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AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CURRENT SITUATION
THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS
OCTOBER 12, 1995
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1996
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
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r', :~ ~
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin
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
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
JAY KIM, California
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
DAVID FUNDERBURK, North Carolina
STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana
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
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
MICHAEL R. McNULTY, New York
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia
VICTOR 0. FRAZER, Virgin Islands (Ind.)
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Minority Chief of Staff
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
DAN BURTON, Indiana, Chairman
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
ELTON GALLEGLY, California TOM LANTOS, California
PETER T. KING, New York MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
JAY KIM, California
GILEAD KAPEN, Subcommittee Staff Director
SCOTT WILSON, Democratic Professional Staff Member
ScOTr FEENEY, Professional Staff Member
ANITA WINSOR, Staff Associate
Dobbins, Hon. James Dobbins, special Haiti coordinator, Department of
S tate ............................................................................................................... 17
Parker, Norma J., deputy assistant administrator, Bureau for Latin
America and the Carribbean Agency for International Development ...... 22
Pastor, Dr. Robert, director, The Latin American and Carribbean Pro-
gram The Carter Center ........................................................................... 33
Brutus, Duly, deputy secretary general, PANPRA political party ........... 35
Harbert, Karen, electoral consultant ............................................................ 37
Wallock, Mr. Kenneth, president, National Democratic Institute for Inter-
national A affairs ........................................................................................... 40
Fauriol, Dr. Georges, director, the American Program, Center for Strate-
gic and International Studies ................................. ................................ 43
Gilman, Hon. Benjamin, a Representative in Congress from the State
of New York, and chairman, Committee on International Relations ....... 53
Goss, Hon. Porter, a Representative in Congress from the State of Flor-
ida ................................................................................................................... 55
Payne, Hon. Donald, a Representative in Congress from the State of
N ew Jersey .................................................................................................. 59
Burton, Hon. Dan, a Representative in Congress from the State of Indi-
ana ..................................................................................................... 63
Dobbins, M r. Jam es F ............................ ............................................. 65
Parker, M s. N orm a ........................................................................................ 74
Pastor, D r. R obert ......................................................................................... 86
B rutus, M r. D uly ........................................................................................... 99
H arbert, M s. K aren ....................................................................................... 102
W ollack, M r. Kenneth ................................................................................... 107
Fauriol, D r. Georges A .................................................................................. 113
Additional material submitted for the record:
Payne, Hon. Donald: Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Com-
m ittee on July 12, 1995 ................................................................................ 119
"Alternative to Invasion," The Washington Post, July 7, 1994 ......... 130
"Haiti, The Job Still to be Done," The Washington Post, December
16, 1994 ............................................................................................... 132
"The Americas: Democracy in Haiti? Not Yet," The Wall Street Jour-
nal, A pril 14, 1995 .............................................................................. 135
Recommendations from the International Republican Institute ............... 137
Gaillard, Micha, candidate from KONAKOM political party: "A Brief
Account of the Election Process in Port-au-Prince" ....................... 149
Falcoff, Mark, the American Enterprise Institute: "An Embarrassing
Post-M ortem on H aiti" ................................................................................. 151
AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CURRENT
SITUATION IN HAITI
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1995
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in room
2200, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Dan Burton, (chairman
of the subcommittee) presiding.
Chairman GILMAN. Our hearing will get underway. If our folks
would please take their seats, and if someone would close the door.
Mr. Burton, the Chairman, is on his way. I will take the oppor-
tunity of opening up the hearing, and get our witnesses started.
The United States has spent about $1.5 billion in Haiti in the
last 2 years, representing an extraordinary investment of political
credibility and material resources. Strict congressional oversight is
needed to ensure that the Clinton Administration strategy will get
the best return on that investment and withdraw our forces on
schedule by next February.
On July 26, 1995, I wrote the Secretary of State, requesting a re-
port on the United States expenditures in Haiti in fiscal year 1995
to the present. We even revised our request to make it less burden-
some to the Administration. Here we are 78 days later, and I have
only just received a formal reply to my request.
If the Administration hopes to build some bipartisan consensus
behind its Haiti policy, it should be more conscientious about shar-
ing essential information requested by this committee.
I think we can all agree on several fundamental issues, whether
we are talking about Haiti or any other country.
First, in order to sustain a democracy, there has to be a free,
fair, and trustworthy election. Haitians from across the political
spectrum have concluded that the parliamentary and municipal
elections were fundamentally flawed. Now, we must insist that
President Aristide go the extra mile to make certain orderly elec-
tions in which the opposition can participate freely and with con-
Second, to cultivate a democracy, there must be a level playing
field for a viable opposition. Some may be alarmed by a new Hai-
tian parliament so heavily dominated by one party. We hope Presi-
dent Aristide will work with all parties to form an electoral council
and a cabinet in which all Haitians have a voice.
Third, to consolidate a democracy, constitutional process must be
respected. This why we cannot compromise on the need for an or-
derly transition to a democratically elected success next February.
Fourth, to uphold democracy, human rights must be defended.
Every Haitian has the right to expect justice in the dozens of mur-
ders of innocent persons. They also have the right to demand a pro-
fessional police force that does not tolerate in its ranks or among
its leader persons who violate human rights or commit other
Fifth, to sustain democracy, there must be a free-market, eco-
nomic growth. Without political stability and transparent "rules of
the game," foreign investors are not going to come to Haiti. With-
out privatization and free enterprise, Haiti's vast potential will
never be tapped and its masses will not lift themselves up from
Sixth, you cannot prop up democracy with an open-ended pres-
ence of U.S. troops. We expect President Clinton to abide by his
commitment to withdraw U.S. forces as scheduled next February.
Our nation has paid a dear price in Haiti, and we all have a
stake in building a stable climate on that island where Haitians
can solve their own problems, democratically and peacefully.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Gilman appears in the Appen-
I am pleased that we have with us two of our colleagues who
wish to be heard with regard to this issue, and I will be pleased
to recognize the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Goss.
Mr. Goss. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate
your taking the lead on this, and Chairman Burton, as well. This
is a very important subject as you just pointed out. We have a
great many things to look at. This hearing was originally described
to me as a review of 1 year of Aristide's administration in power.
Actually, this is the fifth year of the Aristide administration, and
it has been a very curious and circuitous route in many ways. And,
of course, our degree of involvement in the affairs of Haiti has
taken several turns during this process.
I mention this because what we need to be doing in our oversight
capacity, in my view, is looking forward to where we are going.
It will do no good at all if once the props of our support are
pulled out (whether they be military or tax dollars or aid dollars
or whatever else we are doing there now) when we leave and leave
Haiti on its own without those props, if it falls flat. That will mean
the operation has been a total waste of our energies and efforts and
the risks that we have taken.
So I think it is very important that we examine, straightfor-
wardly, what we are accomplishing or not accomplishing in that
I have a written statement which has been prepared.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
Mr. Goss. And I would like, Mr. Chairman, to have it submitted
for the record as it has been prepared with your approval.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
Mr. Goss. Thank you.
In which case, I will summarize very briefly in the interest of
We have three things at stake in Haiti realistically, I think. One
is the question of the development of democracy, and we are meas-
uring that pretty much these days about how well they are doing
in terms of keeping to the presidential election schedule, and being
ready to hand off a calm, peaceful transition of the presidency of
the White House, as it were, in February 1996. That is an area of
great challenge and we have a good deal in the record on it and,
especially given the experience of the parliamentary elections, and
a lot of concern about whether we are going to be ready for new
The second area that we have to be accountable to the people we
work for, the taxpayers, is how we have used the almost $3 billion
that will have been expended by the time the February 1996 with-
drawal date comes around.
And the third part, of course, is even a greater one; that we have
U.S. troops involved in Haiti. They are not, in my view, necessarily
in harm's way, but they are clearly on a mission that has more
hazard than other things they might be doing. Plus, they are Amer-
ican men and women overseas, and that raises the responsibility
level very considerably for those of us with oversight.
Where we are going, assuming we get to February, and how we
get to February under the current plan, is of paramount impor-
tance. Already in the House we have passed, with strong support,
a piece of legislation that says we want to encourage Haiti, but
should they not be able to abide by the constitutional requirements
of the 1987 constitution (which is their blueprint, their charter of
how to go about their business of evolving Haitian democracy in
Haiti), that we ought to rethink or re-examine our aid situation.
The Senate, I understand, has talked about linking up additional
aid to human rights records, how the government of Haiti is meas-
uring up in that area.
And when we start reviewing the facts, trying to measure the
evolution of democracy and the quality of life in Haiti today, we
have found things are not as good as we had hoped. Security has
clearly improved for some, but not for all. We have recently heard
a report from Ambassador Granderson from OAS that there have
been 20 sort of commando style takeouts of people who were, ap-
parently anti-Lavalas, or anti-Aristide. We still have very little to
report on the FBI investigation and assistance on the assassina-
tion, the brutal, daylight assassination of Madam Bertin. We have
the situation where even though the elections of June were clearly
less tense than the elections in previous times, and that is some-
thing positive, we still were treated to the scene of blue hats,
American troops included, running around with machine guns and
helicopters hovering overhead in areas of larger political concentra-
We have a police force being trained to take over. There have
been questions raised about whether or not that police force is
going to be truly free and truly responsive. It certainly will be re-
sponsive to someone. But there are increasing reports that the vet-
ting process may not be working as we had set it out.
In addition, there is a lead officer's corps which, in the minds of
some Haitians, who mindful of the old days of the Tonton
Macoutes, wonder what exactly is going on. The transparency is
less than perfect in this area.
In the judiciary, there is no question that where the police force
is doing well, the judiciary is not. We have got many, many years
to go to get the judiciary up to snuff, and there is no question that
we have seen problems in that area. You have excellent panels
today that are going to presumably be testifying more on that.
With regard to the electoral council, I think that almost every-
body agrees that the June 25 elections were chaos. They completed
a partial election. It could hardly be called full, fair, transparent
or verifiable, which are all things we would require in a democratic
The chaos of the parliamentary elections has left a cloud over the
parliament with many questioning whether or not it really is an in-
clusive parliament rather than an exclusive parliament because of
the way the elections were run. So many were left out of the proc-
The question of President Aristide leaving remains open, but
there is uncertainty there that is causing a problem with the econ-
omy. Most people are being very hesitant in terms of taking any
additional risk with dollars before they see the stability they de-
sire, and the further concrete proofs down the path of democracy.
I think the symbolism of turning over the presidency is very impor-
tant in that regard.
I think that it is very fair to say that the Aristide economic mir-
acle is not reaching very many Haitians, if any at all.
So I guess the bottom line in all of this, summarizing my state-
ment, is that I am very grateful that we are having this hearing-
it is overdue-to monitor the expenditures of our troops, expendi-
tures of our dollars, expenditures of our interest, the expenditures
of our commitment to bring democracy to Haiti. And I believe that
this panel-certainly this subcommittee and the panels that it has
before them today will aid in that job.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Goss appears in the appendix.]
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much, Congressman.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson. Cer-
tainly pleased to be-appreciate the scheduling of this hearing, and
I agree that it is something that is very important. As you know,
I have been long concerned about Haiti's struggle to achieve democ-
In this regard, I have traveled to Haiti six times since the coup
that denied President Aristide of the opportunity to serve his full
term. I count differently, although the term will end, but I do not
see 5 years of administration when 3 years was spent in Washing-
ton and Venezuela. But be that as it may, in efforts to reinstate
President Aristide, I made 46 public appearances, varying from
holding reports, meetings back in my district, to being arrested in
front of the White House with other members of the Congressional
Black Caucus, protesting the Clinton Administration's policy on
To my knowledge, Mr. Goss and I were the only House members
to observe the June 25 election. We all recall the June 28 heated
debates on the House floor after the election, which we both very
honestly evaluated what happened from different perspectives. I
appreciate my distinguished colleague's efforts toward modification.
And it is my hope that for the good of Haiti we will continue to
come closer in our thinking on what will be helpful in moving the
democratic process forward.
Since we did observe the elections from different locations, I
would like to briefly state that in Cape Haitian, one of the cities
I observed, the elections were carried out in an orderly process.
And for the first time in history, there was a complete lack of any
military presence. Indeed, Haiti's newly trained police were in
place, and their obvious sense of discipline in the corps contributed
to the overall atmosphere of order and tranquility.
It was obvious that there were administrative problems that
could not be foreseen. For instance, we witnessed the frustration of
voters who could not get into a polling place because the key could
not be found. Those waiting in line walked miles to vote, and were
not going to leave until they voted. Officials had no option but to
break the lock at one of the places-I was standing there-so the
voting process could proceed.
It certainly reminds me of some of the problems I find in my own
town of Newark when going to some polling places to find that the
janitor overslept and did not open the polling place, or the deacon
of the church had the wrong key.
Rather than speak more fully on the June 25 election, and in
order to devote more of my testimony on later developments and
the need for the future, with your permission, Madam Chairperson,
I would request that I enter my record of the July 12 testimony
from the Senate's Western Hemisphere Committee hearing for mat-
ter of the record.
Since the June 25 election, it became apparent that in other
parts of the country there were more problems, and it was nec-
essary to replace the president of the Electoral Commission, which
demonstrates the willingness of the Aristide administration to
strive for improvement.
I have also joined Chairman Gilman in requesting the GAO to
make an impartial study of the entire election process of June 25,
and through the presidential elections to be held later on this year.
However, because we are from another culture, we cannot be
overly critical of Haiti's first experience in democratic elections. We
must take into consideration the handicaps of poor roads and com-
munication systems. Even electricity was not available in some
places to count the votes after the balloting was closed, and they
had to take them out under public street lights.
I have also observed elections in Namibia, South Africa, Ethio-
pia, and many other countries where there was violence and kill-
ing. Yet, the international community applauded these elections in
Haiti-I mean, these elections in these other places of South Africa
and Namibia as successes. Yet there is no such violence in the Hai-
Further, it is interesting to note that the findings of the Organi-
zation of American States Electorial Observation Mission released
on September 13. The OAS Mission was the largest of all delega-
tions, numbering some 300 members, deployed throughout the
country for the June 25 election; 105 members for the August 13
election; and 185 members for the September 17 runoffs. Most im-
portant was the quality of the delegation, which many were speak-
ing Creole, and bringing the views and experience from some 25
The OAS report dispels many accusations. For instance, the re-
port states there was no fraud in the Haitian elections. To the best
of my knowledge, "No organized fraud was carried out by the CEP.
Neither did we identify any attempts by the CEP to favor any par-
ticular party in relation to either the June 25 election or the com-
plementary election held on 13 August 1995."
The report further concludes there was no significant boycott of
either the August 13 complementary election, or September 17 run-
off elections in spite of the call by the political party spokespersons
For the September 17 round, the OAS documents that only six
out of a total of 126 candidates chose not to participate. In fact, the
majority of the candidates did not follow the order of their parties
and participated. Yet the media continues to report that a boycott
Finally, lately, Senate Republican leaders have accused the
Aristide Administration of creating a one-party state, and implying
that this is being done by death squads being run by members of
the Haitian government.
Let us look at the record. Human Rights Watch reported in Octo-
ber that these accusations sparked by Communist reporter, Robert
Novak, are exaggerated and are supported by scant details and
lack of evidence. Human Rights Watch further points out, "The
human rights situation in Haiti has improved dramatically since
the demise of the military government in September 1994. The re-
stored government has not committed systematic abuses like those
that occurred under the military rule, including extraditial execu-
tions, torture, arbitrary detentions, politically motivated waves
force, displacement and violence, and suppression of free expres-
sion. Groups now can meet, hold rallies and express their views
One reflection of this change is that refugee outflow from Haiti
has virtually ceased. They do list improvements still needed, such
as the police on some occasions failed to follow appropriate arrest
Finally, concluding, however, the Haitian government has taken
many remedies to correct these situations. At present, President
Aristide has spoken out on the issue of justice, urging the popu-
lation of "no to violence-yes to reconciliation."
As we look forward to the coming presidential elections, it is evi-
dent that President Aristide will leave office in February. Many are
concerned that no one has the popularity to continue guiding the
population in their request for democracy. With a new and un-
known president taking over in February, I strongly urge the Unit-
ed States and the United Nations to reconsider their renewal of the
mandate for the U.N. Security Force for at least six more months
after the installation of the new president. It will just make sense
Haiti is rebuilding. Its police are among the most educated citi-
zens of the country. There was intense competition to enter the
force, and the best and the brightest have been recruited. But they
need time to gain experience and organize their abilities. They
need to continue to receive proper salaries so that they are not
tempted to get back into the old system of bribery that the military
did in the past.
Inflation has already been halved and the free market economy
is underway, but electrical power and other infrastructure improve-
ments are needed to fuel this growth. All of this takes time, and
continued financial assistance. Now is not the time to be threaten-
ing Haiti about reducing assistance, but to encourage them by re-
warding the accomplishment to date. No American business or en-
terprise would do less with their employees, and no American citi-
zen would want less for their next door neighbors.
Finally, yesterday we held a joint session of Congress to cele-
brate the completion of 50 years observance of World War II. I
could not help but remember how then the president of Haiti,
asked our President Roosevelt how his little country could help in
this war for the salvation of mankind.
Roosevelt replied that the United States had suffered a loss of
rubber sources from the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia. He
then asked Haiti to convert its agricultural economy to produce
trees and plants that could produce latex. Agreeing to this chal-
lenge, the mahogany trees and other forest plants indigenous to the
island were cut down to make way for the Firestone plantations.
New plants to produce latex were planted. None of this was suc-
cessful, leading to the destruction of the soil and erosion which
began at that time.
It was at this period that Haiti lost its sustainable development,
faced a bleak future as 4 percent of the top soil washes into the
Caribbean each year since that time. They made a sacrifice for us.
We think that it is only fair that at this time we continue support
for this island nation.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Payne before the Senate Western
Hemisphere Committee on July 12, 1995 appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. I thank you, Mr, Payne, and I apologize to my col-
leagues for being late. I had an unavoidable problem this morning
so I am a little behind schedule.
Mr. KENNEDY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, let me thank you, Mr. Chairman, for taking the time
in holding this important hearing this morning. I think it is very
important, and I know that you come at this issue with a great
deal of sincerity by trying to make certain that we continue to
watch and do our best to maintain a commitment toward democ-
racy in Haiti. And it is with that spirit that I think that it is im-
portant that we keep our eye on some of the very positive develop-
ments that have taken place in Haiti over the course of the last
year or so.
I think it is worth reviewing some of the history of our relation-
ships with this country, and some of the history of the terrible vio-
lence and tyranny that Haiti has gone through over recent years,
and over its long history.
It was over 200 years ago when this country was fighting tyr-
anny, and taxation without representation; when Haitian soldiers
came up from that small island to join with our own revolutionary
soldiers to fight the British, to try to break the yoke of tyranny.
Those Haitian soldiers, when they joined with our revolutionary
war heros, began a relationship between the United States and
Haiti that continues to this day.
I think that it was a tremendous demonstration of the United
States' commitment to Haitian democracy when President Clinton
showed the courage to commit United States troops toward the res-
toration of democracy, the restoration of democracy that was de-
nied the Haitian people after the first legitimate election in that
country in so many, many years. And with the election of President
Aristide, the threat to the yoke of tyranny was made real in Haiti.
As a result, General Cedres, and a number of others, took control
and threw President Aristide out. Many people voiced concerns in
the Congress of the United States and had qualms about involving
United States troops in the restoration of the Haitian democracy.
There were particular concerns over President Aristide's policies;
policies that sought to unburden the vast majority of the Haitian
people from the terrible problems that existed under the military
regimes and the brutal dictatorships that existed in times past and
the fact that so few Haitians were ever able to participate in the
economic benefits of that island nation.
But as a result of the Clinton Administration's commitment, we
recently have seen a report where the Organization of American
States, the Department of State, and Amnesty International agree
on the basic fact that the human rights situation in Haiti has been
"immeasurably improved in the last year."
I think it is well worthwhile remembering what Haiti has gone
through. Who can forget the remarks made by Baby Doc Duvalier
during an interview in U.S. News and World Report when Duvalier
said, that democracy in Haiti would be "very catastrophic." There
are still forces that would like to prove Baby Doc correct.
In 1980, when the U.S. representative went to a meeting of
Western donor nations, he was silenced by Baby Doc's planning
minister for raising human rights issues. Baby Doc's message to
the United States was loud and clear-the U.S. representative was
told that his human rights concerns were "not acceptable."
President Aristide has demonstrated his commitment to human
rights and democratic principles by implementing structural
changes in the police force and in the military. Haitians no longer
fear the late night knock on the door that meant torture and death.
Today, Haiti is a society where freedom of speech and assembly are
respected as are the basic human rights of its citizens.
Remember the brutal regime of Papa Doc when he ran Haiti
with a sadistic zeal for control. A woman, still afraid today to re-
veal her name, told the New York Times how in 1963 Papa Doc's
chief henchman, Luc Desyr, broke her head open with a pistol. Her
crime was that she asked if he could help her locate her missing
Desyr enjoyed his work for Papa Doc. He taped interrogations
filled with screams and the sounds of torture and re-played them
at home for his amusement.
The picture did not change much with Baby Doc. It is a shame
that Hector Estime is nct here with us to tell us how he was picked
up at his home by Baby Doc's security forces. Mr. Estime was
taken to an office where he was beaten unconscious. Mr. Estime
described how the se.irity men slammed their hands against his
ears and beat him with clubs.
The truth of the matter is, Mr. Chairman, you are to be com-
mended for holding these hearings because this Congress did not
hold hearings when those kinds of torturous abuses were taking
One year ago the people of Haiti lived in the darkness of a brutal
military dictatorship born out of a murderous coup. The Cedras re-
gime ruled Haiti through systematic rape of women, kidnapping of
children, and the mutilation of corpses. Who can forget Guy
Malary, Haiti's Justice Minister who was murdered in cold blood
for raising his voice against the tyranny and oppression that had
a death-grip on the land that he loved.
Today the bright sun of a democratically elected government
shines over that beautiful country.
Presidential elections are coming at the end of this year. We
have just seen representative elections at the parliamentary level,
with a tremendous record of success. There are going to be in-
stances where people can point that there are problems. There are
still brutal elements in this country with a very difficult political
past. We must do everything we can to encourage democracy in the
future. These hearings are an important step in that regard. But
we must do it carefully so as not to be viewed as a nation that is
committed to the undoing of the democratic values of President
Every time this man has been asked to renew his commitment
to stepping down this year, he does so. Every time there has been
an instance of a violation of human rights, he has looked into it.
He is trying his best. He is doing his best. And I hope that the Con-
gress of the United States will encourage the transition to true de-
mocracy in that country which has struggled so long and so hard
to attain democratic status.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BURTON. I thank you, Mr. Kennedy and the other two panel-
ists for your remarks. I apologize once again for being tardy.
Although Haiti has made steps in the right direction, many peo-
ple are still concerned about some of the problems with its electoral
process, and some recent murders of opposition leaders that have
not yet been explained. There are still a lot of problems, but hope-
fully we are heading in the right direction. This hearing and others
will provide a mechanism to get at all the facts, and try to correct
some of the problems that may have occurred down there.
But the leaders like Mr. Aristide are going to have to be very
willing to accept true democratic reforms and changes, and there
is still some question about his willingness.
I want to thank this panel.
Do any of my colleagues have any comments or questions for this
Mr. WYNN. A statement was made-well, perhaps it was not a
statement, but noted that there was some question about the pace
of economic reform. And I apologize if it was commented on prior
to my arriving.
But if there is a sense that economic reform is not proceeding as
fast as it ought to, could you comment on the reasons why you be-
lieve that is the case, Mr. Goss.
Mr. Goss. I would be happy to comment on it both in my pre-
pared statement and in my oral remarks. There are a number of
reasons. I have talked to a lot of Florida businessmen and other
people who have previously been doing business in Haiti. To them
the risk factor is still unacceptable, apparently, to borrow the nec-
essary capital to get in there.
When I ask people what does that mean, they say: "Well, we are
not sure enough about the stability. We do not want to take all the
risk ourselves. We are unable to borrow the money." We find that
there is concern about whether or not the constitution is going to
be followed, and how this should be measured these days. Are
these elections going to happen, and will there be an inauguration
in February that will be calm and tranquil? Will the democratic
process work? I think that is going to be very, very important.
The second part of it is that many people are saying they are not
getting the cooperation from the Aristide government that they
need once they get to Haiti. Even if they do have the financial
backing to start, they are running into red tape and roadblocks.
Whether it is a problem of professionalism, or a problem of train-
ing, or simply a problem of disorganization in administration, I
have not been able to entirely sort out.
I have talked to President Aristide about it. I have talked to peo-
ple in the embassy about it. I have talked to the investors about
it. So far we just have not been able to bring them together.
Mr. WYNN. Let me go back to that first issue of, I guess, the
physical security. Did the investors express an opinion as to where
they think that the continued U.N. presence would be helpful with
respect to the security situation?
Mr. Goss. I think most of the people who I have talked to have
said that they are less concerned about stability measured by the
number of policemen on the street or whether they are wearing
blue hats or Haitian police uniforms, than they are worried about
the commitment to stability that will be seen through the transi-
tion via the next presidential elections.
Can Haitia pull off another presidential election and can they
pull off an orderly transfer of power? If yes, that is going to be a
big message out there to say that they have got their act together.
I have not heard as many complaints about what I will call the
"knock on the door in the night." Frankly, this was not a concern
of most of the businessmen; it was more of a concern of the people
What concern I have heard is in the area of stability-like the
looting, the safeguarding of the warehouse inventories, the prob-
lems of payoffs at the docks in order to get business done in the
country; the kind of things we experience in a lot of countries that
are true in Haiti as well.
