG, foreign policy advisor to Sena-
At your request, we conducted a study mission on February 13-
17 to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to Haiti to examine issues sur-
rounding the exodus of the Haitian "boat people" and the situation
in Haiti following the recent coup d'etat.
We visited U.S. operations in Guantanamo, meeting with U.S.
military, Coast Guard, and other officials, as well as Haitians
living under U.S. care. We also gave high priority to an examina-
tion of the asylum screening conducted by asylum officers of the
Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Most of our trip was devoted to Haiti itself. We visited Port-au-
Prince and the northern city of Gonaives. We met with U.S. Em-
bassy officials, members of the Haitian Parliament and Haitian
military leaders. We conducted extensive meetings with Haitian
human rights and church groups as well as officials of voluntary
agencies working in Haiti.
In submitting this report, we admit that there are no instant an-
swers to the dilemmas which plague Haiti today. While much of
the public attention is focused on the plight of the over 16,000 Hai-
tians who fled their homeland over the last 5 months, a resolution
of the crisis will require long-term approaches to Haiti's endemic
cycle of violence and repression. Clearly, the first priority in Haiti
is to place the country back on the path to democracy from which
it was summarily wrested by the coup last fall.
However, it is also apparent that the United States and the rest
of the international community must be prepared to make a sus-
tained commitment to the Haitian people-to assist them over the
long term in their struggle to build a durable democracy that per-
mits freedom and prosperity for all Haitians.
We are grateful to so many who assisted us on our trip. In Guan-
tanamo, the U.S. military and the Coast Guard provided us with
complete access to programs for the Haitian boat people, and gra-
ciously welcomed us during our brief stay. And we were extremely
impressed with the quality and commitment of the INS asylum of-
We are also grateful to the U.S. Embassy personnel in Haiti.
Shortstaffed and faced with great difficulties, they were able none-
theless to make key arrangements for our visit on very short
notice, and generously accommodated our needs in preparing this
report. Without their hospitality, insights and energy, our trip
would not have been possible.
And we are thankful to so many of the Haitian people who gave
generously of their time to provide us with insights which other-
wise we could never have received-including the priests, human
rights leaders, and so many others who are deeply committed to a
By Senator EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Chairman
The coup d'etat in Haiti last September wrested from power
Haiti's democratically elected President, and placed the country in
crisis. As this report documents, hundreds, if not thousands, of Hai-
tians were killed in the violence relating to the military takeover.
Unknown thousands of Haitians fled their homes in a desperate at-
tempt to escape the repression and misery which followed the coup.
Over 16,000 Haitians took to rickety boats on the high seas to at-
tempt the dangerous trip to the United States and other countries.
In the 5 months since the coup that ousted President Aristide,
antidemocratic forces in Haiti have entrenched themselves in
power and are preventing the return of the democratically elected
President. A preliminary agreement to end the political crisis has
been reached by Haitian leaders and the Organization of American
States, and represents an important breakthrough in the efforts to
end the crisis. However, constant international presence and pres-
sure will be essential to ensure the agreement's full implementa-
We have witnessed the violent consequences of our failure to sup-
port democracy more effectively in Haiti after the country's elec-
tions just over a year ago. Now we must do everything we can to
bolster the negotiations and support the Haitian people until their
democracy can stand on its own.
On the basis of this report, I believe the following steps must be
First, the administration should halt immediately the forcible
return of the remaining boat people under current conditions in
Haiti. International monitoring teams should be established
throughout Haiti; such a system would provide important informa-
tion on conditions, deter future abuses, and provide a greater sense
of security to returning Haitians, as well as the general Haitian
Second, regarding the negotiations, the United States and the
international community must monitor closely the implementation
of the agreement reached by Haitian leaders and the OAS in
Washington on February 23, and press for its speedy and full im-
plementation. While the agreement is an important step forward,
much work remains to be done before the political crisis is re-
The administration and the OAS should move quickly to press
for several steps critical to any lasting solution, including the early
return to power of President Aristide, reform of the army, creation
of a civilian police force, establishment of a functioning judicial
system, and renunciation by all sides of violence as a means of ad-
vancing political goals.
The United States and the OAS should make at least a 5-year
commitment for an international presence in Haiti to assist in the
implementation of a negotiated settlement and the continued con-
solidation of democracy.
Finally, the failure of the international community and the
United States to fully implement the economic embargo of Haiti
has been a serious lost opportunity. What remains of the embargo
is still a source of effective pressure for a satisfactory negotiated
resolution of the crisis, but it should be strengthened and broad-
ened until that goal is achieved. The administration and the OAS
should act to bring the nations of Europe, in particular, into com-
pliance with the embargo.
While the people of so many countries around the world are
reaping the benefits of the establishment of democracy, the people
of Haiti continue to suffer tyranny, repression, and deprivation.
They have waited too long for their chance at democracy and free-
dom. As this report documents, there is much the international
community can do to help fulfill the dreams of the Haitian people
for a better future.
Letter of transm ittal ....................................................................................................... i
M em orandum of transm ittal ......................................................................................... v
Forew ord..................................................................................................................... vII
Sum m ary of findings................................................... ............................................. x
I. Introduction.................................................. ...................................................... 1
II. Continuing repression in H aiti.......... ............................................................. 2
III. Econom ic situation and em bargo.......................................................................... 7
IV Plight of the boat people......................................................................................... 10
V N negotiations ..... ..................................................................................................... 16
Appendix: OAS protocols and resolutions on Haiti.................................................. 21
11___~____1__ ____~_~_ ___ __ ___ ___ _ __
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The old Duvalierist system of repression is returning, most nota-
bly in the countryside. There is an overall sense of fear and loss of
hope as well as individual targeting of political activists.
The regime has targeted sectors which supported President Aris-
tide, including grassroots movements, priests and pastors, human
rights organizations, labor unions, and journalists.
The new regime has moved rapidly to clamp down on the entire
country. A network of "section chiefs"-the primary instrument of
intimidation in the past-has been reestablished.
The coup caused the displacement of thousands inside Haiti. In
some urban areas of the country, 40 to 60 percent of the people left
their homes. Significant numbers remain in hiding today.
Accurate information on human rights is difficult to obtain in
much of the country, especially in rural areas. The skeletal staff at
the U.S. Embassy is ill-equipped to monitor the situation.
The OAS is currently developing plans for a civilian mission
throughout the country which could provide information and deter
Flight of Haitians
Thirty-four percent of the Haitians at Guantanamo are found by
U.S. asylum officials to have a credible fear of harm if returned to
Haiti. Monitoring of the situation in Haiti is inadequate to follow
and observe those who are returned after having been found by
INS not to have a credible fear of return.
March is a significant milestone for resolution of the crisis. U.S.
military officials expressed the fear that conditions in Guantanamo
could deteriorate more rapidly with the onset of the rainy season
and high temperatures. Within Haiti, shortages of water, seeds, fer-
tilizer, and credit threaten the March planting season. The general
population of Haiti faces a serious food shortage if the crop fails.
Haitians in Guantanamo are well-treated, and INS asylum offi-
cers are doing a commendable job of screening applicants for ad-
mission to the United States. In addition to those Haitians
"screened in," some INS asylum officers believe that another 10 to
15 percent not encompassed by current screening guidelines have a
genuine fear of harm if returned.
New boat people are no longer automatically brought to Guanta-
namo. Many now are screened by INS asylum officers on board the
Coast Guard cutters. Those approved by the INS are landed in
Guantanamo or brought directly to the United States; those denied
are returned directly to Haiti.
While the U.S. Embassy has tracked some returnees, there is no
significant international monitoring of human rights conditions or
the fate of returned boat people in Haiti.
Not all of the Haitian boat people have established a credible
fear of persecution if returned to Haiti. While economics is a factor
in encouraging the boat flow, there is also no doubt that the cur-
rent repression is an important factor. The extent to which eco-
nomic factors influence Haitian boat departures was not determi-
Economic situation and embargo
The effectiveness of the trade embargo imposed by the nations of
the OAS has been severely weakened by continued trade with
Haiti by European countries.
The availability of fuel and other European imports, coupled
with the unilateral decision by the United States to ease its embar-
go, has reduced the pressure on the regime to negotiate a satisfac-
tory resolution of the crisis.
To achieve such a goal, the embargo should be strengthened and
Haiti's European trading partners should support the embargo.
Shortages of water, seed, fertilizer, and credit threaten the farm-
ers' ability to plant their crops in March. Peasants have begun to
consume the seeds needed for planting and current estimates pre-
dict a 25 percent fall in production.
Coupled with the inability of farmers to sell goods at market
prices, and the migration to the countryside, these factors threaten
to create a severe food shortage by June.
Current relief efforts hope to reach 500,000 vulnerable Haitians
by the end of March, but the international community will need to
monitor the situation closely in the coming months, and must
stand ready to increase assistance if the crisis worsens.
The OAS estimates that even if the political crisis in Haiti is re-
solved in the near future, emergency relief should continue for 4 to
The highest priority must be placed on achieving a solution as
soon as possible. Delay in resolving the crisis is serving only the
procoup regime forces in Haiti.
The agreement reached in Washington on February 23 is an im-
portant step forward and the United States and the international
community must work to ensure its speedy implementation.
The international community must work to ensure the realiza-
tion of key elements in the recent agreement regarding the legiti-
mate roles of the institutions of government, including the institu-
tion of the Presidency, as well as a renunciation by all parties of
the use of violence as a means of advancing political goals.
In addition, the international community-and especially the
United States-must press for an early return of Aristide and key
reforms of the military and system of government. Restructuring of
the military must be a priority and a civilian police force should be
established as soon as possible. No lasting solution is likely to suc-
ceed without these elements.
The actions of President Aristide that appeared to endorse vio-
lence as a means of political expression were a precipitating factor
in the current political crisis, though they in no way excuse the
The international community should establish a long-term pres-
ence in the region to monitor human rights and assist in the cre-
ation of functioning democratic institutions. A package of assist-
ance should include technical advisors in key government sectors.
