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lliiill1 11 llllll1iI III I uICY TOWARD HAITI
3 5005 00683 605+ -
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1999
Serial No. 106-86
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http//www.house.govnternatonal relations
Available via the World Wide Web: httpi//www.house.gov/international relations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 2000
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
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
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
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
RICHARD BURR, North Carolina
PAUL E. GILLMOR, Ohio
GEORGE RADANOVICH, California
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PAT DANNER, Missouri
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey
JIM DAVIS, Florida
EARL POMEROY, North Dakota
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
KATHLEEN BERTELSEN MOAZED, Democratic Chief of Staff
CALEB McCARRY, Professional Staff Member and Counsel
JILL N. QUINN, Staff Associate
The Honorable Mike DeWine, a United States Senator from the State of
O hio ................................................................................................................... 3
The Honorable Bob Graham, a United States Senator from the State of
F lorida ................................................................................................................... 6
The Honorable Porter Goss, a Representative in Congress from the State
of Florida ......................................................................................................... 10
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., a Representative in Congress from the
State of M ichigan .............................................................................................. 13
The Honorable Peter Romero, Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemi-
sphere Affairs, Department of State ............................................................. 27
The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, a Representative in Congress from New
York and Chairman, International Relations Committee ............................. 38
Senator M ike DeW ine .......................................................................................... 40
Senator Bob Graham ............................................................................................ 44
Representative Porter Goss .................................................................................. 48
Representative John Conyers, Jr., ........................................................................ 55
Representative Charles B. Rangel (submitted in lieu of appearance) .............. 59
Ambassador Peter Romero, Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemi-
sphere Affairs, Department of State ................................................................. 64
Additional material submitted for the record:
Haiti Trip Report of September 10, 1999, submitted by Rep. Conyers, Jr. ........ 72
U.S. POLICY TOWARD HAITI
Tuesday, November 9, 1999
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:10 a.m. in room
2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman
(Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
Chairman GILMAN. The Committee will come to order. This
morning we will review the U.S. policy toward Haiti. We called this
hearing to examine what is happening in Haiti today and shed
some light on where we need to go from here to advance pluralism
and foster economic growth in Haiti. Of keen concern are the pros-
pects for free and fair parliamentary and local elections that are
anticipated to be held on March 19th and concerns over efforts to
undermine and to politicize the Haitian National Police.
In January, I traveled to Haiti with several of my colleagues.
President Rene Preval had just dissolved parliament, deepening
Haiti's protracted political crisis. We all agreed that the best way
out of that crisis was a sound and fair election. Several positive de-
velopments led us to believe that a good election would be possible.
President Preval issued a public statement that "very quick elec-
tions under good conditions are the only solution to the existing po-
State Secretary for Public Security Robert Manuel began negotia-
tions at Preval's behest with the opposition parties. On March
17th, President Preval created a politically balanced provisional
electoral council. With supporting leverage from the Dole Amend-
ment restrictions, a transparent settlement of the disputed 1997
elections was also achieved. Most importantly, we began to see
leaders from Haiti's civil society, ranging from grass roots to reli-
gious to business organizations, working together across ideological
and class lines.
Our hopes began to fade, however, when a May 28th rally orga-
nized by a broad spectrum of civil society groups was attacked and
broken up by Lavalas Family party protesters. The Haitian Na-
tional Police failed to protect the citizens who gathered that day to
exercise their rights to freedom of assembly and speech.
This year has seen a distressing escalation of common crime and
violent acts. On November 2nd, Amnesty International stated that
"A series of violent events in Haiti have led to fears that the cli-
mate of respect for human rights which the country has been en-
deavoring to promote in recent years is progressively deterio-
There is a long tradition of undemocratic rule in Haiti. Recent
events led us to fear that Haiti is experiencing a return to past
practices. It will only serve to create violence and misery in that
impoverished nation. The departure of Robert Manuel raises real
concerns about the future independence and professionalism of the
Haitian National Police. The October 8th murder of Colonel Jean
Lamy followed by the October 14th armed attack on a director of
the HNP's Judicial Police, the unit responsible for investigating
Lamy's killing, are very bad signs.
Our Ambassador to Haiti, Timothy Carney, underscored the real
issue recently, stating: "What is currently important is that no one
political party, no faction or group gain control of your police. I em-
phasize that the politization of the police is unacceptable."
We must not abandon our efforts to help the Haitian people. We
should continue to work to alleviate the underlying conditions that
plague Haiti. But Haitian leaders must meet their responsibilities
as well. In order for there to be good elections which the United
States can support in good conscience, there must be freedom of
speech and assembly, and an apolitical police force to protect those
essential rights. Moreover, the Provisional Electoral Council, which
has been trying to organize the elections, civil society, and political
parties should not be the object of crude, antidemocratic attacks.
On October 24th, protesters violently broke up an official func-
tion of Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council, the CEP. We were ap-
palled that the Haitian National Police again failed to fulfill their
responsibility, in this case to protect the CEP. When former Presi-
dent Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government was overthrown, our Na-
tion, with our support, spared no effort to restore elected, civil gov-
ernment to Haiti. This unacceptable outrage was committed in Mr.
Aristide's name. That is disappointing to us all.
I would like to say a word about our Ambassador to Haiti, Tim-
othy Carney. It is regrettable that the State Department declined
to allow him to be available for this hearing. Ambassador Carney
has earned our respect for his forthrightness and his profes-
sionalism. Among other accomplishments, we credit him with lead-
ing the effort to put good elections on track last Spring. We would
have welcomed his views on how to keep them on track today.
We thank Senator DeWine of Ohio, Senator Bob Graham of Flor-
ida, Representative Porter Goss of Florida, Representative Charles
Rangel of New York, and Representative John Conyers of Michigan
for accepting our invitation to testify before this Committee. While
we may disagree on some of the issues, each of these elected rep-
resentatives has demonstrated a consistent interest in the welfare
of our hemisphere's poorest country.
I would like to ask our Ranking Minority Member, Mr. Gejden-
son, if he has any opening remarks, and then we will withhold
opening remarks in order to enable our Senators to get back for a
roll call that they have waiting for them.
Mr. GEJDENSON. I will hold my opening remarks until after the
Senators and our other House Members have given their testi-
Chairman GILMAN. At this point, I would like to note that Sen-
ator Graham made a special effort to be with us today, because it
is his birthday. Congratulations, Senator Graham. You look young-
er than ever. We welcome having you with us. I'm also pleased to
welcome Senator DeWine, from Ohio, and a former Member of this
Committee. Welcome Senator DeWine.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. MIKE DeWINE, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF OHIO
Senator DEWINE. Thank you very much. It is great to be back
with the Committee on which I served for 6 years when I was in
the House. I want to thank you for convening this hearing today.
The country of Haiti and its people are really at a crossroads. I
thank you for holding this hearing because although Haiti is not
of strategically great importance to the United States, probably
never will be, it is close to us. It is in our back yard. What happens
in Haiti is very, very important to us as a country, and we need
to be interested in Haiti.
I am no expert on Haiti, but I follow the events affecting this
country closely, and have traveled there seven times in the last 5
years. I believe that there is some good news that comes out of
Haiti. I would like to talk first about the good news, and then the
First the good news. Perhaps, Mr. Chairman, the best news that
comes out of Haiti comes from the thousands of individuals from
the private, non-governmental organizations-members of church-
es, church congregations, religious people-who are in Haiti every
day trying to make a difference. These are Haitians, these are U.S.
citizens and others. They have helped the poor; they have helped
the orphaned, the starving, the elderly and the sick. Each time I
have visited Haiti, I have been inspired by their heroic deeds.
Second, the U.S. Government has played a major humanitarian
role in Haiti, and we continue to do so; and we must continue that.
We have been able to continue to feed thousands of orphan children
through Public Law 480. Also, our AID mission in Haiti is devel-
oping a local association to serve as advocates for Haitian children
and to create a network for orphanages to share ideas and re-
sources, and this must continue.
Third, Mr. Chairman, we have made tremendous progress in
training the Haitian police. We literally started with nothing. Al-
though the Haitian police have had problems, and will continue to
have problems, these problems were not unexpected. We have done
something that has probably not been done on this magnitude or
scale in the history of the world which, basically, we took 18-, 19-
,20-year-old kids and turned them into a police force.
Fourth, Mr. Chairman, I have been encouraged by the success of
some USAID programs to promote growth in Haiti's agricultural
sector. We haven't done this enough, frankly. We need to do more
of it. But what we have done, we have seen some progress. We
have worked directly with farmers to improve techniques in the
fields, where they learn-from our example-how to improve their
farming practices to yield more productive crops. We have also, just
as importantly Mr. Chairman, worked to help form marketing co-
operatives in Haiti to enable farmers to get their products to the
marketplace without having to go through the traditional Haitian
choke-hold that is controlled by just a few families.
Fifth, Mr. Chairman, Haiti has taken some small steps toward
business privatization-not as much as we would like to have
seen-but we have seen some in the area of flour and cement and
enterprises, and also in the area of cellular phones.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, we have really not seen the kind of mas-
sive exodus of Haitian refugees that we have witnessed earlier, and
that is good news as well.
But let me now turn to the bad news. The Haitian economy re-
mains stagnant. Because a significant proportion of economic activ-
ity is really from the underground markets, it is very difficult to
determine exactly where the economy is in Haiti and to see exactly
how far it has fallen. Haiti remains the poorest nation in our hemi-
sphere. We use the figure of $250 per capital per year, but no one
really knows the real figure. What growth there is, Mr. Chairman,
I believe, from my trips to Haiti, comes from two sources: one is
the underground economy, and the other is from foreign remit-
tances, which are very significant in Haiti's economy.
Mr. Chairman, the political situation is even worse. The phrase
"Haitian government" is tragically today an oxymoron. The govern-
ment has virtually ceased to function. The current political crisis
is rooted in the April 1997 parliamentary and municipal elections.
Since January 1999, President Preval has been ruling by decree.
Elections have been postponed three times, and now are scheduled
for March of the year 2000. With former-President Aristide running
for president, and he and his followers in the Lavalas Family Party
campaigning to hold one comprehensive presidential and legislative
election in November or December, 2000, it is unlikely, I believe,
that March elections will occur. Political intimidation is definitely
on the rise.
Mr. Chairman, absent a stable and democratic government in
place, Haiti has no hope of achieving real and lasting economic, po-
litical, and judicial reforms. Haiti is finding itself stuck in a vicious
cycle of despair. It is a cycle in which political stalemate thwarts
government and judicial reforms, which in turn discourages invest-
ment and privatization. Caught in a cycle like this, the economy
stands to shrink further and further unless changes are made.
Mr. Chairman, earlier I noted the limited progress of the Haitian
National Police. However, very real threat does exist that the police
force will become politicized as a result of the October 7, 1999,
forced resignation of Secretary of State for Public Security Bob
Manuel. Since then, supporters of former-President Aristide have
harassed the Police Director, General Pierre Denize, calling for his
dismissal. That has contributed to the erosion of public confidence
in the police force, which adds to the country's instability. The Hai-
tian people's confidence in their country's judicial system is also
fueled by their belief that the legal system is corrupt and for sale
to the highest bidder.
It is no surprise that with a law enforcement far from effective,
Haiti has become a popular transit stop for drug traffickers. This
will continue, Mr. Chairman, and frankly what we have to do is to
work outside the borders of Haiti on the high seas to make a dif-
ference there, at the same time that we work with the Haitian Na-
Why do we care about Haiti, Mr. Chairman? We care because
this tiny country lies roughly 550 miles from the U.S. coast of Flor-
ida. It is part of our hemisphere, and what happens in this hemi-
sphere affects us; and we should care about it. We cannot ignore
Haiti. Let's not forget that we already have a lot of money invested
in Haiti. The price we pay for failing to pay attention will take sev-
eral forms. One may be another massive refugee crisis, and cer-
tainly we will see drug trafficking continuing through Haiti. That
is why we must care about Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, the planned withdrawal of the U.S. military
forces from Haiti should not represent an end to our involvement
in Haiti. Our Nation can still play a constructive role, in partner-
ship with the Haitian people, to ensure that the many troubles in-
flicting this small island do not pass a point where they can not
Mr. Chairman, first we must continue efforts aimed at dem^-
racy-building in Haiti. This means we must promote free mark
and the rule of law. That also means that we must provide H,
with electoral assistance so that free and fair elections can tz
place. However, Mr. Chairman, the United States must not supp..
any election, either politically or financially, if certain criteria are
We must insist that the parliamentary elections are held sepa-
rately from the presidential elections this year. We must pressure
the Haitian government to allow the international community and
a delegation of world leaders to take a lead role in the upcoming
election. We must urge the Haitian government to reform the elec-
toral and political party laws to level the playing field. We must
insist that they have voter registration lists, voter cards, access to
state media, and access to state financial resources. We must also
ensure that the police do not become politicized in favor of certain
factions or parties at the expense of others. Finally, we must pro-
vide funding to continue with the political party-building process in
Mr. Chairman, we must make it clear that our financial assist-
ance for these elections is truly contingent on the above.
Second, until a functioning government is in place, any assist-
ance we provide needs really to go through the private sector. This
is the only way that we can ensure that aid gets directly to the peo-
ple. Third, we must fight drug trafficking through Haiti with a con-
tinued offshore U.S. presence as well as working with the Haitian
police. Fourth, the United States should expand agricultural assist-
ance through nongovernment organizations.
We have seen some success with these USAID programs, and I
have personally visited a number of them myself, Mr. Chairman.
Efforts aimed at teaching the Haitian farmers about land preserva-
tion, natural resource depletion, and efforts to work directly with
the farmers have the most hope of preventing Haitians from aban-
doning agriculture for urban areas like Port-au-Prince.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, a U.S. role in Haiti must ensure that hu-
manitarian and food assistance continues to reach people and espe-
cially the children. We have, I believe, a moral obligation to not let
the orphan children and other needy children in Haiti, the elderly,
and others starve.
To conclude, Haiti cannot progress until its political leaders and
the elite class take responsibility for their situation and commit to
turning things around. I truly believe, Mr. Chairman, that we will
not see Haiti turn around until two things happen: First, the polit-
ical leadership of the country decides that it is in their interest to
make things happen; and second-and maybe this is even more im-
portant-the political elite in Haiti, the 1 or 2 percent, the edu-
cated people, the people who have truly, historically been the elite,
they must decide that it is in their best interest that Haiti change.
They must decide that it is no longer in their interest to see chaos,
to see uncertainty, to see the status quo.
I truly believe that there are many people in Haiti in the elite
who believe that that is the only ocean they can swim in, and that
they will be better off if there is chaos, uncertainty, and no change.
Until this elite in Haiti changes its perception and truly under-
stands that Haiti needs to change, it will be very difficult for
change to really take place in Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your indulgence with my time. I ap-
preciate you giving us the opportunity to be here. Thank you for
holding this hearing on Haiti.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Senator DeWine, for your exten-
sive and very thorough remarks.
[The prepared statement of Senator DeWine appears in the ap-
Chairman GILMAN. We now turn to Senator Graham.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. BOB GRAHAM, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Senator GRAHAM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressman
Gejdenson, and Members of the Committee. Before I start, Mr.
Chairman, I would like to take the privilege of commenting on the
magnificent portrait of our friend, Congressman Dante Fascell. It
was 40 years ago this year that I was an intern for Congressman
Fascell. Most of the values and concepts of what it means to be a
legislator I gained from that great man, and his wisdom still per-
vades this Committee and this Congress; and it is so reassuring to
see his presence with us today.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Senator Graham. We certainly
miss our former Chairman, and he made a great contribution to
our Nation and to this Committee. Please proceed.
Senator GRAHAM. Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased to join my
colleagues in appearing before you today to testify on the current
political situation in Haiti. I appreciate the long efforts that you
and the Members of this Committee have focused on the situation
in Haiti and your efforts to bring democracy and prosperity to that
Mr. Chairman, I am very troubled by recent events in Haiti, par-
ticularly the disruption of the meeting of the Provisional Electoral
Council, the CEP, on October 24th of this year. On that date, fac-
tions associated with the Fanmi Lavalas broke up a meeting by
throwing urine on members of the Provisional Electoral Council.
No democracy can function with this type of direct assault on its
In light of these events, some suggest that the situation in Haiti
is without hope, beyond our ability to influence. I am here to say
that turning our backs on Haiti is not an option. We have learned
this lesson repeatedly during this century. We will always be
drawn back to Haiti by a combination of historical ties, humani-
tarian instincts, and our own national interest. Although it is dif-
ficult to remain engaged, as the country that has the greatest influ-
ence on Haiti the United States must use that influence in a posi-
I remember, as do you, the scenes of Haitian refugees awash in
the seas in their small boats. I remember the scenes of Haitian
ships being searched and found to be laden with illegal drugs des-
tined for our Nation's streets. These are the images of reality that
we will once again be forced to face if we ignore current events in
I am an optimist. I have known the quality of the Haitian peo-
ple-their strong, strong family values, their dedication to per-
sonal, family and community improvements, the beauty and value
of their art and culture. These are the foundations for democratic
reform on which a stable society with economic opportunity and
prosperity may be built.
Mr. Chairman, as a Senator from Florida, I know first-hand the
importance of strengthening democracy and economic development
in Haiti, as well as the consequences of failure in these regards. In-
deed, the United States has been committed to this objective and
has led international efforts to help Haiti. Since 20.000 U.S. troops
landed to restore democracy to Haiti in 1994, we have provided sig-
nificant humanitarian, economic, and security assistance. In spite
of our efforts, Haitian democracy again finds itself at a crossroads.
Parliamentary and municipal elections that can resolve the polit-
ical crisis in Haiti, originally scheduled for later this month, have
been postponed until March of 2000. I cannot overstate the impor-
tance of holding these elections in the Spring of 2000, and assuring
that they are open and credible elections.
Violence, election fraud, and low voter turnout have plagued Hai-
tian elections in the past. In fact, there were problems with the
1997 elections-in which voter turn out was about 5 percent-that
escalated the current political crisis in Haiti. Only by holding free
and fair elections in a secure environment where all parties are
able to participate openly can Haiti move beyond its current stale-
mate. Ending this stalemate will also allow for additional economic
assistance from the United States and the international commu-
nity. It is a prerequisite of improving the life of ordinary Haitians.
Let me suggest several steps that I believe must be taken to en-
sure that the upcoming elections can take place in an environment
that will engender trust in the system and allow Haiti to move for-
ward. First, during the period leading up to the elections in Haiti,
although our permanent military force is small and will soon tran-
sition to an expeditionary presence, we should continue military ef-
forts to help the Haitian people. This force should be engaged in
worthwhile civic projects such as construction of schools, roads, and
medical clinics throughout the country.
Second, we must do what we can to assure that there is a secure
environment in which these elections can take place. Providing a
significant number of international observers will help accomplish
this objective. It is important that these observers be deployed
early in the electoral process, not just arrive a couple of days before
the election itself.
Third, the international community must provide support for
these elections. I know that the United States and other nations
have already provided significant funding to prepare for the elec-
tions. Additional assistance will be available only if the conditions
for a free and fair election exist. As I mentioned at the outset,
there have been several very troubling incidents over the last few
weeks and months that lead me to question whether these condi-
tions do, in fact, exist. Some would suggest that, under current con-
ditions, we should not be a party to an election in Haiti, but we
cannot afford to walk away. The world, in particular the United
States, stands ready to help the Haitian people build their democ-
Fourth, the Provisional Electoral Council has done an excellent
job of resolving the disputed 1997 elections. During my recent visit
to Haiti, I met with several of the members of the CEP. They have
proven that they are willing to do what is right, what is coura-
geous, what is best for the people of Haiti. They deserve our sup-
port and the support of the Haitian political parties. The reas-
suring and compelling statements of our Ambassador to Haiti, Tim
Carney, emphasized the importance of the CEP.
Political parties are taking risks to participate in this election,
and they deserve our support. Without it, they will be forced under-
ground. We need to find ways to assure that they are able to as-
semble freely and have their platforms heard. The United States
and the international community must help the political parties di-
rectly. I applaud the efforts of the National Endowment for Democ-
racy, the International Republican Institute, and the National
Democratic Institute as they have worked to advance democracy in
Haiti. Their efforts are good examples of how non-governmental or-
ganizations become engaged in promoting democratic reform where
direct involvement by the U.S. State Department and other agen-
cies would be inappropriate.
Mr. Chairman, I would suggest these would be important steps
that the United States and the international community can take
to assure that credible elections will be held. But the Haitians
themselves have the greatest responsibility to assure that this oc-
curs. All political parties should publicly commit to denouncing po-
litical violence, including allowing all parties to publicly campaign
without intimidation. This commitment must include actively re-
straining any elements or supporters from participating in violence
or intimidation. President Preval and former President Aristide
have a special responsibility to use their status and trust that the
Haitian people have placed in them to restrain the forces of evil.
I call on them to work with the international community to ensure
that these elections go forward in a secure environment. Mr. Chair-
man, in many respects their credibility depends on this, and they
will be held accountable for their success or failure.
It is essential to the Haitian democratic process that there are
indeed two separate elections in the coming 14 months. We have
already witnessed considerable delays. Any additional delay will
put international support at great risk. Credible parliamentary and
municipal elections must occur to provide confidence in the elec-
toral system for the presidential elections in November of 2000 to
be viewed as credible. It is also important that Haiti develop a
strong and independent legislative branch of government. This can
help it to survive through periods of instability and provide an out-
let for those who may disagree with an elected executive.