Mr. WYNN. So would it be fair to say that continued U.S. pres-
ence, even at lower level, would be helpful?
Mr. Goss. I cannot answer that question honestly at this point.
The stability is always a factor.
Mr. WYNN. Mr. Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
I think that there is no question that there are people who are
concerned about investments. It is a new republic less than a year
old. And so there are some, certainly, business people who are con-
cerned about their investment, do have some reluctance, and that
I think, though, just the opposite. I do think that the continued
presence of the United Nations, with a new president coming in,
in February, it will indeed be a person who is much weaker than
the present president, there will probably be people who will want
to test the new government.
You know, Francois Michelle who is still right across the border,
over in the Dominican Republic, still has strong influence. As you
knew, he was the murderous police chief of Port-au-Prince. They
are still talking band radios and are in communication in Haiti
with people who are still from the FRAP organization, which, as
you know, was funded by the CEP.
There are still elements of uncertainty. And I think it would be
almost-it has been indicated that we have invested a tremendous
amount. I think Mr. Goss said $3 billion. I have not tracked it to
that number, but I assume that is correct. To me, it would not
make sense to withdraw support at this time, to encourage the
United Nations to leave at the mandate which says it should leave
in February, with all of that investment.
You know, we must remember that boats of people were coming
up to those shores, and they are not coming any more. And you
spend an inordinate amount of money with Coast Guards trying to
protect the Atlantic, and taking people and children out of the
water and finding places for them to go. And I think that it does
not make sense to start to pull the plug when there is more than
a 50/50 chance-it is probably a 75/25 chance that this fledgling
new democracy will be able to make it.
I think that investment will increase if we have the continued
stability of the presence of outside observers. I think that there is
a move to privatization. There has been some transition already be-
cause some business from my area have started to do. The employ-
ment rate is up from what it was-and once, again it is 1 year. I
just cannot understand how we can say that President Aristide is
ending, as Mr. Goss mentioned. He said the Aristide administra-
tion is ending 5 years in office. It was less than a year before, and
less than a year after. So it has been 1 year interrupted by 3 years,
and finally trying to put all the pieces together in 1 year.
I agree, a lot more must be done. There is still violence. There
are still a lot of the things that have traditionally been wrong with
Haiti. By the same token, I think it is really unfair to characterize
it as a place that we ought to just almost turn our back on. I think
it would be foolish.
Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
I would just like to back up what everybody has been saying, and
give some examples of what occurred in my situation.
In the beginning of the year, a group of Haitians came to me, led
by a man named Duly Brutus. I think he is supposed to testify
today. He introduced me to the mayor of a small town in northern
Haiti called Limbe. I forget her name, but she was a very nice, el-
derly lady. She said she had heard that my wife and I did things
to help people and asked if we would help her. And I said, "Sure,
what can we do for you?"
She stated that their school system was in terrible shape. This
shows how little we know about the problem down there.
I said, "Well, what do you need?"
She stated that they needed pencils and paper.
I have been a manufacturer all my life, so I went and I hit every
paper manufacturer I knew, and got about 800,000 sheets of 81/2
by 11 paper. The pencil manufacturers over in Tennessee gave me
10,000 pencils. Care International asked me if I would produce
these little plastic bags that you can put a little dirt in the bottom
and stick a tree in it to grow.
We had planted the eastern part of Nicaragua that way, and we
hoped to plant the northern shore of Haiti with those same things.
At the same time we arranged to send 26 computers. We got
these items on a barge going out of Miami. On the day they
shipped these items, word came to me that somebody had burned
the school down in Limbe. I learned that they had arrested Duly
Brutus for burning the school down, which obviously did not make
any sense at all. I never did find out what happened to the 26 com-
puters. Luckily, we had arranged with the Selesian Brothers, a
Catholic charity, to receive these items. Whether this shipment has
ever gotten to anybody I do not honestly know. I would love to
know. Maybe someone at the State Department or AID people can
tell me what happened. Now, if I were a businessman, and had
done this as an investment rather than as a donation, I would won-
der about whether investing in Haiti was a very sensible thing to
Furthermore, a large group of Haitian businessmen approached
me regarding the need for power. Electric power was one of the
major problems they had. Unless somebody could figure out a way
to generate more electricity, there was not any way they could have
economic development there. I tried to get them in touch with
Duke Power Company down in North Carolina, and I do not know
whatever came of that.
But, I do understand the frustrations that people must feel about
investing in Haiti, because I am not sure I did anything. I do not
know whether the 26 computers are in schools. I do not know
whether the paper and pencils are in schools, and I do not know
whether they are growing trees in northern Haiti. It is just real
frustrating for somebody that does not have the communications to
be able to find out what is going on down there.
Mr. KENNEDY. You know, before I came to the Congress I ran a
number of companies that invested substantially in a lot of devel-
oping countries. Any comparison between the kind of infrastructure
we have in the United States compared to the infrastructure in
Haiti is doomed to failure because it just simply does not exist in
I think that you are to be tremendously commended for the hu-
manitarian instincts that you have shown, and your doggedness in
actually getting people to produce and get the pencils and the
paper and the computers and the like donated.
The truth of the matter is that a country like Haiti is going to
go through a tremendous set of difficulties, whether it is corruption
on the docks or the rebuilding of the infrastructure and the power
grid. These are substantial investments that are going to take co-
ordination between the World Bank, the IMF, and other inter-
national lending agencies. It is going to mean that you are going
to have to deal with the tremendous concerns of so many people,
that you have a ruling elite that has sucked up every last nickel
of profit available in that country off the backs of a lot of very poor
people. And so there is going to be tension in a country like Haiti.
I think what we want to do here though is try to encourage de-
mocracy. Listen, if there are cover ups, if there are examples of
people that are being denied human rights, we ought to be expos-
ing those. But that ought not to diminish our encouragement and
enthusiasm for the progress that has been made. Tremendous
progress has been made in a year. Around the Congress, people are
always coming up to me and saying, hey, listen, that guy Aristide,
he is going to stay in there. I read articles in the newspaper. Some-
body stopped by my office and said, oh, yes, his secret plan is to
stay in for another 5 years.
Every time I have talked to him he says that is absolutely not
true; that he is going to get out. I think he is telling the truth. I
think it would be perfectly legitimate to say that he is due another
3 years, because, you know, a military dictatorship came in and
threw him out. But he is not doing that.
So I think that there are going to be bumps along the road.
There are going to be terrible stories of corruption, and I think
there are going to be examples of people that did not get to polls.
You have to drop back and look at this in the context of the poorest
country in our hemisphere that is trying to make a major step for-
ward toward real democracy.
Look at what is going on in the Soviet Union, for crying out loud.
Here is a country that has a lot of infrastructure, and a lot more
money than Haiti does, and they are having all sorts of problems.
So I think that this is real progress, and I would just like to see
us give encouragement and voice some enthusiasm and not be
viewed as a Congress that is kind of looking down their nose at a
group of people that are struggling very hard to make the thing
We should find ways of encouraging them, and I am sure the
Chairman will. And if we can find ways of encouraging the United
Nations and international organizations to make the investments
to help things go smoother, I think we ought to do it.
But again, you are to be commended for your willingness to help,
Mr. BALLENGER. Somebody said, "Why do you not just call up
down there and find out about those items?" The sad part about
it is they do not have any telephones. You cannot call them up.
Mr. KENNEDY. That is correct.
Mr. BALLENGER. It is almost impossible for people in this country
to recognize how poor Haiti is. When the mayor of Limbe asked for
pencils and paper, I nearly fell off my chair because I thought sure-
ly they have got pencils and paper. Unfortunately, they did not
have these things.
Mr. BURTON. Let me interrupt and say we want to move on to
the next panel. But before we do I would just like to make a couple
There is some question about the election that took place. I have
been in several elections myself in Africa and elsewhere in the
world, and understand it is very difficult to monitor elections and
keep everything perfect.
I read an article by the International Republican Institute on the
elective process, and it said there were a lot of faults and problems.
These flaws should be corrected in the future.
The other thing that concerns me a great deal, is that when our
peacekeepers leave there will be some semblance of law and order.
There is a great deal of consternation and concern among mem-
bers about Haiti. They worry that when we pull out after having
spent $3 billion, the Haitian police force will not be well enough
equipped, either from a training standpoint or from a weapons
standpoint, to adequately deal with the crime and corruption that
will become, they believe, rampant. This possibly is an example of
humanitarian effort gone awry. We are trying to get some humani-
tarian supplies down there to do things like help kids with edu-
cation, but it is very difficult to get it through because of people
stealing the supplies and trying to make a profit out of it. I am just
assuming that might be the case. The problem is one of the things
that we need some assurances about solving.
And, Representative Goss, you were just down there. And were
you down there too, Don?
Mr. PAYNE. Yes.
Mr. BURTON. You were down there as well.
What progress has been made as far as upgrading Haitian secu-
rity forces so they will be able to take over the responsibility when
the U.N. troops leave? And will the Haitian security force be able
to adequately enforce the law to make sure that these political
killings and other crime problems will end?
Mr. PAYNE. Well, in my opinion, Mr. Chairman, I think that it
is premature to withdraw the U.N. and the U.S. forces at the same
time that a new president takes over. I think it just makes no
Mr. BURTON. So you do not think they are going to be adequately
Mr. Payne. I think that they would be better prepared if the
forces remain. I say that because since the late 1700's, when the
Haitian military defeated Napoleon's army, the military has been
the force. Of course, brutal force, wrong force, but that was the way
the country was policed.
Now for the first time, you know, in several hundred years you
have a civilian group of people who will now replace the military
force. As you know, Aristide told the military, he wants no army.
So seven-eight thousand men who are in the army have been dis-
missed, or he is trying to get rid of them. And you have got about
3,000, hopefully, up to 5,000 police people with little, small side
arms, that will try to police a whole country where the army was
So you are really looking at a very serious transition. And I just
think that it needs more time. Aristide went back in October. This
is October. On 1 year they have attempted to train police, to teach
them ethics, to teach them restraint, to go away from the way po-
licing was done by the gun. And so it is going to be a transition.
I think that if they leave, the police will be able to sustain with
a lot of problems. I think that if in fact we were able to extend the
United Nations for at least 6 months after the new president-you
do not even know the name of the candidates, so evidently it is
going to be a very weak person. It is not going to be the type of
Aristide that can tell the people let us not have any kind of retribu-
tion. Let us have reconciliation.
This new president, I think, will be-in a nutshell really is that
I just would urge that we reconsider the withdrawal in February
of the U.N. and U.S. troops.
Mr. BURTON. Do you think that within a 6- or 8-month period
that they would be? I spoke to the police trainer when I was down
there. A fellow from the New York Police Department is doing the
training. He did not give us a specific time on when he thought
they would have an adequately trained police force to take care of
But you think a 6- to 8-month extension might do the job, Por-
Mr. Goss. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
I would agree that the question of stability in the country for
preserving law and order is probably one of the most difficult meas-
ures, and it is going to affect the political process, and the economic
process, the quality of life, whether this experiment succeeds or not
in the future.
I think you have asked exactly the right question. You cannot ar-
tificially sustain it forever. I am not sure whether or not we are
artificially sustaining, propping up a false stability, and the minute
the U.N. peacekeepers leave that the vengeance that many still
talk about is actually going to happen.
How long did the Hatfields and the McCoys dislike each other?
It is one of those kinds of questions that you have asked.
There are some serious problems with the police force. It is not
just its size and its equipment and its mentality and its profes-
sionalism. That is not the only problem.
One of the problems is that we are already beginning to hear sto-
ries among some who feel that the police will be taken over by this
elite office corps of some 80 officers that are being trained in Can-
ada and who have special privileges.
There is an association being made between this group and sort
of a new Tonton Macoutes organization. There is a concern that the
vetting process has been sent awry whether it was done with or
without the knowledge of President Aristide, whether or not Danny
Tousante is just speaking from the heart about the former mem-
bers of the military that he wants to bring in to the force without
vetting-these are the kinds of question this committee needs to
The question of how much cooperation there has really bet.n by
the Aristide Administration with the FBI to get to the botto n of
these commando-type assassinations that the ambassador of the
OAS, Colin Granderson, has brought to our attention. These are
not something that Republicans, or people like President Aristide
have brought forward. These are reports from observers down there
who are doing their job. They are concerned about this.
We need to ask those questions of the Aristide Administration,
and get reasonable answers; not the nice sounding words that real-
ly do not seem to get to the bottom of the question.
When you come right down to the end of the question, if you ex-
tend by 6 months the U.N. peacekeepers, with or without U.S.
troops (we will not go into the mix of whether they should have
U.S. troops, although I think U.S. troops are the back bone right
now) would you have stability? And I think the answer, frankly, is
going to be just about the same as it is going to be in February.
And if you ask it a year later, it is probably going to be the pret-
ty close to the same. This is a long, long term proposition, in my
So if you are going to extend day by day and do these incre-
ments, I suspect you are going to find it like being at an airline
counter when they are not sure whether the plane is going to get
there, and you keep hearing check back in 20 minutes. I think it
is going to be that kind of a process.
Mr. BURTON. Do you think there is really no end to our occupa-
tion or support there as far as the preparedness of a police force
is concerned, when they will be able to deal with the problems?
Mr. Goss. The disengagement process has always been the hard-
est part of this. It has been made easier because we did not go into
Haiti in a hostile fashion, thank the Lord. Wiser heads prevailed
the last moment, as you know. And instead of an armed invasion
where we were basically going in with a shooting army, we went
in there as an occupying force to help build democracy and provide
stability and guidance.
You can only do the job for the Haitians so long. Sooner or later
the Haitians have to do it for themselves. And we are trying to do
that. That is our hope, that we can train them to do that.
Do I think just 6 months of U.N. additional presence is going to
guarantee stability? No, I do not.
Mr. BURTON. OK.
Mr. PAYNE. Let me just add, if the gentleman would yield. My
only point is that why have a new president come in the day that
the U.N. and U.S. troops leave. I just think and right, we cannot
stay there forever. But it just does not make sense to install a new
president the day after every-that the normal-what is normal
today is the U.N. and U.S. troops are there.
To have them leave and install a new president, I just think that
it just-and I would not extend it forever, but at least let the new
group come in and have this stability around for 6 or 8 months,
and then we have to get out of there some time. But to leave the
day the new administration comes in, to me makes no sense.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you very much. I appreciate this panel com-
ing in. I appreciate your extended visit. Thank you.
The next panel is from the Administration: Ambassador James
Dobbins, special coordinator for Haiti at the State Department; and
Norma Parker, deputy assistant administrator at the Bureau for
Latin America and the Caribbean at the Agency for International
I want to welcome both of you to the hearing and I look forward
to hearing your testimony.
I would like to have my statement included in the record since
I was a little late.
So without objection that will be the case.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Burton appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. Let us start with Ambassador Dobbins.
STATEMENT OF JAMES DOBBINS, SPECIAL HAITI
COORDINATOR, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. DOBBINS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I will
try to speak-
Mr. BURTON. I would like to keep your comments to 5 minutes
so that we can have dialog and questions and answers.
Mr. DOBBINS. I will try to abbreviate what I have provided and
provide the rest for the record. I will, however, try to deal with
some of the questions that you have raised, which I think are the
right questions to be addressing.
It has been a little more than a year since U.S. forces entered
Haiti at the end of the multinational coalition. At the height of the
U.S. presence, we had 20,000 American troops there. Today there
are 2,500, out of a total force of 6,000 U.N. peacekeeping troops.
In four more months, that is to say in February of this year, the
mission of this peacekeeping force will be concluded. The troops
will return home, having successfully completed a complex and
The completion of this mission has been keyed to two processes.
The first of these has been the dismantling of Haiti's old institu-
tions of repression, and the creation of a new professional civilian
police force, along with the reform of the judiciary.
The second process is a democratic renewal, and the constitu-
tional transfer of power. This process involves the holding of local,
municipal, parliamentary and, finally, presidential elections.
Both of these two processes are proceeding at a pace which
should permit us to meet the time table which the United States
and the United Nations have set for this peacekeeping operation.
Last June, Haitians voted to elect 2,000 mayors, municipal and
county counselors, creating the most comprehensive set of freely
elected local government in their country's history.
Last Sunday they completed the election of members of their
lower and upper houses of parliament. Like the June 25 vote, Sun-
day's balloting was peaceful. Unlike the June 25 vote, it was more
orderly, and better administered.
Later this year the Haitians will go to the poll to elect a succes-
sor to President Aristide.
The second ongoing process to which the timing of the inter-
national peacekeeping effort is tied is, as I have said, the disman-
tling of Haiti's old, corrupt and repressive security institutions, and
the creation of a new professional civilian police force. This process
too is on schedule.
The Haitian army has been disbanded. Over half, that is to say
over 3,000, of its members have been demobilized. Most of these in-
dividuals are presently completing a 6-month program of vocational
training. Something less than 3,000 members of the Haitian army
remain as members of the interim police force. Several hundred of
these interim police are being demobilized each month as new
classes of the Haitian national police are fielded, and that demobili-
zation should be largely completed by February.
By that date, the Haitian National Police will have fielded 5,000
new police officers. These young men and women have been se-
lected in an open, apolitical, rigorous and competitive national
process. They are receiving four months of intensive professional
training, in a program organized by the Department of Justice, and
taught by professional law enforcement officers from France, Can-
ada and the United States.
The process of selection for the Haitian National Police has
drawn on the best Haiti has to offer. Tens of thousands of young
men and women have competed for entry. In a society where less
than 25 percent of the people are literate, the average educational
level of the initial class of cadets was 2 years of college. In a coun-
try where personal connections have long been the key to govern-
ment employment, this has been an open, competitive process.
Alongside the Police Academy, we have also created a Judicial
Academy, which is doing a comparable job with the Haitian judici-
The duration of the peacekeeping operation in Haiti has not been
tied to any particular level of economic performance, but the econ-
omy has picked up, and Norma Parker can talk briefly about where
we stand on that.
Needless to say, Haiti's economic renewal is at best tentative. Its
democracy remains fragile, and its new security structures are in-
experienced and untested. Business interest in Haiti as a site for
investment is relatively high, but many investors are awaiting the
results of the current electoral cycle.
These elections, and specifically the June 25 balloting, were far
from ideal. Brian Atwood, the lead of the Presidential Observer
Delegation, who was there on June 25, commented on that, as did
I in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Latin America
2 weeks later.
At the time I noted that observers found that ballot "free, fair
and fouled up." Haiti has since held three further rounds of ballot-
ing, including both reruns of about a fifth of the original vote, and
a second round of balloting for undecided races. These three ballots
were free, fair, and progressively well run.
The Haitian voters have chosen their mayors, city and county
counselors, establishing a comprehensive system of freely elected
local government. They have chosen a new parliament. Later this
year they will choose a president. And in February, a new presi-
dent will take office.
The OAS has had an Electoral Observer Mission in Haiti for the
past 5 months. This mission has filed 572 observers who monitored
some 4,670 polling stations through several stages of the electoral
process. Many of these observers are experienced electoral mon-
itors. Many have extensive knowledge of Haiti. Many speak fluent
Creole, the language of the country. This mission's reporting and
analysis is by far the most comprehensive and authoritative avail-
able on the Haitian electoral process.
Commenting on criticism of the role of the Haitian Provisional
Electoral Council in the June 25 balloting, the OAS Observer Mis-
sion stated, and I quote: "We are satisfied that, to the best of our
knowledge, no organized fraud was carried out by the Electoral
Commission; neither did we identify any attempts by the Electoral
Council to favor any particular party, in relation to either the June
25, 1995 elections or the complementary elections held subse-
Perhaps the most widely publicized criticism of the June 25 bal-
lot concerned the vote count in Port-au-Prince itself, in what is
called in Haiti the Western Electoral Department or "BED West".
Asked to comment on that particular process, the OAS commented
'The OAS fielded a professional teams of very knowledgeable
election observers throughout the area covered by BED West on 25
June. Every single member of the team either had extensive elec-
tion observation experience and/or were specialists in the social/po-
litical infrastructure of Port-au-Prince and Haiti. Practically all the
observers were fluent in Creole thereby enabling them to speak in-
cisively with BIV workers, with the electoral workers, amongst oth-
ers with whom they interacted. All the observers were in place
from early morning 25 June.
"On the night of 25 June there was a congregation of electoral
workers who had transported their ballot boxes, some over long dis-
tances, to the premises of BED West, without doing the count at
the local electoral sites simply because there was inadequate light-
ing, or in some cases no lighting at all. This was done mainly be-
cause there was insufficient street lighting available outside BED
West to enable the count to be completed that night itself. There-
fore, what one found .i the night of June 25 was a large collection
of electoral workers simply trying to complete their job of counting
the ballots and trying to get back to their homes after a long day
without water and food. To the untrained eye, it looked totally dis-
organized. But those with Haitian experience and the ability to
speak Creole what was witnessed was a creative effort by the elec-
toral workers to finnish their task as efficiently as possible under
difficult conditions. To other election observers (from other organi-
zations) with little or no country experience and no knowledge of
Creole it was an example of chaos and disorganization.
"At no time did the OAS observers report seeing any incident of
fraud that night; perhaps a few technical problems, but no fraud.
Neither over a new few days when the electoral count was taking
place at sites such as the Lycee Firmin, did any OAS observer wit-
iess any incident that could be termed fraud. Yes, there were tech-
-uical problems (mainly due to a lack of experience and inadequate
training), but not witnessing of any fraudulent inactivity."
Commenting on the vote count throughout this electoral process
of the results over all four rounds, the OAS monitors commented
as follows, and I quote:
"For each of the elections held, the data on the vote count and
the tabulation collected by the electoral observers at each stage de-
scribed corresponded in general to the results released by the elec-
toral officials. The minor differences noted by the mission involved
discrepancies of ten or fewer votes which did not affect the final re-
"Some 18 complaints, mainly regarding falsified or missing proc-
ess-verbaux, and principally from the June 25 first round, were
brought to the OAS attention, but it was noted that the complaints
were given satisfaction through action take by the Haitian Elec-
toral Council, such as recounts or cancellation of the elections in
the affected areas."
Now, in the aftermath of the June 25 vote, the leaders of the
major opposition parties in Haiti decided to withdraw from the
electoral process. Their party candidates, for the most part, did not.
The names of all opposition candidates remained on the ballot.
Nearly all opposition candidates participated actively in the rerun
and second run balloting. Party pool watchers from opposition par-
ties were present at the poling stations in large numbers. All oppo-
sition candidates who won places at the local and national level ap-
pear ready to serve.
The disappointment of opposition leaders with the June 25 bal-
loting was understandable. Their parties did poorly, as had been
generally anticipated. The process was flawed. Their complaints
were in many instances legitimate. But, in the view of most inter-
national observers, their decision to withdraw from the campaign,
and to see to discredit the subsequent electoral process was not jus-
tified by the circumstances.
Between the first, and the subsequent three rounds of balloting,
the U.S. Government made repeated efforts to bring about a resolu-
tion of differences between the Haitian authorities and the main
opposition leaders. In pursuit of this objective, we made a number
of suggestions to improve the electoral process and to correct flaws
in the June 25 vote. In response, the Haitian authorities expressed
a willingness to adopt all of our proposals as a basis for agreement
with the opposition leaders.
In the end suspicions on both sides proved unsurmountable. Op-
position party leaders were unwilling to work with the Haitian
Electoral Council, even after their key initial demand for the re-
placement of the president of that council had been met. The Hai-
tian authorities, for their part, harbored concerns that the opposi-
tion, aware that it was likely to lose any election in the near fu-
ture, would take advantage of any role they might be granted in
selecting new members of the Electoral Council in order to block
completion of the election, and postpone indefinitely the seating of
a new parliament.
This mistrust was, in other words, mutual, and, in our judgment,
this mistrust was excessive. The Haitian authorities were prepared
to implement those steps which we, the OAS and the United Na-
tions, believed necessary to correct the failings.
Mr. BURTON. Excuse me, Ambassador Dobbins. Are you about
finished with your statement? We have a large panel coming up
after you, and we want to get to questions for you and Ms. Parker.
Mr. DOBBINS. I will try to finish up as quickly as I can, Mr.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you.
Mr. DOBBINS. The opposition party leaders demanded more, spe-
cifically insisting that half the Electoral Council be replaced by new
individuals acceptable to the opposition. Lavalas party leaders
were, in fact, prepared to discuss such arrangements, but in the
end, it proved impossible to agree on modalities for altering the
membership of the Electoral Council which were broadly accept-
able, and legal under Haitian law.
Much of the criticism of this first round of balloting, Mr. Chair-
man, was justified. Outside observers should be cautious, however,
about holding Haiti to a higher standard than has been applied to
a number of other countries-richer and more highly developed
countries than Haiti. The South African election in 1994, for in-
stance, was not only vastly more violent than that in Haiti, but
was also reportedly worse organized, and yet that election was cor-
rectly hailed as a major advance in democracy.
Let me just conclude my discussions on the election by quoting
one sentence or two sentences from the concluding OAS report.
"Having observed the entire process, the OAS observers consid-
ered that its defects were not the result of large scale organized
fraud and that the voting intentions of the electorate were gen-
erally respected. Announcements of the tabulated results by the
Electoral Council generally matched data collected by OAS observ-
ers. Based on its observation, the OAS considers that the impact
of flaws in the process would not have altered the final result."
Let me before concluding, Mr. Chairman, just address one other
subject that you raised, and which others have raised, and that is
the human rights situation in Haiti.
