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HAITI: WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE?
THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS
JUNE 20, 1996
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
DEC 6 '96
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1996
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
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
TOM CAMPBELLL, California
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
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
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia
VICTOR O. FRAZER, Virgin Islands (Ind.)
CHARLIE ROSE, North Carolina
PAT DANNER, Missouri
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICI(AEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
SUBCOMMITTEE ON TIE 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 CHARLIE ROSE, North Carolina
DAVID FUNDERBURK, North Carolina
GILEAD KAPEN, Subcommittee Staff Director
SCOTr WILSON, Democratic Professional Staff Member
ScOTT FEENEY, Professional Staff Member
ANITA WINSOR, Staff Associate
Hon. Porter J. Goss, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida ...
Hon. John P. Leonard, Director, Haiti Working Group, Department of State ...
Mark L. Schneider, Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Carib-
bean, Agency for International Development ............................................
H on. Porter J. G oss ................................. ....... ..........................................
H on. John P. Leonard ....................................................... .........................
M ark L. Schneider ................................... ..... ............................................
Material submitted for the record:
A letter from Hon. Porter Goss to Hon. Warren M. Christopher (also
sent to Hon. William J. Perry, Hon. John M. Deutch, and Hon. Robert
E Ruben), June 5, 1996 ........................................ ......................
A translated letter from Hon. Frantz Robert Monde to Hon. Warren
Christopher, April 26, 1996 ................................................. ...................
DEC 6 '96 A
HAITI: WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE?
THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 1996
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 12 p.m. in room 2172,
Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Dan Burton (chairman of the
Mr. BURTON. We will go ahead and start this hearing.
We are here today to obtain testimony regarding a very impor-
tant and timely matter. Despite the best efforts of the Clinton ad-
ministration, questions about Haiti simply will not go away. After
a massive intervention that took place contrary to the wishes of
most of the Congress and the majority of the American people,
huge resources were poured into that country. Today, almost 2
years after that intervention, what does America have to show for
SThe Administration wants desperately to present Haiti as a for-
eign policy success story. Sadly, that is just not the case. But now
there is also an added element. We deserve to see what happened
to the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been sent to Haiti.
Have they brought stability and prosperity to Haiti? If not, why
The sad fact of the matter is that Haiti today, despite the
trappings of a democracy, is still mired in corruption, violence and
poverty. It is simply not enough to say that an election was held
or that fewer people were murdered than before. Such low stand-
ards are an insult to the Haitian people who deserve better, and
they threaten to condemn the long-suffering Haitians to an indefi-
nite future of more of the same.
The American people are entitled to an accounting of the huge
sums of money that have been spent on Haiti. All too often, policy-
makers, whether in Congress or the executive branch, take the tax-
payers for granted. Too little thought is given to the interests and
judgments of the American people. The money we so cavalierly dis-
burse and throw around does not belong to us. It belongs to those
who by the sweat of their brow, earn money, take care of their fam-
ilies, and pay taxes.
So today, we plan to ask questions about whether our taxpayers
are being well served in Haiti. There are several specific problems
we hope to explore and illuminate here today. Why does the poor-
est nation on Earth spend millions of dollars on Washington lobby-
ists? Where does this money come from? Does it come from the
American taxpayers' money we send down there? Where does a
poor populist ex-priest get the money to buy a $1.5-million second
home, and where does he get the money to pay for the adjacent
property to his old home? And why was a person who lived next
door, who refused to sell his property, murdered in front of his
teenage daughter? These and other issues need to be resolved, and
I hope we can begin the process here today.
Mr. BURTON. Before we turn to our distinguished colleague, Por-
ter Goss, for his remarks, I would like to ask our colleague from
Florida, the ranking Republican, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, for her open-
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, I would like to point out that you are starting a very
dangerous precedent here in Congress by starting your committee
on time. Let's hope that doesn't catch on. But thank you, Mr.
Chairman, for once again bringing up a topic that is very impor-
tant to our Nation, but most especially important to our commu-
In south Florida we are fortunate enough to have many Haitian-
Americans living in Miami and surrounding areas, and I say that
because as a refugee who has fled from tyranny, I welcome refu-
gees who have also been fleeing from dictatorial regimes. So we
welcome the Haitian community to our south Florida area.
But as I pointed out, we have these individuals come from a
country that is really one of the poorest in our area, in our hemi-
sphere, a country that has suffered for so many years with instabil-
ity, political instability, economic instability, and it is incredible
when we look at the reports we receive from our own government
about the amount of funds that had been spent in this tiny island,
and where has that money gone?
And I think the title of your hearing is so well put, Mr. Chair-
man, very simple and to the point: "Haiti: Where Has All the
Money Gone?" These are funds that are coming from our pockets.
These are U.S. taxpayer funds, and we see here an incredibly long
list of lobbyists and lawyers here in Washington. And we would
like to know the answers because unfortunately Haiti still seems
to be marred with that same sort of instability, and we want the
future to be brighter for the Haitian people. We want their country
to enjoy all the fruits of democracy and all the prosperity that we
enjoy here in the United States.
So we welcome them as neighbors, we welcome them in the
league of countries in our hemisphere, but we want to make sure
that U.S. taxpayer funds are spent in the correct way, and it is in
our interest, and more importantly it is in the interest of the Hai-
tian people themselves, so that the money goes to those individuals
who need it.
It should not be going to lawyers, to lobbyists to fund and grease
this whole Washington infrastructure. It should be going to the
people who need it most, the needy people of Haiti who hunger for
stability, economic prosperity and true democracy in their native
So I thank you once again, Mr. Chairman, for taking the leader-
ship role in bringing this to our attention again.
Mr. BURTON. People who are going to be testifying today are the
Honorable Porter J. Goss, one of our distinguished members from
the great State of Florida, who we will recognize first; the Honor-
able John P. Leonard, director, the Haiti Working Group, Depart-
ment of State; and Mr. Mark Schneider, assistant administrator for
Latin America and the Caribbean, Agency for International Devel-
Mr. Chairman, did you have an opening comment you would like
Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to commend you for
conducting this hearing on Haiti, our closest neighbor nation,
which we are all very much concerned about. We are all very much
interested in the democratization of Haiti and making certain that
the dollars are going to be well spent in Haiti. I welcome this re-
view, and I want to particularly commend Mr. Goss who is here,
who has had a long-standing interest and concern for the progress
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Donald Payne, do you have
an opening remark?
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I appreciate your calling this very important hearing, and as the
title says, where has all the money gone?
Let me just tell a few things. There has been a nationwide child
immunization program, which to date has immunized 3 million
children. There has been a dredging of Haiti's rivers and water-
ways, building of bridges and reservoirs. There has been a $50 mil-
lion program funded by the World Bank to create 50,000 jobs; $25
million from the World Bank stimulated microeconomic projects
throughout the country.
There has been a reforestation program that has begun distribu-
tion of hundreds of metric tons of seeds, hundreds of thousands of
dollars of seedlings and half a million farming tools to farmers and
on and on, so I am certainly waiting very anxiously to hear the tes-
timony from Mr. Goss about some allegations I read in a letter to
the Secretary of State that was recently sent, and I am just anx-
iously awaiting testimony, and hopefully I have a minute or two for
me to ask him a question or so.
Mr. BURTON. The gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
We will now hear our colleague, Representative Goss.
STATEMENT OF HON. PORTER J. GOSS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. Goss. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you
calling this hearing. As you know, other committees have similar
interests and are pursuing similar-type questions through their
channels. In fact, I am going to such a committee very shortly, so
this is very timely, and I appreciate your accommodation.
I have a very full statement for the record, which I would like
to have included. It is several pages and has supplemental informa-
tion attached to it.
Mr. BURTON. Without objection.
Mr. Goss. Thank you very much.
I would agree that Americans have been extraordinarily gener-
ous to the Nation of Haiti and to Haitians for a good reason: It is
a friendly neighboring country. We have much commerce, much
friendship, much alliance between us, and we certainly have many
Haitian-American citizens. Some of us represent some of them. I
would dare say this: We have done a very fine thing for Haiti in
trying to help out.
The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether or not the
money has met the mark and we are getting a good return on it,
and there are clearly differing conclusions on this. There are clear-
ly some questions as to whether or not we can track down all the
money that we sent, and that is of some concern. And perhaps
most worrisome is the situation in Haiti today and whether we are
still on top of that situation; and whether or not those benefits that
we started will continue to mature, or whether or not they will be
abrogated by what is an increasing number of human rights viola-
tions and other horrible abuses.
I think that it is fair to say that Haiti today is a barely function-
ing democracy, and it is clear that human rights violations are on
the increase, if not rampant. Fear is building again. In fact, I un-
derstand that it has been hard to get some witnesses to come for-
ward to testify at these hearings among some of the Parliamentar-
ians because of their experiences. In fact, I understand that others
are concerned and don't want to come forward and stick their neck
out and suffer consequences back home.
I think it is quite clear that President Preval is under consider-
able pressure in Haiti. It is quite clear that the problem of privat-
ization is being debated politically, as it should in a democracy, but
perhaps some of the methods being used in the debate would not
pass as fully democratic.
I am particularly curious as to whether American tax dollars are
being used to fund efforts by former President Aristide and his
foundation to frustrate the privatization process, which are clearly
goals of U.S. policy there. And I, of course, am very concerned that
we get appropriate testimony here from Haitian Parliamentarians
on how they are doing politically with regard to privatization, be-
cause, after all, that is part of democracy.
When we talk about human rights violations, obviously we have
to be concerned whether or not we have fully amortized our com-
mitment and developed a stabilizing force-the police force. We are
reading stories, hearing stories, witnessing brutality, assassination,
stalking of some of the investors of the new HNP. All of these
things are public information. All of these things underscore the
need for these hearings to find out what we have done and how we
have protected our investment.
And, I would submit-getting value for the dollars we put into
I would also like to submit for the record correspondence I have
had with the Honorable John Deutch-I sent a letter to him-the
Honorable Robert Rubin, Honorable Warren Christopher, Honor-
able William Perry, all well known, regarding the question of
whether or not the newfound wealth, as our friend Mr. Payne has
referred to, of Aristide has been gained entirely properly, or wheth-
er or not some of the tax dollars that we have supplied have, in
fact, found their way into his personal accounts.
Mr. BURTON. Those records will be accepted into the record with-
[The letter appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Goss. I would also add that included in the packet, and of
particular note, is a letter that has been translated from the origi-
nal French into English by the CRS to Secretary Christopher from
the Haitian Parliament in 1992, signed by the former president of
the Chamber of Deputies.
[The letter appears in the appendix.]
It asked that President Aristide comply with the Haitian Con-
stitution that requires the President has to show records of state
expenditures. From the current Parliament, there is also a pending
request, somewhat like our financial disclosures, for a similar ac-
counting at the end of his term. I understand we have not had re-
sponses, and I think that is a critical part of your hearing, if I may
suggest that to you, Mr. Chairman.
I think those are the main areas that I am pursuing publicly,
areas that are not classified, with regard to where all the money
has gone. And you have raised in your opening remarks, of course,
many other areas.
I think that the next area I am extremely concerned about is
talking to Americans and others who wish to invest in Haiti, which
is going to be the success of Haiti. The Haitians have to attract
other investment. If they fail to do that, they will always be recipi-
ents of handouts, and that will not work.
The problem is that the atmosphere in Haiti is not conducive to
investment by those from the outside. It is too risky; it is too un-
safe. There are not enough guarantees. There is still too much in-
appropriate activity, failure to safeguard warehouses, bribes and so
forth, inefficiency in the government, incompetence at some levels.
These are all of the things you would expect to see, but there is
too much of it, and the tragedy is that it is not getting better. Until
that atmosphere improves, I am afraid we are going to be in a posi-
tion of being asked for more dollars for Haiti.
I thank you for your allowance of time.
Mr. BURTON. I thank the gentleman for his comments.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Goss appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. Since we have a number of members here, we will
try to limit our statements to 5 minutes so we will have more time
We will now recognize the Honorable John P. Leonard, director
of the Haiti Working Group for the Department of State. My col-
leagues will be allowed to ask questions after we have the panelists
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN P. LEONARD, DIRECTOR, THE
HAITI WORKING GROUP, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. LEONARD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, too, have a state-
ment for the record-with your indulgence, I would like to summa-
rize it in a very few brief minutes and summarize the basic prob-
lems and issues that we are working on right now in our policy to-
The first broad problem is the economic reconstruction of Haiti,
and the particular focus of these efforts now are the negotiations
between Haiti and the international financial institutions, IMF in
the first instance, on certain agreements under which Haiti will
undertake to reform its economy and make very serious reforms.