Some have argued that the March election should be delayed and
folded into the presidential election. This would have ominous and
negative implications. It would mean for almost 3 years the coun-
try has been without a stable parliament. It will mean that the
economy of the country will continue to be denied international fi-
nancial aid that requires legislative action by the Haitian Par-
liament before it can move forward.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, and I appreciate your indulgence, the
United States has developed a very effective military, a military
that has proven its ability to intervene in conflicts and provide a
secure environment. We have done this in Haiti, Bosnia, and now
in Kosovo. Unfortunately, we have not been equally successful in
providing long-term political and economic stability following our
military interventions. The military's success is the result of many
years of thoughtful planning, training, and resourcing. The follow-
up economic and political activities have none of these qualities.
They are characterized by their ad hoc nature and lack of sustain-
able and credible initiatives, and a particular lack of emphasis on
carrying out an effective economic recovery plan.
These comments are by no means limited to Haiti. In the current
issue of Foreign Affairs, there is an article, Mr. Chairman, entitled
"A European New Deal for the Balkans." I would just read one sen-
tence from the second paragraph, "The basis for long-term stability
and non-nationalistic politics in southeastern Europe lies in its
economies, and here the picture is bleak." Exactly that same sen-
tence could be written substituting Haiti for southeastern Europe.
Mr. Chairman, operations in Bosnia and Kosovo have been char-
acterized by successful military as the first chapter, followed by
failed economic and political chapters which left us in situations no
better than those which we originally encountered. Mr. Chairman,
I would recommend to the Members of the House of Representa-
tives as a step which might be taken to strengthen our economic
influence in Haiti and other countries in the Caribbean basin-the
Caribbean Basin Initiative legislation which was passed by a 3 to
1 vote in the Senate last week-I would hope that favorable and
expedited attention could be given to that in the House of Rep-
resentatives. I believe this would be a significant step toward the
United States overcoming this history of failed economic response
after successful military intervention.
Mr. Chairman, during my last visit to Haiti in June of this year,
I flew over the north coast and observed scores of small boats
under construction. These boats could be a warning of things to
come, or simply a reminder of past problems. We already know the
price of failure in Haiti because we have paid it for most of the
20th Century. We must use this opportunity to enhance democracy
in Haiti so that our children and grandchildren will not have to
continue paying the price of failure into the 21st Century. Thank
you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Senator Graham appears in the ap-
Mr. BALLENGER. [Presiding.] Senator Graham, I would like to
thank both you and Senator DeWine for being here. I don't know
how much time you have.
Senator GRAHAM. Mr. Chairman, unfortunately we have already
had a bell for a vote that commenced at 10:30, and I am afraid that
I am going to have to join my colleague in absenting myself from
the balance of the hearing.
Mr. BALLENGER. We thank you kindly for being here this morn-
ing, and I am sorry for the tight schedule that you have run into.
Congressman Goss, we will turn it to you now.
Mr. Goss. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I have a
lengthy, closely typed, single-spaced multipage statement which I
would like to submit for the record.
Mr. GEJDENSON. We would love to hear all of it.
Mr. Goss. I would like to summarize, and I would like to have
unanimous consent to submit the full statement.
Mr. BALLENGER. Without objection.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. PORTER GOSS, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. Goss. Thank you. I will proceed to say that I also want to
congratulate the Committee for making this effort. Lord knows
Haiti needs all the help it can get from its friends. I think every-
body here, as I look around, are people that have either traveled
there or are very familiar with it and are trying to find a solution
for a difficult problem.
I could point out, in terms of my own credibility about Haiti, I
have been involved with that country one way or another with gov-
ernment efforts since the 1960's. I can point out that Port-au-
Prince is a lot closer to my district than Washington, D.C. I can
point out that I have a lot of Haitian Americans in my district. I
have to point out that I have a steady stream of visitors, parlia-
mentarians, and businessmen from Haiti, and I basically seem to
spend a large part of my official life dealing with the Haitian prob-
I also, as the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, deal a lot
with facts that go on in the world, troubling facts, that affect our
national security and our well-being and our American interests,
and we also try very hard in the Intelligence Committee to distin-
guish between facts and wishful thinking. One of my criticisms-
and I have been harsh on the Administration about this-is that
they failed to distinguish the facts from the wishful thinking over
the past several years.
Let me start by saying where we are in Haiti today. By any
measure I would say-in fact by all the measures-I would say
that we are generally backsliding badly. The economy is in sham-
bles. There is corruption in the business world, the official world
and every world. It is very hard to get a business loan from a bank
in Haiti. It is very hard to get any kind of security guarantees at
warehouses. Payoffs are a part of business. Things just are not
going forward in a way that would pass muster in this country, and
in fact it is getting worse.
Crime is rampant. I have been getting calls from people who say
that once the sun sets, the HNP in many of the cities just simply
go indoors and they don't come out, and you are at your own risk
until the sun comes up again. Unfortunately, we are seeing a con-
siderable increase in crime going on throughout the country.
The judiciary is, in fact, non-functional. The parliament is shat-
tered, as we know. Power is concentrated in the executive branch,
with even the local officials in the country serving at the presi-
dents' pleasure. When I say "presidents'," I use the word in the plu-
ral sense. I would also point out that there is, among international
observers in the community now, increasing concern about this
backward drift, or back slide.
Election security is going to be a critical issue. From the point
of view of competency, the HNP probably is not going to be able
to do the job sufficiently to give people the confidence to run, that
is, the opposition out there to run, or the people to vote, to be con-
cerned about their safety in the voting process. We have to over-
come those areas, and that means a huge effort, because as people
have testified already, the two Senators have testified and others
who know the situation there know, getting elections to happen in
Haiti is not going to be easy, and getting full, fair, free, and trans-
parent elections is a huge task.
I think it is telling that former-President Aristide has been silent
on the disruptions we have seen so far to the initial kickoff sessions
of the CEP and the opposition politicians who have tried to gather
around. There has been calculated violence meant to disrupt the
democratic process. It is associated, or at least alleged, that former-
President Aristide is responsible, in part, for this. I understand
that there has been no word forthcoming from him.
I think the question that is often asked about, gee it is going to
be such a huge effort in terms of educating the Haitians relative
to the security question of the atmosphere to vote, is a false issue
in some ways. The Haitians know how to vote. I have been there,
as many of us have, for elections to observe the Haitians. I was
there in 1990, and I was there again for the parliamentary elec-
tions thereafter; and the Haitians go about their business very
well. They understand how to do it, notwithstanding the high illit-
eracy rate. The problem is that they don't feel motivated to do it
now because of the corruption, and "democracy", has brought them
nothing, has not brought food to the table. They see the
authoritarianism continuing, and the destabilization and the elit-
ism that was spoken about earlier in the testimony rampant in the
So, I think that the idea of know-how is not the issue. I think
the idea of atmosphere is rather critical. In the area of atmosphere,
one cannot overlook all of the very significant evidence in recent
days that there is increasing politization of the HNP. Not only is
it a competency question realistically asked, but the politization
question is one that needs to be resolved.
In a couple of other areas that have been spoken to briefly, I
would like to talk about immigration, the economic immigration,
looking to the megapolis of Miami as the way out of the troubles
in Haiti if you are in economic despair, which almost everybody in
the country is; we need to have a repatriation agreement. It is ex-
traordinary to me that we have negotiated two repatriation agree-
ments with Fidel Castro, and none with Haiti, which is thought to
be a more friendly country. It does give us a need to address that
Speaking of Cuba, I am concerned, and would ask the question
and try and direct to this Committee's attention, what exactly is
the Cuban interest in Haiti these days? There seems to be a great-
er manifestation of Cuban presence, allegedly or assertedly under
the guise of medical help, but from observers' testimony that I have
talked to and have called me, it is more than that. There appear
to be what I would call young thugs who are militant types out and
about doing I don't know what, but apparently doing it without any
concern for whether the HNP cares what their activities are about.
It appears to me that is an area that needs to be pursued in addi-
tion to the question of the increasing drug trade which is obvious,
well known, understood, and is seriously a setback for us on the
war on drugs, and without again overlooking the problems of the
immigration flows that Senator Graham is so aware of and spoke
so articulately about.
I believe where we are in Haiti now is the need for a realistic
appraisal, and I stress the word realistic. I believe that we need to
identify the Haitians in Haiti who are willing to be powerful,
strong, courageous leaders, and assist them in their opportunity in
Haiti to lead Haitians.
I think the problem is that we have been calling it not as it is,
but as we wish it were in Haiti, and that is a formula for deceiving
I basically would associate myself with the ideas that have been
put forward by Senators DeWine and Graham. The one exception
would be that I do not believe it is useful for our combat troops to
be down there doing civilian projects when I believe there are other
NGO's that can do that. But that is a small point. In terms of
drawing a line about will the United States lend its credibility to
these elections, I think we have to answer the question is it pos-
sible to have full, fair, free, friendly transparent elections where
there will be good opposition opportunities, where the Haitians will
willingly go forth and vote because there is opportunity for them.
I think that is going to be the test, and if Haiti fails that test, I
do not think that we should lend the aura of credibility to elections
that are not credible.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Goss appears in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. [Presiding.] Thank you, Mr. Goss. I hope you
can stay for some questions.
Mr. Goss. I would be very happy to stay.
Chairman GILMAN. We are now pleased to have Congressman
Conyers, representing the State of Michigan, Ranking Minority
Member on the Judiciary Committee. Welcome, Mr. Conyers. We
are pleased to have been able to go to Haiti with you on several
STATEMENT OF THE HON. JOHN CONYERS, JR., A REPRESENT-
ATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
Mr. CONYERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and to my good friend,
the Ranking Member, Mr. Gejdenson Members of the Committee,
Mr. Payne and Mr. Hastings, and Mr. Delahunt, who serves with
me on the Judiciary Committee, have been very helpful in the one
area of foreign affairs that I have spent as much time on, this sub-
ject, perhaps more than any other. I am delighted to be here to
share with my colleagues some of the impressions of where we are
in the very important issue around restoring Haiti to some promi-
nence, both economically and politically.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you, because you have been working with
me on this issue for many years. I have been to Haiti with every-
body that has been at this table, and many of the Members of the
Committee. I have followed the subject closely; I travel there fre-
quently. Today's hearing provides an excellent opportunity for us to
openly discuss some of the challenges that are still facing Haiti,
and what we can do about them.
I may be the one that knows the first democratically elected
president as well as, or better than anybody in the Congress. I re-
member President Aristide before he was a president. He was here
in Washington and I got to know him. He traveled with the
Cranbook Institute in Michigan. I am deeply impressed by him as
a human being, a spiritual leader, and a person who is trying to
bring order to his country under incredible circumstances. I think
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the man, deserves some examination of his
life and his career and his designation, based on the principles of
the religion out of which he came. I think we can easily dem-
onstrate that the former-President, Mr. Aristide, has denounced, in
a regular way, all of the activities, the unfortunate incidents that
have happened, the public disruptions; and I can remember one of
our meetings in which we delivered the same kind of message that
we are delivering to ourselves, we delivered to him. As soon as I
finished he said what do you want me to do? I said we want you
to go on the radio and denounce these events. He said, I will do
it. He said, I am prepared to do it and I want to do it. And he did
it. He still does it. He has not been silent. He has publicly de-
nounced and condemned these activities.
While we are thinking about that, we ought to examine the mo-
tive for him to be deliberately fostering the disruptions for a coun-
try in which he is the lead contender for election, I don't think that
would make good sense. He would not benefit from any of this dis-
The other matter that I think we need to get on the table right
away is his-he and the current President's commitment to two
elections. That was a very important aspect of our visit. Now, the
elections were delayed but it wasn't-it was through administrative
difficulty of printing ID cards for a million Haitians that, if you
know the terrain, as I know the Chairman does, it is impossible.
Nobody gets up there, period, except the people that live there. So
to imagine that we could bring in some entrepreneurs who would
quickly take a photo of everybody for the election, which was a
worthy idea, it is just simply impossible. So the election was de-
layed. But the first commitment we got from both President Preval
and former-President Aristide was that we get out, we make it
clear, we get out to the public that there would be two elections
and no further delay. That has been the commitment and still is.
Now, a word about the police. Pierre Denize, the head of the Hai-
tian National Police, has been one of the most able, committed, and
open members of the whole government. They have abolished their
army, something that has never happened before. They are moving
ahead in a very excellent way. His credibility has never, ever been
brought under question. Every investigation that we have asked
him to look more carefully at, every issue that we have ever raised
to him, I think, has been very important.
The other matter that I think should be brought to your atten-
tion, Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Committee, is the whole
question of our expectations. We have to get a management under
these-our expectations. Haiti was in ruins after largely U.S.-sup-
ported governments for several administrations-in ruin. There
was no department of anything. I mean, we are talking about cre-
ating a nation from the ground up in a few years, and of course
we are impatient. We want more to happen. But we have got to get
some management over our own expectations. We have to be a bit
more realistic about what we expect of Haiti at this point.
The transition to democracy in 1990, and again in 1994, was dif-
ficult. Thousands of Aristide supporters were murdered. We still
have problems going on. The President's own sister has been in-
jured. These aren't activities promoted by people that are sup-
porting the present administration or the past administration.
Haiti has abolished its military and begun building a new profes-
sional police force with 5,000 members today, with our help.
I talked with former-Police Chief Kelly and his successors down
there, and they and we were pleased at the quick training, which
is not yet completed by far. We have got a lot more to do. So, I
think it would be inaccurate to suggest that President Aristide, or
his supporters, or any other political group are dominating the po-
lice when the few facts that we do have make it clear that the
sources of violence are so diverse.
We should avoid any over-simplification that any one group of
supporters carries a disproportionate responsibility for disruption.
The strength of a democracy is measured by how well it functions
under adverse circumstances, and the economic and social environ-
ment in Haiti places tremendous pressures on the political system.
Our U.S. Agency for International Development just reported that
even though we have delivered thousands of vaccinations for chil-
dren, increased access to microcredit for entrepreneurs, and im-
proved environmental conditions, only 39 percent of the population
has access to clean water, and only 26 percent have adequate sani-
tation. I meet with the businessmen regularly too, and am sup-
portive of their efforts. They are great and doing a wonderful job.
I am here to urge that our investigation be tempered with cau-
tion and patience; that we don't expect too much too quickly from
a nation that is literally rising from the ashes. It is in that spirit
that I am very pleased to join you here today and ask that my re-
port from my latest visit to Haiti, of September 10, 1999, be put
in the record along with my colleagues that were there: Represent-
atives Campbell, Payne, Hilliard, Faleomavaega, and Delegate
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection that will be made part of
[The prepared statement of Mr. Conyers appears in the appen-
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Conyers, for your testimony.
Regretfully, Congressman Rangel of New York is detained in a
Committee markup. He will not be able to be with us this morning.
Without objection, we will include his statement in the record.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rangel appears in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Let me address a question or two to our pan-
elists. The attack on Haiti's electoral authorities on October 24th
was unacceptable. What should we do to oppose this kind of action
at this time? Mr. Goss, Mr. Conyers, or either one.
I am pleased Senator DeWine was able to return.
Senator DEWINE. Mr. Chairman, just very briefly, I think that
this country, as I said in my prepared statement, must be very
strong in regard to the elections. I set forth criteria in my prepared
statement. I think we have to insist on this criteria. That is pretty
much it. This is an area where I think we have to draw the line.
As far as U.S. assistance--if U.S. assistance is going to be in
there, we have to have certain things required in regard to the
election. One of the things that we constantly monitor and look at,
not just in Haiti, but in many countries, is whether or not the po-
lice are becoming politicized. That is something we just constantly
have to worry about. I think we have made very, very significant
progress with the police in Haiti. It is an underreported, untold
success story that we all should be very proud of; that the Haitians
should be very proud of. But insisting that the police remain non-
political, I think, is one of the main keys to ensuring that democ-
racy will continue to develop in Haiti.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Senator DeWine. Mr. Goss.
Mr. Goss. Mr. Chairman, one of the problems that we see with
that, as disgusting and disruptive as those incidents were, and
again remember that this is-we make these comments with the
backdrop of the United States being disinvited to have its troops
present anymore as a stabilizing factor, or any other factor-is the
fact that the HNP did not respond. They were not responsive to
calculated organized violence. There was a disruptive effort made.
The HNP was notified these events was going to take place. Their
protection was requested, as would be normal in a democracy, and
they failed to show up for whatever reason.
I certainly would give the United States of America, and its tax-
payers and citizens, an A-plus for a good idea in trying to strength-
en the HNP, but in terms of the measure of effectiveness, I would
have to call it a failure at this point. I think we saw that failure
in these demonstrations. I think this is the type of thing we will
continue to see, and in fact it is only a part of a continuum that
we are seeing in Haiti which is regrettably getting worse rather
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Conyers.
Mr. CONYERS. Might I just observe that crowd control is one of
the most difficult areas of police enforcement. We have problems
right here in our own country in terms of that sort of thing, and
for a newly trained force to be able to sweep in very effectively in
the way that we know that police can and should operate, may be
a bit of a stretch for a police force that is still coming out of 6 to
9 months of training, and has no long record of being able to deal
with this sort of thing.
But more importantly, the next day, October 25th, Fanmi
Lavalas issued their press release, strongly condemning and de-
nouncing the violence that occurred on Sunday, October 24th, dur-
ing the opening of the civic education campaign. They were right
there because, why? We go to motivation again. There is nothing
for them to gain by encouraging lawlessness around electoral activ-
ity when they have the most to benefit from it.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Conyers. Just one last ques-
tion. Of course we all recognize that freedom of assembly and free-
dom of speech are essential to free and fair elections. Do you rec-
ommend anything more we can be doing to assure that those kinds
of elections in the spring will be held in that manner of free and
Mr. CONYERS. Yes, sir. I would like to recommend that we send
in not only an international delegation of observers for the election,
so that we can make sure that the elections are conducted as they
are supposed to be, and have been promised, but that we here in
the Congress send a delegation ourselves. It is my personal hope,
my duties in Congress permitting, to be there to make sure that
all the promises are fulfilled. I think that many of the parties begin
to realize that the only way that they can gain credibility is to min-
imize any disruption. That disruption operates not just to our
anger and disagreement and dissolution, but it also operates
against their own best interests politically. So it is my hope that
the observer system, which has been worked to a pretty fine point
these days, will be operating in full swing, so that everybody knows
that there will be independent observations coming out of any elec-
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Conyers. Senator DeWine.
Senator DEWINE. Mr. Chairman, the only thing I would add is
that, not only for these elections, but for the long-term development
of democracy in Haiti, we should do what I think many times we
do best, and that is export democracy and work through our pri-
vate sector, through our private political parties in this country, to
help develop the political system in Haiti. This is something that
we can do on a people-to-people basis. I think our government
needs to be involved in that. That is something that, in the long
term, will pay dividends for the stability of Haiti.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Senator. Congressman Goss.
Mr. Goss. Mr. Chairman, I think it is important to take a step
back and say, who is inviting us to come to Haiti to do what. I
think we want to be a little careful we don't fall into the trap that
Mr. Conyers alluded to in his testimony, that Haiti was in ruins
somehow because of former U.S. Government policies. It is a sov-
ereign nation, and it is in charge of its own destiny. To the degree
we can be useful in the system, to the degree that we are accepted
and are wanted to come down and play in that playing field under
those terms, I think it is very important to draw those lines first.
I know there are well-meaning people in Haiti; I know there are
hard working people in Haiti trying to accomplish those goals. I
know that those people are interested in having a bona fide inter-
national observation force there.
But if that is going to be frustrated by a duplicity, or behind-the-
scenes disruptions by other powers that are there, then it has got
to come out yet again, as it has in the past. So my concern is, be-
fore we commit to anything, we find out what the invitation is,
what is expected, what the ground rules are going to be, who is
going to be held accountable, and identify the people who are ask-
ing us. Because as I pointed out earlier, we have been disinvited
in some ways from participating.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Goss. Any further
comments by any of our panelists? If not, Mr. Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman; and I com-
mend you for holding this hearing-very important, I think, that
those of us who are here are certainly very concerned about Haiti.
I also look at the problems there, and with the disbanding of the
military that has probably been an institution that has been in
Haiti longer than any institution, and to attempt to create a police
department, I think that we are kind of expecting too much too
Unfortunately, you need to have an effective police department.
But when I look at the numbers of police in Haiti, less than 5,000
maybe-it is about 4,800 police for the entire country-trying to re-
cruit new people from scratch, I compare the population of Haiti to
the population of New York City, probably the total miles of that
not too far off, when you take the five boroughs; New York has
45,000 police. You have 4,800 in Haiti. We look at it as saying, well
now, we ought to compare what is happening there with what hap-
pens in our major cities. You can't even compare.
As a matter of fact, I take exception. I think the crime rate in
Haiti is very low. Now, there may be political violence which is
higher than what we have here, but overall crime-although people
don't go out at night-if you take the number of actual crimes com-
pared to the crime in the cities of this Nation, in spite of the fact
that we have 25 percent of the population of Haiti in prison in our
jails, I am just looking at 4,800 policemen as compared to the
45,000 policemen in New York, and we are looking for miracles.
Second, it is difficult, as Mr. Conyers said, if Aristide is so pop-
ular and the Lavalas Party is so strong, why would you need to dis-
rupt election processes that are going on? The ones, it would seem
to me, that would want to be disruptive would be those who would
like to derail the popularity of the majority. It would be the ones
in the minority that would not want to see-the anti-Aristide peo-
ple, it would seem, would be the ones who would have more to gain
by disrupting a process which is moving forward.