It has, as other speakers have noted, improved vastly over the
last year; also the violence as a whole is down in Haiti dramati-
cally. In fact, Haiti at the moment is probably one of the safest so-
cieties in the Caribbean.
Political violence has fallen off even more sharply. Following 3
years of brutal repression during which rape, torture and murder
were routine instruments of governance, many had expected that
the restoration of Haiti's legitimate government would be followed
by a waive of retribution. The opposite is the case. Thanks to the
professionalism of our forces, and particularly to President
Aristide's calls to reconciliation, nothing of the sort has occurred.
On the contrary, after 3 years in which up to 3,000 political mur-
ders were committed, there have been perhaps two dozen deaths
which may have revenge or politics as a motivation over the past
Now, to recognize how the situation has improved is not to sug-
gest that further steps are not needed to eradicate political violence
from Haitian life. Haiti has a long, sad tradition of politically moti-
vated murder and intimidation, which, if not checked once and for
all, could undermine its democratic renewal. Justice and an end to
impunity must therefore go hand in hand with reconciliation.
In March of this year, when the former de facto regime spokes-
person, Mireilla Bertin, was murdered, the U.S. Government of-
fered, and President Aristide accepted the assistance of the FBI in
investigating that crime. At the time that offer was made and ac-
cepted, Haiti had no indigenous capacity to investigate such crimes.
Its interim police force was drawn, in large measure, from the very
institution which had been the source of repression under the prior
regime. The court system largely ceased to function, and the pris-
ons were in disrepair.
In the intervening 6 months, the government of Haiti has with
our help come a long way in developing the capacity to investigate,
to try, and to convict andto imprison those who would commit such
crimes. New judges have been appointed. Old ones have been
trained. The prison system is in reform. The police force is being
deployed. More than 1400 of those policemen are already on the
street. Selected members of this force have received special inves-
tigative training in order to form the judicial police who will do
Yesterday the government of Haiti formally established a new,
special unit of those officers to deal with high profile, and espe-
cially political crimes, including those cases of the past year cited
by the U.N and the OAS observers that some of the congressional
members mentioned. This unit will be separately-
Mr. BURTON. Mr. Ambassador, let us get the questions-if you
can just sum up real quickly.
Mr. DOBBINS. OK.
Mr. BURTON. Because we are going to be asking you extensive
questions on a lot of these issues.
Mr. DOBBINS. Let me just say that this unit will be separately
housed, separately funded, and that the government of Haiti has
asked the U.N. civilian police and the United States to provide
training police officers to monitor and assist this unit as it conducts
these investigations, and the United Nations has agreed to do so,
and that we will do so as well.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Dobbins appears in the appen-
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Ambassador.
STATEMENT OF NORMA J. PARKER, DEPUTY ASSISTANT AD-
MINISTRATOR, BUREAU FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CAR-
IBBEAN, AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Ms. PARKER. In the interest of time, I will try to be very brief.
Unfortunately Congressman Ballenger left. I did want to assure
him that his pencils and paper did arrive.
Mr. BURTON. I will convey that to him if you will give me a mes-
sage in writing. I will make sure he gets that because he is very
interested in knowing that.
Ms. PARKER. He is OK on that score.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I welcome this opportunity to appear
before this committee and share with you some of the achievements
of our economic assistance program. I think it is very appropriate
that you pose the question before us. The answer is that we have
achieved a great deal, but the job is not yet done.
With the support of the United States and our allies, the Haitian
people have come much further than anyone would have predicted
1 year ago.
The U.S. Agency for International Development is proud to have
played an important role in this democratic transition in Haiti. As
Americans, we can take pride that we have helped Haiti to achieve
An army which dominated, abused and intimidated the Haitian
people for nearly 200 years has been demobilized. The cycle of re-
venge and retribution has been replaced by strong efforts at rec-
onciliation and support for the rule of law;
The old military academy, which was a source of power for the
Cedres dictatorship, has been transformed into a first-ever judicial
training school which supports the development of an accountable
system of justice;
A professional civilian police force, under the supervision of the
Minister of Justice, has been established and is deploying across
In an atmosphere of peace and security, without fear of intimida-
tion or reprisal, Haitians have gone to the polls four times to elect
new members of parliament and local government.
Within days, that new parliament will be seated and will take
up a series of economic and political reform issues that are de-
signed to break the alliances between state power and economic
monopolies and social elites, and lay the foundation for broad-based
economic growth offering further expanding opportunities for the
Already the government has initiated a comprehensive program
of structural reforms and liberalizations to bring policies into har-
mony with those of the countries of the hemisphere.
In contrast to annual 10 percent declines of GDP during the
1992-94 period, economic growth has been restored, with GDP
growth at 4.5 percent since the return of Aristide. Similar growth
is expected in 1996.
Inflation has been cut from 55 percent in August 1994 to ap-
proximately 20 percent in August 1995, and the Haitian gourde has
strengthened from about 21 gourdes to the dollar to 15 to the dol-
The leadership of the United States has been instrumental in
making these changes happen.
We also have to candidly admit that some serious challenges re-
main. While considerable progress has been made, more work
needs to be done to correct the problems which occurred in the
early election rounds before presidential elections this year.
It is essential that adequate support be provided for these presi-
dential elections, so that they can be orderly, free, and fair.
The judicial system and the leadership structure of the police
must continue to be strengthened.
Strong vested interests will continue to resist efforts to promote
economic reform and create an open market-oriented economy that
offers real prospects for broad-based growth. Furthermore, the gov-
ernment of Haiti does not have unlimited time to build confidence
that private sector-led growth has taken hold, and to convince
working Haitians that their lives are improving.
The focus of our efforts a year ago was crisis oriented. At that
time we were coping with the needs of a society brutalized by an
oppressive dictatorship and reeling under the impact of embargo.
Our concerns were to help feed about 1.2 million Haitians daily,
provide health care to about two million people, and ensure the im-
munization of three million children.
Today our objective is to ensure a successful transition from an
emergency humanitarian program, largely driven by short-term cri-
sis, to one which consolidates the significant changes of the past
and establishes a foundation for sustainable development. Our pri-
mary objectives are building the foundation for an enduring demo-
cratic society and expanding private sector employment and in-
come. It is important that we stay the course and ensure the con-
solidation of the gains made thus far.
My written statement contains a discussion of specific details of
this broad-based program. Let me now just move to a conclusion,
and you all can read the statement.
Mr. Chairman, we have accomplished a tremendous amount, but
the job is not yet finished. Long-term success in Haiti is contingent
upon active leadership by the United States in partnership with
our many allies and the Haitians themselves. We have now con-
cluded this transition from crisis to recovery. Sustained engage-
ment by the United States remains essential to turn recovery into
sustainable economic growth and democratic development.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Parker appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. Thank you very much. Let me ask you a couple
You mentioned, Mr. Ambassador, that the FBI was assisting in
investigating some of these alleged political assassinations, includ-
ing the killing of Ms. Mireille Bertin?
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes.
Mr. BURTON. She was gunned down in the middle of Port-au-
Prince on a main street, as I understand it.
Mr. DOBBINS. Right.
Mr. BURTON. Because of the traffic jam.
Have they found anything about that yet?
Mr. DOBBINS. The FBI has not briefed me, or as far as I know,
anyone else in the Administration on their findings. They are still
conducting their investigation, and as far as I know have not come
to a conclusion.
Mr. BURTON. So, now they really do not have any leads that you
Mr. DOBBINS. Oh, I do not think that is the case. I think they-
shortly after they began their investigation there was one arrest of
somebody who they believed could have been implicated. That per-
son remains in prison.
Mr. BURTON. Was he indicted or charged?
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes, has not been indicted or charged.
Mr. BURTON. And he is still in prison?
Mr. DOBBINS. He is still in prison.
Mr. BURTON. How long has he been in prison?
Mr. DOBBINS. About 6 months now.
Mr. BURTON. He has been in prison 6 months without any
charges brought against him?
Mr. DOBBINS. As far as I know.
Mr. BURTON. Now, is that consistent with our legal system?
Mr. DOBBINS. It is not consistent with either ours or theirs.
Mr. BURTON. I have been in that prison down there. It is a God
forsaken hole. It is worse than any place I have ever been in in my
Mr. DOBBINS. It has improved somewhat since you have been
Mr. BURTON. The only way to improve that prison is to take a
bulldozer and level it. There was a 20-foot high wall of excrement,
and the sewers were open in there. I could not walk through the
place without almost regurgitating it was so bad. It was horrible.
And you are telling me this guy that they have arrested in Haiti
has been in prison now for 6 months without any charges being
brought against him?
That flies in the face of what we believe to be a fair and equi-
table law enforcement judicial system, yet we are supposed to be
down there enforcing law?
Now, if the guy is guilty, he ought to be charged, and I would
like to know about it. I want you to find out who this fellow is, and
find out why he has not been charged. If he is guilty, then I would
like to know why they have not brought the charges. Six months
is more than adequate time.
When we arrested 0. J. Simpson, he was charged that day. The
trial lasted a lot longer than most people would like, but he was
charged that day. And you are telling me 6 months. That is intoler-
able. If he is guilty, he should be charged and indicted, and let us
know about it. And if he's not guilty, he should not be in there the
first place. We want to find out about that.
Do you know the gentleman's name, by any chance?
Mr. DOBBINS. Claudie, Big Claudie is his name.
Mr. BURTON. Big Claudie?
Mr. DOBBINS. I am sure he has a more formal name.
Mr. BURTON. OK, but they will know who he is down there.
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes.
Mr. BURTON. The second thing that you mentioned is that the
prison has been improved in Haiti.
Mr. DOBBINS. And I do not know that he has not been charged.
He has not been, as far as I know, indicted or put on trial. The in-
vestigation is continuing, and he is still under detention in connec-
tion with that investigation.
Mr. BURTON. Detention in that prison-
Mr. DOBBINS. I do not know that he is in that prison, but he
Mr. BURTON. Well, I do not know of any others in Port-au-Prince.
I do not know.
Mr. DOBBINS. Well, the Petionville jail is used frequently for
cases like that.
Mr. BURTON. OK All right.
Ms. PARKER. May I speak to the issue of prisons?
Mr. BURTON. Yes.
Ms. PARKER. We have been doing some prison rehabilitation in
Port-au-Prince, and we have separated juveniles and women from
the male population. We have put in sanitary facilities and in-
creased security in the prison. We have trained all prison guards
in the national penitentiary; we are about to sign an agreement
with the UNDP program for continuation of a prison training pro-
gram, and we have a prison detention registry whereby we can
trace all detainees.
Mr. BURTON. Are they still keeping people in that same prison
Ms. PARKER. There are some, yes.
Mr. DOBBINS. Oh, the national penitentiary is being used, yes.
Mr. BURTON. How did you clean that one up? You said you made
Ms. PARKER. We put in sanitary facilities and showers, cleaned
it up, painted the walls, and put in windows.
Mr. DOBBINS. We heard you when you got back from that trip,
Mr. BURTON. Well, I am going to have to go back down there and
take another look at it.
Ms. PARKER. It has improved.
Mr. BURTON. OK
Ms. PARKER. It is not great, but it has improved. It is much bet-
Mr. BURTON. Well, an improvement would still make it horrible.
Ms. PARKER. We are also asking other donors to provide funding
so that a new national penitentiary can be built down there.
Mr. BURTON. A new national penitentiary?
Do you have any idea on the cost of that? I am just curious.
Ms. PARKER. We have engineering analysis now. No, I do not
know the cost in hand. But we are confident that we can get money
for this purpose.
Mr. BURTON. OK. Ms. Parker, the Finance Minister, Marie
Michelle Rey, said in a recent article that she is against the gov-
ernment's privatization program, calling it "a poison" that will "kill
the Haitian people." The anti-privatization movement developing
on the island places in doubt Haiti's access to about a billion dol-
lars in foreign aid from the United States.
Now, what is interesting about that is the State Department has
said that she is one of the two key proponents of privatization.
How do you square her statement in this article saying that pri-
vatization, or free enterprise, is a poison that will kill the Haitian
people on the one hand, and on the other hand the State Depart-
ment saying that she is a proponent of it?
Mr. DOBBINS. The quote is wrong.
Mr. BURTON. The quote is wrong?
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes. I am confident she never said that. Maybe a
misidentification, that could be the problem. The government has
a wide spectrum of opinion, and it is possible some other minister
Ms. PARKER. She is a strong proponent of economic reform and
privatization in Haiti.
Mr. BURTON. Privatization and free enterprise?
Ms. PARKER. And free enterprise; yes, indeed.
Mr. BURTON. We will contact the writer of this article. Her name
is Marilyn Moore, and we will double check that. And if it is veri-
fied, we will get back in touch with you and maybe you can talk
to Madame Rey.
Mr. DOBBINS. We certainly will if it turns out to be true.
Mr. BURTON. But we will check on that.
How long do you think it is going to be before the police force
or security force down there is going to be adequately prepared to
take care of the crime problem and to establish law and order issue
before we should pull out?
Now, you said in your opening remarks that we were going to
pull out when the new president took office. You heard Congress-
man Payne and Congressman Goss say that they did not think that
the police force would be adequately prepared. Congressman Payne
said the U.N. troops ought to stay for at least another 6 to 8
months. Congressman Goss said that he thought that it would not
matter if they stayed there another year; they still would not be
So can you give us some idea of what the State Department's po-
sition is on that?
Mr. DOBBINS. I will be happy to, Mr. Chairman.
Let me say, first of all, that by February Haiti will have the best
police department in its history. Point one.
Point two, it probably has the lowest crime rate of any society
of that size in the Caribbean or even in the hemisphere at the mo-
ment. Now, that may not continue. It is extremely low.
Mr. BURTON. But is that not in large part due to the occupation
forces that are there as well?
Mr. DOBBINS. I think they deserve a good deal of credit, but, no,
I do not think it is entirely due to them. I think it is partially a
question of Haitian society, which is a lot less violent than nor-
mally thought. The problem is that there is political violence which
contaminates the whole political process; not that the society as a
whole is a particularly violent society.
So anyway, that is point number two.
Point number three, that police force, although the best in Haiti's
history, will still be new, untried, newly trained, and untested, and
it is going to need support and assistance.
Now, our Department of Justice, the ICITAP training program is
going to continue. We will have completed the basic training of
those 5,000 cadets, but we are going to go back and then begin
training them as SWAT teams, training them as forensic experts,
training them as detectives, training them in crowd control, and
that sort of thing. So there will be a continued process of training.
Second, our Department of Justice and other elements, in par-
ticular, AID is going to be supporting them, as are other countries,
with equipment and with advisors who can beef up the manage-
ment structure, and sustain them through that period of testing
Third, I think that we are going to talk to the United Nations
about what they can do. They have 800 civilian police there now
from a dozen different countries, including over 100 French police,
and over 100 Canadian police. And I think we need to talk about
how much of that kind of effort can continue after the peacekeeping
operation is over, and whether others like the French and the Ca-
nadians, who have hundreds of policemen there now who are as-
sisting these police and advising them, whether they are prepared
to sustain, you know, their role in some capacity after February,
and we have got to talk about that.
So the international community has to stay engaged. We need to
continue to support that police force and we are prepared to inves-
tigate and discuss means of doing so. And I appreciated the discus-
sion this morning. I followed it closely, and I will certainly take
those thoughts back.
Mr. BURTON. I met with President Aristide in Haiti, and there
was some concern about the police force, and he keeping some of
the people that had been thought by opposition party leaders to be
assassins, and perpetrators of political atrocities. There was some
question about making sure that those people were not incor-
porated into the police force or put in positions of power.
And there was one gentleman in particular. I cannot think of his
name right now. Do you remember his name?
Mr. BURTON. Cherubin. I asked specifically about his being in a
position of leadership, and Aristide told me point blank that he
would not be, and he was not going to be in his cabinet or in his
Can you tell me what happened to that gentleman and whether
or not there has been a responsible vetting of those in the force?
Mr. DOBBINS. The Cherubin who at the time you spoke to
Aristide, I think, was a general in the army, and was an advisor
in the palace, retired from the army shortly after your conversa-
tion, left the palace and has performed no official function since.
And as far as I know, there has been no discussion of him having
Mr. BURTON. So he is not involved in the government in any way
that you know of?
Mr. DOBBINS. That is correct.
Now, the vetting process, there was a 6,000-man military.
Mr. BURTON. Right.
Mr. DOBBINS. Half of whom were kept as police. There was a
process of vetting. It was done very rapidly. It was far from perfect,
but we think we got rid of the worst of the 3,000, more or less, and
kept the best of the 3,000.
Mr. BURTON. How many from the military are still in the force?
Do you know?
Mr. DOBBINS. About 2,000 at the moment.
Mr. BURTON. Two thousand of the original force?
Mr. DOBBINS. But soon it will be down to zero. In other words,
all of these people are leaving.
Mr. BURTON. Being replaced by new personnel?
Mr. DOBBINS. The army is being totally dismantled. The police
are being recruited in a new and competitive, open process that I
describe. And there will be 5,000 of them by February on the
There have been a small number of people at supervisory level
who have been put into the police because we are training 18- to
22-year olds. They need some adult supervision. And they are pick-
ing people from civilian life-lawyers, people with some manage-
ment experience, people in community leadership positions-and
they have taken some people from the army. It is a minority of
those. There may be 10 or 15 at the moment total, and put them
into management positions and the police.
Perhaps some of what you are hearing is, are these people who
are from the old army, and thus from a background that makes
them at least suspect, going somehow to contaminate the police
Our view has been that one should minimize the introduction of
these kind of people. The counter argument, which some, including
the United Nations make, is that these are the only people that ac-
tually know how to run a police force, and you need somebody
there who has more than, you know, 30 days experience when we
leave. So there are these tensions.
Mr. BURTON. But they will be gone by the time we withdraw our
forces and the control will be turned over to the Haitian force?
Mr. DOBBINS. The interim police force will be virtually gone. I
mean, I think it is March that actually the last one phases out on
the current schedule, but virtually gone by the time the peacekeep-
ing operation comes to an end. Whether there is a dozen or two
people who transition from that into the new police force, I do not
Mr. BURTON. But it will be a minimal number?
Mr. DOBBINS. It will certainly be a small number, and they will
certainly be subjected to a good deal of scrutiny.
Mr. BURTON. There was some concern that the military junta
that took over had military supplies stored in and around Port-au-
Prince and other parts of the country, so that in the event that
they did lose power at some point they could rise again, or cause
Is there any concern that there are still supplies out there with
which an opposition force could try to take power again once the
Mr. DOBBINS. I would not want to dismiss it entirely, but at this
point I do not think we rate the prospect as very high in either that
there is a significant number of weapons or if there is, that they
would likely to be used in that way.
First of all, we rounded up about 20,000 weapons, some of which
we bought; some of which we seized.
Second, there really was not any evidence of large-scale arms
caches, let alone arms caches consciously done by the armed forces.
And we rounded up far more weapons from the armed forces than
our own intelligence people thought they had. We got, you know,
150 percent of what they estimated the total weapons availability
for the armed forces was.
Now, there certainly are some weapons in Haiti, and even if
there were not, Haiti has got open borders. You can buy weapons.
So, you know, if people want weapons in Haiti, they are going to
eventually get access to them.
Given popular attitudes toward the old regime, and anybody who
would try to reimpose it, anybody who undertook such a course
would put themselves at great risk. And our sense is that large-
scale coup efforts are not a high probability in the aftermath of the
departure of international forces, but it is not something that can
be discounted entirely, and it is one of the reasons why we believe
that this police force needs to be sustained even after we leave, and
given training, given a SWAT team, given the capacity to respond
to those kinds of things, as well as the more mundane criminal ac-
Mr. BURTON. OK, let me ask you one more series of questions
and we will yield to Congressman Payne.
When will the presidential elections be held? What do you antici-
pate the reaction is going to be if Aristide decides to run again?
You said he will not, but if he does. And what will be the reaction
if he does?
You said the election is going to be held later this year. This is
October. We do not even know who the presidential candidates are
going to be. They must have pretty short campaign cycles down
there. We would like to know who you anticipate might be the can-
didates if Aristide does not run. And if he does, what is going to
be our response? When would the elections be held?
And Aristide has made a commitment that he will not campaign
for anybody in this election; that he will stay out of it, as I under-
Mr. DOBBINS. Not that I know of.
Mr. BURTON. He is going to participate in the campaigns?
Mr. DOBBINS. I do not know. I do not know.
Mr. BURTON. We were led to believe that he would not be a par-
ticipant in the campaigns as the outgoing president. But if you
could respond to those questions.
Ambassador Swing, as told us repeatedly that Aristide has given
his word that he would not be campaigning.
Mr. DOBBINS. Oh, there may have been some misunderstanding.
I mean, he has repeatedly said he is not going to be a candidate.
Mr. BURTON. No, but Ambassador Swing told us in private meet-
ings, as I understand it, according to my staff just now-
Mr. DOBBINS. OK.
Mr. BURTON [continuing]. that he will not be campaigning or par-
ticipating in the campaign.
Mr. DOBBINS. OK, that is news to me.
I think the schedule to get this election done in time for a Feb-
ruary transition is getting increasingly compressed.
Mr. BURTON. Well, I guess. We are in the middle of October.
Mr. DOBBINS. Right. I think the U.N.'s view is that December 17
for the first round would be an optimal date, which would give
them enough time to make sure that you could have a second
round; this is a two-round system; and then time for a transition
to allow the February 17 date to get met. So we are coming up
I do not think that there is any change that President Aristide
would run again in this election. Those who want him to stay are
not advocating that he run again. They are advocating that the
election be postponed for 3 years on the basis that that is how long
he was out of office, in effect.
So the debate is not whether he would run or not. The debate
is whether or not the election would get postponed. Aristide has
made it absolutely clear that it is going to be held on schedule and
that he is not going to run again, and another successor will take
office on February 7.
What is interesting and what is a little different in Haiti from
3 or 4 months ago is that where 3 or 4 months ago he was saying
that and nobody believed him. But today his closest associates are
behaving as if they believe him. In other words, there is discussion
within the party about successors. There have been people who
have come forward and thrown their name in the hat. There are
others who are clearly prepared to do that if they get a signal that
there would be receptivity to it. And his closest advisors are look-
ing for other jobs.
So the assumption now in Haiti is he is serious, and that the
elections will take place. The issue therefore is can you put in place
an electoral system that encourages broad participation, that
brings the opposition back into the process, and which allows not
only an election and a new president to take office, but one after
a period of vigorous campaigning with a spectrum of opinion.
There, the time schedule and the polarization of opinion in Haiti
makes it more difficult to be predictive. But our view is that you
are still going to have an election which will take place in time to
produce a new president who will not be President Aristide, and
who will exceed to office on February 7.
Mr. BURTON. Congressman Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
I will be very brief because, unfortunately, I missed your testi-
mony, as you know. I just, first of all, am one that believes that
the term should have been extended; that a 5-year term should
have been a 5-year term; not one plus one with 3 years in between.
But that is history and the agreement on the restoration of the
presidency of Aristide that he would agree that just finish out the
term, and that is that.
This whole question of not being able to campaign, I do not know
why-you know, it is bad enough being told that you cannot run,
but then to say you cannot even have a favor to me does not even
make sense. I don't know why we would insist that he not have-
you know, if we ever get back in, I would want to campaign for
somebody if I left, to keep the ball rolling, you know. And so I just
do not see that making any sense at all.
You have the most popular guy in the country who cannot par-
ticipate. It is almost taking away his First Amendment rights, or
whatever that right is in Haiti. But be that as it may, to me, it
would not seem like any violation of anything if he decided he has
got a cousin that he would like to support, you know, or a person
in his political party.
Mr. DOBBINS. One of his cousins has indicated an interest.
Mr. PAYNE. Oh, really?
Well, maybe he is going to back door it, to say I am not going
to campaign for my cousin.
The final thing, I just want to ask one question. Would you sup-
port or reject a request to continue the U.N/U.S. presence beyond
February when they are-and you may have covered it in your
My opinion is that I just think bringing in a new president and
exiting external forces, to me, is kind of foolhardy. I would just like
to know what your opinion is.
Mr. DOBBINS. Thank you, Congressman.
I did answer that question. The Chairman asked it, I think, on
your behalf, as well as his own.
I think, briefly to say we are prepared and working with others
to make sure there is support on a variety of ways available to the
police of Haiti after February, but we do intend to wrap up the
peacekeeping operation that is currently underway, and bring those
Mr. PAYNE. So you are sure that this new 6-month police depart-
ment is going to be able to just do the job?
I understand they are going to reduce the 7,000 to 5,000 that
they were hoping because of the shortage of money. But you still,
you know, hear-feel very confident that there will be no problem.
I keep hearing this $3 billion investment. You just feel that ev-
erything is just firm enough to just-to go because we said. You
know, this date certain is something that I have a problem with
anyway. You know, we will withdraw our troops, you know, 3
months after we enter Bosnia, or something.
Well, that is the most foolish kind of a policy I have ever seen.
It is like a doctor saying, you know, after 2 weeks I will not see
you again because you should be well. Well, suppose you have a re-
lapse. Well, it is too bad. To me, it does not make sense.
But I just want to get clear that in your expert opinion, and you
have been much closer to this than I, and therefore I must rely on
your opinion, you feel that withdrawing everybody at the same
time a new administration comes in, and leaving it in the hands
of this new understaffed police department is going to be adequate?
