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U.S. POLICY TOWARD HAITI
WESTERN HEMISPHERE AND PEACE CORPS
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS
MARCH 8, 1994
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island, Chairman
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware JESSE HELMS, North Carolina
PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut NANCY L. KASSEBAUM, Kansas
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts LARRY PRESSLER, South Dakota
PAUL SIMON, Illinois FRANK H. MURKOWSKI, Alaska
DANIEL P. MOYNIHAN, New York HANK BROWN, Colorado
CHARLES S. ROBB, Virginia JAMES M. JEFFORDS, Vermont
HARRIS WOFFORD, Pennsylvania PAUL COVERDELL, Georgia
RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire
HARLAN MATHEWS, Tennessee
GERYLD B. CHRISTIANSON, Staff Director
JAMES W. NANCE, Minority Staff Director
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AND PEACE CORPS AFFAIRS
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut, Chairman
CHARLES S. ROBB, Virginia PAUL COVERDELL, Georgia
HARRIS WOFFORD, Pennsylvania JESSE HELMS, North Carolina
HARLAN MATHEWS, Tennessee RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
Barnes, Michael, Counsel to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Hogan &
Hartson, W ashington, DC 43
Prepared statement 46
Burkhalter, Holly J., Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch, Washington,
D C . 59
Prepared statement 62
Hammock, Dr. John, Executive Director, Oxfam America, Boston, MA 21
Prepared statement 23
Harkin, Tom, U.S. Senator From Iowa . 8
Prepared statement 13
Kennedy II, Joseph P., U.S. Representative From Massachusetts 18
Koh, Harold Hongju, Smith Professor of International Law and Codirector
of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Uni-
versity Law School, New Haven, CT 53
Prepared statement 56
Meek, Carrie, U.S. Representative From Florida 5
Prepared statem ent 6
Rangel, Charles, U.S. Representative From New York 15
Rogers, David, Regional Manager for Latin America, CARE, Atlanta, GA 25
Prepared statement 26
Ryscavage, S.J., Rev. Richard, Executive Director, Office of Migration and
Refugee Services, U.S. Catholic Conference, Washington, DC 28
Prepared statement 30
Pezzullo, Hon. Lawrence, Special Advisor to the Secretary on Haiti, U.S.
Departm ent of State 92
Prepared statement 93
Schneider, Hon. Mark L., Assistant Administrator for Latin America and
the Caribbean, U.S. Agency for International Development 98
Prepared statem ent . 100
Slocombe, Hon. Walter, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.
Department of Defense 102
Prepared statement 104
Responses of Ambassador Pezzullo to Questions Asked by Senator Helms 137
Responses of Ambassador Pezzullo to Questions Asked by Senator Coverdell 139
U.S POLICY TOWARD HAITI
TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 1994
UNITED STATES SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE AND
PEACE CORPS AFFAIRS
OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
The subcommittee met at 9:02 a.m., in room SD-419, Dirksen
Senate Office Building, Hon. Christopher J. Dodd (chairman of the
Present: Senator Dodd.
Senator DODD. The committee will come to order.
At the outset let me invite our colleagues from the House and the
Senate who have joined us this morning at the witness table: our
colleague from Iowa, Senator Tom Harkin; the distinguished Con-
gressman from New York, Charles Rangel; my neighbor colleague
from New England, Joseph P. Kennedy; and the Honorable Carrie
Meek from the State of Florida. Let me welcome everyone here this
Today the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs meets
for the purpose of considering U.S. policy toward Haiti. In the 2V2
years since the Aristide Government was overthrown by a military
coup, U.S. policy has been driven by one overriding objective: to re-
store democracy to Haiti by returning President Aristide to power.
How far we have come toward meeting that objective and the na-
ture of the work that remains to be done is the focus of this hear-
On December 16, 1990, the Haitians went to the polls and chose
as their President a Roman Catholic priest by the name of Jean-
Bertrand Aristide. The election of President Aristide in the most
free and fair elections in that nation's history gave hope to a
watching world that Haiti had finally overcome a bitter legacy of
repression and military rule. Sadly, Haiti's brief encounter with de-
mocracy would end almost as soon as it began. In September 1991,
just 10 months later, military and security forces overthrew the
Aristide Government and resumed their iron grip on the people of
For those who have followed the sad fortunes of Haiti over the
recent years, the events of 1991 had a familiar and unsettling ring.