So I am a little bit confused, too, that when an Aristide con-
fidante is killed, that is possibly drug related, but if someone op-
posed to Aristide is killed, it is political, without a question, be-
cause Aristide's people will kill their opponents. But if an Aristide
person gets killed, not that the opponents might have killed him,
it is the fact that it must be some other reason.
So there is no question that there is a lot of prejudging or maybe
prejudice that goes on on that level with many people seeming to
have an anti-Haiti position.
Now, of course, I have 5 minutes to ask the question, but since
I wasn't here for an opening statement, I thought I would roll that
in. Let me just ask the panelists, I believe that-and we all agree
that the election should be separate. I think Mr. Conyers indicated
that everyone agrees that that is the way it should be. I just won-
der and maybe those of you, Mr. Goss, and Senator DeWine, the
process by which the elections were supposed to be held in Decem-
ber, with polling places having to be gotten, with candidates having
to be certified, with election workers having to be trained-and I
think the number is closer to 3 million photo ID's that were going
to have to be taken in order to have the December election-I was
just wondering if anyone feels that that election could have been-
the election has been postponed-but does anyone believe that
could have been pulled off?
I heard our U.S. Embassy say it could have been pulled off. I to-
tally disagreed with that when I was there in September or Octo-
ber, because I couldn't see that all that would be done by Decem-
ber. I wonder if anybody there might have any views on the elec-
tion, and whether that December 8th date was realistic, especially
in light of the new photo ID business that was brought in-wheth-
er it would have been possible to have it take place. I wonder if
Mr. Goss or the Senator, or Mr. Conyers could respond.
Mr. CONYERS. I just wanted to quickly observe that it was a
noble and appropriate attempt for the December elections, that is,
when it was scheduled. But on a CODEL-two CODEL's-that we
were in, it became clear that there might be difficulty, and it would
require a postponement. Now we have cleared the crisis of the ab-
sence of a prime minister, we are seeing progress. One of my
CODEL's unanimously recommended postponing the elections to
make sure that there was adequate time to have excellent prepara-
tion. Now, we are making sure that these preparations, including
the measures intended to increase voter confidence and reduce
fraud, are implemented. I think our country must show a strong
commitment for these elections, and let me just say that our Am-
bassador is doing an excellent job. I would like to just put in a
word for Ambassador Carney, who was able, while we were there,
to bring OPL and Fanmi Lavalas together, and even the dissidents,
for the first time. So, the U.S. was doing a great job in moving us
out of this necessity to postpone the election.
Senator DEWINE. Congressman, I don't have the expertise to tell
you whether, if carried out, that election would work from a tech-
nical point of view. I think at this point that is water over the dam
for all of us, and certainly for Haiti. I think the important thing
is that we push forward, and they push forward, and they have the
will to have these elections. I think everybody I have heard today
agrees with that.
Mr. Goss. My view is that, technically, it could have happened,
and I base that on the previous two elections that I was down there
for. But I don't think there is a will to have an election in Haiti,
among the people, that is sufficient. There is lack of confidence
about their safety. There is lack of confidence among the people
who would run that their safety can be guaranteed to survive the
election. There is some feeling by the voters that voting doesn't get
you anything. I have talked to voters who say, why do we vote? We
don't understand this democracy; it doesn't put food on the table.
I think the status that-Mr. Payne-that you alluded to about peo-
ple killing each other is part of what is off-putting the will. I think
that there is motive for Aristide's forces wanting to disrupt the
process. I think the motive of that is to delay the elections into one
election later in the year. Aristide is already the de facto power in
Haiti, as everybody knows. The question then of wrapping it up
with the formality of an "election in one election" sometime next
fall, when the presidential elections are called for, and the par-
liamentary elections, where a puppet parliament would be brought
along with them, I think, is a scenario that is much discussed by
people who know about Haiti.
Mr. PAYNE. My time has expired. First, I don't see what dif-
ference you are going to have in having two elections in one, Mr.
Goss, if Aristide is the only name in town and whether it is eight
elections, they are going to win all eight. So, to have them in one,
I really don't think it is a prime mover. As a matter of fact, I would
think that Aristide would want them separate, so people wouldn't
think that he wanted to have them all at one time. But there is
no question that I would be shocked if Aristide's party does not
Second, I do want to disagree with you. The difference, Mr. Goss,
between the election this time, in December, when we were there
almost in October, and what happened when we were both there
4 or 5 years ago in the previous election, is that they weren't talk-
ing about taking 4 million pictures and having them put in nice lit-
tle frames and have everybody there when they went to vote. The
other election was just a fingerprint. Now you have to have your
photo ID and the fingerprint too. That was the big difference. That
is what Mr. Conyers alluded to. They didn't have the photo ID. I
don't even know who came up with this great idea to go to Canada
to get people to take pictures of 4 million people so they can vote.
We don't even have photo ID mandatory in New Jersey for drivers
licenses, as a matter of fact. But someone says, in our Embassy,
we can do these 3 or 4 million pictures and have everybody ready
in a month. It absolutely, in my opinion, would have been even dif-
ficult in New Jersey. We have 8 million people, too.
Mr. Goss. If you want a response to that, Mr. Payne, I will tell
you we use motor voter in Florida, and we have concerns there as
well. The point, I would say, is I was there in 1990, and I have said
publicly many times that I thought that election was an absolutely
bona fide expression of the will of the people of Haiti. It was a very
well done election. Now, it wasn't perfect in technical terms by the
way everybody registered and so forth, but it was a clear expres-
sion for President Aristide's victory. I have said so. That was a
democratic election. I think that was really the last truly demo-
cratic election in Haiti, and it may have been the first one. They
did it without photos.
Chairman GILMAN. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr.
Mr. BALLENGER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a couple of
questions. The first one is, Senator Graham was the only one of
you that spoke out about the need for some economic stability to
grow a real democracy there. I am specifically talking about CBI,
which is either hung up between the House and the Senate, or
somewhere, but it just appears to me that without some sort of eco-
nomic stability, or the ability for the country to create jobs, the
whole thing is going to fall apart, as a personal opinion.
I would like to ask that, but I would also like to throw out some-
thing that a group of Haitians gave me last week, just this sugges-
tion. They said that the major difficulty that they felt the police
had was that they were scared to take sides. As somebody said-
I think one of our Members here said-that their numbers are so
small that they are afraid to get involved, because they might end
up being brutalized themselves.
The suggestion was-and I didn't even realize this existed-that
there are substantial numbers of Haitian American police in this
country today, in New York City and Chicago, in various and sun-
dry areas like that, that they thought would be able to volunteer
to go down-maybe there would be 300, 500, whatever it is, to go
down-and the addition of trained policemen who have lived in a
democracy would put backbone into the Haitian police. First, I
would like to ask the question about CBI, and the second one, is
that second suggestion even practical?
Senator DEWINE. Let me start if I could, Congressman
Ballenger, with your second point. One of the success stories that
I have seen in Haiti is the U.N. CIVPOL that contains a number
of Haitian-born U.S. citizens, big city cops, who are working down
there on a contract basis, who care about Haiti, who have a back-
ground from Haiti, many times have relatives in Haiti. They are
down there with a very specific purpose and role of training of Hai-
tian police, and really training the trainers. They are actually men-
tors. That has been, I think, very successful.
I think it is important for us to try to do what we can to see that
that program continues. I am concerned that it may not be con-
tinuing. So it goes right along with your points. We have resources
in this country-in most of our major cities we have Haitians who
are policemen who are very good and very talented, and many of
whom have been willing to go down to Haiti on a limited basis. I
think we need to keep that going.
The second point you made on the economy of Haiti, a lot of
things have to happen before we get the investment that we need
to see in Haiti. The assembly industry that we used to see in Haiti
in the time period when baseballs were assembled there-all kinds
of products came out of the assemblies-is back up, but it is cer-
tainly not near what it was before the embargo. That is something
that is-the plants are still there, the buildings are still there, the
Haitians are still there-but I think that the instability in the
country is keeping some companies from making a decision that
they want to go back and relocate back into Haiti.
The fact that the port is the most expensive port in the hemi-
sphere is a real problem. You have experienced that yourself, and
I have, when we try to get humanitarian shipments through that
port. I had a situation just a week ago, we were working to get
some humanitarian things through the port and it just boggles the
mind the red tape you have to go through, and all the problems you
have to get it through the port.
Privatization needs to continue. There are eight or nine govern-
ment-owned industries that, frankly, need to be privatized. They
have made some progress on that-flour, cement-but they need to
go further. There are just so many things to talk about when you
talk about the economy. But clearly what we have to have, what
Haiti has to see, is investment. Foreign money has to come in there
to invest in Haiti.
The other thing that I mentioned in my prepared statement was
agriculture. One of the biggest problems Haiti has today is how
many people are leaving the countryside and going to one of the
major cities. It is not just Port-au-Prince; it is several other major
cities. They are coming in there, they have no way of making a liv-
ing, they have no way of eating. So we have to, I think, encourage
them; and we have the technical expertise at USAID and through
the American universities, we have that expertise to help them not
only develop their own agriculture, but many times the most im-
portant thing is to market their own agriculture so they don't have
to go through the families that have control and the choke-points
that have been there in Haiti, so they have their own cooperatives,
principles we see in the United States in agriculture, and devel-
oped in the beginning of this century.
So there are a lot of things that can be done. But part of the
problem is the feeling by people that there is that political unrest,
the stability is not yet there in Haiti. I think having elections and
getting a government that really does function will go a long way
to restoring people's confidence.
Mr. BALLENGER. Before I pass that onto Mr. Goss, let me just say
one thing. If you are a businessman and you are thinking of invest-
ing somewhere, would you put your money in any place that auto-
matically says you are going to be less competitive than the Mexi-
cans? That is the reason I throw the CBI out there.
Senator DEWINE. I totally agree with you, Congressman. We
need to do it. We need to pass it, we need to get it done.
Mr. BALLENGER. Porter.
Mr. Goss. Thank you. I certainly agree with Senator DeWine on
the CBI issue. We have been working on it for a long time, and it
matters a great deal in my part of the world. But the issue you
raise about the economy is clearly true. We have to have the econ-
omy. But it is very hard to get anybody to invest because of the
unusually high risk involved, the great amount of corruption, and
the lack of guarantees.
In fact, I was told by one American businessman-and this is a
little bit anecdotal, but it nevertheless is the atmosphere-they
would like to have reopened the business that they had previously
in Haiti, before the embargo went on, and they could not get a
bank loan from the bank because the bank said that the bank ex-
aminer would not allow an unsecured loan in Haiti because it is
too risky. That is the kind of problem that small American busi-
nessmen are having there. It obviously is a huge damper on invest-
I agree with you on the economy. The problem with all of this-
and going to your second idea-I think it is a great idea. But it is
only a great idea if Haitians in Haiti want to have that happen,
want to invite those people in to provide the stability. Because, for
every time one group in Haiti gets a good idea, another group de-
cides to derail it. The problem remains among Haitians in Haiti.
We haven't learned the concept of opposition. We haven't learned
the concept of middle class.
We have got a huge group of non-elite and a small group of elite,
and the power shifts back and forth in different areas; but the fact
of the matter is the great mass of the country at this point is in
economic depravity that probably doesn't exist anywhere else in
this hemisphere, if in the world, it is so bad. It is an absolute out-
rage this can be, when there is so much opportunity. But unless
the Haitians who have the capacity to lead in Haiti are willing to
lead, and these decisions are made in Haiti, all the good will, good
intentions, and good aid we can throw at them will come to naught.
That is what we have seen, regrettably, in the past couple hundred
Chairman GILMAN. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have enjoyed the
testimony from everybody this morning. It has been very inform-
ative. I hope Senator DeWine comes back because I think many of
the points he makes are really on the mark. I do agree that, for
many reasons, it is important for the United States to insist on two
elections. I think if that occurs, it will hopefully alleviate some of
the concerns expressed by Mr. Goss and those who share his per-
spective. I would also observe the comments by Mr. Conyers in
terms of his conversations with the former President making a
commitment to that particular premise, that particular reality.
Now we shall see. Now we shall see, Mr. Goss.
Earlier you mentioned the incidents, and you've reached a con-
clusion that they were at least instigated, if not encouraged, by
members of the Fanmi Lavalas. Again, Mr. Conyers submits to us
a press statement to indicate that, in fact, the Fanmi Lavalas con-
demned publicly this conduct of the actions of those who claim to
be followers of President Aristide. I certainly don't know what hap-
pened. I wasn't there. I have some reservations about the reli-
ability of the information that we receive from Haiti.
But I would also point out, I think it was just this week, that
there was another incident where militants who claimed to be
Aristide supporters attacked a speaker at a political rally from
members of the ESPASE Coalition. We had some good news. The
Haitian National Police actually intervened and effected an arrest
of one of the militants. I would be interested if we could develop
some intelligence as to the whereabouts of that particular so-called
militant, and what his perspective and motives may be. I find it,
maybe because of my naivete, just simply hard to accept the fact
that all those claiming to be followers of Aristide are foolish enough
to be proclaiming it. As my friend from New Jersey, Mr. Payne, in-
dicated, it really doesn't make a lot of sense; but then again you
know Haiti. It is tough to read the tea leaves, isn't it, Mr. Goss?
Mr. Goss. It is very tough.
Mr. DELAHUNT. I just wanted to point that out. But you were
there in 1990. I think it is really important that we speak to this
issue in terms of the context of where we were in Haiti. I mean
Senator DeWine made some very good points about the good news
and the bad news. I think, realistically, he is pretty much on the
mark. But the violence that occurred during the coup years, from
1991 to 1994, clearly exceeded anything that we see today in Haiti
in terms of systematic political violence. Would you agree with me,
Mr. Goss. I would say that, measure for measure, the capacity
for brutality hasn't changed, the number of incidents have changed.
The trend line is to more incidents rather than less at a time when
it should be'the other way around. But in measuring the absent
quantity, there is no question that there were more knocks on the
door at night and people disappearing under the tension of the
Cedras-it was the military government, and the Aristide govern-
ment at that particular moment.
Mr. DELAHUNT. It is my understanding that during the coup
years there was in excess of 4,000 political assassinations that oc-
curred. I mean, in terms of magnitude and scale, that is-that does
not exist today.
Mr. Goss. There is no question that there was a spike period at
that time, as there had been other spike periods in the history of
Haiti. What I think we are all concerned about is that we are head-
ing toward more authoritarianism and another spike period where
the stabilizing factors that we started out, with good intent, will be
captured by an authoritarian arm, and we will have the new
Tonton Macoute. I think that, as the people who watch the cycle
in Haiti say, here we go again.
Mr. DELAHUNT. It certainly isn't to that degree of magnitude,
and I agree we should be vigilant on that. I think the point you
make, in terms of vigilance, is a very valid one. We agree on that.
But at the time-as you said you were in Haiti back in the 1980's
and this goes to the credibility of the information we all receive
from Haiti---did we have intelligence at that point in time that
there was going to be a coup overthrowing the former President?
Mr. Goss. I simply am not aware of any, but I would not have
been at that particular station of my life.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Just given your own familiarity with the situa-
tion, how could our intelligence community have blown that one
back in 1990 and 1991?
Mr. Goss. I am not sure that there was any mistake by the intel-
ligence community. What I am not sure of is whether the policy
people in the executive branch did anything with the information
that was available. I just have no knowledge of exactly what was
available or how the policy people treated it. We often, in my expe-
rience in the intelligence community, and this goes back a lot of
years, provide information that says there is an 80 percent, or
whatever percent chance that there is going to be a coup by such
and such a time. Now that is-
Mr. DELAHUNT. So we really don't know what happened back in
1991, as far as the intelligence community or as far as what the
then-Administration, the then-Bush Administration did to in
any way deal with the information.
Mr. Goss. I personally do not know. I am happy to try and get
Mr. DELAHUNT. I think it is important. Because I think a lot of
what occurred back there we have to remember-I know you will
agree with this-it was during the coup years that this economy,
which was fragile to begin with, really went into the hopper. It
went down 30 percent in terms of the GDP. So we are starting in
1995, 1996, with total devastation. I mean, those generals that
were running the show back then, from 1991 to 1994, created a sit-
uation where there was a negative decline in GDP by 30 percent.
Senator DeWine talks about the economy that has stagnated,
and for all intents and purposes it has. The World Bank shows that
it has grown by 2, 3, or 4 percent; but I would suggest those num-
bers are significant. But really what has happened is that we have
had a real problem based upon what happened in the early part
of this decade in terms of moving Haiti forward. I yield back.
Chairman GILMAN. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr.
Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Mr. Chair-
man, as you well know, on this Committee I have tried to offer cre-
ative suggestions. As I sit here and I listen to our colleagues, who
have made brilliant presentations, and I hear all of us, I think as
I look in this audience and I know several of the members in the
audience, there are about 20 people in the audience that know a
hell of a lot more about Haiti than any of us do. I know in the fu-
ture, one thing that we might be able to do, while we can't open
up our hearings to the public, so to speak, we might invite them
to submit one-page statements or something, which any of us that
were interested could look at.
That said, I regret very much that Senator DeWine had to leave.
I understand his leaving, but he made several provocative state-
ments in my view, one being that Haiti is not a strategic interest
of the United States, now, or in the future. I would urge him to
understand that it was at one point in the past, and evidently, with
the significant number of Haitian nationals living in the United
States, it is likely to be again in the future. But I will quarrel with
him ideologically when he and I have an opportunity to get to-
Let me ask you, Mr. Delahunt, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Conyers
or Mr. Goss, tell me what is magical about two elections? I don't
understand that. While I have agreed and I have supported the two
elections, I don't know the magic in it. If there-and especially in
light of your statement, Mr. Goss, that Haiti, being a sovereign na-
tion, is in control of their own destiny. If they want to have one
election, what is the problem?
Mr. Goss. In my view, Haiti should be in control of its own des-
tiny. What we are talking about here is what is the interest for the
U.S. taxpayer and the United States of America in this Haiti. I
think we naturally put out our hand in a gesture to a friendly,
neighborly country, trying to be of assistance, in good will, without
interfering in their sovereign decisions. They can take their own ac-
tions, and they accept the consequences of their actions.
Mr. HASTINGS. What is our leverage to accomplish that, aside
from just saying something?
Mr. Goss. To accomplish what?
Mr. HASTINGS. To accomplish two elections, for example, since
that is what all of us seem to agree that they should have. Do we
have any leverage to cause that to happen?
Mr. Goss. Yes. We have expertise, financial support, and good
will. I think we can do it in a way that would assure them that
we are not interested in interfering with their sovereignty; we are
only interested if they are interested in proceeding on the path of
democracy and helping them go down that path. That is our lever-
age. They know that we are here. If they want it, it is available.
If they don't want it, we shouldn't jam it down their throats.
Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Hastings, the very famous Delatore brothers,
Lionel Delatore and his brother Leslie Delatore, who regularly visit
us-probably well known here on the Hill, hardly a few months go
by with business delegations-they have urged upon me that we
support the notion of two elections. It was for that reason that I
urged it upon President Preval and former-President Aristide, and
they all agreed. So in a way, there seems to be a unanimity that
there can be no political name calling or attributing motives insin-
cere if they were collapsed into one. But I think, and I hope and
pray, that we are past that.
Mr. HASTINGS. I, for one, just don't see any particular magic in
it or, particularly as it pertains to the fact that they have had elec-
tions that were-even if you take Mr. Goss' statement, at least one
that was for all intents and purposes fair and transparent, I see
no reason why they could not hold another at either March or De-
cember or whenever there may be an election.
I want to move or respond, since there is a record, to Senator
DeWine's other view about how foreign investment has to go into
Haiti. One thing that needed to go into Haiti immediately following
the military operation that was successful there in 1994, was the
promises of donor countries who indicated that they were going to
do things, the United States included, that they did not do.
Now we come to an election, and the one organization that has
conducted itself admirably, MICIVIH, is one of the few that is now
without funds to carry on under the banner of the United Nations.
I would be curious to understand how we bring it to that. But re-
garding foreign investment and privatization, one of the reasons
private investors go into the areas is because of cheap labor and
industrious people. If there is any cheaper labor anywhere in the
hemisphere and any more industrious people than Haitian people,
then I would like to see them step forward. If it is because of the
unstable government, then I am curious why we take oil out of Ni-
geria, Iraq, Kazakhstan, do business in Indonesia and Russia, if in-
stability is the barometer. So I am not so sure, again, I will quarrel
with Senator DeWine when I have an opportunity to get with him.
But let me ask you, Mr. Goss, what will we do if, according to
our views there should be two elections, and if there are not two
elections, what then should America do about Haiti, since Haiti
ain't going to go away?
Mr. Goss. The question of our foreign policy to Haiti or to any
other country is obviously for the administrative branch to deal
with. My view is that we should continuously try and recognize the
fact that we have a very good Haitian-American association. We
have the opportunity for business, and we should continuously try
and encourage that and make that known. But we are not going
to be able to overcome the tragic flaw that exists in Haiti, which
is that a bunch of leaders down there, for the past couple hundred
of years, have been looking out more for themselves than they are
for the people. You can't have a democracy under those ground
rules. I hope we can identify those leaders and bring them along
and say look, it is to everybody's advantage to go toward democracy
rather than to keep going back to this authoritarian idea where
you take revenge on the guy who was trying to take a piece out
of your hide last week. We do it pretty well in this country. Some-
times people say we squabble too much up here, but I think that
is the lesson we have to share.
Mr. HASTINGS. John.