Mr. DOBBINS. I think the new police, although it will be the best
police in Haiti's history, will require support and assistance of a va-
riety of times from the United States, from the United Nations,
and from other countries. We are talking to the United Nations
and other countries about how to provide that. But we do believe
that the current peacekeeping effort can be prudently concluded in
February, and we are planning on that.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you very much. We appreciate your forth-
rightness, and we will be getting back in touch with you with a
couple more of these questions.
Mr. DOBBINS. Great. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you very much.
The next panel is our final panel of witnesses: a private one. It
is a very distinguished one. Karen Harbert who is now an electoral
consultant here in Washington, was regional director for Latin
American and Caribbean Programs at the International Republican
Institute, and led its election mission to Haiti. I am anxious to hear
what she has to say about the election. I understand that she spent
quite a bit of time there, and that she did an excellent job. I am
going to welcome her when she gets to the table.
Kenneth Wollack is President of the National Democratic Insti-
tute for International Affairs, which also performed well on its mis-
sion in Haiti.
Robert Pastor, who I understand has to be at the White House
in about 20 minutes, is Director of the Latin American and Carib-
bean Programs at The Carter Center at Emory University in At-
lanta. He was Director of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs on
the National Security Council under President Carter, and is a
well-known Latin American expert.
George Fauriol is the director of the Americas Program at the
Center for Strategic and International Studies here in Washington;
and is one of this country's most prominent experts on hemispheric
Finally, we are pleased to have with us this morning Duly Bru-
tus, the deputy secretary general of the opposition PANPRA politi-
cal party in Haiti.
We will start off with Mr. Pastor.
So, Mr. Pastor.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT PASTOR, DIRECTOR, THE LATIN
AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN PROGRAM, THE CARTER CENTER
Mr. PASTOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the invitation to par-
ticipate. I have a prepared statement which I would like to submit
for the record. And given the very brief time, I would like to just
summarize several points.
My own involvement in the Haitian electoral process began in
1987, and included organizing the election monitoring mission, to-
gether with NDI in 1990, and returning to Haiti often since then,
including advising and participating in the Carter-Nunn-Powell
delegation in September 1994.
If the question before you is whether the vast majority of Hai-
tians are more secure and better off today than they were a year
ago, the answer is absolutely yes. But I think it is premature to
celebrate success, and it is a grave mistake to suggest that the four
elections from June 25 to October 10 were a milestone on the road
If the presidential election repeats the mistakes of these last
elections, if they do not attract the participation of the major politi-
cal parties in Haiti, and if the U.N. forces depart on schedule, then
I believe Haiti's prospects for democracy will be very poor.
Why do I conclude that? First, the current political situation in
Haiti is very artificial due to the presence of 6,000 U.N. officers.
You remove that artificial quality, and Haiti's politics will be
shaped once again by the acutely inequitable social equation that
has made democracy so difficult to sustain in the past.
The old elite are biding their time in Haiti. They are waiting to
see what happens in the election and when the United Nations de-
parts. They are eager to take back power.
Second, the police force, as Congressman Payne correctly points
out, will not be ready in February 1996. I think it would be a grave
mistake to withdraw the U.N. forces simultaneously with the inau-
guration of a new president, or, frankly, any time soon after that.
The new police will require international supervision for a period
of time-perhaps 5 years-of some kind. That does not mean a full
U.N. force of 6,000, but it does mean some serious international su-
pervision for a period of time.
Even if the new president has a clean election, I think Congress-
man Payne is correct that the new president will be weaker than
the current president.
But if the election mistakes of the last round are repeated, then
that new president will be extremely vulnerable to charges that im-
pute his legitimacy and authority, and I think that that will make
democracy's prospects even more precarious.
It would surprise me if the old elite or elements of the govern-
ment were not already trying to capture the new police force. The
only way democracy can be sustained, however, is if that police
force is professional, autonomous, and accountable to the rule of
law, and that will take some time to create such an institution. It
will not be done by February 1996.
Is it inevitable that democracy will break down in Haiti? No. I
think democracy is possible, but it is very problematic. There are
two dimensions of a free election which are crucial prerequisites to
democracy: technical and political.
Haiti does not have the technical capacity right now to conduct
an election on its own. It has required a great deal of international
assistance. Even with that assistance, the irregularities in 1990
and 1995 were very great.
The critical difference between the election in 1900 and 1995 was
the absence of trust the second dimension. At the end of the elec-
tion in December 1990 all of the parties accepted the results. Even
before the results were announced for the June 1995 election, vir-
tually all of the parties except for Lavalas rejected the results, and
they had legitimate complaints.
The problem was that the process of that election campaign did
not involve a mediation between the Election Council, the govern-
ment, and the opposition parties that would have raised the level
of trust in the process.
So the question is what to do. I think it is essential for the
Aristide government to respond to these legitimate complaints of
the major opposition parties.
There is a formula that we developed in Guyana over about a
year time, which is available for President Aristide to choose. If he
went to the major opposition parties and simply asked them to pre-
pare a list of 20 names of respectable, impartial individuals, and
from that list he selected a new Election Council, then the opposi-
tion parties would be very hard pressed to contest or question the
result of that election. And that new Election Council will be more
accountable to a wider segment of the people.
Now, there are many issues that have been raised by the opposi-
tion, and, in my judgment, they should be addressed in an effective
mediation. The U.S. Government, as Ambassador Dobbins pointed
out, tried and failed to mediate this past summer. Someone new
needs to do it. I describe in the paper why it is difficult for the U.S.
Government to play that sensitive role in a country like Haiti, and
why they need to look to alternative ways. It is essential to raise
the level of confidence of the major opposition parties in the elec-
toral process if it is going to work.
So just to conclude, I think when I was there last February with
former President Carter, Senator Nunn and General Powell and
former Prime Minister Belize, George Price, Senator Nunn said we
have a 1-year plan for a 10-year challenge.
President Clinton and the United States and the U.N. Security
Council made a courageous decision to help restore constitutional
government to Haiti. Our nation has invested much in democracy
since then. It would be a terrible mistake if we were to abandon
this project at this time. I think, rather, what we need to do is
focus on our most important priority, and in my judgment the sin-
gle most important is to ensure that the presidential election in-
volves and is acceptable to the major political parties in Haiti, and
therefore is viewed as legitimate by the international community.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Pastor appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. Thank you. We will stand in recess for about 10-
Mr. BURTON. We will reconvene this meeting.
Dr. Fauriol, do you have a time conflict?
Mr. FAURIOL. Yes, but I will follow whatever priority you have
Mr. BURTON. We wanted to hear from Mr. Brutus next. We will
try to confine everybody to the 5-minute rule so we can get the
questions at the conclusion of the testimony.
So, Mr. Brutus, we will give you a little bit extra time since you
are using an interpreter.
STATEMENT OF DULY BRUTUS, DEPUTY SECRETARY
GENERAL, PANPRA POLITICAL PARTY
Mr. BRUTUS. [Through an interpreter.] Thank you very much.
For me it is a great pleasure to testify here this morning in front
of the Committee on International Relations regarding the situa-
tion in my country.
My party, the PANPRA, and I appreciate the effort made by the
international community in order to help Haiti follow the path to
democracy. I want to especially thank Congressman Dan Burton as
well as all the members of the committee. I will speak on behalf
of my party, but I will make the necessary effort to take into con-
sideration the concerns of the other major political parties who are
working to build a pluralist democracy in Haiti.
Before testifying on the situation in my country, I want to make
certain points on what was said before me.
When it comes to the Limbe, first of all, regarding the concerns
expressed by Cass Ballenger, we were told that documents went to
Port-au-Prince and St. John School. And I think that they had sent
a letter of thanks to Cass Ballenger.
Second, Mr. Dobbins talked about the elections that supposedly
were held in May in Haiti. That is not quite correct. In 1990, there
were elections to elect mayors in Haiti. And also there was an at-
tempt to compare elections that took place in Africa with elections
in Haiti, and I do not think that is quite right.
We had our first democratic elections in Haiti on the 16th of De-
cember, 1990, and that was thanks to Madam Trouillot who was
able to get above all political parties, and not to get involved in the
And that leads me to also this question about whether if one
truly wants to promote democracy in Haiti, why one would not
want President Aristide to participate in the campaign. We feel
that the fact that he participated in the campaign for Lavalas cre-
ated tension in Haiti during the legislative elections, because it is
true that our country has no democratic culture.
In Haiti, normally it is the president who sets the tone. So that
when the president runs or carries out a campaign for a candidate,
that has a negative impact on the elections because those who are
to organize the elections tend to follow what the president of the
Now, when it comes to the legislative elections, I would like to
say very clearly and very simply that they were not democratic
elections. I am a victim of the elections which were held on June
My car was destroyed. My house was destroyed. Men with guns
came to my house to kill me, and nothing was done by the govern-
ment. Up to now, no measures have been taken. Afterwards, I was
arrested and accused of having set the polling station of Limbe on
There was a climate of intimidation during the entire election
campaign, and here I would like to refer you to the article in the
Wall Street Journal which came out on the 14th of April, 1995. At
that point I had already denounced the situation. [The article ap-
pears in the appendix.]
President Aristide knows me personally. He knows that I tend to
be frank in the way I speak. We had a meeting at the National Pal-
ace, and I told him this type of climate was not normal for an elec-
tion. I do not want to get into too many details about the problems
we had during the electoral campaign, but I would just like to men-
tion certain basic facts. This list is very lengthy but I am just going
to mention a few names.
The RDNP candidate, Mr. Milot Gousse, had to turn back be-
cause he was attacked and his chauffeur was killed. Up to now no
investigation was carried out to know who killed Mr. Milot
Gousse s chauffeur.
The FNCD candidate in Borgne, Mr. Jude Faustin, had to leave
his district, which is close to my district, because 2 years prior to
the elections the Lavalas network tried to kill him.
The FNCD candidate, Mr. Henock Jean-Charles was killed, but
up to now no investigation has been carried out. I, Duly Brutus,
was thrown in jail.
We have in our party a very dynamic woman who is the chair-
person of the Commission on Human Rights, and who is a former
deputy. Two days before the election, Lavalas activists went into
her house and forced everybody to lay down on the floor. They were
carrying guns, and they hit her father and they made death threats
Our party prepared a White Book. It is not the facts that are
missing. We have already submitted that White Book to the U.S.
So that was the climate that existed during the election. Unfortu-
nately, the international community seemed to have remained
blind and did not see any of this.
For everyone, including for the international community, the
June 25 election was a failure. It was only the Lavalas party which
controlled the polling stations, and that is why on the very day of
the elections the political parties protested and said that they could
not go on with this election travesty.
The parties are very disappointed because up to now they had
placed a lot of hopes in the determination of the international com-
munity to promote democracy in Haiti. For reasons that we still do
not understand, efforts are being made to promote the establish-
ment of a single party system. We now have a parliament and a
senate, and in the senate 18 Lavalas candidates were elected to the
I boycotted the elections, but my name was on the bulletin on
August 13. The international community knows that. The Electoral
Commission knows that, but we were told there was no boycott on
the part of the candidates.
Mr. BURTON. Let me interrupt, Mr. Brutus. I think we are going
to have a number of questions for you in just a few minutes, so let
us go ahead and hear from the other witnesses and then we will
get back to you. You have raised a number of issues.
One thing I would like to ask though, do you have a copy of this
White Paper or this book with you? I would like to see that. If you
do not-do you have a copy of that? I would like to take a look at
that and review it.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Brutus appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. We will now hear from Karen Harbert, who is an
electoral consultant here in Washington. She was the regional di-
rector for Latin American and Caribbean Programs at the Inter-
national Republican Institute, and led its election mission to Haiti.
I understand she spent quite a bit of time there and did an excel-
Ms. HARBERT. I will do my best.
STATEMENT OF KAREN HARBERT, ELECTORAL CONSULTANT
Ms. HARBERT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It certainly is a pleas-
ure to testify in front of your committee today at what I believe is
a critical juncture in Haiti's history.
First and foremost, I think we need to recognize the Haitian peo-
ple for their patience and their commitment to laying the founda-
tion for democracy in their country. They have endured decades of
authoritarian rule, and most recently, 3 years under a military re-
gime. And what we have to examine today is, after the investment
of $3 billion of the U.S. taxpayers' money, and 20,000 U.S. troops,
how have their lives and their pursuit of freedom been advanced.
The most important opportunity for Haiti to further that process
was obviously the June 25 elections. The elections could have set
Haiti on a path to badly needed reconciliation. However, in the
aftermath of that chaotic election process there has been a rebirth
of a severely fractured political society reminiscent of the Duvalier
days. From the beginning of the electoral process, when Aristide
failed to promulgate the electoral law which was passed by both
chambers of the parliament, and passed his own by decree, the
Haitian political parties, with the exception of those directly sup-
porting Aristide, have been marginalized at every step of the proc-
Twelve days after Aristide was returned to office, he held a meet-
ing with 12 of the major political parties to determine the modali-
ties of the elections. They made an agreement that the nine mem-
bers of the CEP would be chosen from a consensus list by the polit-
ical parties. However, on December 16, the new CEP was named
and only two of those members were found on the parties' list. The
11 parties then made a proposal to the CEP to name two-thirds of
the local officials and let the CEP name the remaining one-third,
so that they would have some representation in the electoral proc-
ess. On March 2, their proposal was summarily ignored, and all the
local officials were named by the CEP.
The CEP set its own electoral calendar, but they managed to
meet no single deadline. The election was postponed three times.
Most alarming was their failure to provide candidates with reasons
for their rejection from the process, and also their inability to ever
publish a final candidate list.
The candidate registration review process was carried out under
a cloak of secrecy, which was further aggravated by the CEP's re-
fusal to respond to party and candidates protests, or simple inquir-
When the CEP president himself announced that one million
voter cards were missing, confidence in the system was eroded from
the public and from the local parties.
So this lack of credibility, the complete lack of operational trans-
parency, and its seeming arbitrariness set the stage for what we
were to see on June 25.
But what is much more alarming to me and to others in the
international community that were observing this process is that
there were ample opportunities to correct this process along the
way. I know. I was director of the IRI mission, and IRI provided
regular reports to the United States and to the Haitian government
about the problems that we were witnessing. None of these prob-
lems were addressed.
This was an incredible opportunity for President Aristide to en-
courage his country to come together for the elections, to ensure an
open process, and he then could reap the seeds of his own reconcili-
ation. Yet he remained mysteriously silent except to only endorse
his political movement's candidates.
On June 25, the CEP did not provide adequate training. It did
not provide voter education, and it encountered incredible logistical
difficulties. This resulted in an electoral breakdown. When the
votes were finally transported to their collection sites, IRI observ-
ers all around the country witnessed alarming disorganization and
irregularities. Unsealed boxes of ballots were piled to the ceiling
with ballots spilling out. Marked ballots and tally sheets were
strewn around the buildings, on the floor. Opened bags of unused
ballots were available. And we witnessed deliberate tampering with
ballots and tally sheets. There was no system to log in or keep
track of any of these materials.
At this point, and with IRI's experience of witnessing elections
in 30 countries, and 50 elections, we made a determination that the
integrity of the results and the verifiability of the process had been
destroyed. We released IRI's final report yesterday, which chron-
icles these problems in much more detail.
I would like to address one thing that Ambassador Dobbins did
bring up, that he quoted from the OAS report, that they were at
the BED in the west, and that they did not witness any of these
problems. But people with untrained eyes might have interpreted
this as chaos.
First, we had been in the country since May 1. The director of
the OAS mission spent 14 days in that country.
Second, he held one political meeting with all the local parties.
We held copious numbers of meetings.
And third, our staff does speak French and Creole. So I think we
are trained and we spent a lot longer time in that country than we
were given credit for, and I think that might be the reason our con-
clusions are different from the OAS.
Fortunately, there were no big outbreaks of violence due to the
presence of U.S. and U.N. troops. But the Haitians themselves, de-
spite this, were still denied the process. Twenty-six out of 27 politi-
cal parties called for the annulment of these elections, and boy-
cotted the following two elections. Despite this, despite resolutions
by the political parties on four separate occasions, two visits by the
Deputy Secretary of State, and a very concrete proposal by the
three largest political parties to resolve the crisis, the government
of Haiti carried on.
What signal does this send to the opposition? What path are we
going down? What path are we going down when the United States
Vice President is going down on October 15 for the inauguration of
the parliament to give them the credibility that they could not
manage to achieve in this electoral process?
This is not a foreign policy success. This is an electoral machine
that did not work. And when these 6,000 troops and these funds
dry up, what are we going to leave behind? What have we done to
strengthen the institutions that Haiti needs to depend on in the fu-
Those are the questions that we need to answer, and I will ask
that IRI's 36 recommendations to improve the electoral process be
included for the record-
Mr. BURTON. Without objection.
Ms. HARBERT. And I would hope that the government of Haiti
would make a good faith effort at implementing those and those of
The Carter Center to see a better election process.
Two last comments. My colleague, Duly Brutus, has already
touched on a number of the political assassinations that we have
been witnessing, and I would just like to say that I think it is very
disturbing that the leadership in Haiti has not decried the return
of violence and the lack of these investigations and the govern-
ment's complacency is something that your committee certainly
needs to be concerned about.
I will leave my comments about the police force and economic re-
form for the record.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Harbert appears in the appen-
Mr. BURTON. I want to thank you very much, and hope you can
stick around because we do have some questions for you.
Ms. HARBERT. Certainly.
Mr. BURTON. You raised a number of very important issues.
Kenneth Wollack is president of the National Democratic Insti-
tute for International Affairs which also performed well in its mis-
sion in Haiti.
STATEMENT OF KENNETH WOLLACK, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL
DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Mr. WOLLACK. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I have a
longer statement that I hope can be included in the record.
Mr. BURTON. We will see that that happens.
Mr. WOLLACK. One year ago this week, Mr. Chairman, Haiti's
democratically elected president was returned to his country-a
country devastated by 3 years of repressive military rule that fol-
lowed the September 1991 coup d'etat. None of us, I imagine, will
soon forget the scenes last October of Haitians' joyous reaction to
the return of their president and their renewed hope for democracy.
Nor should we forget scenes that preceded President Aristide's re-
turn-that of a large number of desperate Haitians risking great
danger to boat or raft to U.S. shores, usually ending their trip in
the swelling ranks of the refugee camps at Guantanamo Bay.
Haitian's democratic future should not be judged solely on the
conduct of the June 25 elections, and the election reruns and run-
offs of August 13 and September 17. However, there were signifi-
cant problems in the administration of the elections.
If Haitian's democratic system is going to progress, many of the
problems will need to be addressed before the presidential elections
scheduled for December. At the same time Haitians can and should
buildupon a number of positive elements that were not present in
previous electoral exercises.
Based on the findings of an NDI survey mission that visited
Haiti 2 weeks after President Aristide's return, we opened an office
in Port-au-Prince in January, and began implementation of pro-
grams designed to strengthen the credibility of the electoral proc-
ess, and to help build nascent democratic institutions. These pro-
grams, funded by AID and the National Endowment for Democ-
racy, included: the training of party pollwatchers; organizing politi-
cal party debates; and encouraging and facilitating dialog among
political parties, electoral authorities, and others involved in the
All of our programs were nonpartisan and included the participa-
tion of ruling and opposition parties.
A party leader summit, organized by NDI in February, served to
address major concerns about the electoral process. The meeting
also marked the first time that party leaders from across the politi-
cal spectrum had an opportunity to hear from representatives of
the new Provisional Electoral Council, the CEP. NDI helped train
party pollwatchers in all of Haiti's nine departments, and the turn-
out of party pollwatchers on election day was impressive.
The NDI's civic education program was developed to address the
real need for an issue-based campaign. Parties in Haiti have gen-
erally been viewed in terms of personalities rather than vehicles for
debating public policy issues. Moreover, in previous elections, polit-
ical debate was often met by violence. NDI invited a group of Hai-
tian civic leaders to organize four public debates in May and June
in which candidates could define their party positions and respond
to questions by journalists and the public. Five to six party rep-
resentatives at each debate site discussed a broad range of issues,
including cost of Flving decentralization, and privatization. The de-
bates were held in Port-au-Prince, Cap Haiten, Gonaives, and Les
Cayes, and were attended by nearly 2,000 citizens and covered ex-
tensively by the news media, including national radio and tele-
Traditionally, Haiti has not experienced constructive, open politi-
cal dialog. Dc.ep divisions among social classes remain unbridged,
and extreme distrust prevails. NDI determined that it could assist
in building credibility in the Haitian electoral process by develop-
ing a program to facilitate communication among political leaders
and others involved in the selections. This NDI program was led
by a former vice minister from El Salvador, who was a key partici-
pant in negotiations to end the civil war there. He established reg-
ularly daily contacts with parties to foster a climate in which the
participants could resolve differences, work together to find solu-
tions, or at a minimum, understand more clearly each other's
points of view.
The program began with a second political party summit to dis-
cuss a code of conduct and a regular mechanism for discussion of
inter-party issues. The parties and the CEP agreed officially to
form an Electoral Monitoring Unit which, unfortunately, was not
implemented, that would give the parties an additional role in en-
suring the integrity of the process. There was also an agreement
on a code of conduct that was agreed to by the parties, and the
The NDI did not field the international observer delegation for
these elections. Rather, we chose to concentrate our efforts on the
programs that I had mentioned earlier. Therefore, I am not going
to comment on specific aspects of election day proceedings. Others
are better suited to comment on international observation of these
However, NDI joins others in noting that the problems during
Haiti's 1995 elections were severe. From the outset, the CEP failed
to build an open electoral process. The CEP had enormous respon-
sibilities and a complicated task. However, these challenges were
compounded by public confrontations with political parties and
The coming presidential election provides an important oppor-
tunity to learn from past mistakes, as well as to build upon some
of the more positive aspects of the country's continuing transition
to democracy. NDI sees reason to remain optimistic. Conspicuously
absent from these elections was the violence that had marred pre-
vious balloting. We believe that Haitian are open to new avenues
of dialog and understanding that can produce more balanced solu-
tions to these difficult challenges.
While the composition of the CEP remains a controversial issue
among political parties, the Council, after recent changes in person-
nel, appears more willing to address problems and to communicate
openly with party leaders and the public.
With little time to prepare for the December presidential elec-
tions, a concerted effort must be made to continue to promote
agreement between the government, the CEP and political parties
on election-related issues. Dialogue must be carried out in a spirit
of tolerance and compromise on all sides.
Furthermore, while not to minimize the serious problems in the
June elections, I am unaware of evidence that would point to wide-
spread or systematic fraud or to irregularities that could have sig-
nificantly altered the outcome of the elections. Such fraud and/or
irregularities were evident in the Philippines in 1986, Panama in
1989, Cameroon in 1992, and the Dominican Republic in 1994.
For its part, NDI is prepared to continue with assistance during
the presidential election period, including training of party
pollwatchers and the Electoral Monitoring Unit, and to support
presidential candidate debates. Already we have invited ruling and
opposition party representatives to attend NDI-sponsored program
on West Africa, on mechanisms for resolving election-related dis-
The NDI also plans to support voter education by assisting and
disseminating electoral messages to the public.
Last, NDI's efforts to facilitate communication will include a new
program begun in the period after the June legislative elections,
that is, the establishment of an Electoral Information Center, a
meeting place and resource center for journalists, electoral authori-
ties, political party workers, and members of the international com-
munity. Already the CEP is utilizing the center to communicate
with the Haitian public.
Mr. Chairman, we at NDI remember vividly the tragedy of the
aborted 1987 elections in Haiti. International observers sponsored
by our institute saw numerous shootings at defenseless voters who
were waiting patiently in line to cast their ballots. Two groups of
NDI observers were fired upon; three bullets hit the vehicle carry-
ing one of the groups.
These memories remind us of the courage of the Haitian people
and their aspirations for a democratic future. Recent events under-
score how much has changed, but so much more has to be done.
The international community now has an opportunity to continue
to advance democracy in Haiti, and do so measurably. As the coun-
try prepares for presidential elections, the Haitian people deserve
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Wollack appears in the appen-
Mr. BURTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Wollack.
Dr. FAURIOL. Like in Baltimore Orioles.
Mr. BURTON. Fauriol, OK Baltimore Orioles did not make it.
Dr. FAURIOL. I know.
Mr. BURTON. Well, maybe next time.
Dr. FAURIOL. Maybe I will change my name.
STATEMENT OF DR. GEORGES A. FAURIOL, DIRECTOR, AMERI-
CAS PROGRAM, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTER-
Dr. FAURIOL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the invita-
tion to provide my views on the state of U.S.-Haitian relations. Let
me summarize my statement with the following comments.
As others have said before, the strategic assumption made by the
United States was that President Aristide's return was justified
primarily in order to maintain constitutional legitimacy in Haiti.
But also that this would establish the foundations of a new demo-
cratic order in Haiti.
As some of the comments that you have heard so far this morn-
ing suggest, there indeed is a new order on the way, but what is
emerging may not be entirely democratic. Let me expand on that
Three objectives, I think, frame U.S. actions toward Haiti: the
election of a new parliament, the orderly transfer of presidential
authority to a new democratically elected president in early 1996,
and implementation of a package of significant national reforms.
On the first point, the results of the June 25 parliamentary elec-
tions have already generated a lot of commentary. The result of
that process is now upon us. In a few days the parliament will be
inaugurated with the United States represented by Vice President
Al Gore. The verdict, as we have heard so far is at best, messy.
I was an election observer with the IRI at that time, and let me
give you my brief impressions. There was no violence, perhaps, al-
though we hear otherwise from Mr. Duly Brutus. There may not
have been determined fraud. Rather, I would say there was an al-
most perverse application of responsibility to manage the system
by Haiti's interim Electoral Council, coupled by remarkable neg-
ligence among portions of the international community, and Presi-
dent Aristide and his government to provide corrective measures in
The question now is what conclusions can we draw from this
First, the Lavales OPL group comes into the new legislature, and
in many municipalities and in local government, with majorities
that probably range close to 75 percent control.