The international community must work to ensure the OAS pro-
posal for a civilian monitoring mission is put in place and fully
funded as soon as possible. Ideally, the OAS should make a commit-
ment to remain for 5 years.
HAITIAN DEMOCRACY AND REFUGEES:
PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS
The winds of democratic change sweeping much of the world
have been arrested in Haiti. After installing its first democratically
elected government last February, a swift military coup on Septem-
ber 29 caused the country's President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to
The old instruments of oppression which have so plagued the
people of Haiti in the past have returned. The de facto military
government began targeting those sectors of the society which had
been the mainstay of the ousted President's support-peasant orga-
nizations, labor unions, church groups, and human rights organiza-
tions. Individuals who had preyed upon the countryside during
Haiti's darkest days-the Tonton Macoutes-have reemerged to
resume their practices of harassment, extortion, and control of the
As a result, in October, the entire country became gripped by
fear, as Aristide supporters suffered persecution by the military
government, and the sectors which supported the coup feared vio-
lent reactions from the masses.
Since the coup, nearly 16,000 Haitians have taken to the high
seas. Tens of thousands fled their homes in the first weeks after
the coup. While many of these uprooted Haitians have returned to
their homes, the internal displacement and the flight of the boat
people will not be resolved until a negotiated solution to the politi-
cal crisis in Haiti is achieved and democratic processes are estab-
lished in the country.
The U.S. military, Coast Guard, Immigration and Naturalization
Service, Community Relations Service, and other Government
agencies have done a commendable job in rescuing the boat people
and caring for them in Guantanamo. On the controversial issue of
asylum screening, INS officers are performing ably and fairly. In
addition to those Haitians "screened in," some INS asylum officers
believe that another 10 to 15 percent not encompassed by current
screening guidelines have a genuine fear of harm if returned.
From February 13-17, the subcommittee staff mission examined
the situation of the Haitian boat people, as well as the general
human rights, political, and economic conditions in Haiti which are
the root causes of their plight. We visited the Guantanamo Naval
Station where the boat people are currently housed and where we
met with U.S. military and Coast Guard officials, INS officers, and
representatives of the Community Relations Service with responsi-
bility for the boat people.
The bulk of our mission was devoted to Haiti itself. We visited
Port-au-Prince and the northern city of Gonaives. We met with
U.S. Embassy officials, members of the Haitian Parliament, and
Haitian military leaders involved in the coup. We conducted exten-
sive meetings with Haitian human rights and church groups, vol-
untary agencies, and we met with Haitians in hiding from the cur-
We are grateful to those who gave so generously of their time,
hospitality, and expertise. We are especially indebted to the staff of
the U.S. Embassy in Haiti who are performing extraordinary func-
tions in extremely difficult circumstances. Without their assist-
ance, this study mission would not have been possible.
II. CONTINUING REPRESSION IN HAITI
After the Haitian military took control of the country on Sep-
tember 29, many of the instruments of oppression that had permit-
ted the Duvaliers and other dictators to stay in power quickly reap-
peared. Hundreds of civilians-some say thousands-have been
killed since the coup.
The Tonton Macoutes, the civilian thugs who control the coun-
tryside through force of arms and support themselves through ex-
tortion, have returned. Many who had been in hiding in Haiti or in
exile in the Dominican Republic have resumed the positions they
occupied in the Duvalier regime.
One of the most alarming developments has been the return of
many of the Macoutes as section chiefs, who serve as the represent-
atives of the central government in each of the 565 subdivisions of
the country. They have authority over virtually every aspect of
Haitian life, from births to property disputes to the administration
of justice. Historically, they are well known as the primary instru-
ments of extortion and control over the Haitian population. We
were told that each of the section chiefs has been instructed to re-
cruit at least 150 assistants in order to extend the government's
network of oppression. If this plan is fully implemented, the system
of section chiefs will include over 80,000 officers with virtually ab-
solute control over much of the 6 million Haitian population. Cen-
tral control over the section chiefs by the regime in Port-au-Prince
A postcoup addition in Haiti are "attaches"-armed civilians
who serve the police and are permitted to act with impunity to
harass and intimidate the government's opponents. We were told
that the attaches are now present especially in the capital, where
they stop cars, search houses in the dead of night, and otherwise
keep the civilian population on edge.
Bodies of persons tortured and murdered were again found in the
same "dumping grounds" in which the victims of past regimes
were often left. Bodies regularly turn up on the street of Port-au-
Those most vulnerable to this widespread oppression are the
poor, the church, labor unions, and human rights organizations-
any sector of society believed by the military to have supported
President Aristide as part of the loose movement termed "Lavalas"
in Haiti, meaning "flood, deluge or avalanche" in Creole.
The dire economic situation and the harsh effects of the embargo
have undoubtedly contributed to the flight of the refugees. While
economic conditions are severe, the massive internal displacement
of the Haitians and the outflow of Haitian boat people also reflects
the fear that pervades the country.
-Members of the Haitian Congress have been shot at, har-
assed and threatened. One member was murdered. The Prime
Minister-designate has been threatened and one of his body-
guards was killed.
-Earlier this month, a celebration in downtown Port-au-
Prince celebrating carnival was suddenly surrounded by armed
-Independent radio stations throughout the country have
been closed, and journalists have been murdered, arrested, and
tortured. Many well-known Haitian journalists are in hiding,
have fled, or have been killed. Only the military-backed Radio
National is now on the air. A station broadcasting in Creole
from the Dominican Republic was pressured by the regime in
Haiti to cease its broadcasts.
-A noted priest and outspoken critic of the government,
Father Yvon Massacre, was arbitrarily arrested during our
visit, after weeks of harassment by coup forces. We immediate-
ly protested his arrest, and he was released several days later.
-Lawyers who were known for defending human rights vic-
tims have been harassed and threatened, and virtually all are
in hiding. One noted legal aid group from Cap Haitien in-
formed our delegation that their entire team of four lawyers
was forced to flee, and the legal aid office therefore closed.
-Voluntary agencies at work in Haiti have been restricted
in the conduct of relief operations. The meetings and organiz-
ing required to implement relief projects among Haiti's poor
subject those involved to oppression by government authorities.
If community leaders, with whom voluntary agencies normally
organize local projects, meet to make such arrangements, they
may be subject to arrest. Some voluntary agency staff are miss-
ing, including the medical director of a prominent internation-
al agency. As a result, a number of voluntary agencies have
been forced to close down key medical and relief projects.
-A local section chief razed 109 homes in the village of
Margot, known for its support of President Aristide. We met
with two journalists working for the American media who
traveled to the area to investigate. They were arrested by local
officials of the military government who admitted having razed
the village, and who then threatened to dismember and kill
the journalists. After 7 harrowing hours, the journalists were
-We were told that in a small peasant village, a Tonton Ma-
coute slaughtered all the pigs-the residents' primary re-
source. He then cooked the pigs in front of the villagers as a
demonstration of his control over their lives.
-Surveillance of opponents of the regime is widespread and
blatant. We were obviously being watched during one meeting
with a Haitian human rights activist in our hotel. Immediately
54-193 92 2
upon finishing our conversation, she was approached by a man
who demanded to know what we had discussed.
One of the harshest centers of repression is the town of Gon-
aives, 3 hours' drive from Port-au-Prince, an area of strong support
for Aristide. A Catholic priest working in Gonaives described to us
how quickly the coup's effects spread from the capital to the rest of
On October 2, 3 days after the coup, police conducted what the
priest termed a "massacre" in downtown Gonaives, and seven resi-
dents were killed and seven more wounded. Twenty civilians were
beaten. Popular and neighborhood organizations were targeted for
harassment and threats, which forced their leaders to flee to safety
in the countryside. Radio stations, the most important source of
news for the largely illiterate Haitian populace were seized, and
journalists are now in hiding.
Coup leaders then focused on the church, as the only remaining
place in the community where people could meet. They fired at the
rectory of the Bishop of Gonaives. On November 4, when antigo-
vernment statements were made during Mass, shots were fired at
the Cathedral of Gonaives. Priests-even the Bishop himself-were
taken to the local military headquarters, where police questioned
them. The diocesan rectory has been under constant observation.
As a result of these actions, of the 30 priests in the diocese, 7 are
either in hiding or have left the country and another 13 have been
As a final step, the coup organizers restored the local, oppressive
section chief and obtained virtually complete control of the entire
These gross violations of human rights have led to massive dis-
placements of the Haitian population. Voluntary agency and Hai-
tian church officials informed us that 40 to 60 percent of the house-
holds in urban poor and slum areas-the mainstay of President
Aristide's support-fled their homes. They left for the countryside
to hide in the homes of relatives and friends to elude detection.
A study conducted in November in a poor neighborhood by the
Haitian Child Health Institute and funded by U.S. AID illustrates
the extent of the displacement. They found that 29 percent of the
population in the neighborhood had left in October and November,
affecting 45 percent of the households. According to the study,
"The reasons stated for leaving are directly related to the coup and
include: political-76.2 percent, family-15.9 percent, and econom-
ic-3.1 percent." Furthermore, another 7.6 percent expressed their
intention to leave during the following week for essentially the
same reasons. A followup report in December found people continu-
ing to leave, but with a higher percentage leaving for economic rea-
sons, although political flight remained the dominant factor.
An unplanned interview with two Protestant missionary-teachers
illustrates the range of opinion on conditions and responsibility in
We stopped to assist two American women who were changing a
tire on a country road near the town of Saint Marc in central
Haiti. They identified themselves as teachers at a missionary
school in Port-de-Paix in northwestern Haiti. We asked about con-
editions in Port-de-Paix. They indicated that things were "returning
to normal." They said there had been some disturbances soon after
the coup and mentioned an incident when the people took to the
streets in response to reports that three third-graders had been
shot by the military. The disturbances ended when the teachers
told the crowd that the military had now come to the school, and
that no students had been injured. The teachers told us that after
the agitator (a Lavalas supporter, they believed) who was spreading
rumors causing unrest was arrested by the authorities, conditions
had been relatively settled in their area.