Mr. CONYERS. I am optimistic. When you say 200 years, that was
200 years without a democratic system. That was the problem. The
problem was resolved successfully, thanks to U.S. help, by the elec-
tion of the first democratic President in 200 years there, with Jean-
Bertrand Aristide. What we are trying to do now is continue that,
and I think that it can be done. I think that we have a two-election
agreement. The economics and the-you referred to some very im-
portant parts of it. We have got 3 percent economic growth. From
a country that came from the ashes, 3 percent is maybe not much
in a Western situation, but there it is great.
We have got new agricultural projects with bananas. We now
have from zero factory employment to 40,000 factory workers. The
USAID program for microenterprize loans is being undertaken by
a major Haitian bank. They are checking out cruise lines. They are
getting ready to put $12 million into a cruise line. These don't de-
mand headlines, but this is the way that you slowly build up, and
I see it happening. I don't think this is sheer optimism, both in
their politics and their economy.
Mr. HASTINGS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Ackerman.
Mr. ACKERMAN. I would like to yield to Mr. Delahunt.
Mr. DELAHUNT. I just have one question. I would ask both Mr.
Conyers and Mr. Goss their position in terms of the Administra-
tion's refusal to release the so-called FRAPH documents. Do you
have an opinion on that, Mr. Goss?
Mr. Goss. I will let the Administration speak for itself.
Mr. DELAHUNT. You don't have an opinion on that.
Mr. Goss. I have an opinion about a lot of things about this Ad-
ministration. I share them publicly. But I think that the problem
I have with the Administration is they have not been realistic, and
they have tried to steer a picture of Haiti which is not an accurate
picture of Haiti as it is today.
Mr. DELAHUNT. But you don't have a position on whether we
have an obligation to release to the Haitian government, alleg-
edly-and you use that word "allegedly"-160,000 pages of docu-
ments and video tapes, some allegedly involving torture, et cetera,
during the coup years?
Mr. Goss. I would suggest, on that subject, that we have an Ad-
ministration that handles those matters on a case-by-case basis.
We have several such countries around the world where there are
requests for documents. I think the handling of those documents
carefully and fairly should be left to the Administration. If there
is a problem in our oversight of that, then I think we should jump
in. But right now, I am not aware of a problem.
Mr. CONYERs. Mr. Delahunt, this has been a very sensitive point.
Our U.S. military confiscated documents when we entered into
Haiti that now have been redacted so much it is hard for me to fig-
ure out what utility they may have. But for us to say we are not
going to turn them over to the democratic government because we
are sensitive that it may involve some of our intelligence operations
with the Cedras Junta is really a rather bald violation of the re-
spect that nations should have for one another. It is in the past,
but I think that if they were revealed it would make everyone feel
a lot better; and if it embarrasses the U.S. a little bit, I don't see
where that is going to turn our status in the world into something
If we keep saying we are trying to recognize them as a nation
like us in the Western Hemisphere, we really should turn those
over. It has now become a sore point that is not going to go away.
So I know their demonstrations, their requests, their petitions; and
yet we still have a kind of stonewalling that makes other people
tend to argue that we create world agreements that are for every-
body else but not for us, when they are inconvenient or potentially
Chairman GILMAN. Would the gentleman yield on that? My staff
informs me that the bulk of these documents are available to the
Haitian government at the present time. I thank the gentleman for
yielding. Mr. Ackerman.
Mr. ACKERMAN. I thank the panel. I look forward to hearing the
next panel. I yield back.
Chairman GILMAN. I want to thank our panelists and their indul-
gence in our time factor. We thank you for your testimony.
Mr. CONYERS. Thank you for holding these hearings.
Chairman GILMAN. We now proceed to our final panelist, Ambas-
sador Peter Romero, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Western
Hemisphere Affairs. We welcome Ambassador Romero. Ambassador
Romero, you may put your full statement in the record and sum-
marize. Without objection, your full statement will be accepted in
STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR PETER ROMERO, ACTING AS-
SISTANT SECRETARY FOR WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. ROMERO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I had a statement the
size of a small town telephone book, but I think I will forego that,
with your indulgence please, and just make a few comments, if I
Chairman GILMAN. The full statement will be made a part of the
record. Please summarize.
Mr. ROMERO. September marked the 5th-year anniversary of
U.N.-sanctioned military intervention that restored elected govern-
ment to Haiti. Had we and the international community failed to
act, Haiti's nightmarish repression would have continued, along
with flotillas of fleeing refugees. While deep-seated problems re-
main, and progress is less than we had hoped or Haitians had rea-
son to expect, the reality is that Haiti has experienced the longest
period of democratic government in its history.
Human rights problems continue to be a serious concern. The
kind of political violence of the de facto military regime or the
Duvalier era has ended. The roughly 380 extra judicial and sus-
picious killings in the first 8 months of 1994 stand in stark con-
trast to 38 reported police killings in 1998. However, no police
killings are acceptable; they are diminished substantially. Haitians
today enjoy an unprecedented level of freedom of expression and
press, and a range of political parties and civil society groups oper-
The United States' goals in Haiti remain unchanged: To help
Haitians reverse the conditions that for nearly two centuries have
mired the Haitian people in poverty and impeded the development
of democracy. To succeed, our policy needs bipartisan support. Only
with such a consensus can we work effectively with the Haitian au-
thorities and people to meet the manifold and intractable chal-
lenges to reaching our common goals. We seek to modernize the
Haitian state in all its aspects, construct a nation rooted in the
rule of law, and create a foundation for sustained economic growth.
At the request of Haitian authorities, we and our international
partners have diligently worked together and bilaterally to help
build a professional and apolitical Haitian National Police.
Some of our efforts in this regard were inhibited this year by the
effective closure, due to lack of funds, of the OAS component of the
UN/OAS International Civilian Mission in Haiti, or MICIVIH, that
has successfully served as the eyes and ears of the international
community in both monitoring and reporting on police abuse and
other human rights violations. We are currently working with the
U.N. and other bilateral donors to ensure the continuation of U.N.
police and human rights assistance after the November 30th termi-
nation of the current mandate for the U.N. International Civilian
Police Mission in Haiti, MIPONUH, and the December 31st termi-
nation of the MICIVIH mandate.
Continued international engagement is essential to help train
and mentor new police recruits, address continued management
problems among the middle ranks of the HNP, and promote the
strengthening of Haitian institutions in civil society to ensure im-
proved respect for human rights.
The HNP faces a number of challenges, including a distinct rise
in attrition among the ranks, and an apparent increase in incidents
of human rights abuse and corruption. We are very concerned
about physical attacks in the past month on senior police leader-
ship that have weakened police moral and pose a serious threat to
police neutrality. We continue to press for a full investigation of the
attacks, and have made clear to Haiti's leaders that U.S. law en-
forcement assistance requires their continued deep commitment to
an apolitical security force.
The U.S. and international community are assisting Haiti in pre-
paring for elections scheduled for March 19, 2000, to restore fully
the parliament and independent local governments that lapsed on
January 11th of this year. Despite some organizational difficulties,
the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) continues to operate in a
credible manner, and remains acceptable to a wide range of polit-
ical parties. We are very concerned about the October 24th violent
disruption by self-professed supporters of former-President Aristide
at a CEP rally inaugurating the voter education campaign. This di-
rected attack was against grass-roots political organizations, some-
thing very vital to the process.
The government of Haiti cannot let actions by a band of thugs
deter Haitians from advancing civil society and voter education. In
addition to possible steps in a bilateral context, we are urging the
political parties participating in elections to sign and abide by a
nonviolence pact presently being developed by the CEP. We are
also urging the CEP and HNP to improve coordination and commu-
nication to prevent a replay of the October 24th incident.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, Haiti remains by far the poorest country
in this hemisphere, and with one of the most violent and politically
repressive histories. Without U.S. and international assistance in
1994, Haiti would have remained under brutal dictatorship. With-
out continued international help, there is a real danger Haiti will
slip backward. We cannot retreat from our responsibility to ad-
vance prospects for democracy in Haiti. We must remain engaged
in helping Haitians achieve their goals of strengthening democratic
institutions and sustainable economic growth.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I hope that we can
continue to rely on the bipartisan support from Congress that we
continue to enjoy in this effort. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Romero appears in the appen-
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Secretary Romero. I will try to be
brief. Ambassador Carney's good strong statement on the police
suggests that someone, or some group, is seeking to politicize and
seize control of the leadership of the HNP against the interests of
the United States. Who exactly is involved with this? How should
we propose to counter their efforts?
Mr. ROMERO. Mr. Chairman, we have heard that through the
years that various people would like to politicize the police to get
them to indulge in one particular political view or another. We
have just recently heard that the government is considering estab-
lishing an informal group to advise the President on the police. We
just heard that a couple of days ago.
Chairman GILMAN. Secretary Romero, we were informed that
President Preval told a recent visiting Canadian delegation that
the elections will not be held in March. What is your assessment?
Mr. ROMERO. Through the last several months, President Preval
has not been certain that elections can be held on time. Of course,
they have slipped from December to March 19th now, with the sec-
ond round scheduled for the end of April. But let me just say there
were some issues related to why have two elections; and Congress-
man Conyers and Congressman Hastings and Congressman Payne
talked about that. I think it is absolutely vital, in the Haiti context,
that small, grass-roots political parties can organize themselves
around an event, field candidates, have the security of knowing
that they can engage in political activity without reprisals-the
single most important catalyst for democratic development. Cer-
tainly the small parties are no match for the Fanmi Lavalas, the
largest most established party, but they need to have the experi-
ence of being able to contest elections at the grass-roots level. I
think the two elections are absolutely critical to Haiti's democratic
Chairman GILMAN. Secretary Romero, the Committee received an
affidavit from a member of the Haitian National Police stating that
witnesses to the killing of Mr. Jean Eddy Lamy saw a police car
with a license plate 302 on it at the scene of the crime. According
to that affidavit, fingerprints recovered from the police car be-
longed to a mechanic who was hired by the police on a rec-
ommendation of Danny Toussaint. Have you received that kind of
Mr. ROMERO. Mr. Chairman, this is the first we are hearing of
this, but I would be happy to look into it.
Chairman GILMAN. I wish you would, and we will be pleased to
supply the affidavit to you.
The last question. At our December 1997 Haiti hearing, Mr.
Hamilton, our Ranking Democratic Member at the time, asked Am-
bassador David Greenlee for his frank appraisal of Mr. Aristide,
and I recall Ambassador Greenlee was reluctant to answer his
questions, permit me now to pose to you this question with the
same request for your frank assessment: From an American na-
tional-interest standpoint, is Mr. Aristide, at this point, being help-
ful or unhelpful?
Mr. ROMERO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for saving that question
for me. I think that-
Chairman GILMAN. You are welcome.
Mr. ROMERO. I think that we Americans are people who are con-
cerned more with deeds than words, and I think that Mr.
Aristide-ex-President Aristide, has an opportunity to demonstrate
his democratic vocation, and that is through his signature as the
leader of the Party Fanmi Lavalas on a document that the CEP is
drafting up right now, that is, essentially the rules of the game, the
decorum, a nonviolence pact, if you will, among and between polit-
ical parties in terms of these elections. Ex-President Aristide has
an opportunity to sign that. I think that one of the major issues
related to these elections is the security surrounding them, particu-
larly for candidates, and if he signs them, that will, I think, go a
long way in convincing us that he would be a democratic president.
Chairman GILMAN. Secretary Romero, what is the most impor-
tant thing that we should be doing to help in the forthcoming elec-
Mr. ROMERO. Mr. Chairman, I think we need to keep the course,
or stay the course. I think that the progress is being made with
CEP preparations, and in a positive, fluid way. Certainly, members
of the CEP have had experience on previous electoral tribunals.
They remain widely acceptable to all the political parties and non-
governmental organizations and civil society. They have begun to
branch out regional and municipal offices in terms of prepara-
tions-certainly the electoral card is one of those manifestations of
their organization-and we believe strongly that they can get it
done with good leadership and the experience that they have on
Chairman GILMAN. Just one last question, Mr. Secretary. The at-
tack on the head of the Judiciary Police, Mario Andersol, reported
in the Haitian press was very disquieting. In addition, Police Direc-
tor General, Pierre Denize, reportedly was forced to leave Jean
Lamy's funeral. Are key members of the police still being harassed
and intimidated, and if so, what is the source and purpose of that
kind of harassment and intimidation?
Mr. ROMERO. Mr. Chairman, I went down to Haiti back in May
specifically for the purpose of trying to talk to people about harass-
ment and intimidation of the police. I have to tell you that I was
not able, I was not successful. But neither has the virtual parade
of Administration folks and Members of both houses of Congress on
that same issue. It is hard to figure out where this stuff is coming
from. Haiti is not easy when it comes to getting to the bottom of
But there were a couple of statements made by Congressmen
Conyers and Payne earlier regarding what motive the Lavalas
Party would have to try to disrupt the elections since ex-President
Aristide basically is the strongest person, at least, going into the
elections later in the year 2000. I guess my answer to that would
be, in the hypothetical, that ex-President Aristide leads the strong-
est party in Haiti. That party basically enjoys, or has contested
elections with a turnout of about 5 to 10 percent.
If we are talking about the types of grass-roots efforts that hap-
pened back in May with the Chamber of Commerce, which tried to
occur at the end of October, in terms of getting out the vote and
voter education and that sort of thing, then there would be a whole
lot more voters out casting their ballots when it came to March
19th or the second round at the end of April. Perhaps there are
those in the party that don't want that kind of uncertainty of a big-
ger voter turnout.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Secretary Romero. Mr. Payne?
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you. Once again, with the small group of U.S.
military there, talking to some Haitian business people and Amer-
ican business people on our last trip, there was a desire, of course,
to have this small contingent there. Of course, I think the Congress
voted that they should leave. The MICIVIH, how do you see them
being there? What sort of positiveness is done, if any? What do you
think, or won't it make any difference whether there is only a
handful of them? When I was there, they had a big softball game
going on so I don't guess there are necessarily very key decisions
being made there. But the fact that they are there, some people felt
there was kind of a reassuring thing. What do you think about
them coming out or staying there?
Mr. ROMERO. We lost about half of the contingent of MICIVIH
that is there to promote respect for human rights and monitor the
progress. We lost about half of them, about 40, when we lost fund-
ing several months ago. The other 40, approximately, are there. I
think that we are scheduled to lose the police monitoring entity by
the end of November, this month, approximately about 300 of
them. Hopefully, we will be able to at least keep a semblance of
a presence in Haiti. I think it is very, very important that there
be an international presence. I think that in terms of the recon-
struction of police force, democratic institutions at large, we are
still at a very fragile period, and an international presence is indis-
pensable for being able to enable those institutions to strike and
to move on under their own weight.
Mr. PAYNE. I have a question. I am trying to get a picture. There
are a number of people who of course have been opposed to Haiti,
opposed to the intervention of the U.S. military, have decided that
Haiti is a failure even before Aristide was restored, just some
HH'ers I call them, Haters of Haiti. Now, we look at the fact that
people say that Aristide's people are intending to control the police.
They seem to somehow be leaning toward him. On the other hand,
38 policemen have been killed; and Aristide is supposed to be-any-
thing that happens bad, Aristide does it. So you know, I kind of get
confused when these theories-they are all theories that come out,
the police they think are supportive of Aristide, and they should be
independent, and then if an election comes up and the police are
favorable to Aristide that is bad.
On the other hand, 38 policemen have been killed. Of course
Aristide's people wouldn't kill their friends. You see, there is a lot
of disconnect. You say Jean Lamy was killed. When anyone op-
posed to Aristide is killed-I am not defending-I have been down
there about a dozen times in the last 7 or 8 years, but it is clearly,
and this-and this is around the House of Representatives-the
HH'ers-Aristide did it. On the other hand, when an Aristide per-
son is killed, it has got to be drug related.
It appears that there is just a continuing case built up against
Aristide that anything wrong is done by him; anything that may
be going in the right direction, he is opposed to. I just wondered,
is that the general feeling around? Because like I said, I get con-
fused. There have been some people like the FRAPH who are not
choir boys. I am sure that some of them are still around. They were
not necessarily pro-Aristide, even the Tonton Macoutes back in the
old regime. So I guess my point is that there seems to be enough
tough people to go around for everyone, but the conclusion is al-
ways that if it is wrong or bad or conspiracy against progress, it
is Aristide, no one else. Can you-have you seen that, or maybe,
it is just I have gotten a one-sided picture, or could you kind of sort
it out for me a little bit since that is your job?
Mr. ROMERO. I wish I could sort it out better for you, Congress-
man Payne. I think there is just-there is probably a whole lot
more that we don't know when you talk about violence and political
assassination in Haiti than what we know. But I think there are
a couple of givens here. One is that President Preval could exercise
a great deal of leadership in showcasing and reinforcing the public
dimension of support for the police. I think there is a lot to be done
that has not been done.
Hopefully, with Bob Manuel's departure and the somewhat an-
tagonistic relationship between the President and Bob Manuel, the
President can come forth, Vice President can come forth, and dem-
onstrate their very strong support for an apolitical police force, ef-
fective police force in Haiti. I think the other part of the equation
too is certainly the Lavalas folks do not have a premium on vio-
lence in Haiti. But I do think that ex-President Aristide has an op-
portunity to take a big bite out of the violence by this nonaggres-
sion pact that will be on the table shortly and that I hope he signs.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Payne. Mr. Delahunt.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Thank you. Along those lines of confusion-and
I think it is really important that we are clear that the information
that we receive from Haiti is vague and nebulous at best.
Mr. ROMERO. Clear.
Mr. DELAHUNT. There are some who would suggest, as Mr. Payne
just articulated very well, that everything bad is the responsibility
of ex-President Aristide, and that anything good is clearly just
mere happenstance. Now, I don't know, and I don't think that you
know, Secretary Romero; but I do agree that the former-President
does have an opportunity to exercise some leadership here. He
clearly is well respected by a majority of the Haitian people. I think
it was Mr. Goss who indicated that his election in 1990 was a valid
election. He secured, I think it was 67 percent of the vote at that
point in time.
I take this opportunity to-and I mean this sincerely, through
you to the Haitian government, to whatever contacts we might
have with the former-President-I think it is important for him to
sign this particular nonaggression pact, if you will. Because I think
it is a statement, and I think, given his stature in Haitian society,
it is important. I think many friends of the former-President have
indicated some disappointment in his lack of clarity on this issue,
and I would put myself in that particular category.
The former-President had an opportunity to put himself in a po-
sition in terms of Haitian history, which has been a very sad his-
tory-over 200 years of brutality-to really accomplish what Presi-
dent Mandela has done in South Africa. I think we are at a very
critical juncture here in terms of where Haitian society goes or
where this country goes. I think the reality is there is an oppor-
tunity here for the former-President to achieve a role in his na-
tion's history that is clearly dramatic in terms of bringing it to and
nurturing a nation's democracy that you mentioned.
I just give you that opinion to transfer it. Maybe I will have an
opportunity to convey it myself. But it is such a bad mistake to
completely reach conclusions about incidents. I am aware of two or
three different incidents.
Let's put this in context. Would you agree the most recent inci-
dent, which was November 6th, the police did intervene and made
an arrest? There haven't been any political assassinations that I
am aware of in the past several months that are conclusively deter-
mined to be political assassinations. We are making some progress.
It is not what I would like to see; it is not what anybody would
like to see, but we have got to understand the reality of Haiti at
this point in time.
You know that I opposed, on the Floor, the amendment that re-
duced the funding, or rather I have opposed the reduced funding
for MICIVIH. I would encourage the Administration, given the ten-
uous nature of the next 4 or 5 months, to reopen negotiations with
the appropriate Members of Congress to see whether, on an emer-
gency basis, that we could not just simply restore that funding, but
to increase it, at least for a period of time.
Many allegations have been made about the police. What we
have done is we have reduced the funding for that agency which
provided a mechanism to inform the world about the conduct of the
police. It is just counterintuitive. It just doesn't make any sense.
It is not a lot of money. If we talk about democracy and we talk
about our concern about the police, this is probably the most oppor-
tune time we will ever have. So I would make that request through
you to the appropriate officials in the Administration to reopen dis-
cussions with those to see that if, not only can we restore the
funds, but to raise them to a level so that we can hopefully assist
in assuring the integrity of the elections on March 19th.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Ackerman.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, could
you tell us how much electoral assistance in dollars we now provide
Mr. ROMERO. Congressman Ackerman, I think what we are talk-
ing about is approximately $16 million for the conduct of, to the
work up and then the actual elections, and counting two rounds,
and approximately $2 million of that would be earmarked for the
police, equipment, other kinds of things related to security, includ-
ing renting two helicopters.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Is that, in your judgment, sufficient so that we
could guarantee fair and free elections?
Mr. ROMERO. I think the sum is sufficient, Congressman Acker-
man. I think what is deficient is the amount of policemen on the
ground in Haiti, and when you are talking about approximately
5,500 policemen, more or less, you are talking about the ability to
put probably about 4,000 cops in the various voting precincts, var-
ious voting centers, of which there will be about 13. Certainly the
cops will be sent to those places where one would expect to have
some potential for disruption. But you begin to see the magnitude
of the differences between what law enforcement has at its disposal
and the elections themselves.
Mr. ACKERMAN. So the number of police are insufficient?
Mr. ROMERO. Absolutely.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Is there a way that we can help with that?
Mr. ROMERO. Yes. But over the short term there really is no easy
Mr. ACKERMAN. Is that a function of dollars or policy?
Mr. ROMERO. It is a function of absorption. It is a function of the
attrition rate of the police whereby the long hours, 12 hour days,
6 days a week, the relatively low pay compared to other places in
the economy is causing an attrition rate that is equal to, and I
think may even begin surpassing, the intake rate.
