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HAm: THE AGREEMENT OF GOVERNOR'S ISLAND
AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION
WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS
JULY 21, 1993
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
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MAY 1 6 1994
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
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For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana, Chairman
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
HARRY JOHNSTON, Florida
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
ERIC FINGERHUT, Ohio
PETER DEUTSCH, Florida
ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
DON EDWARDS, California
FRANK McCLOSKEY, Indiana
THOMAS C. SAWYER, Ohio
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
JAN MEYERS, Kansas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DAVID A. LEVY, New York
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART, Florida
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Chief of Staff
RICHARD J. GARON, Minority Chief of Staff
ABIGAIL ARONSON, Staff Associate
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey, Chairman
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
PETER DEUTSCH, Florida ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
VICTOR C. JOHNSON, Staff Director
DOROTHY TAFr, Republican Professional Staff Member
RICHARD NUCCIO, Professional Staff Member
PATRICIA WEIR, Professional Staff Member
Hon. Charles B. Rangel, a Representative in Congress from the State of
N ew Y ork .............................................................................................................. 5
Hon. Major R. Owens, a Representative in Congress from the State of New
Y ork ....................................................................................................................... 7
Hon. E. Clay Shaw, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida .... 9
Hon. Joseph P. Kennedy, H, a Representative in Congress from the State
of M assachusetts ................................................................................................ 10
Ambassador Lawrence Pezzullo, special advisor on Haiti, Department of
State; accompanied by Terry Rusch and David Cohen, director of Aid Mis-
sion in Port-Au-Prince ....................................................................................... 12
Hon. Michael D. Barnes, Hogan and Hartson, counsel to President Jean-
Bertrand Aristide ............................................................................................... 31
Andrew Postal, president, Judy Bond, Inc. .......................................................... 40
Nina Shea, president, Puebla Institute; Kenneth Roth, acting director,
Human Rights Watch; and Claudette Werleigh, director, Washington office
of H aiti ....... ..................................................................................................... 42
H on. Robert G. Torricelli .............................................................................. 47
H on. Charles B. Rangel ................................................................................ 48
H on. M ajor R. Owens ..................................................................................... 53
H on. E Clay Shaw ......................................................................................... 56
H on. Joseph P. Kennedy .............................................................................. 57
Ambassador Lawrence Pezzullo .................................................................... 59
H on. M ichael D. Barnes ................................................................................. 65
Andrew Postal .................... ......................................... ............................ 70
N ina Shea .............:............................................................................................ 75
MATERIAL SUBMrlrED FOR THE RECORD
Hon. Major R. Owens, floor statement of ............................................................ 90
Chronology of Events in Haiti Since Aristide Coup ............................................ 93
Hon. Major R. Owens, testimony of, before the House Subcommittee on Inter-
national Law, Immigration, and Refugees, November 20, 1991 .................... 95
Kenneth Roth, statement of .................................................................................. 99
Claudette Werleigh, statement of ........................................................................ 108
Caribbean Latin American Action: Rebuilding Haiti ........................................ 115
Questions to Assistant Secretary Watson, House Foreign Affairs Committee ... 119
HAITI: THE AGREEMENT OF GOVERNOR'S
ISLAND AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION
WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 1993
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:10 p.m. in room
2200, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Robert G. Torricelli
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. TORRICELLI. The subcommittee will please come to order. We
meet today to review the historic agreement between President
Aristide and General Cedras to return President Aristide to power
and restore constitutional government in Haiti.
If this agreement is honored, it will be the first time, to my
knowledge, that a military coup was reversed through negotiation
and the legitimate government returned to office peacefully.
Many, of course, share the credit for this achievement. When the
historic moment arrived, President Aristide and General Cedras
had to determine that Haiti's interests required that they com-
promise and sign an agreement that both might have found imper-
If the agreement is adhered to, history will honor both for their
History will also show that the Haitian situation started down
the road to resolution when President Clinton made it a priority
and when Secretary Christopher appointed Ambassador Pezzullo as
his special adviser. Ambassador Pezzullo's skill and perseverance
behind the scenes, were, I believe, essential to ultimate success.
We pay tribute, therefore, Mr. Ambassador, to you for your role
in achieving this agreement.
And finally, the agreement could not have been achieved without
the efforts of the special representative of the United Nations and
the OAS, Mr. Caputo and the strong backing of the Secretary Gen-
eral of those two organizations.
Now, the hard part begins. Between now and October 30, the
deadline for President Aristide's return, Haitians must come to-
gether and act in a way that will further the process.
A promising beginning was made last Friday when Haitians
meeting at the United Nations achieved an agreement that sets the
stage for parliament to play the role required to implement the
But much remains to be done.
President Aristide must appoint a prime minister acceptable to
all parties. The parliament must approve the prime minister and
amnesty law and a law establishing a new police force. The de facto
government must cease its repression.
General Cedras must step down as scheduled and the military
must return to the barracks. President Aristide must return to
seek not vengeance, but conciliation. He must act to reduce the po-
larization that has characterized Haiti not only before and since his
administration, but also tragically during it.
And last but not least, the United States must remain engaged
over the long term and must transform its promises of aid into re-
ality. If we lose interest after a year or two, move on to the next
crisis and forget about Haiti and its people, then this opportunity
will be lost.
So we meet at a time of hope for Haiti, but the first such time
in many months, but everyone must contribute if this hope is to be
This hearing today, I want to thank the members who have come
forward and so many witnesses that I think make this hearing
have the promise of being both interesting and fruitful.
[The prepared statement of Robert Torricelli appears in the ap-
Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Smith.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, members of
the committee, the distinguished members who will testify shortly
I appreciate your scheduling this hearing at this crucial time
considering the agreement signed earlier this month at Governors
Island. Like many of my colleagues, I was eager that our sub-
committee begin to address the issues of Haiti, restoration of con-
stitutional government, sustainable economic development, the
guarantee of basic freedoms and civilian control of the military.
I am particularly pleased that the President's Special Adviser on
Haiti is here today, as well as several colleagues.
I am hopeful, Mr. Chairman, that the signing of the Governor's
Island Agreement will mark the beginning of a dramatic, positive
political change in Haiti. For the sake of the beleaguered Haitian
people, this agreement will hopefully take its place among treaties
and compacts of world history and not be relegated to a trash bin
filled with good intentions that went astray.
I think the agreement provides the only glimmer of hope for the
Haitian people for many a decade. Maybe with this in hand, oppor-
tunities for economic development in Haiti will soon be visible on
the horizon and just maybe for once human rights will be embraced
As a signatory to the agreement, General Cedras has his obliga-
tion to fulfill and the military must conform and uphold each step
as a matter of high principle. The United States and the inter-
national community must continue to support the restoration of
democratically elected President Aristide.
I, along with many of my colleagues, have had the opportunity
to meet with him on a number of occasions. I was particularly
moved when within a few days after his ouster he broke bread with
us and shared with all of the members assembled the plight of the
Haitian people and the downfall of his presidency. That hope is on
the verge of being reversed.
It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Aristide needs to gen-
erate a climate for restoration and for the nurturing of democracy.
As we have seen in many other countries where high hopes have
been raised, democracy is not an automatic. President Aristide
must take a resolute stand against violence, which I am sure he
will. He must stand against popular justice, the grizzly necklacing
and total disrespect for the constitutional structure of checks and
I happen to believe, and I think it is shared by many members,
that an unusual depth of leadership and skill will be required at
this juncture to move Haiti forward. Haiti after all has no tradition
of democracy and no one wants a reprise of the status quo, of
extrajudicial killings and other abuses of human rights.
I look forward to the comments that have been made by mem-
bers and by witnesses and again I thank you for scheduling this
Mr. TORRICELLI. Thank you, Mr. Smith.
Ms. McKinney, do you have a statement you want to enter for
Ms. McKNNEY. Yes, I do, Mr. Chairman, and I would also just
like to, in addition to thanking you for putting together this public
hearing and of course commending the President and the U.N. and
the OAS, I would also like to take a few moments just to congratu-
late the steadfastness of the Congressional Black Caucus too and
its role and leadership on this issue as it never allowed the return
of Aristide to die in-to be placed on the back burner, and I would
like to commend the Congressional Black Caucus too.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Wynn.
Mr. WYNN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I also want to thank you first for convening this hearing at the
request of Ms. McKinney and myself. It is a very important matter
and we appreciate your responsiveness on this issue and your in-
terest in this issue.
Obviously there has been progress over which we are all very ex-
cited. We are also well aware of a number of potential pitfalls at
this point. So the information we will glean from today's hearing
will certainly be very helpful.
I would like to join my colleague, Ms. McKinney, in commending
Representative Owens as Chair of the CBC Task Force on Haiti for
his leadership and also Representative Rangel for his continuing
and long-outstanding work on this issue. They have really been at
the forefront and I, as a freshman member, particularly appreciate
the efforts of both of these gentleman.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Menendez.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Chairman, this is an important stage in the
future of Haiti and it is important to as a fellow member here in
the Western Hemisphere. I look forward with great hope to the
agreement that was reached and that in fact it will be imple-
Haiti, I believe, is the second republic in the Western Hemi-
sphere to obtain its liberty, but actually it has truly never been
free and I hope with this agreement, Haiti will be on its way to
genuine freedom and independence and an improved standard of
living for its people. And I believe that to a great degree, it shows
what can be done to obtain and change the course of events to de-
mocracy and to recognition of the democratic principles which, in
fact, recognize that President Aristide was duly elected and that,
in fact, when that happens, that the world community should join
together to make and to preserve what people in essence voted to
do, which is to be governed by someone which they chose to be gov-
And in fact I think that we see here in this agreement and in
the efforts made that when the world community gets together on
behalf of an issue, and when we do things that are leak-proof, we,
in fact, can obtain some very positive results.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Oberstar.
Mr. OBERSTAR. [Speaking French] I am just saying welcome.
Glad to see my colleagues here.
Mr. TORRICELLI. He is translating for members of the Ways and
Means Committee. Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Mr. OBERSTAR. We have a big problem but as the Haitian prov-
erb goes, "Even though the load is heavy, many hands make it
lighter," and we do have a big problem and rather than belabor,
I have given 30 years of my life one way or another to the cause
of Haiti, having lived there for 312 years, and I would just as soon
we get on with the statements from our colleagues and hear what
they have to say.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Thank you, Mr. Oberstar.
Gentlemen, welcome and thank you for joining us today. First I
apologize that the hearing started a few minutes late.
The Port Authority was outlining how it was going to spend the
toll dollars of New Jersey commuters for a better New York. Mr.
Menendez and I wanted to be there to hear every project. I know
that you fully understand.
And second, I would like to thank the members of the committee
for their kind comments. I am very proud of the role of this sub-
committee during the Haitian crisis and the extent that we stayed
I believe we were a positive force in working with the adminis-
tration to ensure that they never lost confidence in a settlement,
though in truth, we largely had no choice because I don't think
there is a day that went by where I saw Mr. Rangel where he
didn't ensure that we were paying that much attention, and I know
Mr. Owens, as the leader of the task force, shared that same com-
mitment to the same extent.
It is fitting therefore that joined by Mr. Shaw and Mr. Kennedy,
you should start today's hearing because each of you have been im-
portant voices in what I think for the Haitian people is the promise
of a breakthrough to at long last a far better future.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. CHARLES B. RANGEL, A REP-
RESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW
Mr. RANGEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and my friends and
members of this committee. I am certain that all of us feel very
proud and sometimes humbled to be elected to this great body and
I know that all of us are committed to trying to leave a better
world than that that we found, but how often does the opportunity
really come to leave a legacy to the next generation to say that no
matter what your press offices try to say that you have done that
you know in your heart that you tried to share this great dream
of democracy and opportunity to people that have led a history of
being persecuted, and so I think as someone else has said, this is
a very historic period.
It is such an important period in our history as we assume the
leadership of the entire world, whether we want to be in that posi-
tion or not, to be able to set an example by taking the poorest coun-
try in this hemisphere and saying that not in our world you don't
do this, that you don't shoot down innocent people, you don't have
the military taking over governments where the people have elect-
ed their leaders and so there was a lot of pain that a lot of us felt
when we saw the different standards that were being applied to
Haiti, and coming from the city of New York and being so proud
to be considered at least in part the guardian of the Statute of Lib-
erty, but knowing how many people came from so many different
parts of the world and the excitement of seeing other Americans
being upset because a boat landed on one of our beaches with 300
Chinese, this is nothing.
Big boats lands from all different countries and somehow New
York City with all of its problems tries to make America proud by
opening up our hearts and our arms, and then we saw the Haitian
people. Not only did we see them in shark infested waters trying
to reach our democratic shores, but it is now somehow we have
stretched a law to have some people believe that we can actually
go to the country where we think people are leaving and put an
embargo so they can't leave. It stretches one's morality, it stretches
the law, and even the Supreme Court had to find some kind of lan-
guage to say that if we find it legal, we sure can't find it moral.
But having said that, President Clinton has done something that
I don't believe was based on the politics of it or even recommenda-
tions from the State Department. He held the same doubts as
many Members of Congress had that were spread in part by the
State Department that the villain wasn't the general who led the
coup, but actually the victim who had to flee the country, but when
he met the President, as Mr. Smith had indicated in part, he knew
then which side he was on, and since he made that decision with
himself and with his State Department and without Congress, my
God, what a difference it makes.
I have really seen firsthand as to how they say, it is the Presi-
dent that sets the foreign policy and the State Department who
executes it. I kind of thought these people had been around for so
long that they didn't care who was President, that they were going
to proceed in the way they thought best, but the State Department
The message to the Organization of Americas changed, the mes-
sage to the United Nations changed and the United States was a
part of this battle to make certain that the illegal, immoral govern-
ment, de facto government knew that we were committed to a re-
turn of democracy and the return of President Aristide, to the ex-
tent that we finally took out of the arsenal an item that we use
freely in other countries but dare not even think about in knowing
our European friends, and that is the oil embargo.
And so through that everyone came to the table, some of us just
treasured being a part of that historic occasion in Governor's Is-
land, and with the usual political heat and disagreement, an agree-
ment was finally hammered out with our Ambassador Pezzullo
there, with Ambassador Caputo from the U.N. and with the parties
agreeing that they were going to have a transition.
I think my brother, Congressman Wynn, has said, and now we
start dealing with the real problems, because in that agreement,
the military government is going to be really in charge until there
is time for the President to return home. I know politically I would
not want to be around when an illegal military government is leav-
I would fear that he would be leaving people to continue to sup-
port the causes that the military had. I would be concerned as to
whether or not they could still influence the legislature that is to
confirm the appointment of the person selected by President
Aristide to be prime minister.
I would have to have some assurances that the human misery
and violation of human rights that have continued to be per-
petrated by the military, that somehow we know that it is our re-
sponsibility to see that the international community is there and
that it is not just Aristide, it is not just Haiti, but the leader of
the free world and her reputation, our credibility is on the line, and
not just for Haiti, but for any other country that needs the great
moral strength of the United States to stand up to those who have
no regard for law and order and democracy and opportunity.
But even more than that, those of us that find it very difficult
to trace our history, those of us that if we were offered an oppor-
tunity to visit the land of our origin and have the trip paid for free
for our families to go, and all we had to do is name the village or
the town or the city or even the country that our family sprung
from, African Americans unfortunately do not enjoy what so many
other Americans take for granted, and that is a homeland.
But one thing that is clear, that those people in Haiti come closer
than a lot of other countries in representing where we come from
and we may not be able to go to Africa, but vicariously we can live
through their pride, their fight for independence, their denial of lib-
erty and opportunity and be able to say that it is part of our legacy
too, that we as a people were able to free some of our people.
And so, Mr. Chairman, let me say to you and your committee,
what a great moment for you to be on this committee at this point
in time. What a great legacy you can help this Congress to make,
and what great luck we had in having a President that was more
concerned about doing the right thing than doing what could have
And I want to thank you for your leadership in this and you
know that you have a team out there that doesn't serve on your
committee but we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to
make certain that we all succeed.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Thank you, Mr. Rangel.
[The prepared statement of Charles B. Rangel appears in the ap-
Mr. TORRICELLI. It bears repeating, however, that for most of the
Caribbean, you have served as a bridge between its needs and
America's interests. Haiti was no exception in that, and as all of
us have now noted, the more difficult days are now ahead.
The price of restoring Haitian democracy was profound with deep
economic damage to a desperately poor country. It should be on all
of our consciences if that lasts a day longer than it takes to restore
democracy, and in that fight, no less than in reaching a political
settlement, your willingness to come forward and work with this
committee and help us find the resources lest there be any more
victims of the Haitian tragedy will be absolutely critical.
I know you will do that, but we ask just the same.
Did you have anything, Mr. Rangel, that you wanted included in
Mr. RANGEL. No. I do have a statement I will leave, and it is in
English, not French.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Without objection, it will be entered in the
record at this point.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. MAJOR R. OWENS, A REPRESENTA-
TIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. OWENS. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I too would like to thank the
committee for holding these very significant hearings and thank
you for the opportunity to testify. I also want to add my applause
to the actions taken by the President and the administration to fi-
nally move and assert the considerable influence of the United
States in pushing toward an agreement, the beginnings of an
agreement that will end this nightmare for Haiti and a nightmare
for the United States, because we have been in the position of es-
tablishing some very unfortunate precedents and taking some very
unfortunate actions as a result of our reaction to the Haitian di-
lemma, problems there.
I represent New York's 11th congressional district which has the
second largest number of Haitians, Haitian Americans and Haitian
immigrants in the country, and I have followed developments in
Haiti since I entered Congress 11 years ago. I also now am the
Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Haiti Task Force.
You have a long list of witnesses and I won't take too much of
I would like to leave for the record several documents. Three are
from my files from October and November of 1991, and include a
floor statement of October 1, 1991, the day following the coup and
the short chronology of the events in Haiti following the coup and
my testimony before the House Subcommittee on International
Law, Immigration and Refugees on November 20, 1991 concerning
U.S. policy regarding Haitian refugees.1
I think those documents are relevant to help us to remember
how we got to where we are and the implications of some of the
things that are happening now.
I would like to just telescope my remarks into a few statements
about the agreement that has been reached. The agreement was
reached with President Aristide under great pressure I am sure to
sign an agreement of this kind. Let's note that while it starts some
movement forward, the watchdog responsibilities of this committee
The vigilance of this committee is very much needed, the vigi-
lance of this committee and the vigilance of the Clinton administra-
tion, OAS and the U.N. Here we have an agreement which is un-
precedented probably, to understand the problems and the dangers
in this agreement, to stop and think of what it would mean if we
had forged an agreement whereby Saddam Hussein was going to
be in charge of the transition to democracy, or the rebuilding of de-
mocracy in Kuwait, if Saddam Hussein was in charge of rebuilding
Kuwait, or if Adolf Hitler had been allowed to stay around to recon-
struct democracy in Germany. These are slight exaggerations but
the essence of it is a problem.
You know, we have a situation where the people who
disrespected democracy, the results of democracy, the President
who was elected by 70 percent of the vote was overthrown by mili-
tary coup, and the people who led that coup are now going to be
in charge of the transition to a new democracy.
I have heard too often General Cedras and President Aristide
mentioned as equals. They are not equals. One is a traitor. General
Cedras is a traitor. General Cedras violated the Haitian constitu-
tion. He overthrew the lawfully elected government. If the U.S.
Government stands for anything, it is for democracy and certainly
our support should have always been firmly there for the President
who was elected by 70 percent of the people.
Then he proceeded to appoint a general named Cedras who par-
ticipated in the overthrow of the government, and 24 months later
we are negotiating an agreement where that same traitor is going
to have a leading role in the return to democracy. Steps that have
been taken since the agreement was signed a few weeks ago indi-
cate that the spirit of General Cedras and his group has not
changed very much.
There is as much repression in Haiti as there was before. The
people who support Aristide are still being terrorized. There is a
tight grip on the country by the military. There is a situation of
great danger in that many members of the military are engaged in
drug trafficking. They have their own agendas.
It is going to be very hard for General Cedras to control them.
Indeed, General Cedras has said in private many times that he
really did not start the coup or was not in charge of the coup. He
only stayed as head in order to save his own head. Other people
under him started it and the situation was out of control.
'This information appears in the appendix.
I hope that that excuse won't be used again as points in this
agreement are torpedoed. I hope that they will not be torpedoed.
I hope they will not be sabotaged but I think that the only way we
can avoid sabotage and the only way we can avoid an unraveling
of this agreement and the continuation of the intended rule of the
military in Haiti is that we pledge ourselves, both the Congress
and the administration, to watch with great vigilance to insist, to
be very firm about enforcing every step of this agreement.
I trust that this committee will dedicate itself to that purpose.
Thank you very much.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Thank you, Mr. Owens, very much. Mr. Shaw.
[The prepared statement of Major Owens appears in the appen-
STATEMENT OF THE HON. E. CLAY SHAW, JR., A REPRESENTA-
TIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. SHAW. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a complete state-
ment that I would ask-
Mr. TORRICELLI. Without objection, it will be entered in the
record at this point.
Mr. SHAW [continuing]. be made a part of the record. Following
Mr. Owens and Mr. Rangel doesn't leave a whole lot to say but I
would like to focus on one aspect.
There is no way that you can maintain a democracy in such pov-
erty. There is no way that the-one of the poorest countries in the
world can exist next to the richest country in the world without
creating a lot of problems, and we have seen a lot of these problems
down in south Florida with the migration of these poor people com-
ing into the United States wanting nothing better than-nothing
more than a better life for themselves or their family.
I have been an active spokesman in supporting the blockade of
Haiti, unlike some of my colleagues here at the table or here in this
room, however, that hopefully is behind us, and we need to move
into a different era, and that is an era of economic support.
It is going to be tremendously important to the United States. It
is going to be absolutely vital to the future of Haiti that we put
together a marshaled plan for Haiti that it creates tax incentives
for American investors to go in and create jobs of-labor intensive
jobs for the people of Haiti, that there is going to have to be direct
economic aid to go to that island nation if the democracy is going
So I would only hope, and I pledge as a member of the Ways and
Means Committee to look for and to propose legislation giving tax
breaks to American investors to invest in the free market system
in Haiti itself to create jobs in Haiti so that that island nation can
prosper and that democracy will have a chance.
Without economic growth, there shall be no democracy in Haiti.
It is absolutely vital.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Thank, Mr. Shaw and thank you for being with
[The prepared statement of E. Clay Shaw, Jr. appears in the ap-
STATEMENT OF THE HON. JOSEPH P. KENNEDY II, A REP-
RESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MASSA-
Mr. KENNEDY. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman and mem-
bers of the subcommittee. I appreciate your tremendous interest. I
am impressed by the number of members that have come here to
listen and testify to much of the important testimony that will
come after the members depart.
I do want to commend in particular both Dante Caputo and
Larry Pezzullo for the contributions that they made to this process.
I also saw Mike Barnes in the room. It is our old colleague and
someone who also contributed a great deal to this process.
Mr. Chairman, I briefly want to just set out some principles that
I think are important. I attended several of the meetings on Gov-
ernor's Island and was there on a number of different occasions
throughout the period of the negotiations. I do think that there are
certain principles that we in the Congress have got to make certain
continue to be brought to light and that come into play should situ-
ations change in any way.
First of all, while the sanctions are in place, enforcement must
be tough. The United States should make it clear to the Dominican
Republic that violations are unacceptable. We should exclude from
U.S. ports any ship or aircraft that violates the sanctions. Sanc-
tions must be suspended when President Aristide nominates a
prime minister and that prime minister takes office following the
confirmation by the Haitian parliament.
Second, the United States should send a high level delegation in
my opinion to Haiti during the parliament's consideration of Presi-
dent Aristide's nomination for prime minister. The parliament has
many who oppose the President's return. And it has been made
clear that the United States places a high priority on the confirma-
tion of Aristide's choice to lead a new government.
I had several conversations with the President who expressed a
great deal of concern that the new parliament still could possibly
be under a great deal of influence by Mr. Cedras and his des-
ignates over the period of the time of the transition.
Third, Ambassador Pezzullo who worked hard to help gain the
agreement to restore democracy should exercise firm control over
all aspects of U.S. policy to Haiti during this difficult transition pe-
riod. In the past, the United States has sent mixed messages on
Haiti and we can't afford that in the period ahead.
Fourth, the Clinton administration is preparing assistance for
Haiti during the transition to democracy. No U.S. military aid
should be dispensed bilaterally, even for the retraining of Haitian
security forces. It should all go through multilateral channels and
the U.N. Given the history of U.S. involvement in Haiti, it is cru-
cial that we now operate within the framework of the international
Fifth, the United States should condition all aid on the observ-
ance of basic human rights and civil liberties in Haiti. General
Cedras has said that he cannot tolerate even peaceful protests.
International observers report that demonstrators are still beaten,
sometimes severely, while in military custody.
We must use our significant assistance to press for an end to
Finally, the U.S. assistance must be used to erode, rather than
reinforce, the massive disparities that exist between rich and poor
in Haiti. The program that should have strong components that
promote food security, small business, health, education and envi-
ronmentally sound and sustainable development.
Unfortunately, as people on this subcommittee are aware, our
programs have not met these challenges in the past. The National
Labor Committee Education Fund reported that in 1991 the
USAID helped organize, finance and manage elite business opposi-
tion to the economic and social policies of the democratically elected
government of President Aristide.