Those negotiations have been very difficult, but it looks like
progress is being made on them. They will require some very im-
portant action on the part of the Haitian Congress, the Parliament,
Upper and Lower House, and these really are critical to freeing up
additional funds from the International Monetary Fund, the World
Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank. So over the course
of the next couple of months, we are going to be watching that very
closely because that is critical to Haiti's economic recovery.
The second broad issue that we are working on has to do with
the professional development of the Haitian police force and what
I would describe as broad problems of law and order, trying to help
that police force mature and begin to function more effectively. An
important part of that will indeed be the investigations into a num-
ber of murders which have been of concern to this committee, to
the Congress, and to the Administration, I should add, killings
which have apparent political motivations. So helping the Haitian
Government, the Haitian police, to have the capability to inves-
tigate those cases effectively is very important to us. We discussed
that with members of the committee and staff before.
Finally, we have before us an important transition period at the
end of this month. The mandate for the current U.N. force in Haiti
expires, and the Government of Haiti has asked that the inter-
national police and military presence be extended in Haiti for an
additional 6 months, and that issue will be joined in the Security
Council probably next week.
That is a matter of considerable interest and importance to us.
We will be working hard to support that request. The force right
now is a quite small one. As this committee knows, there are no
U.S. forces that are members of that peacekeeping force, but none-
theless it does continue to play an important role in Haiti.
That basically is the background against which we can try to ad-
dress some of the questions that you have suggested are of impor-
tance and interest to the committee.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Ambassador.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Leonard appears in the appen-
Mr. BURTON. We will now hear from Mr. Mark Schneider, assist-
ant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Agency for
STATEMENT OF MARK SCHNEIDER, ASSISTANT ADMINIS-
TRATOR, BUREAU FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIB-
BEAN, AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to ap-
pear again before this distinguished subcommittee to discuss with
you the impact of USAID assistance programs in Haiti. I want to
express my appreciation to the Chairman for the opportunity to re-
view what has been accomplished in the Western Hemisphere's
poorest and least developed nation as well as the problems we con-
tinue to face.
This is the third review with the subcommittee, and we welcome
this opportunity to keep you apprised of developments in Haiti, and
hopefully to allay some of the concerns that have been expressed
in the opening statements.
The U.S. Government has led an extraordinarily successful effort
to internationalize assistance to Haiti. Since the return to democ-
racy to Haiti, donors have pledged some $2 billion to support hu-
manitarian relief, creation of democratic institutions and economic
recovery. By the end of this fiscal year, the U.S. contribution will
constitute less than 20 percent of all donor commitments to this
common effort, approximately $350 million for fiscal year 1995-96.
Donor coordination in Haiti represents an important example of
Let me give you several examples of what has been achieved
with U.S. funds to directly affect the lives of people. We have pro-
vided health care to as many as 2 million people-one-third of the
population-and food to more than 1 million per day, mostly
women and children.
We have supported the creation of a civilian-controlled police
force, with a police academy opened in January 1995 and over
5,000 recruits trained.
We have assisted in a series of peaceful elections, each one pro-
gressively more efficient than the last, culminating in the election
of a new President, the first nonviolent transfer of authority in 200
years, and the first-ever popularly elected mayors and local coun-
We have taken the lead in creating a judicial training academy,
which initially trained over 400 judges, prosecutors and court per-
sonnel and has provided further intensive training to nearly 300
court officials; a national prison rehabilitation program has been
initiated; some 500 improperly detained prisoners have been re-
leased; more than 2,000 victims of human rights abuses and their
families have been assisted.
It has gone to provide some 2,000 local community infrastructure
projects ranging from repairing and building schools and health
centers to repairing water systems and farm-to-market roads.
It has gone to provide emergency jobs that were mentioned ear-
lier, but let me emphasize that we began this program through
NGO's in Haiti, which employed some 50,000 Haitians to clear silt-
filled irrigation canals, opening 120,000 acres of irrigated land, as
a result, repairing roads and bridges and protecting watersheds.
The USAID finance model was so successful that it was adopted
lock, stock and barrel by the World Bank, which continued that
program through its own contribution of $50 million.
Our money has gone to provide microenterprise loans to 1,000
small businessmen and women that are currently active, small
loans under several hundred dollars. And our agricultural credit
guarantee programs have helped boost mango exports for small
farmers of some $14 million last year; start a tomato processing
plant that will employ 500 Haitians and provide a market for 5,000
And in all of these efforts, the U.S. Government, USAID, has
taken extraordinary actions to be sure that our aid is reaching the
intended beneficiaries. The GAO and our own Inspector General
have found no evidence to support any allegations to the contrary.
In fact, the GAO-printed briefing document, which was submitted
to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 6, 1996, states
that there is, "no evidence"-not "possibly"-"no evidence that
USAID assistance was diverted or benefited current or past Gov-
ernment of Haiti officials." I can submit that to the committee.
Mr. Chairman, we believe, as the Congressman noted, that Hai-
ti's future requires that the private sector, especially small farmers
and businessmen, have the opportunity to invest and lead that na-
tion's economic recovery. The private sector will be the source of
permanent job creation. For that investment, whether Haitian or
foreign, to occur, sound economic policies are essential.
Prior to last October, significant structural reforms and economic
policies were begun, and a real sense of momentum emerged. Un-
fortunately October 1995 negotiations between the IMF and the
Government of Haiti collapsed during a Presidential campaign, un-
dermining that momentum and bringing the beginning of Haiti's
economic recovery to a halt. Nevertheless, the situation now is con-
siderably more promising, although no one should underestimate
the magnitude of challenges.
A few months ago he said he would resume negotiations with the
IMF by April 15th and conclude an agreement by May 15th. Nego-
tiations did resume by April 15th, and by May 15 there was sub-
stantial agreement on the main outlines of the economic reform
Now an agreed letter of intent has gone to the IMF from the
Government of Haiti outlining that program, and the legislative
agenda to bring it into effect has gone before the Parliament, and
they have begun to take action.
I should add that last week, based on that progress and the IMF
recommendations, the international community met in Washington
on June 12th and pledged their support to the reform program, in-
cluding specific commitments to ensure the government's financing
requirement for 1996 and 1997 will be met, if that program is ap-
proved by the Haitian Parliament.
The United States stated that we are prepared to reprogram $15
million for budget support this fiscal year subject to congressional
notification and congressional consultation. The total donor budget
support pledges last week were more that 10 times this amount.
We are prepared to contribute support for Haiti's economic recov-
ery if sound economic policies are put in place. As a result of
progress already begun, Haiti has pulled out of that downward eco-
nomic drift. Economic growth is projected to increase beyond the
fiscal year 1995 to a 4.5 percent level during the second half of this
year. Inflation has dropped from 50 percent before President
Aristide returned to less than 20 percent. It is down to around 15
Mr. BURTON. Mr. Schneider, we would like to have those facts.
I would like to have my staff go over them for the record. Are you
about to conclude?
Mr. SCHNEIDER. One sentence.
I wanted to note, because a comment had been made, that as-
sembly sector jobs now have reached 20,000 from zero when Presi-
dent Aristide returned, which is more than half of what they were
before the 1991 coup.
Also I just want to say that our economic assistance is going to
the people it is intended to go to, it is benefiting the people of
Haiti, and we are prepared to respond to any questions.
Mr. BURTON. I thank the gentleman for his comments.
[The statement of Mr. Schneider appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. We spent over $2 billion with Operation Uphold De-
mocracy, and we spent $600 to $700 million in fiscal year 1997 in
direct and indirect aid. While it is nice to hear at last that it is
going to help the people of Haiti with their farming and other
things, the privatization effort, as I understand it, still has a long
way to go. There was resistance in the Aristide Government and
continues to be resistance in the current government.
We talked about some problems before, including the political as-
sassinations. I don't want to get into that any more than we have
What I would like to ask about is the $1.5-million estate former
President Aristide just bought. His current home is worth about
$1.3 million. He also tried to buy the lots adjacent to his property.
One owner resisted. He was assassinated by somebody in front of
his teenage daughter outside of his home. Some people believe that
was politically motivated because of his reluctance to sell.
My question is: How much money did former President Aristide
make as President? I understand he is making $35,000 a year now.
If he is making $35,000 a year, how can he afford two estates
worth $2.8 million, and how could he buy those additional prop-
erties? And if he can't afford these properties, is there any question
about the possibility of some of the moneys we are sending to Haiti
being diverted for his own personal use?
Mr. LEONARD. Mr. Chairman, let me answer what I can for you
on the first part of the question, and I will defer to Mr. Schneider
about the possibility of diversions from our own money.
Mr. BURTON. Representative Goss, I understand you have to
leave relatively soon. Did you have any comments you want to
make before you have to leave?
Mr. Goss. I have no further comments with the exception of one
clarification: The letter I referred to and put in the record that was
from the old Parliament was concerned about the money that
Aristide spent while he was exiled up to the time of 1994; and the
second area of concern that the present Parliament has is for the
exit accounting he has with the moneys while he was President.
I just wanted to clarify for the record, and I wanted to make my-
self available. Mr. Payne said he had a question for me. I do have
a 2:30 p.m. meeting starting, but I would be happy to accommodate
Mr. Payne's question.
Mr. BURTON. Why don't I show deference to Mr. Payne at this
point, so he can ask his questions, and then get back to my ques-
tions after you leave.
Mr. Goss. I appreciate that.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
According to your letter to the Secretary of State, the beginning
kind of criticized the fact that there was reluctance on your part-
but you do admit in your letter that Mr. Aristide filed an asset re-
port in civil court on April 24, 1996.
Mr. Goss. I notice there was a report filed in the La Nouvelliste
newsletter, and that is what my letter says. What I have heard is
a lot of other commentary going around that, which I have not car-
ried forward in my letter to the Secretary because I don't think it
is worthy of it, that there was not a complete report or entirely ac-
curate report. And that comes from some of the Parliamentarians
that were concerned there was an opportunity for political par-
tisanship to creep in among some of the Parliamentarians here.
Nevertheless, they were having a hard time getting those facts and
they didn't have a full cut in the request is a fair way to put it.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
I have information from the Ambassador that also verifies that
in keeping with the mandate of the Constitution, former President
Jean Bertrand Aristide presented financial documents pertaining
to the Presidency for Parliamentary review.
I think the question of having not complied is really not a ques-
tion. You have a question of accuracy, I suppose-you assume evi-
dently that what has been reported is untrue; in other words, it is
kind of a reason the person is guilty. And now we have to prove
them not guilty is what I am getting to.
Mr. Goss. Not at all. What I am trying to suggest is there is a
lot of rumor and a lot of reports being reported. As the chairman
has just referred, there have been reports that the neighbor was
murdered for political reasons by some people. There are all kinds
of allegations flying around.
The reason I have written these letters is to try and see what
information our executive branch has on them because they may,
in fact, be connected to this question of where has all of this money
gone, and I think that is a legitimate oversight question. I am not
making any preliminary conclusions. I am asking questions and
sharing with the Secretaries the information that I have, and the
types of reports we are getting, and the questions we are getting
from Haitian Parliamentarians.
Mr. PAYNE. You are saying you are basing-that is like asking
me to evaluate the 104th Congress. You know, you are going on
some letters from the legislature that was a part of the coup that
ran the person out of the country-
Mr. Goss. Not entirely.
Mr. PAYNE. You are saying that the past legislature said they
have got a lot of questions about-and I guess they would. As he
came back to resume his rightful place, I would assume that those
who ran him out would have some problem with the person coming
And second, this 104th Congress is very interesting. We run a
government on rumors? I never heard so-called responsible legisla-
tors say, I have a whole lot of questions because rumors are ramp-
ant, and let me give you a list of the latest rumors. This character
assassination question-it is like saying if a person ran for govern-
ment services, and they had millions of dollars in the bank, they
did something wrong. That is not fair, that is not right, because a
lot of people work for government service and have a million dol-
lars in the bank. To assume then they did something wrong be-
cause they are in that position would be absolutely wrong.