Mr. ACKERMAN. If people leave the police force, where are they
Mr. ROMERO. There are just all kind of jobs, as security guards
and other kinds of things in the economy.
Mr. ACKERMAN. So security guards are paying more than police?
Mr. ROMERO. Apparently.
Mr. ACKERMAN. In 1995, Aristide reneged on his commitment
that he had made to privatize many government enterprises. Inter-
national assistance basically came to not a grinding stop, but it
was reduced enormously. If he were to be elected again, what do
you think his approach to economic reforms would be?
Mr. ROMERO. It would be hard to say, Congressman Ackerman.
I think there is at least a rhetorical commitment to economic re-
form, to include privatization. But ex-President Aristide has men-
tioned his intention to talk about the issue of reform and privatiza-
tion in the context of a national dialogue, and I think it still re-
mains to be seen whether that would mean an acceleration of the
process or a further paralysis of the privatization process.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you. The Congress has basically prohib-
ited DOD from maintaining a continued presence there beyond the
end of May of this coming year. In view of the political violence and
the impending elections, problems in the police that you have cited,
many believe that a U.S. presence should continue there. What
would your response be to that, and what do you think the effect
would be if we removed the U.S. troops?
Mr. ROMERO. Congressman, I think, without the slightest bit of
hyperbole, that the U.S. military presence there has had a very im-
portant symbolic value, and that is that we care, we are engaged
as a people, and that essentially we are behind those Haitian
democrats who want to move ahead on a democratic agenda. But
by far, the more important entity on the ground, in terms of law
and order, is obviously the Haitian police and also the international
organizations that we have established with the Haitians to ad-
vance human rights practices and monitoring the police. Those in-
stitutions will face essentially an end to funding by the end of No-
vember, and the end of December, respectively. We are hoping to
stand up another organization that will fold all of these functions
into one, and hopefully would be sufficient enough. But that is real-
ly where the support must come.
Mr. ACKERMAN. You have come back to the police on a couple of
these questions now. Do we have a specific program or a policy?
Have we engaged them in discussions on raising the salaries of po-
lice to help reverse that rate of attrition?
Mr. ROMERO. I am not so sure we have had a recent discussion
on salaries, but we have had repeated discussions on issues related
to supporting, publicly supporting, the police, enhancing their stat-
ure, enhancing their morale. I worked in El Salvador as a Chief of
Mission in 1992 and 1993. We created a 10,000 man police force
from nothing, and it was only because of the strong leadership of
then President Freddie Cristiani that that was able to be done. I
don't see that strong leadership as it relates to the police, at least
Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you. I yield back my time, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman. One last question
before you leave, Mr. Secretary. The list of major drug producing
and major transit nations was due to be submitted on November
1st to the Congress. It is now a week late. The designation of Cuba
on the major's list is one that many Members have been following
very closely. I hope that you aren't waiting until Congress leaves
town before sending us a list. The head of the Spanish National Po-
lice told my staff last week that, as to the 7V2 tons of cocaine from
Columbia intended to transit Cuba last December, that all the
Spanish authorities know it was headed for Cuba, and not Spain.
Secretary Romero, can you tell us when we could expect to receive
Mr. ROMERO. Mr. Chairman, as you well know, I don't have re-
sponsibility, direct responsibility, for the list since I only deal in
the Western Hemisphere, and it is a worldwide list.
Chairman GILMAN. I recognize it is out of your-
Mr. ROMERO. But that having been said, I would hope that you
would get it in the next couple of days. I know that we are putting
our finishing touches on it, both the State Department, and White
House a few days ago.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you for
being here today. We thank you for your patience.
Mr. ROMERO. Thank you.
Chairman GILMAN. The Committee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
NOVEMBER 9, 1999
U.S. Houea of Rpmesntatlives Benjamin A. Oilman, Chairman 2170 RHOB WmhlUgton, D.C. 20515
DATE November 9, 1999 FOR RELEASE: Imediae 1199-10
CONTACT: Lester Muason, Communications Director, 202-225-8097, Fax 202.225-2035
GILMAN STATEMENT ON US. HAITI POLICY
WASHINGTON (Nov. 9) US. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (20'-NY), Chairman of the House
International Relations Committee, released the following statement today at a full committee hearing on
US. policy toward Haiti:
I called this hearing to exastine what is happening in Haiti today and shed some lght on where we need
to go from here to advance pluralism and foster economic growth in Haiti. Of keen concern arm the prospects for
free and fair parliamentary and local elections expected on March 19, and concerns over efforts to undermine
and politicize the Haitian National Police.
In January, I traveled to Haiti with several of my colleagues. President Rene Preval had just dissolved
parliament, deepening Haiti's protracted political crisis. We all agreed that the best way out of the crisis wasa
Several positive developments led me to believe that a good election was possible. President Preval
issued a public statement that "very quick elections under good conditions are the only solution to the political
State Secretary for Public Security Robert Manuel began negotiations at Preval's behest with
opposition parties. On March 17, President Preval created a politically-balanced provisional electoral council.
With supporting leverage from Dole Amendment restrictions, a transparent settlement of the disputed 1997
elections was also achieved.
Most importantly, we began to see leaders from Haiti's civil society-ranging from grass roots, to
religious, to business organrzaions-working together across ideological and class lines.
My hopes began to fade, however, when a May 28 rally organized by a broad spectrum of civil society
groups was attacked and broken up by Lavalas Family party protesters. The Haitian National Police failed to
protect the citizens who gathered that day to exercise their rights to freedom of assembly and speech.
This year has seen a disturbing escalation of common crime and violent acts. On November 2 Amnesty
International stated that "A series of violent events in Haiti have led to fears that the climate of respect for
human rights which the country has been endeavoring to promote in recent years is progressively deteriorating."
There is a long tradition of undemocratic rule in Haiti. Recent events lead me to fear that Haiti is
experiencing a return to past practices that have only served to create violence and misery in that impoverished
The departure of Robert Manuel raises real concerns about the future independence and professionalism
of the Haitian National Police. The October 8 murder of Colonel Jean Lamy followed by the October 14 armed
attack on the director of the HNP's Judicial Police--the unit responsible for investigating Lamy's killing-are
very bad sgns.
Our Ambassador to Haiti, Timothy Carney, underscored the important point recently, saying: "What is
currently important is that no one political party, faction or group gain control of your police. I emphasize that
the politicization of the police is unacceptable."
We must not abandon our efforts to help the Haitian people. We should continue to work to alleviate the
underlying conditions that plague Haiti. But Haitian leaders must meet their responsibilities too.
In order for there to be a good elections which the United States can support in good conscience, there
must be freedom of speech and assembly, and an apolitical police force to protect those essential rights.
Moreover, the Provisional Electoral Council (which has been trying to organize these elections) and civil society
and political parties should not be the object of crude, anti-democratic attacks.
On October 24, protesters violently broke up an official function of Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council
(CEP). I was appalled that the Haitian National Police again failed to fulfil its responsibility, in this case to
protect the CEP. When former President Jean Bertrand Aristide's government was overthrown, our nation, with
my support, spared no effort to restore elected, civil government to Haiti. This unacceptable outrage was
committed in Mr. Aristide's name. This is disappointing to us all.
I would like to say a word about our Ambassador to Haiti, Timothy Carney. It is regrettable that the
State Department declined to make him available for this hearing. Ambassador Carney has earned my respect
for his forthrightness and professionalism.
Among other accomplishments, I credit him with leading the effort to put good elections on track last
Spring. I would have welcomed his views on how to keep them on track today.
Testifying at the hearing were: the Honorable Mike DeWine, United States Senator; the Honorable
Bob Graham, United States Senator; the Honorable Porter Goss, Member of Congress; the Honorable
Charles Rangel, Member of Congress; the Honorable John Conyers, Jr, Member of Congress; and
Ambassador Peter Romero, Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State.
Statements from the hearing are available on the committee's website at:
HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
HEARING ON HAITI
SENATOR MIKE DeWINE TESTIMONY
Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening this very important hearing today. As you all
know, the country of Haiti and its people are at a crossroads. The country can choose to build its
democracy, its economy and its quality of life, or surrender their future indefinitely. I am no
expert on Haiti, but I have followed the events affecting the country closely, and have traveled
there seven (7) times in the last five (5) years. From those travels, and observations, I believe
there is both good news and bad news to report on the current situation in Haiti. Most
important, there is much the United States can continue to do to assist the people of Haiti. I am
hopeful that we can maintain the kind of bipartisan interest and support for the Haitian people
that I see here today.
First, Mr. Chairman, the good news.
The Good News
Perhaps the best news comes from the thousands of individuals from private, non-
governmental organizations, who through U.S. humanitarian assistance are working to make
a difference in the daily lives of Haitians. They have helped the poor, the orphaned, the starving,
the elderly, and the sick. Each time I visit Haiti, I am inspired by their heroic deeds. We have
been able to continue to feed thousands of orphaned children through the PL 480 Title II feeding
program. Also, our U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Haiti is
developing a local association to serve as advocates for Haitian children and create a network for
orphanages to share ideas and resources.
Second, we have made some progress in training the Haitian police. This has been a
significant challenge, since we began literally with nothing. When the international community
restored Aristide to power in 1994, the Haitian military was totally dismantled. To be sure, the
Haitian National Police are not at a level equal to a trained police force in our country, but the
Haitians have made a start. And, that, Mr. Chairman, is the first and most important step.
Third, I have been encouraged by the success of some USAID programs to promote
growth in Haiti's agriculture sector. These programs collaborate directly with farmers to
improve techniques in the fields, where they learn -- from our example how to improve their
practices to yield more productive crops.
Fourth, Haiti has taken some small steps toward business privatization. While the current
political stalemate certainly has impeded free market development and privatization, Haiti has
managed some degree ofprivatization in the flour and cement government-owned enterprises.
Also, a privately-owned cellular telephone service has been established.
Fifth and finally, we have not seen the kind of massive exodus of Haitian refugees we
witnessed earlier this decade. Ultimately, the people of Haiti can and do vote with their feet,
and could be prepared to do so again if their country continues its current backslide. Which, Mr.
Chairman, brings me to the bad news....
The Bad News
The Haitian economy remains stagnant. Because a significant proportion of economic
activity is from underground markets, it is difficult for us to measure exactly how far the
economy has fallen. Haiti remains the poorest nation in our hemisphere with a per capital
income of $250, less than one-tenth the Latin American average. What growth there is in the
economy has clearly come from foreign remittances and the underground economy.
But, the political situation is even worse. The phrase "Haitian government" is an
oxymoron. It virtually has ceased to function. The current political crisis is rooted in the April
1997 parliamentary and municipal elections. Since January 1999, President Preval has been
ruling by decree. Elections have been postponed three (3) times, and now are scheduled for
March 2000. With former President Aristide running for president, and he and his followers -
the Lavalas Family Party campaigning openly to hold one comprehensive presidential and
legislative election in November/December 2000, it is unlikely that March election will occur.
Political intimidation is definitely on the rise.
Absent a stable and democratic government in place, Haiti has no hope of achieving real
and lasting economic, political, and judicial reforms. Haiti is finding itself stuck in a vicious
cycle of despair. It is a cycle in which political stalemate thwarts government and judicial
reforms, which discourages investment and privatization. Caught in a cycle like this, the
economy stands to shrink further and further until there is no economic investment to speak of at
Mr. Chairman, earlier I noted the limited progress of the Haitian National Police.
However, a very real threat exists that the police force will become politicized as a result of the
October 7, 1999, forced resignation of Secretary or State for Public Security, Bob Manuel. Since
then, supporters of former President Aristide have harassed the police director, General Pierre
Denize, calling for his dismissal. This has contributed to the erosion of public confidence in the
police force, which adds to the country's instability.
The Haitian people's confidence in their country's judicial system is also low, fueled by
their belief that the legal system is corrupt and for sale to the highest bidder.
It is no surprise that with a law enforcement far from effective, Haiti has become a
popular transit stop for drug traffickers. And, the more drugs that pass through Haiti means the
more drugs that reach our U.S. streets. In 1998, for example, approximately 20% of the cocaine
coming into the United States passed through Haiti. The Haitian government currently is
incapable on its own to stop the flow of drugs through the country.
So why do we care about Haiti, Mr. Chairman? We care because this tiny country lies
roughly 550 miles from the U.S. coast of Florida. It is part of our hemisphere, and what happens
in our hemisphere what happens in our backyard is very much our concern. And, that, Mr.
Chairman, is why we care about Haiti.
We cannot ignore Haiti. Let us not forget that we already have a lot of money invested in
Haiti. The price we pay for failing to pay attention will take several forms: We risk another
massive refugee crisis and drug trafficking through Haiti will continue to increase.
And, gha Mr. Chairman, is why we care about Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, the planned withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Haiti should not
represent an end to our involvement in Haiti. Our nation still can play a constructive role in
partnership with the Haitian people to ensure that the many troubles inflicting this small island
do not pass a point where they can't be reversed.
First, we must continue efforts aimed at democracy-building in Haiti. This means we
must promote free markets and the rule of law. And, that also means that we must provide Haiti
with electoral assistance so that free and fair elections can take place. However, the United
States must not support any election, either politically or financially, if the following criteria are
We must insist that the parliamentary elections are held separately from the presidential
elections this year,
We must pressure the Haitian government to allow the international community and a
delegation of world leaders to take a lead role in the upcoming elections;
We must urge the Haitian government to reform the electoral and political party laws to
level the playing field;
We must insist that they have voter registration lists, voter cards, access to state media,
and access to state financial resources;
We must ensure that the police do not become politicized, favoring certain factions or
parties at the expense of others;
Finally, we must provide funding to continue with the political party-building programs
Mr. Chairman, we must make it clear that our financial assistance for these elections is
contingent on the above.
Second, until a functioning government is in place, any assistance we provide must go
through private organizations, non-governmental organizations, or charities. This the only way
to ensure that aid gets to the people and is not diverted to corrupt government entities.
Third, we must fight drug trafficking through Haiti with a continued offshore U.S.
presence. We should increase our investments in the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act
- our 2.7 billion, 3-year balanced initiative to increase investments in international drug
eradication, interdiction, and alternative crop programs.
Fourth, the United States should expand agricultural assistance through non-
governmental organizations. We have seen success with some of the USAID programs. Efforts
to aimed at teaching the Haitian farmers about land preservation and natural resource depletion,
and efforts to work directly with the farmers have the most hope of preventing Haitians from
abandoning agriculture for urban areas like Port-au- Prince.
And, finally, a U.S. role in Haiti must ensure that humanitarian and food assistance
continues to reach people and especially the children. We have a moral obligation to not let the
orphaned children and others, like the elderly and the destitute in Haiti starve.
To conclude, Haiti cannot progress until its political leaders and elite class take
responsibility for their situation and commit to turning things around. Yes, Mr. Chairman, we
have an obligation to promote reforms in Haiti. But, Haiti can succeed as a democracy if-- and
ojy if the nation has the resolve to hold open elections, to create free markets, to enforce a
corruption-free police and judicial system, and to learn how to sustain an agriculture system that
can feed its people. But, nothing the United States does with regard to Haiti can provide long-
term solutions unl~es and until the Haitians take democratic reforms seriously and work in
earnest to create a stable political system and a free market economy.
Thank you, again, Mr. Chairman for allowing me to testify today. I look forward to the
comments from my colleagues and the panels.
U.S. Senator Bob Graham
Testimony Before the House International Relations Committee
November 9, 1999
Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Gejdenson and Members of the Committee. I am pleased to
appear before you today to testify on the current political situation in Haiti. I appreciate your
efforts to focus attention on the situation in Haiti and your longstanding work in bringing
democracy and prosperity to Haiti. I am very troubled by recent events in Haiti, particularly the
disruption of the meeting of the CEP, the Provisional Electoral Council, on October 24, 1999,
where factions associated with the Famni Lavalas broke up the meeting by throwing urine on the
members of the CEP. No democracy can function with this type of direct assault on its
In light of these events, some may suggest that the situation in Haiti is without hope and beyond
our ability to influence events. I am here to say that turning our backs on Haiti is simply not an
option, as we have learned repeatedly over the past century. We will always be drawn back to
Haiti by a combination of historical ties, humanitarian instincts and our own national interests.
Although it is difficult to remain engaged, as the country that has the greatest influence on Haiti,
we must use that influence in a positive way.
I remember the scenes of Haitian refugees awash in the seas and in their small boats. I also
remember the scenes of Haitian ships being searched and found to be laden with illegal drugs
destined for our nation's streets. These are the images of reality that we will once again be
forced to face if we ignore current events in Haiti.
I am an optimist I have known the quality of the Haitian people- their strong family values,
their dedication to personal, family and community improvements, the beauty and value of their
art and culture. These are the foundations for democratic reform on which a stable society with
economic opportunity and prosperity may be built
Mr. Chairman, as a Senator from Florida, I know first-hand the importance of strengthening
democracy and economic development in Haiti, as well as the consequences of failure in this
regard. Indeed, the United States has been committed to this objective and has led international
efforts to help Haiti. Since 20,000 U.S. troops helped restore democracy to Haiti in 1994, we
have provided significant humanitarian, economic, and security assistance. In spite of our
efforts, Haitian democracy again finds itself at a crossroads. Parliamentary and municipal
elections that can resolve the political crisis in Haiti, originally scheduled for later this month,
have been postponed until March. I cannot overstate the importance of holding these elections
this spring, and of ensuring that they are open and credible elections.
Violence, election fraud, and low voter turnout have plagued Haitian elections in the past. In
fact, it was problems with the 1997 elections-in which voter turnout was about 5%-that
escalated the current political crisis in Haiti. Only by holding free and fair elections in a secure
environment where all parties are able to participate openly can Haiti move beyond its current
stalemate. Ending this stalemate will also allow for additional economic assistance, both from
the United States and the international community. It is a prerequisite to improving the life of
Let me suggest several steps that I believe must be taken to ensure that the upcoming elections
can take place in an environment that will engender trust in the system and allow Haiti to move
forward. First, during the period leading up to elections in Haiti, although our permanent
military force is small and will soon transition to an expeditionary presence, we should continue
military efforts to help the Haitian people. This force should be engaged in worthwhile civic
projects such as the construction of schools, roads, and medical clinics throughout the country.
Second, we must do what we can to ensure that there is a secure environment in which these
elections can take place. Providing a significant number of international observers will help
accomplish this objective. It is important that these observers be deployed in Haiti early in the
electoral process, not just arrive a couple of days before the voting begins.
Third, the international community must provide support for these elections. I know that the
United States and other nations have already provided significant funding to prepare for the
elections. Additional assistance will be available only if the conditions for free and fair elections
exist. As I mentioned at the outset, there have been several very troubling incidems over the past
few weeks and months that lead me to question whether these conditions do exist Some would
suggest that, under current conditions, we should not be party to an election in Haiti, but we
cannot afford to walk away. The world, and particularly the United States, stand ready to help
the Haitian people build their democracy.
Fourth, the Provisional Electoral Council has done an excellent job of resolving the disputed
1997 elections. During my most recent visit to Haiti I met with several of them and they have
proven that they are willing to do what is right They deserve our support and the support of the
Haitian political parties. The reassuring and compelling statements of our ambassador to Haiti,
Tim Carney, emphasize the importance of the CEP.
Political parties are taking risks to participate in this election and they deserve our support.
Without it, they will be forced underground. We need to find ways to ensure that they are able to
assemble freely and to have their platforms heard. The U.S. and the international community
must help the political parties directly. I applaud the efforts of the National Endowment for
Democracy, the International Republican Institute, and the National Democratic Institute as they
have worked to advance democracy in Haiti. Their efforts are good examples of how non-
governmental organizations become engaged in promoting democratic reform when direct
involvement by the U.S. State Department and other agencies of the federal government would
These would be important steps that the international community can take to ensure that credible
elections can be held. But the Haitians themselves have the greatest responsibility to ensure that
this occurs. All political parties should publicly commit to denouncing political violence,
including allowing all parties to publicly campaign without intimidation. This commitment must
include actively restraining any elements or supporters from participating in violence or
intimidation. President Preval and former President Aristide have a special responsibility to use
their status and the trust that the Haitian people have placed in them to restrain the forces of evil.
I call on them to work with the international community to ensure that these elections go forward
in a secure environment. In many respects, their credibility depends on this, and they will be
held accountable for their success or failure in this regard.
It is essential to the Haitian democratic process that there are indeed two separate elections in the
coming 14 months. We have already witnessed considerable delays. Any additional delays will
put international support at great risk. Credible parliamentary and municipal elections must
occur to provide confidence in the electoral system for the presidential elections in November of
2000 to be viewed as credible. It is also important that Haiti develop a strong and independent
legislative branch of government. This can help it survive through periods of instability and
provide an outlet for those who may disagree with the elected executive. Some have argued that
the March elections should be delayed and folded into the presidential election. This would have
ominous and negative implications. It would mean that for three years the country would be
without a stable parliament It will also mean that the economy of the country will continue to be
denied international financial aid that requires legislative action by the Haitian Parliament before
it can move forward.
Finally Mr. Chairman, we have developed a very affective military that has proven its ability to
intervene in conflicts and provide a secure environment. They have done this in Haiti, in Bosnia,
and now in Kosovo. Unfortunately, we have not been equally successful in providing long-term
political and economic stability following our military interventions. The Military's success is
the result of many years of thoughtful planning, training and resourcing. The follow-up
economic and political activities have none of those qualities. They are characterized by their ad
hoc nature and a lack of sustainable and credible initiatives and a particular lack of emphasis on
carrying out an effective economic recovery plan. These comments are by no means limited to
Haiti. Operations in Bosnia, and Kosovo also were characterized by a successful military first
chapter followed by failed economic and political chapters which left us in situations no better
than those which we originally encountered.