U.S. tax dollars were reportedly used to oppose Aristide's at-
tempt to raise the minimum wage from 33 cents to 50 cents an
hour. It just seems to me that while these disparities exist in Haiti,
we will always have the kind of dissent that has taken place in
It will mean controversial new policies that will have to be imple-
mented by the President. I think that if we can support the demo-
cratically elected government, watch over this process in transition,
that we will be able to have the kind of policies that we can all
be proud of.
[The statement Joseph P. Kennedy, II appears in the appendix.]
Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Kennedy, is it your belief that the National
Endowment was distributing money that was used contrary to Mr.
Aristide's Democratic government?
Mr. KENNEDY. That is my understanding.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Was it your suggestion that the United States
have observers sent to oversee the selection of a prime minister in
the parliament, international observers?
Mr. KENNEDY. I think as a part of any international observer
force, the United States should certainly participate in a very
meaningful way. This was part of the negotiation that took place
and I would obviously have a-listen in great interest to what Am-
bassador Pezzullo would have to say about that.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Being on Governor's Island, was it your impres-
sion that that was acceptable to President Aristide or that that
would be helpful?
Mr. KENNEDY. I think that was a critical component.
Mr. TORRICELLI. While the parliament is considering a new
Mr. KENNEDY. Absolutely. As a matter of fact, Mr. Torricelli, the
President had very strong objections to the agreement based on the
idea that the government that would be put into place has--could
fall under the influence of Mr. Cedras and his designates, and
without real observation by the international community, they
could end up calling for a vote, for instance, 2 or 3 months from
now that could end up, again, derailing his ascension back into
Mr. TORRICELLI. We have only a couple of minutes, but in the
moment or two remaining, would any members like to-
Mr. SMITH. Just very briefly. One point which is important, and
Bob alluded to this earlier. We don't want to see the sanctions in
place any longer than they absolutely have to be because it seems
to impoverish the people. If for some reason they were to be lifted
prior to-I know the accord does not call for that, prior to the ac-
tual implementation in the takeover by President Aristide or the-
his reemergence, do you think that would be helpful?
Again, with each day that goes by, there is further impoverish-
ment and people go further and further into despair.
Mr. KENNEDY. I for one would think it would be a major mistake
if this was not signed off by President Aristide himself. I could see
certain circumstances under which President Aristide might feel
comfortable in moving up the schedule for the elimination of the
sanctions, but without his blessing, I think it would be a terrible
Mr. SMITH. I am not suggesting it be done unilaterally.
Mr. TORRICELLI. We have under 3 minutes. Mr. Kennedy, Mr.
Shaw, thank you very much for being with us. When the committee
returns, we will hear from Ambassador Pezzullo who will please
come forward. The committee recesses for a few minutes.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Will everyone please take their seats, the com-
mittee would come to order.
Ambassador Pezzullo, welcome.
STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR LAWRENCE PEZZULLO, SPE-
CIAL ADVISOR ON HAITI, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, ACCOM-
PANIED BY TERRY RUSCH AND DAVID COHEN, DIRECTOR OF
AID MISSION IN PORT-AU-PRINCE
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Thank you.
Mr. TORRICELLI. We are all enormously proud of the work you
have done. You have brought great honor upon the Government of
the United States, having been a positive force at a desperate mo-
ment in the life of the Haitian people.
It is of no small credit that President Clinton had the vision and
the commitment to assure that he found a person of great skill and
commitment who would bring this to a proper conclusion. That
credit is of course shared with a man who gave his own efforts to
have this day reached.
So we welcome you and we congratulate you and we are grateful
to you for the service that you have given. With that, if you would,
share with us your thoughts.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the kind
words. And if I could in behalf of Envoy Dante Caputo who is not
here, I would like to thank you too. He shares most of the credit
for this, and I think history will show it was on his part an effort
of a magnitude rarely seen in multilateral diplomacy.
Let me make a short statement, Mr. Chairman. I have made a
report to you which you can read at your leisure. Let me just re-
view some of the issues and be glad to take any questions you
When this administration, the Clinton administration, came into
office, the President stated early in that administration that he
would seek to restore democracy to Haiti to save human lives and
establish a system of fair treatment for refugees.
Shortly after that, in fact in early March, he had a meeting with
President Aristide which was an historic meeting held in the Oval
Office at which he made a strong personal commitment to the
President that he wanted to see the restoration of democracy, the
restoration of President Aristide in power, and that he would do
what he could as the leader of the United States to support this
UN/OAS effort of negotiation.
He said further at that time that I was brought aboard to help
coordinate U.S. efforts to bring this about. Following that, I began
working very intimately with Envoy Caputo and with both parties
to see what room there was to bring about a settlement.
I must say at that point if you were a betting man, there were
very few who would wager that we wou;d be here today talking
about an agreement on Governor's Island and an agreement among
parliamentarians and political parties to pave the way for the re-
turn to constitutional government.
We began then the beginning of the negotiations dealing with
both parties, and one of the things that emerged early was a con-
cern on both sides they stated in different ways, but it was a con-
cern about the environment, the guarantees very often was used as
a word, how do we assure ourselves that when the process begins,
that somehow violence from either side will not mar this effort to
return, the fundamental issue.
And we dealt with that as best we could, and our conviction was,
you needed something on the ground in the way of a presence, an
international presence, both with the police and the military, to
give assurance. We used the term dissuasive presence. That was to
say, people who would be there to work with the Haitian military,
Haitian police to build a sense of confidence that the process of
transition we were going through would be accompanied by the
We drew up a program for that in mid-May which neither party
found capable of agreeing to, although in substance both accepted
it. It was the format for the concept that they found difficult to deal
with. We were particularly vexed by the fact that the military, who
had been telling us that this had to be a precondition, turned it
We began then to feel that the only way to get them to take seri-
ously the negotiated process was to increase sanctions. Now, you
will remember that sanctions were put in place by the OAS the
year before. These were voluntary sanctions. We now felt we had
to go further.
So we began mounting a program of stricter sanctions and it
began on June 4 with President Clinton unilaterally announcing
that he would bar entry and freeze assets of individuals in the de
facto regime and within the military establishment. We had frozen
the assets of the country the year before, and that he would seek
a greater compliance with the OAS sanctions which were vol-
untary, but we had the sense that they weren't stringent enough,
and finally, that he would consult with the U.N. and member
states to look for what would be unprecedented U.N. sanctions
through the Security Council to make even firmer the-our concern
of bringing the de factos, the military to the bargaining table.
In all of this process it was made clear to all sides that the pur-
pose for the sanctions was to begin the negotiations, to bring people
to the table. The old analogy about the farmer, you recall, beating
the donkey on the head with the 2-by-4 and being stopped by some-
body who said, you are going to kill that animal, and his point was,
I am not trying to kill him; I am trying get his attention.
Well, the sanctions were very much that 2-by-4 and we did get
their attention and they did come to the table. And they finally
agreed to meet on a face-to-face basis with the members of the
Aristide team, and after some debate as to where and when, we
ended up on Governor's Island, and never having been a New York-
er, I had never been there before, but I might say it is a delightful
spot and it is the only place in Manhattan if you ever get in a quiz
that has a golf course, only golf course in Manhattan, even though
it is not part of that, and we spent time with both delegations and
finally agreed on what I think is an unprecedented agreement,
which lists 10 steps for the return of Aristide.
The first step is the, what we took care of last week in New
York, was to get the parliamentary, members of the major par-
liamentary delegations and members of the major political blocs to
agree to a process of returning the parliament, using the par-
liament to return to constitutional government, deal with the elec-
tions, the illegal elections of January 18, 1993, and agree to a polit-
ical truce period so that the new government would come into
being with a parliament of diverse factions supporting reconcili-
The next step, the next series of steps are as follows: The naming
of a prime minister by the President with now the parliamentary
situation ready to accept that and confirm that prime minister.
That brings into being the new constitutional government, opens
up the possibility of foreign assistance, and allows the Aristide gov-
ernment to put its own government in place and deal with some
of the concerns it has about human rights, about programming and
On the entry into office of that prime minister, the sanctions are
suspended. This by the way is unprecedented in the U.N. system.
They either lift or impose sanctions. Under this agreement, they
suspend them with the idea in mind of keeping them in abeyance
should the process of reconciliation and return of constitutional
government falter, and part of my testimony includes a letter, a
verification letter from Envoy Caputo indicating exactly what he
will be doing reporting every month and keeping a very close eye
on the comportment of the parties as we go through this process.
So in effect the sanctions sit up there as a Damocles sword and
can drop any time if there is noncompliance. The next step as I
say, prime minister, sanctions suspended, amnesty granted of some
form still to be devised.
Then we begin to get into the programmatic side of things. The
foreign assistance comes in, job creation, social development pro-
grams, programs to just get the economy moving. It is in desperate
straits. David Cohen, who is with me, who is the director in-of
AID in Port-au-Prince could give you some idea of that if you would
The new police force is consummated in law. That is to say, they
passed a law creating the new independent police force which then
permits the President to name a new chief of police. Actually they
call him commander in chief of the police. The current police chief
steps down and we begin the process of developing a new civilian
police force which will take time, which will take 3 or 4 or 5 years,
but it begins then.
Then after that, General Cedras will retire. When he retires, the
President will name a new commander in chief who in turn will ap-
point a new general staff. So the current general staff, Cedras,
leave the scene, and then on October 30, Aristide returns.
The whole thing was devised so you would have prudent periods
of a government getting itself into governing, getting its legs under
it in effect, dampening down the concerns of people, the police and
military forces in the country beginning to act as a presence which
helps people develop more confidence in the process, and then
when Aristide comes back, this process has been detrained.
He has got his own military commanders in place, he has got his
own police chief in place. It is his cabinet, programs are begun and
hopefully making some impact.
The OAS and U.N. under Envoy Caputo, who will be in the coun-
try during this period, will be keeping an eye on this all the way
along. The human rights issue, which is of concern to everybody,
is being attended to by the InterAmerican-the International Civil-
ian Mission which, incidentally, is a unique institution created for
Haiti at the behest of both parties and with agreement by both par-
I think it is the only institution developed by the international
community which has people all through a country monitoring per-
formance daily, 160 people, highly trained, very professionally led.
The deputy is the former Secretary General of Amnesty Inter-
national, people who are very vigilant to conditions and will be re-
porting through Envoy Caputo on performance as we go through
The international community separate from this has been mak-
ing its plans on building up programs that will move in quickly fol-
lowing the return of constitutional government. On our side we
have reprogrammed $37.5 million from other programs because
1995 had very little money in it for Haiti so we had to, in effect,
grab it out of other programs.
This money will be used to do a series of things, a large portion
of it, $10 million, to pay for the International Civilian Mission. For
arrears clearance $12.5 million or something in that neighborhood
and some of the early impact social development programs we are
Another $4 million for the beginning of an administration of jus-
tice program, very needed. It is a companion piece to the police, the
creation of a new police force; $2.4 million for the beginning of the
military program which would include CB trainers and engineered
groups, and then minor portions for police and other things.
Let me finally say, Mr. Chairman, that the international commu-
nity, I think, has done a job which is unparalleled. In this case it
has helped to put together, if you will, a plan, a blueprint that is
going to supply most of the material to make that blueprint a re-
It is going to include technical assistance to help with the build-
ing of the structure, but ultimately the Haitians have to construct
it. The Haitians have to make it live and the Haitians have to
make it work. We all see that.
I think the Haitian parties on all sides have shown remarkable
leadership. This is a country that has had very little experience in
the give and take of a democratic system, and certainly in a nego-
tiation as difficult as this, and I think we all respect the concerns
they have on all sides, but we see now a period in which construc-
tive action has to be taken by them with the accompaniment, sup-
port and oversight of the international community.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Thank you Ambassador, very much.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Pezzullo appears in the
Mr. TORRICELLI. What is the timing that we can expect from
President Aristide in the naming of a prime minister?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well that could happen momentarily.
That really is a decision he could make at any moment he feels he
is comfortable with the person he would like to appoint.
Mr. TORRICELLI. He doesn't have the power to continue the em-
bargo until a prime minister is named, creating a rather extraor-
dinary situation where he can unilaterally keep the international
community in an embargo status.
Is there a point at which not naming a prime minister becomes
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, I wouldn't want to infer any bad
faith on the President. I think he sees this as an issue of impor-
tance to him. I think he sees the importance of moving quickly, so
I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that there is any bad faith on his
Mr. TORRICELLI. Would you jump to that conclusion if there isn't
a prime minister named in a month?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. I think that would be an unusual cir-
cumstance and I don't think that is in his-
Mr. TORRICELLI. So if there is not a prime minister named in a
month, would you find it unusual?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, that is a word.
Mr. TORRICELLI. It is. Is it yours?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. It is certainly not what was planned or
what was signed onto in Governor's Island.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Suppose there is not a prime minister in a
month, would you consider it outside of the scope of the sense of
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, it would certainly not be in keeping
with the pace of the events that were contemplated. And let me
just say on the side of the conditions on the ground, I am not living
in Port-au-Prince as David is now, but all the reports we get are
that the sanctions are cutting in very deeply.
The situation in Haiti before the sanctions was not great, and
there is a concern about the effect on it and on a very debilitated
economy. After all, what we are trying to do-
Mr. TORRICELLI. That is why I am raising the point. While dis-
cussions go on about a potential prime minister, we have got people
in desperate circumstances with the continuing threat of con-
tagious disease. This can not go on forever.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, you know, the Secretary on-I
think it was on Monday, made a press statement talking about the
urgency of moving forward, and advised that the President move
on this issue as quickly as possible.
I think it is in the minds of many people that this is the urgent
next step and I would hope we would see it forthcoming very soon.
Mr. TORRICELLI. From observing the process thus far, does it ap-
pear that President Aristide is engaged in the kind of broad-based
discussions in Haiti that would lead one to believe that this choice
of a prime minister is both forthcoming and, more importantly,
genuinely representative of different segments of the society?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. I think he is very sensitive to the quality
of the prime minister, because the demands on the new govern-
ment are going to be enormous and I think he is very sensitive to
that and will be looking for somebody not only with the stature to
perform the job, but also someone who is accepted by other seg-
ments in society, and I think that is the kind of person or person
with those qualities will be selected.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Tell me the scale of the amnesty that you ex-
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, the amnesty being discussed is
something that revolves around a provision in the constitution, Ar-
ticle 147, that permits the President to grant amnesty to people
who have committed political crimes.
There was also a discussion earlier and certainly at Governor's
Island about congressional-as the parliamentary body considering
an amnesty law which would flesh out even further some of the
We, on the international side, the United States and certainly
Caputo on the UN/OAS side, have never gone further in this than
to reflect what seems to be an interest of the parties. We have not
gotten into cases or issues as to what these-
Mr. TORRICELLI. But when President Aristide does issue an am-
nesty, I would like to measure it against what your current expec-
tations would be, having participated in discussions in Governor's
I am not asking you to review specific cases or names certainly,
but tell me the scale of the amnesty that you would expect to be
within the spirit of those discussions on Governor's Island.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, that is a hard one to answer be-
cause the-really the quality of the amnesty really has to be re-
sponsive to what the Haitians think is necessary within this con-
As you know, there have been a series of countries, especially in
Latin America, that have gone through periods of military rule and
then have gone back into civilian rule, and you find very little par-
allelism between what happened in Chile or what happened in Ar-
gentina or Uruguay or Brazil.
Each of them dealt with this issue in different ways and my sus-
picion is the Haitians will deal with it in a way that the Haitians
can live with. We are not-
Mr. TORRICELLI. This is all, of course, why you chose to become
a diplomat. We understand-I understand the setting, but the dis-
cussions in Governor's Island, did they not center on-or raise any
level of expectation about how broad this amnesty might be?
Are we talking about acts committed only during the coup, for a
period of time after the coup, only of a political nature? I can keep
defining this 50 different ways if I think it is going to be produc-
Ambassador PEZZULLO. You are doing very well.
Mr. TORRICELLI. So far I don't have anything. I am not doing
well at all.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. The fact of the matter is, this particular
issue was not one of the central issues of discussion. It was just
accepted as something that had to be done, the details of which
were not discussed at Governor's Island in any length at all.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Let me ask you then, having failed on that,
about the international force, what can you now tell us about the
size and composition of a potential international force?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, let me break it down into portions
because I think it has gotten confused in the public mind. What we
are talking about on the police side, for example, is a force that
would go in and-force is probably the wrong designation of it, but
personnel that would go in, civilian policemen from countries that
would supply them, who would go in and work side-by-side with
current units for a period of time, maybe a year, maybe a year-and-
a-half, in the role of training, accompanying and monitoring the ac-
tivities of those police.
Separately there would be the beginning of the new civilian po-
lice force, which would begin almost simultaneously, but as a much
longer program that will take 3, 4, 5 years depending upon how
quickly they can put it together. So that is the police side.
On the military side, what is being contemplated is the entry
into a-first, a battalion of engineers basically. These would be peo-
ple, CB's and similar units from other countries, that would be
working on barracks, rehabilitating dispensaries which are in bad
shape, beginning the training of some of the local military into the
role we hope they will assume, which is basically an engineer type
civic action role.
Mr. TORRICELLI. But it is accepted from Governor's Island discus-
sions that the military will be removed from all civil police authori-
ties? Is that accepted?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. You are going to develop a new civilian
Mr. TORRICELLI. Yes, to assume this new role. So the traditional
military establishment will be permanently out of the business-
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Correct.
Mr. TORRICELLI [continuing]. of exercising police powers?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Correct. Correct.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Now, this new force that is going to train will
also accompany on patrol police units in this interim period?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Just understand, the day the new gov-
ernment, the new constitutional government declares and gets a
law through parliament creating this new civilian police force and
appoints its own police chief, you will still have on the ground what
you have now, namely some military performing police functions
and some military performing military functions.
That transition into this new police force, the details of which
still have to be worked out, will eventually give you over time a ci-
vilian police force under the ministry of justice, a much reduced
military because the military now is in large part performing police
functions, and something occurring to the personnel currently
doing either police or military functions.
Some of them, if they have the qualifications, can be absorbed in
either of the two units.
Mr. TORRICELLI. I assume some of the current military personnel
will end up being in the new police force.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. If they show the qualifications, certainly.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Now, is 500 still an accurate number of how
many international trainers, accompaniers there are likely to be?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. On the police side?
Mr. TORRICELLI. Yes.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. That is the figure it may yet be difficult
to get to.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Will there be Americans?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. There will be very few Americans. There
will be mostly I think Canadians and French and other French-
Mr. TORRICELLI. So you are putting a premium on people who
are French speaking?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Yes.
Mr. TORRICELLI. We can donate Mr. Oberstar. They got 499 to go.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Am-
bassador, I want to join the Chairman congratulating you on your
tenacity and skill in helping to bring about this very favorable con-
A couple of questions I would like to pose to you. Upon his return
to Haiti, General Cedras reportedly stated on Haitian television, "I
have not accepted and will not accept that one single member of
the Army be removed."
Have you been able to get an assessment of how the Army over
these next few weeks and months will accept this accord. Was the
General speaking without question on behalf of that element?
We all recall that one of the justifications offered at the time of
the coup was that President Aristide was, "Meddling in the affairs
of the military."
Does he speak for them?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, I think the quote may refer more
to his concerns about military cohesion during this period. I think
it is fair to say that the military that came to Governor's Island
still had divisions within it, and it mirrored the divisions back
home, and those divisions ultimately were abridged, and they
agreed to an accord which makes them, if everything works as we
hope it will, dependent upon or dependent to civilian authority.
They will have a different position than they have now. That
issue is probably the one he was addressing when he went back.
Ultimately they will have to accept this and that is why the inter-
national community wants to accompany this process. That is why
the military development programs.
There is no great love on the part of any country to get into mili-
tary professionalization programs anywhere. It is not a popular
kind of program, and you know certainly if we came up on the Hill
for money, there aren't going to be too much money for spending
advocates on military professionalization.
In this case, it is an urgency because the military in Haiti have
been playing a role which is not a military role. It is basically a
political role, and the idea is to get them to start seeing a military
role, which is basically compatible with what Haiti needs, which is
a military that is doing civic action, engineering kind of work, not
meddling in politics, and loyal to civilian authority.
We are in the transition period and people will posture during
transitions simply to protect their own flanks, but we will see. Our
conviction is he will be loyal to the accords and some of the other
statements he made.
I read one just this morning, was very positive. He talked about
reconciliation, he talked about the need to move forward and be
loyal to what they have signed, and we will hold them to his word
and his actions.
Mr. SMITH. What is the assessment of the administration as to
how the 7,000 member military could shrink? What would you con-
sider to be a credible number for the size of the military?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, the 7,000, as I think I mentioned
before, are really, when you look at it carefully, you probably have
5,000 doing police work, what we would call police work, and 2,000
doing military work.
Now, if you build a police force, which is what is contemplated,
which will be maybe 5,000 or 6,000 civilian police under the min-
istry of justice, that leaves you with a force of maybe 2,000 or
thereabouts that might be constituted into a new military, and the
new military that in very general terms has been discussed would
be a military that I basically, as I say, has civic action engineering
capability, some border patrol, some search and rescue capability
and disaster capability and some sea patrol.
Mr. SMITH. A national guard is what you are saying?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Very close to a national guard and a bor-
der patrol, and that could be much reduced, somewhere in the vi-
cinity of 1,500 to 2,000 people, but that issue, Mr. Congressman,
is not an issue the international community is either in a position
to take or wants to take.
I mean ultimately the President, the members of his general
staff, and the people who will determine where priorities go, which
is what government is all about, will have to determine how much
they want to spend for military and how much they can afford as
a country and how much they can afford for the police force.
So these become budgetary issues that will be worked out, hope-
fully in a setting where the military see themselves as subordinate
to civilian authority.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Ambassador, you have testified that the adminis-
tration is planning some quick disbursing technology, high impact
generation and job creation possibilities. Infrastructure is what you
Are there any numbers as to how much financial commitment
this might entail? Would that commitment be part of the pro-
Ambassador PEZZULLO. That is part of this $37.5 million, but let
me have David Cohen touch on some of the details.
Mr. SMITH. Could you identify yourself, please?
Mr. COHEN. I could. I am David Cohen, director of the AID mis-
sion in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Essentially we have a four-part pro-
gram that at its maximum over a period of 1 year, will employ ap-
proximately 163,000 people on an average of 60 days apiece.
Most of that will happen through Haitian nongovernmental orga-
nizations and U.S. private and voluntary organizations. The largest
element would be under the Pan American Development Founda-
tion. These would be very labor intensive things.
Our target would be to have 70 percent of the cost of any project
be the labor that goes into it. It would be mostly in refurbishing
economic infrastructure, filling potholes, cleaning irrigation and
drainage canals, stopping erosion along river banks and roads.
A late part of the program that would be financed from local cur-
rency generations that would come from a P.L. 480 program. This
would probably go through the Government of Haiti's ministry of
public works for similar kind of projects that the reestablished con-
stitutional government itself would conduct, perhaps in some part,
through contacts with Haiti's private sector.
Mr. SMITH. In an effort to refocusing the military's agenda to-
ward working of projects, is that money available for some of that
7,000 member force to reconstruct the infrastructure and-
Mr. COHEN. No. That would be just as I spoke. The military civic
action would be something separate.
Mr. SMITH. That would be separate, OK. I had some additional
questions, since there are many members here, that I would submit
for the record.
In closing I would just like to say that there is somewhat of a
remarkable sameness and consistency with both the Bush and the
Clinton administrations approaches. I remember again when Presi-
dent Aristide was ousted, he was immediately embraced by Presi-
dent Bush and both the Members of the House and the Senate,
Democrat and Republican.
There was a sense that this coup cannot be permitted to remain
in place, that there needed to be consistent and comprehensive
pressure to bring back democracy to Haiti, and even when tem-
porary protective status was raised-the controversy that that en-
tailed-Mr. Clinton borrowed the policy of Mr. Bush.
As a matter of fact, I know that is a sore point with many mem-
bers who have followed Haiti. In your view, now looking back at
the Governors Island Accord, was it at all helpful that that policy
was implemented by Mr. Clinton, or did it have no influence?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. You mean the refugee policy?
Mr. SMITH. The refugee policy, exactly.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. It didn't influence me, but--
Mr. SMITH. No. I meant did it influence the outcome of the Ac-
cord? Some suggested that if the magnet had remained in place,
the agreement would not have come to fruition. It is speculation of
course, but I would appreciate your measured judgment.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, you know, the group that was the
toughest getting to the table were the military.
Mr. SMITH. Right.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. And actually the refugee issue was not
affecting them. So I don't see it as an issue that was driving this
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Menendez.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ambassador, let me join first with the Chairman and congratu-
late you. This is a business in which we are quick to criticize and
slow to recognize the efforts of people who do extraordinary things
and certainly an agreement that hopefully lives up to its expecta-
tions will be an extraordinary accomplishment.
In your opinion, would you say that it is fair to say that the ulti-
mate increments of the sanctions and the embargo brought the
military coup leaders to the negotiating table?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. They brought the military to the nego-
tiating table. I don't think there is any question.
Mr. MENENDEZ. And in that respect, I noticed in Mr. Rangel's
prepared statement that he said-he referenced that for more than
15 months, our-referring to the United States, "half-hearted policy
of supporting an OAS embargo, failed to persuade even our allies
in Latin America, Africa and Europe from shipping embargoed oil
and other goods to Haiti."