So this insinuation, this hearing by rumor, this whole question
of listening to political opponents, and there is something wrong,
I would be the first to say clean it up, and I would be the first to
say that Haiti has a long way to go. It is far from even being near
I am not defending anything that is wrong, but by the same
token to have a heanng, 'Where have all the -last time I heard
that was in the Vietnam era, "Where have all the young men
gone?" "Where has all the money gone?" Let's get something that
sounds pretty jazzy and throw it out there to rule by innuendo and
character assassination, and let's just make this thing a total fail-
We had more time spent on one so-called political killing of a
woman downtown than the thousands that were murdered by the
Cedras regime between the time Aristide was forced out of the
country. But this one killing-and we should bring the perpetrators
to justice. There is no talk about the thousands of people who were
murdered during the time that Aristide was out of the country.
This is just one-sided bashing of hopefully the thing will work. It
is just where has all the money gone? If you read the report, you'd
find out where it went.
Mr. BURTON. The gentleman will respond.
Mr. Goss. I would only say that the rumors are rampant there
in Haiti, they always have been. Regrettably the bodies are ramp-
ant there as well, as the gentleman knows. Certainly the politi-
cians he was referring to were duly elected at the same time Presi-
dent Aristide was in the old Parliament, and they were properly
elected and installed up until the time the new Parliament took
over. Some of them were in the President's party, some were not.
I spoke with them. They, in fact, were the government, the only le-
gitimate government for quite a while. But it is not just those folks
that are talking and asking the questions. It is the current Par-
liament, which was also elected in the new democracy in Haiti,
that are asking the questions about the exit accounting.
There are some questions about whether there has been full ac-
countability. Since there are $3 billion of U.S. taxpayers' money in-
vested in Haiti, American taxpayers' money, I think it is a fair
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BURTON. I thank the gentleman for being with us.
Let me get back to my questions now. I have asked my questions
about Mr. Aristide and the source of his wealth. He was a Catholic
priest prior to becoming President, and I think how he amassed in
property alone close to $3 million, especially with all the money we
have put in Haiti, deserves an answer. No accusation is being
made, but we would like to know where he got that kind of money,
especially in view of the fact that his current salary is $35,000 a
I also want to ask one other question. From August 19th, 1994,
through December 1995, the Aristide Government spent almost $5
million on lobbyists and lawyers here in Washington. Kurzban,
Kurzban and Winger, represented by Miami attorney, Ira Kurzban,
received $3.15 million for 12 months. Hogan & Hartson, the Wash-
ington law firm of former U.S. Representative Michael Barnes, re-
ceived almost $500,000. Hazel Ross-Robinson, wife of Trans-Africa
leader, Randall Robinson, received $12,500 a month plus expenses
for the first 6 months of 1995. Mildred Trouillot, a Haitian-Amer-
ican attorney and registered lobbyist, received about $60,000 for
the 6-month period beginning in February. The Washington law
firm of Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn received $137,000, and
I can go on and on and on. The total for lobbying fees is about $5
Was that money in part coming from funds that the U.S. Govern-
ment gave to Haiti? We understand that approximately 20 percent
of the funding for the Haitian economy and foreign aid came from
the United States. About 40 percent total came from all sources of
foreign assistance. Can the wealth of Mr. Aristide and the money
spent for these Washington lobbyists be accounted for, and did it
come from U.S. foreign aid?
Mr. LEONARD. Let me start, Mr. Chairman, to answer the first
part of the question. I will defer to Mr. Schneider about the possi-
bility of U.S. aid and U.S. funds being diverted in any fashion.
We have gotten Congressman Goss s letter of June 5 to Secretary
Christopher that he mentioned. In his letter he asked for all of our
cables, memoranda, and electronic mail or other documentation re-
lated to former President Aristide's wealth. We have begun that
search for documents. As a matter of fact, my office will be the one
that will be responsible ultimately for cataloguing them and look-
ing at them.
Mr. BURTON. But you haven't completed it, have you?
Mr. LEONARD. No, sir. He asked for documents going back to De-
We are currently also working on a number of other document
requests by Chairman Combest in particular, and so we have not
yet finished this search. It will take us some time.
Mr. BURTON. Can you give us a rough idea how long you think
it will take to compile that information for us?
Mr. LEONARD. My guess, based on experience we have had with
other document requests, is it will take us at least a couple of
months to accumulate the documents, to screen out duplicate cop-
ies, to sort out ones that are of other agencies and so forth.
Mr. BURTON. I would like to request for my colleagues on both
sides of the aisle that we have that information submitted to the
committee for the record.
Mr. LEONARD. Right.
In any event, it would be a little unwise of me to try and antici-
pate what information we may have on this subject when we
haven't accumulated all of these documents. I did, however, before
coming to today's hearing, ask our embassy in Port-au-Prince if it
had any particular information readily available about sources of
income for President Aristide outside of his official salary as a
President or now an ex-President.
It did not have any information that it could give me. It did tell
me that as far as it was aware, the assertion that he has pur-
chased a second house apart from the residence where he is pres-
ently living was not the case, as far as they were aware, at least
They did tell me that there was a rumor that was going about
Port-au-Prince to the effect that such a purchase was underway,
and I, too, had heard an amount something like $1.4 million. The
embassy said, again, subject to further looking into and corrobora-
tion, that they could not confirm, though, that such a purchase had
They did note also that with regard to his present property, there
had indeed been a number of improvements to it. Many of these
had to do with security upgrades that dated to the time he was
But to get back to your original point on this, we will make a
thorough and conscientious search of our records and documents to
see what information we can find on this subject, and we will pro-
vide them to your committee as well. Some of that information may
be classified, but we would turn it over to the committee under the
proper handling arrangements.
Mr. BURTON. You have not yet answered the second part of the
question regarding the legal fees, but I don't want to monopolize
the time here. We have other members that want to ask questions
We will recognize the gentleman from Florida.
Mr. HASTINGS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I have a similar interest, and I would yield to you
to allow the witnesses to answer the question. The legal fees would
be equal to yours only in the sense that I believe those fees were
appropriately undertaken on behalf of the government of fostering
its best interests here in the U.S. Congress and for all intents and
purposes assisted in stabilizing the situation. But if either of the
witnesses have that information, then I would be interested to hear
Mr. LEONARD. I don't have information to confirm the figure of
$5 million, but the information is available, I am assuming, prob-
ably with the Justice Department under the provisions of the For-
eign Agents Registration Act, and I don't happen to have those fig-
ures with me, but if you wish, Mr. Chairman, we can ask for them
and provide them to the committee.
Mr. HASTINGS. Perhaps that will be submitted then for the
Mr. BURTON. Yes, I would like to have those submitted for the
record, and also, if possible, the source of the funds. It will be hard
to figure out, but we would like to know-to the best of your abil-
[The information follows:]
We do not have detailed information on exactly how the Government of Haiti paid
for the legal and other services referred to by Chairman Burton. It should be noted
that even during the period when President Aristide was in exile, his government
did have access to Government of Haiti funds which were on deposit with the U.S.
Federal Reserve Bank. In order to gain access to those funds, President Aristide's
Government had to make a request to the U.S. Treasury Department, which in turn
sought the concurrence of the Department of State. In concurring with such with-
drawals, the Department satisfied itself in each instance that the request was a
bona fide one coming from the Government of Haiti (and not from the de facto au-
thorities then in power in Port-au-Prince). The Department did not, however, seek
information concerning the exact purposes for which such funds were to be spent.
It is possible that some of the moneys were used to pay for the kinds of legal and
other services referred to by Chairman Burton, but we do not have information to
confirm this. As to U.S. aid funds, as Mr. Schneider testified at the hearing on June
20, no U.S. aid funds have been diverted to such purposes.
Attached with this answer are records from the Justice Department regarding
fees for legal and other services to persons working for the Government of Haiti who
registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for the years 1994 and 1995.
Mr. LEONARD. I would like to note one other thing about the
practice of hiring lawyers and lobbyists. A number of foreign coun-
tries do. This is something, a phenomenon, which we have seen in-
creasingly, and I know that even small and poor countries like
Haiti have resorted to this practice. Perhaps many of them feel
they are at a disadvantage in trying to deal with a government
which is as well-staffed and we hope professionally qualified in its
foreign policy apparatus as ours is. But in any event, this is not
an uncommon practice.
We generally have not made it a practice ourselves to question
the right of the government to hire lawyers or to hire attorneys to
represent them, either their right to do so or their right to choose
whomever they may. So this"is not something that we have looked
at as something that we felt it necessary to gather information
As I say, the people who do this here in Washington do have to
register, but we in the Department have not made it a practice of
looking at it and checking to see exactly how much normally that
governments pay for this.
Mr. HASTINGS. I thank you, Ambassador.
I want to make one of two points. The nature of the hearing, as
was suggested by Chairman Payne in the style of "Where Has All
the Money Gone"-I like the distinguished chairman of the Com-
mittee on the Western Hemisphere, and I want to thank him for
permitting an interloper from yet another of the subcommittees to
even participate here today.
I would like to ask that question of a lot of the moneys that are
spent by the United States in Russia: Where has all the money
gone? In the Middle East: Where has all the money gone? I couldn't
even begin to ask that question in Africa: Where has all the money
gone? Where has all the money gone in Asia? Where has all the
money gone in the United States of America? If we are going to
play that game, then we would get to a lot of questions.
There have been visible structural adjustments that have taken
place in Haiti that have been widely advertised to our government.
I can answer one portion of the question. Two billion dollars of the
$3 billion was spent in military operations that have been ex-
tremely successful and caused a lessening of the number of refu-
gees leaving Haiti to come to the shores that generally reach Flor-
ida before elsewhere in the United States of America. Six hundred
million dollars of it we just heard attested to by Mr. Schneider and
the various undertakings that USAID has done.
So I guess now, then, we are concerned if $3 billion was spent,
with $400 million more, which I believe that we can easily find. All
of the funds that were in the United States that were drawn on,
as raised by Congressman Goss in his letter, were funds that were
drawn on that were widely known to the U.S. Treasury and to all
officials in our government.
Mr. Chairman, in the interest of time, I would just like to say
that I recognize the continuing concerns that everyone has about
the development of Haiti. But let's give them a little bit of a chance
to mature and not expect of them in 18 months' time to have the
kind of turnaround that all of us would want with them. If we can
be patient, I think that the Preval Government has demonstrated
faithfulness in trying to achieve a stable democracy in Haiti, and
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BURTON. It is the responsibility of this subcommittee to over-
see U.S. policies in this hemisphere, and Haiti has been the focal
point of a major foreign policy decision and a major expenditure of
money to the tune of $3 billion. It is not out of line for us to ask
where the money went. I do share with you the concerns of the
money going to Russia and the Middle East and elsewhere.
Mr. HASTINGS. And Nicaragua and Ecuador.
Mr. BURTON. It is my charge to make sure that U.S. Government
money is well spent in the Western Hemisphere. For this sub-
committee to ask questions without making accusations is totally
in line, and we intend to find out where Mr. Aristide obtained his
wealth, whether it came at the expense of the taxpayers of the
United States. If it did not, that is fine. Also, where did the money
come from for these lobbying fees, and if it was U.S. taxpayers'
money, is that a total and proper use of U.S. taxpayers' money!
I will question you again in a moment. I will yield to my col-
league from California, Mr. Matthew Martinez.
Mr. MARTINEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am amused by all of this, and I will tell you why I have been
asking for years, even when I was a very young man in China in
the Marines, where is the money going, because I could see there
in the Chiang Kai-shek regime where it is not very nice to speak
badly of someone who has passed away, especially someone who
was such a national hero to his country.
But if you will remember when we were giving them all of that
aid, Madame Chiang Kai-shek was coming back here to the United
States to buy land in Montana and New York and lived most of her
life in New York in a very fancy apartment until she thought she
was getting near the end and decided to go back to a very fancy
hotel that they owned in Taiwan-I wonder where that money
came from for the wealth that they acquired when we were giving
them so much of our money to fight the war against the Com-
munists, and was it going to communism.
Going into that, I am amused by the fact that we are asking this
question. If the Chairman is asking the question as he just stated,
because as an Oversight Committee he has a right to, and I agree
with that without any presumption aforehand of what the conclu-
sion is, I am totally with him. But it sounds from Mr. Goss's letter
that there are some presumptions made. I would guess that Mr.
Aristide made his money, if he is wealthy, in fact, from insider
trading information the same as a certain Member of the Senate
on the other side.