Mr. Chairman, during my last visit to Haiti in June of this year I flew over the north coast and
observed scores of small boats under construction. These boats could be a warning of things to
come, or simply a reminder of past problems. We already know the price of failure in Haiti
because we have paid it for most of the twentieth century. We must use this opportunity to
enhance democracy in Haiti so that our children and grand children will not have to continue
paying the price of failure into the twenty-first century.
As a nation, we share the frustration of the Haitian people in their inability to make significant
progress toward a free and democratically elected government. Between 1991 and 1999, the
U.S. Department of Defense invested over $1 billion to support democratization in Haiti. During
the same period, the U.S. invested $400 million in Somalia, $2.3 billion in Kosovo, $6.7 billion
in Iraq, and $9.3 billion in Bosnia. Despite these significant investments, there continues to be
significant resistance to meaningful change. We must recognize that military intervention on its
own is not a panacea for all the social and political ills in distressed areas of the world.. We and
our democratic allies must do a better job of coordinating political, economic and military
strategies to sustain the developing democratic process in these areas.
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Representative Porter J. Goss
House International Relations Committee Hearing
"U.S. Policy Toward Haiti"
9 November 1999
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased that this committee has extended an invitation for me to appear this
morning, especially to discuss the situation in Haiti. As my colleagues know, my interest in
Haiti goes back some time. While I have visited Haiti many times and continue to travel there on
approximately an annual basis, I receive a steady stream of visitors and communications from
Haiti about the troubles in their country. All of these individuals confirm the many other reports
we are getting from citizens, visitors, business people and so forth concerning how it is virtually
impossible to have anything useful happen given the situation in Haiti.
I feel very sad about what has transpired in Haiti over the last several years. It is a country I
think has great promise and it is a country that wishes very much to join the community of
democracies in this hemisphere. Unfortunately, those hopes seem to have dissipated because of
events that have taken place in that country in the last few years. There is no question that the
vast majority of responsibility for the state of affairs in Haiti rests with the Haitian leaders who
have put the pursuit and preservation of power above the needs of their own people.
However, the current administration bears a heavy burden here as well. In fact, I dare say if there
was a case study of the failed foreign policy of the Clinton administration, Haiti would probably
be the first example. My main purpose in coming this morning was not to itemize what I believe
are the many missed opportunities or flawed decisions of the Clinton administration with regard
to Haiti. While I firmly believe the Clinton administration owes the American people an
accounting of what happened to their investment of thousands of U.S. soldiers and billions of
taxpayer dollars, I think today is not the time for an in-depth discussion of that.
I am hopeful this hearing will lead to a frank and open discussion of how we can best help our
Haitian friends put an end the downward spiral their country has been experiencing.
Frve Years Later
In 1994, when President Clinton dispatched 20.000 American combat troops to return President
Aristide to power, he defined the task this way: "To strengthen the young and fragile democracy;
to build a new economy based on opportunity, small enterprise and steady development." By
every measure laid out by the President ard several others, including those laid out by
Congress in the Dole Amendment the people of Haiti are not much better off and I think it can
argued that, in some areas, they may be worse off.
Economic development is virtually non-existent. The privatization of several state run
industries, which was intended tojump-start economic development, has stalled. Efforts to
encourage private investment in Haiti have faltered for many reasons, not the least ofwhich is
the political instability and the level of violence.
Haiti's Democratic Institutions are Now-Fuactional
Haiti's democratic institutions are in tatters Critically important in any shared power in a
democracy is a judiciary system that is capable of fulfilling its responsibilities under the
constitution. I am sorry to report that Haiti's judiciary system, which was always feeble and
subject to corruption because there was not much pay involved in being a member of the
judiciary in Haiti, is even more enfeebled than it was before. It is a system that is broken down.
It is not even dysfunctional, it is non-functional.
In January of this year, President Preval took action against parliament, leading to what
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright testified before Congress was the "de facto dissolution" of
that body. It would be as if the US. Congress were closed down and the Senators and
Representatives were not allowed to come to the Capitol and go about their business. I know
there are some that would perhaps jokingly say, well, closing Congress may not be a bad idea
from time to time, what with some of the things that go on in any deliberative legislative body.
But the fact of the matter is Congress is a treasured institution and a vital part of our constitution
and our democratic government. It is in Haiti, too. Perhaps it is more so in Haiti, where the
authoritarian tradition is incredibly strong. The people of Haiti must have a legislative branch, a
place for the people's voice to be clearly expressed by their duly elected representatives.
The result of Preval's action is that Haiti's parliament is shuttered and the President rules by
decree. The current Prime Minster and cabinet have not been through the parliamentary review
process and were, in fact, appointed by decree. Of additional concern is the reality that local
officials in Haiti serve at the pleasure of the central government. The end result of all of this is
that government power in Haiti is largely invested in the executive branch, which is an obviously
grave concern for any democracy.
And while Secretary Albright described what happened in a roughly accurate way when she
referred to the "de facto dissolution of parliament," the Clinton administration's response to the
crisis was underwhelming and extraordinarily disappointing. As an example, I would point out
that the State Department spokesman had this to say when asked to comment on the dissolution
of parliament: "We regret the further gaps that have developed between the executive and
legislative branches in Haiti." If the United States is serious about helping the Haitian people,
we are going to have to do better than thaL
Now eleven months after the dissolution of parliament, Haiti finds itself once again at a critical
juncture. Elections originally scheduled for this year have now been put off to the spring. For
some time now, these elections have been pointed to as a road-map for the resolution of the
government crisis in Haiti. Indeed, they may be, provided Haiti can organize truly free, fair,
open and transparent elections. Whether that can happen remains an open question. The United
States has been working with the international community to provide logistical and financial
support to Haiti so that the elections go forward.
Elections and Secunrity
It seems to me that the security environment is the real key to these elections. Without an
adequate security environment, intimidation and harassment will be rampant The result will be
two-fold: many candidates may choose not to participate in the elections because of concerns
about their own safety and many voters may not turn out to polls because of concern about
election day violence.
The latest news on the security front is particularly discouraging. First came the news that
Haiti's secretary of state for public security, Robert Manuel, fled the country for Guatemala after
being forced to resign. In April of this year, Manuel, along with Pierre Denize, the director of
the Haitian National Police (HNP), were the focus of tire-burning, rock-throwing protests led by
Lavalas Family (FL), a political party directed by former President Aristide. FL accused Manuel
and Denize of failing to control crime in Haiti, but there is an awful lot of evidence to suggest
that FL was trying organize the ouster of both officials so it could replace them with Aristide
supporters. In fact, I personally have little doubt that is exactly the purpose of these protests.
Now several months later, one of the targets of these protests has departed, but HNP director
Denize remains at his post. Shortly after Manuel's resignation. Reuters news service reported
that Jean Lamy, a former Haitian Army colonel, who "was expected to replace Robert Manuel as
Secretary of State for Public Security" was assassinated in downtown Port-au-Prince.
As an illustration of how critical security is to the upcoming elections, I would like to focus the
committee's attention on a disturbing and outrageous event that transpired in the last week of
October. Haiti's independent Provisional Electoral Council, the body responsible for organizing
the elections,beld an event to'launch an eaucafnon program encouragmgiHaitans to participate
in Dext year's elections. The Associated Press reported what happened:
Rampaging supporters of former President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide spraved electoral officials with bottles of
urine to break up a ceremony kicking off next year's
election effort. 'Aristide or Death! There's no
topping Aristide!' the group of about 30 militants
shouted as they doused council members and knocked over
chairs. Panicked officials and hundreds of spectators
scrambled for the exits...
It bears noting that the Provisional Electoral Council had requested that members of the Haitiar.
National Police be present at the event to ensure that it went smoothly. According to media
reports, no HNP officers were present (beyond the magistrate's bodyguards) and no HNP officers
intervened once Aristide's supporters stormed in and sprayed urine on members of the electoral
council. The International Foundation for Election Systems reports that the CEP formally
requested additional police protection. The HNP failed to respond to these requests. r
This past weekend, individuals identified as Aristide supporters again disrupted an event related
to next year's election. This time, according to press reports, six Aristide partisans disrupted an
outdoor political rally in Petit-Goave, which had been organized by a give party coalition that
includes Evans Paul, leader of the Confederation of Democratic Unity. The protesters verbally
assaulted and then began punching the organizer of the rally, a gentleman named Jean Limongy.
The police intervened, arresting one assailant.
Mr. Chairman, many condemned the actions of these Aristide supporters, including the U.S.
Embassy in Haiti, which issued an appropriately strong statement But there is one voice that is
decidedly silent about all of this former President Aristide himself. A spokesman for the FL
said the troublemakers were opponents attempting to embarrass the party and ruin its image.
However, that spokesman went on to add that "The people must demonstrate against anything
which is not done in their interest." referring I would assume to the activities of the
Provisional Electoral Council to organize legitimate elections.
I must say I find it disturbing that Mr. Aristide, who talks quite highly of democracy on trips to
the United States, had nothing personally to say about the activities of his supporters. On June
14. U.S. Ambassador Timothy Camey spoke out clearly in this regard:
Dialogue and compromise have a role in democracy.
Violence, threats and intimidation do not. Those who
organize violent demonstrations in the street, those
who support them, and those who do not condemn them are
I am hopeful that my colleagues in the House who have worked closely with the former President
would join us today in sending a clear message: these acts are intolerable. It is vitally important
that all of Haiti's leaders speak out against intimidation and violence, particularly when these
activities are directed at subverting the democratic process.
A Pattern of Election-Related Violence and Intimidation?
Where is the line for U.S. Sunport?
Are these events isolated or are they the manifestation of an organized campaign of intimidation
and violence? This kind of activity certainly has all the hallmarks of the worst of the Duvalierist
era and I think the question for the United States becomes where is the line? At what point does
the United States admit that the free, fair, open and transparent elections are net possible because
of the level of intimidation and violence? At what point do we acknowledge that we cannot be
party to fraudulent elections and thus withdraw our support?
I was present in Haiti for the elections that swept Aristide into office and the subsequent
parliamentary elections. I know it is possible to have elections in Haiti if the leaders will allow
it. The Haitian people's enthusiasm for voting has dimmed in recent years, but I think that has
more to do with the corruption of the process and the fact there has been little positive benefit
from the experience. In much the same vein as the situation in Cuba, I think we have to conclude
that the fault for the electoral problems in Haiti lies not with the people of Haiti, but with the
government in Port-au-Prince and the not so secret government in Tabarre.
For Haiti's sake, we must not provide a gloss of international legitimacy to an electoral process
which has become neither free, nor fair, nor transparent I do not believe that the United States,
the OAS, or the U.N. should be in the position of assisting, funding, or endorsing an illegitimate
and undemocratic election in Haiti. I am sad to say that the United States has, in the past, lent its
support to fraudulent elections in Haiti, with predictable resuhs. I am hopeful we will not repeat
that mistake again.
The Haitian National Police
The Clinton Administration has often pointed to the training and professionalization of the HNP
as one of the success stories. In fact, the United States has spent some $75 million to help train
and build the force. We have a significant investment in ensuring both the competency and non-
partisanship of the HNP. This is a critically important issue for a variety of reasons. In all of its
history, Haiti has never had a professional, non-politicized police force. If the people of Haiti
can resolve the HNP's many internal problems and put an end to efforts by some of Haiti's
leaders to take control of the police and use it for their own ends, then we may yet break the
recent backsliding towards authoritarianism in that country.
Ambassador Carney underscored the importance of this effort: "To have stability, to have real,
not false democracy, it is essential that the police are apolitical What is currently important is
that no one political party, faction or group gain control of your police."
Whether the Haitian National Police are up to the task of ensuring an adequate security
environment for next year's elections is justifiable concern. Created four years ago, the
fledgling HNP has a myriad of problems, including involvement of its members in politically
motivated murders, disappearances of detainees, drug-related crime, human rights abuses and
other activities. From April through June of this year, 50 killings, many of them summary
executions, were attributed to the police, compared to 31 for all of last year. In addition, the
involvement of the HNP in drug-trafficking activities is of grave concern to the United States
given Haiti's increasing prominence as a transhipment point for drugs coming into our country.
In sum, democracy has a very thin reed to rely on when it comes to law enforcement.
Clearly, there is a lot of work to be done in this area and [I look forward to hearing the
Administration's thoughts on the HNP and where the United States should go from here in terms
of support for this organization.
ManaingIm lmiration Flows
I would be remiss if I did not raise an issue of great concern to my home state of Florida. I am
referring to the possibility that we might see a return to the level of mass immigratiot'drom Haiti
we saw not too long ago. Given Florida's geographic location, we bear the brunt of migrant
flows from Haiti. Although the number of illegal immigrants from Haiti has declined
dramatically in recent years, the grinding poverty, coupled with insecurity and instability in that
country may result in more and more Haitians taking to the boats. I am dismayed that the
Clinton administration does not have an established, reliable process in place for the safe, orderly
return of illegal immigrants from Haiti.
For the last several years, the United States has relied on the Government of Haiti's (GOH'
voluntary repatriation of individuals who attempt to enter the U.S. illegally. This voluntary
system is the direct result of the fact that a bilateral repatriation agreement between the United
States and Haiti first negotiated in the 1980s was allowed to expire in 1994. The limitations and
dangers of this approach are abundantly clear. The most effective way to manage this issue is to
have a formalized repatriation process in place. In the absence of one, I am deeply concerned
about what might happen if refugee flows from Haiti rise dramatically, as has happened many
times in the past.
The United States does, however, have a repatriation agreement with the Government of Cuba. In
1994, in response to massive immigration flows from Cuba, the administration announced an
abrupt change in policy: Cuban refugees would be interdicted at sea and housed at the
Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba. Despite the change in policy, the massive refugee flows
continued. As a result, in September 1994, administration officials negotiated an agreement with
the Cuban government to facilitate the return of Cuban refugees. There are certainly
disagreements about whether this is the best policy given our history of unconditionally
accepting refugees fleeing the oppression in Cuba. However, the benefits of this type of an
agreement are clear. We simply must have an established process in place providing for the safe,
orderly and legal return of immigrants the United States does not admit
I find it difficult not to highlight the fact that the Clinton administration has twice negotiated a
repatriation agreement with Cuba, a country with which we have no official diplomatic relations,
while it has not done so with the Government of Haiti. This fact is even more remarkable given
the especially close relationship with Haiti. The benefits of having an established process for
managing refugee flows are clear. These agreements are a vital tool in deterring and managing
refugee flows. I am hopeful the Clinton administration will give the utmost priority to reviving
the lapsed repatriation agreement with Haiti.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I do want to elaborate on one final thought Three weeks ago marked
the fifth anniversary of the date that U.S. troops restored President A-istide to power. Five years
later, things look pretty bleak. I think the Clinton administration's underlying failure in Haiti
was that they lost sight of the fact that the solution to democracy in any country is the people
going about the business of looking after themselves and being accountable to their community
and their country for their own activities. When another country comes in and tries to do that job
for them, I do not believe it will turn out very well.
In the case of Haiti, we sent 20,000 of our combat troops there, we've spent almost $3 billion of
taxpayer's funds and what do we have to show for it? Ambassador Carney summed it up this
Haiti is a long way from getting democracy. It lacks
nearly all of the elements that make up a democracy.
Haiti can best be described as in transition towards
democracy. Overall, our expectations were too high.
Did we let ourselves be led by our hopes instead of
I am hopeful that today's bearing will provide an opportunity to make an honest appraisal of the
situation in Haiti and what the United States can and cannot do to help. We ough: to concentrate
on the basics, seeking out and identifying Haitians in Haiti who are committed to democracy
both in principle and in daily practice. The solution to Haiti's problems will never come from
the United States, it will come from Haitians working together in Haiti.
The approach the Clinton administration has tried for the last several years throwing troops and
money at the problem, all the while ignoring the undemocratic activities of Haiti's leaders has
failed. I do not really think this is a subject of debate any more. The American taxpayer
deserves better from its government and the Haitian people deserve better from their northern
neighbor than what we've seen the last five years.
Once again, Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts this morning.
TESTIMONY OF REP. JOHN CONYERS, Jr.
HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
"U.S. POLICY IN HAITI"
I would like to thank my good friend, Chairman Gilman, and the ranking member, the
gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Gejdenson, for inviting me to testify today. As you
know, I have been following Haiti closely for many years and I travel there
frequently. Today's hearing provides us with an excellent opportunity to openly
discuss some of the challenges that are still facing Haiti and what we can do about
When democracy was restored to Haiti five years ago, President Aristide came back
to a country that had suffered from three years of brutal military repression. Four
thousand of his supporters were killed during that period. He set out to dismantle a
brutal and corrupt military that had dominated Haiti for decades, rebuild an economy
in tatters, and restore confidence in the democratic process.
I spoke with former President Aristide last week and while his followers include
sinners and saints alike, I believe that he personally remains committed to the same
principles of fairness, social justice, and democracy that allowed him to ride his wave
of popularity all the way to the presidency. Aristide and the other members of his
party have done what they can to distance themselves from political antics such as the
incident at the recent CEP rally and to publicly condemn these acts.
Haiti did abolish the military and begin building a new professional police force,
which today has 5000 members. Some of the economic help that the international
community promised did come through, so the economy did start moving. And
President Aristide stepped down, even though he was deprived of three years of his
term. But these problems now seem easy compared to the challenges of
reconciliation and consolidation that his successor, Rene Preval, has faced.
In September, I led a Congressional Delegation to Haiti which looked into the police,
the status of U.S. assistance, preparations for the elections, and the political
environment in general. I am making the complete report available for the record.
We were encouraged by certain signs of political progress. And while we were
disturbed with certain serious incidents of use of excessive force by the police, the
bipartisan delegation found no evidence of any sort of political pattern.
There have been a number of violent acts which appear to be aimed at political
intimidation. On September 4, just a few days before I arrived in Haiti, shots were
fired at an OPL official, and two weeks before that, shots were fired at the home of
Emmanuel Charles, a member of the Provisional Electoral Council. These incidents
are serious but it would be an improper characterization of the victims and the
victimizers to equate these incidents with the anything that happened during the years
when Cedras, Francois or Duvalier for that matter ruled HaitL
I believe I have traveled to Haiti in the last seven years more than any other member
of Congress. In my opinion, the most significant act of political violence in Haiti this
year probably occurred on October 9 when a prominent ally of President Preval, Jean
Lemy was killed. As a former soldier, Lemy provided critical support for President
Aristide when he began dismantling a brutal and corrupt military an activity that
made him extremely unpopular with the macoutes.
I think it would be inaccurate to suggest that Aristide's supporters or anyone else's
are dominating the police when the few facts we do have make it clear that the
sources of violence are diverse. We should avoid the oversimplification that any one
group's supporters carry a disproportionate responsibility for disruptions. This self-
indulgent analysis will not help Haiti meet the formidable challenges before it.
The strength of a democracy is measured by how well it functions under adverse
conditions. The economic and social environment in Haiti places tremendous
pressures on the political system. Just last week, the U.S. Agency for International
Development reported that even though they have delivered thousands of
vaccinations for children, increased access to micro-credit for entrepreneurs, and
improved environmental conditions, only 39% of the population has access to clean
water and only 26% have adequate sanitation.
We should avoid placing blame today and devote ourselves to discussing how we
can help make Haiti's institutions strong enough to withstand irregularities. I have
a list of specific suggestions about how to do that.
1. Non-violence pact We should encourage the Electoral Council to
generate a non-violence pact. Most of the major parties in Haiti have
told me that they would sign such a pact However, it must be designed
by Haitians if it is going to be credible among Haitians.
2. Human Rights We have to support the international human rights
monitoring mechanisms now in place in Haiti, mainly the joint UN-OAS
mission, MICIVIH, which has done incredible work monitoring and
promoting human rights but is now facing an unexpected withdrawal at
a critical time just before elections. There is no group of people better
qualified or more experienced to ensure that human rights are observed
in the coming months. During the Codel, my staff was deeply
impressed with some of the work going on at the MICIVIH field office,
and we shouldn't lose this talent.
3. American troops In the past I have been open to discussing the
withdrawal of U.S. troops, but I think it is dangerous to do so if we are
also undercutting the effective organs of human rights observation,
which is exactly what has happened. When I met with the business
community in Port-au-Prince in September, they told me that while the
abolition of the army was a good thing, it created a void. They said the
U.S. troops should eventually go, but the U.S. shouldn't leave a vacuum.
4. Election support It would be a grave mistake for either the Congress
or the administration to begin looking for reasons to withhold support
for the elections. The crisis over the absence of a prime minister has
been solved for the most part. And when I was in Haiti in September,
we met with Fanmi Lavalas and the OPL together. I have been told this
is the first time this ever happened. We should call this progress. I also
want to be clear that the Codel unanimously recommended postponing
the elections to make sure that there is adequate time to prepare for
them. Now we have to make sure that those preparations, including
those measures intended to increase voter confidence and reduce fraud,
are implemented. The U.S. must show a strong commitment to the
5. Expectation management I think we have to be more realistic about
our expectations of Haiti. The transition to democracy (in 1990 and
again in 1994) was difficult: thousands of Aristide supporters murdered
and when the U.S.S. Harian County offered help, it was turned back by
protesters organized by the CIA's own assets. Democratic consolidation
will be at least as difficult, given the social and economic factors that
compound the political challenges.
Thank you again for inviting me to testify. I hope we can begin a useful exchange
and perhaps implement some of these suggestions of mine together.