In fact, we ourselves had created the largest single hole in the
embargo by exempting goods assembled in Haiti from American
Could we have acted? Had we acted more decisively earlier on,
could we have reached the same conclusions that we reached today
had we acted more decisively in being more supportive of the
stronger sanctions and embargoes that ultimately brought the coup
leaders to the negotiating table?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. I really don't know the answer to that.
Sometimes circumstances have to reach a certain maturity. I think
the original sanctions were seen as a means of bringing a conclu-
You recall there were OAS negotiations conducted by the OAS
for some time which reached some level of agreement but never to
a point as far as we have come. I just don't know.
Sanctions, as you know, are a blunt instrument. We talk about
them quite often as if they are a-you know, a scalpel. They aren't.
They are a bludgeon, and once you use them, the psychological ef-
fect is as important, sometime, as the effect on the ground.
Unquestionably the OAS sanctions which were slow to take ef-
fect, had a lasting effect and had an effect on what we did later
on. In other words, you were building on a country that already
had sanctions in place and already were starting to feel that, and
the added pressure brought it to a point where you could move for-
So in terms of the history of it all, I don't know how you can an-
swer that other than to say I think efforts were made to deal with
the problem early. I think the Congressman is right. This was not
something the United States turned its back on by the other ad-
Sometimes issues have to reach a point where you really can
deal with them, and within the timeframe of what we are talking
about, even though it seemed very long for the Aristide camp and
I can understand that, he has mentioned it to me, in historic terms,
what has happened here is a very short period of time in terms of
the transformation of a country that has been overthrown and
taken over by a military.
If you had Chileans or Argentinians sitting here, they would
make that clear to you. This is a very short timeframe and if we
bring it off, it will be an historic event.
Mr. MENENDEZ. What do you see as the key points in the agree-
ment that could be-that could create difficulties in terms whether
of it might break down-what then do you see as our recourses in
terms of getting it back on track?
And in giving us that response, could you refer some-I forget
who here, whether it was some of the former panelists or someone
else who suggested that-or maybe Mr. Smith asked the question-
of raising the sanctions earlier what do you think about that in the
context of making sure that this agreement ultimately is lived up
Ambassador PEZZULLO: Well, I think the crucial issue, quite
apart from the steps and where you might stumble along, is how
much, to use a word, how much reconciliation is built into this
As I tried to say in my last point, the international community
can do an awful lot, and I think it has done an awful lot, but rec-
onciliation has to be a national phenomena. Leadership there has
to say, this is the time for Haitians to work together. No matter
what the past, whatever happened, some means has to be found to
bring national reconciliation.
With that, none of these issues become problematic.
If you don't have that, then each one of these become trials.
Every move from one step to another, every change of leadership,
or the entry into force of a new prime minister who is not seen by
the Haitian people as the leader of the country, no matter what his
position is officially, if he is not seen as that and he doesn't rep-
resent a new stage in Haitian history, is going to be problematic,
and societies have great ways of eroding these things simply by in-
Not a major step, but it is not one of the more difficult steps, but
it is a reality. That prime minister has to take office and start to
show results and people have to say hurrah, a new age is born.
If they don't feel that, then you are going to get negative reaction
about, have we done anything really creative for the country. And
that, as I say, is one of the lesser of the danger points. I think the
real danger points become some of the changes in the military com-
mand, whether the military command at that point and the mili-
tary in general sense that the institution, as they would put it, still
will survive, and that has to be nurtured and they have to have
a sense that even though the commanders will go, that there will
be a career in the military for some of them, those who want to
be loyal to an institution responsive to civilian authority.
If they feel that and it is nurtured, as I say, through the rec-
onciliation within the society, that will pass without problem. If
there is a fear, which is the very thing we were concerned about,
this fear level, then you have got a problem in the making.
So as I said at the beginning of this statement, I think reconcili-
ation is at the core of it. We can do our part, we can talk the
words, but the Haitian society has to begin living the concept and
the leaders in Haiti have to make a decided effort to make this a
Then these things can happen with a limited amount of problem.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Oberstar.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Ambassador,
[speaking French]. You were a loaded mule, in the Haitian expres-
sion, and you carried off your burden very well, exceedingly well.
Mr. TORRICELLI. I hope it has a better image in French than it
does in English.
Mr. OBERSTAR. It means he is carrying a very strong, people are
carrying a very heavy load. But my sense of this agreement is that
without military presence and an international force, you have ar-
ranged a shotgun marriage, and without military presence keeping
both sides from each other, protecting them from each other, it isn't
going to work.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, if it is a marriage where neither
party wants to consummate, you are right, but I would disagree
with you that it is going to be whatever you want to call it, a mili-
tary presence or a police presence alone that is going to make this
I mean, you know the society, Mr. Congressman, better than I
do, and you know how quickly people in a society like that where
reality is very often mixed up with other senses of what is going
on, where if the confidence level isn't in the direction of it is going
to work, it won't work.
And I don't want to make allusions to other areas, but you know
how quickly forces that come in for one purpose, suddenly you are
seen as the enemy. It is a very dangerous reality. Since you talk
about shotgun weddings, you know yourself that in disputes be-
tween husband and wife, sometimes the interloper who comes in
and tries to help becomes the target of the ire of both sides.
You don't want that to happen. That is why we put a lot of-I
put a lot of stake on the Haitians having to make this work, be-
cause otherwise it is going to be seen as something we can deliver
like a loaf of bread or something, and that is a terribly mistaken
They really have got to take responsibility for this.
Mr. OBERSTAR. I agree with you, but to make it work at the out-
set, there has got to be an international presence.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. I agree with you. I agree with you.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you. That is all I have.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Ambassador, we are going to have to sus-
pend for a few moments. If you forgive us, we will be back prompt-
ly. The committee is in recess.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Committee will come to order. Ms. McKinney,
Ms. McKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Ambassador, you know that I have a very strong interest in
the process of national reconciliation, and again, tend myself to as-
sist in whatever way I might be able to in helping the two Haitis
become a unified country.
I have a couple of questions-actually I have a lot of questions.
You know that one of my concerns also is in making sure that
those people who participated in the coup and who led the coup are
not the recipients of U.S. assistance.
So I would like to know what are the assurances that we have
that will not take place according to this agreement.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, let me just define and David can
help me in pinpointing a little bit more our assistance.
We, as I mentioned before, we have asked for $37.5 million to be
reprogrammed. $10 million going to the international-I mean the
international commission-civilian mission, which is the human
rights monitoring organization, that is $10 million; $4 million will
go to a program which begins the creation of a ministry of justice.
It is the $12.5 million-is this right, David, goes to arrears clear-
ance and to these early development and job creation programs.
Mr. COHEN. I believe it is about $12 million.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Twelve million dollars. If I am not mis-
taken, $2.4 million is for the military program which is the Seabees
and the beginning of the military training. This is all by the way
1993 money, that doesn't add up to $37 million. Four million for
police training. Does that add up to $37.5 million? It should-wait
a second. I have got it. Here we go.
Ten million dollars for the ICM, the International Civilian Mis-
sion; $1.75 which will be for arrears clearance and stabilization
programs, including these job creation programs. Three million dol-
lars for the administration of justice, $4 million to begin the police
creation program, and then $2.4-$2.4 million on the military.
That is it.
So the $10 million goes to the ICM. It has nothing to do with
people in the administration. The arrears clearance certainly
doesn't have anything to do with them. Job creation won't have
anything to do with them. The administration of justice has noth-
ing to do with them. The police creation program is a program
whereby you will be recruiting policemen, candidates from wher-
ever, conceivably also from the current police force or military/po-
lice force and other candidates who will be screened by the Haitian
Government, by the new minister of justice and whatever group of
people he puts around him to screen these people, and they will go
into a police program.
The military professionalization program and the CB's, contract
will be doing construction work, building some clinics and building
some barracks. That is what their job is, and the military
professionalization program will begin to put in place the proce-
dures to do the military professionalization.
A lot of the early stuff will be putting in language labs and that
type thing, and they will be dealing with the young soldiers in the
Now, if within the new government as it comes in, there is a
movement to deal with those people they feel deserve some process-
ing because of acts they committed, that would be something they
would do. Naturally they would either be out of the military or be
put into separate classes that we would not be dealing with. But
we have no interest in doing anything but what I mentioned here.
Ms. McKINNEY. So did I hear you correctly that there will be
screening of the individuals who will participate in both military
and the police programs to make sure that those individuals did
not participate in human rights abuses?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. I said that the people who would be se-
lected for candidacy in the new police would be screened by the
Haitians, by the new Haitian Government.
I assume in the screening they would be sensitive to just what
you are talking about. The people in the military who are guilty
of abuses, I would assume, would either fall under some justice
provision or be granted amnesty by the Government of Haiti, the
new Government of Haiti and that issue would be resolved as well.
Ms. McKINNEY. In the agreement, there is a statement that says
that the legislature might implement other instruments dealing
with amnesty. Could you describe what that-what those other in-
struments might be?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. I think we went round and round with
the Chairman on this one. Those were instruments that the legisla-
ture, the parliament of Haiti would have to determine.
Ms. McKINNEY. Could you answer a question for me about the
legitimacy of the parliament? Did you make reference to that ear-
Ambassador PEZZULLO. No, but I will answer your question.
Ms. McKINNEY. OK.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. What is the question?
Ms. McKINNEY. Well, the question is, the present parliament, is
that a legitimate parliament?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, let me put it in context. On the
18th of January this year an election was held. It was considered
illegitimate, illegal by the international community.
Those people took office because it was under a de facto regime.
In New York last week, the pact that was signed by the par-
liamentarians and members of all the political parties dealt with
that specific issue.
That is to say, how can you back the constitutional government
dealing with these people who are elected illegally and the fact that
you had two presidents of each chamber which isn't the normal.
That even is more complex than our Congress, two presidents of
each chamber. So what was agreed to was that the
Mr. TORRICELLI. It would be easy to get help for contempt of Con-
gress before the committee.
Mr. SMITH. There is no penalty for that.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Go to the line.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. The parliamentarians, the senators elect-
ed in January 18 voluntarily agreed to step down and to not take
part in any more parliamentary activity having to do either with
the ratification of the new prime minister or any other parliamen-
tary action subject to their case being studied by a reconciliation
commission, which is part of the Constitution of Haiti, which is
staffed primarily by people that will be selected by President
So it is a precondition practically that that conciliation commis-
sion will find those legislators having been elected in an illegal
election and that will end that episode. So that episode nicely was
handled by the parliamentarians and the political parties in New
So it is no longer an issue. What is an issue now is the-are the
rest of the parliamentarians who are legally organizing themselves
to ratify a new prime minister as soon as the President selects one.
Ms. McKINNEY. Who in the U.S. Government will be responsible
for administering and overseeing the AID?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, you know AID is a process that
goes through several reviews and approvals. The actual implemen-
ter of the program is sitting right next to me. He runs the AID pro-
gram in Port-au-Prince.
The development of the funding and so on is usually a Washing-
ton phenomena which people contribute to, but David here would
be responsible for the programmatic content and the implementa-
tion of those programs.
Ms. McKINNEY. And so who would be the appropriate person if
we were interested in oversight of those activities for people?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. In Port-au-Prince it would be David. In
Washington it would be the office that oversees the Haitian pro-
grams in AID.
Ms. McKINNEY. OK And can Congress receive specific notifica-
tion when the U.S. money is about to be released for the specific
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, let me tell you where we are in this
issue. Since this was reprogrammed money, we put before the Con-
gress some months ago a proposal signed by the President to allow
the money to be used in Haiti because it came from other pro-
grams, and it was specified and broken down along the lines of the
list I just gave you.
We asked Congress, because of the urgency of getting money for
the ICM mission, that they proceed quickly in approving that. The
rest of it is before the Congress right now for their approval. It sits
on the-it sits in the Congress and if there are no objections, then
the programs can go forward.
Then David gives me a note here that all programs are individ-
ual notified, in addition to what, David?
Mr. COHEN. In addition to the Section 614 determination which
was the initial notification to the Congress.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. So Congress is informed of the program
in addition to the original request for reprogramming and the abil-
ity to use these funds in Haiti. When we began this, you recall, this
was a de facto country and the problem was to get waivers for ex-
penditure of any funds, and we were expending funds for the ICM
mission during the de facto period.
The minute the new constitutional government comes in, then a
great many of the restrictions drop off. But if you are interested,
Ms. Congressman, in any of the information about AID, I think Mr.
Cohen or people in AID would be glad to keep you fully informed.
Ms. McKiNNEY. Thank you.
Could you talk to me or tell me a little bit about the sanctions
and the steps that will be taken should there be a need for reim-
position of sanctions?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. The sanctions are of three natures. One
group of the sanctions that were imposed by the OAS, as I men-
tioned, those were voluntary. They go back a ways, and then the
second group of sanctions were imposed under the Security Council
of the United Nations. Those sanctions differ somewhat, but all of
them now are subject to the Governor's Island agreement.
The Governor's Island agreement specifies clearly that following
the confirmation of the new prime minister and-by a legally con-
stituted parliament, which is in transition now, and his assumption
of office, suspension on the initiative of the National Security--Sec-
retary General will occur, suspension of the sanctions.
Now, once that occurs, the sanctions are lifted and then they be-
come overseen by the special envoy selected by both the OAS and
the U.N. and you have in the papers I submitted a letter that he
presented to the President, President Aristide following on the Gov-
ernor's Island accord in which he talks about the issues that would
be viewed by him and the concerns he would have relative to the
completion of the accords by both sides.
Mr. PEZZULLO. And it is mentioned here that I shall report regu-
larly to the two Secretaries General. OAS and U.N., for their part,
will submit at least once a month their own reports to the appro-
priate political bodies of the two organizations. Their reports to
Secretaries General will formulate all such recommendations as
they deem necessary for insuring the comprehensive implementa-
tion of the agreement of Governors Island. So what you have is a
suspension, which I mentioned earlier, is an unusual act to take.
Usually sanctions are either imposed or lifted. They are being
suspended in this case, subject to performance by both parties in
implementing the Governors Island agreement.
Ms. McKINNEY. And what is the role of human rights violations
in the determination whether sanctions should be lifted or reim-
Mr. PEZZULLO. Let me read the section on that. In terms of
human rights, the arrangements already agreed upon with the two
parties for the establishment and operation of the International Ci-
vilian Mission of the United Nations and the Organization of Amer-
ican States will remain in effect and will be fully and rapidly im-
The Executive Director of the International Civilian Mission will
report on a regular basis to the special envoy. I shall include the
substance of these reports in the reports that I myself submit at
I may add on this that the Director of the ICM is submitting a
report which I will make available to the committee. I don't have
it. I thought I would have it today, but I will submit it for your
reading which reports on the events that occurred between the
time the Governors Island accord was signed and today. And you
can receive those on an ongoing basis.
Ms. McKNNEY. Well, that is good. We would hope to be able to
do that. I do have some concern, though, about those intervening
events and, in your opinion, would the continued existence of
human rights violations that occur today be enough reason for the
sanctions not to be lifted?
Mr. PEZZULLO. As I mentioned earlier, the ICM is an unusual or-
ganization. There is nothing comparable to the ICM anywhere in
the world for monitoring on a daily basis the performance of var-
ious institutions and people in Haiti. Their reporting-which is
very professional, and run by people who have good records, excel-
lent records in this field-indicate that the level of violation has
not increased. That doesn't mean that there aren't violations, but
that does not increase. You do not have a record of upturns in the
They are very sensitive to the issue you are talking about. It is
what they are there for. Now, there is a phenomenon here which
professionals have to be very careful of that you don't take one inci-
dent and draw it out of context and make it sound more-either
more violent than it would seem or give it importance which would
stretch it. So the international ICM will be reporting, Dante
Caputo as the overseer of this will be reporting to the Secretary
General and assuring that human rights are obeyed or that their
performance is increasingly improving.
Key to this, remember, is the entry into force of the new constitu-
tional government. The new constitutional government, with its
own Prime Minister with its capacity to begin legislating things
and overseeing conditions becomes a very important new factor in
this whole mix. The entry into the country of these police and mili-
tary monitors, trainers, engineers is also an important thing. That
is why we have been so eager to see these people get in early. So
all of these are factors, here. Nothing should be seen isolated one
from the other. But the minute these programs can begin, the po-
lice training, building up the administration of justice, getting po-
lice-international police to oversee the local police, you have-and
the entry into force of the constitutional government, you have
more and more control and guarantees that human rights abuses
will not become flagrant.
Ms. McKINNEY. I think I am finished for now, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Smith.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you. Just one final followup question, Mr. Am-
bassador. How do you respond to the criticisms raised in reading
over the testimonies? Ms. Werleigh, the Director of the Washington
Office on Haiti points out there is the missing factor of accountabil-
ity. Included in the Governors Island accord, of course, is the call
for amnesty and yet America's Watch points out that this could be
an opportunity to demonstrate the administration's commitment to
It seems that one is suggesting that at a date certain rule of law
will prevail and there will be accountability. Yet, there is a sense
expressed by Ms. Werleigh, and I am sure it is shared by others,
76-726 94 2
that perhaps many gross human rights abuses are now going to be
overlooked-she suggests there is a double standard. We didn't ig-
nore the Nazi atrocities and other atrocities. We had the Truth
Commission and the reconciliation that went on in El Salvador
which put aside those past wrongdoings, and now we are seeing it
again here. I am raising these points to elicit your response.
Mr. PEZZULLO. Well, you can take this from different points of
Mr. SMITH. With respect to Governors Island, what if amnesty
was not a part of the accord.
Mr. PEZZULLO. Governors Island and the fact that these two par-
ties have come together to bring about a reconciliation and a return
to constitutional government, I think, is such a dramatic event that
it has to be kept as the key goal and the key accomplishment here.
We were interested in, from the beginning, of returning to constitu-
tional government because we as a people, our country to its great
credit, takes that very seriously. We see that as necessary as a
principle and that a President, duly elected by his people, should
be returned to power. Those were the consuming issues. That prob-
lems have occurred that violence has occurred, that people have
abused one another is not a matter of indifference to anybody, but
the overriding concern was the return.
Now, that is the return through a process, and the process had
to include the stepping down of the very people who perpetrated
the overthrow. Historically, that hasn't happened. That has never
Now, for that to happen there has to be an understanding of a
matter of getting from here to there and we can all sit around and
condemn violations, which are ugly. There is no defense for viola-
tions. There is the society that also has a great need to return to
constitutional government. It is going to have to deal with those is-
sues. The Haitians are going to have to deal with those issues, not
Americas Watch, not the U.S. Government. The Haitians. I think
we should at least be sensitive to that reality. They have to come
together as a people.
If they feel that there is a means to do this by some amnesty de-
cree, that is in their purview. And the international community is
not dictating a thing here. The international community is simply
saying we will accompany the process back. If means have to be
taken to deal with certain elements, that is something you are
going to have to be doing, your parliament, your Prime Minister,
your people. So it is not a question of being indifferent to viola-
tions. Human rights and the concept of concern for human rights
grew up in this society and this Congress, I remember back in the
mid 1970's, was at the forefront of that. And I recall very much
Congressman Fraser, in his subcommittee, looking very, very seri-
ously at that issue and that precedent was followed through by the
administration that came in after that that made human rights a
major center. And I lived through some of the societies. I worked
in as an ambassador on the human rights issue. I don't defer to
anybody on human rights issues. I think I know them as well as
anybody, but I do think rather than render judgment as to what
other people should do about their societies to bring about reconcili-
ation, I would rather allow those people to do that. Others can
have different opinions of that than my own.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Ambassador, thank you for being with us today.
We are very proud of the work that you have done. There is no way
to know the number of people who will be spared suffering in the
future that Haiti may have because of the work of the administra-
tion, Mr. Caputo and for your own efforts. Thank you for being
with us today. It is a pleasure to work with you. I hope we can look
forward to having you come back as we monitor the implementa-
tion of these agreements, whether we see whether they live up to
all of our expectations.
Mr. PEZZULLO. Thank you. You have been very kind, all of you.
Mr. TORRICELLI. We will now hear from the Honorable Michael
Barnes. Mr. Barnes, welcome. We are very pleased to have you
with us here today. President Aristide may or may not exercise
good judgment in the choosing of a new Prime Minister. At least
in this committee we believe he chose well in selecting his personal
counsel and in that capacity, we are very glad to receive you today.
Congratulate you on your work, your continued association with
good causes and people and look forward to your testimony.
STATEMENT OF HON. MICHAEL D. BARNES, HOGAN &
HARTSON, COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT JEAN-BERTRAND
Mr. BARNES. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleas-
ure to be back with this subcommittee for the first time in a few
years. And I am privileged to be here in my capacity as counsel to
President Aristide of Haiti. I have prepared a written statement
but I am not going to read it all, if you would be so kind as to put
it into the record.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Without objection it will be entered into the
record at this point.
Mr. BARNES. What I would like to do is touch on some of the
major points that President Aristide has asked me to convey to you
this afternoon on his behalf.
You will well recall that back on October 31 of 1991, this sub-
committee met shortly after the coup in Haiti that exiled President
Aristide, and at that hearing, Mr. Chairman, you observed that
this coup raised a larger danger to democracy in our hemisphere.
You concluded it was imperative that the Democratic community
close ranks and respond as one to this international crisis.
Your remarks obviously were prophetic. During the almost 22
months that have passed since that hearing, we have seen military
leaders challenge democracy in Venezuala, Peru, and, of course,
just a few weeks ago in Guatemala. Unfortunately the inter-
national community really failed to act decisively on Haiti until
just recently, and as a result your hope that the people of Haiti
wouldn't have to endure this tragedy very long wasn t fulfilled.
A full 2 years will have passed from the day of that important
hearing when President Aristide returns to his country on October
30, if he does, under the terms of the Governors Island accord.
Now, of course, as we have all been hearing this afternoon, there
is finally hope for the 7 million people of Haiti because of the lead-
ership of President Clinton and other international leaders who are
committed to democracy. In these past few weeks real progress has
been made toward the restoration of President Aristide to office.
Without that leadership I am absolutely convinced we would not
have witnessed the important action at the U.N. Security Council
which forced the military government in Haiti, what I call the coup
regime, to negotiate the return of democracy.
President Aristide has asked me once again to publicly thank
President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Secretary Christopher, Am-
bassador Pezzullo and the many others in the administration who
have worked tirelessly on this issue over the past months. Presi-
dent Aristide has already invited President Clinton to join him in
Haiti to celebrate the return of democracy, and I know that if that
happy day comes, it will be one of tremendous celebration for vir-
tually all of the people of Haiti except perhaps that little tiny seg-
ment which now control the society, but hold the rest of the people
under a repressive dictatorship.
President Aristide also has asked me to, again, thank the many
Members of Congress in both parties, including the members of
this subcommittee, who have supported the aspirations of the peo-
ple of Haiti throughout this tragic period. So many have helped
that it wouldn't be possible to list them all. I would just note that
four Members of the House-Congressmen Conyers, Kennedy,
Owens, and Rangel-actually took the time to join us up on Gov-
ernors Island to show their support for democracy as we negotiated
the difficult issues which resulted in the agreement which Presi-
dent Aristide signed on July 3.
Let me touch quickly on the U.S. Government role as we see it
and how the United States can be most helpful during this tough
few weeks ahead-few months between now and October 30. As a
starting observation, it is essential, I believe, that the Aristide gov-
ernment, the elected Government of Haiti, retain control of this
process, particularly of programs to aid and assist the military and
the police. We believe that this will require a two-phased approach.
The first phase would involve the quick deployment of an inter-
national mission to ensure that law enforcement activities during
this transition are conducted to prevent or minimize abuse of
human rights and promote freedoms of assembly, association and
speech so crucial to ensuring that this transition to democracy is
The second phase, the training of the police and the military we
don't think should really begin until the President returns. It is
equally important that the current command be isolated from plan-
ning until after the institutions are under civilian control and that
those responsible for the worst abuses which have taken place
since the coup have been identified and removed or excluded from
I might just add parenthetically there has been some discussion
this afternoon at the hearing about possible seeking of revenge or
retribution or whatever. The international community has called
for that. The OAS, as you know, in its resolutions has demanded
prosecution of the people responsible for the coup and the human
rights violations that have occurred since the coup. That is not
President Aristide's position. His is one of seeking reconciliation.
We do want to see the leaders of the coup and those responsible
for overseeing these human rights violations that have been per-
petrated by the military removed from their positions in the com-
mand, but he has never sought their prosecution. He has never
sought revenge against them. He has always opposed violence in
any respect with regard to this. He is calling for a nonviolent solu-
tion to this crisis.
Any process proposed by the U.N., the OAS or the United States
that excludes the civilian government and allows the current mili-
tary and police command to plan this-these assistance programs,
these training programs selecting the candidates for these pro-
grams or participating in the programs themselves, we believe,
would run counter to the goal of reestablishing civilian control over
Ultimately what will make democracy work in Haiti or any other
country that has experienced these kinds of problems is civilian
control over the military, and that principle is crucial to be effec-
tuated during this transition between now and October 30.
Just briefly, there are three important things that we think the
United States can do in support of the Governors Island accord.
First, the United States has to make clear that these continued
human rights abuses are inconsistent with the spirit of that accord
and will, as the Congresswoman has suggested, trigger prompt re-
imposition of sanctions.
As a first step, the United States should ensure that the Security
Council resolution is conformed to the accords to incorporate a
mechanism for reimposition before these sanctions are suspended.