Time and again, since the fall of Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986, the
military has taken the reins of power in Haiti. Time and time
again the military has promised the international community that
reform and democratic rule were just around the corner, and time
and time again the military has gone back on its word.
First there was Gen. Henri Namphy, who assumed power in
1986 and was rewarded with U.S. military aid after promising to
hold free and fair elections. Those elections, of course, turned into
a bloodbath and were quickly canceled.
Then there was a civilian, Leslie Manigat, who was handpicked
by the military to lead the country in 1988. The Reagan adminis-
tration decided against imposing sanctions on Haiti in the hopes
that the military would allow the new President a measure of au-
tonomy. Those hopes were soon dashed by a military coup led by
none other than General Namphy himself.
Then there was Prosper Avril, who overthrew Namphy in yet an-
other coup 3 months later. General Avril also promised to hold
elections and even managed to convince the Bush administration to
publicly defend his record on human rights. He too went back on
Then there was Herard Abraham, who took over from General
Avril. Abraham sat on his hands while opponents of democracy
tried unsuccessfully to disrupt the 1990 elections. After permitting
the supporters of Duvalier to plot the assassination of then Presi-
dent-elect Aristide, he too was forced to step aside as commander
of the Haitian Armed Forces and allow then Colonel Cedras to take
his place. But like his predecessors, Cedras' commitment to democ-
racy was short-term and solely self-serving.
So, it came as no surprise when last summer, as Cedras and oth-
ers were to have stepped aside, the military reneged on yet another
agreement to restore democratic rule in Haiti. The Governors Is-
land accord called on the military to take a number of steps toward
democratic reform, culminating with the return of President
Aristide by October 30. But no sooner was the ink dry on that ac-
cord and no sooner had sanctions on Haiti been lifted, than the
military signaled its disdain for the agreement and the commit-
ments it had made. Most notably, the military prevented the arriv-
al of U.N. sanctioned military personnel and engaged in a number
of serious human rights abuses, including the high profile murders
of several of President Aristide's close associates.
In response to these events, the Clinton administration has lent
its strong support to the restoration of democracy in Haiti and to
the return of President Aristide. The administration has played an
important role in peace talks sponsored by the U.N. and it has won
broad-based support for its policies throughout the international
community. At the same time I think it is fair to say that a number
of very serious questions have been raised in recent months about
the present direction of the administration's policy. This hearing
will give us an opportunity to explore those questions with admin-
istration witnesses and outside experts.
The most serious of these questions in my view surround the
willingness of the administration to push for tougher measures
against the present leadership in Haiti. On December 21, the na-
tions known collectively as the Four Friends of the Secretary Gen-
eral on Haiti, the United States, Canada, France, and Venezuela,
announced that they would call for additional sanctions if no
progress had been made by January 15 on negotiations to restore
President Aristide to office. That deadline has come and gone, and
no additional sanctions have been imposed.
In fact, it is now uncertain what the next steps will be. In testi-
mony before this committee on February 23, Secretary of State
Warren Christopher sought to downplay the sanctions issue, and
this week the U.N. Security Council, at the administration's urg-
ing, will consider a rather vaguely worded resolution which, if
passed, in my view, will further delay any decision on the imposi-
tion of additional sanctions.
All of this leads many people to wonder, myself included, if the
administration has chosen to put its pressure on the wrong side.
Let us not forget that President Aristide won nearly 70 percent of
the vote in Haiti, a popular mandate that would be the envy of any
politician in this country. Let us not forget that it was the military
and not President Aristide that backed out of the Governors Island
accord. Let us not forget that it was the military and not President
Aristide that stands accused of murdering thousands of innocent ci-
vilians in their homes, in their churches, and in their streets.
There are now also many who ask if the administration has fully
thought through the kind of signal being sent to the Haitian mili-
tary. The military has already broken a major agreement with the
international community and it has paid little or no price for doing
so. Now we are being told that if we can just find the magic for-
mula, if we can just squeeze the right concessions out of President
Aristide, the military leaders in Haiti might be convinced to step
aside, but the truth of the matter is that they have called our bluff.