Second, the Haitian and the international community overall ap-
pear disposed to discount both the imperfections of the June elec-
tions, as well as the implications that this might have on the up-
coming presidential elections.
Ambassador Dobbins' comments this morning appear to confirm
this, in this case using OAS assessments of the June elections.
And, third, with Vice President Gore's visit to Haiti in a few
days, the United States appears to be endorsing the current politi-
cal process and all of its imperfections, and perhaps to some de-
gree, foreclosing policy options in the months ahead.
I might add that I am sympathetic to the difficulties of creating
a viable democratic environment in Haiti, but one cannot simply
discount all flaws or explain them away.
Haiti's electoral problems cannot be assigned simply to the dif-
ficulties of poverty or the political implications of a 3-year crisis.
I would argue that one senses amongst some Haiti observers an at-
titude that implies that the June elections were in fact just a ratifi-
cation of President Aristide's leadership rather than an essential
process designed to elect a new key branch of government as well
as local community leadership.
The second test in policies toward Haiti are the presidential elec-
tions. The verdict is still out, obviously, since they have not taken
place. But I would establish a linkage between the uncertainties of
the June parliamentary process and the upcoming presidential con-
The calendar has already slipped to December. I would suspect
that that is not an exact date. It more likely will be held in Janu-
ary because of technical problems to hold those elections.
What we might face are not only logistical problems but also a
fundamental erosion of the electoral character of the event with
perhaps little political opposition participation, and most of the
electoral dynamic build around a broadly based Lavales/Aristide
cult movement. The presidential elections could resemble, in effect,
little more than a referendum. This could raise questions regarding
the viability of a new government coming into office in 1996.
There obviously are a number of other troubling features to the
electoral process that others at this table have already commented
on, and probably know better than I do.
I would simply highlight one issue, if I may, on this question.
What worries me is the open disdain that you occasionally have
among Haitian government and local community leaders in Haiti
toward opposition of political parties, which I think is an unhealthy
attitude for the upcoming presidential elections.
The third issue that we face involves the reform process, eco-
nomic security and judicial reforms. Let me just simply make a
comment on the economic reform program before closing.
It is perhaps in this area that Haiti's reconstruction process may
be faltering the most dramatically. Economic reconstruction com-
mits in an array of foreign governments, international institutions,
business interests and voluntary groups. And the most symbolic
and growing controversy now involves the privatization program.
Let us face it, it is at a standstill. It is caught between a weak gov-
ernment economic team led by Prime Minister Smarck Michel, and
an openly hostile president and political community in Haiti.
With the incoming parliament likely to name a new prime min-
ister, I think the outlook in this area is not very good. The debate
is turning political and, therefore, ideological.
I conclude, therefore, with the following observation. The opening
portion of this hearing raised an important question, namely, that
the committee will have to prepare itself for some serious soul
searching regarding U.S. linkage to the U.N. mandate and what to
do about it. It was an interesting gambit, if you will, or description
of the parameters of the issue, as provided by the brief commentary
of both Congressman Goss and Congressman Payne.
That, I think, is the core of the debate, but that debate, in part,
can be decided by close scrutiny of the electoral process and the re-
form process in Haiti now and early next year.
In my written statement I allude to a number of steps that the
committee might take to encourage and shape the agenda, but I
will refrain from mentioning them at this point.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Fauriol appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. Thank you very much.
We have been joined by the Chairman of the International Rela-
tions Committee, Ben Gilman, of New York, and we are very happy
he is here. Welcome, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you.
Mr. BURTON. Do you have a comment you would like to make?
Mr. GILMAN. No, just that I want to commend the panelists for
taking the time to give us their observations as we approach a very
serious time in Haiti's progress toward democracy.
I would like to ask all the panelists, do you believe that the
international community should or could have intervened more ag-
gressively to ensure a smoother parliamentary election process?
Just to all of the panelists.
Mr. BRUTUS. There I would like to take that opportunity to say
that I was also against the idea of solving the Haitian problems
through an economic embargo. We are a poor country and the Hai-
tian people have suffered too much.
The international community went into Haiti to establish democ-
racy, and we feel that it has enough influence to continue to do
good work in Haiti. But our impression is that the international
community really is concentrating on Haiti's solution to the prob-
Mr. GILMAN. Ms. Harbert.
Ms. HARBERT. Well, I think what we are seeing right now is the
international community's inability to push an intransigent govern-
ment into doing some of the actions that we would like to see them
I think that that offers an opportunity, since we have lost one,
there is an opportunity to rectify that, which is why there are a
number of recommendations on the table to pursue. Hopefully, the
U.S. Government would wholeheartedly endorse the government of
Haiti to undertake these actions. But it is disheartening to see the
complacency of the government and the large expense to the tax-
payer, which has resulted in a very splintered Haitian society.
Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Wollack.
Mr. WOLLACK. Mr. Chairman, I guess hindsight is always 20/20.
I think that the international community did a great deal in this
process, including governments, regional organizations and non-
governmental organizations. It is always a fine line, though, when
one is trying to support an election process.
Does one stand behind those in the country who are running the
process and participating the process, or does one stand in front of
And it is a delicate balance that one takes in the process.
Sometimes one has to cajole. Other times, pressure is necessary.
And I think a number of recommendations were accepted and im-
plemented. At other times they were not. And I think it is a deli-
cate balance. I think, though, a great deal was done. I do not know
what more could have been done in terms of the international com-
munity's role without undermining that balance.
Mr. GILMAN. Dr. Fauriol?
Dr. FAURIOL. Mr. Chairman, I think the only area where, par-
ticularly in retrospect, it is regrettable that nothing was done in
connection with the leadership of the Electoral Council in Haiti.
This was not a mystery. This was opened to everyone involved in
the election process. Everyone knew that the Electoral Council was
not very responsive.
I have to admit that as to why no changes were pushed forward,
I do not have the answer, but certainly it is an intriguing question.
Mr. GILMAN. Just one other question. Do you think the OAS
human rights monitors have been functioning appropriately and
doing an effective job? To anyone one the panel.
Mr. BRUTUS. You are talking of the monitoring for the elections
Mr. GILMAN. For human rights.
Mr. BRUTUS. I would say that I felt that the monitors did good
work in Haiti while the military were in power. But they have dif-
ficulty now in monitoring the human rights activities.
Mr. GILMAN. One other question to Mr. Brutus. We have heard
a great deal of speculation about a dozen political murders in Haiti,
although the OAS and U.N. monitors have not found any signifi-
cant political motives.
Do you believe that these murders of prominent Haitians did
have a political motive?
Mr. BRUTUS. There are a few pictures that are very clear. They
are political murders and they were political opponents.
Was it the government who was involved in these murders? I do
not know. It could have been possible. But what is deplorable is
that the government, with the presence of a multinational force in
Haiti, has been incapable of saying who these guilty parties were.
I think that is very worrisome.
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Chairman Gilman.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. I am being beeped and I have
to leave. But I would just like to just say that I think one of the
tragedies of the whole election was that after the president being
ousted for 3 years and to return and have an election in 6 months.
I think that was an impossible task. But because he was robbed
of 60 to 70 percent of his term, they had to have elections before
his term expired. I guess he would have gone back in June, they
would have had to have three or four elections before the end of
the year because the term was up.
So, first of all, it is totally illogical to say that in 6 months you
must have all of these deputies, senators, mayors, council, runoffs,
presidential, and then have a question about whether the things
worked perfectly or not. So I think that all of this criticism is actu-
ally ridiculous when we evaluate what happens.
I really will not even comment about IRI. I made that clear in
Haiti when they gave their report the day before the election and
at the senate hearing. I think it is biased. I think that absolute
statements made like none of the recommendations were followed,
that there would have been violence, that the U.S. and U.N. troops
were the only reason that there was no violence. And, you know,
absolutely after absolute after absolute statements are made, I just
discount the entire report.
But be that as it may, as I have indicated, I think there have
been some very serious flaws in the election. We made that clear,
that we thought the CEP did not do a good job. I think that the
over-cumbersome bicks and BIVs and all the rest, only 400 people
could be at one place. Each person had to have a multitude of elec-
On ballots, you had 12 and 14 candidates at one place. I do not
know anywhere in the world that an election could be run in 6
months where you had a blue ballot, a brown ballot, a yellow bal-
lot. You had to make sure you stuck the ballot in the right place.
You have got 20 or 30 candidates with many people who could not
even read or write, with symbols and pictures. And we have a cava-
lier report by IRI that all of this was unbelievably corrupt.
So, you know, maybe we need to-maybe there is a difference in
I would just like to say that I would hope that we can continue
to progress. I think that to abandon this project of democracy at
this point would make no sense at all. I think that there were cer-
tainly flaws, as I have indicated, in the election. But I think it was
much better than when I was there when the generals were in
charge, when bodies were in the streets, when people were terror-
ized. I was there when the generals were there and after the gen-
erals left. And there is actually, in my opinion, no comparison.
I cannot see either how the IRI could say that this was the worst
thing in the world, when we know it was bad, and other people
who observed it from the same group, when you had the OAS and
300 members deployed. I do not know, maybe 2 months of five peo-
ple is a little more than 300 members on the June 25 election, 105
OAS members on the August 13 election, 185 persons on the Sep-
tember 17 election, where people have indicated that there were
problems. there were certainly snafus. The others were better than
the first. But that we continually have a report that nothing went
right, and that everything was just wrong.
I would hope, Mr. Chairman, that we could continue to have the
dialog because they could not find a person who may have been re-
sponsible for some murders. We had a Federal building bombed in
the heart of our country, and we have thousands and thousands of
investigators, and they cannot find who the other person might be.
So it is not necessarily uncommon that law enforcement people
cannot specifically go and find-that does not necessarily mean
that people are not trying. It means that it is not easy to find per-
petrators of crimes. And we have the best in the world bar no
And so I just think that we ought to attempt, and I will continue
to work with the Chairman, who I think had done an outstanding
job, and let me commend you, Mr. Chairman, for your interest. I
think we need to weed out injustices, things that are going wrong,
criminal elements corrupt people.
But by the same token, I think that throwing the baby out with
the bath water makes no sense. I do think that the elections were
better at each stage in the process. Hopefully, they will even get
better. There is no comparison between the way they were in 1990
and what happened after Aristide left, and what is happening pres-
So I just do not have any questions. I would just like to once
again thank you for this very important hearing.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Congressman Payne.
Mr. BURTON. Mr. Brutus, you said that there have been a num-
ber of attempts on peoples' lives. You said there have been at-
tempts at intimidation for opposition candidates, and that some
even had to move out of their districts because they were afraid
they would be killed. Your life was threatened as well.
It was stated by the State Department that the number of
killings has gone down dramatically. Have the killings and the
threats been focused more on political opposition to Mr. Aristide?
Have the killings diminished in the general population rather than
in the area of politics?
Mr. BRUTUS. There are murders which involve the general popu-
lation, but we have also noted that there are certain murders of op-
position leaders in Port-au-Prince.
Mr. BURTON. The point I wanted to make is this: when you bring
in military, and you strengthen the police force, and you police
areas like Port-au-Prince, random killings that take place for
things like robbery and petty theft understandingly go down.
I am trying to determine whether the number of killings that
have gone down have been among the general population rather
than political assassinations. Are the political assassinations occur-
ring at the same level as before the Aristide Cabinet, or have they
escalated because of opposition to Lavalas and President Aristide?
Mr. BRUTUS. No, I cannot say that the political murders have re-
mained at the same level as compared to what happened with the
Mr. BURTON. They are at the same level?
The INTERPRETER. No, he says he cannot say whether that is
Mr. BRUTUS. There is a reduction.
Mr. BURTON. OK
Mr. BRUTUS. That is understandable because, after all, there is
this strong presence of the international community. The question
is: when the international community leaves, what will happen? I
personally was threatened-all types of threats. I had threats be-
fore the elections, during the elections, and the last threat in fact
had to do with my wife who has been working as a civil servant
for 11 years, and has just been informed that she has just been
fired without any kind of advance notice, although she had just
been hired a few days ago.
Mr. BURTON. Ms. Harbert, you said the CEP was to validate op-
position party candidates so they could be on the ballot in these
legislative races. One party submitted nine candidates to the CEP,
yet only two were validated to be on the ballot.
As I understand it, the CEP kept people off the ballot by tech-
nical means so they could not even be voted upon. Is that correct?
Ms. HARBERT. Let me clarify what I said. That was to name the
members of the CEP itself, and President Aristide had made an
agreement with the majority of the political parties that he would
accept a list of candidates from them to name the nine members.
Each of the three branches of government names three of the mem-
bers of the CEP.
When the nine members were named, only two of those could be
found on the political parties' consensus list. So, in other words,
President Aristide and the other two branches of government went
ahead and named seven out of the nine members from their own
list and ignored the agreement the political parties had reached
Mr. BURTON. So that guaranteed their control over the elective
Ms. HARBERT. Correct, so the political parties then did not have
any representation at the highest level.
Mr. Chairman, if I may, I think I am obliged to address one of
the things that Congressman Payne said.
I would like to say that Congressman Payne, myself and IRI all
have the same objectives in Haiti, and that is to establish a firm
foundation for a democracy to flourish there. Where we disagree is
that by accepting a very flawed process, that that will ensure a bet-
ter process next time.
What we think needs to happen is that the international commu-
nity needs to take off its rose-colored glasses and admit that there
were problems, work on a way to fix them, and give credence to the
allegations by the opposition. Without an opposition any transi-
tional democracy-democracy does not flourish.
And the actions of the Haitian government, supported by the
U.S. Government, have completely ignored these allegations, and
these very grave concerns, and that is not a way to build a democ-
racy, by marginalizing the very pillars that will support it in the
Mr. BURTON. You said that there was minimal electoral monitor-
ing by the CEP. Is that correct?
Ms. HARBERT. The CEP was going to provide training for a unit
that the political parties were going to set up. There was an agree-
ment made which Ken Wollack had referred to. Unfortunately, that
unit a few days before the elections never became operational.
To the credit of NDI and a few other efforts, there were party
pollwatchers in place on election day because funds were provided
by the private sector to do that. But the CEP itself had not put in
proper plans to distribute ballots, collect ballots, any of the normal
procedures for an election day, which caused the system to really
Mr. BURTON. OK. One of the penelists mentioned there was con-
frontation between the CEP and political parties. What kind of con-
frontation was that?
Mr. WOLLACK. There were issues of confrontation that existed
throughout the process in terms of grievances the parties raised;
they did not feel that the electoral authorities responded.
And so although meetings did take place, they did not take place
regularly, and there was a general view that the parties' grievances
were not being addressed.
But I would like to make a point, Mr. Chairman. I do not think
the issue in this process is that the international community is ig-
noring problems and real problems that existed in the process. I
know certainly our organization has not turned a blind eye to those
problems, and I do not think others, including the OAS and the Ad-
ministration, has turned a blind eye either, although we do not
have any clients in this process.
The issue, however, I think, comes down to how one looks at
those problems and corrects those problems. And I know there has
been a number of people that have gone down to try to rectify the
situation, to raise proposals that could form a compromise between
the various sectors of society.
I think ultimately one has to raise questions about how one cer-
tifies or decertifies this election. It comes down to what is the bot-
tom line, and how do people view this electoral process in totality.
I think that is where there are major differences of opinion. And
it is a very difficult process when one observes and monitors and
assesses an electoral process.
We have been involved in elections around the world as mon-
itors. We were not monitors in this process, so I cannot make final
judgments about this process. But one has to take into account not
only the irregularities; one has to also make a determination
whether the irregularities are as a result of malfeasance or misfea-
sance. Did the irregularities affect one party more than other par-
ties? Ultimately, was the will of the people expressed in this proc-
ess despite those irregularities? How close was the electoral con-
test? All of these things have to go into final assessment of a proc-
So sometimes irregularities can have a greater meaning in an
electoral process when the contests are rather close, or one party
or another was affected disproportionately by disenfranchisement
or by irregularities. Does one look at this election and say that
there were many problems, many of which should be rectified, or
does one dismiss the process in its totality?
Mr. BURTON. It appears that the Lavalas party has 75 percent
of the political control in most areas, and 100 percent in the senate.
There is an election coming up that is supposed to be held in De-
cember, and some of you think that is going to be swept to Janu-
ary. Yet there are no known presidential candidates.
It seems the Lavalas party is waiting until there is a very com-
pressed timeframe to announce the date of the election, and who
their presidential candidate is; demonstrating the disorganization
that the opposition parties complained about in the last election. It
looks like it is a slam dunk for Lavalas, whoever they pick. I do
not know how you are going to change the situation. Lavalas has
control of the electoral apparatus and they have the opposition
party in disarray, since they do not trust the electoral process.
So when we pull out, do you think the prospects for the survival
of a real democracy in Haiti is very good? If you do not, what can
Dr. Fauriol, if we extend our presence in Haiti another 6 months
or 8 months, as Congressman Payne has suggested, it is going to
cost at least another half a billion dollars or more, and we will be
right where we started. At least it gives that appearance. So what
are the prospects? Are we going to end up with another Somalia
where when we leave the country will revert back to the same kind
of anarchy with whoever is the strongest taking over?
Dr. FAURIOL. Mr. Chairman, one of the reasons why I briefly re-
ferred to an earlier point that was made by Congressman Goss and
Congressman Payne is that they, in effect, and also Bob Pastor,
framed the issue. You can either maintain some sort of inter-
national presence, or you get an extension of the mandate for six
or 8 months, or you can go to Bob Pastor's comment, which is that
somehow we will have to stay there for five or 10 years. My im-
pression is that the truth is somewhere in between. That is the
The second point-
Mr. BURTON. So you are saying it could be anywhere from 6
months to 5 or 10 years?
Dr. FAURIOL. That is right.
The second point, in fact-
Mr. BURTON. In order to keep stability in the country?
Dr. FAURIOL. That is right.
The second point, and this is why I mentioned it, the committee
and Members of Congress and the American public have to have
some serious soul searching about this issue. The fact of the mat-
ter, there is one option which is not available to you, which is a
withdrawal from Haiti. Haiti is not Somalia. If nothing else, there
is continuity, if you will, with the American system, geographically,
socially and so forth, which through migration, the refugee issue,
does not allow a complete separation from the problem.
And, third, we have spent $3 billion, and I suspect that that
clock will keep ticking for awhile, and the number will go up. What
I suspect is going to happen is that you will be asked to pass judg-
ment on some form of a lower American profile, not under the U.N.
mandate, involving some other conglomeration of the international
That question is going to be very much shaped by the kinds of
answers you get between now and March-
Mr. BURTON. Let me interrupt you.
Dr. FAURIOL [continuing]. primarily on the political issue.
Mr. BURTON. Let me interrupt you, and ask you this question.
When we were in Somalia, we reduced our force, leaving our sol-
diers ill equipped. As a result, we ended up losing 17 young Ameri-
cans who were slaughtered, including one who we saw being
dragged naked through the streets of Mogadishu by Aideed sup-
porters; who, we understand, is still in control.
My concern is that if we cut back our forces, yet keep a presence
in Haiti to maintain stability, do we run the same risk that we had
Dr. FAURIOL. I would not take the comparison with Somalia too
far, Mr. Chairman. The fact of the matter is as imperfect as Hai-
tian's political institutions are, there are at least institutions there
that we can work with, which really was not the case in Somalia.
So there is some encouraging aspect of the situation in Haiti.
There is a scenario, however, that can be put in a slightly dif-
ferent context, which is that if the presidential election goes along
the lines that I think they will go, which is-and I think you are
also suggesting-which is a Lavalas avalanche in political terms,
and a government which becomes very political, very ideological,
and the relationship with the international community and with
the United States becomes very tense.
In that context, any form of international military presence, in-
cluding the U.S. presence, might run into the kinds of difficulties
that I think you are thinking about in the Somalia context, particu-
larly a violent circumstance.
In fact, in other words, we will not be welcome.
Mr. BURTON. Do any of you have any comments on this subject?
Mr. BRUTUS. We think that there has to be work done by the
U.S. Congress and the Administration. We feel that the Congress
has a role to play when it comes to the political situation in Haiti,
in that we feel that the U.S. administration must remain vigilant
and follow what is going on there. But because of the U.S. adminis-
tration's involvement, it finds it difficult some time not to defend
the policies followed by the government of Haiti.
And so we feel that the U.S. Congress, if it really wants to de-
fend democracy in Haiti, and we feel that is the case, then you
must somehow work with the Administration. Everyone in this is-
has, I think, good will. But you need to be very vigilant so that de-
mocracy can flourish in Haiti.
Mr. BURTON. Do any of you have any other comments you would
like to make before we adjourn the hearing?
Mr. BRUTUS. I would like to say that the Haitian political parties
in spite of the failure of the elections in Haiti very much appreciate
the work that has been done by the IRI and the National Demo-
cratic Institute in Haiti. I think it was important to say so.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you.
The NDI and IRI, how long do you folks plan to keep your oper-
ations going in Haiti?
Mr. WOLLACK. Well, we still have an office down there right now.
We plan to continue working through the presidential election, and
then the question is basically funding.
Mr. BURTON. OK. How about IRI?
Ms. HARBERT. IRI has an office that will remain open through
the presidential elections.
Mr. BURTON. Will you be doing some of the monitoring like you
did in the-
Ms. HARBERT. We will be doing an observation effort. We have
received funds to do that.
Mr. BURTON. OK. Any additional information that you have you
can submit for the record.
OK, thank you very much.
[Whereupon, at 1:32 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, to
reconvene at the call of the Chair.]
SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
Statement of Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman
by Hearing of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere on Haiti
October 12, 1995
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The United States has spent about $1.5 billion in Haiti in the last two years --
representing an extraordinary investment of political credibility and material resources.
Strict Congressional oversight is needed to ensure that the Clinton Administration's
strategy will get the best return on that investment and withdraw our forces on schedule next
February. On July 26, 1995, I wrote the Secretary of State requesting a report on U.S.
expenditures in Haiti from Fiscal Year 1995 to present. We even revised our request to make
it less burdensome to the Administration. Here we are -- 78 days later -- and we finally
received a reply to my request on the morning of this hearing, although the expenditure data
is incomplete. If the Administration hopes to build some bipartisan consensus behind its Haiti
policy, it should be more conscientious about sharing essential information requested by this
Members of Congress have offered the Administration constructive advice to make the
most of the prospects for a genuine, lasting democracy in Haiti. For example, in March, I
sent President Clinton a report of a bipartisan delegation that travelled to Haiti. We listed a
number of recommendations. Allow me to quote briefly from that report:
Building a Broad National Consensus. Haitians should be urged to join in a
broad national dialogue to reach a consensus on the key problems and draft a
statement of common objectives under which all sectors will be engaged in
implementing economic and political reform.
Preparing for Free and Fair Elections. Every effort should be made to ensure
free and fair parliamentary, municipal, and presidential elections through
international support and observation and through agreement on a code of
conduct among Haitians.
Jump-Starting Long-Term Economic Growth. Incentives to encourage private
sector investment must be implemented in weeks, not months, to create
sustainable jobs and generate economic growth that, as yet, has not occurred.
Transparent, free-market economic policies (including reliable customs and
ports, a transparent tariff schedule and anti-corruption measures) are just as
important as incentives to business.
Strengthening Parliament as a Key Democratic Institution. A competent,
adequately supported parliament is needed to institutionalize democracy and to
efficiently promulgate the economic and political reforms needed to build a
Seven months after I offered this advice, I feel compelled to repeat that same counsel
to our friends in the Administration.
Mr. Chairman. I think we can all agree on several fundamental issues:
First, in order to sustain a democracy, there must be free, fair, and trustworthy
elections. Haitians from across the political spectrum have concluded that the parliamentary
and municipal elections were fundamentally flawed. Frankly, it is inconceivable to me how
the international community could spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Haiti and then fail
to act decisively to ensure free and transparent elections in which all Haitians would have
confidence. Now we must insist that President Aristide go the extra mile to ensure orderly
elections in which the opposition can participate freely and with confidence.
Second, to cultivate a democracy, there must be a level playing field for a viable
opposition. Some may be alarmed by seeing a new parliament that is so heavily dominated
by one party. That is why we encourage President Aristide to cooperate with political leaders
to form an electoral council and a cabinet in which all Haitians have a voice.
Third, to consolidate a democracy, constitutional process must be respected. That
is why we cannot compromise on the need for an orderly transition to a democratically
elected successor next February.
Fourth, to uphold democracy, human rights must be defended. The Haitian
people have every right to expect justice in the dozens of murders of innocent persons -- some
of which occurred before the restoration of democracy and some which have occurred since.
The international human rights monitoring groups that are amply funded by U.S. tax dollars
have, thus far, failed in their important mission. The Haitian people also have the right to
demand a professional police force that does not tolerate in its ranks or among its leaders
persons who violate human rights or commit other crimes.
Fifth, to sustain democracy, there must be economic growth. Without political
stability and transparent "rules of the game," foreign investors will stay away from Haiti.
Without privatization and free enterprise, Haiti's vast potential will never be tapped and its
masses will not lift themselves up from poverty.
Sixth, you cannot prop up democracy with an open-ended presence of U.S.
troops. We expect President Clinton to abide by his commitment to withdraw U.S. forces as
scheduled next February.