We all realize that the sanctions are being suspended to facilitate
the political settlement and not because there has been any tan-
gible progress on human rights.
As Ambassador Pezzullo said, maybe things aren't worse. He
said things aren't worse. But the fact is that every human rights
organization has found that the current Government of Haiti has
a human rights record that is worse than the records of Papa Doc
or Baby Doc and it is crucial that that be understood as we look
at the lifting or the suspension of the sanctions.
Secondly, the United States ought to work with the U.N.
Mr. TORRICELLI. It is your testimony that you believe the human
rights record, as it has continued to this date, is worse than that
Mr. BARNEs. That is not only our view, but tragically it is the
view of all the human rights observers that have looked at the situ-
ation, and it continues, as you know, to this day. Last week, people
were shot and beaten by Haitian military because they were dem-
onstrating in support of democracy. While we were on Governors
Island a church service where people held up photographs of Presi-
dent Aristide during church was invaded by the Army. Elderly peo-
ple were beaten and that was televised, which was happening
while we were negotiating with the army on Governors Island. So
these are not academic issues that need to be monitored carefully
throughout this process, and it has to be clear that if the sanctions
are suspended, they will immediately be reimposed if these kinds
of things were to continue to take place.
We have to-just quickly, I know you have got to vote and you
have got many other witnesses. The International Civilian Mission
has not yet been fully deployed. That should be done immediately
and the United States ought to push for that and provide the as-
sistance that is necessary. That is the $10 million dollars that Am-
bassador Pezzullo described. We ought to get that down quickly,
and the coup regime has to honor commitments to the mission to
permit them to move freely throughout the country, to have full
and prompt access to detainees, to cooperate and facilitate in the
mission's work. That isn't happening. They can't go into the jails
to see the detainees.
They are not allowed vehicles to go around the country to do
their jobs. So a lot needs to be done with respect-
Mr. TORRICELLI. To date there is still not access to detainees?
Mr. BARNES. That is correct. That is my understanding.
Mr. TORRICELLI. And there is no reason to believe this is going
to be done until the change of government and there is no commit-
ment to do so immediately.
Mr. BARNES. Clearly, the spirit of the accords was that human
rights violations would cease as of the time of the signing of ac-
cords. Unfortunately that hasn't happened.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Specifically, with respect to access to detainees,
not the broad question of recognizing human rights, is there a spe-
cific commitment to allow access to detainees?
Mr. BARNEs. That was not mentioned in writing in the accords.
Mr. TORRICELLI. If that doesn't happen immediately, would you
consider that a violation of the accords?
Mr. BARNEs. Of course. Another thing we were told on Governors
Island was that as of the signing of the accords President Aristide
would be permitted to speak on national television and radio,
which has not happened since the coup.
Mr. TORRICELLI. It happened at 3:00 in the morning.
Mr. BARNES. They did permit it after a week or 10 days of not
permitting it, although we gave them a tape and said play it. I am
just reminded that access to detainees is in the ICM terms of ref-
erence, the International Civilian Mission terms of reference to
which the coup regime agreed, but they have not permitted it.
Mr. TORRICELLI. So by reference they are included in the agree-
ment even though they have not happened.
Mr. BARNEs. That is correct.
Mr. TORRICELLI. But it is still your testimony if they are not al-
most immediately given, the sanctions-
Mr. BARNES. The sanctions should stay in place.
Mr. TORRICELLI. What is more, it would be a clear violation of
Mr. BARNES. That is my view, yes, sir. And finally, no aid should
be provided to Haiti except through the civilian government.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Is there a definitive list of those who are de-
tained? Has that been provided?
Mr. BARNEs. I doubt it. It has not been provided. I understand
many of these people are held in secret. People disappear in Haiti
Mr. TORRICELLI. If that list is not provided, that also is clearly
a violation of the accords.
Mr. BARNEs. I would certainly regard it as such. The spirit of the
accords was clearly that, and the commitment of the U.N. in the
letter that is appended to Ambassador Pezzullo's testimony is that
they will monitor these human rights violations and if there is a
continued pattern of human rights violations the U.N. would either
not support the suspension of sanctions or would reimpose them,
and what I am suggesting is the U.S. Government has to stay on
top of that and just make sure that that is the reality.
Mr. TORRICELLI. Suffice it to say, at least from my judgment,
that if there is not almost immediately a definitive list of detainees
and immediate access to them by families and human rights orga-
nizations, it is not only a violation of the spirit of the accords, but
it would, I think, cause this government to look at it with extraor-
dinary disfavor of the military officials in this transition period and
whatever judgments we have to make in the future. This is some-
thing that does not need to wait.
It should be happening now, and it would already cause me to
look upon with disfavor that there has been a delay. We should
break on this vote, if you don't mind and when we return I know
each of my colleagues have questions for you if you would remain
at the table. The committee will recess briefly.
Ms. McKINNEY [presiding]. I guess I am supposed to gavel this
meeting back to order, so I will, and would ask Mr. Barnes to con-
Mr. BARNEs. Well, thank you very much, Madam Chair. I would
just make one final very brief point, but it follows up on the discus-
sion we were having at the time you all had to go vote and that
is that during this period-now a little over 3 months between now
and October 30 when President Aristide is scheduled to return-
it is crucial, we believe, that the world community do everything
possible to demonstrate its support for the restoration of democracy
by its presence, its physical presence in Haiti. The International
Civilian Mission is crucial. It is deploying. We would like to see it
fully deployed more quickly.
The police training group that has been described and discussed
this afternoon, we hope will deploy very, very quickly, and the
other elements from the U.N., but it is also important that trained,
professional human rights monitors from all types of nongovern-
mental organizations and others get to Haiti as quickly as possible.
We would like to see all of the human rights groups send missions
down to Haiti. We would like to see the U.S. Congress send mis-
sions to Haiti. It would be, I think, just marvelous if there could
be sort of rotating groups of Members of Congress that would run-
you know, it is not very far to run down on weekends. During the
August recess obviously, it might be possible for a group to go and
stay a little longer and get out into the countryside and get around.
At the key moments when crucial things have to happen during
this period it would be helpful to have Members of Congress there.
For example, when the parliament is going to meet, that could be
as soon as next week, to consider some of these important actions.
It would be marvelous to have Members of the U.S. Congress there
with their colleagues, the members of the Haitian parliament, to
show their support for this democratic transition.
We have also called on the OAS InterAmerican Commission on
Human Rights to send its experts to Haiti immediately. We think
a mission from the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights
could, again, provide an important element during this very deli-
cate transition period. There is going to be a debate on that issue
tomorrow at the OAS and we understand that the U.S. Govern-
ment may not favor that. We hope the U.S. Government might re-
consider its position on getting human rights experts into Haiti as
quickly as possible, because we really believe the more that can get
there, the sooner, the more likely it is that anyone who is consider-
ing violating the spirit of the accords or acting in any way to un-
dermine this commitment to restore democracy would hesitate to
do so if there is a large international presence on the ground from
all kinds of groups and from the United States and from other
countries in this hemisphere as well as Europe and elsewhere.
So President Aristide is calling on the world to try to help as it
did at the time of his election and at the time of his inauguration,
but unfortunately, the international community sort of left after
that. They thought they had done their job, and perhaps the coup
might have been avoided had the international community re-
mained in Haiti and kept a human rights presence there. Thank
you very much. I would be pleased to try to respond to any ques-
[The prepared statement of Mr. Barnes appears in the appendix.]
Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Smith, do you have any questions?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, I do. Thank you Madam Chairman. Michael,
good to see you again and thank you for your testimony. I have a
number of questions I would like to ask.
First, I have a great deal of concern knowing that the President,
when he steps foot in Haiti, will certainly be in some peril. We all
know with our own Presidents that the protection of the President
is a very, very professional duty. Knowing that one cannot really
count on the Army, as it is currently configured, for any protection,
what arrangements are being made for secret service-type protec-
tion? Is the international community, and the United States look-
ing into configuring such a group, perhaps made up of experts in
that field? The last thing we want is a mishap.
Mr. BARNES. Well, that is absolutely right and it is of major con-
cern to all of us. Yes. The answer is, yes. The U.S. Government has
been looking at that issue and, in fact, during one of the breaks
earlier this afternoon I was talking to Ambassador Pezzullo about
it, and other countries have been asked to help with this as well.
I certainly wouldn't want to see President Aristide go back until
we are absolutely confident that his security can be assured, and
we need to move quickly on that because we don't want that to be
an excuse, because the people who oppose his return, those who op-
pose democracy, will be looking for any excuse. They might say,
well, it is not safe, so you will have to wait another 6 months. We
can't allow that to happen.
I must say I am also concerned about the safety of the people he
is being asked to appoint to office to serve during this interim pe-
riod. He is being called upon to nominate a Prime Minister and
form a government of ministers of the various cabinet departments
in the government, and I am concerned about those people. And
that is one of the reasons we need to expedite the deployment in
the country of this international presence which I have just been
Some of these people--theoretically it could be beginning to work
down there as soon as next week or the week after or whatever so
we are talking about a very short timeframe-and I don't know
about you, Congressman Smith, but I believe that the person who
volunteers to be President Aristide's Prime Minister will be a cou-
rageous individual under these circumstances.
Mr. SMITH. At this point, they may not need protection, but,
again, if we want this to work, obviously both sides of the equation,
need to be addressed. Though probably the respect level is probably
not all that high because of human rights abuses, there are certain
army officials who must have protection. If something were to hap-
pen to them, it could lead to an unraveling of the situation.
Mr. BARNEs. That is correct.
Mr. SMITH. Hopefully that will be kept in mind by all parties.
Again, if this transition is to have a shot at succeeding, any point
which has the potential of going awry must be mitigated, it seems
Do you have any sense of what will happen when General Cedras
steps down? Will he go into asylum or move to another country?
Mr. BARNES. That will be his decision. Under the agreement he
will leave the military. He has not indicated where he will live
after he leaves the military.
Mr. SMITH. In his article in Atlantic Monthly, Lawrence Harrison
makes the point which, I think, ought to be raised, in a hearing
like this. We need some predictability and assurances regarding
Aristide's return. Though I have high regards for Aristide and was
one of those calling for his return, Mr. Harrison reminds us that,
in a speech 2 days before the coup, Aristide strongly implied that
Cedras should be necklaced. That could be erroneous; that could be
Could you respond to that again? For reconciliation to occur, a
sense of nonviolence and nonretribution has to be paramount. We
all agree that violence does not solve anything.
Mr. BARNEs. President Aristide has never suggested that any-
body should be necklaced. The man is a priest who is nonviolent
both in his personal nature and in his statements and hopes for the
Haitian people. The speech that he sought to have broadcast on
Haitian national television and radio over the last week is a call
for a reconciliation and peaceful transition to democracy. That has
been his call ever since the coup. I am sure you have heard him
say this-because in virtually every speech he gives he talks about
Haiti being a broken glass. He says that we have to pick up all the
pieces of broken glass and put them back together into the beau-
tiful mosaic of Haiti.
He is seeking to unite the country not divide it up. On Governors
Island one of his Haitian advisor's who was there was telling me
a story which I think is relevant to this of having run into a mem-
ber of the Haitian elite who hates everything President Aristide
stands for; his desire to see the people of the masses of the country
have better lives, and desire to impose terrible things like income
taxes and customs duties on the wealthy elite who have never had
to pay any of these things in their history and these were, of
course, important reasons for the coup. But this man was telling
me that he had run into this individual who started in a vicious
way saying that Aristide was a terrible person who ought to be
killed. And he said that he subsequently saw President Aristide
and told Aristide the story about this, what this person had said.
And President Aristide's response was, "Well, we will just have to
love him more." This is a man of nonviolence.
He has never for a second since the coup suggested any kind of
violent response to what has happened despite the fact that his life
was in jeopardy and had to be saved by the French Ambassador
and the U.S. Ambassador on the night of that coup. General
Cedras had a pistol to his head. Aristide has never for a moment
suggested there should be any violent response or revenge or ret-
ribution. As I said, the OAS has called for prosecuting these people.
President Aristide has signed an agreement that allows them-al-
lows General Cedras to retire from the army and the other mem-
bers of the high command to be-to either leave the army or go to
foreign posts. These are not the positions that would be taken by
anyone who favors a violent response to this.
Mr. SMITH. Understood. I appreciate your elaborating on that.
So, it is your view that these quotes which were recorded prior to
the exile are in error.
Mr. BARNES. Yes.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you. One other concern raised by some critics
is that Aristide had difficulty dealing with the parliament. Is it
your understanding that those days are over?
Mr. BARNEs. Well, I am sure- There are difficult days with the
Congress. We have a real problem.
Mr. SMITH. Bush had his days, too.
Mr. BARNEs. And that is that there are at present two par-
liaments. There is the legally elected parliament, elected at the
time President Aristide was elected, and then there is the par-
liament elected during the period since the coup, which is con-
trolled by people who respond to the military and supporters of the
military. And that has to be worked out before President Aristide
can nominate his Prime Minister. He can't-because under the
Haitian constitution he is required to consult with the President of
the senate and the President of the chamber of deputies before he
submits his nomination of Prime Minister to the parliament.
Well, as Ambassador Pezzullo said earlier, at the moment you
have two Presidents for each of these chambers and until the par-
liament resolves these issues-which could be this week, they may
meet as soon as tomorrow or the next day to resolve these issues-
President Aristide can't consult with the leadership and therefore
submit his nominee.
If the legal parliament is reinstituted, we have every reason to
believe that given the normal difficulties of executive and legisla-
tive differences, that Aristide and his Prime Minister and govern-
ment will be able to function appropriately.
Mr. SMITH. Finally let me thank you for your testimony. I share
your concern that this transition will be a very, very difficult, and
potentially dangerous, time. Especially as you pointed out in your
testimony, the number of these abuses has actually gone up. There
may be a sense among the abusers that this is their last fling at
abuse. Hopefully that can be mitigated by the enhanced inter-
national presence which is planned.
Mr. BARNES. In the last report from the International Civilian
Mission while we were on Governors Island on July 2, they re-
ported there had been an escalation. This was while we were there
negotiating with the Army. There had been an escalation in human
rights abuses and there had been numerous instances of such viola-
tions since the accord was signed, so this is a very real issue. We
cannot assume that the people who perpetrated the coup and have
run this military dictatorship for the last almost 22 months are all
of a sudden in favor of democracy and democratic institutions. I
think, unfortunately, we have to assume the opposite. And that is
why it is crucial for the U.N. and the OAS and the United States
and other governments and nongovernmental organizations to stay
on top of this process over the next 3 months and 10 days or this
process isn't going to work, because clearly there are a lot of people
who don't want it to work and will try to find ways to make sure
Mr. SMITH. There might be a parallel with a war situation. Very
often at the precise time that negotiations are on going, the fight-
ing escalates. Fire fights increase, bombing raids increase. You
make a good point. I, and I know Chairman Torricelli and others
on the committee will do everything we can.
Mr. BARNES. The New York Times last week in an editorial sug-
gested that the opponents of President Aristide might use this pe-
riod to eliminate some of his supporters and some of the key peo-
ple, so as you say, it is a very dangerous time.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Barnes, Ambassador Pezzullo referred to a
side letter. Do you have a copy of that letter?
Mr. BARNES. Yes.
Ms. McKINNEY. I don't have that.
Mr. BARNES. I assume you are referring to the Caputo letter to
the Secretary General.
Ms. McKINNEY. Yes.
Mr. BARNES. Yes, I have a copy of that. This was a letter that
we in essence requested to give further assurance as to the process
for verification of the fulfillment of the Governors Island accords,
and this was worked out in cooperation with us by Mr. Caputo and
his team from the U.N. on Governors Island prior to the signing
of the accord by President Aristide on July 3.
Ms. McKINNEY. Could you submit a copy of that letter for the
Mr. BARNES. I think he said it was appended to his testimony.
It is not. I guess he thought it was. Yes, we will get you a copy
Are you referring to a letter from Caputo to President Aristide
or are you referring to the letter that Ambassador Pezzullo was
Ms. McKlNNEY. The letter that Ambassador Pezzullo was talking
Mr. BARNES. He was talking about the Caputo letter.
Ms. McKINNEY. That is correct.
Mr. BARNES. We will get a copy of that.
Ms. McKINNEY. OK. I think that is all. Thank you very much.
Mr. BARNES. Thank you.
Ms. McKINNEY. And will the members of panel number four
please come up. Andrew Postal, Nina Shea, Kenneth Roth, and
Claudette Werleigh. May I ask that each of you limit your opening
statements to 5 minutes. Mr. Postal.
STATEMENT OF ANDREW POSTAL, PRESIDENT, JUDY BOND,
Mr. POSTAL. Thank you. I will be happy to limit my comments
at least. I am pleased to be able to appear here today to discuss
Haiti. I am a U.S. businessman. My firm has factories in the Unit-
ed States, Haiti, and Costa Rica. We do business in Mexico and the
Orient. I also serve as Chairman for the Haiti Task Force for Car-
ibbean-Latin America Action and we have been intimately involved
in the situation in Haiti since Duvalier left the country.
We have met with every single occupant of the Presidential pal-
ace from that point to now to discuss the continuing erosion of the
private sector in Haiti.
We have prepared a prepared statement which I would like to
submit for the record, and I won't bother to read it. I will make
a couple of points relative to the situation in Haiti, perhaps on a
different note than those that have preceded me.
The situation in Haiti prior to the embargo and prior to the
Aristide government was severe to say the least. The economy post-
Duvalier was in a state of free fall. The fundamental infrastructure
for support of a private sector was lacking; corruption was ramp-
ant. The private sector existed notwithstanding the Government of
Haiti not because of it.
The United States, consistent with its policy also in the hemi-
sphere over the course of the mid 1980's, encouraged the engrafting
of a democracy in Haiti, a country which lacked any experience
with democracy, and one could argue lacked the fundamental tools
with which to construct a democracy.
Democracy, I believe, failed in Haiti in large part because we put
a form of government to a country and abandoned it. Without the
support of the U.S. Government or any of the international commu-
nity, it was a convenience. We put a government in there; we left
it. It had no electorate experience with democracy. There were no
institutions familiar with democracy. There was no infrastructure
whatsoever, and it failed of its own weight.
While President Aristide was in power we had an opportunity to
meet with him and discuss what could be done to revive the private
sector in Haiti. It is the philosophy of our organization that democ-
racy has as its bedrock a functioning private sector which is
participatory and in which the people of a country have a chance
to share. And absent that private sector, democracy will fail in
Haiti as it will fail in any country.
Mr. POSTAL. While in power, President Aristide's government
made some attempts at attacking corruption. I think they were suc-
cessful on that score and they made some attempts at addressing
certain macroeconomic problems at the behest of certain inter-
national donor institutions.
There was relatively little done to deal with the fact that Haiti
had gone from a country with a fairly vibrant assembly sector,
which is, for those of you who don't know, the engine of growth in
every country in the Central American and Caribbean region, to
one that has none left today.
I think part of the reason for that failure was that he lacked
around him agencies and institutions of government that could im-
plement policy even if there was such a policy.
At the time of the coup, Haiti was the poorest nation in our
hemisphere, not only in terms of wages and annual earnings, but
in the magnitude of unemployment, lacking government infrastruc-
ture to support the private sector. A terrible state of disrepair of
basic fundamental services arose, utilities, ports, and the like, and
an inadequate health and education system.
In our judgment, the embargo was terribly poor public policy. It
was doomed to failure from the get-go, at least the slow half-baked
embargo we had for some 20 odd months. We met with the State
Department at the time of its inception. We told them it was going
to fail. We told them it was only going to enrich the wrong people
and impoverish an already impoverished people further.
It was our recommendation at the time that if the U.S. Govern-
ment wanted to do something about the situation in Haiti, then
first it ought to consider intervention since you had 7,000 people
holding 7 million people hostage, and until the fact of that situa-
tion was addressed, nothing was going to change very much.
The second position we took, if you are not going to go in, the
least you could do is shut it down and do it quickly before any real
devastation is done to an already poor country. That was not done.
So that we now find ourselves with a total embargo on a country
that has suffered a partial embargo for some 20 odd months.
From the private sector point of view, the last vestiges of the pri-
vate sector of Haiti are rapidly being destroyed as we speak. The
few remaining U.S. companies in the export sector in Haiti are on
the verge of leaving, and if they go, you will get none to replace
No U.S. company answerable to boards, shareholders, banks and
customers is going to go in and certainly not at the insistence of
the U.S. Government with its record in Haiti.
So the question now is, what do we do at this juncture? Ap-
pended to my testimony we have listed some suggested things that
could be considered, the partial or total lifting of tariffs from Haiti
on an interim basis, coordinate banks to help modernize plants and
equipment using international funds, public funds, public projects
where building roads in Haiti is not going to build the private sec-
I would simply conclude, since I realize you have a very finite
amount of time.
Ms. McKINNEY. Yes.
Mr. POSTAL. I think the U.S. Government bears a particular re-
sponsibility in all of this. It is sort of textbook law that you have
no obligation to help someone in trouble, but if you extend your
help, you take on a duty and you have a duty to act in a reasonable
manner having taken on that responsibility.
I believe the U.S. Government has now become embroiled in the
internal affairs of another country. The Haitians will tell you
whether they agree or disagree with your policies that they feel
they have been capitulating, not negotiating with the U.S. Govern-
ment, and I think in the final analysis we must see this to the end.
You must help rebuild Haiti. You cannot simply engraft the gov-
ernment and walk away again.
Ms. McKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Postal.
[The prepared statement of Andrew Postal appears in the appen-
Ms. Shea, could you give us about 3 minutes of testimony before
we have to go vote? OK
STATEMENT OF MS. NINA SHEA, PRESIDENT, PUEBLA
Ms. SHEA. OK, I will start and we will see how far I get.
Thank you, Madam Chairman, for inviting me here today. I am
president of the Puebla Institute.
The current human rights situation in Haiti is best described as
a generalized systematic repression by the armed forces of civil so-
ciety. Sometimes this repression takes the form of summary execu-
tions, but most regularly is marked by arbitrary short-term deten-
tions accompanied by beatings, often extremely brutal ones neces-
I would like to give just two examples, although there are hun-
dreds, that occurred recently at the hands of the notorious Anti-
Gang Police in Port-au-Prince.
One occurred just 2 weeks ago on June 28 when police arrested
and beat a political organizer in Cite Soleil and the International
Civic Mission tried to see him. They were not only denied access,
but they could hear his cries under torture. They were later able
to verify that he sustained fractures in his forearms and wrists due
to the police beatings.
Another severe case was-involved a prominent labor leader on
April 23. He was the Secretary-he is the Secretary General of the
CGT union and he also was arrested by Anti-Gang Police as he was
driving his car in Port-au-Prince on his way to a radio interview,
and he was kicked and beaten so brutally during detention that he
required a kidney operation and now needs regular dialysis.
The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Haiti observed in his report of
February 1993 that security forces have also engaged in so-called
preventive repression, directed not so much at individuals but an
entire community. A recent instance of this occurred on July 1st
when military in La Savane aux Cayes indiscriminately beat and
harassed the residence of a quarter for several hours after they-
after some of them had participated in a demonstration.
Military repression is reinforced by pervasive corruption. Citi-
zens are required to pay bribes, extortion fees and protection
money, this abusive power sometimes referred to as traditional or
endemic repression as distinguished from politically motivated re-
A senior official of the International Civil Mission reported last
week in mid-July that since their arrival in February, the human
rights situation has been, "relatively calm, but with sporadic seri-
They note, however, that this endemic or traditional repression
continues and is a very serious problem.
A good example of that, this concerns the justice system, the so-
called justice system, security officials, particularly section chiefs in
the rural areas decide who is to be arrested, what punishment or
fine the defendant is to pay or whether he is to live or die, remain
in prison or be freed.
In his November 1992 report on Haiti, the U.N. Special
Rapporteur wrote, "The situation has reached the point where the
world corps must pay the security forces in order to avoid persecu-
tion, cruel treatment, or in the case of arbitrary detentions, to
make their imprisonment more bearable or simply to obtain their
Freedom of assembly and expression is also very repressed at
this point, and many examples demonstrate this, of police and
army shooting into the crowds that are demonstrating in violation
of an apparent rule that everyone must have prior military ap-
proval before nongovernmental groups can meet or demonstrate.
And on July 9, 1 week after the signing of the Governor's Island
accord, General Cedras told the Washington Post, made it clear to
the Washington Post that the military remains determined to avoid
mass displaced support for President Aristide for the time being.
It is impossible to quantify the number of political executions or
other human rights violations in Haiti. The government makes no
systematic investigations and before the International Civic Mis-
sion arrived, no impartial professional and nationwide human
rights group was undertaking the careful documentation that is
Ascertaining the number of victims is complicated by high crime
rates, massive displacement and immigration. In other cases, polit-
ical murders go unreported for fear of reprisals or simply because
in the rural areas there is no one to report to.
An International Civic Mission official recently stated it was dif-
ficult to determine what happens in Haiti also since both sides reg-
ularly alter the factual forensic account of events to suit their polit-
ical needs at the moment.
Under Aristide, President Aristide, the number of infractions of
human rights was lower but their tenor was the same. To use one
of his own favorite metaphors, Aristide turned the tables. Instead
of the religious-based communities, it was the hierarchy of the
Catholic church with whom he has had longstanding differences
that was persecuted.