I would assume for the billions of dollars we are talking about
spending in Haiti and what Mr. Schneider has outlined as to the
effect of that money in training judges and setting up a court sys-
tem and doing all those things, we are getting more of our money's
worth than we did in Ecuador with the contras because we spent
10 times that amount of money there, and they didn't win one inch
of ground. That was resolved within the country itself through elec-
tions, as close as you can describe to a democracy. And we in this
country have supported and been dancing with dictators for years
and years and supporting regimes to the tune of billions of dollars
in South and Central America. The regimes weren't even demo-
cratic and didn't even pretend to hold free elections. At least in
Haiti they held an election.
And some of the democracies that we recognize, as Mr. Goss
says, are barely a democracy. I am not too sure I would classify
some of our other friends and neighbors as more than just barely
democracies when in Mexico the PAN is really the only party that
rules there-I mean, is free for all intents and purposes, because
if the PAN wins the election, the PRI takes it away from them.
And the PRI can tell you who is going to be President 10 years and
12 years ahead of time.
Now, that is not a democracy to me, and if you look at our
friends in Taiwan-although I like Taiwan, and I feel they were
our national ally before, and I was really disappointed that the
United States took diplomatic recognition away from them and
gave it to Communist China as much as we hated the Communists
at that time-the fact is they didn't have a democracy. They had
a military force there that imposed martial law, that said there
would be no other political parties. The dissenting people were
jailed, and newspapers were confiscated and magazines burned, et
cetera, until recently when they finally lifted martial law. And for
that matter, their more recent election was the first election of any
kind of a real democracy.
So I think when we go into these hearings and questions, we
have to keep an open mind to all of the events that took place in
history before this point, and we ought to stop assuming we know
what is best for other countries and that they should establish
their democracies to be exactly like ours when ours has been an
evolving democracy. In the first 12 years of the country there were
no free elections here. Then when there were elections, only prop-
erty owners got to vote. And it wasn't until the early 1920's when
the women got the right to vote. And it wasn't until the middle
1950's when the last State in the Union ratified the Native Ameri-
cans' right to vote, and they are the most indigenous people in the
Let me tell you something. I am completely amused by the ques-
tions we ask and the reasons we ask them. I am not impugning
anybody's integrity here and why they are asking the questions.
The Chairman has stated we have a right to know, and we do have
a right to know, and we do have a right to have an accounting of
the kinds of money that go to these particular projects since it is
taxpayers' money, and I am one of those taxpayers and have been
for a long time.
I have always questioned if it is in the best interest of the Amer-
ican people that we spend money financing a war in Ecuador that
got us nothing; if we finance government under the pretext that it
is democratic, like El Salvador, which was a military operation
really and to this day continues to be, to a certain degree, and to
some of the other people that we have supported that way, includ-
ing Chiang Kai-shek.
If you would like to respond to any or all of that, I will be willing
Mr. BURTON. I think the gentleman is talking about Nicaragua.
Do any of you want to comment?
Mr. SCHNEIDER. If I could, there was one portion of your original
question that was hanging without an answer. That was with re-
spect to USAID assistance going either to lobbyists or to President
Aristide. The answer is no. We do take those allegations seriously.
When they have occurred, we have asked for the Inspector General
to undertake an investigation.
We have, I should add-and I want to give some detail about
how we know that our money is going to where it is intended in
persed directly or indirectly to the Government of Haiti. Most of
the assistance to the government is implemented through U.S.-
based contractors, grantees and/or duly registered and certified
local NGO's. Except for emergency balance of payment support,
those disbursements are paid directly through the U.S. Treasury
into the U.S. exporters' bank account.
With respect to the local NGO's, 100 percent audit coverage was
undertaken of all funds disbursed to the local NGO's. There were
13 payment verifications by the Office of Finance Management cov-
ering 100 percent of all contractors and grantees within office in
Local currency generated by the emergency balance of payment
was used only to pay external Government of Haiti debt to inter-
national financial institutions, and 100 percent of those disburse-
ments were reviewed-
Mr. BURTON. You say that only those moneys were used to pay
financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF?
Mr. SCHNEIDER. The local currency, in other words, within the
budget of the Government of Haiti to ensure that they are covering
their budget support, the local currency generated by the emer-
gency balance of payments was reviewed by the regional Inspector
General to ensure that went for that purpose. That was one of the
permissible purposes to pay for debt. It could not be taken away
and used by anybody for any purpose that they wanted.
Mr. BURTON. But the money could be used to obtain additional
moneys from the World Bank, so our aid was able to be multiplied
by using it as leverage.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. That is correct.
In addition, we did ask and worked closely with the General Ac-
counting Office. They looked at five main major activities, and they
concluded-and I quoted to you from that report several weeks
ago-that there is no evidence that USAID assistance was diverted
or has benefited current or past Government of Haiti officials, and
they found no problems, and they found the system that was in
place was sufficient to guarantee our knowing where the money
was going, so they decided not to enter our investigation.
Mr. BURTON. Let me yield to Mr. Wynn. You are recognized.
Mr. WYNN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, Mr. Schneider, I want to thank you for detailing the
USAID with respect to health care to 2 million, food for 1 million
a day, the development of a professional-level police force to the
tune of 5,000 recruits, elections, 2,000 local infrastructure projects.
I find that very impressive, and I think it is also indicative of the
fact that our funds were well used. That amount combined with the
amount of military aid that Mr. Hastings referred to seems to
largely explain USAID and where the money went, allowing for the
fact there is still a small balance that has not been detailed, but
I think the money that was used on specific projects was very help-
I want to ask a question. I don't know whether it is directed to
you or Ambassador Leonard, and it is in Congressman Goss's letter
in which he refers to an account at the Federal Reserve Bank of
New York, and it says, this is account number 1, Haiti account
number 1 at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Were any of
the deposits into that account U.S. funds, or were they funds from
Mr. LEONARD. I think I am probably the best one to answer that,
Mr. Wynn. It is not uncommon for foreign governments to have ac-
counts in our Federal Reserve Bank, as I understand it. At the
time President Aristide was overthrown, that account, Haiti ac-
count, had Haitian Government funds in it. During the period that
President Aristide was in exile, when he had been illegally over-
thrown, he and his government, his ministers, had access to those
funds since they were the legal Government of Haiti.
It is my understanding, and this part is, I think, subject to cor-
rection-it is my understanding that during the period when Presi-
dent Aristide was in exile, payments were made into that account
and other accounts of the Government of Haiti abroad; for example,
receipts, payments to things such as the Haitian telephone com-
pany for things like long-distance calls, and that sort of thing.
Mr. WYNN. If I could just interject. I am trying to combine two
bits of information. One, Mr. Schneider said the U.S. payments
went to U.S. contractors and not directly to individuals. So I am
just trying to determine if, in fact, the funds in this account were
Mr. LEONARD. I don't believe that USAID made any payments
into those accounts during that period or thereafter, but I would
defer to Mr. Schneider on that.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. That is accurate.
Mr. WYNN. I guess it is fair to say then that for whatever pur-
pose these debits were made from the account, these were not U.S.
taxpayer funds, they were Haitian funds.
Mr. LEONARD. That is correct. This account in the Federal Re-
serve Bank was an account of the Government of Haiti. These were
Haitian funds in short.
Mr. WYNN. There would be nothing improper about them with-
drawing the funds and using them for government purposes.
Mr. LEONARD. No, although the normal practice in this that was
followed in the case of Haiti while President Aristide was in exile
was that his government, his representatives in Washington, would
notify our Treasury Department when they wished to make with-
drawals and notify them of the amount, and it would be verified
that this was a request from an appropriate authority of the Gov-
ernment of the Haiti.
Mr. WYNN. He also said in his letter that President Aristide had
a 42-acre estate. At what point did he obtain that?
Mr. LEONARD. I don't know, Mr. Wynn, exactly when he got that
residence. I believe the original residence, the original house, was
purchased before he became President and that the property was
expanded. There were additional purchases of property during the
period when he was President, but I don't know exactly when he
first purchased that property or how he came into possession.
Mr. WYNN. I believe your testimony was that with respect to the
alleged second house, there is no evidence to indicate that he made
a purchase of a second home.
Mr. LEONARD. What I was told by one of the officials in our em-
bassy was that as far as they knew, that purchase of a second
house had not taken place.
Mr. WYNN. So it does not appear that, in fact, he has done so
much self-enrichment, at least as it is inferred by Mr. Goss's letter.
Have you requested documents? You said you were in the process
of an investigation. Have you requested documents?
Mr. LEONARD. Yes. What we do is there is a procedure we go
through where our Secretariat in the Department tasks all relevant
offices in the Department to physically search their files, to check
their records, and to accumulate any documents which may be rel-
evant to the request, and that is what we are doing now. My guess
is-well, I won't-
Mr. WYNN. Provided by the Haitian Government, or by our peo-
ple, or who provides these documents?
Mr. LEONARD. No, the request is for documents in the possession
of the Department of State. In other words, Congressman Goss has
said that he wants us to provide him and his committee with docu-
ments of the Department of State, and that is probably the only
thing that we can provide which bear on his questions.
Mr. WYNN. Thank you very much.
Mr. BURTON. Are you saying categorically that President Aristide
did not buy that other property?
Mr. LEONARD. No, sir. I can't say that categorically.
Mr. BURTON. You can't say that he didn't?
Mr. LEONARD. No, I can't say that.
Mr. BURTON. The point is we want you to find out. I want this
committee to be informed, and so I don't want you to say to your
knowledge he didn't buy it. I want to know, and I want you to get
the information sent to this committee.
Mr. LEONARD. I will do so.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you.
[The information follows:]
We understand that in order for Aristide to meet the constitutional requirement
of property ownership so that he might run in the 1990 Haitian Presidential race,
his friends purchased land and built him a house in the semi-rural Port-au-Prince
suburb of Tabarre. After his return from exile in 1994, friends of the President re-
paired and re-landscaped the property and purchased additional land. We do not
know how much of his personal money President Aristide contributed to the land
purchases or construction costs. Nor do we have specific information on the identity
of the individuals who purchased the property in Tabarre, or how much money was
spent on the purchases or improvements. It is our understanding that some secu-
rity-related improvements were made to the property at Haitian Government ex-
pense while President Aristide was in office.
As to the rumored purchase of a second property by or for President Aristide, as
I stated in my testimony, stories to this effect were current earlier this year in Port-
au-Prince, one suggesting that a new house was being purchased for President
Aristide for $1.4 million. The house was not purchased, however, as the sellers took
it off the market.
Let me just ask you a couple of other questions.
Are you familiar with the Aristide Foundation for Democracy?
Mr. LEONARD. Yes, I have heard of it.
Mr. BURTON. We have heard that it has been funded to the tune
of about $30 million. There are rumors that Aristide illegally used
Haitian Government dollars, a significant portion of which is U.S.
foreign aid, to fund this foundation. We would like for you to sub-
mit for the record information on the Aristide Foundation for De-
mocracy, including where its funds came from, and for what they
were expended. I don't expect you to have the answers on these is-
sues today, but I would like information submitted to the commit-
[The information follows:]..
The Aristide Foundation for Democracy was established by former President
Aristide after he left office in February 1996. The stated objective of the Foundation
is to increase opportunities for Haitians of all social sectors to participate in open
debate of national issues. In addition to support for several literacy programs, the
Foundation supports a youth radio program which engages young Haitians in the
preparation of daily current events reporting. The Foundation has also been the site
of several well-publicized convocations of popular groups opposed to economic re-
It is my understanding that the Foundation seeks funding from private sources.
We do not have information on the sources or amounts of funding. USAID has not
received a request for funding.
There is a question about embezzlement. Apparently it has been
recently discovered that certain persons in Haiti's National Tax Of-
fice have manufactured counterfeit seals of Haiti's National Bank
to embezzle government money. We would like to know what the
State Department knows about that; and, if our government does
know about it, when they first learned about it and how much
money they estimate was embezzled.
[The information follows:]
The Embassy first learned of a check fraud scandal which allegedly involved Fi-
nance Ministry officials on May 9, 1996, from media reports. The media has specu-
lated that the scandal could involve as much as 300 million gourdes (approximately
$18 million), but Haitian Government officials estimate the amount involved to be
substantially lower. According to Haitian Government officials, the Central Bank
and Finance Ministry have instituted safeguards to prevent such fraud in the fu-
ture. The Government of Haiti is also continuing to investigate the matter.