Our country has paid a dear price in Haiti, and we all have a stake in building a stable
climate on that island where Haitians can solve their own problems, democratically and
peacefully. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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AoNTELEIGEACE TESTIMONY BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE
STANoROS OF FCIAL ONDUCT ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
PORTER J. GOSS (FL-14)
12 October 1995
I want to begin by thanking you for allowing me to testify
before your subcommittee today. As you know, I have had an
ongoing interest in U.S. policy in Haiti and I genuinely
appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your effort to assess
the current situation in that small Caribbean nation.
It has been one year and many tax dollars since 20,000
American troops returned President Aristide to his country.
Today, the Clinton White House claims Haiti as a major success.
In the limited sense that they have physically returned President
Aristide, they are correct. However, if the goal was -- as they
suggest -- to bring democracy and stability to Haiti, the
evidence suggests that victory is far from achieved. With costs
for U.S. operations in Haiti projected to reach the $3 billion
mark by the end of the U.N. mission mandate, taxpayers across the
U.S. are no doubt expecting this Congress to be able to tell them
what has or has not been achieved. That is what this hearing is
It would be wrong to say that nothing has changed since the
U.S. occupation and the subsequent return of President Aristide.
The continued high profile presence of the U.N. mission troops in
Haiti has made a difference in the lives of many Haitians. Today
in the sprawling slums of Port-au-Prince, Haitians will tell you
they feel safer -- free to go out at night, free from the random
shooting rampages that were once a nightly event. For President
Aristide, security comes in the form of a caravan of U.N. troops
that travel with him in the countryside and a large installation
at the National Palace. In the end, however, the pleasure of
knowing that the security situation has improved is greatly
diminished by the fact that foreign troops are still needed to
maintain that security.
Of course, there are plenty of troubling reports to suggest
that Haiti is not a safer place for all Haitians. A series of
what Ambassador Colin Granderson of the OAS has publicly called
"commando-style executions" has apparently targeted former
members of the military, their civilian allies, and some
businessmen. With more than twenty of these crimes to be
investigated already, another was added last week with the
assassination of former Haitian military General Henri Max
Mayard. Are these apparent crimes of vengeance linked to the
Aristide government? Some say yes; others say he simply
tolerates them; others say nothing can be proved. No one denies
that these violent incidents still occur.
The departure of the U.N. mission in early 1996 will mean
that the newly trained 5,000 member police force will be called
upon to take responsibility for policing their country and
providing for law and order.'While the ICITAP has worked out what
it believes is a good vetting process, there are some troubling
indications that vetting may not have been consistent and, in
some quarters, the 80 member elite officers corps summons images
of Duvalier's dreaded band of Tonton Macoutes. Already there has
been resistance to the new police force in the countryside and
several incidents of those officers firing on citizens.
To establish the rule of law in Haiti, they will need not
only the police force, but a functioning judiciary with the will
to apply laws fairly to all Haitians. Unfortunately, this may be
too great a task for the troubled Haitian judicial system.
Today, the courts are not up to the task of processing and trying
criminals caught by the new police force. In addition, judges
have been criticized by Ambassador Granderson for repeatedly
violating legal and constitutional guarantees against arbitrary
arrest and detention -- particularly, opponents of the
government. An independent and effective judiciary in Haiti is
many years, and many dollars, away from being a reality.
Progress toward a permanent, independent, and effective body
to govern elections and provide for orderly and democratic
transition has also been disappointing. The Provisional Electoral
Council responsible for running the June 25 elections proved to
be non-responsive and wholly inadequate. And, after its gross
mishandling of the June 25 elections, there is little left to
work with. Out of the June 25 election there is nothing: no
master voting list, no permanent or credible electoral council,
no system for counting ballots, and no trained cadre of election
officials to carry the process forward. Even if Haiti manages,
with the help of the international community, to hold
Presidential elections there will be nothing left for them to
build on when the need for future elections arises.
The June elections are notable not only for their disarray,
but for their results. These elections were really about Haitians
being free to elect local candidates and a new national
parliament for their country, about having opportunity to
establish some of the checks and balances envisioned in the 1987
Constitution. Election chaos caused these goals to be
dramatically under-achieved. Over the protests of the political
parties throughout the electoral process the Clinton White House
pushed the Aristide government to move the process forward --
notwithstanding the clear signals that preparations were
inadequate. Under this cloud, a predominantly Lavalas parliament
will take over. The parliament, meant to be the safe forum where
the disparate views of Haitians might be voiced, will not fully
offer that opportunity. With the independence and effectiveness
of the judiciary and the police force already in question, this
Lavalas parliament is seen by many as slamming the door and
driving the loyal opposition out of the political system.
The question of what will happen when it comes time for
President Aristide to depart the national palace after the
Presidential elections also remains open. According to the
Haitian Constitution, President Aristide may not succeed himself
in office and the parliament is unable to change the Constitution
to allow him to do so. This seems clear cut. However, while his
public statements to the media suggest he will go, his actions
tell a different story. He has been deliberately "coy" in
response to inquiries regarding his tenure in office while
attending rallies in Haiti. A number of these rallies, where
leaflets calling for him to stay are distributed, have been held.
and the drumbeat for him to stay is building. At a very least,
his lack of public decisiveness in these situations complicates
efforts to ensure genuine presidential elections and an orderly
transfer of power in February 1996. His failure to leave on
schedule will call into question not only the Administration's
entire rationale for the operation, but would also justify a
complete Congressional review of U.S. aid to Haiti.
The political scene is only one side of the picture; the
other side is the economy. Lack of economic progress is driving
many Haitians to question whether or not democracy is really
"better." In Cite Soleil, elections observers like myself were
told that there was no reason to vote -- many Haititans there
said it wasn't helping to put food on the table or a roof over
their heads. And, while the numbers have been significantly
smaller than last year, there are still Haitians taking to their
boats. The reason they give for their flight when intercepted by
the Coast Guard? They have lost hope that the Aristide
prosperity miracle will reach them.
Unfortunately, the Clinton Administration's talk of "jump-
starting" the Haitian economy has come face-to-face with the
harsh reality that there is no Haitian economy to resuscitate.
The poorest country in our hemisphere, its crisis only deepened
under the strain the three year U.S. led embargo. Even after the
relative calm of the past year, there are few positive signs of
investment and growth.
Haitian and American businessmen alike will privately tell
you they aren't ready to assume the risks associated with going
"full force" into the business of making jobs in Haiti. They
cite the general lack of law and order and the lack of meaningful
and enforceable law to protect businesses. Repeated increases in
the minimum wage, looting, unreliable power supplies, and high
costs and delays in government run ports all act as a brake on
economic development. And, despite the real need in Haiti for
foreign investors, legal constraints in the Haitian legal system
have delayed much-needed, affordable, secured investment dollars.
Added to all of these factors is the larger question of
whether or not the Aristide government has the collective will to
carry through economic reform favorable to long term business
development. Despite President Aristide's public support for
reforms, some members of his administration are apparently
engaged in a rear guard effort to halt progress on these
initiatives. Rest assured American businesses will be watching
closely to see what happens and holding off on the investments
until they see real progress.
It is clear for anyone who is willing to look beneath the
surface that there is still a long way to go in Haiti until
democracy and stability are a reality. Haiti one year after the
return of President Aristide and the expenditure of a few billion
American tax dollars is still marked by chronic poverty, weak
governmental institutions, and leadership that reflect the
tradition of one man rule more that the checks and balances
envisioned in the 1987 constitution.
It is time for a candid assessment by the Clinton
Administration of what -it has spent in Haiti and what it has
achieved. The American taxpayers deserve to know where their
dollars have gone; the Haitian people deserve a real chance at
democracy, stability, and prosperity.
CONGRESSMAN DONALD M. PAYNE
THE HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE
OCTOBER 12, 1995
ASSESSMENT OF THE CURRENT
SITUATION IN HAITI
Thank you Mr. Chairman, and please be assured you have my appreciation
for scheduling this timely review of the situation in Haiti. I have long been
concerned about Haiti's struggle to achieve democracy.
In this regard I have traveled there six times since the coup that denied
President Aristide of the opportunity to serve his full term. In efforts to reinstate
President Aristide, I made 46 public appearances varying from holding report back
meeting in my district, to being arrested in front of the White House with other
members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
To my knowledge Mr. Goss and I were the only congressional members to
observe the June 25th elections. We all recall the June 28th heated debates on
the House floor after the elections, in which we both very honestly evaluated what
happened from different perspectives. I appreciate my distinguished colleague's
efforts toward modification, and it is my hope that for the good of Haiti we can
continue to come closer in our thinking on what will be helpful in moving the
democratic process forward. Since we did observe the election from different
locations, I would like to briefly state that in Cap Hatien, one of the cities I
observed, the elections were carried on in an orderly process. And, for the first
time in history there was a complete lack of any military presence. Instead, Haiti's
newly trained police were in place and their obvious sense of discipline and
decorum contributed to the overall atmosphere of order and tranquility.
It was obvious that there were administrative problems that could not be
foreseen. For instance, we witnessed the frustration of voters who could not get
into the polling station because the key could not be found. Those waiting in line
walked miles to vote, and were not going to leave until they voted. Officials had
no option, but to break the lock of the polling station so that the voting could
proceed. It reminded me of my home district of Newark where once in a while a
school janitor would oversleep, or similar problems would occur.
Rather than speak more fully on the June 25th elections, and in order to
devote more of my testimony on later developments and needs for the future, with
your permission Mr. Chairman, I request to enter into the record my July 12, 1995
Testimony to the Senate's Western Hemisphere Committee. With your permission,
Since the June 25th elections, it became apparent that in other parts of the
country there were more problems and it was necessary to replace the President of
the Electoral Commission, which demonstrates the willingness of the Aristide
Administration to strive for improvement. I have also joined Chairman Gilman in
requesting the GAO (Government Accounting Office) to make a study of the entire
election process for June 25 and on through the Presidential elections to be held by
the end of the year.
However, we from another culture can not overly be critical of Haiti's first
experience in democratic elections. We must take into consideration the handicaps
of poor roads and communications systems, even electricity was not available in
some places to count votes causing workers to take the ballots out under the
street lights to be counted. I have also observed elections in Namiba, South Africa,
and other countries where there was violence and killings -- yet the international
community applauds those elections as successes today. Yet, there was no such
violence in the Haitian elections.
Further, it is interesting to note the findings of the Organization of American
States Electoral Observation Mission released on September 13th. The OAS
Mission was the largest of all delegations numbering some 300 members deployed
throughout the country for June 25th, and some 105 members for the August 13th
complementary elections, and 185 for the September 17th run offs. Most
important was the quality of the delegations, with many speaking fluent Creole and
bringing the views and experiences from some 25 countries.
The OAS report dispels many accusations. For instance the report states
"There was no fraud in the Haitian elections. To the best of our knowledge, they
quote, no organized fraud was carried out by the CEP: neither did we identify any
attempt by the CEP to favor any particular party, in relation to either the 25 June
elections or the complementary elections held on 13 August 1995."
The report further concludes -- there was no significant boycott of either the
August 13th complementary elections, or the September 17 runoff elections, in
spite of calls for same by political party spokesperson. For the September 17th
round, the OAS documents that only six out of a total of 126 candidates chose not
to participate. In fact, the great majority of candidates did not follow the order of
their parties and participated. Yet, the media continue reporting that a boycott
occurred. Lately, Senate Republican leaders have accused the Aristide
Administration of creating a one party state, and implying this is being done by
death squads being run by members of the Haitian government. Let us look at the
record. Human Rights Watch in their October Report that these accusations
sparked by columnist Robert Novak are exaggerated, and are supported by scant
details, and lack of evidence.
Human Rights Watch further points out "The human rights situation in Haiti
has improved dramatically since the demise of the military government in
September 1994. The restored government has not committed systematic abuses
like those that occurred under military rule including: extrajudicial executions,
torture, arbitrary detention, politically motivated rape, forced displacement, and the
violent suppression of free expression. Groups now can meet, hold rallies, and
express their views without fear.
One reflection of this change is that refugee outflow form Haiti has virtually
ceased." They do list improvements still needed such as the Police having on
some occasions failed to follow appropriate arrest procedures.
However, the Haitian government has taken many remedial actions to
correct these situations and President Aristide has spoken out on issues of social
justice, urging the population: "no to violence, yes to reconciliation."
As we look toward the coming Presidential elections it is evident that
President Aristide will leave office in February. Many are concerned that no one
has the popularity to continue guiding the population in their quest for democracy.
With a new and unknown President taking over in February, I strongly urge the
United States and the United Nations to reconsider the renewal of the mandate for
the UN security force for at least six more months after the installation of the new
President. This would be judicius in my judgement.
Haiti is rebuilding. Its Police are among the most educated citizens of the
country. There was intense competition to enter the force and best and brightest
have been recruited. But, they need time to gain experience and organizational
stability. They need to continue receiving proper salaries, so they are not tempted
by the bribery system of the past.
Inflation has already been halved, and a free market economy is under way,
but electric power and other infrastructure improvements are needed to fuel this
growth. All of this takes continued financial assistance. Now is not the time to be
threatening Haiti, but to encourage them on by rewarding their accomplishments.
No American business or enterprise would do less with their employees. And, no
American citizen would want less for their next door neighbor.
Yesterday we held a joint session of congress to celebrate the completion of
the 50 year observance of World War II. I could not help but remember how the
then President of Haiti asked our President Roosevelt how his little country could
help in this war for the salvation of mankind. Roosevelt replied that the U.S. had
suffered a loss of rubber sources through the Japanese invasion of South East
Asia. He then asked Haiti to convert its agriculture economy to the production of
trees and plants that produce latex. Agreeing to this challenge, the mahogany
trees and other forest plants indigenous to the island were cut down to make way
for the Firestone plantations. New plants to produce latex were planted. None of
this was successful, leading to destructive soil erosion. It was at this period that
Haiti lost its lost its sustainable development, and faced a bleak future as 4 % of
the topsoil washes into the Caribbean each year. They made this sacrifice of us,
now it would seem to me that the least we can do is to stand by them now.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
THE HONORABLE DAN BURTON
OCTOBER 12, 1995
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN
IT IS NOW OVER ONE YEAR SINCE THE RETURN OF PRESIDENT ARISTIDE TO
PORT AU PRINCE AND THE DISPATCH OF 20,000 U.S. TROOPS. IN MARCH,
THE U.S. HANDED OVER ITS MISSION OFFICIALLY TO THE U.N., BUT 2,000
U.S. TROOPS REMAIN, AS PART OF THE 6,000 MAN U.N. FORCE.
THE U.N. MISSION IS SCHEDULED TO BE TERMINATED AFTER PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTIONS LATER THIS YEAR. THE OUTLOOK FOR HAITI IS STILL VERY
MUCH UNCERTAIN. IT IS CERTAINLY FAR TOO PREMATURE TO CHARACTERIZE
OUR INVOLVEMENT IN HAITI AS A SUCCESS.
THE RECENT ELECTIONS IN HAITI WERE AN UNMITIGATED DISASTER. NOT
ONLY WERE THERE SERIOUS AND PERVASIVE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS PLAGUING
THESE ELECTIONS, BUT THE GOVERNMENT OF HAITI REFUSED TO WORK IN
GOOD FAITH WITH THE OPPOSITION PARTIES TO CORRECT THESE PROBLEMS.
THE ENTIRE POLITICAL OPPOSITION IN HAITI IS UNITED IN REJECTING THE
LEGITIMACY OF THE ELECTION RESULTS. THIS SEVERELY COMPROMISES THE
ENTIRE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IN HAITI.
THE INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE (IRI) CAME OUT JUST
YESTERDAY WITH ITS REPORT ON THE ELECTIONS IN HAITI. IT IS A
SCATHING INDICTMENT OF THE LACK OF COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY IN THAT
COUNTRY. TO QUOTE.DIRECTLY FROM THE REPORT: "THE ELECTIONS OF JUNE
25, 1995, PROVIDED THE CHANCE FOR HAITI TO STRENGTHEN ITS
DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE AND PAVE THE ROAD TOWARD RECONCILIATION. THE
HAITIAN PEOPLE SHOULD BE COMMENDED FOR THEIR ENDURANCE AND
ENTHUSIASM DURING THE LABORIOUS REGISTRATION PROCESS AND THROUGH
THE VOTE ITSELF. UNFORTUNATELY, AN ARBITRARY ELECTION PROCESS AND
BREAKDOWN OF THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM DEPRIVED THE PEOPLE OF HAITI OF
THIS OPPORTUNITY .... THE PEOPLE OF HAITI HAVE ENDURED DECADES OF
DICTATORSHIP AND OPPRESSION AND MOST RECENTLY THREE YEARS UNDER A
MILITARY REGIME; THIS ELECTION WAS A CRITICAL JUNCTURE TO HELP
ERASE THE MEMORIES OF HAITI'S AUTHORITARIAN PAST. THE PEOPLE OF
HAITI DESERVE BETTER."
WE ARE ALSO EXTREMELY CONCERNED ABOUT THE CONTINUING WAVE OF
POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN HAITI. POLITICAL OPPONENTS OF THE ARISTIDE
GOVERNMENT ARE BEING GUNNED DOWN REGULARLY. THERE SEEMS TO BE NO
ACCOUNTABILITY. THIS IS, QUITE SIMPLY, AN INTOLERABLE SITUATION.
THE UNITED STATES HAS POURED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY INTO
HAITI--ALL TOLD, PROBABLY OVER $2 BILLION.
THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES CANNOT AND WILL NOT TOLERATE
FURTHER EXPENDITURE OF TAXPAYER'S FUNDS TO SUPPORT A REGIME WHICH
HAS REPLACED ONE DICTATORSHIP WITH ANOTHER.
THE MEMBERS OF THIS SUBCOMMITTEE, AND THE MEMBERS OF THIS CONGRESS
ARE GOING TO REQUIRE ANSWERS TO TOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT HAITI BEFORE
WE CAN COUNTENANCE FURTHER SUPPORT.
JAMES F. DOBBINS
SPECIAL HAITI COORDINATOR
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Latin American Subcommittee of the House
International Relations Committee
October 12, 1995
STATEMENT OF JAMES F. DOBBINS
SPECIAL HAITI COORDINATOR
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
LATIN AMERICAN SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
October 12. 1995
It has been a little more than a year since US forces
entered Haiti at the head of a multinational coalition, with
the objective of restoring Haiti's democratically elected
government, and assisting a transition to sustainable democracy.
At the height of the US military presence, shortly after
that initial deployment, there were over 20,000 American
military personnel in Haiti. Today there are 2,500, out of a
total of 6,000 UN peacekeeping troops, and 800 UN civilian
police drawn from 31 countries.
In four more months, that is to say in February 1996, the
mission of this peacekeeping force will be concluded. Those
troops will return home, having successfully completed a
complex and challenging operation.
Completion of this operation has been keyed to two
The first of these is the dismantling of Haiti's old
institutions of repression, and the creation of a new
professional civilian police force, along with the reform of
The second process is that of democratic renewal, and the
constitutional transfer of power. This process involves the
holding of local, municipal, parliamentary and, finally,
presidential elections, so that, by the time US and other
military forces leave Haiti next year, the entire Haitian
governmental structure, from the lowest to the highest levels,
will be renewed, based on a new exercise of democratic choice.
Both of these two processes are proceeding at a pace which
should permit us to meet the timetable which the United States
and the United Nations have set for this peacekeeping operation.
Last June, Haitians voted to elect 2,000 mayors, municipal
and county counselors, thereby providing Haiti with the most
comprehensive system of freely elected local government in its
Last Sunday Haiti completed the election of members of its
lower and upper houses of parliament. Like the June 25 vote,
Sunday's balloting was peaceful. Unlike the June 25 vote, it
was more orderly, and better administered.
Later this year Haitians will go to the polls again to
elect the successor to President Aristide, who will take office
next February. Recently President Aristide reconfirmed "beyond
a shadow of a doubt", his personal commitment to this transfer
The second ongoing process to which the timing of
international peacekeeping effort has been tied is, as I have
said, the dismantling of Haiti's old, corrupt and repressive
security institutions, and the creation of a new professional
civilian police force and the reform of the judiciary. This
process is also very much on schedule.
The Haitian army has been disbanded. Over half, that is to
say over 3,000, of its members have been demobilized. Most of
these individuals are presently completing a six-month program
of vocational training. Something less than 3,000 former
members of the Haitian Army remained as members of the interim
police force. Several hundred of these interim police are
being demobilized each month, as new classes of the Haitian
National Police are fielded. This demobilization will be
nearly completed by February.
By that date, the Haitian National Police will have fielded
5,000 new police officers. These young men and women have been
selected in an open, apolitical, rigorous and competitive
national process. They are receiving four months of intensive
professional training, in a program organized by the US
Department of Justice, and taught by professional law
enforcement officers from France, Canada and the United States.
The process of selection for the Haitian National Police
has drawn on the best Haiti has to offer. Tens of thousands of
young men and women have competed for entry. In a society
where less than 25% of the people are literate, the average
educational level of the initial group of police cadets was two
years in college. In a country where personal connections have
long been the key to government employment, recruitment into
this new police force has been open to the entire population,
and selection has been on a competitive, merit basis.
Alongside the Police Academy, we have also assisted the
Haitian Government in creating a new Judicial Academy.
American and French lawyers are assisting Haitian advocates and
jurists in providing instruction to Haitian judges and court
administrators at this institution.
The duration of the peacekeeping operation in Haiti has not
been tied to any particular level of economic performance.
However, in connection with last year's restoration of
democracy, Haiti has received a large commitment of
international assistance, to which the United States,
incidentally, has pledged less than one-fourth of the total of
$1.2 billion for 1995 and 1996.
As a result of this assistance, and of the reforms put in
place by the Haitian Government, inflation has been halved,
down from an annual rate of over 40% in September 1994 to
something under 20% today. Haitian currency has remained
stable against the US Dollar. Economic activity which fell by
25% from 1992-94 is now increasing at the rate of over 4.5% per
Needless to say, Haiti's economic renewal is at best
tentative. Its democracy remains fragile, and its new security
structures are inexperienced and untested.
Business interest in Haiti as a site for investment is
relatively high, but many investors are awaiting the results of
the current electoral cycle.
Those elections, specifically the June 25 balloting, were
far from ideal. Brian Atwood, the leader of our Presidential
Observer Delegation, cited in his statement of June 26 many of
the problems his group encountered. I did the same in
testimony two weeks later before the Senate's Subcommittee on
As I then noted, observers found that ballot "free, fair,
and fouled up". Haiti has since held three further rounds of
balloting including reruns of the original vote in about one in
five polling places nationwide, and a second round of voting
for all undecided Parliamentary races. These three ballots
were free, fair, and progressively well run.
The Haitian voters have now chosen their mayors, city and
county counselors, establishing a comprehensive system of
freely elected local government. They-have chosen a new
Parliament. Later this year they will again go to the polls to
choose a new President. By February, Haiti will have completed
the first democratic transition, from one freely elected
government to another, in its history.
The OAS has had an Electoral Observer Mission (OAS-EOM) in
Haiti for the past five months monitoring the electoral
process. This Mission has fielded 572 observers who monitored
some 4,670 polling stations through the several stages of this
electoral process. Many of these observers are experienced
electoral monitors. Many have extensive knowledge of Haiti,
and many speak fluent Creole, the local language. This
Mission's reporting and analysis is by far the most
comprehensive and authoritative available on the Haitian
Commenting on criticism of the role of the Haitian
Provisional Electoral Council in the June 25 balloting, the OAS
Observer Mission stated: "...we are satisfied that, to the
best of our knowledge, no organized fraud was carried out by
the CEP; neither did we identify any attempts by the CEP to
favor any particular party, in relation to either the 25 June
1995 elections or the complementary elections held on 13 August
Perhaps the most widely publicized criticism of the June 25
ballot concerned the vote count in Port-au-Prince itself, that
is in the Western Electoral Department, or "BED West". Asked
to comment on the alleged disorganization at this location, the
OAS Mission responded:
"The OAS-EOM fielded a professional team of very'
knowledgeable Election Observers throughout the area
covered by the BED West on 25 June (election day). Every
single member of the team either had extensive election
observation experience and/or were specialists on the
social/political infrastructure of Port-au-Prince and
Haiti. Practically all the Observers were fluent creole
speakers thereby enabling them to speak incisively with BIV
workers amongst others with whom they interacted on
election day as well as on subsequent days when the ballot
count was held. All the observers were in place from early
morning on 25 June to witness the opening of the BIVs and
remained on duty throughout the day and on to 26 June until
the BIV count had been completed and the ballot boxes had
been transported to the BED West (which also housed the BEC
"On the night of 25 June there was congregation of BIV
workers who had transported their ballot boxes (some by
foot over a long distance) to the premises of the BED West,
without doing the count at the BIV site itself simply
because there was inadequate lighting, or in some cases no
lighting at all, at the BIV site. This was done mainly
because there was sufficient street lighting available
outside the BED West to enable the count to be completed
that night itself. Therefore, what one found on the night
of 25 June was a large collection of BIV workers simply
trying to complete their job of counting the ballots and
trying to get back to their homes after a long day without
water and food. To the untrained eye it looked totally
disorganized. But those with Haiti experience and the
ability to speak creole (i.e. the OAS-EOM Observers) what
was witnessed was a creative effort by BIV workers to
finish their task as efficiently as possible under
difficult conditions. To other Election Observers (from
other organizations), with little or no country experience
and no knowledge of creole it was an example of chaos and
"At no time did any OAS-EOM Observer report seeing any
incidents of fraud that night; perhaps a few technical
problems, but no fraud. Neither over a next few days when
the BED count was taking place at sites such as Lycee
Firmin, did any OAS-EOM Observer witness any incident that
could be termed as fraud. Yes, there were technical
problems (mainly due to lack of experience and inadequate
training on the part of BIV workers) but no witnessing of
any fraudulent activity."