HON. CHARLES B. RANGEL
U.S. POLICY TOWARD HAITI
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
I WISH TO THANK MY DEAR FRIEND, CHAIRMAN BEN GILMAN,
FOR CALLING THIS IMPORTANT HEARING ON U.S. POLICY TOWARD
HAITI. THIS IS MY FIRST TIME TESTIFYING ON HAITI SINCE BEN AND
I TRAVELED THERE LAST JANUARY WITH OUR COLLEAGUES,
PORTER GOSS AND JOHN CONYERS.
AT THAT TIME, THE COUNTRY WAS IN THE MIDST OF A
CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS INVOLVING A DISPUTED PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTION IN 1997 AND SUBSEQUENT DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN
PRESIDENT PREVAL AND PARLIAMENT OVER APPOINTMENTS OF
THE ENTIRE CABINET HAD RESIGNED AND THERE WERE
FEARS THAT THE PROCESS OF DEMOCRATIZATION, STARTED WITH
THE RESTORATION OF THE ARISTIDE GOVERNMENT IN 1994, WOULD
THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED. INDEED, FOLLOWING OUR VISIT,
ALL SIDES CAME TO THE TABLE AND WERE ABLE TO WORK OUT AN
ARRANGEMENT TO ABROGATE THE DISPUTED ELECTION AND TO
MOVE ON WITH THE SCHEDULING OF NEW LEGISLATIVE AND
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS NEXT YEAR.
ELECTIONS FOR THE LEGISLATURE ARE NOW SCHEDULED
FOR MARCH AND APRIL OF 2,000, TO BE FOLLOWED BY
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER.
I RECALL THAT MISSION TO HAITI IN ORDER TO MAKE A
POINT. WE HAD MET WITH OUR ABLE AMBASSADOR TIMOTHY
CARNEY, WITH PRESIDENT PREVAL, ALL OF THE POLITICAL
PARTIES, THE BUSINESS AND LABOR LEADERS AND WITH FORMER
WE USED THOSE OPPORTUNITIES NOT ONLY TO EXPRESS OUR
CONCERNS AND FEARS ABOUT THE SITUATION AT THAT TIME, BUT
TO MAKE CLEAR THAT THE PEOPLE OF HAITI STILL HAD OUR
SUPPORT. AT THAT MOMENT THE PROCESS WAS FALTERING, BUT
THE LEADERS OF HAITI REMAINED COMMITTED TO MAKING
DEMOCRACY WORK, IN A NATION THAT HAD NOT KNOWN IT AND
THAT HAD BEEN BADLY TREATED, EVEN BY THE UNITED STATES,
FOR 200 YEARS AFTER THROWING OFF THE SHACKLES OF SLAVERY
AND FOREIGN DOMINATION.
I SHARE THE CONCERNS OF MANY IN THIS HEARING ROOM
ABOUT REPORTS OF VIOLENCE, POLITICAL INTIMIDATION, DRUG
TRAFFICKING, AND POSSIBLE ATTEMPTS TO POLITICIZE IMPORTANT
INSTITUTIONS, INCLUDING THE POLICE.
I HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING THE SOURCES OF THESE
ACTIVITIES, BUT I WOULD MAKE IT CLEAR THAT VIOLENCE FROM
ANY SOURCE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, AND THAT THE MARCH TOWARD
DEMOCRACY CAN ONLY BE HURT BY CORRUPTION OF ANY OF THE
COUNTRY'S IMPORTANT INSTITUTIONS.
AT THIS TIME. I WISH TO COMMEND PRESIDENT PREVAL AND
FORMER PRESIDENT ARISTIDE WHO CONTINUE TO LABOR UNDER
THE MOST DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES IN PROVIDING INSPIRED
LEADERSHIP IN HAITI. PRESIDENT ARISTIDE, WHO WAS RESTORED
TO THE PRESIDENCY IN 1994 AFTER THREE YEARS OF EXILE IN THE
U.S, WAS ABLE TO COMPLETE HIS TERM IN OFFICE AND PROVIDE A
SMOOTH AND FAIR ELECTORAL TRANSFER OF GOVERNMENT, FOR
THE FIRST TIME IN HAITI'S HISTORY.
WE WOULD BE ILL-ADVISED TO FORGET THAT, AND WE
WOULD BE WRONG TO COMPARE HAITI'S CURRENT SITUATION
WITH THAT WHICH FOLLOWED THE COUP THAT DEPOSED THE
I RECALL ONLY TOO WELL THE ATROCITIES AND HUNDREDS
OF KILLINGS OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS, THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF
BOAT PEOPLE ESCAPING THE TERROR WHO SOUGHT REFUGE ON
THE SHORES OF FLORIDA, AND THE ARROGANT GENERALS WHO
FLAUNTED THEIR ILL-GOTTEN POWER IN THE FACE OF AN
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ARRAYED AGAINST THEM.
WHILE WE MUST BE VIGILANT AND OUTSPOKEN IN OUR
CONDEMNATION OF ABUSES, WE MUST BE FAIR IN THOSE
CRITICISMS AND ACKNOWLEDGE PROGRESS WHERE IT HAS TAKEN
PLACE. WHATEVER MAY BE THE CASE IN HAITI TODAY, THE
COUNTRY HAS CERTAINLY NOT RETURNED TO THOSE DARK DAYS.
CREDIT IS DUE, FIRST, TO THE PEOPLE OF HAITI WHO HAVE
ENDURED UNIMAGINABLE HARDSHIPS IN THEIR QUEST FOR
FREEDOM AND A BETTER LIFE. AND WE SHOULD CREDIT
PRESIDENT CLINTON WHO TOOK THE DIFFICULT DECISION TO
WREST HAITI FROM THE GENERALS AND TON-TON MACOUTES.
1 AM NOT SURPRISED THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON WOULD
COME UNDER POLITICAL ATTACK FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE TO
BRING HAITI THIS FAR IN ITS QUEST FOR DEMOCRACY. IT HAS NOW
BECOME POPULAR IN WASHINGTON TO OPPOSE PRESIDENTS IN
VENTURES OVERSEAS, EVEN WHEN OUR TROOPS ARE IN HARM'S
WAY, AS WAS PROVEN IN KOSOVO.
FOUR HUNDRED U.S. TROOPS REMAIN IN HAITI, AND I AM
GRATEFUL THAT NONE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN HOSTILE ACTIONS.
THEIR PRESENCE HAS EVIDENCED CONTINUED U.S. ENGAGEMENT,
AND THEREBY PROMOTED AN ATMOSPHERE OF STABILITY,
TANGIBLE ECONOMIC GROWTH, AND RELATIVE SECURITY FOR ITS
THE CONGRESS HAS AUTHORIZED A CONTINUED U.S.
PRESENCE UNTIL THE END OF MAY, AND I WOULD ENCOURAGE THE
ADMINISTRATION TO WORK WITH THE HAITIAN GOVERNMENT IN
DETERMINING THE APPROPRIATE LENGTH OF DEPLOYMENT WITHIN
THE LIMITS SET BY CONGRESS.
1 WOULD ALSO URGE MY COLLEAGUES IN CONGRESS AND
THE ADMINISTRATION TO FREE UP WHATEVER FUNDS MAY BE
AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT THE CONTINUED UNITED NATIONS HUMAN
RIGHTS PRESENCE, TO ASSIST WITH REFORM OF THE JUDICIAL
SYSTEM, AND TO ASSIST THE HAITIANS IN CARRYING OUT THE
I WOULD ALSO URGE THAT THE U.S. TAKE STEPS TO BEEF UP
AIR AND NAVAL SURVEILLANCE SO AS TO ASSIST THE HAITIANS IN
FIGHTING THE INCREASED TRAFFIC IN DRUGS THROUGH THE
IN HAITI. AS IN ALL THINGS, IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO VIEW
THE GLASS AS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL. I WOULD URGE ALL
AMERICANS, IN JUDGING THE SITUATION TODAY, TO REMEMBER
WHERE WE HAVE COME FROM. THE GLASS IS CERTAINLY NOT
FULL, BUT IT IS HARDLY EMPTY.
THANK YOU, CHAIRMAN GILMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE
Statement by Acting Assistant Secretary
Peter F. Romero
House International Relations Committee
U.S. Policy Towards Haiti
November 9, 1999
I am pleased to be here with you this morning to
discuss an issue in which we and our neighbors have
vital stakes efforts to build democracy in a troubled
land barely 600 miles off our shores. As is evident
from the remarks of the Members of Congress who
preceded me in testifying today, there is a mixed
record of progress toward these goals. It is crucial
that the Administration and Congress work together in
the months ahead to address the problems that have
been raised in this hearing.
September marked the five-year anniversary of
the UN sanctioned military intervention that restored
elected government to Haiti. Because we and the
international community acted, Haiti's nightmarish
repression ended, as did the flotillas of fleeing
refugees. Deep-seated problems clearly remain -
and progress is less than we had hoped or Haitians
had reason to expect. But the reality is that Haiti has
experienced the longest period of democratic
government in its history. Human rights problems
continue to be a serious concern, but nonetheless
pale in comparison to the pervasive political violence
of the de facto or Duvalier eras. The roughly 380
extrajudicial and suspicious killings in the first eight
months of 1994 stand in stark contrast to 38 reported
police killings in 1998. Haitians today enjoy an
unprecedented level of freedom of the press and
assembly, and a range of political parties and civil
society groups operate openly.
The United States' goals in Haiti remains
unchanged: to help Haitians reverse the conditions
that for nearly two centuries have mired the Haitian
people in poverty and impeded the development of
democracy. To succeed, our policy needs bipartisan
support. Only with such a consensus can we work
effectively with the Haitian authorities and people to
meet the manifold and intractable challenges to
reaching our common goals. We seek to modernize
the Haitian state in all its aspects, construct a nation
rooted in the rule of law, and create a foundation for
sustained economic growth.
We are now increasingly worried about the state
of the Haitian National Police (HNP), especially as
Haiti prepares for elections. At the request of Haitian
authorities, we and our international partners have
worked diligently together and bilaterally to help build
a professional and apolitical HNP. Due to lack of
funds, the OAS component of the UN/OAS
International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) has
effectively closed. This unfortunately limits the
present ability of the international community to
monitor and report on police abuse and other human
rights violations. We are currently working with the
UN and other bilateral donors to ensure the
continuation of UN police and human rights
assistance after the November 30 termination of the
current mandate for the UN International Civilian
Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH) and the December
31 termination of the MICIVIH mandate. We cannot
turn our backs on the problems in the Haitian National
Police. Continued international engagement is
essential to help train and mentor new police recruits,
address continued management problems among the
middle ranks of the HNP, and promote the
strengthening of Haitian institutions and civil society to
ensure improved respect for human rights.
The HNP faces a number of challenges, including
a rise in attrition among the ranks and an apparent
increase in incidents of human rights abuse and
corruption. We are troubled by physical attacks in
the past month on the senior police leadership that
have weakened policemorale and pose a -serious-
threat to police neutrality. We have insisted that these
attacks be investigated in full and have made clear to
Haiti's leaders that U.S. law enforcement assistance
requires their continued and public commitment to an
apolitical security force.
The U.S. and international community are
assisting Haiti in preparing for elections, scheduled for
March 19, 2000, to restore fully the Parliament and
independent local governments regarded as lapsed
January 11 of this year. Despite some organizational
difficulties, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP)
continues to operate in a credible manner and
remains acceptable to a range of political parties. We
are troubled by the October 24 violent disruption by
self-professed supporters of former President Aristide
of a CEP rally inaugurating the voter education
campaign. We must not let actions by a band of
thugs deter us from our commitment to helping Haiti
consolidate its fragile democracy. In addition to
possible steps in a bilateral context, we are urging the
political parties participating in elections to sign and
abide by a non-violence pact presently being
developed by the CEP. We are also urging the CEP
and HNP to improve communication and coordination
to prevent a replay of the October 24 incident.
Haiti remains by far the poorest country in this
Hemisphere, with one of the most violent and
politically repressive histories. Without U.S. and
international assistance in 1994, Haiti would have
remained under brutal dictatorship. Without continued
international help, there is a real danger Haiti will slip
backward, and the flotillas of refugees bound for U.S.
shores will once again increase. We cannot afford for
Haiti to retreat from democracy. We must remain
engaged in helping Haitians achieve their goals of
strengthened democratic institutions and sustainable
HAITI TRIP REPORT
September 10- 12, 1999
Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Chairman
Rep. Tom Campbell
Rep. Donald Payne
Rep. Earl Hilliard
Del. Eni Faleomavaega
Del. Donna Christian-Green
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Letters of Transmittal
Background ................... ..................... 2
Challenges Facing the Police ......... ........ ................. 2
Attrition and Recruitment
Human Rights Abuses
The Police Role During Elections
The International Presence .............. ................ 5
The UN/OAS Mission
U.S. Troop Withdrawal
Congressional Issues ......................................... 6
Recommendations ........................................... 6
The Judicial Branch
Background .............................................. 6
The United States and the Haitian Judiciary ...................... 7
U.S. Administration of Justice Programs
The U.S. and the Question of Impunity
The Prison System .......................... .... ............ 8
Congressional Issues ......................................... 8
Recommendations ................ ................... 8
Background .................. .................... 9
Election Issues...................................... 10
Congressional Issues ................... ............... 1
Recommendations ................ .................. 12
Appendix A: Partial list of meetings .................. ............... 13
Appendix B: CODEL staff .............. ................... 14
(on'grtS of tiltr littb 6tatrs
tllastlngton. DC 2031l
September 27. 1999
The Honorable Madel-ne K. Albright
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of Sate
Washington. D.C. 20520
Dear Madame Secretay:
On Sepeber 10 12,a House Judiciary Committee congressional delegation traveled to Haiti led
by the Ranking Member, Representative John Conyers, Jr. Other members of the code included
Represemnives Tom Campbell, Donald Payne. Earl Hilliard and Delegates En Faleomavaega and
The trip focused on thee general areas of interest: (I) The pending elections and the preparations
necessary to undertake them; (2) the Department of Justice's ongoing role in police training and
judicial reform; and (3) counter-narcotic activities.
The Congressional delegation's report contains specific recommendations for actims by the
Executive Branch and the Congress, with the object of continuing your progress in the c olidation
of democracy in the nation of Haiti.
Jo onys, Jr. Donald M. P
TomCamph*I Earl F.
/ W55i -aep
Congrrms of tl)t Vinitrb *tatrs
lashlington. DC 20.113
September 27, 1999
The Honorable Janet Reno
The Attorney Ceneral
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530
Dear Madame Attorney General
On September 10- 12, a House Judiciary Committee congressional delegation traveled to Haiti led
by the Ranking Member, Representative John Conyers, Jr. Other members of the codel included
Representatives Tom Campbell Donald Payne, Earl Hilliard and Delegates Eni Faleomavaega and
The trip focused on three general areas of interest (1) The pending elections and the preparations
necessary to undertake them; (2) the Department of Justice's ongoing role in police dining and
judicial reform; and (3) counter-narcotic activities.
The Congressional delegation's report contains specific recommendations for actions by the
Executive Branch and the Congress, with the object of continuing your progress in the consolidation
of democracy in the nation of Haiti.
Donald M. Payne
Colgrirss of tilt ~inittb states
tilaslinnglon. OC 20.13
September 27, 1999
The Honorable Henry Hyde
House Judiciary Committee
Washington. D C. 20515
Dear Chairmnnan Hyde:
You authorized a House Judiciary Committee congressional delegation to travel Haiti between
September 10* and 12*. The delegation was led by the Ranking Member, Representative John
Conyers. Jr. Other raembers of the codel included Representatives Tom Campbell. Donald Payne,
Earl Hilliard and Delegates Eni Faleomavaega and Donna Christian-Christensen.
The trip focused on three general areas of interest: (1) the pending elections and the preparations
necessary to undertake them; (2) the Department of Justice's ongoing role in police training and
judicial reform, and (3) counter-narcotic activities.
The Congressional delegation's report contains specific recommendations for actions by the
Executive Branch and the Congress, with the object of continuing progress in the consolidation of
democracy in the nation of Haiti.
Donald M. Payne
Earl F Hilliar
> Donna Christi stensen
Jo V nyers, Jr. N
Tom Campbel. '
From September 10 to September 12*, 1999, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Member
of the House Judiciary Committee, led a bipartisan congressional delegation (CODEL) to Haiti. The
delegation focused on upcoming elections and issues relevant to their successful undertaking such
as international monitoring, the proper role of the police and building confidence in the political
process. It also looked at the status of police training, the U.S. Department of Justice's role in the
establishment ofan independent judiciary, and the efficacy of anti-drug operations.
The members of the CODEL included:
Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Chairman (D-MI)
Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA)
Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Rep. Earl Hilliard (D-AL)
Del. Eni Falcomavaega (D-AS)
Del. Donna Christian-Christensen (D-VI)
In 1990, Jean Bertrand-Aristide was elected president in Haiti's first legitimate, democratic elections.
A year later he was overthrown in a coup d'etat and a violent military regime took over, ruling by
repression and fear. In 1994, a United States-led multinational force restored democracy to Haiti.
Ever since then, Haiti has been grappling with complicated economic, political and social questions
necessary for the consolidation of democracy. This report explores some of those challenges and
is meant to provide some useful observations.
In addition to having jurisdiction over operations of the Department of Justice generally, the
Judiciary Committee has explicit jurisdiction over enforcement of federal drug statutes,
administration of the federal courts, treaties, conventions and other international agreements. It also
has jurisdiction over immigration and related issues.
The delegation objectives were:
* Evaluate progress of investigations into human rights violations and the role of US
assistance, particularly as it relates to the police.
* Examine the impact of the withdrawal of the permanent U.S. military presence.
* Determine the status of judicial reform and the efficacy of US assistance.
* Observe preparations for the elections and make judgements regarding the timetable, the
technical steps necessary for their undertaking, the ability of the police to maintain a secure
environment, and the role of international observers.
* Make observations regarding the public's confidence in the electoral process, the competence
of electoral institutions, and the likelihood of broad civic participation in the process.
Our findings and recommendations follow.
After the restoration of democracy to Haiti in 1994, the U.S. Department of Justice's International
Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) established the Haiti Police
Development Program. In the first phase of this program, ICITAP trained 5200 members of the
Haitian National Police (HNP). By next year, ICITAP hopes to have established permanent
education programs allowing the HNP to become more self-sufficient, institutionalized issues of
integrity and civic duty, and set guidelines for the formation of specialized unis such as CIMO, the
riot control squad, and the BLTS, the counter-narcotics unit.
The delegation met with representatives of ICITAP, as well as OPDAT (the Overseas Prosecutorial
Development Assistance Program), the US Department of Justice program responsible for judicial
reform assistance. Their budget for FY 1999 is $6.1 million.'
A number of things suggest that on the bureaucratic level, the police will meet ICITAP's goals. For
example, in the past seven months, three classes have come through the police academy which were
100% trained by Haitians with about 100 cadets in each class. Also, the fact that the HNP developed
their own annual budget this year for the first time is an encouraging sign.
Challenges Facing the Police
The Haitian National Police, however, continue to face serious challenges including (1) continued
problems with excessive use of force, human right abuses and mistreatment of prisoners; (2) drug
trafficking within the force; and (3) keeping the police politically neutral and effectively engaged in
providing security. Looming large in the foreground of these questions is what the impact of the
U.S. troop withdrawal will be, the probable elimination of the police mentoring mission (CIVPOL),
and the scaling down of the UN/OAS civilian mission's (MICIVIH) human rights monitoring work.
Attrition and Recruitment
In response to concerns raised earlier this year by the House Appropriations Committee, the HNP
in cooperation with ICITAP, conducted a study on attrition which concluded that attrition was not
as bad as it seemed on the surface. According to this study, 1056 police left the force voluntarily or
involuntarily between 1995 and April 1999. The overwhelming number of separations were
dismissals: 602 police agents and 230 civilian employees fired. The justificatios for dismissal
ranged from corruption and alleged murder to poor punctuality. There is also a serious attrition
problem of another kind: 115 officers have been killed since 1995.2 As a consequence of the study,
The amount of that money going to outside consultants has been decreasing. ICTAP-Washington
sees this as an encouraging development that is a resuh of re-oipeting their cmracts, which are
now with DYNCORPS and SAIC.
2 The UN Secretar General's report of May 10, 1999, gave even higher numbers 50 killed in
1996,53 in 1997,31 in 1998. and at least 16 this year for aal of 159.
the HNP now systematically utilizes exit interviews.
The CODEL was alarmed to hear drastically varying estimates of the actual number of police active
in the force. While the official figure is 6500, several sources in Washington and Haiti assert that
the actual number is probably more in the range of 3500-4000. This is alarming for a number of
reasons: First of all, the need for police will be great in the months leading up to elections. Second,
a reduction in the actual number of police could result in an over-reliance on elite forces, and third,
it places tremendous strain on the active duty officers who are already expected to work
unreasonably long weeks.
Human Rights Abuses
The human rights situation is a marked improvement from the years of the de facto regime and
abuses do not appear to have any kind of pattern. The CODEL does however have serious concerns
about the general conduct of the police and certain incidents in particular.
A top priority of the delegation was investigating the involvement of the HNP in the execution of
eleven people on May 28, 1999 in the neighborhood of Carrefour Feuille. Protests in the days
following were so violent that the Justice Minister and the Prime Minister had to flee the funeral
services for the victims. The Minister of Justice has appointed a three judge panel to investigate the
incident and six members of the HNP are currently in jail.