The Haitian Government has raised doubts about a $20 million
loan that two of Aristide's closest economic advisors secured during
a trip to Taiwan late last year. The money was expected to be used
for road repair and improvement, but construction really has not
progressed, and the Transportation Ministry announced in April
that only $7 million was remaining. We don't know what happened
to the other $13 million because the construction has not been sub-
stantive. Aristide and former members of his Cabinet have not pub-
licly offered to explain the discrepancy. We would like for the State
Department to give us an update on that in writing. How much of
the $20-million loan has been expended and where is the rest of
[The information follows:]
Former Minister of Finance Cherestal visited Taipei in late 1994 and announced
that Taiwan would grant Haiti some $20 million for various projects, including $7
million worth of road improvements through the Port-au-Prince suburb of Carrefour.
Subsequently, Haiti's Central Bank reportedly received a check for $20.2 million.
The chairman of the Haitian Senate's Foreign Affairs Commission, Senator
Sabalat, recently wrote a letter to his Senate colleagues providing details about the
uses made of some of the $20.2 million. He confirmed that $7 million has been set
aside for the Carrefour road project. He also reported that 50 million gourdes (ap-
proximately $3 million) had been transferred to the organization Lafanmi Selavi, a
home and foundation for street children founded by President Aristide. Another 45
million gourdes (just under $3 million) had been provided to two non-governmental
organizations, Alpha for Development and Alpha. It has been alleged that Alpha for
Development has ties to President Aristide.
Subsequently, Alpha for Development confirmed to the press that it had received
30 million gourdes for literacy programs. A spokesperson for Lafanmi Selavi also in-
formed the press that his organization had indeed received 50 million gourdes to
reimburse it for funds advanced to the Haitian Government for the October 15 Blvd.
road project. The spokespersom added that Lafanmi Selavi had in fact advanced the
government a total of 72 million gourdes for the project, leaving 22 million gourdes
There has been no detailed accounting for the remaining portion of the $20.2 mil-
lion. Senator Sabalat's letter indicated that he had no further details in this regard.
In 1991, Haitian press reports claimed that Aristide embezzled
$2 million that had been given to the Haitian Government by the
Taiwanese Government. The reports claim he diverted money into
his own private orphanage. We would like to have a report on that
from the State Department.
[The report follows:]
Lafanmi Selavi, a home and foundation for street children founded by President
Aristide, reportedly received $2 million from Taiwan authorities in 1991. We do not
know if the funds were channeled through the Haitian Government or given directly
to the foundation.
In May 1995, Michel Gonzalez was murdered while driving to his
home near the private residence of then President Aristide in Port-
au-Prince. Specifically, he was shot in the face in front of his teen-
age daughter. He and the daughter are U.S. citizens. He was the
owner of the property adjacent to Aristide's estate, and there is
some concern that this may have been a political hit. We don't
know that, but we would like to have that investigated and have
the whole committee informed about that.
Mr. LEONARD. Yes, sir.
[The information follows:]
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on the evening of May 22, a Haitian citizen, Michel
J. Gonzalez, was assassinated while driving his car near the private residence of
then-President Aristide. Gonzalez' wife and three children are U.S. citizens.
At the time of his death, Mr. Gonzalez was director of Haiti Air, an air cargo han-
dler. According to his family, he was not involved in any political group or activities,
nor had he been for at least a decade. There are reports that Mr. Gonzalez had been
approached before his death to sell a parcel of land adjoining that of President
Anstide's private residence. Mr. Gonzalez, however, was renting the property in
which his family was living. He was not the owner.
The circumstances surrounding Mr. Gonzalez' death suggest it was a well-
planned, cold-blooded execution. This case is one of those being investigated by the
Haitian National Police's Special Investigative Unit, which has been tasked with in-
vestigating cases of possibly politically-motivated killings.
There is additional information about this case which has been made available by
other agencies of the U.S. Government to the House Permanent Select Committee
on Intelligence. The committee may wish to seek this information from that commit-
Mr. WYNN. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BURTON. I yield to my colleague.
Mr. WYNN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am not the ranking member, but would it be possible for our
side to get copies of questions?
Mr. BURTON. Yes. We will not only submit these as questions to
them for answers, but we would like for you to get the answers as
well because this is not a partisan issue. If the money, as my col-
leagues feel, was well spent, fine. But I think we need an account-
ing, especially when you are talking about a billion dollars in addi-
tion to the $2 billion that went for the military expedition.
I don't have any more questions. Do you gentlemen have any
comments you would like to make?
Mr. PAYNE. Could I have a second round?
Mr. BURTON. I would be happy to yield to my colleague in just
Mr. SCHNEIDER. There were two different numbers that implied
USAID totals. The USAID total program for fiscal year 1995 and
fiscal year 1996 totals approximately $350 million. Just to be clear,
that was the only thing-there had been some mention it had been
significantly larger. It was a total of approximately $350 million.
Mr. BURTON. OK, thank you.
The gentleman from New Jersey.
Mr. PAYNE. Let me ask you the question again. The property that
Mr. Aristide owned, you said he owned that property prior to be-
Mr. LEONARD. I believe so, Mr. Payne. Let me be very precise
though. I am not certain whether President Aristide bought that
property himself-again, my understanding was this was before he
became President-or whether it may have been given to him. I
don't know the exact circumstances when he came into it.
Mr. PAYNE. He did have it.
Mr. LEONARD. Yes, that is my understanding.
Mr. PAYNE. Which is not that uncommon. You remember Presi-
dent Reagan was given a house for a dollar, I think it was, some-
thing like that.
Let me just say that now we were talking about the fact that the
Chairman questioned you about the fact that you can't say that he
doesn't own this other property. Can you say that he disowns it?
Mr. LEONARD. No, sir, I can't say that.
Mr. PAYNE. That is good. I just want to know. It was very clear
that there was an annoyance that you didn't know whether he
bought it. I wanted to make sure the converse was true, too.
Mr. BURTON. The point of my comment was this: We shouldn't
discount press reports. This is a significant amount of money, and
we just want to have an accounting. If it was not purchased by
President Aristide, fine, but if it was, we need to know about it,
and we need to know how the funds were acquired.
Mr. PAYNE. I agree with you. I found it today. I get angry be-
cause someone can't verify he doesn't own it. I get the same way
when I chair meetings, too, when I don't get my answer. You talked
about the B-2 bomber, you are talking about some unfinished road.
Mr. BURTON. Did Aristide have something to do with it?
Mr. PAYNE. No, but I wanted to do a comparison because we are
continuing here about these taxpayers' dollars, and I know there
was a bill that came up to increase the number of B-2 bombers.
They are at the price of $2 billion apiece now, and we are still try-
ing to get the thing to fly right and to build more, and I mean if
we-I just like to take examples and apply it to real dollars. If you
really want to talk about government waste, probably fraud and
abuse, if we take a look at what we are wasting on trying to get
a dozen B-2 bombers to fly at $2 billion apiece, I think that we are
in a little teeny pond when we have a whole ocean out there.
Let me just ask questions, too, about the democracy. I was there
at the elections and did find that the elections were fair and free
and transparent. Of course, I was there at the same time Porter
Goss was there. He saw them as fraudulent, crooked, and broken
down. So there are definitely two extremes, and I wish Porter was
here so he could give his side of it, and I will continue to give mine.
There were certainly some problems in the elections. I went to
several elections, but that whole question, once again, about how
we evaluate countries. And then there is the Western Hemisphere,
the Dominican Republic is right next door. As you know they have
had-the last three elections a fellow named Gomez probably won
all of them, but he has never been seated as President. We have
never even had an inquiry from this committee on the elections
that are even going on now. It is criminal. He is a black Haitian,
but he is Dominican. He can't get seated yet, but maybe we could
have a hearing on that sometime to look into that.
Just real quickly, though, were there any restrictions on Mr.
Aristide earning income while he was in exile? Is there any Haitian
law that says-or U.S. law that says a President run out of his
country cannot make-I guess you don't have too many examples
to go by.
Mr. LEONARD. I don't know the answer to that, Mr. Payne. I am
not certain if the Haitian Constitution puts any restrictions on
Presidents who are serving, whether they are allowed to earn out-
side money, but I can undertake to find out.
Mr. BURTON. Would the gentleman yield?
I will agree with the gentleman that while Mr. Aristide was in
exile, he could have earned a million dollars a day. That would
have been fine with me. What we are here to find out is whether
or not U.S. taxpayers' dollars were diverted illegally or unethically
for uses other than their intended purpose. That is all. I am not
going to quibble with you about whether he should have earned
money when he was in exile. I don't really care about that.
As far as the B-2 bomber is concerned, President Clinton sup-
ported it as well.
Mr. PAYNE. Let me just thank the gentleman for being another
member who really isn't a part of this committee and certainly
knew that he would be a hostile member, but to allow me the privi-
lege of being a part of the panel and asking questions, I honestly
thank you for that opportunity.
Mr. BURTON. Let me say in closing that although you and I have
some strong differences on various issues, I have the highest re-
r ,-.i tic i iii\VFR: ITY
spect for you. We both want to get at truth, and I think that will
solve all the problems.
I want to conclude by thanking you for being here today. If you
would submit those answers as quickly as possible, and as soon as
you conclude your investigation, we would like to have that as well.
Mr. LEONARD. The documents.
Mr. BURTON. The documents.
This meeting stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:19 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned to re-
convene at the call of the Chair.]
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Testimony before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere
Porter J. Goss (FL-14)
20 June 1996
Today's hearing "Haiti: Where Has All the Money Gone?" poses the
$3 billion dollar question. A full accounting is the only way we can
every hope to peal away the layers of deception and confusion surrounding
recent U.S. policy in Haiti. And, answering it is the only way we can
hope to make an informed decision on this question: Why should U.S.
taxpayers send more of their hard-earned dollars to Haiti?
The level of financial commitment that Americans have made to Haiti
in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable -- some estimates
put it as high as $3 billion. Ultimately, Haiti nosed out all of our
other hemispheric priorities to become the number one recipient of
assistance. After billions of dollars and more than 18 months of having
our troops on the ground there, we all had high hopes that real progress
would be evident. Sadly, the picture remains bleak. Haiti today is still
characterized by weak governmental institutions, a decimated economy, and
remains deeply divided politically and socially. It is a barely working
democracy where human rights violations are rampant.
One clear sign that all is not well is that fact that neither my
staff, nor the committee staff, were able to find Haitians willing to
testify here today. The Haitians we spoke with are afraid that, like
Parliamentarian Duly Brutus, they too might be endangered and driven from
their homeland. Deputy Brutus paid a heavy price and others were simply
not willing to risk exile or possibly even death to be here. Fear is
building again -- fear of reprisal, fear of violent death, fear of
vengeance, fear of what the day will bring, fear of what the night will
This is not meant to suggest a lack of will to do the right thing
by President Preval. The issue seems to be about capacity rather than
will. His Administration operates under the long shadow cast by his
predecessor and the reality of the weak mandate he had after the
disappointingly low voter turnout in the December elections. President
Aristide's efforts to form alliances with popular organizations, to build
his own party, and his well-funded, national, campaign against economic
reform through the Aristide Foundation for Democracy are also bringing
pressure to bear on the Preval regime, further weakening its ability to
The parliament is also coming under fire. Although the Lavalas
majority is strong, their electoral platform found favor with the
populist segments of Haitian society. Today, this platform is clearly
at odds with the tough decisions yet to be made on privatization and the
austerity package -- the key to getting the international aid dollars
flowing again. Threats and intimidation against Deputies and Senators are
reportedly on the rise.
THIS STATIONERY PRINTED ON PAPER MADE OF RECYCLED FIBERS
Of course, this breakdown in law and order is carried out into the
countryside. The Haitian National Police have been targeted in a recent
series of brutal murders that suggests a deliberate effort to de-
stabilize this still young security apparatus. There has also been a
spate of disturbing events: local officials murdered, buses hijacked,
and a young American citizen kidnapped. In some instances, the HNP have
responded with rough justice rather than due process; in other instances,
angry mobs have meted out their own form of extrajudicial justice. As
we approach the end of yet another U.N. peacekeeping mandate this month,
things are unlikely to improve.
The reports on the economic front are little better. After all of
the money, time and effort invested by the international community, there
appear to be few, if any, incentives for private investment in Haiti.
Figures for unemployment range from the frightening 65% level to the
truly alarming 85% level. Once again, the annual Haitian budget is
expected to be heavily financed by international sources.
This grim assessment should make every American take pause and ask
the very question you have posed today: Where has all the money gone?