Commenting on the vote count and tabulation of results over
all four rounds of the recent elections, the OAS commented:
"For each of elections held, the data on the vote count and
tabulation collected by EOM observers at each stage
described above corresponded in general to the results
released by the electoral officials. The minor differences
noted by the mission involved discrepancies of ten or fewer
votes which did not affect the final results.
"Some 18 complaints, mainly regarding falsified or missing
proces-verbaux, and principally from the June 25 first
round, were brought to the Mission's attention, but it was
noted that the complainants were given satisfaction through
action taken by the CEP, such as recounts or cancellation
of elections in the affected areas."
In the aftermath of the June 25 vote, the leaders of major
opposition parties in Haiti decided to withdraw from the
electoral process. Their party candidates, for the most part,
did not. The names of all opposition candidates remained on
the ballot. Nearly all opposition candidates participated
actively in the rerun and second round balloting. Party poll
watchers from opposition parties were present at the polling
stations in large numbers. All opposition candidates who won
places at the local and national level appear ready to serve.
The disappointment of opposition -leaders with the June 25
balloting was understandable. Their parties did poorly, as had
been generally anticipated. The process was flawed. Their
complaints were in many instances legitimate. But, in the view
of most international observers, their decision to withdraw
from the campaign, and to seek to discredit the subsequent
electoral process was not justified by the circumstances.
Between the first, and the subsequent three rounds of
balloting, the US Government made repeated efforts to bring
about a resolution of differences between the Haitian
authorities and the main opposition leaders. In pursuit of
this objective, we made a number of suggestions to improve the
electoral process, and to correct flaws in the June 25 vote.
In response, the Haitian authorities expressed a willingness to
adopt all of our proposals as a basis for agreement with
In the end suspicions on both sides proved insurmountable.
Opposition party leaders were unwilling to work with the
Haitian Electoral Council, even after their key initial demand,
for the replacement of the President of that Electoral Council,
had been met. The Haitian authorities, for their part,
harbored concerns that the opposition, aware that it was likely
to lose any election held in the near future, would take
advantage of any role they might be granted in selecting new
members to the Electoral Council in order to block completion
of the election, and postpone indefinitely the seating of a new
This mistrust was mutual -- and, in our judgment,
excessive. The Haitian authorities were prepared to implement
those steps which we, the UN and the OAS believed necessary to
correct the failings of the June 25 vote. Opposition leaders
demanded more, specifically insisting that half the Electoral
Council be replaced by new individuals acceptable to the
opposition. Lavalas party leaders were, in fact, prepared to
discuss such arrangements. In the end, however, it proved
impossible to agree on modalities for altering the membership
of the Electoral Council which were broadly acceptable, and
consistent with Haitian law.
Faced with a continued boycott, the Electoral Council did
implement those suggestions made by us, by the UN and the OAS
to correct problems in the June 25 ballot which could be
carried out without the cooperation of the opposition party
leadership. The result was, as I have noted, a significant
improvement in the conduct of the subsequent rounds of
Much of the criticism of the first round of these elections
was justified. Outside observers should be cautious, however,
about holding Haiti to a higher standard than has been applied
to other countries -- richer and more highly developed
countries than Haiti -- which are also emerging from the
darkness of tyranny into the light of democracy. The South
African election of 1994, for instance, was not only far more
violent than the 1995 election in Haiti, but it was reportedly
even more poorly administered. Yet the results of the South
African balloting were almost universally hailed as a major
advance in democracy, as indeed they were.
Let me therefore conclude my discussion of the recent
Haitian elections by citing the OAS Observer Mission's most
recent and most comprehensive statement on the process as a
"Having observed the entire process, the EOM considers that
its defects were not the result of large scale organized
fraud and that the voting intentions of the electorate were
generally respected. Announcements of the tabulated
results by the CEP generally matched data collected by EOM
observers. Based on its observations, the EOM considers
that the impact of flaws in the process would not have
altered the final result."
The human rights situation in Haiti has improved
dramatically over the past thirteen months. All types of
violent crime, in fact, are way down. In March of this year,
there were 101 murders in Haiti, a high figure, but not out of
line for a country of Haiti's size, population, and poverty.
That number has fallen steadily each month since, reaching 29
in September. This is a low figure indeed for a country of
seven million desperately poor, densely packed people.
Political violence has fallen off even more sharply.
Following three years of brutal repression during which rape,
torture and murder were the routine instruments of governance,
many had expected the restoration of Haiti's legitimate
government to be followed by a wave of retribution. Thanks to
the professionalism of American and international forces, and
thanks particularly to President Aristide's unrelenting
campaign of reconciliation, nothing of the sort has occurred.
On the contrary, after three years in which up to three
thousand political murders were committed, the past year has
seen perhaps two dozen deaths which may have revenge, or
politics as a motivation.
To recognize how the situation has improved is not to
suggest that further steps are not needed to eradicate
political violence from Haitian life. Haiti has a long, sad
tradition of politically motivated murder and intimidation
which, if not checked once and for all, could undermine its
Justice and an end to impunity must, therefore, go hand in
hand with reconciliation. Justice must be seen to be both
effective, and impartial. We applaud, therefore, the work of
the Haitian Truth Commission in looking into the crimes of the
coup period. We also support Haitian efforts to investigate
and bring to justice those guilty of notorious outrages of that
period, such as the murders of Antoine Izmery, Guy Malary, and
Father Vincent. We have also stressed and will continue to
stress the need to investigate, to prosecute, and to punish
those who would still use violence to achieve political end.
In March-of this year, when former de facto regime's
spokesperson, Mireille Bertin, was murdered, the US Government
offered, and President Aristide accepted the assistance of the
FBI in investigating that crime. At the time that offer was
made and accepted, Haiti had no indigenous capacity to
investigate such crimes. Its Interim Police Force was drawn,
in large measure, from the very institution which had been the
prime source of repression under the coup regime, the Haitian
Army. The court system had largely ceased to function. The
prisons were in utter disrepair.
In the intervening seven months, the Government of Haiti,
with our help, has come a long way in developing the capability
to investigate, to try, to convict and to imprison those who
would commit such crimes. New judges have been appointed.
Those already in office have received training. The court
system is working, and serious cases are being tried in a
professional manner. The prison system is undergoing reform.
A new police force, free of all association with past abuses,
is being created. More than 1400 of its officers are already
in the street. Selected members of this force are receiving
intensified investigative training, and are being formed into
the core of a new Judicial Police, responsible for criminal
Yesterday the Government of Haiti formally established a
new, special unit of those officers to deal with high profile,
and especially political crimes, including those cases of the
past year cited by the UN/OAS International Civilian Mission as
possibly falling into that category. This unit will be
separately housed, separately funded, and separately
supervised. It will operate as part of the new National
Police, and will report to an investigating magistrate. The
Government of Haiti has asked both the UN Civilian Police and
the US Government to provide trained investigators to assist
and monitor the operations of this special investigative unit.
United Nations Civilian Police have agreed to assist. We will
do the same.
In summary, the economic, political and security situation
in Haiti has dramatically improved since the deployment of US
and international forces a year ago today. These improvements
are continuing at a pace which should permit the current
peacekeeping operation to conclude on schedule in February of
next year. Haiti will then be left with a range of serious
economic, political and social problems. The international
community will need to remain helpful, and engaged. But a new
beginning will have been made. As our troops and those of
other nations depart they will leave behind a legacy of
democracy restored, and hope renewed.
HAITI ONE YEAR LATER:
Achievements of Our Economic Assistance Program
NORMA J. PARKER
Deputy Assistant Administrator for
Latin America and the Caribbean
U.S. Agency for International Development
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs
House International Relations Committee
October 12, 1995
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee:
As Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean in the
Agency for International Development, I welcome this opportunity to appear before the
Committee and share with you the achievements of our economic assistance program in
Haiti. The United States Government has invested time, energy and economic resources
in restoring democracy to Haiti, and it is appropriate that after one year the Congress
should want to know what has been achieved.
The answer, Mr. Chairman, is that we have achieved a great deal but the job is
not yet done. With the support of the United States and our allies, the Haitian people
have come much further than anyone would have predicted just one year ago. The U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) has been proud to be an important part
of that support, providing timely and practical assistance to support the democratic
As Americans, we can all take pride that we helped Haiti achieve the following:
* An army which dominated, abused and intimidated the Haitian people for nearly
200 years has been virtually eliminated.
* A cycle of revenge and retribution has been replaced by sincere efforts at
reconciliation and the rule of law.
* The old military academy -- a source of power for the Cedras dictatorship -- has
been transformed into a first-ever judicial training school, supporting the
development of an accountable system of justice.
* A professional civilian police force, under the supervision of the Minister of
Justice, has been established and is deploying across the country.
* In an atmosphere of peace and security, without fear of intimidation or reprisal,
Haitians have gone to the polls four times to elect new members of parliament
and local government.
* Within days, the new parliament will be seated and take up a series of economic
and political reform issues that are designed to break the alliances between state
power ;.nd economic monopolies and social elites, and instead lay the foundation
for broad-based economic growth offering expanded opportunities for all Haitians.
* Already the government has initiated a comprehensive program of structural
reforms and liberalizations to bring its policies into harmony with those of most
countries in the hemisphere.
In contrast to annual ten percent declines of GDP during 1992-94, economic
growth has been restored, with GDP growth at 4.5% since the return of President
Aristide. Similar growth is expected in the coming year.
Inflation has been cut from 55% in August 1994 to approximately 24% in August
1995; and the Haitian Gourde has strengthened from about 21 to the dollar to 15.
The.leadership of the United States has been instrumental in making these
changes happen. They speak to the very best aspirations and values of the American
people, as well as to those of the Haitian people. USAID, with its unique combination
of technical skills and experienced field staff, has been proud of its role in contributing
to their achievement. Our partners in the non-governmental organization community
deserve great credit for the vital role they have played under extremely difficult
The achievements, however, are still tenuous, and the foundations for an enduring
and prosperous democratic order in Haiti are not yet secure. While we can be proud of
all that has been accomplished, the next year will be critically important in consolidating
our gains and moving from a society in perpetual crisis and grinding poverty, to one
which is making slow, but steady, progress toward a better future.
We must also candidly acknowledge that serious challenges remain.
The traditions and techniques of democracy are not immediately mastered but
continue to be developed and strengthened in all branches of government. While
considerable progress has been made, more work needs to be done to correct the
problems in the earlier election rounds before Presidential elections late this year. It is
essential that adequate support be available to ensure that this election is both orderly
and fair. The judicial system and the leadership structure of the police must continue to
The alliance between the state, economic monopolies and a social elite will not be
easily broken. Strong vested interests will continue to resist efforts to promote economic
reform and create a more open, market-oriented economy that offers real prospects for
broad-based economic growth. Furthermore, the GOH does not have unlimited time to
build confidence that p-'' sector led growth has taken hold and to convince working
Haitians that their lives are improving. Public finances--while vastly improved--are still
weak, and public ministries need to develop far more depth.
A Year of Transition
The focus of our efforts a year ago was crisis-oriented. At that time we were
coping with the needs of a society brutalized by an oppressive dictatorship and reeling
under the impact of an economic embargo. Our concerns were to help feed about 1.2
million Haitians; provide basic medical care to about 2 million people; ensure the
immunization of 3 million children.
Today our objective is to ensure a successful transition from an emergency
humanitarian program, largely driven by short-term crises, to one which consolidates the
significant changes of the past year and establishes a foundation for sustainable
development. Our primary objectives are building the foundations for an enduring
democratic society and expanding private sector employment and income. It is important
that we stay the course and ensure the consolidation of the gain made thus far.
Accordingly, our proposed $115 million program for FY 1996 is about half of what we
spent in Haiti in FY 1995.
U. BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY
Protecting Basic Human Rights
About one year ago, the press was filled with reports of appalling abuse of the
Haitian people at the hands of the military dictatorship. In an effort to catalogue the
dimensions of the problem, each morning embassy and USAID staff regularly made the
rounds of Port-au-Prince to count the number of bodies left lying in the streets, for
about one year, that has no longer been necessary. The $1 million Human Rights Fund,
established during the grimmest period of the embargo to provide support and assistance
to victims and their families, was phased out in February 1995 because it was no longer
Establishing a New System of Justice
The rule of law has been an alien concept for much of Haiti's history. As a
result, a year ago the system of justice was largely irrelevant, corrupt and ineffective. Its
physical plant was in decay, and administrative structure practically nonexistent. The
Ministry of Justice could not determine how many people were formally on its rolls or
how they got there. Many appointed officials were not only untrained but actually
illiterate, and there was no capacity to oversee or improve their performance. Police
functions were largely performed by the army, in collaboration with ad hoc groups of
From the beginning, the Umied States saw the need for a new system of justice as
essential to our goals in Haiti. Recognizing that it would necessarily require a long-term
effort, this was one of the earliest priorities for USAID and we have created an $18
million five-year Administration of Justice program. Our approach has been to view the
different components of the justice system -- judges, prosecutors, police, prisons and
infrastructure -- as part of an integrated whole demanding an integrated and balanced
Judicial Training. Shortly after the arrival of the Multinational Force (MNF),
USAID, working with the Haitian Ministry of Justice, other U.S. Government agencies,
surveyed the needs of Haiti's justice system as a first step in developing a comprehensive
program to establish an effective, transparent and responsive system of justice. Based on
this survey, in January 1995 an interim training program was launched for 400 Justices of
the Peace and prosecutors in the nine departmental capitals. This program was
completed by the end of April 1995.
A second phase involved the establishment of a judicial training center at the site
of the former military academy. This center began operations in July 1995 with a series
of intensive two-week courses for an expanded pool of judges and prosecutors. This
included investigative techniques, roles and responsibilities of judicial officers, case
management, substantive Haitian law and interaction with the new civilian police force.
Thus far over 100 judicial officers have received training at this center.
Working with the Department of Justice, we have also just finalized plans to
continue to provide technical assistance for training and to provide a resource center for
judges and prosecutors involved in the investigation and prosecution of serious offenses.
Judicial Supervision. The Ministry of Justice has previously had little capacity to
oversee the administration of justice throughout the country. We have helped Haiti
develop a judicial supervision program which has established procedures for ongoing
monitoring of court operations and development of institutional capacity to track cases,
supervise officers and inspect the operations of the judicial system. Assistance is also
being provided to develop a competitive selection process for new ministry personnel.
Courtroom Security. During Haiti's long history of repression and intimidation,
court officials frequently feared for their lives if they attempted to discharge their duties.
USAID has funded a three-week courtroom security training course for 48 Haitian police
officers who were recent graduates from the new Haitian Police Academy. Their
training and deployment to courtrooms and prosecutors' offices in Port-au-Prince has
encouraged judicial officials to resist the old patterns and pursue the vision of a new
system of justice in Haiti.
Re-equipping the Ministry of Justice. Putting excess U.S. Government property to
good use, Ministry of Justice offices have been reequipped, and a USAID-funded team is
renovating court facilities at two sites. These renovations will serve as a prototype for
additional renovation by Canada at 14 of the 15 "First Instance" courts.
New Police for a Democratic Society. The U.S. Department of Justice's ICITAP
division has established a five-year program to assist the GOH in developing a new
civilian police. A police training center was opened in January 1995. Concurrently, a
nationwide recruitment effort screened thousands of young Haitian men and women.
The first class of 409 cadets graduated at the National Palace on June 4. To date, more
than 1,400 cadets have been graduated and have deployed throughout the country, an
additional 2,200 are in training in Haiti and the U.S.
Rehabilitation and Reform of the Prison System. Efforts continue to ensure an
accurate processing of prisoners and an updated prison register system established by a
retired Bureau of Prisons corrections officer. A Haitian legal intern program now
provides legal services to indigent defendants to assure timely detention hearings. So far,
559 detainee have received assistance, of whom 85 were freed, seven were convicted, and
46 were presented at the justice of the peace level. USAID is funding a United Nations
Development Program project to train prison personnel and rehabilitate some facilities
over the next 18 months.
Initial Results. Some initial results can already be seen. Courts are beginning to
function, probably better than they ever have. Expanded hours and longer calendars
have been established, sessions held and cases heard. For the first time since 1992, jury
trials for "blood crimes" (murder, aggravated assault, violent crimes resulting in bodily
harm) have been resumed. Moreover, cases are being tried on the basis of modem
forensic evidence -- and acquittals directed when the prosecution fails to present
sufficient evidence. There are still significant difficulties but there is nonetheless
Democratically Elected Parliament and Local Government
Democratic Elections. Essential to the transition from a military dictatorship to a
stable and enduring democratic order was the election of new members of parliament
and local government across the country. This was an extraordinarily challenging task in
a country which has no tradition of free and fair elections; no established institutional
infrastructure (such as an experienced and trained electoral commission); no
authoritative list of voters; and virtually physical infrastructure and no resources to draw
Following the creation of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and the
passage of an electoral law, USAID worked with the United Nations Electoral Assistance
Division, and a number of private voluntary and non-governmental organizations to help
meet these needs. About 3.4 million voters were registered (an estimated 91 percent of
all eligible voters). Over 11,000 candidates registered for ?,000 elected offices. More
than 45,000 pollworkers were recruited, trained and deployed for the first round of
elections on June 25. More than 11,000 candidates registered for the first elections and
more than 45,000 poll workers were trained for both rounds. Ballots were developed for
a largely illiterate population, printed and delivered throughout the country.
Although the first round of elections was largely peaceful, allowing Haitians to go
to the polls without fear or intimidation, it has also been widely noted that it was marred
by serious administrative problems in some parts of the country. What has been less
noted is that the problems of the June 25 elections have been identified and significant
progress made in addressing them. In each of the subsequent rounds of elections, the
OAS -- which has had the largest, most extensive and continuous observer presence in
Haiti -- has noted clear improvements. Their report on the second round of elections
(held on September 17) concludes that "there was no widespread organized fraud and
with respect to the training of staff, the management of the operations and the
organization of voting day, the situation showed gmrat improvement over the June 25
elections." Simply put, despite some initial stumbling, Haiti has made clear and steady
progress toward the time when free and fair elections will be the norm instead of an
Support for Responsive Governance.
Almost immediately after the arrival of the MNF troops in Haiti, USAID's Office
ot Transition Initiatives funded community-level development projects which were
designed both to foster community empowerment and to address immediate development
needs. Since October, 1,800 projects have been completed or are underway. These
include renovation and repair of roads, school, bridges, health centers, and electrical and
water systems. Two thousand projects will have been accomplished by March 31, 1996.
USAID is also poised to repair the parliament building, provide computers and a
legal reference library and conduct training for the new parliament when it is seated in
mid-October. Training in local government and civic education has been conducted in
25 out of 134 communes nationwide.
Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-Military
President Aristide has concluded that the army -- long an instrument of repression
-- should be disbanded. Successfully demobilizing the Haitian military (an estimated
force of 4,000 to 7,000 during the Cedras regime) was a key requirement for a peaceful
transition from the dictatorship. USAID initiated a six-month vocational training and
reintegration program that has registered 3,064 former soldiers. Of these, 2,681 have
entered training and 325 have graduated. This training has been conducted at 21 sites
offering ten technical specialties: auto-mechanics, plumbing, carpentry, electrical work,
computer skills, spare part manufacturing, welding electronics, refrigeration, and
masonry. Of the graduates, 185 have attended post-training occupatic -'1 search
Of the 3,500 members of the interim police security force (IPSF), 463 registered
for reintegration and 413 are now in training at five sites. By March, 2,700 IPSF
members will have been demobilized.
I. INCREASING PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME
The return of President Aristide in October 1994 was viewed with considerable
apprehension by many in the private sector, some of whom directly financed and
supported the military dictatorship. They anticipated government policies that would be
hostile to the development of the private sector, possibly seeking retribution for past
Instead they encountered a government, genuinely interested in reaching out to
the private sector and labor, and in fostering a vigorous private sector offering expanded
economic opportunity for all Haitians. Shortly after his return, President Aristide
created a Tripartite Commission (consisting of representatives of labor, management and
the government) and a Presidential Commission (consisting of representatives of the
private sector and government) to identify and examine key policy issues and options.
These bodies are significant because they point to a genuine effort to bring
different perspectives to the table and create a common ground for dialogue on the right
policies for Haiti's future. The performance has been somewhat uneven perhaps, but
there is no doubt that an open and vigorous debate now takes place where previously
there was only force and repression.
USAID is providing technical assistance to establish the Tripartite Commission's
internal organizational structure, functional goals and action agenda. Future work may
be undertaken to audit the state-run pension and workers' compensation programs to
improve their effectiveness.
Removing Obstacles to Trade
USAID support to the Presidential Commission has opened a public/private
sector debate on economic reform issues leading to key policy changes necessary to
encourage the development of the private sector. These measures include the
elimination of a 40 percent export surrender requirement, the elimination of all
remaining import restrictions, the unification of bank reserve requirements, the
elimination of all ceilings on interest rates, and the implementation of broad-based
reform of the customs system.
Not all these reforms have proved popular. Proposals for privatization of nine
parastatals has attracted considerable criticism recently and could become a difficult
point of negotiation with the IMF and World Bank. Despite this controversy, the US
believes that this is an important part of Haiti's economic and political reform program.
USAID gave a $2 million grant to the IFC to carry out analyses of the
privatization of 9 major parastatals for the GOH. The diagnostic studies and options are
completed and in the hands of the government. Bids have been requested for the flour
mill and cement plant, and it is expected that the seaport and airport in Port-au-Prince
will be put under private management contract within the next few months.
Extending Credit to Small Businesses
The $2 million agribusiness guarantee fund established to help restore agricultural
production and processing will have a positive impact on large numbers of Haiti's
650,000 farm families. In the past twelve months, Haiti has exported a record $15
million in mangoes.
USAID's small and microenterprise credit program through the Haitian
Development Foundation estimates that 825 loans were made in the last year, generating
approximately 800 jobs and saving 1,300 more.
In March 1995, OPIC signed an accord with the Bank of Boston for a US $65
million on-lending facility. This program extends the range of OPIC-guaranteed loans
from $100,000 to $10 million to U.S. and Haitian investors. To date Bank of Boston has
approved, but not yet disbursed, 16 loan applications totaling $14.1 million.
The U.S. Commerce Department has organized five trade missions in bilateral
trade, telecommunications, agribusiness, light industry, and handicrafts.
The Embassy has spearheaded efforts to negotiate a tax information exchange
agreement (TIEA), which would give Haiti access to some $345 million in Section 936
funds invested in the Caribbean Basin in 1994. Conclusion of this agreement is awaiting
a GOH response on the issue of bearer shares.
Power. Prior to the arrival of the Multinational Force, Port-au-Prince was in
darkness with at most 2 or 3 hours of electricity per day. Three weeks after the arrival
of U.S. forces, under "Operation Lightswitch", fuel was purchased to run thermal
generator sets for three months. U.S. Army technicians made repairs, and the lights
were put back on September 25, 1994. Since that time, further repairs have been made,
new generating units brought on line, management improvements initiated and
privatization options prepared for the GOH. With power now on 20-22 hours a day,
lights are now a regular feature of daily life in Port-au-Prince and the provinces.
Potable Water. The U.S. Army inspected the potable water pumping stations
north of Port-au-Prince and identified the ones which needed to be repaired. They
donated and installed two of the pumps which increased the volume of potable water
available to the population.
Exercise Fairwinds. The U.S. Army is continuing its support under a training
program called "Exercise Fairwinds". Projects being implemented by the RED HORSE
Unit include repair or rehabilitation of: the University Hospital; six National Schools;
Boulevard Harry Truman; the entire Delmas road; and two potable water pumps.
IV. PROVIDING HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
Throughout the coup and the period after the return of legitimate government,
USAID carried out an extensive humanitarian program. As Haiti regains normalcy,
these programs will be phased out as we make the transition to a longer-term sustainable
development program at lower levels of funding.
Until last May, the Title II food program continued to reach more than a million
beneficiaries per day. As we move from crisis to recovery, food aid is gradually being re-
directed to support development efforts in innovative strategies, productive infrastructure
and maternal and child health.
Basic Health Services
During the past year, USAID financed health and child survival programs which
covered a target population of about two million people, approximately one-third of
Haiti's population. A child in a target region is two to three times or more likely to be
fully immunized than in the country as a whole. These children also receive better and
more effective treatment for diarrheal disease and respiratory infections through the use
of oral rehydration solution and better case management.
Shortly after President Aristide returned, USAID assisted with a nationwide child
immunization program. Within a few months, that program had reached more than 90
percent of its target, with about three million children immunized against basic childhood
To help militate against the worst effects of the embargo, USAID worked with an
international PVO to hire approximately 150,000 people for temporary jobs. The two-
year program peaked at 60,000 people working per day in July with total person months
reaching 450,000 at that time. Since September of last year, approximately 270,000
person-months of employment have been created. These jobs have rehabilitated large
levels of productive infrastructure, repairing 1,200 kilometers of rural roads and 3,000
kilometers of irrigation canals, planting 800,000 trees, and returning 110,000 acres of
crop land to production. This program has been successfully handed off to the World
Bank, as planned.