They believe that they can simply wait us out again, just as they
have done over and over and over again.
Finally, as we continue the debate over Haiti's political future,
we also must address the plight of Haiti's people, many of whom
have set out for our shores in search of political asylum. It is said
that granting asylum would only encourage more people to leave
and that may indeed be true. It is said that granting asylum would
be unpopular here at home. That is almost certainly true. But it
is also true that we as a Nation are committed to certain legal and
international standards and we are bound to uphold those stand-
ards even when it is inconvenient to do so.
At the same time, I want to emphasize that the best solution to
the refugee crisis and ultimately the only solution is a political so-
lution in Haiti that is responsive to the Haitian people. That is
what President Aristide represents and that is why it is so impor-
tant in my view that he be returned to his country.
At this juncture let me add a few words about the crisis in Haiti
as it reflects upon the nature of leadership here in this Nation.
This administration took office with a commitment to the pro-
motion of democracy and human rights and it has acted to fulfill
that commitment in many parts of the world.
The administration has taken a strong leadership role in regard
to the reform process in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet
republics. It has outlined a firm policy of support of human rights
in China. It has developed a strong and effective policy to combat
terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons, and it has not hesi-
tated to take whatever steps necessary to support these goals, as
illustrated by its willingness to support military action in places
like Iraq and Somalia.
In Haiti, however, this administration has called for the restora-
tion of democracy and the return of President Aristide. President
Clinton has personally insisted that these conditions be met and he
is to be commended in my view for doing so. But I also think it
is fair to ask whether the policy, as presently outlined by the State
Department and other administrative agencies, will achieve the ob-
jective that our President has set forth.
I think it is also fair to ask why this administration sends com-
bat troops to Mogadishu or launches cruise missiles at Baghdad,
but does not even rattle a saber at the leaders in Port-au-Prince.
I think it is fair to ask why this administration sends its top
human rights official to China to demand better treatment of peo-
ple there, but silences that very official when he asks fundamental
questions about our policy toward Haiti and its impact on the Hai-
Today in Haiti, democracy is under siege, an elected leader is in
exile, and a population lives in fear. Haitians need the help of the
international community and they need the leadership of the Unit-
ed States. In the final analysis, the policy we choose is not only
about the 6 million citizens of Haiti, it is about the example that
is set as the rules and regulations of the New World order are writ-
ten. And so, it is also about us.
Let the military get away with its hijacking of civilian rule in
Haiti and outlaws everywhere will know that they can play us for
time with half-met promises and empty gestures. Let the repres-
sion in Haiti continue and victims everywhere will know that our
commitment to them is false, that human rights and the rule of
law are matters of convenience and not necessity. Above all, aban-
don democratic rule in Haiti and we will live forever with the
knowledge that our speeches and our promises about democracy
and human freedom are only words and nothing more.
Those are the issues at stake in my view in the policies being
considered by the subcommittee today, for those are the issues at
stake in Haiti. The people of Haiti are crying out for our help. For
their sake and for ours, I hope we are listening.
I would now like to welcome our colleagues from the House and
the Senate. Let me begin with my colleague from Iowa. We thank
you all for being here. All of you have played a significant role over
these last 2V2 years in the issue on policies affecting Haiti.
Senator HARKIN. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate that. Congress-
woman Meek has a pressing appointment on the House side. I
would like to yield to her.
Senator DODD. Fine. If you have worked out some other arrange-
ment let me know.
Representative RANGEL. She is on the powerful Appropriations
Committee, so they always have something more important to do.
Senator DODD. Well, the Senator from Iowa is as well.
Senator HARKIN. I want to be real nice to her. [Laughter.]
Senator DODD. I am going to be nice to both of you. [Laughter.]
Congresswoman Meek, we welcome you.
STATEMENT OF HON. CARRIE MEEK, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
Representative MEEK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to
thank you for allowing me to testify this morning about a matter
about which I am deeply concerned: U.S. immigration and adminis-
trative policies are grossly unfair to Haitians. There is a double
standard. One standard for Haitians and another for others.