The National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) has complained that the Minister should not have
appointed the panel without the Inspector General's report and is very concerned that the case will
be mishandled. MICIVIH has criticized handling of Carrefour, arguing that some suspects are being
held in isolement, an extra-constitutional and arbitrarily-ceated form of detention where the suspects
have not been charged. It is also generally worried that the investigation is proceeding very slowly.
Robert Manuel, the Secretary of State for Public Safety, personally promised Rep. Conyers progress
on this investigation and an update in the near future to be announced publicly.
Earlier in the day of May 28, riots erupted in Port-au-Prince when a demonstration organized by a
group of businesses and civil society organizations speaking out for peaceful elections faced counter-
demonstrators throwing rocks. The demonstration's organizers have charged that the behavior of
the police exhibited a bias in favor of the counter-demonstrators while the counter-demonstrators
dismiss the allegations. The role of CIMO, the riot control unit formed in 1997 to handle such
incidents, is at the center of some of the charges of police misconduct For example, last year CIMO
was dispatched to the town of Mirebalais and along with UDMO (the departmental crowd control
unit) and GIPNH (a SWAT team), shares responsibility-for severe abuses of a number of political
activists. CIMO's accountability and public perception could be improved vastly by changing its
uniforms, which lack badges. This measure, suggested by the U.S. Department of Justice last year,
has not been implemented.
In May and June, MICIVIH learned of 16 cases of people being killed by a vigilante group. On May
13, an investigation team sent to Titanyen discovered the bodies of two people who had been taken
away from Bois Neuf that morning by a group of people, two of them in police uniform. Since then,
a total of 14 bodies have been discovered in graves in the area. Progress in this investigation has
reportedly been extremely slow as well and the delegation would like to get a status report soon.
In 1998. MICIVIH recorded 423 incidents of police brutality. Law enforcement misconduct has
inspired a popular campaign against the HNP leadership. Local organizations, many of which appear
to be aligned with Fanmi Lavalas. have been demanding the resignation of the police director, Pierre
Denize and Bob Manuel, the Secretary of State for Security.
There is an active collective of indigenous organizations that carry out human rights activities, many
of which the CODEL met with, but it is clear that they operate at great personal risk. For example,
on March 8, Pierre Esperance, Director of the Haiti office of NCHR, was shot and injured shortly
after a threatening flyer was found near his office. Some of these organizations, such as those
encountered by delegation staff in Gonaive, are awaiting certification as official NGO's from the
Haitian Ministry of Social Affairs. It is critical that such bureaucratic obligations are undertaken so
that these organizations are able to fill any void left by a downgraded or nonexistent MICIVIH,
which has been pivotal in training these indigenous groups.
Police Role During the Elections
The police have thus far managed to keep their distance from politics, a major step forward for a
country with a deep history of the politicization of law enforcement. This is a tremendous break
from the past, when law enforcement served as the long arm of executive power. However, the
elections will present other challenges as well, such as the potential for violence against candidates.
On September 5, a gunman fired on Sauveur Pierre Etienne, secretary of the OPL, an
In March, Sen. Jean Yvon-Toussaint was killed in front of his home;
On August 24, gunmen shot at the home of Emmanuel Charles, one of the nine
members of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP);
On August 21, another CEP official experienced a carjacking;
In July, election offices in Gonaives and Jacmel were set afire.
The State Department plans on augmenting CIMO for the elections and is working on approving
contracts for new riot control equipment. It has also suggested a "non-violence pact," to be signed
by all participating parties.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), approximately 2720 kilograms of
cocaine were seized coming from Haiti between May 1998 and June 1999. Most drugs are smuggled
into Haiti via ships, although airdrops and cargo shipments are also used. Most of the drug
smuggling is done by Colombians who either live in Haiti or routinely travel there.
Although Haiti still has not signed a formal ship-rider agreement, the U.S. Coast Guard claims that
it has "carte blanche" to conduct overflights or board any vessel at any time as long as the Haitian
authorities are informed in real time. If this is indeed the case. and drug shipments from Haiti are
on the rise, then the most logical improvement would be to dramatically increase the U.S. law
enforcement presence, particularly the Coast Guard.
Haiti does not have asset seizure laws, therefore law enforcement agents cannot confiscate large
sums of money. Neither does it have domestic laws relating to money laundering and it will not have
any until the new parliament is in place next year. In the meantime, President Preval has sought the
voluntary cooperation of private banks by requesting them to ask pertinent questions of clients who
make large deposits and to help provide such information to the government for tax collection
purposes. When the delegation inquired about this arrangement with business representatives, they
stated that the assets of the banking sector are actually very small. Nevertheless, the delegation
hopes such cooperation with Preval's proposal is forthcoming.
The International Presence
The UNIOAS Civilian Mission
MICIVIH is being phased out due to the withdrawal of U.S. assistance. The mission plans on going
to the UN General Assembly for a new mandate, replacing the current one authorized by the UN
Security Council under the MIPONUH (United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti) banner.
This means the UN share of funding would come from the General Assembly, while the OAS will
continue to contribute their share. The new mission will have some police monitoring component
and probably will combine the MIPONUH and MICIVIH functions. Plans on how to facilitate this
transition are still up in the air but a temporary extension of the current mandate is a possibility. In
the opinion of the delegation, a premature withdrawal of MICIVIH would leave a substantial gap in
the human rights monitoring capabilities in Haiti simply because local organizations lack experience.
Any phase out over the next year should attempt to minimize this impact
On June 9, the House voted 227-198 for an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill offered by
Reps. Ben Gilman (R-NY) and Porter Goss (R-FL) to withdraw U.S. troops from Haiti. Every
member of the CODEL opposed this amendment The amendment, if it becomes law, would end
the U.S. Support Group in Haiti, an outgrowth of Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in 1994.
The Clinton Administration strongly opposed the amendment, pointing out that the Support Group
has built roads and provided health care to thousands of Haitians, and arguing that a premature
withdrawal would be disruptive to the pre-election security climate. The delegation is particularly
concerned about the withdrawal in light of the phasing out of MICIVIH. These two events combined
will leave vacuum that Haiti can ill afford. The administration has pledged to maintain a U.S.
presence by rotating troops in for specific humanitarian missions.
The House International Relations Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have
frozen the U.S. contribution to MICIVIH, which gets about 60% of its funding from the UN and 40%
from the OAS. Previously, the US paid roughly S3.2 million of the $5 million OAS share per year.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has a hold on a $425,000 arrears payment. The delegation
believes this Congressional hold is counterproductive to the establishment of democratic institutions
in Haiti and undercuts the role of a key international presence.
Recommendations relating to law enforcement:
* When the new parliament takes office in 2000, the passage of forfeiture laws and legislation
to combat money laundering should be a top priority. Until then, the private sector should
recognize their responsibility to voluntarily provide such information.
* The U.S. Congress needs to at least ensure that any MICIVIH phase-out minimizes any
human rights observation void. Releasing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hold
on S425,000 in arrears would facilitate a smooth transfer of responsibility to local
* The delegation urged Manuel and Denize to make public announcements when they launch
an investigation into serious police misconduct This will increase confidence in criminal
* Increase the U.S. Coast Guard presence in Haiti.
* A non-violence pact prior to the elections is a good idea, but it should originate from within
the Haitian system, for example from the CEP.
* The Haitian Ministry of Social Affairs should do everything it cm to expedite requests from
NGO's requesting formal certification.
* If CIMO should continue to receive equipment and additional training from the US, the HNP
should take steps to improve its accountability and public image.
* The political section of the U.S. Embassy and USAID should continue to reach out to local
human rights organizations, who have explicitly expressed a desire to increase contact.
THE JUDICIAL BRANCH
The Haitian judicial system is corrupt and extremely slow. Many of the judges are holdovers from
the years of the Duvalier dictatorship. An increasing problem is the vulnerability of judges to
corruption from drug trafficking networks; this is partially linked to the fact that judges still receive
very low pay.
The delegation was impressed with the new Minister of Justice, Camile LeBlanc. He described his
priorities as hiring a new generation of qualified professionals, modernizing outdated laws, and
increasing the resources available, in particular for justices of the peace and those involved in
judicial processes at the local level. He plans to provide justices of the peace with transportation,
enabling them to be the first line of investigation against voter fraud during the elections, and he
intends to permit the commissaires at the regional level to investigate allegations made by one
candidate against another. Both seem like sensible ideas if implemented properly, in which case
could make important contributions to a climate of confidence during the election cycle.
The United States and the Haitian Judiciary
U-S Adminisadon of Justice Programs
The U.S. has been helping Haiti reform its judicial system through its Administration of Justice
(AOJ) program. The project began with an agreement signed between the US and the legitimate
government of Haiti in 1993. Over the last five years, the Agency for International Development has
spent $20 million out of $27 million committed.
Most of the AOJ programs concluded this summer, including programs to improve the competency
of judicial personnel by mentoring judges, distributing legal materials, and working with bar
associations. The projects providing legal assistance, advocacy training, and conducting public
education on human rights and women's rights wound down as well.
Since the AOJ program began, over 50,000 individuals have received legal assistance and
infonnition from Non-Governmental Organizations funded through USAID and its subcontractor,
Checci. The Department of Justice's Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training Assistance
Program (OPDAT) has trained over fifty magistrates and parquets (model prosecutors) in
jurisdictions throughout the country. In the new five year plan, USAID and the Ministry of Justice
expect to revive this program substantially as well as establish new training efforts related to
commercial arbitration. For its part. OPDAT expects to train 50-100 more magistrates.
The US. G uoverw tent and the Questiom o Impuity
During the restoration of democracy, the US. Anmy seized documents, photographs and other
materials from the headquarters of the FAd'H (the Haitian army) and FRAPH (the Front for the
Advancement and Progress of Haiti), a paramilitary organization with links to the Central
Intelligence Agency. The delegation firmly believes that all of these materials should be returned
While the FRAPH documents will not solve all of Haiti's problems with the justice system, a long
and productive meeting with local human rights organizations in Port-au-Prince convinced the
delegation that they are extremely important to many Haitians. Their return would in a concrete way
assist lawyers investigating the thousands of murders that occurred during the period of de facto rule
and in a broader sese contribute to a much needed sense of reconciliation.
A study by the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service concluded that the
These demands W enumemed in sme detil d e ad litmo from a s total of 80 mnebey of
Congress saet to Pident Clisto mad Seartmy of Sam Wirren QCimopher.
documents are the property of the Haitian Government. and it is clear the seizure violated the spirit,
if not the letter, of the Multinational Force's mandate. Claims by the Department of Defense and
other branches of the U.S. government that the documents needed to be redacted to comply with the
Privacy Act are simply without merit. The documents should be returned in their original form.
Supposedly the U.S. Government has re-opened talks on the issue with the new Minister of Justice,
Camille LeBlanc. The CODEL hopes that an inter-governmental committee can begin talks soon.
The Prison System
Overcrowding in the prisons remains a serious problem. The population in detention has doubled
in the last 2-3 years to over 3000 people, about 80% of whom are in pre-trial detention. For the lah
several years, a $1.2 million prison reform project has been funded by USAID and carried out by the
UN Development Program. Much progress has been made, but a registry at the national penitentiary
is still incomplete.
While the staff delegation did not tour the prison in Gonaive, it has been recently refurbished -
pertly in the expectation there will be convictions in the Rabotean Massacre case. We were also
encouraged to bear reports that even though prison officials sometimes have shortages of food, the
conditions are generally decent compared to the rest of the country. This is clearly a testament to
the excellent work of the MICIVIH field office and the local NGO's they have been training.
Unfortunately, the NGO's did note that the police, ie, those outside of the prisons, continue to be
abusive. Significant work remains to be done before organizations such as these are capable of
filling a void left by the departure MICIVIH.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations has a hold of $2.5 million due to
concerns that the judicial project redesign was prepared without the involvement of the Justice
Minister. As LeBlanc moves forward with judicial reform, more resources will become available.
The delegation would like to convey to Congress that the Government of Haiti has assumed more
of the costs of the Ecole de la Magistrature. which is a positive sign toward meeting Congressional
Recommendations related to the Judiciary:
* The Minister of Justice needs to set a numerical goal for reduction of the prison population.
* An inter-govenmental committee including the Haitian Minister of Justice should be formed
immediately to begin the return of the FRAPH documents to the Govemment of Haiti in their
The Government of Haiti should demonstrate its commitment to judicial reform by
approving the program agreed to at the donors meeting on July 6, 1998, appointing new staff,
and passing legislation relating to the magistrates school and other matters relevant to the
establishment of an independent judiciary.
On April 6, 1997, Haiti held elections for nine Senate seats, two vacant seats in the Chamber of
Deputies (the lower chamber of parliament) and local government positions.' The turnout of these
elections was only about 5% by most estimates and there were charges of serious fraud. Other
problems included a decision by the CEP to not count blank ballots, official publication of the
election results without the approval of the prime minister, and voter confusion due to inadequate
civic education. The only positive aspect in the eyes of many observers was that reports of election
violence were minimal The controversy surrounding the elections culminated in the resignation of
Prime Minister Rosny Smarth on June 9, 1997, who sought to distance himself from tainted
When elections scheduled for the fall of 1998 did not take place, the parliament voted to extend its
term. A constitutional crisis erupted in January 1999 when President Preval refused to recognize the
vote and announced he would rule by electoral decree. The parliament responded by charging Preval
with tying to rule as a dictator.' Eventually, the dispute was resolved after negotiations between an
informal group of political parties called the Espace de Concertation and the executive branch were
able to choose a CEP.
The upcoming elections will run seats for the Chamber ofDeputies, most of the Senate seats, as well
as the Communal Administration Councils (CASECs), the Communal Assemblies (ASECs) and City
Delegates. They were originally set to take place on November 28. A few days prior to the
delegation's arrival, the CEP declared that the elections would take place on December 19. After
our return, President Preval announced the formation of a committee to look at election schedules.
Much of the political wrangling this summer among the CEP, the president, the Prime Minister and
the major political parties centered on whether 17 or 19 Senate seats would be run, since the latter
number would indicate terunning the two contested Senate seats that went to Lavalas candidates in
the 1997 elections. On June 11, the CEP announced that it was effectively annulling the results of
those elections. Subsequent statements describing what it means by "running all vacant seats" have
clarified that elections will be held for all 19 Senate seats. Lavalas has indicated that it will
participate in these elections.
The local government positions included 5,883 members of the Territorial Assembly and 392
Town Delegates, all of whom serve two year tens. A second round of elections is usually
necessary. These runoff elections were scheduled for June 15, 1997 but were postponed
indefinitely due to the controversy surrounding the first round.
The Coostitution soyI members of parliament should serve fouryea tens but a 1995 presidential
decree (issued by Aristide and accepted without controversy) said the tenure for current members
of parliament should end in January 1999. The decree was meant to correct an election schedule
disrupted by the military dictatorship that ruled from 1991 1994.
A key goal of the CODEL was to determine whether preparations for these elections are proceeding
on schedule. The information collected varied greatly: The National Coalition for Haitian Rights
believes that the timetable for the elections is too short and that more time is needed to organize
voter registration, hire staff for the CEP, and restore confidence in the HNP.' The National
Democratic Institute (NDI) believes the technical preparations are unnecessarily elaborate and will
result in delayed elections. Similarly, the International Republican Institute (IRI) believes that while
the cards are a useful long term goal, they are probably infeasible by December. The International
Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), which is handling much of the technical preparations,
believes the preparations are necessary and achievable.
A postponement ofthe elections until next year would probably be contentious. Critics of a delay,
such as the U.S. embassy and most of the political opposition parties, argue that it would allow
political candidates to run on the coattails of Aristide, who will be running for president. Second,
they note that since the constitution stipulates that the parliament must be in place by the second
week of January, any extension of the parliament's term would probably violate that provision.
Finally, they suggest that a delay would undermine confidence; a potential hazard could be a boycott
of the elections by some opposition parties. The delegation urges those parties to not withdraw from
the political process by doing so.
The issuance of voter identification cards for the election is a controversial issue because many
Haitians believe it is simply infeasible for 4.5 million voters to get an ID card in time for the
elections and an unsuccessful attempt to do so would result in an urban bias in the electoral results.
Moreover, Prime Minister Alexis expressed outrage that the funding for the contract, which went
to Code Canada, circumvented the Haitian Ministry of Finance and the CEP. Former president
Aristide and many other NGOs suggested that implementation of the voter ID plan begin in both the
urban and rural areas with equal vigor, an idea that seems eminently reasonable to the CODEL.
The delegation believes that a postponement of the elections is all but certain. Regardless of when
they take place, the massive undertaking of voter ID cards should begin as soon as equipment is in
place and staff has been trained. Various factors indicate that any fallout from delay could be
mitigated by assurances that two elections one for the president and one for the parliament take
place. During meetings in Haiti and in Washington, representatives of the Haitian business
community assured the delegation that having two separate elections is more important than having
the elections in December. The words of the President of the BED (the regional electoral council)
for Gonaive and the Artibonite region are illustrative; be emphasized during a meeting with
delegation staffers that "when elections take place is less important than having people motivated,
educated and prepared for them."
See "Violence Tbreae Hiti Election" An NCHR Briefig Paper, July 1999.
As in 1997, the bulk of the international observation will be carried out by the Organization of
American.States (OAS). The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights will also help.
MICIVIH has also played an important role during elections by monitoring freedom of expression
and human rights aspects as they relate to electoral participation and they plan to do so this year as
well. Until recently, it had 120 permanent observers throughout the country, but due to cutbacks and
the expiration of the UN Mission on November 30, it has been phasing out its operations.
Two indigenous election observation coalitions have sprung up: the first is the National Electoral
Observer Network (RENO), started by a group of business people which hopes to place 4000
observers around the country. The other is the National Civic Network (RCN), composed of center-
Right political organizations. The delegation was encouraged by signs that these two coalitions have
been cooperating with each other.
Earlier this summer, IRI, the counterpart to NDI, pulled out of Haiti citing physical danger to their
staff. IRI had been the focus of a campaign against their effort to organize a coalition of political
parties into a bloc. NDI is continuing its work with the Civic Forum, a project it began in October
1997 to provide civic education to citizens around the country. It plans to help encourage voter
participation in the elections, sponsor candidate debates and train non-partisan election observers.
They will be receiving State Department funding for their election work. The delegation condemns
any violence against IRI or any American NGOs and hopes that Haitians will welcome foreign
observers in the ext elections.
The FY 1999 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act set up criteria that must be met before the U.S.
can provide assistance for the elections.' On August 16, President Clinton certified to Congress that
"the central Government of Haiti: (1) has achieved a transparent settlement of the contested April
1997 elections, and (2) has made concrete progress on the constitution of a credible and competent
provisional electoral council that is acceptable to a broad spectrum of political parties and civic
groups in Haiti." The first criteria was met when the CEP annulled the 1997 elections on June 11
and with the promulgation of the electoral law, published on July 19 and corrected on July 22. The
second criteria was met based on a fair process utilizing the Espace de Concertation that picked the
CEP in March and by judging how they have acted since.
The delegation urges Congressional leaders to recognize the extraordinary circumstances at play in
Haiti and to remain committed to funding free, fair and widely participatory elections in Haiti.
7 Section 561(b) of the Foreign Operations, Expt Fimancin, and Related Progas
Appropriations Act for FY 1999. (Public Law 105-277)
Recommendations Relating to the Elections:
* If the implementation plan for the ID cards moves forward as planned. it should occur in
urban and rural areas simultaneously in order to prevent a geographical bias in turnout. It
will also help secure the confidence of the rural population in the process.
* While it is highly unlikely that the voter ID cards will reach the more than 4 million voters
by December, they are nonetheless a worthy goal and the process should begin as soon as
* Two separate elections one for parliament and one for the presidency need to take
place and the political leadership of Haiti needs to publicly maintain that commitment
* U.S. assistance for the elections is crucial and Congress needs to remain committed to them,
even if there should be a brief posponeroc.
Partial list of meetings and interviews
President Rene Preval
Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Camille LeBlanc, Minister of Justice and Gabriel Zephyr
Robert Manuel, Secretary of State for Public Safety
Pierre Denize, Director of the HNP
Debussy Daimier. Carlo Dupiton, Micheline Figaro, Irma Rateau of the CEP
Colin Granderson, Director of MICIVIH
The Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy (CLED)
The Chamber of Commerce
Viles Alizar, The National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR)
Johnson Aristide & Mondesir Jean Gaston, Soley Jistis Demokrasi (SOJIDEM), "The Sun of
Jocie Philistin & Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, Fondasyon 30 Septamn, "The September 30*
Lesly St Vil, MAP VIV
Paul Rony, Popular Democratic Organization of Raboteau (OPDR)
Brian Concannon, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux
Vincent Louis, Peace Brigades International
Robert August. Ayiti Kapab
Gergard Phillipe August, MOP
Marc Bazin, MIDH
Victor Benoit and Micha Gaillard, KONAKOM
Gerard Pierre Charles, Sen. Yvelt Chery and Paul Dejucan OPL
Hubert de Rooceray, MDN
Fr. Edner Devalcin, Fanmi Lavalas
Serges Gilles. PANPRA
Evans Paul and Fres Brutus, KID
Claude Rounain, Generation 2004
Rene Theodore, MRN
Auguste Augustin, Council Electorale Provence et Bureau Electorale Dept
Pierre Pierrot, President Organization des Defence et Civics of Artibonite
The National Democratic Institute
The United Nations Development Program
Micheline Begin, International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Carl LeVan, Minority Staff, House Judiciary Committee
Charisse Glassman, Minority Staff, House Intenational Relations Committee
Caleb McCarry, Majority Staff, House International Relations Committee