By arrangement with Haitian priests, we were able to meet with
young men who were either in hiding or had witnessed events of
harassment and persecution.
We met a teacher, Dominique, from a northwestern Haitian
town, who was now in hiding in Port-au-Prince and who had appar-
ently been a known Aristide supporter. He explained that landown-
ers in his community have joined with the local military command-
er to identify and jail Aristide supporters and peasant leaders.
After several weeks in hiding, he considered returning to his home-
town to resume teaching. Before returning, he asked his brother's
advice about whether he would be secure at home. His brother
checked informally with the local military and got the sense that
the teacher would be harmed if he returned. Several days later, on
February 4, military officials went to Dominique's home to inquire
whether he had in fact returned. When they discovered he had not
returned, they announced, "He's lucky he's not back, because you
know what would happen to him."
One young man in hiding, age 20, indicated that antigovernment
political pamphlets had been distributed at his school on February
4. Soon thereafter, a military truck pulled up, and six soldiers en-
tered the school. In a panic, students immediately dispersed, and
began scaling the school walls to escape. Several students were in-
jured as they frantically tried to flee the school grounds. At least
one student was arrested.
As figure 1 illustrates, a significant measure of the extent of re-
pression in Haiti today is the fact that boat departures in recent
months are more than double the number of refugees fleeing Haiti
throughout the last decade, despite severe economic problems
throughout the decade.
Figure 2 illustrates the dramatic surge in boat people following
the coup on September 29. The fact that massive departures did
not begin until a month after the coup indicates that frightened
Haitians first fled to the countryside, then took to the boats after
losing hope of an early resolution of the political crisis.
)9*' -Y --"~.M-l~tll~ll)rr~PXu~ L rp I~ll~a~~U~lrr---9lr*~g -~ ~-s~~ ,I,_~_
kC--.LL cI _C~--Y~1L S~ a~CIrk.~ I S a -l -. .-
Coast Guard Interdiction of Haitians
Traveling by Boat or Raft, 1981-1992*
1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
*As of February 10, 1992.
Source: CRS presentation of Department of State and State of Florida data.
Coast Guard Interdictions of Haitians
Monthly Totals for 1991-1992"
oPe S .S...f o ? r B aB
J.. F-o r f y U Jun Jul A S. oD oci P0 tC Jin FDo
-A, of Fe,. 18, 1992,
S-c- M wosentat Io~l n of Oeoa,nt of Ztax a o 5-e of Piwlm r~atqo osta.
- -- -- ---
Criticism of U.S. policy is widespread among the poor of Haiti,
human rights groups and church groups. The United States is per-
ceived as having extraordinary influence over Haitian affairs.
Much of the population appears to believe that the United States
no longer strongly supports the return of President Aristide.
Regardless of the accuracy of this impression, growing anti-
Americanism is being reported in Haiti. A member of the Haitian
Senate told the delegation that American flags are being burned
for the first time. Human rights groups reported an increase in
anti-American sentiment in poor neighborhoods.
III. ECONOMIC SITUATION AND EMBARGO
In an effort to isolate the regime in Haiti following the coup, the
OAS adopted two resolutions urging member states to cut off non-
humanitarian aid to Haiti and to impose a trade embargo until the
return of President Aristide. On October 4, the United States sus-
pended economic, development, and PL 480 "Food for Peace" assist-
ance to Haiti, prohibited payments by U.S. companies to the
regime, and froze the regime's assets. Other nations took similar
On October 29, the United States imposed a trade embargo con-
sistent with these OAS resolutions as did other nations in the
region. The embargo, however, has not been joined by nations out-
side the hemisphere. Although the European Community has pub-
licly supported the efforts of the OAS to restore the democratic
government to power, it continues to trade with Haiti. As a result,
the effectiveness of the embargo has been severely hindered by
shipment of goods under European flags.
With the help of European countries, Haiti received major ship-
ments of gasoline, diesel, propane, and other fuels on November 28,
January 1, January 10, and February 22. Initial reports indicate
the February 22 shipment involved a Panamanian-flag tanker. The
November 28 shipment was from Colombia, an OAS member. The
Government of Colombia maintains the shipment was illegal and
took steps to prevent any future shipments. The EC, however, has
made no effort to stem the flow of goods to Haiti. In addition, Euro-
pean products are replacing American products on the shelves in
the wealthy suburbs of Port-au-Prince. It is these shipments which
are sustaining the economy.
While the embargo is considered to be a continuing source of
pressure on the regime to negotiate, the failure of the OAS to
obtain the compliance of other nations on the embargo, especially
European nations, severely limits its political effects in Haiti. The
initial shortage of fuel had a significant impact on the government
and the army, but the arrival of four shipments of fuel has under-
cut one of the most effective measures against the regime.
Specific targeting of the assets of those involved with the coup
could have been an important instrument of pressure. In the 5
months since the coup, however, reports indicate that Haitians at
risk of such a step have already moved to protect their assets,
thereby reducing the effectiveness of a freeze.
Shortages exist and, despite its loopholes, the embargo is a con-
tinuing nuisance to the elite and power sectors of Haitian society.
YYU-~U ---r~- -----rx
However, the poor of Haiti are the primary victims of the embargo.
Oil and gasoline are expensive and scarce for the poor. Farmers
must have gasoline to transport their goods to market and will
suffer financial losses from the drop in sales of their crops. The em-
bargo has caused an increase in charcoal prices of 10 percent and
has prompted the population to increase tree-cutting. Haiti's envi-
ronment already suffers from nearly complete deforestation.
If current conditions continue, Haiti could face a severe food
shortage by June of this year. The political and economic crisis in
the country is placing a heavy burden on the rural sector and its
system of food production. The combination of an inability to sell
goods at market prices, the migration to the countryside, and a
lack of funds to purchase seeds for planting threatens to create a
severe food shortage in the coming months.
An especially troubling phenomenon is the fact that part of the
rural population is eating its supply of seeds due to the shortage of
food and lack of funds to purchase food. It is not clear how those
farmers will be able to purchase new seeds in time for the next
planting season in March. In addition, there is a shortage of fertil-
izer for planting and of credit for farmers who need to borrow for
the planting season. Haiti is also in its fifth year of a drought and
faces a water shortage. Agricultural experts speak of a 40-year low
in rainfall this year.
Haiti's agricultural sector faces a quadruple shortage: water
(both rain and irrigation), seeds, fertilizer (shortages and higher
prices), and credit. Unless these shortages are overcome by March,
the next planting season is at risk. Current estimates by the
Agency for International Development are that overall agricultural
production may fall by 25 percent for the next crop season to begin
in March. Rice production will be most acutely affected by the
shortages of water, fertilizer, and seeds and could fall by 40 per-
cent. Bean production could fall by 30 percent due to shortages in
water and seeds. Plantain and cassava production could fall by 30
percent because of lack of water. The shortage of imported seeds
could also cause a sharp reduction in nonstaple vegetable produc-
tion. If this planting season fails, a large segment of the population
will be at risk of malnutrition.
The effects of the crisis are beginning to show in increased trans-
portation costs. Public transportation has risen from 5 to 20 Hai-
tian gourdes.1 Kerosene has jumped from 15 to 50 Haitian gourdes
Many Haitian children under 5 are malnourished and a larger
portion are at risk of slipping into the most acute and life-threaten-
ing stages of malnutrition. There has recently been a sharp in-
crease in acute respiratory infections, and malaria is on the rise.
Increases in typhoid and diarrhea have also occurred.
The political instability and economic crisis have caused school
attendance to drop sharply. When school officially reopened in No-
vember following the coup, most of the students did not return to
class. According to AID, the reasons for this drop included the per-
ception of insecurity, protest of the coup, and financial problems of
1 One Haitian gourde is equal approximately 13 cents U.S.
the schools and parents. In Haiti, students are required to purchase
uniforms, books and basic supplies, and these costs are often
beyond the means of the poorest. School attendance began to pick
up in January, and attendance in most areas is now over 50 per-
cent. AID believes the main reason more than 40 percent of the
students have not returned is inability to pay the necessary fees.
Electricity is in short supply throughout the country. The embar-
go's cutoff of fuel stopped almost all thermal generation by the end
of December but recent deliveries of fuel have made up for this
shortfall. The water shortage is the main threat to electricity gen-
eration and the onset of the dry season will exacerbate the prob-
lem. Estimates are that, by April, hydroelectric generation will be
operating at only a token level. Currently, most areas of Port-au-
Prince have about 6 hours of electricity a day.
It is estimated that since the coup, 144,000 private sector jobs
have been lost, including 28,000 in the export assembly sector.
Many of the assembly sector companies have relocated elsewhere
in the Caribbean in recent months and are not expected to return
to Haiti. These jobs have probably been lost for good. On February
4, 1992, the United States eased the embargo on the assembly
sector and began issuing licenses on a case-by-case basis. To date,
80 such licenses have been approved and 70 are pending with the
U.S. Treasury Department.
While providing some economic relief to the United States and
Haitian assembly industry, the political impact of easing the em-
bargo has undercut the effort to obtain a negotiated solution. Many
Haitians perceive the action as a lack of resolve by the United
States to work for Aristide's return and as a signal that the Hai-
tian military succeeded in simply waiting out the United States.
They fear that the action is a signal that the international commu-
nity has given up on Aristide's return and is slowly allowing affairs
to return to "normal" in Haiti.
At the Port-au-Prince Airport, we were struck by the soldout
planes to Miami filled with wealthy Haitians visiting the United
States. Many of them carried large, empty suitcases which they no
doubt intended to fill with U.S. products for the trip home. Person-
al effects are exempt from the embargo.