Rather than left-wing activists, it was the right that was sup-
pressed. Rather than the indigents, it was the elites who were ter-
rorized. Under Aristide's style of repression, the socioeconomic pyr-
amid was inverted. Because he was democratically elected, Aristide
has become an international symbol of democracy, but he showed
little interest in establishing a rule of law or abiding himself within
constitutional restraints or respecting the independence of the leg-
islature and the judiciary.
Though he set out to eliminate endemic or traditional human
rights abuses, the U.N. Special Rapporteur observed that he was
not successful in this.
[The prepared statement of Nina Shea appears in the appendix.]
Ms. McKINNEY. Sorry, Ms. Shea, you took a little bit more than
Mr. SMITH. Unfortunately, I have a CIA briefing at 5:45 and I
understand you have-
Ms. McKINNEY. I have got to go as well.
Mr. SMITH. I want to ask Mr. Roth one question. Maybe you can
do this for the record. When I was asking Mr. Barnes a few ques-
tions, I was really quoting from your comments published in the
Atlantic Monthly article by Larry Harrison with regards to
necklacing, you cited Aristide as saying it is a "beautiful tool". I
hope I am accurately describing what you had said.
For the record, was Mr. Barnes accurate when he said that Mr.
Aristide had never called for violence? I think this is important.
While I want reconciliation to occur there, we must realize that
there are some things which need to be acknowledged up front so
that they don't happen again when the presidency is returned.
Mr. ROTH. The quote that was in the Atlantic Monthly is a para-
phrase of another quote which paraphrases a report that appeared
to be at issue.
To sum up, there is no single killing that I am aware of that
President Aristide called for. There were two speeches that he gave
which we detail at length in this report. One just before the coup,
really under the circumstances when he knew the coup was immi-
nent. That has been widely cited.
Another occurred in early August of 1991 just after the trial of
Roger Lafontant, and in that speech in particular, although no one
was killed in that incident, there was an endorsement of, I think,
the threat of violence and we have criticized him for that.
But I think it is important. Many people cite those speeches
which he, since the coup, has clearly changed his policy and made
it absolutely clear that he does not endorse political violence by any
side. I think that is important to keep that in mind as Mr. Barnes
Second, whatever criticisms one has of his record as president,
and there were some things he did wrong-there were many things
he did right, including abolishing the very abusive section chiefs
and attempting to impose some civilian authority over an army
that historically had been responsible for very severe abuses, none
of that comes close to the atrocities that have been committed since
And to pretend that some real errors that were made by Presi-
dent Aristide justifies the systematic killing, beating and arbitrary
detention since the coup I think is a real abuse of human rights
information, and while it is clear that simply returning President
Aristide in and of itself is not going to be enough to reestablish
meaningful democracy, we need to establish an end to the ongoing
violations of human rights.
The answer to that is not sort of ignoring the elected wishes of
the Haitian people, but it is rather avoiding an amnesty.
Unlike Ambassador Pezzullo here, the United States has been
pressing for an amnesty for mass murderers. That is criminal. The
United States has been fighting efforts to purge the Haitian army
of those mass murderers before-we don't really want to rush in
with aid, with training before a purge of the mass murderers take
And as Congresswoman McKinney alluded do during her ques-
tioning of Ambassador Pezzullo, that puts the United States in the
embarrassing position of potentially funding these mass murderers.
We should never be in that position and we should insist as a
prerequisition for any of these well-intentioned aid programs going
forward that the mass murderers be purged, if possible, prosecuted.
President Aristide has made clear that the Haitian judiciary isn't
capable today of giving a fair trial. I agree with him so prosecu-
tions at this stage are a theoretical matter, but we shouldn't pre-
clude the Haitian people on their own from resolving this difficult
It shouldn't be forced upon them under the barrel of the gun as
will be the case right now unless the U.S. Government, the Clinton
administration, stops pressuring for the blanket amnesty.
The Governor's Island agreement leaves open the question, talks
about political crimes, such as crimes against the state, but it
leaves open the issue of crimes against individuals, abuses like
murder. Those under international law should be prosecuted. They
should not be the subject of an amnesty and it should be U.S. pol-
icy to fight a blanket amnesty of that sort, not remain agnostic as
Ambassador Pezzullo suggested the Clinton administration is
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Roth and Ms. Werleigh, may I ask that you
submit your testimony, your printed testimony for the record, and
perhaps maybe both of you could answer this one question. We are
going to have to end early and I really sincerely apologize for that,
but both of us are going to have to leave.
[The statements of Kenneth Roth and Claudette Werleigh fol-
Ms. MCKINNEY. Is the human rights situation today worse than
it was before the signing of the agreement at Governor's Island?
Mr. ROTH. It is hard to say today in that short a period of time
whether it is better or worse, but I think when Ambassador
Pezzullo was saying that the number of violations are not increas-
ing, first of all, that is a debatable proposition.
One thing we have noticed is as the UN/OAS observers are there,
Haitians are more willing to test their political freedoms and are
regularly meeting suppression. So in sort of a perverse sense,
things are worse, at least since the observers have been there.
Nonetheless, I think their presence is very important.
But even if they were just staying the same, this is a intolerable
level of violence right now, and we should not be contemplating
moving forward on the base of virtual eradication of any public
manifestation of civil society.
There have been a very vibrant civil society in Haiti that has
been wiped out because of the army's violence and we should insist
that that stop. It is not simply a matter of opening up the prisons,
which is important and I welcome Chairman Torricelli's endorse-
ment of that as a critical element of the court, but we should go
a step further.
We should not treat democracy as having arrived in Haiti until
there is a reemergence of the civil society, that is, until again peo-
ple enjoy their freedom of expression and association.
Ms. McKINNEY. Ms. Werleigh.
Ms. WERLEIGH. I endorse what has been said, you know, by Mr.
Roth. I just want to add one thing. I have worked with the Haitian
people during 19 years and I can tell you what is more important
at this moment is that justice is done and until and unless justice
is done, then there will be threat or possible threat of violence, you
If you want to end the violence, it is not just, you know, to
have-ask people to stop being violent. I think justice has to be
And the second important thing is that the Haitian people should
be allowed to participate really and freely, you know, in all the de-
cisions. At this moment, there is not-there is no structure with
the people actually working on the transition and the Haitian peo-
ple and the organization. This is a very important issue.
Ms. MCKINNEY. May I ask-I would like to state that I belief
each of the members of this committee is certainly willing and
ready to work with you for-for the U.S. Government to weigh in
and in an appropriate fashion for business development as well as
economic development as well as human rights and political devel-
opments, and so I would ask that each of you would make your-
selves available, particularly to my staff, because I want to see the
right things done and I would like to see U.S. policy proceed in a
fair and judicious way on this issue, and so please be ready to re-
spond when we call, because we are listening and ready to move
in the ways that you have suggested.
Thank you. Meeting adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:35 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
HON. ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, CHAIRMAN
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
"HAITI: THE AGREEMENT OF GOVERNORS ISLAND
AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION"
JULY 21. 1993
The Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs will come to order.
We meet today to review the historic agreement between President Aristide
and General Cedras to return President Aristide to power and restore constitutional
government to Haiti.
If this agreement is honored, it will be the first time, to my knowledge, that a
military coup was reversed through negotiation and the legitimate government
returned to office peacefully.
Many share the credit for this achievement
When the historic moment arrived. President Aristide and General Cedras had
to determine that Haiti's interests required that they compromise and sign an
agreement that both found imperfect. If the agreement is adhered to, history will
honor both for their courage.
History will also show that the Haitian situation started down the road to
resolution when President Clinton made it a priority, and when Secretary Christopher
appointed Ambassador Lawrence Pezzullo as his special advisor on Haiti. Ambassador
Pezzullo's skill and perseverance behind the scenes were, I believe, the key to success.
We pay tribute to you. Mr. Ambassador. for your role in achieving this agreement
And finally, the agreement could not have been achieved without the efforts of
the special representative of the United Nations and the Organization of American
States. Mr. Caputo. and the strong backing of the Secretaries General of those two
Now. as they saying goes, the hard part begins. Between now and October 30.
the deadline for President Aristide's return. Haitians must come together and act in a
way that will further the process.
A promising beginning was made last Friday, when Haitians meeting at the
United Nations achieved an agreement that sets the stage for Parliament to play the
role required of it to implement the agreement
But much remains to be done.
President Aristide must soon appoint a Prime Minister acceptable to all parties.
The Parliament must approve the Prime Minister, an amnesty law, and a law
establishing a new police force.
The de facto government must cease its repression. General Cedras must step
down as scheduled, and the military must return to the barracks.
President Aristide must return to seek not vengeance, but conciliation. He
must act to reduce the polarization that has characterized Haiti not only before and
since his administration, but also during it.
And last but not least, the United States must remain engaged over the long
term. and must transform its promises of aid into reality. If we lose interest after a
year or two, move on to the next crisis, and forget about Haiti, then Haiti will lose this
So we meet at a time of hope for Haiti, the first such time in many months.
But everyone must contribute if this hope is to be realized.
HON. CHARLES B. RANGEL
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
HAITI: THE AGREEMENT OF GOVERNORS ISLAND AND ITS
July 21, 1993
Chairman Torricelli, I appreciate the opportunity to appear
before your Subcommittee to comment on an issue that has
taken much of my time and attention and that of many of
my colleagues, including yourself, over the past 20 or more
months, since the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide of Haiti in September 1991.
I join thousands of my constituents and many others in the
City of New York and elsewhere around the country who
can now await with cautious optimism the scheduled
October 30th return of President Aristide to his home
capital in Port-au-Prince. Without the efforts of many of
those citizens, not all of them Haitian Americans, who
embraced the issue of Haiti, this day may not have come. We
might instead be recounting our failure to restore the first
democratically elected government of that 200 year old
And to my colleagues in the House of Representatives, I
wish to convey my great pride in belonging to a body which
has taken to heart the admonition of our greatest leaders
that we would not sit idly by while democracy was denied in
our hemisphere, especially in so blatant a case as Haiti
where this nation had monitored and endorsed the results
of an election in 1990 that was an historic moment in the
Never before had a president of that country, the first
modern Black nation in the world to win its independence,
been elected freely and democratically. Equally important,
President Aristide, unlike Haiti's previous rulers, was
himself a man of the people. He was elected by a large
majority that included most of that nation's poor and
At this time, I would like to publicly convey my
congratulations to President Bill Clinton, who demonstrated
the calibre of leadership that had been lacking in the
previous Administration, which served to rally the
international community in the United Nations to get firmly
behind the cause of the restoration of democratic
government of Haiti.
I have not agreed with all of this Administration's actions
with respect to Haiti, particularly its continuation of the
policy of interdiction and repatriation of Haitian refugees at
sea. It is a policy that was formulated more than ten years
ago in cooperation with the brutal Duvalier regime, and
while it has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, it remains
patently unfair in its sole application against the poor, Black
people of Haiti.
But the President's performance in resolving the political
statement in Haiti was a one hundred degree turn from that
of the previous Administration. For more than a year the
previous Administration's actions with respect to President
Aristide were diametrically opposed to the support that
President Bush had forthrightly proclaimed immediately
following the coup in September 1991.
Even while claiming support of the deposed President, how
many time had I and other Members of Congress been
pulled aside by representatives of the previous
Administration who whispered contemptuous rumors
about President Aristide, accusing him of all sorts of things:
an unbalanced rabble-rouser at best, a murderer at worst.
It was no wonder that for more than 15 months, our half-
hearted policy of support of an OAS embargo failed to
persuade even our allies in Latin America, Africa and
Europe from shipping embargoed oil and other goods to
Haiti. In fact, we ourselves had created the largest single
hole in the embargo by exempting goods assembled in Haiti
for American companies.
Furthermore, we refused to impose the kind of sanctions
that would affect the wealthiest people in Haiti, who had
financed the coup and whose money kept it going. They
were immune to the effects of a porous embargo, which
inflated the prices of staple goods to the poor, while escaping
the penalties that would have hurt them: freezing their
assets worldwide, lifting their visas to travel to the U.S.
It was not until the election of. President Clinton that things
began to change. With his transition team working with the
lame-duck Administration of President Bush, the OAS
assembled and deployed a small contingent of OAS civilian
observers. This group of fewer than 300 members may not
have prevented many of the human rights violations
committed by the military (which continue up to now) but
they were a symbol of hope that something could be done. It
proved to the Haitian people that they had not been
abandoned by the international community.
The slow process of winning over the international
community at the U.N. culminated in June with the vote by
the Security Council to impose worldwide sanctions on oil
and arms. The day before those sanctions were scheduled to
take effect, the Haitian military high command agreed to
come to the negotiating table.
The agreement signed on Governor's Island on July 3rd was
an important achievement, for both the U.S. and the
international community, in the defense of democracy in
our hemisphere. But it is still too early to celebrate. And lest
we waste the fruits of these labors, we must remain
especially vigilant during the transition period, doubling
our resolve in support of the United Nations and OAS
While I can hardly wait for the moment on October 30,
when President Aristide touches down in Port-au-Prince, I
must caution that grave dangers still lie ahead. The next
four months may well be the most perilous period in Haiti
since the coup and its aftermath when more than 3,000
civilians were killed by the military. The transition cannot
be completed without the exercise of civil liberties and an
end to massive violations of human rights.
Therefore. I urge the President to press the OAS to rapidly
complete the installation of its civilian observer mission and
the U.N. to deploy an international police mission as soon as
possible to ensure the physical safety of all parties and the
creation of a new police force.
Equally important, and the agreement so stipulates, the
international community must closely monitor the status of
human rights, including free speech and assembly, for all
political parties and civic associations. The Haitian people,
who have paid for democracy with their lives, need proof
that it will soon be delivered in full.
President Aristide, even prior to his actual return, can play
a crucial role in calming the Haitian people. His regular
"presence" over Haitian radio and television, serving as
evidence of his imminent return, would go a long way in
reducing the pressure for violent displays of anger and
To bolster all of this, the international embargo of oil and
arms, which brought the Haitian military to the negotiating
table, must be strictly enforced, not only at Haitian ports
but across the Dominican border and the Miami River. In
addition, we must continue the freeze of personal assets and
restrictions on travel to the U.S. by supporters of the coup.
Perhaps most important of all, the U.S. government must
not flag in its support of the agreement. We must do
everything in our power to assure the Haitian people and
the legally elected Parliament that we intend to stand by
our commitments to them and to President Aristide.
We must be especially careful to ensure that the policy of
the Administration is clearly understood and executed at all
levels of our government, in Washington and in Haiti, so
that the Haitian people--and the de facto government--will
not be confused by mixed signals as they had been in the
Thankyou, Mr. Chairman.
TESTIMONY OF CONGRESSMAN MAJOR OWENS
BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
JULY 21, 1993
MR. CHAIRMAN, MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE, WE ARE HERE TODAY
TO TALK ABOUT THE GOVERNORS ISLAND AGREEMENT SIGNED IN NEW YORK
EARLIER THIS MONTH BY PRESIDENT ARISTIDE AND GENERAL RAOUL CEDRAS.
THIS AGREEMENT HAS TEN POINTS. I AM PARTICULARLY CONCERNED
ABOUT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE UNITED STATES, AS PART OF THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, IN SPECIFYING THE MEANING AND
IMPLEMENTATION OF POINT TEN, WHICH CONCERNS VERIFYING THE OTHER
NINE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT.
I HAVE LONG-TERM CONCERNS ABOUT ONGOING HUMAN RIGHTS
VIOLATIONS IN HAITI, AND HOW POINT TEN OF THE AGREEMENT WILL
ADDRESS THE HUMAN RIGHTS CLIMATE IN HAITI DURING THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF THE AGREEMENT, INCLUDING THE PERIOD OF TIME FOLLOWING POINT NINE
OF THE AGREEMENT, THE RETURN OF PRESIDENT ARISTIDE ON OCTOBER 30TH
OF THIS YEAR.
LET ME BEGIN BY STATING THAT I REPRESENT NEW YORK'S 11TH
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, AND SERVE AS CHAIR OF THE CONGRESSIONAL
BLACK CAUCUS HAITI TASK FORCE. MY CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, CENTRAL
BROOKLYN, IS HOME TO NEW YORK STATE'S SECOND LARGEST FOREIGN-BORN
POPULATION. MY DISTRICT AND BROOKLYN ARE HOME TO THE SECOND
LARGEST HAITIAN POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES, AFTER MIAMI,
FLORIDA. FOR YEARS I HAVE KEPT TRACK OF THE SITUATION IN HAITI.
TODAY I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE SEVERAL PERTINENT DOCUMENTS. THREE
ARE FROM MY FILES FROM OCTOBEP AND NOVEMBER, 1991, INCLUDING MY
FLOOR STATEMENT OF OCTOBER 1, 1991, THE DAY FOLLOWING THE COUP; A
SHORT CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS IN HAITI DURING THE WEEKS FOLLOWING THE
COUP; AND MY TESTIMONY BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON
INTERNATIONAL LAW, IMMIGRATION, AND REFUGEES ON NOVEMBER 20, 1991
CONCERNING U.S. POLICY REGARDING HAITIAN REFUGEES .
LET ME SAY THAT I HAVE BEEN ENCOURAGED BY PROGRESS IN OUR
POLICY TOWARD HAITI MADE BY THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IN THE PAST
WEEKS AND MONTHS, BUT I MUST EMPHASIZE THAT CONTINUED VIGILANCE AND
TANGIBLE COMMITMENT ARE STILL REQUIRED OF THE ADMINISTRATION,
CONGRESS, AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, TO ASSIST IN RESOLVING HAITI'S
IMMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM CRISES.
THE FINAL PARAGRAPH OF THE GOVERNORS ISLAND AGREEMENT CALLS
FOR COMPLETE COOPERATION BY ALL PARTIES TO ACHIEVE A DEMOCRATIC,
STABLE SOCIETY IN WHICH ALL HAITIANS CAN LIVE IN A CLIMATE OF
LIBERTY, JUSTICE, SECURITY AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS.
HOWEVER, IT IS WELL-KNOWN AND WELL-DOCUMENTED THAT TO DATE, SUCH
HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE. WE NEED A PLAN, WE NEED EVIDENCE AND HUMAN
RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT, FOR MEASURABLE, CONCRETE AND SUSTAINED HUMAN
RIGHTS IMPROVEMENTS IN HAITI. WITHOUT THIS FOUNDATION, THE ENTIRE
GOVERNORS-ISLAND AGREEMENT IS HELD HOSTAGE BY THE REALITY OF AND
POTENTIAL FOR FURTHER HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES.
THE SUCCESS OF POINTS 2, 3, 4, AND 9 OF THE GOVERNORS ISLAND
AGREEMENT HINGE UPON IMMEDIATE IMPROVEMENT IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF
HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI. RIGHT NOW, EMPHASIS IS BEING PLACED UPON
POINT 2 OF THE AGREEMENT, PRESIDENT ARISTIDE'S SELECTION OF A NEW
PRIME MINISTER, HOWEVER IT SEEMS TO ME, BASED UPON RECENT HISTORY
IN HAITI, THAT POINTS 7 AND 8 SHOULD BE ADDRESSED NOW, INSTEAD OF
POINT 7 REFERS IN PART TO PRESIDENT ARISTIDE'S NAMING OF A NEW
POLICE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, AND POINT 8 REFERS TO THE RESIGNATION OF
GENERAL CEDRAS, AND THE SELECTION OF A NEW COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF
THE ARMED FORCES, AND A CONSTITUTIONAL SELECTION OF A NEW ARMY HIGH
COMMAND. IT OCCURS TO ME THAT IN ORDER FOR A NEW PRIME MINISTER TO
BEGIN TO CARRY OUT HIS OR HER OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS WITH CONFIDENCE
AND FREE FROM FEAR OF INTIMIDATION, IN ORDER TO BEGIN TO RESTORE
THE CONFIDENCE OF THE HAITIAN PEOPLE AND THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY, POINTS 7 AND 8 NEED TO BE ADDRESSED NOW. IN ORDER TO
UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF POINTS 7 AND 8, WE SHOULD RECALL A
HAITIAN PROVERB WHICH SAYS, "THE CONSTITUTION IS MADE OF PAPER, BUT
THE BAYONET IS MADE OF STEEL."
FINALLY, WHILE I CANNOT SPEAK FOR THE HAITIAN PEOPLE OR THE
HAITIAN GOVERNMENT REGARDING POINT 6 OF THE AGREEMENT, CONCERNING
AN AMNESTY FOR PERPETRATORS OF CRIMES AGAINST THE HAITIAN PEOPLE,
I HOPE ANY AMNESTY WILL BE STRICTLY DEFINED ACCORDING TO THE
HAITIAN CONSTITUTION. I HOPE THAT THERE WILL BE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR
THE EVENTS OF THE PAST TWO YEARS DURING THE PERIOD OF THE COUP.
Testimony of the Honorable E. Clay Shaw, Zr.
July 21, 1993
House Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs
Haiti -- The Aareement of Governors Island
Mr. Chairman, : appreciate the opportunity to testify today about the
prospects for the restoration of democracy in Haiti. : am encouraged by
the chances for a return of democracy to Hait1, and I hope the Governcr's
Island Agreement will be an effective guide for reaching that goal.
Much depends on good faith on each side, and so far we can only hope that
the agreement reached between President Aristide and General Cedras will be
followed. History is not encouraging, however, as no Latn American
President forced from office has ever been restored through a nego:lated
agreement. Nonetheless, this agreement represents more progress than we
have seen in the past 22 months, and it deserves our support.
I believe we also need to start planning how to promote future eccno-ic
development in Haiti. If Aristide is restored but no improvement is made
in the economic status of most Haitians, democracy will not survive. Our
long-term challenge is to promote development in Haiti that will ensure
political stability, and I believe several options bear examination.
First, prior to the September 1991 coup, Haiti participated in the
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). We should take steps to fully
renew this status once democracy is restored. Second, Haiti should become
a full partner in the Caribbean Basin Initiative, which along with
participation in the GSP will expand trade and investment opportunities for
companies in Haiti. The United States should make sure that Haiti has full
access to Section 936 funds, intended for business development throughout
the Caribbean region.
Given reports of near famine in Haiti today, other measures obviously will
be needed. Even before the coup and resulting economic embargo, Haiti was
the poorest country in our hemisphere, and business development there will
not occur overnight. Taken together, however, these steps will assist in
restoring some level of economic viability to Haiti. This rests on the
restoration of democracy, but we must recognize that we cannot stop there.
Finally, a word about costs. If we fail to promote economic development in
Haiti, the consequences will be stark for impoverished Haitians and also
many communities in our country. For example, more than 43,000 Haltians
nave fled since the coup, and more than 10.000 have entered the United
States. The majority have remained in Florida, including many of the about
200 with AIDS. If dem-oeraie rule is subverted by persistent poverty in -
Haiti, those numbers -- and the resulting costs to American taxpayers --
could multiply in a future immigration crisis.
Statement by Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs
July 21. 1993
I want to thank Chairman Torricelli for having me testify today. This Committee's close
attention to developments in Haiti will be crucial if we are to see a restoration of democracy
in that country.
I had the privilege of attending the inauguration of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1991.
I saw the hopes of the Haitian people. who are laboring to secure the fruits of liberty and
democracy, despite decades of foreign occupation and military dictatorship.
In my two visits to Governor's Island. during negotiations between President Aristide and
General Cedras. I witnessed the serious resolve of President Aristide to find a just and lasting
solution to the crisis in Haiti. but also the stiff resistance to change by the Haitian military.
Negotiations to achieve the Governor's Island agreement were difficult and the agreement
itself is politically complicated. Ambassador Pezzullo and the U.N. negotiator Dante Caputo
were tireless in their efforts. They should take satisfaction in their work to bring the parties
together. But it would be a mistake for us to underestimate the difficulties that remain on the
path to restoring democracy. Mr. Chairman, the hard part is still ahead of us. Rather than
outlining the agreement. I want to focus on what is needed to ensure full implementation.
First, while sanctions are in place, enforcement must be tough. The U.S. should make it clear
to the Dominican Republic that violations are unacceptable. We should exclude from U.S.
ports any ship or aircraft that violates the sanctions. Sanctions will be suspended when
President Aristide nominates a Prime Minister, and that Prime Minister takes office following
confirmation by the I laitian parliament.
But history has shown that the Haitian military agrees to reforms and then backs away. If the
Haitian military backs away, then sanctions must be reimposed and the United States must
lead the U.N. Security Council to enforce the sanctions through an international embargo.
Second, the U.S. should send a high-level delegation to Haiti during the parliament's
consideration of Aristide's nominee for Prime Minister. The parliament has many who
oppose the President's return. It must be made clear that the U.S. places a high priority on
confirmation of Aristide's choice to lead a new government.
Third. Ambassador Pezzullo worked hard to help get the agreement to restore democracy. He
should exercise firm control over all aspects of U.S. policy to Haiti during the difficult
transition. In the past, the U.S. has sent mixed messages on Haiti. We cannot afford that in
the period ahead.
Fourth, the Clinton Administration is preparing assistance for Haiti during the transition to
democracy. No U.S. military aid should be dispensed bilaterally, even for retraining of the
Haitian security forces. It should all go through multi-lateral channels and the U.N. Given
the history of U.S. involvement in Haiti, it is crucial that we operate now within the
framework of an international effort.