This question is being broken down into different Committee jurisdictions
and is under review. The issues being looked at range from those
regarding lack of assistance to U.S. businesses seeking to invest in
Haiti, to possible misuse of election dollars, to the government of
Haiti's possible "politicization" of U.S. aid by funnelling it through
Presidential Commissions and pro-Lavalas NGO's.
There are some queries that can only be answered in Washington.
Media reports regarding internal Administration e-mail suggest that there
are questions to be asked about whether or not this Administration
deliberately misled and bypassed the Congress regarding Haiti.
Appropriate Committees are delving into this and have asked the President
to declassify any documents relating to the investigations into the
series of political murders in the months following the U.S. occupation
of Haiti and the return of President Aristide.
I am pursuing another money issue: How did former Haitian President
Aristide come into his apparent financial windfall? As you may know,
under Article 279 of the Haitian Constitution, President Aristide was
required to provide his parliament with an assessment of his financial
assets as he left office. To date, we understand that he has not done so.
We do know, however, that despite his humble beginnings and the poverty
of his nation, President Aristide has recently expanded his 42 acre
estate in Tabarre, has purchased a $1.4 million second residence outside
of Port-au-Prince, and created the well-endowed Aristide Foundation for
Democracy. Ultimately, we have to ask: Did President Aristide enrich
himself, not only at the expense of the Haitian people, but also at the
expense of the American taxpayers?
This question can only be thoroughly explored by going back to the
unanswered money questions relating to the period of President Aristide's
exile. On March 15, 1996 Chairman Oilman contacted Secretary of the
Treasury Rubin seeking detailed information on deposits into and
disbursements from an account identified at "Government of the Republic
of Haiti Account No. 1" at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This
account was created to receive payments due the Government of Haiti
during the period of the U.S. economic sanctions beginning October 4,
1991 and ending October 14, 1994. In a letter to Chairman Oilman dated
April 1, 1996 from Richard Newcomb, the Director of the Office of Foreign
Assets Control and the Department of Treasury, the following information
"There were 94 credits to the account between October 25, 1991 and
October 13, 1994 amounting to $64,670,385.68...Thereare fourteen
debits to the account between August 10, 1992 and September 22,
1994, amounting to $45,157,842.21. All debits from the account
during the period of the U.S. economic sanctions were done under
licenses issued by the Office of the Foreign Assets Control at the
request of the recognized government of Haiti, and with the
certification of the Department of State, for expenditures related
to the U.S. and worldwide operations of the Haitian Government. "
The Treasury Department then listed each of the 14 debit transactions
totalling more that $45 million in withdrawals, but there is no
elaboration as to who specifically received these funds or for what
specific purposes these funds were used. I then wrote to Secretary Rubin
as well as Secretary Christopher on June 5, 1996 to request the U.S.
Government's assessment of the total assets controlled by former Haitian
President Aristide. I just received Treasury's response yesterday, which
fails to shed light on the following issues:
First, did President Aristide illegally enrich himself through
his access to Haitian Government funds -- both during his
exile and after his return to the Haitian Presidential Palace
in October 1994?
Second, who specifically received the $45 million in
Government of Haiti Account No.1? What specific purposes were
these funds used for? Were the State and Treasury Departments
sufficiently rigorous in their oversight of these frozen
assets of the Haitian Government? If not, does the Congress
need to take a closer look at tightening the relevant statues
used by the President to block funds of rogue states such as
Iran, Iraq, Libya, and North Korea?
Third, will Secretary Christopher respond to a letter sent in
April of 1994 by the democratically elected Chamber of
Deputies seeking a thorough accounting of former President
Aristide's expenditures while he was in exile? Will the
Department of State assist the efforts of various members of
the recently elected Haitian Parliament to determine if former
President Aristide enriched himself after his return to power
in October 1994?
I, like the Members of the Haitian Parliament, eagerly await the answers
to these and many other questions.
I would like to conclude by saying that I have long believed that
the most sorely missed element of the Clinton Administration's policy
in Haiti -- in a long list of things it is missing -- has been candor.
The answers to these and other questions are long overdue. This isn't
simply about the important oversight role we play as Members of Congress;
it's about being honest with Americans about what has or has not been
done in Haiti with their tax dollars.
JOHN P. LEONARD
DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAITI WORKING GROUP
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
JUNE 20, 1996
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before this
subcommittee to review U.S. operations in Haiti. I understand
the Committee is particularly interested in reviewing our
assistance programs in Haiti, with a view toward ensuring that
our money is being spent wisely and that there are not serious
cases of waste, fraud or abuse.
Haiti has long been by far the poorest country in the
hemisphere and, I would venture, the least developed in
institutional and political terms as well. Poverty, repression
and instability in Haiti have long been of concern to the
United States -- not only as a good neighbor, but more
concretely because of our national interest in mitigating the
social and economic effects on the U.S. of Haitian migration.
Successive U.S. administrations have sought to promote
democratic political and economic development in Haiti for
A major step forward was achieved with the holding of
democratic elections in 1990. The previous Administration and
Congress worked together to promote that positive result. And
both the previous and current Administrations have worked
together with Congress to oppose the coup in 1991 that unseated
the democratically elected President.
Many in Congress from both sides of the aisle questioned
the judgment reluctantly reached by President Clinton in 1994
that the deployment of U.S. forces was called for, both to
bring an end to the coup regime and to provide the stability
and security necessary for Haiti to have an opportunity to
begin building democratic institutions and a viable economy.
But that disagreement on military means did not imply a
disagreement on ends, and I believe that Congress and the
Administration have done an effective job of pursuing our
national interest in democratic stability and economic
development in Haiti since the deployment of the U.S.-led
Multinational Force in September 1994.
I would like to briefly report to you today on where I
think we stand in those efforts. Assistant Administrator
Schneider will describe our assistance programs, including the
controls which are in place which aim to ensure that the
assistance is used effectively. We share the determination of
our colleagues in AID, and I am sure, of the Committee, to
ensure that our programs contribute to the development of Haiti
and that they are not subject to abuse.
With considerable help from the international community,
the Haitian people have been given an opportunity to overcome
the political and economic legacy of their country's sad
history. On the economic front, after initial recovery
following our intervention, the previous government's ambitious
economic reform plan stalled in the run-up to the national
presidential and parliamentary elections. Since the
inauguration of the new President and members of Parliament in
February, however, progress in economic reform has resumed.
The Haitian government has reached agreement with the
International Monetary Fund on a comprehensive program of
free-market and fiscal reforms to lift the economy out of
stagnation. The next step is for Parliament to pass
legislation to implement such reforms, at which point the
international support package will go to the IMF board. We are
hopeful that the Haitian Parliament will support this essential
package of reforms. But that will depend upon the case made to
it by the Haitian government. The Parliament has begun to
fill the checks-and-balances role prescribed for it by the 1987
Constitution, breathing new life into Haiti's fragile
democracy, but also putting a premium on patient persuasion and
President Preval has stepped up to this leadership
challenge. He has explained to the Haitian people in his
straightforward manner that Haiti must commit itself to
economic reform. Simply put, Haiti relies on international
donors for about 40 percent of its budget. It is obvious,
President Preval says, that Haiti must have access to loans at
concessional rates from the international financial
institutions to be able to make the necessary investments in
infrastructure, electricity, telephones and roads, that will
attract private investment and generate the jobs that Haiti
Apart from necessity, he and his colleagues are also
presenting to the Haitian people a vision of the opportunities
for self-sustaining economic growth which those reforms
provide. President Preval, the Government of Prime Minister
Smarth and many members of Parliament are demonstrating a
significant measure of political courage and fortitude in
shaping and steering through Parliament a comprehensive,
serious and promising package of macroeconomic reforms:
-- The budget law they have submitted would introduce new
fiscal control mechanisms, including methods of restraining
spending and limiting it to the amount of available resources.
-- A flexible privatization law would set up a Council for the
Modernization of Public Enterprises to determine how each of
Haiti's nine parastatals should be privatized, choosing between
management contracts, concessions and a capitalization model in
which the State could retain up to 50 percent of the shares
with the private investor having management control. The
State's share of dividends from privatization would be
distributed 50 percent to municipal governments, 35 percent to
rural governments, and 15 percent to the old-age insurance fund.
-- Another key law on reform of the public administration would
pave the way for a dramatic reduction in the size of Haiti's
bloated civil service -- including the elimination of the
practice of employing "zombie" or "ghost" workers, which is a
traditional form of corruption at the expense of the Haitian
We are guardedly optimistic that these laws will be passed
by the Haitian Parliament within the next couple of months.
This will help pave the way for an Enhanced Structural
Adjustment Facility by which the IMF will provide Haiti with
approximately $136 million in budget support over three years.
Since the collapse of negotiations with the IMF last
October, Haiti's economy has made slow progress at best.
According to IMF projections, real GDP for fiscal year 1996
will grow by 2 percent, compared with 4.5 percent for fiscal
year 1995, while inflation is slowing from 18.2 percent last
year to a projected 14.6 percent for the current fiscal year.
Even these figures compare favorably with those from the coup
era when GDP declined about 30 percent in three years and
inflation reached 52 percent per annum.
Haiti's trade deficit is projected by the IMF to be
$337 million this year, with imports of $446 million and
exports of $109 million. Remittances from abroad -- often the
lifeblood of the many Haitians with relatives abroad -- are
expected to total $114 million. On the plus side, the
all-important assembly sector continues to rebound, with total
employment surging in the first six months of 1996 from 12,600
to 19,442, more than half the pre-embargo level. The
electrical power supply has also improved markedly in
Port-au-Prince, as have traffic conditions. Still, new
investment by the private sector is lagging. This is due in
part to a wait-and-see attitude by the business community,
difficulty in obtaining commercial credit, and concerns over
the security situation.
Around Port-au-Prince, there has been a great deal of
attention lately to an increase in personal and property
crime. Most disturbingly, there have been over half a dozen
murders of police officers and two high-profile kidnapping.
The brand-new civilian police force, the Haitian National
Police (HNP) is young and inexperienced, and it has suffered
from a lack of competent mid-level supervisors and resources.
President Preval and the Smarth Government are committed to
the success of the HNP, and our active support for their
efforts will remain strong for a considerable period to come.
Having completed early this year the basic training of the
5000-person force, we have now turned our efforts to more
specialized training. ICITAP instructors are providing
specialized training to select HNP officers in such areas as
crowd control, operation of firearms and VIP protection. Most
importantly, experts with our International Criminal
Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) are working
closely with the Haitian government in recruiting and training
qualified individuals to fill mid-level supervisor positions.
Finally, the U.S. recently provided assistance from military
stocks to help.the HNP fully equip itself, utilizing excess
property authorities, as well as remaining FY 95 FMF financing
and drawdown authority. We have thoroughly briefed
Congressional staff on our support for the HNP.
Two hundred years of rampant corruption and governmental
neglect have left deep marks on Haiti's justice system, but
halting progress is being made. The Government has
acknowledged that judicial reform is critical, and is working
with the international community to address some of the
problems plaguing the system. As these initiatives continue,
we are paying considerable attention to how the Haitian
government has responded to the two dozen or so execution-style
killings which occurred in Haiti in 1994 and 1995. A critical
first step was the removal from the security forces several
months ago of a number of individuals who we had reason to
believe were implicated in these offenses, and in creating
obstacles to both the FBI and Haitian investigations of these
crimes. Ending the climate of impunity for security personnel
who commit crimes is of major importance in the development of
the rule of law.
Seeing that those who were responsible for the killings are
brought to justice is the other half of the equation. In this
regard, the Administration has made clear to the Government of
Haiti at all levels that a thorough investigation of the
killings is crucial both to help further establish the rule of
law and to maintain international support. Congress sent a
similar message last January in the form of Section 583 of
Public Law 104-107 (the Dole Amendment) which prohibits the
provision of assistance (other than humanitarian and electoral
assistance) to the Government of Haiti unless the President
reports to Congress that the Government of Haiti is conducting
thorough investigations of political and extrajudicial killings
and is cooperating with American authorities in this respect.
We have and will continue to consult closely with Congress on
Haiti assistance issues, including the Dole Amendment.