I come before you today to seek support from this Congress for
legislation which I have introduced, H.R. 3663, the Haitian Refugee
Fairness Act, because of my strong conviction and that of others
that it is the moral and humanitarian responsibility of the United
States to protect those Haitians who have sought refuge in this
This legislation would bring the treatment of Haitian refugees by
the U.S. Government into conformity with international law and
make the treatment that Haitian refugees receive from the U.S.
Government consistent with the treatment given to refugees from
The policy that requires Haitian refugees to be returned to Haiti
is hypocritical and repressive. We need to level the playing field
when it comes to the treatment of Haitians.
The bill that I introduced requires the United States to adhere
to standards of international law to which we have already agreed,
that asylum seekers should not be forced back to the country from
which they are fleeing without first determining if they are, in fact,
fleeing political persecution. If we were to envision a raft, coming
from Haiti or from Cuban with 29 Cubans and 1 Haitian, when
that boat is interdicted or if it reaches Miami, the 29 Cubans would
be allowed to come in this country. The Haitian probably would be
taken off the boat and returned to Haiti. It is just unfair the way
that this country is treating Haitians.
My legislation would permit Haitians already in this country, as
of November 17, 1993, to apply for temporary protected status.
This status would be designated for a period of 24 months or until
the President certifies to Congress that a democratically elected
government is securely in place. Our President has not kept his
word on the fair treatment of Haitians which he promised when he
was running for office. The people in Miami whom I represent ex-
pect that promise to be kept, and the people of this country expect
that promise to be kept.
Temporary protected status is a status that has been granted to
nationals of other countries such as Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, El
Salvador, and others when there was a conflict in their country.
Just as there are serious human rights abuses in these countries,
similar human rights violations are going on in Haiti. While the
violations in Haiti have not received the international attention of
those in Bosnia and other countries, they are of a widespread and
It saddens and outrages me, Mr. Chairman, that the United
States is acting in a way that is in violation of our own standards
of fair treatment of other people. I am well aware of the fact that
the United States cannot possibly accept all of the people who
would like to come here, but we must have a standard that treats
all nationality groups equally and procedures that are applied to
all with fairness.
A human rights tragedy is occurring, Mr. Chairman, in Haiti.
Despite the heavy embargo that the United States has placed upon
them and behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts which have been so
valiantly executed as far as Haiti is concerned, Haiti still remains
a very dangerous place for its citizens. We have all heard the nu-
merous reports. We have seen the Haitian military and its cohorts
systematically terrorize the Haitian people.
Recently I was informed that a paramilitary group attacked a
residence of a 15-year-old girl, the daughter of one of my constitu-
ents. I hear all kinds of reports living in Miami from people who
come in from Haiti and bring these reports. They are horror stories
and they are stories of a nation that is being treated unfairly by
this country and the world. We have children left in Haiti whose
parents are legal residents of this country, and they are left there
amid the horrors that are occurring in Haiti. No child should be ex-
posed to this kind of terror. Even our military would not go into
Haiti. So, why should we leave our children there unaccounted for?
No parent should have to endure this terror as well. This is just
one example, Mr. Chairman, of dozens and dozens of reports that
have come out of Haiti from people who have been there.
I have been to Haiti, along with a CODEL arranged by Chair-
man Rangel, who is an expert on Haiti. I am new to Congress, but
I want to say to you I bring with me the sentiments of a depressed
people and people who have come to Miami, seeking refuge. I ap-
peal to the Congress to do something about this situation. I know
that we have the power here to do this, and I appeal to the Con-
gress this morning. We need an asylum policy that is fair to Hai-
tians. Right now they are being held hostage in their own country.
In the interest of time and because we have other people to tes-
tify, I want to summarize by saying that the U.S. immigration pol-
icy is unfair, one treatment for Haitians, another for all others. We
must do something about this situation. I think we have talked
about it long enough. We have used diplomatic processes long
enough. Now it is time for some direct action.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Representative Meek follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE MEEK
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I want to thank you for invit-
ing me to testify before your committee today on a subject about which I am deeply
concerned and troubled.
I come before you today to seek your support for legislation which I have intro-
duced, The Haitian Refugee Fairness Act, because of my strong conviction that it
is the moral and humanitarian responsibility of the U.S. to protect those Haitians
who have sought refuge in this country. The bill has 65 cosponsors at this time.