Overall, the embargo is perceived to have put important pressure
on the government and the army to negotiate. As such, it should be
made as strong and broad as possible until an acceptable agree-
ment can be reached. Increased political pressure should be
brought to bear on the Europeans whose goods continue to keep
the economy afloat.
Having just completed the year's major harvest, the Haitian
people do not face an immediate crisis in the supply of food. But if
conditions persist, the OAS forecasts that both rural and urban
populations will soon be at risk of severe hunger problems. Interna-
tional organizations and U.S. AID are currently developing plans
to respond rapidly to a crisis in food and medicine. The OAS esti-
mates that even if the political crisis in Haiti is resolved in the
near future, an emergency relief program will need to continue for
4 to 6 months.
On November 13, the United States began a Humanitarian As-
sistance Program targeting the most vulnerable in Haiti, including
children under 10, pregnant and nursing women, orphans, the el-
derly, and the disabled. Currently, 80,000 are being reached and
AID expects to extend the program to 180,000 by March 4 and to
500,000 by the end of March. Assistance is provided through four
U.S.-based voluntary agencies-CARE, Catholic Relief Services, the
Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and International Life-
line. Commodities provided under the "Food for Peace" PL 480
Title II Program include soy, fortified bulgur, corn soy blend,
wheat soy blend, peas, and vegetable oil. The United States is also
providing health assistance including oral rehydration, inocula-
tions, medicine, emergency health care, AIDS assistance, and
The total cost of AID's program is estimated to range between
$10 to $16 million depending on whether it is continued through
March or June. The average cost for the food program, the health
assistance, and related transportation and distribution costs is esti-
mated to be $2.7 million a month.
AID officials summed up the situation as follows: before the
coup, AID had been providing development assistance to the people
of Haiti; now it is only providing relief. AID relies primarily upon
voluntary agencies for the implementation of these relief programs.
Yet, many agencies have been forced to limit their programs due to
the current oppression.
The delegation came away with the impression that relief efforts
will be hard-pressed to meet the urgent needs, and that greater ef-
forts must be made to monitor conditions in Haiti closely and be
prepared to provide any urgently needed assistance in the coming
IV. PLIGHT OF THE BOAT PEOPLE
As of our visit to Guantanamo February 13, over 15,000 Haitian
boat people had been picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard on the
high seas since the coup. Of those, 10,487 were in Guantanamo.
The remainder had either been returned to Haiti (over 2,500), ad-
mitted to the United States (1,402), or given safe haven in third
countries (173). The rate of those "screened in" for entry to the
United States to pursue their asylum applications was 37 percent.
As of February 24, a total of 15,826 Haitians have been picked up
by the Coast Guard (Figure 3). Haitians numbering 5,983 have been
required to return to Haiti. Of these, 5,445 have been returned
since January 31, when the Supreme Court lifted a lower court
order barring the return of the Haitians. Of the 7,245 Haitians who
remain in Guantanamo, just under 4,000 are expected to be re-
turned to Haiti within the next 2 weeks. The remainder are expect-
ed to be brought to the United States in order to pursue their
FIGURE 3.-Status of Haitian boat people
[September 30, 1991, to February 24, 1992]
Ashore at Guantanamo Naval Station ...................................................................... 7,245
Aboard Coast Guard cutters ........................................................ ......................... 0
Aboard U.S. Naval vessels........................................................ ............................ 0
Screened and brought to the United States (of 4,195 screened-in to date)......... 1,827
Screened and repatriated to Haiti.............................................................................. 5,983
Medically evacuated to the United States ............................................ ............ 4
In safehaven in H onduras ............................................................................................ 146
In safehaven in Venezuela ......................................................... ......................... 27
V voluntary returnees ...................................................................................................... 594
Total interdicted to date ................................................. .......................... 15,826
1 73 from Venezuela, 104 from Honduras, 417 from Guantanamo.
Source: Bureau for Refugee Programs, U.S. Department of State.
Guantanamo is a 47 square mile base located in hills and
swamps overlooking Guantanamo Bay. The refugees are housed in
tents on a former airfield, the largest open space on the base.
The administration has tried to encourage the other nations in
the region to accept some of the Haitian boat people on a tempo-
rary basis. To date, the response has been disappointing, although
Honduras agreed to take 250 and Venezuela has taken 100.2 In ad-
dition, administration requests to European nations with interests
in the Caribbean, such as the U.K., France, and Canada, were de-
clined. To date, no European nation has agreed to provide tempo-
rary refuge to the Haitians currently fleeing their homeland.
The boat people are well-treated in Guantanamo. They are
housed in five separate tent camps, containing 1,000 to 3,000 people
each. They are well-fed, receive adequate medical care, publish a
newspaper, play soccer, and watch nightly movies. Other than a
disturbance in mid-December, there have been no major incidents
among the refugees. One woman was raped by an American serv-
iceman, and he is now undergoing court martial proceedings.
We were impressed with the quality and commitment of the INS
asylum officers. They are working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
With the agreement of Haitian asylum applicants, we observed the
confidential asylum interviews being conducted.
In each case, the asylum officer played an active role in eliciting
information from the applicant, rather than placing the complete
burden on the applicants to make their case. In addition to obtain-
ing the applicant's general story, the officers asked specific ques-
tions to assess the credibility of each applicant.
To date, 34 percent of the boat people interviewed by INS have
received preliminary approval (have been "screened in") for travel
to the United States using the Attorney General's immigration
"parole" authority, where they formally apply for asylum. Asylum
officers are not applying the higher standard which normally ap-
plies in formal asylum hearings, i.e., that the applicants must es-
tablish a "well-founded fear of persecution" if returned to Haiti. In-
stead, they are applying a broader screening standard under which
2 One hundred and four of the Haitians offered haven in Honduras have since voluntarily re-
turned to Haiti. Seventy-three voluntarily repatriated from Venezuela. In addition, 417 volun-
tarily returned from Guantanamo.
the applicants must establish a "credible fear" of persecution if
In conversations with officials in Guantanamo, we were informed
that there are certain applicants whom some officials believe do
not meet the "credible fear" standard of persecution, but may
nonetheless be at risk if returned. We were told that 10 to 15 per-
cent of those rejected ("screened out") may fall into this category.
In Guantanamo, military and INS officers indicated that they
had been informed by Washington that changes would be made to
narrow the criteria for Haitian asylum screening. However, we
have been informed subsequently by officials in Washington that
no such decision has been made by the administration, and that if
changes are made, they will most likely simply clarify existing
A particular concern of the U.S. military in Guantanamo is the
limited time in which the base can realistically be available to
house refugees. Beginning in March, extreme temperatures, accom-
panied by rain and the hurricane season, will make life in tents
To make the camp habitable for large numbers of refugees would
require a $7 to $8 million investment to construct more permanent
housing which would withstand the weather, provide summer sani-
tation to avoid epidemics which can arise in hot weather, and to
provide cool water in sufficient quantities.
For this reason, the administration intends to curtail the use of
Guantanamo as a staging area for refugees, and process future boat
people on Coast Guard cutters as much as possible. Those screened
out would be returned directly to Haiti. Those screened in will be
brought directly to centers in the United States for further process-
Since February 1, almost all screening of new boat people has
been conducted aboard the Coast Guard cutters, rather than in
Guantanamo.3 While cutter screening has been a controversial
issue in the past, asylum officers are now conducting the same
interviews on the cutters as in Guantanamo. Interviews on the
ships have the same privacy and confidentiality as those on land.
Asylum officers devote the same amount of time to each case (20 to
40 minutes) as on land. And the asylum officers generally seem to
feel comfortable with the process.
However, concerns about the cutter screening process warrant
further observation, such as whether newly rescued Haitians are
physically and psychologically fit for an asylum interview, given
the fatigue and occasional seasickness which applicants often
On the other hand, asylum officers report that in screening ap-
plicants soon after being picked up their stories are usually genu-
ine and fresh, and the interviewer does not have to sort through
the embellishments or "camp stories" which often arise in inter-
views after a refugee has been in Guantanamo a few days.
3 In the past 2 days, INS asylum officers have ceased cutter screening as so few boat people
are now leaving Haiti. The only screening currently being conducted is in Guantanamo. Howev-
er, as conditions change, shipboard screening may resume.
Another concern is the prospect that the current quality controls
in the asylum process may not always be present in shipboard
screening. Asylum officers report that an important step in the
process is that before a final decision is made on a case, it is re-
viewed by and discussed with a senior officer. The quality control
officers often identify issues in the case which warrant further ex-
ploration; they provide an even-handedness in decisionmaking as
well as guidance and support for asylum officers in making their
final decisions. And it was our impression that this "quality con-
trol" would continue, even with screening on board the cutters.
In Guantanamo, we observed two Coast Guard cutters each
loaded with 250 boat people about to return to Haiti. The group in-
cluded a handful of Haitians who had volunteered to return to
Haiti. The rest were simply placed on a manifest, told they had
been denied entry to the United States, and quietly led onto the
In Haiti, we observed the arrival the next day of the boat people
we had seen embark from Guantanamo. The refugees are processed
at the dock in an open-air building. The entire process is closely
monitored by U.S. Embassy officials, and the international press
was milling around freely throughout the port.
The process is composed of three steps. First, each returnee is
registered by the immigration authorities of the Ministry of Interi-
or. Cursory information is taken-name and town of residence (not
the full address)-and the officers try to ensure that the returnees
are in fact Haitians.
Second, they receive from the Red Cross (a combination of Hai-
tian Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross staff) 15
Haitian dollars (about $10 U.S.) to use for transportation home.
They also receive a card which enables them to receive a "comfort
packet" of food and other supplies from the Red Cross in their
home area. The packet provides assistance to sustain a family for a
Finally, a few individuals are interviewed by the immigration
police of the Ministry of Defense. These immigration authorities
seem to pull aside primarily young men for further questioning. A
record is created, including name and the town that the individual
is from (though no address). Those who are selected for these inter-
views are also fingerprinted. The immigration police told us they
were interested in the "organizers" of the boats setting sail for the
cutters or Florida.