Fifth. the U.S. should condition all aid on observance of basic human rights and civil liberties
in I laiti. General Cedras has said that he cannot tolerate even peaceful protests. International
observers report that demonstrators are still beaten, sometimes severely, while in military
custody. We must use our significant assistance to press for an end to these abuses.
Finally, U.S. assistance must be used to erode, rather than reinforce, the massive disparities
that exist between rich and poor in Haiti. The program should have strong components that
promote food security, small businesses, health, education, and environmentally sound
Unfortunately, our programs have not met these challenges in the past. The National Labor
Committee Education Fund reported that in 1991, U.S. A.I.D. helped organize, finance and
manage elite business opposition to the economic and social policies of the democratically
elected government of President Aristide. U.S. tax dollars reportedly were used to oppose
Aristide's attempt to raise the minimum wage from $.33 to $.50 an hour.
If we take the side of Haiti's wealthy elite in the future, we will only fuel the type of
polarization that led to the coup.
The (Governor's Island agreement has good prospects for restoring democracy to Haiti and
returning! President Aristide. But it will require constant vigilance and activism from the
international community, particularly from the United States. When Aristide is returned, the
Clinton Administration and the Congress will have to work hard to find assistance to help
rebuild I laiti. Foreign aid funds are tight, but we need to make this wise investment in
stability in our Hemisphere.
If this process succeeds, it will be an historic victory for the courageous people of Haiti who
have struggled for democracy and the hope of a better life. Their inspired efforts deserve our
strongest support. It will also be an historic victory for the international community as a
%\hole. The restoration of democratic government by concerted international action will send
a strong message of support for democrats through the world.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF LAWRENCE PEZZULLO
U.S. Special Envoy on Haiti
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to be here
today to brief you on the recent developments in the
international effort to bring about a peaceful return of
constitutional government to Haiti. As you know,
following eight days of discussions in New York, President
Aristide and General Cedras signed the Governor's Island
accord on July 3. This accord provides a concrete means
for attaining each of the goals of the international
effort -- the return of President Aristide and laying the
foundation for a durable democratic system in Haiti. The
accord is a victory not only for Haitians but for
democratic forces throughout the hemisphere. This
agreement also marks a major accomplishment for the
international community and for multilateral diplomacy.
While the accord is only one step toward restoring
constitutional democracy and returning President Aristide
to his duly elected position, it is a crucial step.
Allow me briefly to review the events that brought
about the historic negotiations on Governor's Island.
On January 14, prior to his assuming office, President
Clinton stated that his main goals in Haiti were the
restoration of democracy, the saving of human lives, and
the establishment of a system for fair treatment of
refugees. In order to realize these goals the President
gave Haiti a high priority on his foreign policy agenda.
Indeed, even during the transition he supported the
establishment of the International Civilian Mission
(UN/OAS) to improve the human rights situation in Haiti.
On March 16, President Clinton invited President
Aristide to the White House and reaffirmed his strong
personal support for the restoration of constitutional
government and the return of President Aristide through
UN/OAS-sponsored negotiations. The President also
announced that the Secretary of State had appointed me to
coordinate U.S. government efforts in support of these
Immediately upon assuming my post, I joined UN/OAS
Envoy Dante Caputo in a series of discussions with both
President Aristide and the Haitian military. What was
apparent from these discussions was that both parties were
reluctant to move forward toward a solution due to fears
about the intentions of the other. Both expressed the
view that some form of international armed presence would
be necessary to provide the reassurance each felt they
needed if they were to move ahead with a process of return
to democracy. These discussions led to the elaboration of
a plan to send something under 1000 police and military
personnel to Haiti to begin intensive professionalization
programs. Unfortunately neither party was willing
publicly to endorse this proposal. In response to the
Haitian military's intransigence, the U.S.-moved
immediately to increase sanctions on the regime. On June
4, President Clinton announced that we would bar entry
into the U.S. and freeze personal assets of de facto
regime officials, military officers and other individuals
who impede progress toward a negotiated settlement. The
President also announced that the U.S. would seek greater
compliance with the OAS trade embargo which had been
imposed on a voluntary basis. On June 6 the OAS Meeting
of Foreign Ministers on Haiti passed a resolution
strengthening the committee charged with monitoring
compliance. Ambassador Babbitt has assumed the
chairmanship of this newly-fortified committee. This
committee already has met twice and is preparing its first
Finally, the President announced on June 4 that we
would consult other UN member states on the possibility of
worldwide sanctions. The United States was one of the
sponsors of a resolution passed by the UN Security Council
on July 16 establishing an embargo on petroleum and arms
and recommended that member states freeze de facto
government assets. This resolution, aimed at restoring
democratic rule, is unprecedented in UN history. These
decisive actions by the United States and the
international community were a critical factor in the
military's decision to come to Governor's Island to
Now let me review for you the Governor's Island
meeting. This meeting was held under the auspices of
UN/OAS Special Envoy Dante Caputo with assistance from a
group referred to as the Friends of the UN Secretary
General, namely the French, Canadian, Venezuelan and U.S.
governments. The early days of the negotiations were
spent consulting with both parties to get a sense of their
positions. These positions were later distilled into a
proposal by Envoy Dante Caputo which was presented to each
side individually early on the afternoon of July 1. The
Four Friends presented the proposal to President Aristide,
while OAS and U.S. representatives presented the proposal
to General Cedras. That proposal, with minor changes,
ultimately was signed by both sides and constitutes the
Governor's Island accord.
The Governor's Island accord lays out a 10-point
process which culminates in President Aristide's return to
Haiti on October 30. I ask to submit for the record a
report transmitted by the UN Secretary General to the
Security Council which contains the text of the accord and
the other attendant documents.
The first step toward implementing this agreement
occurred last week when a group of Haitian political
leaders and parliamentarians, invited by Envoy Caputo, met
in New York and signed an agreement which clears the way
for the parliamentary actions needed to implement the
The next step is for President Aristide to name a new
prime minister. Under the arrangements worked out by the
parliamentary representatives, the nominee promptly will
be ratified by the parliament. Once the new prime
minister has assumed his or her duties, international
sanctions against Haiti will be suspended. Technical and
financial assistance, including assistance in
strengthening the judicial system, modernizing the
military and establishing a new civilian police force will
then begin. Police and military personnel under UN
command will also act as a dissuasive presence to assure a
peaceful transition of power.
Next, as specified in the accord, President Aristide
will grant an amnesty under article 147 of-the Haitian
constitution and the new government will implement other
amnesty provisions to be established by the parliament.
In conjunction with the creation of a civilian police
force, President Aristide will appoint a new police
chief. By agreement, General Cedras will exercise his
right to an early retirement prior to President Aristide's
return and President Aristide will appoint a new Commander
in Chief of the armed forces, who in turn will appoint the
members of the general staff. With the new government
functioning and international assistance beginning, with
new police and military leadership, and with UN police and
military personnel in place, President Aristide will
return to Haiti on October 30. The last point in the
agreement reiterates the UN and OAS commitment to verify
that all parties comply with the terms of the agreement.
We share the UN and OAS concern that each party adhere
to the letter and spirit of the agreement. To stress his
concern, the Secretary General's report to the UN Security
Council outlines the steps he will take to verify the
compliance of both parties with the agreement. The
Security Council has already signaled its readiness to
take action to promote compliance. This includes
confirmation that while sanctions will be suspended once
President Aristide's prime minister assumes his or her
duties, the suspension may be terminated if parties do not
comply with the accord.
In addition the Secretary General's report reiterates
the international community's concern for the human rights
situation in the country and notes that numerous
violations of human rights would constitute examples of
76-726 94 3
failure to comply with the accord. To monitor the human
rights situation, the UN and OAS will rely on the
International Civilian Mission, now 160 observers strong,
to monitor the situation and report on a regular basis to
Mr. Caputo. We remain concerned about the human rights
situation in Haiti and have vocally and materially
supported the activities of the ICM which is now deployed
in all nine Haitian provinces. We will continue to
monitor the situation and keep in close contact with the
ICM. Clearly though, the long term answer to the
suffering of the Haitian people is to restore a
constitutional government and resume the process of
building that nation's economy -- both of which will
occur as the Governor's Island accord is implemented.
We strongly believe that this accord is a good one.
It provides for the restoration of constitutional
government, provides a date certain for President
Aristide's return and establishes a verification
mechanism. The critical factor in ultimately reaching
this agreement was not just the soundness of the proposal
presented by Envoy Caputo but also the leadership shown by
both sides. Each was ready to take on the responsibility
of reaching an agreement. There were indications that
some of the more extreme elements in both camps originally
were unhappy with various aspects of the proposal.
Fortunately, both President Aristide and General Cedras
put the greater good of the Haitian people first and
recognized that the proposal is a prudent and realistic
transition formula for returning democratic government to
One of the critical decisions in the negotiations --
the length of the transition period and thus the date of
President Aristide's return to Haiti -- was largely based
on the length of time it would take the international
community to develop and put in place the international
presence called for in the agreement to assist in the
developmental programs. The international community's
commitment to put in place personnel and resume assistance
will be critical in ensuring that the transition to
democratic government and President Aristide's return is a
peaceful one and one which protects the rights of all
Haitians. We must be ready to participate in the numerous
programs the international community is planning for Haiti.
As the Administration previously briefed Congressional
leaders on various occasions, the assistance package
envisioned by the international community for Haiti is a
comprehensive one. The international financial
institutions, with the leadership of the UNDP,
already have sent down a team to study conditions in Haiti
to determine how best to coordinate international economic
assistance. Haiti's arrears to these financial
institutions must be settled urgently so that they can
resume assistance promptly. We are working on a plan to
assist Haiti in clearing these arrears. We are also
planning some quick disbursing high-impact income
generation and job creation programs to act as a bridge
until the international financial institutions can
disburse their funds. These programs will put Haitians
back to work rebuilding sorely neglected infrastructure.
In addition we have begun formulating an
administration of justice program on which we will be
coordinating with the United Nations Development Program
and the OAS. Furthermore we intend to support the UN plan
to establish a separate police force and to
professionalize the Haitian military. As part of this
program we are working with the UN on plans to deploy
civic action and training teams to work with the Haitian
military on professionalization. Of course we will
continue to support the International Civilian Mission now
deployed in Haiti and our own extensive humanitarian
assistance program. To help support all these programs
through this fiscal year, we have reprogrammed $37.5
million from other programs in the region.
The first goal of the United States and the
international community -- that of restoring democracy --
is now within reach. Regarding the other U.S. policy
priorities that President Clinton defined -- saving human
lives and establishing a system for fair treatment of
refugees -- I would like to briefly outline how this
Administration has greatly enhanced the in-country refugee
processing program to provide safe and fair alternatives
to boat departures. First, such in-country processing is
only available in three other countries: Cuba, the former
Soviet Union and Vietnam. The program in Haiti has more
than doubled in processing capacity under the Clinton
administration. We have established two additional
processing centers, one in the northern city of Cap
Haitian, the other in the southern city of Les Cayes to
make our in-country program more accessible to Haitians in
more remote parts of the country who are unable to travel
to Port au Prince. We also have streamlined processing so
that high priority cases can be processed through INS
interview on a same-day or next-day basis, and can be
fully processed in seven working days if required.
Finally our Embassy has monitored over 4000 Haitians who
have been returned to Haiti and has not found any evidence
that they have been targeted for persecution as a result
of their departure and subsequent return.
Once constitutional government is restored and
economic programs begin to improve economic opportunities
in Haiti, it is our hope that dangerous boat migration
attempts from Haiti will subside.
In closing, the U.S. can be proud of the role it has
played and continues to play in support of the UN/OAS
negotiating effort. Full credit for the successful
conclusion of the meeting at Governor's Island should go
to the negotiating talent of Envoy Dante Caputo, whose
perseverance and skill cannot be overstated. However, I
believe Envoy Caputo and the institutions he represents
recognize the major effort made by the United States to
push forward a settlement to the Haiti crisis. Our
decision to impose sanctions against the regime and our
support in the UN and OAS to establish and strengthen
existing sanctions, were critical in getting the military
to come to the negotiating table. While we are still in
the midst of implementing this agreement, I do not believe
it is too early to say that the progress made thus far is
a credit to multilateral diplomacy, the four Friends of
the Secretary General and to the UN and the OAS.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Testimony of The Honorable Michael D. Barnes,
Counsel to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti
Before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs
of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
July 21, 1993
On October 31, 1991, this Subcommittee first met to consider the coup
in Haiti that exiled democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Mr.
Chairman, in that hearing you correctly observed that this coup raised a larger
danger to democracy in the Hemisphere. You concluded that it was "imperative
that the democratic community close ranks and respond as one." Mr. Chairman,
your remarks were prophetic. In the 22 months since that hearing, we have seen
military leaders challenge democracies in Venezuela, Peru and, most recently,
Guatemala. Unfortunately, the international community failed to act decisively on
Haiti until recently. As a result, your hope that the Haitian people would not have
to endure their tragedy much longer was not fulfilled. A full two years will have
passed from the day of that important hearing when President Aristide returns to
his country on October 30,1993.
Now, however, there is hope. Because of the leadership of President
Clinton and other international leaders committed to democracy, in the past few
weeks genuine progress has been made toward the restoration of President Aristide
to office in Haiti. Without that leadership we would not have witnessed the
important action of the UN Security Council which forced the military government
in Haiti, the coup regime, to negotiate the return of democracy.
On behalf of President Aristide, I want to again publicly thank
President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Secretary Christopher, Ambassador
Pezzullo, and the many others in the Administration who have worked so tirelessly
on this issue over the past months. President Aristide has already invited
President Clinton to join him in Haiti to celebrate the return of democracy, and I
know that will be a day of great celebration for seven million Haitians.
President Aristide also wants me to again thank the many members of
Congress in both parties--including members of this subcommittee--who have
supported the aspirations of the people of Haiti throughout this tragic period since
September 1991. So many have helped that it would not be possible to list them all.
I will just note that four members of the House--Congressmen Conyers, Kennedy,
Owens, and Rangel--actually took the time to join us on Governors Island to show
their support for democracy as we negotiated the difficult issues which resulted in
the agreement signed by President Aristide on July 3.
We also want to recognize the efforts of all of the men and women at
the UN and OAS, including Secretaries General Baena Soares and Boutros-Ghali
and Ambassador Dante Caputo for their unflagging commitment to the cause of
Haitian democracy. This has been a fine moment for both of these institutions.
The Governors Island Accord is truly historic. It marks the first time
the world community has succeeded in persuading a military coup to return to the
barracks and in reinstating a legitimately elected President in office. It also
contains important provisions reestablishing civilian control of government. These
include the selection of a new Prime Minister, the appointment of a new police chief
and establishment of an independent civilian police force, and the replacement of
the current military high command.
A companion pact signed last week in New York commits the civilian
parliament to take the necessary actions to facilitate the transition. The
parliamentarians will ratify the President's choice of Prime Minister, enact laws
necessary to create an independent police force separate from the military, abolish
the illegal paramilitary forces that have been responsible for numerous human
rights abuses and invalidate actions taken by the coup. We understand that the
parliamentarians elected illegally in January will not participate in these activities.
This is logical -- the January elections were universally condemned as illegitimate
and were boycotted by most Haitians. To the extent there remains any question on
this point, as some participants in last week's meeting have suggested, it should be
resolved immediately, and the identity of the current leadership of the lawful
Parliament acknowledged by all parties before naming of a Prime Minister so that
the Constitutional procedure of advance Presidential consultation with the
Parliamentary leadership can be followed. .
The agreement is not fail safe. It sets a framework for the restoration
of democratic government, but provides few guarantees. This is particularly true
during the delicate transition period ahead. President Aristide, the UN, OAS, and
U.S. have recognized that an international presence will be necessary to facilitate a
climate for political dialogue and to provide reassurance to all Haitians that human
rights will be respected. The UN/OAS International Civilian Mission is charged
with observing human rights and has been establishing a presence gradually since
February. The International Technical Mission is charged with monitoring police
activities during the transition and providing long-term training for the newly
created civilian force. It has yet to be established. Neither mission will be fully
deployed until the end of the transition period. This leaves the military largely
responsible for setting the climate for the democratic transition. The dire human
rights record of the past 22 months gives Haitians legitimate cause for concern.
So does the post-Accord environment. Abuses have continued during
and after the negotiations on Governors Island. Although the coup regime agreed
that state-owned radio would air President Aristide's speech to the nation, it took a
full week and significant outside pressure to accomplish this, and it was broadcast
at 3 in the morning. Individuals participating in peaceful public demonstrations
are still at risk, notwithstanding the presence of the UN/OAS Civilian Mission. On
July 10, the police brutally suppressed a meeting at St. Jean Bosco Church. Just
last week, on July 14, at least one person was shot and several were beaten in a
peaceful demonstration in Cite Soleil monitored by the Mission. Recent statements
by Lt. Gen. Cedras that the military will not allow public demonstrations and Col.
Francois asserting an ongoing role in formation of the civilian police force raise
concerns about their commitment to the Accord. These incidents reinforce the
perception of ordinary Haitians that the Accord will not create the space for free
expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association. But without such an
opening, it will be difficult to accomplish a genuine and lasting political transition.
The U.S. has an important ongoing role to play in ensuring that this
process stays on track, and the Congress should remain actively involved in
overseeing such efforts. As a starting observation, it is essential that the Aristide
government retain control of this process, particularly programs to aid and assist
the military and police. This requires a two-phased approach. The first phase
involves quick deployment of an international technical assistance mission to
ensure that law enforcement activities during the transition are conducted to
prevent or minimize abuse of human rights and to promote freedoms of assembly,
association and speech so crucial to ensuring the transition is real and lasting. The
second phase, training of police and military, would not begin until after the
President returns. It is equally important that the current command be isolated
from planning until after the institutions are under civilian control and those
responsible for the worst abuses have been identified and removed or excluded from
participation. Any process proposed by the UN, OAS, or the U.S. that excludes the
civilian government and allows the current military and police command to
participate in planning of aid and assistance programs, to select candidates for
training and aid programs, or to participate in the programs themselves, runs
counter to the goal of reestablishing civilian control over these institutions.
There are three important things the U.S. can do in support of the
Accords. First, the U.S. must make clear that continued human rights abuses are
inconsistent with the spirit of the Accord and will trigger prompt reimposition of
sanctions. As a first step, the U.S. should ensure that the Security Council
resolution is conformed to the Accords--to incorporate a mechanism for reimposition
--before sanctions are suspended--so that the coup regime knows that failure to
comply will mean automatic reimposition. We all realize that the sanctions are
being suspended to facilitate the political settlement--and not because there has
been "tangible progress" on human rights. As the UN/OAS Mission has observed,
numerous and grave violations persist. We agree with Americas Watch that "peace
and prosperity can be secured in Haiti only if the violent order of the army is
replaced by the firmer foundation of a free and vibrant civil society." Second, the
U.S. should work with the UN to establish the international presence as soon as
possible. This means completing deployment of the International Civilian Mission
immediately, and providing all needed equipment and materiel so that the Mission
can carry out its mandate. This also means pressing the coup regime to honor
commitments to the Mission to permit free movement throughout the country, full
and prompt access to detainees, and to cooperate in facilitating the Mission's work.
Planning is now underway for a separate technical assistance mission to monitor
law enforcement activity during this delicate transition and to assist in creating the
new civilian police force. It is imperative that the Civilian Mission be fully
integrated into the effort.
Third, the U.S. should be prepared to cease providing aid for technical
assistance and training of the military and police if abuses continue or if the coup
regime fails to honor its commitments under the Accord. No U.S. aid should be
provided until after a new Prime Minister is ratified by the Parliament, all aid
should be directed through the elected President, and the U.S. should consult
closely with President Aristide and his government on the operation of these
programs throughout the transition period. Of course, training and
professionalization of the military and police--as opposed to international
monitoring and verification--cannot proceed while the current command remains in
place. This would put the U.S. in the untenable posture of reinforcing and
rejuvenating a system the UN and OAS are trying to replace with a civilian-
controlled system. These safeguards help to ensure that any training will not be
counter-productive to the goal of reestablishing civilian control over the military
and the police. If they do not provide adequate protection, then they should be
stiffened or aid stopped.
We will celebrate President Aristide's return to Haiti in October
provided we follow the lessons of the past 22 months. The first lesson is that a clear
and consistent message is required to unseat dictators. For too long, the coup
regime was able to trade for oil, arms and a broad array of consumer goods because
the voluntary OAS embargo was not enforceable, our European allies were not
persuaded that they should voluntarily assist in this effort and, unfortunately,
because the U.S. was slow to implement the embargo and to punish violators. The
worldwide embargo imposed by the UN Security Council in June finally signaled to
the coup and its backers in the business community that Haiti would remain an
international pariah until President Aristide was restored to office. It should be
swiftly reimposed if the regime fails to keep its commitments.
Second, as the 1990 elections in Haiti showed, a multilateral observer
presence is crucial to safeguard fledgling democracy. International monitors helped
to ensure that voters would not be risking their lives, and that the results would be
tabulated fairly and respected. Perhaps if they had stayed on, the coup would not
have happened. Monitors are equally important today to ensure a smooth
transition and the President's safe return. If this effort is to enjoy the same success
as in 1990, it will require the Congress, the intergovernmental organizations, and
the many nongovernmental organizations to supplement the UN and OAS
monitoring presence. We call on all groups to send monitors now to ensure that the
promise of this historic moment is fulfilled. In particular, we hope that the OAS
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will send a mission to Haiti
immediately. The military government has not permitted the Commission to enter
the country since the coup, but its presence could be most helpful during the
delicate period of the transition back to democracy.
Third, we have learned that we cannot compromise the mandate of a
popularly elected president. The 1990 election in Haiti was not a fluke, but
signaled a fundamental change in Haitian society. It reflected the rebirth and
growing strength of civil and grassroots organizations throughout the country. This
broad coalition, filling the role of traditional political parties that Haiti lacked,
participated actively in the campaign and gave the President his overwhelming
mandate. The coup regime succeeded in repressing popular organizing activities,
but could not shake these groups' commitment to President Aristide's return. The
regime's figurehead civilian prime ministers exercised no real authority and only
strengthened support for the President. It is clear that any attempt to broker a
compromise with the coup regime would trigger massive protest. Without President
Aristide. there can be no democracy in Haiti.
Haitians have suffered long and sacrificed much for the democratic
principles we hold dear. If we keep our commitments and marshal our efforts over
the next several months, then we can redeem your pledge, Mr. Chairman, that the
Haitians will not endure this tragedy much longer.
TESTIMONY OF ANDREW POSTAL
PRESIDENT OF JUDY BOND, INC.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
AND CHAIRMAN, C/LAA HAITI TASK FORCE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS OF
THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
JULY 21, 1993
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, it is a pleasure to be here
tod-., to discuss Haiti, and business perspectives on how the rebuilding process
can maximize employment and construct a new public/private sector
partnership for growth.
I am testifying as a manufacturer, as well as being the Chairman of the
Haiti Task Force of Caribbean/Latin American Action a non-profit
organization whose mandate is to promote the growth of the private sector of
the hemisphere as the best vehicle for true economic stability and democracy -
whose members represent a large majority of those American firms still
l_:-sent in Haiti today, and many which have left. These firms have maie
major commitments in the Haitian manufacturing, agricultural,
communications, finance and transportation sectors over many years and we
have seen and experienced the gradual collapse of the Haitian economy
generally and the assembly sector in particular over the past six or seven years.
The U.S. private sector took a public position on the embargo from its
inception. We firmly believed and asserted to the State Department that the
only way an embargo would work was by completely shutting down the
country. It would not work without global participation. In fact, we believed
that nothing short of intervention would bring about a quick solution.
Predictably, the consequence of the initial embargo policy has been the gradual
devastation of the economy with no resulting political change.
While precise figures do not exist on the magnitude of the economic
decline in Haiti, I would estimate that from an employment level in the
150,000 range in the mid-1980's, Haiti today employs some 8/10,000 in the
manufacturing sector. Prior to the embargo, political instability had caused the
departure of such major U.S. corporations as MacGregor and Stride-Rite, the
embargo has added to the list, causing the departure of the last of the major
sporting goods operations as recently as this month. As this core business
sector has dried up, ancillary businesses in communications, transportation and
finance have likewise withered. The global embargo will end what is left in a
matter of days or, at most, a few weeks. I am personally a representative of
one of those companies that has been in Haiti for many years, but without
basic infrastructural support, because of the embargo, the end of my operation
is near. I mention this only to make the point that the embargo on Haiti is a
two-edged sword which until now has not been correctly wielded. It has been
slow in reaching its political objectives and has dramatically reduced Haitian
opportunity. The embargo must be relieved as soon as possible or the
rebuilding of Haiti will have no base.