This legislation would bring the treatment of Haitian refugees by the U.S. govern-
ment into conformity with international law and make the treatment that Haitian
refugees receive from the U.S. government consistent with the treatment given to
refugees from other nations.
My legislation requires the U.S. to conform to the provisions of international law
that prohibits the return of refugees to the country they are fleeing. It requires the
U.S. to adhere to standards of international law to which we have already agreed
that refugees should not be forced back to the country from which they are fleeing
without first determining if they are in fact fleeing political persecution.
Additionally, my legislation would permit Haitians already in this country as of
November 17, 1993, to apply for Temporary Protected Status. This status would be
designated for a period of 24 months or until the President certifies to Congress that
a democratically elected government is securely in place. Once granted such status,
the U.S. would be required to refrain from returning a grantee to his home country.
The grantee would be eligible for work authorization until the designation expires.
Temporary Protected Status is a status that has been granted to nationals of
other nations, such as Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia and El Salvador during conflict in
their countries. Just as there are serious human rights abuses in Bosnia, similar
human rights violations are going on in Haiti. And while the violations in Haiti
have not received the international attention of those in Bosnia, they are of a wide-
spread and serious nature.
It saddens me and outrages me that the U.S. is acting in a way that is a violation
of our own standards of fair treatment of other people. I am well aware of the fact
that the U.S. cannot possibly accept all the people who would like to come here, but
we must have a standard that treats all nationality groups equally and procedures
that are applied to all with fairness.
A human rights tragedy is occurring in Haiti. Despite the embargo and behind
the scenes diplomatic efforts, Haiti remains a very dangerous place for its citizens.
We have all heard numerous reports of the Haitian military systematically terroriz-
ing the Haitian people.
Recently, I was informed that a paramilitary group attacked the residence of a
14 year old girl. This young girl, the daughter of one of my constituents who is a
legal U.S. resident, had been forced by U.S. immigration law to return to Haiti to
get a visa. While in this case the child escaped danger, the father did not know her
whereabouts for days because she had to go into hiding.
No child should be exposed to this type of danger. No parent should have to en-
dure this terror. This is just one example of dozens and dozens of reports that have
come out of Haiti from reporters, human rights observers and my own constituents,
of the ongoing acts of murder, torture, intimidation, extortion and rape by the mili-
tary and the police.
The principal issues surrounding the United State's Haitian immigration, refugee
and asylum policy are unfairness, inequity and the perception of racial prejudice.
Haitians have been singled out by a U.S. policy that discriminates against them as
no other persecuted people have been discriminated against in our history. The in-
discriminate forced repatriation of Haitians is deplorable.
Right now Haitians are being held hostage in their own country. Our policy of
interdiction at sea and forced repatriation has been likened to a floating Berlin wall.
It does not allow Haitians the opportunity to claim political asylum, and con-
sequently, provides no opportunity for adequate review of their situation. If they
leave Haiti, they are "rescued" at sea by the Coast Guard and returned without the
benefit of a hearing to determine if they have a legitimate claim for asylum.
This interdiction of Haitians at sea outside of the territorial waters of the U.S.
is the only case of which I am aware in which the INS return asylum seekers before
they actually get to the U.S. without any consideration of their asylum claim. Fur-
ther, our current refugee in-country processing procedures in Haiti subject to need-
less danger those fleeing the persecution and the tyranny that is occurring there.
If in-country processing is used, it should be one of several options available to Hai-
tians seeking refugee status. We have turned our back on desperate people seeking
refuge on our shores. Haitian people are sent back to the very same military thugs
from which they are fleeing and we have denounced and condemned.
Fifty-five years ago, just before World War II, nearly 1,000 German Jewish boat
people aboard the ship St. Louis were denied refuge by U.S. immigration officials.
Not allowed to dock in U.S. ports or any other country, the St. Louis returned to
Europe, where many of its unwanted and unwelcome passengers died on the killing
fields and in the gas chambers of the Third Reich.
The lack of compassion by the U.S. and much of the western world to the persecu-
tions of the Jews was a driving factor in the adoption of the United Nations Conven-
tion and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. This Convention explicitly
No Contracting State shall expel or return a refugee in any manner whatso-
ever to the frontiers of the territories where his life or freedom would be threat-
ened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular so-
cial group or political opinion.