The presence of government officials has been criticized as a pos-
sible source of intimidation of returnees. Every effort should be
made to ensure that no reprisals occur. However, it is highly un-
likely that any harm will come to returnees at the port itself. Even
the fingerprinting causes no particular alarm in Haiti, as there is
no reliable central index in the country. Generally, the only infor-
mation the authorities need to locate individuals is their name and
the town or neighborhood in which they reside. This conclusion
was supported by many Haitian human rights monitors with whom
We also discussed the fate of returned boat people extensively
with Haitian human rights groups, the American Embassy staff,
Catholic priests, and many others. Virtually everyone with whom
we discussed the government procedures agrees that no harm is
ever likely to come to returning Haitians at the port. Rather, any
harm that may come to returnees would come later, when they
return to their villages and neighborhoods.
While it is difficult to verify whether returnees are specifically
targeted upon their return, at the very least they face the same
general threat of repression as the population at large. In addition,
as a number of human rights groups pointed out, some government
officials and soldiers may assume that all who leave Haiti are Aris-
We talked to two returnees who claim to have suffered upon
return. The following story of one of the returnees we interviewed
illustrates what can happen:
Pierre, aged 21, comes from a poor suburb of Port-au-Prince. He claims to have
assisted in voter registration for the elections in December 1990 which resulted in
the landslide election of President Aristide. At the request of Aristide's party, his
family allowed their home to be used as a polling station on election day.
After the coup, he was afraid he would be harmed by the military because of his
family's involvement with the elections. He stated that the military actually came
to look for him on October 1st, so he hid in the mountains for about a month.
Finally, when conditions did not improve, he and his brother departed Haiti by
boat on December 13. After three days at sea, his boat was intercepted by the Coast
Guard and he was taken to Guantanamo.
After undergoing screening by INS-he told the asylum officer he had left be-
cause of the "political crises"-he was "screened out." On February 1, his name was
announced on the public address system at Guantanamo for return to Haiti. He
claimed he wanted to refuse to return, but stated that if he refused, he would have
been handcuffed and led away, just as he had seen happen to one other. He was
counselled by camp authorities not to worry, as there would be people in Haiti who
would help him upon his return.
On February 3, he was returned to Haiti, but his brother remained in Guantana-
mo. At the time of our interview, he did not know the whereabouts of his brother.
Immediately upon his arrival, he was interviewed by American reporters who ac-
companied him home. After the interview, the army came to his house and asked
where he had been. He explained that he had been away in Cap Haitian, a city in
northern Haiti. The soldiers then stated that they knew he had actually been in
Guantanamo and said,"'We'll get you."
So that night, the night of his return to Haiti, he left his own house and remained
The next day, he called the reporters who had followed him home and told them
what had transpired. They immediately came for him and arranged for him to take
sanctuary with a Haitian priest. The reporters also wrote a letter to the American
Embassy to inform them that the young man appeared to be in danger. The man
stated that he took the letter to the Embassy and asked for assistance. His letter
was accepted by a Haitian staff member at the Embassy, and he has received no
further word from the Embassy.
On February 13, soldiers appeared at his house looking for him, and beat two of
his young nieces. His entire family fled to another town further south after soldiers
returned to their house, fired shots into the air, and threw rocks at the house.
The efforts of the American Embassy to track the fate of return-
ees was viewed with considerable skepticism by human rights and
church officials in Haiti. At the time of our visit, Embassy staff
had pursued the stories of nine Haitians who had taken to the high
seas a second time, claiming that they had been persecuted upon
their return to Haiti last November. The Embassy was unable to
verify their claims, and believes them to be false.
However, we found an extreme reluctance on the part of Hai-
tians to talk to strangers about their problems with the regime.
Those who do face problems are generally in hiding. The only way
we were able to interview returnees in hiding was by arrangement
,, 't. .-,.--L .. l", v'. >. t.. d- ..., L....La t-- _. .. . s- a ,, . ,,-- ....-
of some Catholic priests, who made special efforts for us to meet
frightened returnees in a neutral setting. These arrangements are
simply not generally available to American Embassy officials, as
most human rights groups and many priests do not consider the
Embassy staff to be neutral players in Haiti.
In addition, the Embassy is too understaffed to contend with
such a task. It has requested increased staff of 10 teams of two
people each in order to monitor the situation. Embassy officials ex-
pressed concern to us about adequate funding and equipment for
the operation, particularly 4-wheel drive vehicles and dirt bikes.
During the week we were in Haiti, consular officers and INS offi-
cers located and interviewed 139 returnees in a 65-mile radius of
Port-au-Prince. They found no credible reports of persecution
among those interviewed.
To date, the U.S. Embassy staff has been cut from a high of 82
prior to the coup to a current level of 42, including 7 Marines. The
Ambassador, Alvin Adams, was recalled for consultations following
the coup. All nonessential personnel and 84 dependents had been
withdrawn due to the violence immediately following the coup, and
Embassy personnel numbered as few as 28 following the coup.
Ambassador Adams returned to Haiti February 25 but depend-
ents have yet to return. Unless the Embassy staff is augmented, it
will not have the capacity to monitor the returnees.
A more realistic approach involves calling upon the Organization
of American States and the United Nations to send a civilian moni-
toring team immediately to Haiti. These teams could provide
needed information and protection for returnees, as well as protec-
tion for the general population. In addition, the OAS/U.N. teams
could play a key role in assisting Haiti to build democratic institu-
tions throughout the country once the military regime is replaced
by a democratic government.
The OAS is already developing plans for a civilian mission,
called OEA-DEMOC, to "facilitate the reestablishment and
strengthening of Haitian democratic institutions, the full force and
effect of the constitution, and respect for the human rights of all
Haitians." The mission would establish a presence throughout
Haiti, staffed with technical experts, trainers, and observers. Such
a force will deter violence and provide critical assistance for the es-
sential task of establishing a functioning democracy in Haiti. It
will facilitate the return of Haitian boat people by creating a sense
of security throughout the country.
The idea of organizing OAS/U.N. monitoring teams was well re-
ceived by U.N. and OAS officials in Haiti, as well as representa-
tives of the U.S. Embassy. The United States has earmarked $2
million to carry out OEA-DEMOC and provided the first $1 million
on February 19. We welcome this move as an important sign of
support and urge the administration to make its implementation a
high priority. The role of the international community in develop-
ing democratic institutions in Haiti is critical and the OAS should
negotiate a 5-year presence in Haiti to ensure its success. Such a
timeframe would maintain an international presence through
Haiti's next election in 1995 and for 2 years after the next govern-
ment takes office.
Currently, the OAS has only two representatives in Haiti. In ad-
dition, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has assigned only
one officer to Port-au-Prince, who must also cover the Dominican
Republic. UNHCR has refused to become involved with those who
have been involuntarily repatriated by the United States.
The urgent needs in Haiti suggest that international monitors
are needed as soon as possible, prior to the conclusion of the negoti-
ations. In fact, their presence will help create a climate of confi-
dence that will help bring about a successful and lasting agreement
to resolve the crisis.
Since the coup on September 29, 1991, the international commu-
nity and various sectors of society have attempted to negotiate a
resolution of the political crisis in Haiti. The Organization of
American States has assumed responsibility for overseeing and
supporting the negotiations, which resumed in Washington on Feb-
Despite the swift and unified reaction of the international com-
munity denouncing the coup and the imposition of the trade em-
bargo, efforts to reverse the coup have fallen short. Hope among
the Haitian people for a successful resolution of the crisis faded as
the negotiations dragged on without tangible success. In the 5
months since the coup, the traditional ruling sections of Haitian so-
ciety have returned to power, and the crisis has deepened. Continu-
ing delay undermines the goal of a return to democracy in Haiti.
On October 8, the Haitian Parliament declared the presidency
vacant and elected Joseph Navarette as Haiti's new President. It
also elected Jean Jacques Honorat, the director of the Haitian
Center for Human Rights (CHADEL) as interim Prime Minister.
According to the OAS, these actions were taken without a quorum
and under duress. The OAS and the international community have
not recognized this new de facto government. Current negotiations
are under way to select a new prime Minister. The Haitian Consti-
tution requires that the President and the two leaders of the par-
liamentary chambers agree on a Prime Minister; their choice is
then submitted to the Parliament for approval.
President Aristide's first choice of Victor Benoit for Prime Minis-
ter was rejected in the negotiations. President Aristide eventually
agreed to propose the secretary general of the Unified Party of
Haitian Communists, Ren6 Theodore, as Prime Minister.
Both sides in the negotiations have also discussed the need to
professionalize and reform the Haitian military and establish a ci-
vilian police force.
A principal point of discussion in the negotiations is the status of
key military officers. The de facto government has strengthened
the power of several of them, including the ratification of Raoul
Cedras as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Haiti
and his promotion to Lt. General. One of the most feared men in
Haiti, Chief of Police of Port-au-Prince Michel Frangois, has been
promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel. While the details remain un-
clear, both individuals are believed to have played a role in the
ouster of President Aristide and remain subjects of controversy in
Although the international community is committed to the
return of President Aristide, powerful elements in Haiti oppose
him. General Cedras told the delegation that, in his view, President
Aristide has resigned from office and is no longer President of
Haiti. He displayed a letter alleged to have been signed by Presi-
dent Aristide on September 30 offering his resignation. When ques-
tioned whether the letter had been signed under duress, General
Cedras denied any coercion or intimidation of President Aristide.
He noted that other presidents had safely flown into exile, such as
Manigat, Namphy, and Avril. He claimed President Aristide had
no reason to fear for his safety, although others with whom the del-
egation spoke believe Aristide had little choice but to sign the docu-
ment shortly before he fled the country.