A Special Investigative Unit (SIU) was established last
fall to investigate notorious homicides going back to the
1980's, including the cases that have occurred since the return
of democratic government. But as was the case with economic
reform and other crucial action, progress on the investigations
stalled in the period preceding the Haitian presidential
election. Progress has resumed since President Preval's
inauguration. In addition to removing the suspects from the
security services, the new government has moved to reinvigorate
the SIU, appointing a full-time director. The investigative
police trained by ICITAP and assigned to the SIU have returned
to their duties after the previous government drew them off to
other cases, and an additional 27 investigators have been added
to the unit. The UN Civilian Police have provided advisers, and
the Department of State has contracted two experienced
investigators to work with one team of SIU personnel on a
number of the killings which occurred since late 1994. The
U.S. advisers have helped the SIU team develop investigative
strategies on the cases on which they are working, and they
have begun the laborious process of interviews, following up
leads and the like that are crucial to a successful
investigation. The FBI has briefed the investigators on its
own investigation of the March 1995 killing of Mireille
Durocher-Bertin, and has answered follow-up questions and
offered assistance in forensic laboratory work. We have
provided members of this Committee's staff with copies of
classified reports from the Embassy on the progress of
investigations, we have briefed Committee staff on numerous
occasions on this issue, and my colleagues and I are available
to answer more detailed questions on a classified basis. The
judicial branch has begun to provide greater support, but a
full-time investigative magistrate and first-rate prosecutor
are still being sought to work with the SIU on a regular
basis. We continue to press the Haitian government on this
An extension of the international security presence beyond
the 30th of this month -- when the mandate of the UN Mission in
Haiti expires -- should provide additional breathing space to
foster the strengthening of Haiti's democratic rebirth in an
atmosphere conducive to economic and social development.
President Preval has requested such an extension, and we hope
that the UN Security Council will approve arrangements to
ensure that international peacekeeping troops and civilian
police will continue to support the efforts of the HNP to
provide the secure conditions under which the Haitian
Government and people will take responsibility for the future
development and advancement of their country. Discussions will
be underway shortly at the United Nations in New York on this
matter, so that we do not know yet the exact size and nature of
the force which would succeed the current UN Mission. As the
Committee is aware, the United States does not have any forces
in Haiti which are part of the UN Mission. Guarding the
country's political stability and internal security are
essential preconditions to addressing the range of serious
economic, political and social problems Haiti still confronts.
The U.S. and other governments are committed to assisting in
this effort, but only the Haitians' own resolve and ability to
make difficult decisions will determine success or failure in
There are naturally profound problems that continue to
afflict Haiti, by far the poorest and most backward country in
our hemisphere with per capital income below $300 a year, a
total fertility rate of 4.8 births per woman, and an infant
mortality rate of 74 deaths per 1,000 live births. Statistics
like those do not lie, and it is important that the United
States continue to work actively on the ground in Haiti to help
the Haitians improve their own situation, so that they do not
try to resolve their problems by fleeing to the United States,
as they have done in the past.
We have a nearly $2 billion investment in Haiti's
restoration, and as others in the Administration and Congress
have pointed out, it is better to keep protecting that
investment than to disengage and pay the consequences later.
In this connection, it is sometimes asked whether restoring
democracy in Haiti has been worth the costs. Our efforts in
Haiti in FY 1994, the year before President Aristide's return,
cost nearly $560 million. Much of this was spent in the last
quarter of the year in preparing for President Aristide's
return, but almost $300 million of this went to pay for
migration and safe haven operations, sanctions enforcement, and
humanitarian assistance. In the first half of FY 1995, i.e. up
to March 31, 1995, when the U.S.-led Multinational Force
completed its task, the U.S. spent $600 million on
Haiti-related operations and assistance for an 18-month total
of about $1.2 billion.
Since then, U.S. Government expenses in Haiti have dropped
dramatically. U.S. operations and assistance to Haiti in the
second half of FY 1995 dropped 50 percent from the first half
to $300 million. This year, FY 1996, U.S. assistance to Haiti
is expected to be approximately $120 million; and a similar
amount is anticipated for FY97. This compares to our FY91
(pre-coup) assistance of $80 million. It should also be noted
that during the first two years of the de facto regime, i.e.,
FY 92 and FY 93, U.S. humanitarian assistance to Haiti totaled
Supporting democracy has thus already proven more cost
effective than dealing with the consequences of tyranny. It is
unquestionably a better investment, one which will prepare the
basis for increased private sector investment in Haiti, a
prerequisite for sustainable economic development.
Given Haiti's long history of misgovernment and corruption,
it is obviously a concern of this Administration that our
extensive support over the last several years not be wasted.
We therefore welcomed the recent GAO investigation into the
effectiveness of AID's internal controls on our assistance
program in Haiti, and are pleased that the program received a
clean bill of health. We will of course comply fully with
future inquiries from the GAO or Congress on this subject. The
Administration is likewise concerned with the occasional
reports coming out of Haiti about irregular financial
transactions, e.g., the recent forgery of at least several
million gourdes' -- at least a half million dollars' -- worth
of treasury checks. Fortunately, the perpetrators of this
fraud have not been able to act with impunity. Haitian
authorities have made several arrests and are actively
investigating this crime.
Whether Haiti takes the path to a better future or
returns to her old ways is up to the Haitian people and their
government. We believe they have the determination, the will
and the powers of perseverance and sacrifice to build on the
gains which have been made since 1994 so they can bring their
country into the 21st century. But Haiti remains a beleaguered
country clearly in need of assistance from the international
community, and it is in our interest to continue to play a
leading role in helping Haiti.
TESTIMONY OF MARK L. SCHNEIDER
ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
JUNE 20, 1996
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee,
I am pleased to again appear before this distinguished
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs to discuss with you
the impact of USAID assistance programs in Haiti. I want to
express my appreciation to the Chairman for the opportunity to
review what we have accomplished in the Western Hemisphere's
poorest and least developed nation, as well as the problems we
continue to face.
The United States Government has led an extraordinarily
successful effort to internationalize assistance to Haiti. Since
the return to democracy to Haiti, donors have pledged some $2
billion to support humanitarian relief, creation of democratic
institutions and economic recovery. By the end of this fiscal
year, the United States contribution will constitute less than
20% of all donor commitments to this common effort, approximately
$350 million for FY 1995-96. Donor coordination in Haiti
represents an important example of international burden-sharing.
Let me give you several examples of what has been achieved
with U.S. funds to directly affect the lives of people:
We have provided health care to as many as two million
people--one-third of the population--and food to more
than one million per day mostly women and children.
We have supported the creation of a civilian-controlled
police force, with a police academy opened in January
1995 and over 5,000 recruits trained.
We have assisted in a series of peaceful elections,
each one progressively more efficient than the last,
culminating in the election of a new president, the
first non-violent transfer of authority in 200 years,
and the first-ever popularly elected mayors and local
We have taken the lead in creating a judicial training
academy which initially trained over 400 judges,
prosecutors and court personnel and has provided
further intensive training to nearly 300 court
officials; a national prison rehabilitation program has
been initiated; some 500 improperly detained prisoners
have been released; more than 2,000 victims of human
rights abuses and their families have been assisted.
More than 2000 local community infrastructure projects,
ranging from repairing and building schools and health
centers to repairing water systems and farm to market
roads have been completed or are underway involving
those local governments.
Another program created emergency jobs managed by NGOs
which employed some 50,000 Haitians to clear silt-
filled irrigation canals opening 120,000 acres of
farmland, repair roads, bridges and protect watersheds.
The USAID-financed model was so successful that it was
adopted lock-stock-and-barrel by the World Bank which
has financed its continuation with a $55 million loan.
Microenterprise loans reach 1000 small businessmen and
women and our agriculture credit guarantee program has
helped boost mango exports to $14 million and start a
tomato processing plant that will employ 500 Haitians
and provide a market for 5000 small farmers.
In all of our efforts, the United States Government has
undertaken extraordinary actions to be sure that our aid is
reaching the intended beneficiaries. The GAO and our own
Inspector General have found no evidence to support any
allegations to the contrary. In fact, the GAO briefing document
of June 6, 1996, states that there is "no evidence that USAID
assistance was diverted or benefited current or past GOH
Mr. Chairman, we believe that Haiti's future requires that
the private sector, especially small farmers and small
businessmen, have the opportunity to invest and lead that
nation's economic recovery. The private sector will be the
source of permanent job creation. For that investment, whether
Haitian or foreign, to occur, sound economic policies are
Prior to last October, significant structural reforms were
instituted and a very real sense of positive momentum emerged as
private sector investments began to pick up. Reforms adopted by
the government included: canceling the 40 percent export
surrender requirement; eliminating remaining restrictions on
imports; putting into effect the first phase of the customs
reform; unifying reserve requirements applicable to commercial
banks; and suspending statutory ceilings on interest rates. The
electricity company reduced its staffing levels and raised
tariffs generally according to plan and a start was made on
planning for privatization of parastatals.
But in October 1995, negotiations between the IMF and the
government of Haiti collapsed, creating grave concerns in the
international community. The subsequent period of general
inaction on economic reform and slowly deteriorating economic
conditions, during the Presidential campaign, undermined the
positive momentum that had been established since the return of
democracy to Haiti in October 1994. Haiti's economic recovery
stalled, the effort to encourage private investment ground slowly
to a halt and urgently needed programs to boost resource flows to
the poor and disadvantaged were delayed.
The situation now is considerably more promising, although
no one should underestimate the magnitude of challenges that
still lie ahead. When President Preval visited Washington in
March this year, he said he would resume negotiations with the
IMF by April 15 and expected to conclude an agreement by May 15.
Many skeptics doubted that this ambitious schedule could be met.
But negotiations did resume by April 15 and by May 15 there was
substantial agreement on the main outlines of the reform program.
We now have an agreed Letter of Intent from the Government
of Haiti outlining a solid reform program, and an extensive
legislative agenda has been placed before the Haitian parliament.
Based on this progress, the international community met in
Washington on June 12 and pledged their support of the reform
program, including specific commitments to ensure that the
government's financing requirement for FY 1996 and 1997 will be
met, if that program is approved. The United States stated that
we are prepared to reprogram $15 million for budget support this
fiscal year, subject to congressional notification and
consultation. The total donor budget support pledge was more
than ten times this amount, clear evidence of strong
international support for Haiti's economic recovery, if sound
policies are set in place.
As a result of the progress made over the past several
months, Haiti has pulled out of a downward economic drift.
Economic growth is projected to increase beyond the FY 1995 4-5
percent level; inflation is relatively level dropping from 50% to
less than 20%; the currency is stable at 15 gourdes per dollar;
and assembly sector jobs now have reached 20,000, more than half
the number attained before the 1991 embargo.
US economic assistance has been an essential element in this
historic transition, helping to bring Haiti back from the edge of
economic and societal collapse. But we must stay the course to
consolidate the gains made thus far and help ensure Haiti's
continued progress toward a more prosperous future.
Let me now provide more detail of what has been accomplished
since the end of the de facto regime and the return of President
1. U.S. ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
The USAID foreign assistance program has focused on relief,
national reconciliation, restoration of constitutional democracy
and recovery of the economy. In each of these areas, our
assistance has set the stage for a gradual shift away from
providing direct services to establishing Haitian systems that
progressively rely less on external resources.
Health Care. USAID reactivated emergency health care
services by rehabilitating maternity hospitals and health centers
in secondary cities and supporting basic health care service
delivery. At its peak, this USAID effort, operating through NGOs
and PVOs, reached over two million people, approximately one-
third of Haiti's population, and is now providing basic services
to about 950,000 mostly women and children, in 20 areas. USAID
also helped finance a government/NGO vaccination campaign which
immunized 600,000 children against polio, measles and DPT and
other preventable diseases.
Feeding Program. USAID's safety net activities include an
intensive feeding program which reached approximately 1.2 million
people per day, including children and the elderly.
Approximately 78,300 MT (valued at $42 million) of various food
commodities were distributed in Haiti in FY 1995.
As a result of these efforts, levels of infant mortality,
contraceptive prevalence, maternal mortality, low birth weight
and the nutritional status of children under five years in areas
served by USAID programs were better than the national average.
Overall health statistics have improved, including child
nutrition dropping by 26% since the restoration of the
constitutionally elected government of President Aristide.
Civilian Police Force. After nearly 200 years of a
military-dominated police force, The USG is supporting a program
to establish a trained and well-managed civilian Haitian National
Police (HNP) force. The Police Academy opened in January 1995
has provided four months of basic training to over 5,000
recruits. The USG program is also helping to build strong
management, supervision and internal control systems for the new
Demobilization and Reintegration. USAID is also
implementing a program to demobilize and reintegrate former
members of the military into civil society. The program consists
of counseling, assessment and job training. Approximately 5,482
former soldiers and interim police have registered for vocational
training and 3,332 of them have graduated from 23 Haitian
vocational schools, and 1,545 are in training.