USAID provides support to small farmers to increase their income through
expansion of fruit tree cultivation, improved farming systems practices, intensive
vegetable gardening and marketing systems. Since the beginning of this project in 1990,
a total of 42,000 farm families, representing 270,000 rural beneficiaries have been
reached with sustainable farming practices, improved seed varieties and alternative
Unchecked environmental degradation is undermining Haiti's economic recovery
and long-term development, along with the food security and health of the country's
population. Haiti's environmental crisis is evidenced by extensive deforestation;
accelerated soil erosion with resultant depletion of agricultural productivity; loss of life
and property damage through flooding and landslides; contaminated water supplies;
inadequately managed urban and industrial wastes; deterioration of productive
infrastructures (roads, bridges, dams); reduction in the availability of irrigation water;
and significant degradation of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems.
USAID has been a lead agency in protecting the environment, providing
approximately $8 million per year. Since the return of President Aristide, USAID has
been working with the Government of Haiti and other donors to develop a long-term
National Environmental Plan. This will be the framework within which other donors
programs are organized, priorities established and coordination achieved.
Past and ongoing USAID programs in soil and water conservation, tree-crop
agriculture (agroforestry), tree planting, watershed management, and ecosystem
protection have been widely acclaimed for their innovativeness, success and potential for
replicability. These programs respond to income and food needs of the population, while
helping to ensure sound natural resources utilization. A small pilot program in urban
household waste management has also been initiated.
At present, there is virtually no public education system in Haiti. Most of the
children are educated in private schools of highly variable quality, and the Ministry of
Education has little capacity to oversee, monitor or improve the quality and accessibility
During the past year, USAID has been working with the Ministry of Education
and other donors, as well as private schools and local organizations, to develop a
political consensus on a national education strategy. This process is now reaching its
conclusion and the product will help establish common objectives and priorities, as well
as coordinate international assistance and GOH programs.
USAID has played a pivotal role in establishing a more dynamic disaster planning
capability function in the GOH. With the aid of the U.S. military and UNMIH, a
USAID manual on planning for the hurricane season was compiled, translated and
distributed to the Prime Minister and his inter-ministerial disaster commission. Unlike
last year when tropical storm Gordon caught the GOH off guard, USAID started early to
lay the groundwork for a better GOH hurricane response.
V. ASSISTANCE FROM INTERNATIONAL DONORS
Our friends and allies have played an extremely important role in supporting the
establishment of democratic governance. and expanded economic opportunity in Haiti.
The United States is not "going it alone". In January 1995, the donor community
pledged a total of about $1.2 billion for Haiti over 18 months. Subsequent pledges have
increased this total to nearly $1.8 billion over three years (1995-97). The U.S.
contribution represents less than one quarter of the total. Of this total amount, about
$650 million was expected to be disbursed by the end of 1996. As of late July, about
$380 million (or 60 percent) had already been disbursed.
Mr. Chairman, we have accomplished a tremendous amount already, but the job
is not yet finished. Long-term success in Haiti is contingent on active leadership by the
United States in partnership with our many allies and the Haitians themselves. We have
now concluded the transition from crisis to recovery. Sustained engagement by the
United States remains essential to turn recovery into sustainable economic growth and
Prepared Statement of
Dr. Robert A. Pastor
Director, Latin American Program, The Carter Center
Professor of Political Science, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.
"The Status of Haiti's Democratic Transition"
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs
Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
October 12, 1995
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the invitation to testify before
your Subcommittee on the important developments that have occurred
in Haiti since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was restored to
power last year. As Executive Secretary of the Council of Freely-
Elected Heads of Government, based at the Carter Center, where I am
a Fellow, I have been working on the electoral process in Haiti
since 1987. Working with the National Democratic Institute for
International Affairs, I helped organize a major election mediation
and observation mission to Haiti for the December 1990 election.
President Aristide invited former President and Mrs. Carter
and myself to his inauguration in February 1991, and I worked
closely with him when he was in exile to help him return to power.
I advised the Carter-Nunn-Powell delegation that ensured the
peaceful restoration of constitutional government last year, and
returned to Haiti, three times since then with former Prime
Minister Michael Manley in December 1994; with former President
Carter, Senator Sam Nunn, General Colin Powell, and former Belize
Prime Minister George Price in February 1995; and by myself, to
observe the June 25th elections. We have written reports on each
of these missions, and would be happy to provide them to members of
the Committee upon request.
In this statement, let me first describe my involvement in
Haiti and the background to President Aristide's election in
December 1990, the coup against him in September 1991, and his
return to power on October 15, 1994. Then, I will evaluate
developments since then. Finally, I will focus my analysis on the
electoral process in Haiti and offer some some recommendations for
U.S. policy toward Haiti.
In November 1986, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald
Ford co-chaired a Conference at the Carter Center on "Reinforcing
Democracy in the Americas." At the meeting, 12 former and current
Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Americas discussed papers
prepared by the foremost authorities on democracy its definition,
its successes, and its failures and what could be done to improve
its prospects. After the meeting, the 12 leaders met privately to
talk about what they could do to reinforce democracy, and they
decided to establish a Council of Freely-Elected Heads of
Government. The group asked former President Carter to chair the
Council and me to act as Executive Secretary. The Council chose to
concentrate its efforts on elections. We recognize that one free
election does not constitute a democracy, but we also believe that
democracy cannot develop without free elections.
One of the first cases that was brought to our attention was
in Haiti. Jean-Claude Duvalier "Baby Doc" ruled Haiti from his
father's death in 1971 until he fled into exile on February 7,
1986. For the next five years, the military held power; they
repeatedly promised elections, but did not permit them to occur or
be fair until December 1990. In October 1987, a number of Haitian
leaders asked the Council to send a delegation after the
assassination of Yves Volel, a presidential candidate. We helped
put the electoral process back on track, but the next month, the
military aborted the election by a slaughter of innocent voters.
The next moment that free elections became possible was the
summer of 1990. The Provisional President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot
invited the international community to observe and, indirectly, to
help construct the electoral process, and the new commander-in-
chief, General Herard Abraham seemed committed to a free election.
The UN and the OAS advised the Provisional Elections Council (CEP)
and did a quick count (a random sample of results) that permitted
a reliable prediction of the final results of the Presidential
election. In addition, former President Jimmy Carter as Chairman
of the Council of Freely-Elected Heads of Government, was invited,
and we worked closely with the National Democratic Institute for
International Affairs to mediate between the political parties, the
CEP, and the government for five months.
One "mediates" an electoral process by listening to the
opposition parties, distilling their complaints, and helping the
government and the CEP fashion fair responses. This process
increases confidence in the electoral process so that all the
candidates and parties feel a sense of ownership in the election
and are prepared to accept the results even if they lost. In
addition, two incumbent members of the Council, Venezuelan
President Carlos Andres Perez and Jamaican Prime Minister Michael
Manley, persuaded the United Nations to send security observers to
monitor the elections and prevent a recurrence of the violence that
had aborted the election in November 1987.
The Bush Administration supported these efforts, but,
correctly, kept some distance from the mediation. The proud,
nationalistic Haitians preferred to negotiate the rules of the
election with international and non-governmental organizations than
with the U.S. government.
On December 16, 1990, Haitians voted for 11 Presidential
candidates, but Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a young priest, won two-
thirds of the vote. Because of the effective mediation during the
campaign, all of the political parties immediately accepted the
results. Jean Casimir, who was the Executive Secretary of the
Provisional Elections Council (CEP) in 1990 and currently Haiti's
Ambassador to the United States, acknowledged: "Without electoral
observation, it would have been totally impossible for Haiti to rid
itself of its dictators and their Armed Forces."
Aristide was hardly a typical politician, anymore than Haiti's
politics were classically democratic. Aristide was connected to
the people by a spiritual, charismatic bond, and this was evident
during his inauguration on February 7, 1991 as the people chanted
passionately: "Thank you God, for sending Titi [Aristide]."
The election turned the Haitian power pyramid upside down.
The vast majority of Haitians are poor, and for the first time,
they had their champion in the Presidential Palace. The elite
found themselves on the outside, fearful that the masses might
treat them as they had treated the people.
It was a delicate transition, and it did not last. Barely
seven months after his inauguration, the military overthrew
Aristide with the consent of the oligarchy and perhaps at their
invitation. When he later reflected on what had gone wrong,
Aristide acknowledged that perhaps he had won the election by too
much. He had little incentive to compromise, and he showed too
little respect for the independence of the Parliament. One of his
mistakes was replacing the commander-in-chief of the Army, General
Herard Abraham with General Raoul Cedras. Abraham, a skillful
political actor, had secured the election and stopped a military
coup led by Duvalierist Roger LaFontant in January 1991.
In exile, Aristide tried to marshall international support for
his return. The international community was eager to help.
During the previous 15 years, a democratic wave had swept through
the hemisphere. At the OAS General Assembly met in Santiago, Chile
in June 1991, the Foreign Ministers approved the "Santiago
Commitment on Democracy" and Resolution 1080 pledging that if a
coup occurred in the Americas, they would meet in emergency session
to decide on action to help restore it.
Three months later, Haiti provided the first test case of the
resolution. Within days of the coup, the OAS Foreign Ministers met
in Washington, condemned the coup, and sent a delegation to Haiti
to demand the return of Aristide. The military humiliated the
group, and the OAS responded by imposing an economic embargo.
The Bush Administration supported the goal of restoring
President Aristide to power, but the repatriation of refugees
reduced the pressure on the Administration to use the means
necessary to accomplish that goal. President Clinton committed
himself to President Aristide to restore him to power, but making
good on that promise proved difficult. The Haitian military and
the elite did not want Aristide to return, and no diplomatic effort
would succeed unless backed by a credible threat of force.
In July 1994, led by the Clinton Administration, the U.N.
Security Council passed a resolution calling on member states to
use force to compel the Haitian military to accept Aristide's
return. This was a watershed event in international relations -
the first time that the U.N. Security Council had authorized the
use of force for the purpose of restoring democracy to a member
state. In some ways, that resolution and the subsequent decision
by President Clinton to take the lead in an invasion were as
important decisions for the future of democracy as the Persian Gulf
war was for defending the sovereignty of a U.N. member.
Armed with the U.N. Resolution and President Clinton's
commitment to use force, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter,
Senator Sam Nunn, and General Colin Powell succeeded in reaching an
agreement with the Haitian military high command that permitted the
peaceful entry of U.S. forces in Haiti and the return of President
Aristide on October 15, 1994.
I was privileged to advise the Carter-Nunn-Powell team, and it
is hard for me to conceive of a more spectacular negotiating team
representing our country. It is very important to understand,
however, why that negotiation succeeded lest we draw the wrong
lesson from it. In my judgment, the mission succeeded because the
three negotiators brought both credibility and respect to the
negotiating table. They understood how to deliver a tough message
that an invasion was imminent but in a respectful manner that
elicited agreement rather than defiance. The fact that all three
had reservations about the invasion but told the Generals that they
would support it once it began made them even more persuasive. The
threat of force was effective in gaining agreement, but the report
of the actual movement of troops was counterproductive. Although
ready to sign the agreement, General Cedras and the High Command
would not do so after learning the attack was in progress.
Fortunately, the de facto President Emile Jonaissant decided to
sign it, and with General Powell pressing very hard, General Cedras
agreed to implement the agreement.
Aristide's Second Chance: An Evaluation
On October 15th, Aristide returned to Haiti and the
Presidency. He had a second chance, and he showed that he had
learned some lessons. He called for national reconciliation and
assembled a multi-party government. He appointed a well-respected
economist, Leslie Delatour, as President of the Central Bank, and
proposed an economic program that elicited both praise from the
international community and pledges of $1.2 billion. He set up a
Truth Commission to investigate human rights violations during the
military regime but urged it not to act in a vindictive way.
A Police Academy was established to train a new, professional
police force. A project on the administration of justice aimed to
train justices of the peace and dispatch them throughout the
country. Aristide reduced the size and influence of the armed
forces. Meeting little resistance and encouraged by former Costa
Rican President Oscar Arias, Aristide took steps to dismantle the
In December 1994, Aristide appointed a Provisional Elections
Council (CEP) to begin preparations for municipal and parliamentary
elections, eventually scheduled for June 25th. Reruns of elections
that had been cancelled or not completed were held on August 13 and
run-offs on September 17th. The elections had serious problems,
and I will address some of them below.
In the economic program and in the areas of security, police
training, human rights, there has been real progress in just one
year, but not as much progress as many in Haiti and in the United
States had hoped.
-- Besides providing emergency food assistance, the Haitian
government's priorities for economic development seem to have been:
(1) developing a plan that would attract international support and
offer the best chance for sustainable development; (2) clearing
Haiti's arrears to the international development banks so as to
permit the country to make new loans for development; (3) enhancing
the absorptive capacity i.e., the technical and administrative
expertise necessary for implementing development projects; (4)
establishing a stable macro-economic foundation to resist
inflation; (5) reducing trade barriers and the power of the
monopolies; and (6) privatizing the inefficient state corporations,
especially the utilities and the telephone company.
These are the correct priorities. If the government achieves
these goals, then Haiti will be on the best road to development
that will meet the needs of all of its people. Unfortunately,
these priorities do not translate into jobs or visible development
in the short-term, and to compensate for that, AID has supported a
number of employment-generating projects, including road-building,
but there are few results to be seen for the large amount of money
that has been pledged.
Regrettably, President Aristide has not fully explained to the
Haitian people how these priorities will relate to the future
development of the country. The lack of Presidential support has
encouraged a climate of scapegoating that could undermine these
very objectives. For example, the controversy on privatization
seems related to old ideological preconceptions but also to
legitimate concerns of loss of control and jobs. President
Aristide needs to explain to the people why the old ideology is not
applicable to a modern Haiti and why he will take special
precautions to ensure that the legitimate concerns with jobs and
control will be addressed by his privatization program.
-- In the area of human rights and security, there has been
progress in building a police force and establishing a Truth
Commission, but there have also been political assassinations, and
the investigations have been inadequate. The U.S. Congress is
right to be concerned about the failure to bring the murderers to
justice, but it is also important to keep those crimes in a broader
perspective and to recognize that to most Haitians, the past year
has been the most secure they have had in their nation's history.
The Elections and the Political Landscape
Let me now focus on the issue of elections because that is the
one area that the Council/Carter Center has most experience and has
concentrated most of its attention in the past. In December 1994,
former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, a Council member,
and I visited Haiti to explore whether a Council effort would be
welcome and to assess the political and economic situation. Both
President Aristide and leaders of political parties encouraged the
Council, of which President Aristide is a member, to play a role
and for President Carter to visit.
At the time, the process for selecting a Provisional Elections
Council (CEP) had been delayed, and through discussions with all
sides, Manley and I tried to expedite a decision. On our
departure, President Aristide did name the Chairman and Council
members, although regrettably, his choices did not reflect the kind
of consensual candidates that would have enhanced the confidence of
the opposition parties in the electoral process.
To build international support for Aristide's program, I
organized a mission in late February that included former President
Carter, Senator Nunn, General Powell, and George Price. President
Aristide and leaders of the political parties were effusive in
their praise for the group and their hope that they would play a
continuing role, but the obscene graffiti painted on the walls the
night before the arrival of the group, urging Carter in scurrilous
phrases to stay out of Haiti, put a damper on the trip,
particularly because some anonymous "Presidential aides" told the
press that those views reflected the government's.
Let me clarify one misimpression that has been repeated in the
newspapers about one part of the meeting with Aristide. In
December, President Aristide volunteered to Prime Minister Manley
and me that he intended to act as a "referee" and stay above the
electoral process because many of the groups that supported him
were competing for power and because he thought that would be the
best way to reinforce the democratic process. Three months later,
he made the same point in his conversation with President Carter.
Some of Aristide's assistants told the international press that
Carter had insisted that Aristide play the role of "referee." This
was inaccurate; none of us asked, urged, or insisted that Aristide
play or not play any role in the elections. Perhaps, some of
Aristide's assistants leaked the erroneous report to the press in
the hope they could turn the issue into a nationalistic one,
compelling Aristide to stand up to international pressure and
endorse one faction the Lavalas Party. That strategy succeeded.
Whether the negative comments by anonymous "Presidential
aides" about the Carter mission in February did or did not reflect
President Aristide's view, the Council decided not to play an
active role nor to send a delegation to the June 25th Parliamentary
election. Nonetheless, because of the Council's long-term concern
for Haiti, I was asked by several Council members to observe the
election first-hand and provide a report on what I had seen.
What I witnessed was very discouraging. I discussed my
observations and recommendations with President Aristide, the U.S.
government, and the OAS and UN. I decided to make the report
public only when I realized that my principal recommendation for
a mediated agreement on electoral reform between the opposition
parties and the government was being ignored in favor of moving
forward with the electoral process despite the boycott.
In my conversations with party leaders in June 1995, I found
that virtually all of the political parties, including KONAKOM,
PANPRA, and the FNCD, which had been partners of Aristide in the
1990 election, were critical of the CEP for being partial to one
faction of the President's supporters, Lavalas, and for being
completely unresponsive to their complaints. Not only were the
mistakes of the 1990 election not corrected, but worse, the lessons
of the success of that election were not learned. There was no
mediation between the parties and the CEP and no quick count.
As a result, three political parties boycotted the June 25th
election, and many of the 27 parties that participated were
skeptical that the CEP would conduct a fair election. In the end,
virtually none of the parties, except Lavalas, accepted the
results. In the face of this reaction by the parties, the silence
of the OAS and the UN, and the celebration of the election by the
U.S. government as a "milestone" toward democracy just diminished
the credibility of all three in the eyes of the opposition.
My report goes into detail both with regard to what went wrong
and what went right. Let me just summarize some of the points
here. Because of repeated delays in registering voters and
approving candidates, the campaign was compressed, and the public
did not know the issues, parties, or candidates. While there were
some violent incidents, by and large, this was the most secure
election in the country's history. The presence of a U.N. military
mission and the absence of a Haitian army were the twin reasons.
The many party poll-watchers were an encouraging sign of the
beginning of a civil society.
Most elections' officials seemed dedicated, but there were
serious problems. The ballots omitted names of some candidates or
used the wrong or no logo, and this led to violence in some areas.
Many people did not know their voting sites, and some voted
although they were not on the registration list. But the most
serious problem, by far, occurred after the voting stopped, and the
counting began. The officials were poorly trained, and I witnessed
the most insecure and tainted vote count that I have seen in the
course of monitoring 13 "transitional" elections during the last
decade. Instead of completing the count in their voting sites,
people brought open ballot boxes to the district or national
headquarters, where they could be seen putting ballots in and
taking them out.
The irregularities were so numerous that even before the
results were announced, almost all of the political parties, except
Lavalas, called for an annulment and the recall of the CEP members.
On July 12, the CEP finally released some of the results that
showed Lavalas candidates winning the most votes, with the FNCD and
KONAKOM trailing behind. Perhaps as many as one-fifth of the
elections needed to be held again, and the majority of the Senate
and Deputy seats required a run-off. Of the 84 main mayoral
elections, Lavalas won 64, including Port-au-Prince, by a margin of
45-18% over incumbent Mayor Evans Paul.
The election had a salutary effect in consigning numerous
parties, representing only their leaders, to political oblivion and
in promoting unity among the top three opposition parties, FNCD,
KONAKOM, and PAMPRA. These parties proposed a set of reforms to
increase the credibility of the election. President Aristide
replaced the leader of the CEP, but instead of choosing someone
suggested by the opposition or acceptable to them, he selected a
person who was perceived as more partial to Lavalas than the one he
replaced, thus increasing their suspicion of the process.
After the publication of my report, the U.S. government tried
to mediate, but it failed. The CEP went ahead with the re-run of
some elections on August 13 and the runoff of other elections on
September 17 despite the boycott of virtually all the political
parties. Again, there was practically no campaign, and despite
great efforts by President Aristide to get people to vote, the
turnout was very low.
Therefore, the Parliamentary and municipal elections cannot be
viewed as a step forward. Moreover, the government hurt the
fragile party system by seducing opposition candidates to
participate in the runoff contrary to their parties' decision.
Partly because of the opposition boycott, and partly because of
-t *-\o -C A
Aristide's continued popularity, Lavalas swept the September 17
runoff elections, giving it 80% of the Deputies and two-thirds of
the Senate seats.
The opposition parties condemned the Parliament as
illegitimate, and many feared that Haiti was moving to a one-party
state. In my view, Lavalas could prove as fractious as the
original Aristide coalition, but whether that occurs or not, an
opportunity for a more inclusive democracy and an impartial
electoral process was lost.
Prospects for Democratization
In a country at such a low level of economic development and
such a high rate of illiteracy, it is not untoward to ask whether
democracy is possible. It is no coincidence that consolidated
democracies are found in developed countries. Conducting a free
and fair election is a complicated administrative exercise and one
that requires a minimum level of trust among rivals. Haiti's
administrative capacity is so low that it could not conduct an
election in 1990 and 1995 without considerable help from the
international community. Even then, both elections sustained a
high level of technical irregularities. These technical problems
won't be eliminated until Haiti's level of development is raised,
and the country has more elections, but they could be reduced over
time if Haitian election officials remained in their jobs and
learned from their mistakes.
Why did the election in 1990 succeed, and the elections from
June through September 1995 fail? The level of technical
irregularities was roughly comparable. The differences were due to
one technique of election-monitoring the quick count and two
political factors. In 1990, the incumbent was apolitical. In
1995, the popular incumbent endorsed one party, which also happened
to have control over the election machinery. President Aristide
had every right to endorse a party and candidates, but it would
have helped the process if that party was insulated from the CEP
instead of in charge of it. The second significant difference was
that in 1990, trusted interlocutors mediated between Haitian
political leaders, the CEP, and the government, and in 1995, such
interlocutors were not welcomed by the government or the CEP.
Therefore, the opposition parties had less confidence in the
impartiality of the electoral process.
One reason that the U.S. government's mediation in the post-
election period failed was that the United States is too powerful
in a sensitive country on the most intimate set of issues -
elections. The mediator should not be a government official, but
should be someone trusted by all parties with experience in
Some people have argued that the opposition parties boycotted
the re-run and runoff elections only because they knew they would
lose. While this might be true of some of the parties, it is not
true of all of them, and more significantly, their complaints about
the electoral process are just and correct, and the process needs
to be corrected. Moreover, the opposition parties proposed
reforms, which are needed to improve the electoral process.
In my judgment, there is nothing more important for the
sustainability of Haiti's democracy than effective mediation among
the political parties, the government, and the CEP before the
Presidential elections. It would be ideal if President Aristide
took the initiative and implemented the electoral reforms proposed
by the opposition parties. If he just asked them to propose 20
candidates for the CEP, and he chose from that list, the parties
would be hard pressed to contest the result of the next election
over which the new CEP had responsibility. Given his popularity,
it is difficult to understand why he won't do that.
Alternatively, there are any number of variations on the
electoral reforms that could serve to bridge the differences
between the opposition and Lavalas and perhaps elevate the
confidence of all the people in the electoral process. A trusted
mediator could help do that.
If a new agreement is not reached, and if the parties continue
to boycott the electoral process, then the new President's
authority will be impugned, especially if the Constitution is
changed illegally to allow the incumbent to run again.
Why is this such a serious problem? The current situation in
Haiti has an artificial quality due to the presence of U.N. forces.
The old power elite is waiting for the U.N. to depart, which is
scheduled shortly after the inauguration of the new President on
February 7, 1996. The new police will be the only organized force
in the country at that time, and this institution has had such
little experience that it could be captured by either the new
government or the old elite. Already, both sides are maneuvering
to coopt the police. The struggle will accelerate if and when the
U.N. departs, particularly if the new President's legitimacy is
already questioned in Haiti and by the international community.
The new President of Haiti must be chosen by a process that
will be acceptable to all the political parties. Just as occurred
in 1990. Anything less will leave the new leader vulnerable. That
is why a successful mediation is so essential, and that is why the
United States and the international community must reconsider the
timetable for the departure of U.N. forces. February 1996 is
simply too soon. The only way that democracy can be preserved in
Haiti is if the new police force remains professional and
accountable to the rule of law. That can only happen if it
undergoes a longer training period under international supervision.
The international community and Haiti formed a remarkable
partnership in the summer of 1990 to reinforce the democratic
process and to respond positively, for the first time, to Haiti's
double challenge to respect Haitians and to make the country a
part of a democratic hemisphere. The path has been a winding one,
but if one looks backwards for a comparison, then Haiti has stepped
out of its past and is moving forward, albeit in an awkward way.
Returning to Haiti with former President Carter and General
Powell in February 1995, Senator Nunn said: "We have a one-year
plan for a 10-year challenge." Haiti's democratic experiment would
be endangered if it did not ask the U.S. and the U.N. to remain
after February 1996, and if the U.S. and UN did not agree to stay.
To keep the process on track, the Haitian government needs to
respond fully to the legitimate concerns with the electoral process
raised by the opposition parties. Only then can meaningful
Presidential elections occur. The second step is for the
international community to pledge its continued support for
ensuring that a multi-party democracy takes root in Haiti.
President Clinton was right to put the full force of the
United States behind efforts to retore President Aristide to power.
He was right to invest in democracy in Haiti. Our nation would
make a huge mistake if we abandoned the project because of a few
setbacks or because the Haitian government won't accept all of our
concerns. Haitians are proud of their country and do not like
being told what to do by Americans. We can understand and
appreciate their sensitivity.
Still, we have forged a partnership with Haiti, and we have a
responsibility to make our views known to them on the crucial
issues of democracy, security, and development. Given their
sensitivity, however, we need to fix our priorities clearly, and
what I am arguing for today is that we use all our influence to
make sure that President Aristide reaches an agreement with the
opposition parties that gives them confidence in the electoral
process. That should be our priority.