General Cedras told the delegation directly that he believes the
problem of a government in Haiti has already been resolved be-
cause there is now a provisional government. He maintained that
the Parliament acted constitutionally in appointing an interim gov-
ernment and that the problems are only with the international
community and its insistence on negotiations and the embargo.
The delegation heard many concerns from various sectors of soci-
ety regarding actions President Aristide took while in office. The
complaints came from the military, the business community, and
Members of Parliament with whom we met. They strongly opposed
Aristide's actions to appeal directly to the masses, to place his sup-
porters in positions in the military, the government and the courts,
and to move forward with a reform program. They view these ac-
tions as an effort by President Aristide to consolidate his power in
violation of the Constitution.
While none of the actions taken by President Aristide violated
the Constitution, many of his reforms and statements created a cli-
mate of resentment and fear among the army, the business sector,
and elements of the Parliament.
The harshest criticism we heard involved President Aristide's en-
dorsement of the use of violence and, in particular, the practice of
killing individuals by igniting gasoline-filled tires around the vic-
tims' neck. This practice is referred to as "Pere Lebrun," after a
local tire salesman.
In a speech on September 27, 1991, to thousands of his followers,
he praised the use of Pere Lebrun while exhorting his followers to
oppose his enemies. Any successful agreement will have to include
a renunciation of this tactic by President Aristide, as well as a gen-
eral renunciation by all sides of the use of violence as a means of
achieving political goals.
Haitian society is polarized into two camps: those who support
the return of Aristide and those who do not. While President Aris-
tide must return to power if the cycle of coup after coup in Haiti is
to be broken, his return alone will not mean the return of democra-
cy to Haiti. "A democratically elected president doesn't necessarily
mean a democratic government," one businessman told us. The
goal of a democratic government will only be reached with the es-
tablishment of functioning democratic institutions in that country
and subjection of the military to civilian rule.
President Aristide is viewed as the hope of a better life by the
Haitian people who voted for him overwhelmingly in 1990. His
return is an important symbol that the people have a stake in a
democratic Haiti. Conversely, the entrenched power sectors of
Haiti, the business community, the Parliament, and the army feel
threatened by his return, not only because of his expressed approv-
al for Pare Lebrun but also because his efforts to consolidate his
power threaten their economic and political well-being. Any suc-
cessful solution will need to take the fears and hopes of both fac-
tions into consideration.
After nearly 5 months of stagnation, progress toward meaningful
negotiations was made in early February by the adoption of two
key resolutions by both chambers of the Parliament supporting the
negotiations. For the first time since the coup, representatives of
both bodies agreed to sit down with the ousted President Aristide
to negotiate an end to the political crisis and a restoration of demo-
cratic processes. The first meetings between President Aristide and
the members of the Haitian Parliament, and Prime Minister-desig-
nate Rene Theodore, took place in Washington over this past week-
A major breakthrough in the negotiations occurred on February
23 when President Aristide and a team of negotiators from the
Haitian Parliament signed, an agreement for the negotiation of a
permanent solution to the Haitian crisis. The agreement calls for
the return of Jean Bertrand Aristide to the Presidency, the separa-
tion of the police from the armed forces, a general amnesty, and
the ratification of a new Prime Minister.
The accord also calls for the lifting of the embargo once the new
Prime Minister is ratified by the Parliament and an agreement to
resolve disagreements between the executive and legislative
branches of government before a conciliation commission, urgent
ratification of the OEA-DEMOC civilian mission and an agreement
by the parties to abstain from any statements that could be inter-
preted as an incitement to violence.
Implementation of the February 23 agreement is essential to a
resolution of the immediate political crisis. This agreement pro-
vides an important set of principles which, if enforced, can provide
the basis for a resolution of the political crisis in Haiti. Key issues
remain unresolved, however, and continued vigilance by the inter-
national community will be essential.
The Haitian Parliament must first accept the terms of the agree-
ment and ratify Ren6 Theodore as Prime Minister. While the Par-
liament is expected to take such actions, the international commu-
nity must make clear the importance of such a step and urge it to
ensure it occurs within the next several weeks.
In a troubling development on the eve of the OAS-sponsored ne-
gotiations, the de facto government of Haiti issued a statement on
February 21 rejecting any OAS mission and the return of Jean Ber-
trand Aristide, to whom the statement referred as "the ex-presi-
dent of the Republic." While the term of the interim government
has expired and, in theory, it has no power to block the OAS-spon-
sored agreement, such actions are cause for concern.
Similar opposition to the OAS negotiations has been voiced by
several leading politicians since the February 23 agreement. While
it is not known how widespread such opposition to the agreement
is, such statements underscore the need for continued vigilance by
the international community to secure the agreement's successful
A crucial element in the resolution of the crisis is whether the
Haitian military will accept the terms of the February 23 agree-
ment. To date, it is not clear what actions the military will take.
Every effort should be made to ensure the full compliance of the
Continuing negotiations will be necessary to ensure a long-term
solution and the establishment of a functioning and stable democ-
racy. Haitians will need to address the key factors that are the root
of the overall crisis-the power and influence of an army that acts
with impunity, the lack of a civilian police force, a dysfunctional
judicial system, and the weakness of democratic institutions in
Haiti. These factors lead directly to the human rights abuses en-
demic to Haiti.
In lending their support to the implementation of the February
23 agreement, the United States and international community
should press for the following specific goals:
First, the early return of President Aristide to power is essential.
Delaying the return of Aristide puts that goal at risk and further
erodes the confidence of the people that democracy can come to
Second, reform of the military is also essential to any successful
political agreement. In the countryside, the military performs the
function of government bureaucracies. In urban areas it functions
as a police force. The military must be removed from such func-
tions and be scaled back to traditional military functions-defend-
ing the security of the nation. The concurrent creation of a civilian
police force must be a high priority.
Third, the international community must make a commitment to
a sustained presence in Haiti throughout the process of establish-
ing a democratic system. It should develop a 5-year plan for a pres-
ence in Haiti which would include technical assistance, advice and
aid to help in developing a civilian police force, an effective judicial
system, a strong parliament, a professional military, and a working
relationship between the executive and legislative branches. The
OAS's proposal for a civilian mission, OEA-DEMOC, is an excel-
lent vehicle for achieving that goal and the United States and the
international community must work with the Haitians to make it a
reality as soon as possible.
Many in Haiti believe the international community made a seri-
ous mistake in pulling out of Haiti after the election of President
Aristide. The establishment of democracy in Haiti involves more
than the free election of a president. The current negotiations must
learn from the past and accept a long-term commitment to remain
in Haiti until democratic institutions are firmly established.
Fourth, all sides must make a firm commitment to reject the use
of violence as a means of achieving political goals.
These steps are central elements for any successful agreement
and must be strongly supported by the United States as the Febru-
ary 23 agreement is implemented.
Ample precedent exists for such sweeping reforms under interna-
tional supervision as in Cambodia, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.
Under the recent U.N.-sponsored peace agreement in El Salvador,
a large monitoring system will be established throughout the coun-
try to deter abuses. Despite the civil war of the last decade, both
sides have agreed to establish an independent police force. Similar
steps should be taken in Haiti.
In principle, the army does not appear to oppose these reforms.
General Cedras told the delegation that he supported the establish-
ment of a civilian police force and that the army would welcome
the chance to abandon police functions and to deal solely with the
defense of Haiti's borders. He also recognized the need for the es-
tablishment of functioning democratic institutions in Haiti. He told
The first thing you need, if we are to have a solution, is to have a reinforcement
of democratic institutions, reform of the judicial system, reinforcement of parlia-
mentary institutions, professionalization of the army and a separate police force.
The international community should waste no time in ensuring
that such goals are an integral part of any final resolution of the
The creation of a lasting, stable democracy in Haiti will take
years and will involve more than the return of President Aristide
to power. The international community must make a commitment
to assist Haiti until democratic institutions are sufficiently devel-
The people of Haiti have suffered repression, desperation, and de-
spair for too long. The international community must not miss this
unique current opportunity to help the people of Haiti achieve
their goals. If we act wisely and effectively, we can restore the
hope of a better life to all the people of Haiti.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF LANGUAGE SERVICES
LS No. 137510
Protocol between President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
and the Parliamentary Negotiating Committee
to Find a Permanent Solution
to the Haitian Crisis
Article I: The Parties signatory hereto recognize and
acknowledge the principle of the urgent need for a coordinated
and negotiated solution to the political and institutional
crisis that Haitian society has experienced since President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide departed in exile on September 30, 1991,
and that, to be viable and lasting, this solution should be
sought within the framework of respect for the Haitian
Constitution and national sovereignty, and should lead to:
The establishment and strengthening of democratic
The implementation of measures that will guarantee
civil liberties, eliminate repression, and prevent any attempts
to exact revenge or settle accounts.
Article II: For all these purposes, the signatory Parties
1. Encourage, strengthen, and respect the principle of
separation of powers in accordance with the Constitution and,
within this framework, work to introduce mechanisms of
harmonization and cooperation to facilitate the establishment
of the institutions provided in the Constitution;
2. Guarantee civil liberties and facilitate the
unrestricted operation of political parties and civic
organizations with due respect for the Constitution and the
laws governing such organizations.
Article III: The Parties recognize the need for the
Haitian Parliament, in which national sovereignty is jointly
1. Reinstate Jean-Bertrand Aristide in his duties as
elected Constitutional President of the Republic of Haiti, and
undertake to assist the national consensus government to bring
about the conditions for the return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide
2. Draft and adopt the laws to establish the institutions
provided in the Constitution, particularly:
a. The law on local authorities;
b. The law on separating the Police from the Armed
c. The law on the operation of the Office de la
Protection du Citoven [Citizen's Protection Office].
3. Facilitate, through laws and regulations, the
application of a policy of social peace and economic revival.
Article IV: The Parties recognize the need for President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide to:
1. Respect the'acts submitted or ratified by the Haitian
Parliament. In the event the Executive and Legislative
Branches disagree, it shall be possible for either party to
submit the matter to the Commission de Conciliation
[Conciliation Board], in accordance with Article 111(5) of the
2. Agree that during his absence, the Prime Minister
shall take over the affairs of State, in accordance with
Article 148 of the Constitution.