Over the past few years the C/LAA group of companies in Haiti has
tried to engage each of the successive Haitian governments by pointing out the
problems that have hindered expanded production and increasingly non-
competitive practices. Each effort has been frustrated by bureaucratic
ineptness, conflicts with interest groups, and ultimately the incapacity of any
government to follow through with its commitments. While we all appreciate
the difficulties that President Aristide will meet when dealing with the
governance of Haiti, one thing is certain, Haitian democracy will surely have
a better chance for survival and its economy better prospects for recovery when
the government is free to respond to the true interests of the majority of its
constituents. It is our sound belief that the creation of a free market economy
in Haiti in which the average Haitian can participate will be the future for
Before commenting on the future of Haiti I would like to remind the
Committee and others who hope for a successful outcome to this Haitian
tragedy, that rebuilding the business sectors will be a lot tougher today than
it would have been a few years ago or even last year. Notwithstanding
relatively competitive wage levels, Haiti has become much less competitive
than sister countries in the Caribbean Basin because of political uncertainties,
poor infrastructure, and other extraordinary costs of doing business. Countries
such as Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic currently
offer better infrastructure at a lower cost, and in most of these countries there
has been aggressive action taken by these governments to grow their private
Specifically in the area of apparel probably the fastest growing non-
traditional sector Haiti will have to overcome not only aggressive regional
competition, but also the substantial complication of the potential Uruguay
Round and NAFTA agreements. The combination of those two momentous
changes in U.S. trade relations have led most apparel companies to be
extremely cautious about investment in plants and equipment in the near term.
With the conclusion of either the Uruguay Round and/or NAFTA, the
prospect of attracting new apparel investment into Haiti becomes substantially
I mention this because the early likelihood of putting Haiti's economy
back together to anything approaching the level of the mid-80's will be most
challenging. The democratic government will need to engender a high level
of open and transparent collaboration between the public and private sectors
with an important admixture from the assistance agencies and the U.S.
business community. I am not aware of any other instance, certainly not in
this hemisphere, where so much needs to be done in so short a time and
against such odds. Those who subscribe to the notion that a stabilized
democratic system in Haiti will translate into economic growth will be
frustrated. Similarly, pouring money into purely humanitarian projects, as
necessary as they may be in this impoverished land, will only marginally reduce
the misery and only until the money runs out. Removing the embargo and
pumping money into public sector projects will not stimulate investment. In
conjunction with a government that is aggressively selling the country and
updating its infrastructure, there needs to be a fundamental emphasis on
private sector development in the rebuilding of the economy.
I would argue for a totally new and admittedly untried approach that is
conceived to jump start the Haitian manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
An approach that brings together the Government of Haiti, the Haitian private
sector, the U.S. government, and the international donor community. For
Haiti, as in any other Caribbean Basin nation (barring oil-producing countries)
non-traditional exports will have to be the engine for growth. This would lead
from what has traditionally been a strength of Haiti the productivity of its
work force. We should aim to construct a strategy through the early assistance
programs that would seek, as President Aristide pointed out to the C/I.LAA
Board of Trustees in early June, to help the Haitian government create a
functioning private sector. Such a strategy would necessarily involve the
rebuilding of those institutions dealing with ports, communications, power,
water, sanitation, security, transportation and finance. On the part of the
private sector, there is little doubt that enlightened self-interest would motivate
the companies doing business in Haiti to participate in the process. In fact,
both the U.S. and Haitian companies have worked to sustain jobs throughout
the crisis. I would also mention that one of the institutions that I believe has
failed Haiti is the lack of good labor organization. Absent responsible labor,
I am confident that Haiti will be at a disadvantage in building an environment
for increased investment and job creation.
The United States Government, representing Haiti's leading trading
partner, and one of the principle actors in seeking to engineer a return to
democracy, must play a special role in rebuilding the Haitian economy. It can
do no less than to assume a special responsibility for the state of affairs.
Therefore, the U.S. must take extraordinary measures both in terms of
envisioned financial support, and in terms of non-financial contributions to
promote trade and investment. As an enclosure to this testimony, I have
attached for the record a series of suggestions that our foreign affairs and
assistance leaders might review. I would only mention a few of these for the
sake of illustration. We might apply extraordinary and temporary tariff
reductions on assembled products from Haiti, liberalized quotas on similar
products, provide tax credits for training and investment, extend low cost loans
for capital projects, and help establish an "equipment bank" so that factories
have access to the equipment necessary to modernize their production lines.
On the agriculture side, perhaps an agricultural inspection station could go
hand in hand with a vigorous technical assistance program in the rural areas.
I could go on with these, but it is sufficient to note that there are many options
that would induce production, create jobs quickly and cost relatively little. I
urge the committee to consider that nothing short of a full-scale commitment
will bring about a quick recovery.
Today the value of the private sector is much better understood and
appreciated at its face value. Its motives are transparent and its approach self-
evident. It seeks institutions which are supportive to its goals of predictability
and competitiveness at the global level. But the window of opportunity is
narrow and the firms' involvement can not be taken for granted. The nucleus
of companies that have held on are the kernel from which we have to build,
however, there is skepticism within the business community as to how much
the international agencies are prepared to work with us. Yet we remain
hopeful that this attitude of cooperation will be forthcoming. The first step in
this effort will in fact begin this week. Our organization, working with
President Aristide's team, will participate in a colloquy in Miami, together with
the Haitian private sector, that will take a first pass at the problems seen to be
inhibiting the return of investment and jobs to Haiti.
It is clearly not for C/LAA or any other group to dictate the public
policy course for Haiti under democracy. All we can do is offer and, if
accepted, do the best we can to help. But it has been encouraging to those of
us who know Haiti and have worked there for many years, to hear from
President Aristide that he regards the development of open and transparent
business conditions and practices as the fundamental basis for the creation of
the maximum number of jobs. One of the things that will be examined by
both the Haitian and U.S. private sectors will be the degree to which the
international commitment to the recovery of Haiti is sustained this is
particularly true for both the Executive and Legislative branches of the U.S.
Government. This experiment with democracy will come to nothing without
long-term commitment especially in a country without a tradition of
Finally, we urge all international donor countries and institutions that
they consider the interests of the Haitian private sector, and consult the
Haitian private sector when constructing grants and formulating their
programs. We do not need money for roads to nowhere in Haiti, nor can we
afford to wait much longer for the building to begin. I believe we all share
some responsibilities in the solution, but I must repeat my conviction that this
new democracy will survive and gain strength in direct proportion to the
quality of the business environment and the jobs it creates. Failure in the
latter, I am certain, will assure that democracy will not make it in Haiti during
any time that I can foresee.
Embargoed Until Delivery
PREPARED STATEMENT OF NINA SHEA, PRESIDENT
THE PUEBLA INSTITUTE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 21, 1993
In the preface to The Comedians, Graham Greene's violent novel about Haiti under
Franqois Duvalier, Greene notes that he did not exaggerate the character of the
government in his book for dramatic effect. "Impossible to deepen that night," he
wrote. "The Tontons Macoute are full of men more evil than Concasseur; the
interrupted funeral is drawn from fact; many a Joseph limps the streets of Port-au-
Prince after his spell of torture."
Greene's words are as apt in describing Haiti's human rights situation now
as they were in 1966 -- as they have been at virtually every point in Haiti's history,
dating from when it was a French slave colony in the seventeenth century. Political
terror and repression are the mode of governing, and violence is the usual method
of resolving disagreements and disputes. Those with weapons hold the power, and
those with power hold it absolutely. This reality will not change until Haiti is truly
democratic -- with strong democratic institutions and a democratic political culture.
1992 Human Rights Overview
The current human rights situation is best described as a generalized, systematic
repression by the armed forces of civil society, affecting groups relating to the
Catholic Church, community development, politics, student associations, peasant
organizations, humanitarian aid and self-help projects, and others. Sometimes this
repression takes the form of summary executions, particularly victimizing those
who demonstrate support for Pres. Aristide, but most regularly it is marked by
arbitrary, short-term detenticns, accompanied by beatings -- often extremely brutal -
during which victims suffer fractured bones, kidney damage, hearing and sight
loss. and requiring hospitalization.
The United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on Haiti observes in his report of
February 4, 1993 that security forces have also engaged in so-called preventive repression,
directed not so much at individuals as at an entire neighborhood or community. A recent
instance of this occurred on July 1 in La Savane aux Cayes when military indiscriminately
beat and harassed the residents of the quarter for
several hours after they brutally dispersed a demonstration. Another example was reported to
have occurred on May 2, 1992, in the commune of Mirebalais, when the section chief and 30
armed soldiers in uniform terrorized the community for four hours, arresting and beating the
residents, shooting into their homes, killing their animals -- all because some members of the
community distributed a flyer calling for Aristide's return.
Military repression is reinforced by pervasive corruption; citizens are required to pay
bribes, extortion fees, and protection money under penalty of death, imprisonment, torture, ill
treatment and/or loss of property. This abuse of power is sometimes referred to as
"traditional" or "endemic" repression, as distinguished from politically motivated reprisals.
Since the arrival in February of the International Civil Commission of the United
Nations and the Organization of American States (ICM), which has been monitoring human
rights throughout the country, the human rights situation has been "relatively calm," but with
"sporadic serious abuses," a senior official of the ICM reported in mid-July 1993. The ICM
official also reports that military abuses in the countryside have decreased over the last six
months. With some grave exceptions, instead of political or ideological differences, the
violence in the countryside is now more rooted in traditional or endemic abuses of power by
the military, which remain a serious problem.
It is impossible to quantify the number of political executions. The government makes no
systematic investigations, and no impartial, professional, and nationwide human rights groups
are undertaking the careful documentation that is needed. Ascertaining the number of victims
is complicated by high crime levels, massive displacement and emigration (some church and
humanitarian sources estimate as many as 300,000 Haitians have left their homes since the
coup). Corpses turn up in the morgues or in the streets, but there is often no proof of who
killed and for what motive. In other cases, political murders go unreported for fear of
reprisals or simply because in some rural areas there is no one to report to. In still other
cases, human rights information is manipulated for political ends. An ICM official recently
stated that it is difficult to determine what happens in Haiti since both sides regularly alter the
factual, forensic account of events after the fact to suit their political needs of the moment.
The human rights data are thus very soft.
Estimates of the numbers of extrajudicial executions for 1991-1992 range from about
500 to 3,000. The longest list of documented killings comes from the Platform of Haitian
Organizations for the Defense of Human Rights which has documented 1,021 killings from
October 1991 to August 1992, although the member groups of that coalition reported 1,000
killings in the immediate aftermath of the coup alone. The Aristide government's figure of
3,000 is based on extrapolations from the Platform list.
Whatever the body count, it is clear that repression is harsh and reflects nationwide
patterns. It is apparent that some human rights violations emanate from policies or practices
adopted at high levels in the military, while others stem from unchecked abuses of power at
the local level. Extrajudicial killings by the military, police, and their agents reached their
peak in the weeks immediately following the coup. During 1992, political killings were less
frequent, and the ICM has noted that such abuses have levelled off or even decreased in some
areas during the six months they have been present in Haiti in 1993.
Recent examples of how politics motivates some of the violence in Haiti follow.
More examples are provided throughout the various sections of this paper.
On September 3, 1992, Marcel Fleurzile, a 55-year old peasant leader and member of
the National Committee of the Congress of Democratic Movements (KONAKOM), a party in
the pro-Aristide coalition FNCD, was gunned down in the street near the party offices in Port-
au-Prince. Fleurzile had been obliged to leave his home near Mirebalais in the Central region
because of continual harassment.
On August 19, 1992, three men who reportedly had been putting up posters of
President Aristide in preparation for a visit of an Organization of American States (OAS)
mission were found dead in the Port-au-Prince morgue after they had been arrested the
On August 14, 1992, Bishop Willy Romelus of Jeremie issue a statement protesting
military threats and harassment against himself and priests in his diocese. In October 1992,
Haiti's Catholic Bishops' Conference issued a statement denouncing acts of intimidation
against Bishop Romelus after he was repeatedly stopped and threatened at military roadblocks
and a military sergeant and armed men had stormed his rectory and beaten up a priest outside
it while looking for the bishop on the night of September 24, 1992.
The UN Special Rapporteur concludes that the civilian authorities have been either
unwilling or powerless to stop these abuses, while the military, the sole authority in many
parts of the country, is said to have been leading the repression. In only one case has a
military officer been held accountable for a political killing. That case involved the summary
execution on December 15, 1991, of Astrel Charles, the congressional lower house
representative for Pignon, North Department. The section chief who shot Charles in cold
blood after Charles criticized him was arrested and is serving a life sentence.
In the countryside and provincial towns, the section chiefs are at the heart of Haiti's
human rights problem. Each of Haiti's 555 communal sections, the smallest administrative
unit in the country, is under the command of a section chief. The institution is directly
descended from customs among the landowners at the time of the Spanish conquest and the
inspectors of culture of the colonial epoch. It has persisted throughout the history of the
republic. Usually the sole representative of the government in the countryside, the section
chief often serves as de facto executive, legislature and judiciary within his section. As the
repository of absolute local power, the institution of section chief is rife with corruption.
Instances of racketeering, extortion and unlawful taxation at the hands of the section chiefs
abound throughout Haiti. Citizens who resist risk death, torture, or imprisonment.
Hundreds of cases of torture by the armed forces have been reported. In nearly every
instance, torture is administered by beatings with the fists, rifles, sticks or whips. Police
routinely disperse demonstrations with brutal beatings of participants, and systematically beat
detainees during interrogation. The Anti-Gang Police in Port-au-Prince are notorious for
administering maiming beatings to its captives.
A recent case was reported on June 28, 1993, when police arrested Vesnel Francois, a
24-year-old member of the platform of popular organizations in Cite Soleil, beating him
mercilessly with rifle butts as they apprehended him. The ICM were denied access to him in
detention that day but could hear his cries outside the police post while he was being beaten
some more. The next day the ICM was told Francois had been transferred to a military
hospital for medical care. On July 1, he was given provisional liberty and the ICM was able
to verify that Francois sustained fractures in his forearms and wrists due to the police
On June 29, 13 members of the peasants' group PAPEYE were arrested after
demonstrating to demand the return of the chef de section under Aristide, and were beaten
with rifle butts and batons while detained in the police barracks in Hinche.
In the last week of June, the ICM was reporting such incidents of beatings of
demonstrators almost daily.
A particularly severe and well-documented case involved a prominent labor leader.
Cajuste Lexiuste, the Secretary General of the CGT union was arrested by Anti-Gang police
on April 23, 1993, while he was driving to Port-au-Prince with two other union members to
protest on the radio the attempted arrest of one of them on the previous day. Lexiuste was
brutally kicked and beaten during detention. After an international campaign on his behalf led
by the AFL-CIO's American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD), a medical
observer of the ICM was allowed to examine Lexiuste on May 11 at a military hospital. He
reported the following: "The victim presents multiple wounds with loss of important
substance to his buttocks. Furthermore, the victim claims to have received blows at the
lumbular area which caused important bilateral contusions with retroperioneal hematosis.
Those blows resulted in renal destruction with renal insufficiency and contained diuresis for
which the victim received dialysis on May 9th, 1993." Lexiuste subsequently required a
kidney operation and now needs regular dialysis. On May 21, 1993, 29 days after being
tortured, Lexiuste was freed. AIFLD's Haiti office has helped Lexiuste find a doctor to
continue treating him, which they report is difficult since doctors fear military retaliation.
One of the other union members arrested with Lexiuste, Sauveur Orelus, was als6 beaten and
sustained head, hearing and back injuries.
In another example, Roosevelt Charles, a coordinator of the National Progressive
Revolutionary Party (PANPRA) for the Limbe area in the North Department and a well-
known activist, was arrested on Feb. 13, 1992 for reasons that are not clear. He later told his
family that he was beaten every day of his eight-day detention. Before his release he was
given 250 blows with a stick. His wounds from the beatings became so infected that without
treatment he might have died. Charles was hospitalized for approximately a month after his
release and then had to be flown to the United States for a skin graft.
The UN special rapporteur on Haiti and Amnesty International have documented
numerous cases of torture not unlike those describe above.
Freedom of Assembly
The general rule throughout the country is that all non-governmental meetings must have the
prior approval of local military authorities. Under these conditions many groups simply no
longer meet. Others that do in defiance of the rule are raided by security officials and
brutally broken up with the arrest and beating of participants.
As copious examples demonstrate, this pattern continues to the present. And it can be
expected to continue for some time. On July 9th, one week after signing the Governor's
Island Accord, Gen. Cedras made clear that the military remains determined to avoid mass
displays of support for Pres. Aristide. Asked by journalists when the army would let Haitians
display posters of Aristide and hold street demonstrations, Cedras responded by asking when
"the rights of Haitian citizens to health and basic needs will be respected." When pressed
further about pro-Aristide demonstrations, Cedras told the Washington Post: "There is a big
difference between those who want to express their opinion and those who want to
For example, on July 14th, four partisans of Aristide were arrested in the presence of
members of the ICM, and accused of organizing a pro-
On June 22 and 23, in the Raboteau quarter of Gonaives, soldiers dispersed pro-
Aristide demonstrations by beating the participants with batons.
In another example, Senator Guy Bauduy from the Southeast Department, a mayor, a
justice of the peace, five businessmen, and other citizens were arrested and forced to spend
the night of November 1, 1992, huddled in a cell in the local barracks for having held a
meeting without military authorization. The senator reported on Radio Mdtropole that they
were arrested while discussing the possibility of opening a chamber of commerce in the
Church groups are supposedly allowed to hold meetings to prepare for the next day's
worship service. On June 6, 1992, however, the French priest at Verrettes, Fr. Gilles Danroc,
was arrested, together with 14 Haitian students, including a pregnant 17-year old girl, as he
gave a catechism class in preparation for the next day's Pentecost service. Fr. Danroc and the
students were detained for one to one-and-a-half days without any due process. A number of
them, including the pregnant girl, are said to have been beaten by soldiers. The arrests
allegedly took place without a warrant and despite the fact that Fr. Danroc reportedly
informed the authorities the previous day that he would be holding the catechism class.
Repression against the Church in the Artibonite region became so great that in a rare
public statement on June 9, 1992, Bishop Emmanuel Constant of Gonaives went on Radio
Soleil, the Catholic bishops' station. He spoke against torture and repression in his diocese,
especially in the towns Petite Riviere de l'Artibonite and La Chapelle. He demanded that
church meetings be allowed to take place freely.
A few months after the coup, the Justice and Peace Office for Gonaives described the
situation facing the church there:
The diocese has 30 priests covering its parishes; yet only about
half remain in their parishes to confront in one way or another
the military repression; [those who remain] have become the
objects of spies and strict surveillance in their pastoral activities.
Since the military coup d'etat, all activities of the church, such
as CARITAS, Justice and Peace, literacy campaigns, church
grassroots organizations and others have been suspended due to
the blind and savage repression. In numerous parishes, even
Mass has had to be suspended for certain times.
Virtually all peasant groups in northeastern Haiti have ceased meeting. After the
September 1991 coup, the military cracked down on the Peasants Movement of Papeye (PMP)
-- a peasant self-help group that has been active in development projects in the Central
Plateau region since the end of the Duvalier dynasty -- forcing its leaders into hiding.
The labor unions have been also hit hard. The AFL-CIO reported in a GSP petition to
the office of the US Trade Representative in June that some Haitian unions have lost 40 to 50
per cent of their membership, in part because of the military repression which prevents them
On several occasions, students at the University of Haiti in the capital have been
arrested and beaten while holding meetings and demonstrations. And similar acts of brutality
by government authorities against other groups trying to meet without prior authorization have
been reported throughout the nation.
Freedom of Speech and Press
Since the coup of late September, 1991, six or seven journalists are reported to have been
killed, including Robinson Joseph, the former director of the Protestant station Radio
Lumiere, who was shot on August 3, 1992, at a military checkpoint. Dozens of other
journalists have been detained or beaten, including Guy Delva, the Voice of America
correspondent, who was forced to leave his home after receiving death threats in December
1991 and was beaten by police in the capital in May 1992 while covering a student
In June and July 1993, the International Civil Mission expressed concern about
military threats and intimidation directed against journalists. On July 1, 1993, the ICM
denounced an incident in which journalists for Radio Tropic and the daily Haiti Progres were
"molested" by police and armed civilians for covering the arraignment of an arrested
demonstrated, and their journalistic equipment was confiscated. On June 29 and 30 a Radio
Metropole journalist was taken to police headquarters and questioned after giving reports on
the Haiti negotiations in New York. In late June a journalist for Radio Plus was detained and
questioned for two hours by police in Leogane about the reporting of another journalist with
Although all the independent radios stopped broadcasting news for a period after the
coup, three -- Radio Tropique, Radio Soleil, and Radio M6tropole -- went back on the air,
even reporting news pertaining to human rights violations or critical of the authorities.
On October 30, 1992, for example, Radio Soleil aired an interview with Evans Paul,
mayor of Port-au-Prince, in which he called for the reinstatement of Aristide. In early
November, all three stations reported on an international meeting on repression in Haiti,
which condemned human rights violations and announced the formation of a new movement
for the return of Aristide. On November 11 and 12, 1992, Radio Soleil carried criticisms of
the consensus government. On November 13, 1992, reports of the arrests of students and
journalists at the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Haiti on the previous day were
aired, and on November 17, Radio Tropic broadcast a denunciation of the arrests of
International press correspondents in Haiti report a severe curtailment of free speech
for ordinary citizens, many of whom are afraid to be seen even talking to the press. In
November 1992, for example, Douglas Farah of the Washington Post told the Puebla Institute
that a group of boat builders told him they were afraid they would be beaten later by local
military authorities if they answered his questions.
Ordinary people -- as distinct from those who derive some protection from being
known nationally or internationally -- dare not champion President Aristide or exercise
politically sensitive speech in public. On November 4, 1991, after several people
shouted pro-Aristide slogans, soldiers opened fire on parishioners leaving the Gonaives
cathedral and shot directly into the cathedral following a mass celebrated by Bishop Constant.
A priest and several others among the worshipers were arrested, but the gunmen were not.
Recent examples of repression of free expression abound: The ICM reports that on
June 28, 1993, the feast of Haiti's patron saint, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, several persons
shouted pro-Aristide slogans during Mass at the church of that name in the capital. Police
and armed civilians immediately arrested and beat Nixon Desrosiers, a 30-year-old
coordinator of a popular committee, and six others. They were taken to the Anti-Gang police
headquarters where they were severely beaten again. The incident was broadcast on local
On July 7, 1993, in La Fosette, a slum in Cap Hatian, soldiers violently disbanded
groups distributing leaflets to demand the return of Aristide. On July 15, 1993, two members
of the political party of Serge Gilles PANPRA were arrested because they were carrying
The justice system remains essentially paralyzed. Security officials, particularly the section
chiefs, decide who is to be arrested, what punishment or fine the defendant is to pay, and
whether he is to live or die, remain in prison or be freed.
The report of February 16, 1992 of the Catholic Church's Commission of Justice and
Peace of the Diocese of Gonaives described interviews with recently released prisoners from
St. Marc prison. One prisoner stated:
As soon as you enter the door of the prison, to avoid being
beaten -- you have to understand how the prison works -- you
have time to speak to the head prisoner and give him and the
other soldiers money. The head prisoner is one of the oldest
prisoners appointed by the military to extort money from the
other prisoners and to monitor them. You have to give about
$30 to avoid being beaten and to receive slightly better treatment
than the others.
Prisoners described how they had to pay so that their heads would not be shaved, or to
get out of the so-called internal cell, the worst cell in the prison, without windows, light, or
ventilation. Detainees must also pay $5 for family visits and must pay to avoid torture during
interrogations (between $60 and $100, according to a former prisoner). The price for release
is between $1,500 and $3,000, said a former detainee.
In its 1992 report, Haiti: A Human Rights Nightmare, quoting the Gonaives
Commission of Justice and Peace, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights concluded that,
"in effect ... the only way a political prisoner can be freed 'is to take care of the situation not
in the courts but in the military barracks. It is the army that decides everything, the
prosecutor has no power. It is not the law that rules, it is force and money.'" And in his
November 1992 report on Haiti, the UN Special Rapporteur wrote: "The situation has reached
the point where [the rural poor] must pay the security forces in order to avoid persecution or
ill-treatment or, in the case of arbitrary detentions, to make their imprisonment more bearable
or simply to obtain their release."
This situation within the prisons is deeply entrenched. The Puebla Institute reported in
its 1988 report, Haiti's Reign of Terror, that "human rights groups and parish priests knew of
many instances where detainees were held without charge or due process and then released
after being forced to pay what amounted to a bribe, rather than a lawful fine, to their jailers."
The 1988 Puebla report provided an account from the same notorious St. Marc prison in
which a teenage boy from the Saint Marc area was arrested and jailed without charge after he
reported the theft of his running shoes by another boy, who was also subsequently jailed.
The complainant was reportedly released only after his family found some money to pay off
the local authorities.
Since the fall of the Duvalier regime in early 1986, the lack of formal justice has
given rise to street justice in Haiti. In a process sometimes called dechoukaj or uprooting,
people take retribution and the settling of scores is taken into their own hands, using arson,
threats, beatings or lynchings.
Interference by the executive branch and widespread corruption within the judicial
system make it impossible for the population to seek reparation before the courts for human
rights violations and abuses of power by officials. The ordinary citizen is left with no
recourse for protection other than to go into hiding, emigrate, or pay ransom money.
Human rights atrocities today in Haiti are part of a historical pattern dating back through the
centuries. Under Aristide the number of infractions of human rights was lower, but their
tenor was the same. To use one of his own favorite metaphors, Aristide "turned the tables" --
instead of the religious base communities it was the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, with
whom he has had long-standing differences, that was persecuted. Rather than left-wing
activists, it was the right that was suppressed. Rather than the indigents, it was the elites who
were terrorized. Under Aristide-style repression, the socioeconomic pyramid was inverted.