Human Rights Fund. To redress serious human rights abuses,
USAID provided assistance to 2,000 victims and 14 families,
including victims of opposition attacks following the arrival of
Multi-National Forces, through a Human Rights Fund. After the
March 6 killings in Cite Soleil, civil unrest in several cities
in November 1995 and some 20 killings during the past year, USAID
re-established this Fund. It will assist victims of human rights
abuses, improve human rights monitoring and legal assistance
capabilities, and strengthen citizen oversight of police.
C. Restoration of Democracy
Parliamentary, Local Government and Presidential Elections.
USAID provided $9.8 million to the United Nations-managed
Elections Trust Fund and an additional $6.1 million to non-
governmental organizations to support the parliamentary, local
government and presidential elections. USAID helped produce the
registration lists and ballots, support civic education campaigns
and party media efforts, train poll workers, and field monitors
and observers. As a result, in steadily improved and peaceful
elections, the Haitian people selected their new parliament,
local government officials and -- for the first time in their
history -- participated in the transition from one democratically
elected president to another.
The OAS Official Observers final report stated, "Observers
noted few irregularities in the voting and compilation procedures
during the recent presidential elections. Furthermore, these
elections were by far the best organized of all the elections
held in Haiti since June 1995. There was evidence of improvement
in, inter alia, the organization of the delivery and receipt of
material; in the selection, training and renumeration of
electoral personnel; in the organization of space, and in
understanding of the procedures."
Support for the Parliament. To date, USAID has renovated
the archives room, provided basic office supplies and furniture,
as well as 20 computers, peripherals and training for 40
administrative staff. A legislative database comprising the
Haitian Constitution and four legal codes has been established.
A conference on rules and procedures and the budget process was
held on February 3 and attended by 80 out of 100
parliamentarians. Technical assistance has been provided in
budget analysis, decentralization and the drafting of a
parliamentary career law. A directory of parliamentarians will
be published in June. Specific plans for further technical
assistance and commodities is now being developed.
Administration of Justice. Working closely with the French
S and Canadians, USAID has taken the lead in establishing Haiti's
first-ever judicial training academy. About 400 justices of the
peace, prosecutors, investigating justices and trail court judges
have had short-term training. About 270 judges, prosecutors and
court clerks have had more intensive training at this facility.
Follow-up programs are underway in six locations to help
establish model courts and prosecutors offices. Criminal court
sessions have resumed, with improved procedures. Basic equipment
and law books have been provided to courts and Justice Ministry
offices, and a case-tracking system is being introduced. A
program is now underway to support human rights organizations,
law faculties and bar associations in provincial areas where the
worst human rights abuses occurred in the past. This has
resulted in the release of about 500 prisoners found to be
improperly detained. A national prison rehabilitation program
has also been initiated with USAID funding.
Community Development. Immediately after the intervention
of the Multinational Force, USAID supported a nation-wide
community self-help program which thus far have financed 1900
small community development projects in 106 of Haiti's 133
Communes. An evaluation of this effort demonstrated that our
assistance that our assistance was effectively targeted to local
groups and communities, and that these groups greatly benefitted
from a chance to work together to address priority needs in their
communities. Further, the evaluation found that these small-
scale projects that build schools, repaired water systems,
constructed bridges and renovated port facilities were well-
designed, well-constructed and led to improvements in the quality
of life of those communities.
Building on that success, USAID is now assisting with a
longer-term program to strengthen Haiti's first democratically
elected local governments. A pilot local government training
program in 27 municipalities and 107 adjoining rural districts is
nearing completion, and an initial program to support local
community development projects will get underway shortly.
D. Economic Recovery
Balance of Payments and Clearing Arrears. USAID used $40
million for balance of payments support to increase the
availability of foreign exchange and generate local currency
needed to maintain essential government services. USAID also
contributed $25 million to a multilateral effort to clear $83
million in arrears to International Financial Institutions which
led to release of $230 million in donor funding for economic
As a result of this support and technical assistance
provided to the GOH by USAID and other donors, the Haitian
economy has started to revive. Specifically, in FY 1995 GDP
increased by 4.5 percent after a decline of 11 percent during the
previous 12 months. Inflation has been significantly reduced and
the currency has stabilized at about 16 Gourdes to the dollar
compared to 21.5 during 1994. Assembly sector jobs, nonexistent
in 1994 climbed to about 12,000 jobs by the end of 1995 and most
recently have reached nearly 20,000 -- slightly more than half
the level attained before the economic embargo was imposed in
1991. In 1995, tax collection as a percentage of GDP was 7.8
percent compared to 3.3 percent in 1994, and the public sector
deficit was cut to 1 percent of GDP in FY 1995 compared to 6
percent in FY 1994.
Short-terms Jobs Program. During its peak, USAID's $38
million job creation program provided jobs for about 50,000
Haitians per day, totalling of about 517,000 person-months of
emergency employment for approximately 150,000 people. Of these,
about 20 percent were women. This program repaired 2,000 km. of
rural farm-to-market roads; 4,000 km. of irrigation canals
servicing 120,000 acres of farmland; and other rural
infrastructure. This program served as a model for a $55.2
million World Bank project.
Agriculture and the Environment. USAID's sustainable
agricultural projects have reached about 80,000 farmers (440,000
rural beneficiaries), increasing production and farm income and
enhancing environmentally sound resource management. Our small
enterprise credit program has provided over 1,000 loans to small
USAID is also providing resources to prevent further
environmental degradation and soil erosion, develop a long term
national environmental plan, and plant annually five million
trees USAID efforts to improve resource management and
agricultural practices have helped 84,000 farmers to increase
their agricultural production and farm incomes.
2. ECONOMIC REFORM AND IMP NEGOTIATIONS
Economic Reform is Essential. Although donor assistance to
Haiti has reached extraordinary levels, this cannot continue
indefinitely and there must be fundamental changes in order to
put Haiti firmly on the road toward sustainable development.
Public sector wages consume most revenues leaving little for
social or capital investments. Inefficient state-owned
enterprises drain tax revenues and yet do not provide basic
The report of the House Appropriations Committee
underscores the importance of the Government of Haiti embarking
"upon a meaningful restructuring of the Haitian economy through
open free-market reforms. The privatization of parastatal
companies, an urgent overhaul of public sector spending and
fiscal policies and strict accountability for the effective us of
donor resources are expected core reforms which must be
undertaken immediately." The administration fully concurs with
IMF Negotiations. A comprehensive economic reform program
is outlined in the Government of Haiti's Letter of Intent and
Policy Framework Paper which are being finalized for
consideration by the Boards of the IMF and World Bank. It
contains an impressive list of specific steps that must be taken
by the Government of Haiti before the plan can be considered by
the IMF Board, as well as specific follow-up steps that the
Government of Haiti is committed to undertaking after IMF Board
The legislation submitted to the Parliament includes a
framework law establishing the mechanisms for privatizing some
20-odd parastatals, reducing the civil service, and tax
legislation as part of a fiscal reform program.
We also plan to provide project funds to support retraining
elements of the government's ambitious civil service reduction
and reform program.
In coordination with the IMF, we are developing plans for
long-term technical assistance to the Ministry of Economy and
Finance to help implement the economic reform program.
Mr. Chairman, I want to assure you that we take each and
every one of these allegations very seriously. Where there have
been suggestions of improprieties, our mission in Haiti has taken
the initiative to ask the Inspector General to open an
investigation. Yet, despite these allegations, there is no hard
evidence to support the assertion that USAID funds have been
improperly diverted. An early audit of our food aid program by
the USAID Inspector General revealed that in the early days of
our assistance, shortly after the intervention of the
Multinational Forces, the security situation was uncertain and
there was some looting of food aid shipments. But there was no
evidence of systematic fraud or misappropriation, and with the
establishment of a secure environment, USAID has been able to
take steps to bring losses down to levels consistent with our
The General Accounting Office recently completed a review of
USAID assistance to Haiti and the adequacy of our financial
controls. After looking at five important activities involving
tens of millions of dollars'; they concluded that there is no
evidence that USAID assistance was diverted or has benefitted
current or past Government of Haiti officials.
We have been told that there were so few problems found
during this review of our program that no further effort will be
expended on this audit and no formal report will be produced.
An earlier GAO audit of our elections assistance similarly
concluded that despite extremely difficult circumstances there
was no evidence of systematic misuse of USAID assistance.
3. CONTINUING CONCERNS
Poverty. With less than $300 per capital GDP, economic
frustration and poverty remain underlying causes of social
tension in Haiti. 75% of the Haitian population lives in rural
areas, and 75% of those live in poverty.
Slow Economic Growth. Political stability and the
consolidation of democratic institutions depend to a great degree
upon increased prosperity for Haiti's poor majority. Private
sector investments are critical to generating the jobs that will
help lift Haiti's poor. Thus far, however, private investment
necessary for sustained economic growth has been hindered,
largely because of inadequate roads, port problems, unreliable
electric supplies, and, until recently, lack of progress on
Environment/Population Growth. Haiti's long-term challenge
is to halt the environmental degradation which has denuded its
forest and threatened its remaining watersheds. Without wiser
management of those natural resources, its capacity for
sustainable economic growth will be undermined. The extremely
high levels of population growth also add to the natural resource
Justice and the Rule of Law. Building a new system of
justice and strengthening the rule of law, including the police
force, courts and legal system in order to protect the basic
human rights of all Haitian is a third major challenge. We
recognize that this will not be achieved easily. It will take
time to secure the foundations for a democratic society. But it
is absolutely vital.
Nonetheless, we must see continued progress in the
protection of basic human rights, including investigations of
politically motivated murders, and in the effective functioning
of the criminal justice system.
The challenges faced by Haiti will not be resolved in a
single year. Nevertheless, it is clearly in the United States
national interest to insure that continuing progress does take
place and the Haitian people see that progress in meeting those
..,os... sU.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
c EcSrS StLe oun PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE
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June 5, 1996
The Honorable Warren M. Christopher
Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I am writing to request any and all cables, memoranda, electronic mail or
other documentation related to your Department's assessment of the total assets
controlled by former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide. This assessment
should reflect any information available to the Department from December 16,
1990 through today.
It is my understanding that numerous members of the Haitian Parliament
recently petitioned former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to present an inventory
of all of his assets following his tenure as President of Haiti. Haitian news reports
indicated that Mr. Aristide had been most reluctant to disclose his total assets,
despite the legal requirements imposed upon him by Article 279 of the Haitian
Constitution. It was subsequently reported in the Le Nouvelliste newspaper that
Mr. Aristide filed an asset report with the Port-au-Prince Civil Court on April 24,
Other recent news reports indicate that Mr. Aristide has apparently been the
beneficiary of a substantial financial windfall. For example, it has been reported that
Mr. Aristide has significantly improved his private 42 acre residence at Tabarre;
these improvements have included the purchase of adjoining properties as well as
major renovations to his main residence and adjacent buildings. Other accounts
note that Mr. Aristide and his wife recently purchased another residence near Port-
au-Prince for approximately $1.4 million. Lastly, it has been reported that Mr.
Aristide established the Aristide Foundation for Democracy in late February of this
year; news reports indicate that the Aristide Foundation has staged at least one
major conference to attack the Preval Government's economic policies and has
been coordinating a well-financed national campaign against the Preval
Government's privatization initiatives.
The Honorable Warren M. Christopher
June 5, 1996
I remain concerned that Mr. Aristide's new-found wealth is the product of his
role as President of Haiti; I am disturbed that he may have enriched himself not only
at the expense of the Haitian people, but also at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. I
would therefore be most grateful if you could assure me that a thorough and
comprehensive review of relevant intelligence information collected by your
Department since December 16. 1990 can verify that Mr. Aristide has not illegally
enriched himself through his access to Haitian Government funds, from whatever
source including, but not limited to, tax receipts, U.S. and international foreign
assistance, undisclosed payments from foreign governments, and those funds that
were overseen by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control
(totalling $51,319,320 under Treasury Department Licenses H2-0014 and H2-
0017) during the period of the de facto Cedras regime.
I look forward to your prompt and detailed response to this request.
House Permanent Select Committee