Article V: The Parties recognize the need to:
1. Proclaim a general amnesty, with the exception of
ordinary law criminals;
2. Refrain from any ambiguous statements liable to be
interpreted as inciting violence.
3. Accept the new consensus Prime Minister chosen by
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in consultation with the
President of the Senate and the President of the Chamber of
4. Request the lifting of the embargo and the sanctions
provided in Chapter 1(4) of OAS Resolution No. MRE-2/91,
immediately following the confirmation of the Prime Minister
and the installation of the national consensus government.
5. Recognize their obligation to implement all measures
needed to insert national institutions within the framework
that will enable them to adopt all decisions within their
jurisdiction, in complete freedom, without being subject to
violent intervention or threats of violence from any force
6. Recommend to the Parliament the urgent confirmation of
the request from President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the OAS to
dispatch the civilian OAS-DEMOC Mission to Haiti.
7. Request the OAS and the international community to
contribute substantial emergency aid to the national consensus
government in order to revitalize the Haitian economy, promote
social well-being, ensure the professionalization of the Armed
Forces and the Police, and strengthen democratic institutions.
8. Reject and condemn any intervention by foreign armed
forces in settling the affairs of Haiti.
Done in good faith, in triplicate, at Washington, D.C.,
February 23, 1992.
This protocol of agreement shall enter into force
immediately upon its ratification by the National Assembly,
when convened by its President.
President of the Republic of Haiti
President of the Senate 'and of the Parliamentary Negotiating
President of the Chamber of Deputees and Vice President of the
Parliamentary Negotiating Committee
Delegation of the Parliamentary
Thomas Eddy Dupiton
Delegation of President
I___(__~__ _~~~~~_ _
Augusto Ramirez Ocampo
Enrique Peinado Barrios
Mario Gonzilez Vargas
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF LANGUAGE SERVICES
LS No. 1375
Protocol of Agreement
Between President Jean Bertrand Aristide
and Rene Th4odore, the Prime Minister Designate,
Under the Auspices of the
Organization of American States (OAS)
In order to establish a climate of trust, restore
democratic order, revitalize the national economy, strengthen
institutions, and facilitate the return to power of President
Jean Bertrand Aristide:
1. The undersigned Parties acknowledge, in implementing
the restoration of constitutional order in Haiti, the
importance of Resolutions MRE/RES. 1/91 and MRS/RES. 2/91 of
the ad hoc meeting.of the Foreign Ministers of OAS member
countries, and of Resolution CP/RES. 567 (870/91) of the OAS
2. They acknowledge, in implementing the restoration of
constitutional order in Haiti, the importance of the "Protocol
between President Jean Bertrand Aristide and the Parliamentary
Negotiating Committee to Find a Permanent Solution to the
3. They further acknowledge that President Jean Bertrand
Aristide enjoys fully and completely his constitutional powers
as Head of State.
4. The Parties agree to take all necessary measures to
guarantee public freedoms and to eradicate all repression and
reprisals. To that end, they acknowledge the need to d* pe
as soon as possible the OAS/DEMOC civilian mission and
representatives of the Inter-American Commission on Human
They urge the international organizations, and especially
the United Nations, human rights organizations, and the
international press, to make every possible contribution to
5. The Parties acknowledge the need to form a government
of national unity whose agenda shall be established, with the
political parties represented in the Parliament and which are
adherents of said government, by the Prime Minister jointly
with the President.
6. Both in order to comply with the vote of December 16,
1990, and the mandates associated therewith, and to ensure the
responsibility of the Prime Minister with regard to the
formation of the government team, the Parties agree that the
President and the Prime Minister shall select, by agreement,
those to be appointed to the Ministerial posts.
7. The Parties 'recognize the need for the Prime Minister,
once confirmed, to work towards creating the conditions for the
return of President Jean Bertransd Aristide. In the meantime,
the Prime Minister agrees to meet the President of the
Republic, to the extent possible, every two weeks, to assess
the progress of the government and the conditions for the
For purposes of such meetings, they shall request from the
OAS Secretary General a report allowing them to evaluate the
assistance of the OAS with respect to the progress of the
process for the return of the President. One month following
a the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister,
and the Secretary General of the OAS shall meet to determine
the ways and means for the return of the President of the
8. The President undertakes to provide the Prime Minister
with all cooperation and political support needed in the
fulfillment of his task in accordance with the provisions of
9. The Parties acknowledge the need to request the
lifting of the embargo and other sanctions contained in Chapter
1(4) of Resolution MRS/RES. 2/91 of the ad hoc meeting of
Foreign Ministers of the OAS member countries, at the formal
request of President Jean Bertrand Aristide, once the Prime
Minister has been confirmed and the government installed.
10. The Parties undertake to give special attention to
the military with a view to its professionalization and the
establishment of improved material conditions and morale that
would allow it to participate in the democratic process and to
fulfill its constitutional mission.
11. The Parties acknowledge the need to work with the
member countries of the OAS and the United Nations,
international institutions, and the international community in
general, to obtain'emergency aid for the reconstruction of the
Haitian economy and the technical and financial means for
reinforcing its institutions.
Done in good faith in triplicate at Washington, D.C. on
February 25, 1992.
Jean Bertrand Aristide
President of the Republic of Haiti
Prime Minister Designate
Signed under the auspices of the Organization of American
Joao Baena Soares
OAS Resolutions on Haiti
Support For Democracy In Haiti
MRE/RES. 2/91 (October 8, 1991)
The Ad Hoc Meeting of Ministers of
Having Seen resolution MRE/RES.
1/91 "Support for the ,.,..u .tic
Government of Haiti" and the report
of the mission designated in operative
paragraph 2 of said resolution, and the
request presented by the President of
Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in his
letter of7 October 1991 (MRE/doc.
3/91) to the Secretary General,
That the crisis in Haiti has become
more serious and that, consequently, it
is necessary to adopt additional
measures in accordance with operative
paragraph 10 of resolution MRE/RES.
The request received from Presi-
dent Jean-Bertrand Aristide to have
the Organization, through a civilian
mission, establish a presence in Haiti in
order to contribute to the solution of
the crisis in the country.
1. To reiterate resolution
MRE/RES. 1/1 "Support for the
Democratic Government of Haiti",
particularly with regard to the restora-
tion of the exercise of the legitimate
authority of President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide, and to the need to restore
Approved at She June 5. 1991 OAS Generat Assembly creating a new mechanism for
convening foreign ministers in response to a coup etal or interruption ofa legitriate,
The Preamble of the Charter of the
OAS establishes that representanv
democracy is an mndspensable condion for
the stability, peace and development of the
Under the provisions of the Charter,
one of the basic purposes of the Organiza-
bon of Amencan States is to promote and
consolidate representative democracy, with
due respect for the pnncple of noninterven-
Due respect must be observed for the
policies of each member country in regard
to the recognition of states and govern-
Beanng in mind the widespread
existence of democratic governments in th
hemisphere. the pnnople enshrined in the
Charter. namely, that the soldanty of the
Amencan States and the high aims which it
pursues require the political organization of
those States to be based on effective
exercise of representative democracy-
must be made operative, the region laces
senous political, soMal and economic
problems that may threaten the stability of
The General Assembly Resoles:
1. To ostruct the Secretary General to
call tor the immediate convocaton of a
meeting of the Permanent Council in the
case of any event giving rise to the sudden
or irregular interruption of the democratic
polical institutional process of the
legitimate exerase of power by the
democratically elected government in any of
the Organizaton's member states, n order.
within the framework of the Charter. to
examine the situation, decade on and
convene an ad hoc meeting of the ministers
of foreign affairs, or a special session of the
General Assembly. all of which must take
place within a ten-day period
2. To determine that the purpose of the
ad hoc meeting of ministers o foreign
affairs or the special session of she General
Assembly shall be to look into the events
collectively and adopt any measures
deemed appropriate, in accordance with the
Charter and intermaonal law.
3. To instrct the Permanent Councl to
de se a set of proposals that will serve as
incentives to preserve and strengthen
democrats systems, based on international
soldanry and cooperation. and to apprse
the General Assembly thereof at its twenty-
second regular session.
VOTE Unanimous 34-0 Q
United States Department of State
Bureau of Public Aair
Office of Public Communication
Vol. 2. No. 40
US Department of State Dispatch
constitutional order, and to maintain
the measures adopted in that
2. To strongly condemn the use of
violence and military coercion and the
decision to replace illegally the consti-
tutional President of Haiti Jean-
3. To declare that no government
that may result from this illegal
situation will be accepted and, conse-
quently, to declare that no representa-
tive of such government will be
4. To urge the Member states to
proceed immediately to freeze the
assets of the Haitian State and to
impose a trade embargo on Haiti,
except for humanitarian aid. All
humanitarian assistance must be
channeled through international
agencies or non-governmental
1. To accede to the request of
President Jean-oertrand Aristide that
a civilian mission be constituted to
reestablish and strengthen constitu-
tional democracy in Haiti (OEA-
DEMOC), which should go to that
country in order to facilitate the
reestablishment and strengthening of
democratic institutions, the full force
and effect of the Constitution, respect
for the human rights of all Haitians,
and to support the administration of
justice and adequate functioningofall
the institutions that will make it
possible to achieve these objectives.
The Mission must have the guarantees
that are indispensable for the security
of its members.
2. To entrust to the Secretary
General the organization of OEA-
DEMOC and to finance it by means of
a special fund. To urge Member states,
Permanent Observers and the interna-
tional community to make urgent
contributions to the accomplishment of
1. To request the Secretary
General to keep the Ministers of
Foreign Affairs informed, through the
Permanent Council, on the effective-
ness of the measures adopted so that
they may decide on any further
measures that may be necessary.