Because he was democratically elected, Aristide has become an international symbol
of democracy; he was no democrat, however, and showed little interest in establishing a rule
of law or abiding, himself, within constitutional constraints. Aristide governed as a populist
demagogue, appealing directly to Haiti's impoverished masses through fiery orations that
inflamed class resentment and at times condoned mob violence. Videotapes of one famous
rally, with throngs of Aristide followers brandishing tires (the preferred instrument for
lynchings in Haiti) and machetes in full view, capture his incendiary style. His supporters
threatened government critics with necklacing, underscoring their threats with actual lynching
in some cases. The fear of mob retribution is one of the reasons why the Haiti's commercial
class has been so resistant to allowing Aristide to return to power.
Commenting on Aristide's governing style in his report of January 31, 1992, the UN
Special Rapporteur on Haiti, Marco Tulio Bruni Celli (a social democratic deputy in
Venezuela's parliament) concluded:
An open confrontation was brought about between the partisans
of representative democracy and those who, from [Aristide's]"
Lavalas movement, favored so-called "direct" democracy. This
reduced the authority of democracy and curbed freedoms and
fulfillment of State pledges in regard to the promotion and
respect of human rights. ...His [Aristide's] tendency to govern
through direct democracy transgressed the nature and the
principles of the 1987 Constitution, which he had sworn to obey
and to enforce.
The UN special rapporteur continued:
Perhaps the greatest shortcoming of President Aristide's
Government in the human rights field has been precisely its
interpretation and understanding of the working of the
democratic system. Mass violence leads to irrational action and
even irrational crime. Freedom of thought, to criticize, to act in
accordance with one's own ideas and opinions are fundamental
human rights that may be suspended only in specific
circumstances of emergency or danger.
Some examples of abuses of power under Aristide follow. On January 6 and 7, 1991,
in Port-au-Prince, supporters of the newly elected President Aristide went on a rampage.
They destroyed the old cathedral, gutted the archbishop's house, the pastoral center, and the
seat of the episcopal conference and then went to the nunciature, the home of the Pope's
representative in Haiti. According to Msgr. William Murphy, a Catholic priest in Boston who
spoke afterward with the papal nuncio, they completely destroyed the building, attacked and
stripped the nuncio, and broke both legs of the priest serving as first secretary to the embassy.
The nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, was spared a lynching only by the intervention of
a neighbor, who pretended to be with the marauders and have orders from Aristide for them
to halt their violence. When the mob heard Aristide's name invoked, they turned and left.
Later Aristide communicated his "sympathy" to the Vatican over the incident, but he
then outraged Port-au-Prince's diplomatic community by seeming to encourage the roving
bands in a radio speech: "I take note of your will to catch powerful Macoutes today so that
they do not destroy you tomorrow. It is legitimate." Cautioning against "vengeance," he
admonished them to use "vigilance" -- a loaded word in the context of Haitian street justice.
Under Aristide, it was the anti-Aristide media that were intimidated. Aristide
followers torched the residence of the director of the neo-Duvalierist Radio Libert6 and
imprisoned the director. Aristide personally threatened the editor of Haiti Observateur, a
moderate newspaper that has been critical of Aristide. The director of the politically neutral
Radio Mdtropole said the station was forced to exercise self-censorship in regard to critiques
of Aristide for fear of the reaction of his supporters.
Like most of his predecessors, Aristide had little patience with govemmemal checks
and balances. The judiciary remained virtually moribund when it was not carrying out the
directives of the executive. During the entire seven months of Aristide's rule, the criminal
trial court in Port-au-Prince decided only two cases, although hundreds of people were
imprisoned awaiting trial.
On August 4, 1991, after the conviction and sentencing in the political case of Roger
Lafontant, Aristide gave his supporters a kind of pep talk, boasting that the life sentence
imposed, in violation of the legal maximum of 15 years, was the direct result of his
supporters' threat to have the judge necklaced. (Called "Pere Lebrun" in Haiti, this torture
entails igniting a gasoline doused tire after it is placed around the victim's head, thereby
burning him to death.) Aristide intoned: "For 24 hours in front of the courthouse, Pere
Lebrun became a good firm bed....The Justice Ministry inside the courthouse had the law in
its hands, the people had their cushion outside. They have their little matches in their hands.
They have gas nearby."
The defendant in this case, who had plotted a coup that failed shortly after Aristide's
election, was murdered in his cell on the night Aristide was ousted. The U.S. government has
compiled extensive evidence -- disputed by Aristide's government -- that Aristide himself
gave the order for Lafontant's execution.
Aristide's Prime Minister Rend Preval personally took up interrogating political
prisoners, while denying them legal counsel. Aristide also personally intervened to block
justice in the case of five men murdered by members of the military who were his supporters.
The U.S. State Department Country Reports for 1991 provide this account:
The police on July 26 tortured and murdered five young men
who were in police custody; following an investigation, the
Army recommended to President Aristide that a lieutenant and
the enlisted men under his command at the time be brought to
trial for the killings. The President attempted publicly to
exonerate the officer, believed to be a militant Aristide
The U.S. State Department also reports that in the weeks before the September 1991
coup, at least three lawyers were either arrested or narrowly escaped popular justice through
mob violence because of their association with politically unpopular defendants.
Aristide also violated constitutional provisions for judicial independence by appointing
judges to the Court of Cassation, Haiti's supreme court, without Senate approval or notice.
On August 29, 1991, the governing body of the Senate resigned en bloc as a protest against
the unapproved appointments of Gilbert Myrtil and Rosemond Jean-Phillipe to membership of
the Court of Audit and the Administrative Disputes Court. The UN special rapporteur
commented: "This resignation en bloc of the Senate's officials was aimed at drawing attention
to the behavior of the Executive, which was in the way impeding the observance of
constitutional procedure." (Similarly, Aristide bypassed the Senate by appointing ambassadors
in violation of the constitution.)
Legislative independence was also violated. In August 1991, Haiti's legislature
debated whether to move a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Preval. During the
debate the hostile pro-Aristide crowds filled the public galleries of the legislature, some
openly shouting threats to lynch the opposition. On August 6, one legislative deputy, Gela
Jean-Simon, was beaten by demonstrators as he left the Legislative Palace, and the next night
an angry mob stoned and vandalized the home of another opposition leader, Senator Tumeb
On August 13, violence exploded against Aristide's critics throughout the capital. A
mob of 2,000 surrounded the parliament screaming threats of "Pere Lebrun" against the
opposition. Two legislators were caught and beaten as they tried to leave the building. A
mob torched the headquarters of the Autonomous Federation of Haitian Workers (CATH), a
union headed by Jean Auguste Mesyeux, a proponent of Operation Windstorm, a campaign
calling for the government's resignation. The rioters then moved on to loot the offices of a
political party and stoned the office of Port-au-Prince Mayor Evans Paul, who had been
threatened with necklacing by Levalas mobs just a few days before for his leadership within
the FNCD (which had clashed with Lavalas when it endorsed the constitutional principle of
representative democracy). The parliament stopped its efforts against the Prime Minister and
recessed. The next day, Aristide's minister of communications issued the government's first
statement on the violence against the parliament, weakly asking for the population to respect
each other's rights. The UN special rapporteur concluded: "This violence against politicians
was in the nature of blackmail. They were threatened in order to neutralize them and prevent
them from opposing the Government. In this way, the opposition was silenced and this,
without doubt, distorted the democratic process." If the no confidence vote had been allowed
to take place, had prevailed, and had followed its constitutional course, the military might not
have resorted to a coup a month later.
The Lafontant trial speech was one of several public speeches Aristide gave both
before and during his tenure that have been interpreted by many, including U.S. human rights
groups, as condoning "Pere LeBrun." Americas Watch observed in a report on Haiti released
on November 1, 1991: "Aristide has a masterful command of his mother tongue, Creole, and
is expert at the practice of "voye pwen," or speaking with double and triple meanings,
enabling him to direct different messages at different audiences or sectors of society." The
group found that Aristide's speech of September 27, 1991, before a rally of his supporters at
the National Palace, some of whom are shown in a videotape of the scene to be brandishing
tires and machetes, has been "fairly interpreted as condoning popular violence." Excerpts
from this speech, given just two days before Aristide was overthrown by the military coup,
If I catch a thief, a robber, a swindler, or an embezzler, if I
catch a fake Lavalas, if I catch a fake [changes thought] If you
catch someone who does who does not deserve to be where he
is, do not fail to give him what he deserves. Do not fail to give
him what he deserves! [Repeats twice] ... What a nice tool!
What a nice instrument! What a nice device! It is a pretty one.
It is elegant, attractive, splendorous, graceful and dazzling. It
smells good. Wherever you go, you feel like smelling it.
Aristide's words were all the more horrifying in the context of the mob violence that
was going on at the time. One of the best known victims was the Reverend Sylvio Claude, a
political prisoner of Papa Doc, a courageous human rights defender, twice a presidential
candidate, the head of Haiti's Christian Democratic Party and a critic of Aristide. Claude was
necklaced by a pro-Aristide mob in Les Cayes a few hours before the coup. The justice of
the peace, who went to the scene to make out a report, was also necklaced. Claude had
reported his fears of persecution by Lavalas mobs for his anti-Aristide remarks to the Haitian
human rights group, the Haitian Center for Human Rights (CHADEL), in the weeks preceding
the atrocity. In graphic photographs found by the military in a government office after
Aristide was ousted, Jean-Claude Jean-Baptiste, Lavalas delegate from the South Department,
reportedly can be identified among the lynch mob surrounding the two men's charred
remains. Some believe that the coup was triggered later that night after word of these two
murders spread through the military.
Aristide supporters proclaim that human rights abuses were eliminated under his rule.
The number of human rights abuses was reduced but not to the extent that his champions
would lead us to believe. The UN Special Rapporteur explained:
Under Aristide's Government the main hurdles to the enjoyment
of human rights were not actually removed: the judicial system
remained ineffective and the prison system continued to
deteriorate; traditional violence continued in rural areas, leaving
a toll of deaths, insecurity and destroyed property; violence
intensified in urban areas; no solution was found to the problem
of the performance of police functions by the armed forces; the
institution of section chiefs was not abolished in practice, no
progress was made with investigations into or bringing to trial
those guilty of the main massacres in rural and urban areas. In
other words, little progress was made in this regard, despite the
Government's avowed intention to achieve significant change
One of the most widely publicized developments was that the Justice Ministry under
Aristide announced that the section chiefs would be transferred from military to civilian
jurisdiction, put under Justice Ministry control, and ordered to turn in their arms. But again
real reform proved difficult. Americas Watch reported, "Some of the old section chiefs
slipped into their new posts and continued to operate in the old way....In other areas, the
section chiefs quit the vicinity, leaving it without any police force and allowing violent
quarrels to thrive."
The recent record shows just how endemic and deeply rooted political violence, lawlessness,
and injustice is in Haiti. No leader, even a democratically-elected one, will be able to ensure
respect for human rights without first establishing strong democratic institutions, a rule of
law, civilian control, and checks and balances.
While strengthening a buccaneer economy that has mostly benefited the military and
coup supporters, the hemisphere-wide embargo has served to intensify malnutrition, sickness
and death among Haiti's poor and isolate and further impoverish Haiti's civil sector. These
are the very groups and individuals that should be strengthened to document human rights
abuses, help foster democratic culture, sponsor public education on issues relating to human
rights and democracy, and serve as checks on government.
The needs of the country are easily identified:
The international community needs to help Haiti establish an independent and
impartial judiciary, and provide such basics as law books, which are virtually non-existent in
the legislature, Haiti's other elected national branch of government should be
assisted through training, expert consultation and the provision of resources for staff
assistance and office equipment;
technical assistance should be made available to the legislature to facilitate its
formidable task in redrafting laws and codes on civil and criminal procedure, property rights,
contracts, criminal law, labor laws, etc.
assistance must be provided to reform and professionalize the armed forces and
bring them under civilian rule;
the police must be brought under civilian control, separate from the military, and
provided appropriate training related to human rights;
local civilian government must be developed from the present antiquated or
nonexistent structures, and the new, freely-elected mayors should be given training and
human rights must be secured through military, judicial and legal reforms; working
with existing networks in the churches, radio stations, and grassroots groups, as well as
through new recruitment, a professional, nonpartisan and nation-wide human-rights monitoring
network should be established;
labor unions should be given support to rebuild their base, and conduct skills
training and civic education programs;
political parties need help in developing grass roots bases to which they are
civic education at all levels of education and through radio broadcasts and seminars
conducted by grass roots groups must be made available to foster greater social tolerance and
a deeper understanding of democracy, democratic means of conflict resolution, and how to
hold government accountable and make it work for them;
property rights must be secured through the creation of a modern method of title
record keeping which would allow ownership rights, and the buying ,and selling of land;
mechanisms for audit and control must be established to guarantee accountability in
the nation's bureaucracies, agencies and government-controlled companies; the government's
impartiality in providing benefits and services must be strengthened.
Once the constitutional crisis is finally resolved, the international democratic
community must remain engaged in Haiti. It must not repeat the mistakes of 1990 and 1991
when it sponsored an election and then in effect abandoned the country. Pres. Clinton
announced a five-year aid plan for Haiti. At least this much time will be required to secure
peace and stability and consolidate democracy, as outlined above.
Foreign aid, particularly U.S. aid, will be critical to Haiti's future and should be
provided in ways consistent with strengthening the nation's democratic institutions. This
means that with Haiti's long and consistent history of a strong-man, dictatorial Executive, aid
should not be mainly channelled through the central government. Competing branches of
government, namely the legislature and the judiciary, and municipal governments, as well as
the civic sector, will require substantial aid.
Foreign democratic assistance, spread broadly throughout the country, is needed to advance
the consolidation of democracy, reduce polarization and guard against possible backsliding.
MAJOR. OWENS, M.C.
MR. SPEAKER, as the U.S. Representative from the 12th Congressional
District that is home to one of the largest Haitian-American
communities in the United States, I am outraged at the news that
Haiti's first freely and democratically elected President, Jean-
Bertrand Aristide, was ousted yesterday by a military coup. I am
particularly angered because despite the fact that the United
States Government has one of the better information, monitoring and
espionage systems in the world, it apparently did not anticipate
the coup in advance -- or so it is claimed.
Any lay person who has been following events in Haiti for the
last 10 years would have known that Aristide's presidency was in
danger as far back as January, when former Duvalierist henchman
Roger Lafontant tried to overthrow interim President Ertha Pascal-
Trouillot just before Aristide's February inauguration. They would
have known that Haiti's all-powerful, notoriously corrupt military
would react to Aristide's attempts to reform it by replacing
generals from the Army High Command with younger officers more
supportive of a democratically and freely elected government.
Our Government knew from Haiti's previous history of coups and
counter-coups by military dictators and representatives of Haiti's
wealthy, notably the former ruling Duvalier family, that Aristide
would need a great deal of support from the U.S. to maintain
control over his fledgling democracy. What Aristide got instead
Congressman Major Owens/Extension of Remarks 10/l/'91
was a "scolding" from our Government when in April he detained the
former interim President Pascal-Trouillot due to her role in the
attempted coup by Roger Lafontant. According to the Washington
Office on Haiti, a Washington, D.C.-based Haitian policy and
information organization, "The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince,
ignoring diplomatic protocol, issued a press statement expressing
its concern over (Pascal-Trouillot's) arrest and called on the
Government of Haiti to abide by international norms regarding human
rights. Privately, State Department officials expressed outrage
over the incident, suggesting that it was political persecution
rather than a genuine, judicial investigation. Shocked that 'they
had not received advance notice', the State Department indicated
that the incident threatened to eliminate any goodwill which had
thus far been demonstrated. One early casualty was the
cancellation of a visit to the U.S. by President Aristide since the
State Department could no longer guarantee any meeting between
Presidents Aristide and Bush." The Washington Office on Haiti adds
that U.S. aid to the island nation was briefly held up due to
"conditions" placed on the aid which the Aristide government
In short, Mr. Speaker, our Government did not help the
admittedly shaky democratic government in Haiti because it was a
government that the U.S. could not control. It was not a military
puppet regime or a callous family dynasty propped up by our
Government, as was the case with previous Haitian regimes. It was
Congressman Major Owens/Extension of Remarks/10/1/'91
a progressive government elected by the nation's people. And as we
know from past U.S. policies toward Grenada and Nicaragua, our
Government does not like, and will not assist, the governments of
countries, especially those "in its own backyard", who will not
allow our country to dictate its policies, its relations with other
nations, its day-to-day internal affairs. Thus Haiti was a victim
of our Government's not-so-benign neglect.
Today the U.S. Government suspended $84 million in economic and
food aid to Haiti, along with $1.5 million in non-lethal military
aid, in retaliation for the coup. That is like closing the barn
door after the horse is gone. Bush Administration sources have
told the Associated Press that it "is prepared to use maximum
political, diplomatic and economic pressure to reverse Monday's
coup in Haiti". But "maximum" assistance was needed well before
the coup to protect President Aristide's government from the
military, the Duvalierists, and elements of the Ton-Tons Macoutes,
the Duvalier's outlawed militia, whom some in Haiti say are
ultimately behind yesterday's overthrow.
If the Bush Administration really wants to help the forces of
democracy regain a foothold in Haiti, it should refuse to extend
any diplomatic recognition to this latest military junta; insist
on unequivocal respect for the Haitian people's expression of their
own political will in the democratic election of President Aristide
last December; demand the restoration of the democratically elected
government of President Aristide; and respect the right of the
island nation to self-determination and political autonomy.
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS IN HAITI SINCE ARISTIDE COUP
1. Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide overthrown in a
military coup, September 30, 1991. Flees to exile in Venezuela
with the help of U.S. officials in Haiti.
2. General Raoul Cedras, the leader of the coup, announces that he
is in charge, and alleges that Aristide was overthrown for being
undemocratic and for perpetrating human rights violations.
3. In the weeks following the coup, troops loyal to the military
junta patrol the streets of poorer neighborhoods of the capital and
at least two smaller cities, spraying crowds with machine gun and
rifle fire. Victims have included pro-Aristide demonstrators and
those preparing to participate in demonstrations, and random
victims of indiscriminate gunfire. The National Coalition for
Haitian Refugees estimates that more than 200 persons were murdered
in the first few days after the coup, although some cite a higher
figure (the French Embassy in Port-au-Prince said 1200).
4. Silvio Claude, the president of the Haitian Christian
Democratic Party, was attacked in a crowd and "necklaced" (burned
to death by a flaming tire placed around his neck) in the aftermath
of the coup. No one knows who did it, and no arrests have been
made. Duvalierist Roger LaFontant, ex-director of the Ton Tons
Macoutes, was killed in a Haitian prison where he had been held
after his unsuccessful 1990 coup attempt. Again, no one knows who
did it, although General Cedras claimed that Aristide gave the
order to have LaFontant killed.
5. Supporters of Aristide go into exile away from Haiti, or go
into hiding on the island. Aristide's cabinet members go into
hiding. Port-au-Prince Mayor Evans Paul is arrested at a Haitian
airport October 7, severely beaten, and released. Paul was trying
go to Venezuela to meet with Aristide.
6. On October 7, the Haitian legislature is forced by armed
military men to select Joseph Nerette, a Haitian Supreme Court
Justice, to be Haiti's provisional President until elections are
held for a new President between 45 and 90 days after the coup, in
accordance with Haiti's Constitution. Nerette selects Jean-Jacques
Honorat, a former human rights activist, as his Prime Minister.
7. On October 8, the OAS votes to impose a trade embargo against
Haiti. The Bush Administration cooperated with the embargo, which
exempts humanitarian aid such as medicine, food and air travel, but
did not impose a separate U.S. trade embargo until mid-October.
The U.S. embargo took effect November 5th.
8. The OAS embargo begins to take its toll on Haiti toward the
end of October as the island begins to run out of gasoline and
other oil products, among other critical supplies. Economic
79-79A 94 4
Haiti Chronology/Post-Aristide coup
experts say the embargo will have even greater impact around mid-
9. Despite the international embargo, Haiti's military tightens
its grip on the country. It shuts down or threatens radio
stations, Haiti's main source of news for a people who are largely
illiterate. Soldiers search the homes of several leading Haitian
businessmen and economists who opposed the coup.
10. During the week of November llth, an OAS delegation goes to
Haiti to negotiate Aristide's return. Hundreds of Haiti's elite
turn out to demonstrate against the delegation at the airport and
at the hotel where it is staying, and are given free rein by the
military. On November 13th, Aristide supporters attempting to meet
with the delegates are forcibly prevented from doing so. On
November 12th, journalists covering a pro-Aristide student
demonstration, at which 50 to 80 students were arrested, are
detained, including a Voice of America reporter from its Creole
I I #
TESTIMONY OF CONGRESSMAN MAJOR OWENS
BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL LAW,
IMMIGRATION, AND REFUGEES
NOVEMBER 20, 1991
MR. CHAIRMAN, MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE, THE BUSH
ADMINISTRATION'S TREATMENT OF HAITIAN REFUGEES CONSTITUTES A DAVID
DUKE POLICY, A RACIST POLICY WHICH TREATS BLACK HAITIAN REFUGEES
WITH MORE CRUELTY THAN ANY OTHER GROUP OF PEOPLES WHO HAVE FLED
THEIR NATION FOR OUR SHORES SEEKING SAFETY AND PROTECTION FROM
DICTATORIAL REGIMES. AS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE TWELFTH
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT WHICH HAS THE SECOND LARGEST HAITIAN-
AMERICAN POPULATION OUTSIDE OF MIAMI, I AM APPALLED AT OUR
GOVERNMENT'S SAVAGE AND INHUMANE POLICY TOWARD HAITIAN BOAT PEOPLE.
ON MONDAY, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DECIDED TO SEND THE MORE
THAN 1,300 HAITIAN REFUGEES WHO HAD BEEN INTERDICTED AT SEA BY THE
U.S. COAST GUARD, AND HELD ON COAST GUARD CUTTERS AT SEA FOR WEEKS,
BACK TO HAITI, WHERE THEY WILL UNDOUBTEDLY FACE INTIMIDATION,
POSSIBLY EVEN DEATH, AT THE HANDS OF THE MILITARY THUGS WHO
OVERTHREW HAITI'S POPULARLY ELECTED PRESIDENT JEAN-BERTRAND
ARISTIDE SEPTEMBER 30TH. MANY HAVE ALREADY ARRIVED AT PORT-AU-
PRINCE, WHERE THEY WERE GREETED BY RED CROSS OFFICIALS AND GIVEN
ABOUT SEVEN DOLLARS, WHICH IS BARELY ENOUGH TO COVER BUSFARE HOME
ON THE INCREASINGLY RARE HAITIAN BUSES.
CONDITIONS ON THE COAST GUARD CUTTERS WHERE THE HAITIAN
REFUGEES WERE HELD WERE HORRENDOUS. HUNDREDS WERE PACKED ONTO
SHIPS THAT ARE MEANT TO HOLD ONLY A FEW DOZEN PEOPLE. THEY WERE
FORCED TO SLEEP ON THE DECKS OF THESE SHIPS, MEN, WOMEN AND
Congressman Owens/Immigration Policy Hearing/11/20/'91
CHILDREN, UNDER VARIOUS KINDS OF WEATHER. THE CAPTAIN OF ONE BOAT
THAT WAS INTERCEPTED BY THE COAST GUARD EVEN CHAINED THE REFUGEES
TO HIS BOAT, AFTER COAST GUARD AND IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION
SERVICE OFFICIALS WARNED HIM ABOUT LETTING THEM ESCAPE. WHEN
CONFRONTED WITH THIS FACT, OF COURSE, THE INS SAID, "WE DIDN'T
CHAIN THEM. THEY WERE CHAINED BY THE CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP." IN
1991 IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WE HAD BLACK PEOPLE CHAINED
LIKE SLAVES ON SHIPS IN A UNITED STATES PORT AS A RESULT OF AN
ORDER GIVEN BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. WHAT WE HAVE HERE ARE
AUSCHWITZ AND BUCHENWALD CONCENTRATION CAMP CONDITIONS ON THE HIGH
ONLY HAITIAN REFUGEES HAVE ELICITED SUCH BRUTAL TREATMENT.
THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES FROM EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, FROM CUBA,
FROM CENTRAL AMERICA, COME TO THE UNITED STATES AND ARE WELCOMED
WITH OPEN ARMS. BUT IN THE HAITIANS' CASE, THE STATE DEPARTMENT
AND THE INS ALWAYS DESIGNATES THE BOAT PEOPLE AS "ECONOMIC
REFUGEES" AND SENDS THEM BACK TO HAITI IMMEDIATELY, IGNORING THE
FACT THAT POLITICAL OPPRESSION UNDER SUCCESSIVE PUPPET GOVERNMENTS
AND MILITARY REGIMES FORCED HAITIAN PEOPLE TO FLEE TO THIS COUNTRY
-- REGIMES THAT THE U.S. HAS SUPPORTED AND PROPPED UP IN THE FIRST
PLACE. I CAN ONLY CONCLUDE THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT'S INHUMANE AND
EXCEPTIONAL TREATMENT OF HAITIAN BOAT PEOPLE STEMS FROM THE FACT
THAT THEY ARE BLACK.
THE GOVERNMENT'S POLICY TOWARD HAITIAN REFUGEES IS BASED ON AN
AGREEMENT WHICH BECAME LAW IN 1981 BETWEEN THE U.S. AND HAITI'S
THEN RULING DICTATORS, THE DUVALIERS. THE AGREEMENT PERMITTED THE