2. To request the Secretary
General also to report on the activities
of the Mission OEA-DEMOC.
3. To request the Secretary
General to keep open channels of
communication with the democratically
constituted political institutions and
other sectors in Haiti in order to
facilitate dialogue with a view to
ensuring the modalities and guarantees
that will make it possible for President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide to return to
4. To transmit this resolution to the
United Nations and to request its
Member states to adopt the same
measures agreed upon by the American
VOTE: Adopted by consensus.
Support to the Democratic
Government of Haiti
MRE/RES. 1/91 (October 3,1991)
The Ad Hoc Meeting ofMinisters
of Foreign Affairs,
The resolution of the Permanent
Council of September 30, 1991, convok-
ing an ad hoc Meeting of Ministers of
Foreign Affairs, pursuant to resolution
AG/RES. 1080 (XXI-091), in response
to the gravity of the events that have
taken place in Haiti;
The Santiago Commitment to
Democracy and the Renewal of the
Inter-American System, approved at
the twenty-first regular session of the
General Assembly, held at Santiago,
Chile, in June 1991; and
Resolution AG/RES. 1117 (XXI-0/
91) "Support for the Democratic
Process in the Republic of Haiti";
The statement made to this meet-
ing by the President of Haiti, Mr. Jean-
That the true significance of
American solidarity and good neighbor-
liness can only mean the consolidation
in this hemisphere, within the frame-
work of democratic institutions, of a
system of individual liberty and social
justice based on respect for the essen-
tial rights of man;
That one of the essential purposes
of the Organization of American States
is to promote and consolidate represen-
tative democracy, with due respect for
the principle of nonintervention; and
That the solidarity of the American
states and the high aims which are
sought through it require the political
organization of those states on the
basis of the effective exercise of
That the grave events that have
occurred in Haiti constitute an abrupt,
violent, and irregular disruption of
me legitimate exercise of power by
the democratic government of that
That these events represent
disregard for the legitimate Govern-
ment of Haiti, which was constituted by
the will of its people freely expressed in
a free and democratic electoral process
under international observation with
the participation of this Organization;
That those events have compelled
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to
leave Haitian territory temporarily and
against his will,
1. To reiterate the vigorous
condemnation voiced by the Permanent
Council of the grave events taking
place in Haiti, which deny the right of
its people to self-determination, and to
demand full restoration of the rule of
law and of constitutional order and the
immediate reinstatement of President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the exercise
of his legitimate authority.
2. To request that the Secretary
General of the Organization, together
with a group of Ministers of Foreign
Affairs of member states, go to Haiti
immediately to inform those w ho hold
power illegally that the American
US Department of State Dispatch
states reject the disruption of constitu- who hold power illegally in Haiti and to mate exercise of power by the demo-
tional order and to advise them of the request the regional organs and cratic government of that country;
decisions adopted by this meeting, institutions, such as the Caribbean Having heard the statements of the
3. To recognize the representatives Community (CARICOM), the Inter- Secretary General of the Organization
designated by the constitutional American Development Bank, the and the Permanent Representative of
Government of President Jean- Inter-American Institute for Coopera- Haiti;
Bertrand Aristide as the only legiti- tion on Agriculture, and the Latin Resolvs:
mate representatives of the Govern- American Economic System (SELA),
ment of Haiti to the organs, agencies, to adopt the same measure. 1. To issue its most vigorous con-
and entities of the inter-American 9. To urge all states to provide no demnation of those events and of their
system, military, police, or security assistance perpetrators, and to demand adherence
4. To urge the Inter-American of any kind and to prevent the delivery to the Constitution and respect for the
Commission on Human Rights, in of arms, munitions, or equipment to government, which was legitimately es-
response to President Jean-Bertrand that country in any manner, public or tablished through the free expression
Aristide's request, to take immediately private, of the will of that country's people.
all measures within its competence to 10. To keep open the ad hoc 2. In keeping with the principles of
protect and defend human rights in Meeting of Ministera of Foreign Affairs the OAS Charter and of the Santiago
Haiti and to report thereon to the to receive, with the urgency that this Commitment to democracy, to reaffirm
Permanent Council of the Organization, situation demands, the report of the its solidarity with the Haitian people in
5. To recommend, with due respect Mission referred to in operative their struggle to strengthen their
for the policy of each member state on paragraph 2 of this resolution and to democratic system without foreign in-
the recognition of states and govern- adopt, in accordance with the Charter terference and in the exercise of their
ments, action to bring about the of the OAS and international law, any inalienable sovereign will.
diplomatic isolation of those who hold additional measures that may be 3. To deplore the loss of human
power illegally in Haiti. necessary and appro- "- ensuree lives; to demand that those responsible
6. To recommend to all states that the immediate reinstatement of be punished; and to demand that, in
they suspend their economic, financial, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to strict observance of international law,
and commercial ties with Haiti and any the exercise of his legitimate authority. those parties put an end to the violation
aid and technical cooperation except 11. To transmit this resolution to of the Haitian people's rights, respect
that provided for strictly humanitarian the United Nations and its specialized the life and physical safety of President
purposes, agencies and to urge them to consider Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and restore
7. To request the Secretary its spirit and aims. the President's exercise of his constitu-
General of the Organization to pursue tional authority.
efforts to increase the Inter-American VOTE: Adopted by consensus. 4. Considering the graveness of the
Fund for Priority Assistance to Haiti, events that have occurred in Haiti, to
but to refrain from using it so long as Permanent Council Resolution 567 convene an ad hoc Meeting of Ministers
the present situation prevails. (September 30, 1991) of Foreign Affairs pursuant to resolu-
8. To recommend to the General tion AG/RES. 1080 (XXI-091) [see
Secretariat of the Organization the The Permanent Council of the box] and to instruct the Secretary Gen-
suspension of all assistance to those Organization ofAmerican States, eral to that effect.
Bearing in mind that representa- VOTE: Unanimous 34-0. E
tive democracy is the form of govern-
ment of the region and that its effective
exercise, consolidation, and enhance-
ment are shared priorities;
Reaffirming that the principles en-
shrined in the OAS Charter and the
ideals of peace, democracy, social jus-
tice, comprehensive development, and
solidarity constitute permanent under-
pinnings of the inter-American system;
Taking into account the grave
events that have taken place in Haiti
and which constitute an abrupt, violent,
and irregular interruption of the legiti-
_ __ ___I_
The Organization of American States and Haiti
Dec. 1985 Mandate to promote democracy added to the OAS Charter.
Feb. 7, 1986 Fall of dictatorship of Jean Claude Duvalier.
Early 1986 Inter-American Fund for Priority Assistance to Haiti established.
Nov. 1986 Member states contribute $1 million to Fund.
Mar. 1987 Haiti adopts new constitution.
Nov. 29, 1987 Military aborts planned national election; 34 people killed.
Mar. 13 Provisional Government established; Ertha Pascal Trouillot appointed provisional
March OAS begins election observation process.
Dec. 16 202 OAS observers monitor first-round balloting.
Dec. 23 Jean Bertrand Aristide declared* :.:-" of Haitian presidency.
Jan. 6 Roger Lafontant unsuccessfully attempts overthrow of provisional government.
Jan. 7 OAS adopts resolution repudiating attempted violation of constitutional order.
Jan. 20 Run-off elections for Parliament.
Feb. 7 Jean Bertrand Aristide inaugurated.
Jun. 5 OAS General Assembly approves automatic mechanisms to respond to coups or
interruptions of democratic process (1991 OASGA Res. 1080).
Sep. 29 Elements of the Haitian armed forces attack the residence of President Aristide.
Sep. 30 President Aristide forced into exile in Caracas, Venezuela. OAS Permanent Council
meets, condemns coup, and calls for meeting of foreign ministers to consider collective
Oct. 2 OAS Meeting of Foreign Ministers (MFM) convened.
Oct. 3 MFM, invoking resolution 1080, condemns coup and calls for Aristide's reinstatement
Oct. 4 U.S. freezes regime assets.
Oct. 4-7 Delegation of OAS foreign ministers open dialogue in three visits to Haiti.
Oct. 8 Foreign ministers meet again at the OAS and call for members to impose a trade embargo
on Haiti; OEA-DEMOC formed (MRE 2/91). Haitian Parliament vacates presidency,
elects Joseph Nerette provisional president and Jean Jacques Honorat prime minister.
Oct. 29 U.S. imposes embargo on Haiti effective Nov. 5.
Nov. 10-11 OEA-DEMOC negotiators, led by OAS envoy Augusto Ramirez Ocampo, travel to Haiti
to resume dialogue; Haitian parliamentarians agree to direct talks with President Aristide.
Nov. 21 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemns coup and apparent rights
violations by de fact regime.
Nov. 22 OAS Permanent Council calls for international cooperation in aiding displaced Haitians.
Nov. 22-24 Under OAS auspices, direct talks between President Aristide and Haitian
parliamentarians begin in Cartagena, Colombia; two sides agree in principle to continue
dialogue, working toward return to constitutional order.
Dec. 2-7 OAS Humanitarian Assistance Assessment Team visits Haiti.
Dec. 4-6 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights team visits Haiti.
Jan. 7-8 Direct talks resume in Caracas.
Jan. 8 Aristide agrees in writing to accept Rene Theodore as Prime Minister.
Jan. 18 OAS Secretary General calls meeting of all parties at OAS headquarters, i:, "resident
Aristide attends. Aristide reiterates commitment to Theodore.
Jan. 22 OAS special committee established to monitor embargo, humanitarian needs.
Jan. 25 Theodore and others attacked, one killed, at political meeting in Port au Prince.
Jan. 28 Under OAS auspices, 30 metric tons of food and medicines delivered to Haiti.
Feb. 4 U.S. announces adjustments to embargo.
Feb. 13 Haitian parliamentarians agree to resume negotiations.
Source: U.S. Permanent Mission to The Organization of American States,
February 19, 1992.
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