For years the U.S. has complied with this basic humanitarian requirement. With
regard to Haitians, the U.S. has abandoned that policy.
ow the glaring inequities between the way Haitians are treated and the way
other nationalities are treated can be seen over and over again. Nowhere is this un-
fairness more clearly demonstrated than on those numerous occasions when Hai-
tians and any other nationalities arrive on the shores of the U.S., usually the beach-
es of Florida, at the same time. Individuals of other nationalities are permitted to
enter the U.S. while the Haitians were often placed in detention pending the out-
come of exclusion procedures. Most recently, the injustices and the disparity that
the Haitians are forced to endure was demonstrated when a group of Haitians and
a group of Cubans arrived in Florida in the same boat. The Cubans were welcomed
into the community and once again, the Haitians were placed in detention.
Many would have us believe that Haitians are singularly fleeing economic oppres-
sion and not political persecution. I recognize that after years of dictatorship and
corruption, Haiti's economy is a disaster and there is a strong incentive for some
to seek a better life. I disagree, however, with those who say that the people of Haiti
are not fleeing the violence and mayhem they are subjected to at the hands of t-'
lawless military. In light of the worsening political situation in Haiti, refugees
Haiti have good reason to fear persecution if they are returned to their homt
at this time.
Until democracy is restored to Haiti, we have a duty and an obligation to el
that refugees fleeing Haiti are provided at least the minimum protection u
international and U.S. law. Current U.S. interdiction policy does not provide .
minimal protection. This policy must be changed.
Mr. Chairman, the ultimate solution to the problem of refugee flight from Haiti
is to restore democracy there. This goal should be getting a lot more attention from
the State Department. But until that happens, we must correct the injustices of cur-
rent law and respond to the pleas of the Haitian people. We must treat those fleeing
persecution in Haiti with the same compassion that we treat refugees from other
countries. It is imperative that we reform our Haitian refugee policies to remove the
blanket presumption that all Haitian asylum seekers are economic refugees. This
is our opportunity to regain the moral high ground. We cannot ignore the Haitian
people in their time of need.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that I am pleased that your sub-
committee is meeting to discuss this very important issue. I look forward to working
with you and the Congress in an effort to ensure justice for all who are seeking asy-
Senator DODD. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Meek.
Just for the purpose of the record, 43,000 people in the last 21/2
years have tried to leave Haiti, doing so not because they hate
Haiti, but because they have no other choice. Most of those, of
course, as you point out, have been returned, but it is a staggering
number of people who literally take their lives in their hands and
those of their families by doing so.
We thank you immensely for coming here today. I realize you
have an important meeting in the House on the Appropriations
Committee. I just want you to keep Connecticut in mind when you
are voting. [Laughter.]
Representative MEEK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I will
leave the rest of my remarks for the record.
Senator DODD. Thank you.
I am not going to pick and choose here. Have you decided a bat-
ting order here, Tom? Senator Harkin.
STATEMENT OF HON. TOM HARKIN, U.S. SENATOR FROM IOWA
Senator HARKIN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, again I commend you for holding these hearings
at this crucial time, and again I want to commend you for your
opening statement. I think it laid it out very clearly and poignantly
as to exactly what has happened and what we ought to be doing.
Much of what I have to say will reiterate what you said, but I
do not think we can say it enough. I think we have got to bring
home to this Congress and to the American people that the United
States is not fulfilling its obligations in this hemisphere to promote
democracy and simple basic human justice.
This administration-and I hate to say this, Mr. Chairman. I
have been one of President Clinton's strongest supporters since he
has been elected and even before that in helping him campaign,
but I have to say this, the actions of this administration in regard
to Haiti are embarrassing and shameful to this country. They must
turn around and they must change. If we do not, then I think we
will doom not only Haiti for another long, dark period of repression
and military rule, poverty, murders and killings, and violations of
human rights, but I think we will send a strong signal throughout
all of Latin America to those antidemocratic forces that you know,
Mr. Chairman, all too well that are still there that would like to
overturn some of the progress that has been made in the recent
past. We will send a signal to them that it is all right. You can go
ahead. We may yell and scream about it, but we will not do any-
thing about it.
So, it has been a very painful experience watching this adminis-
tration's policy toward Haiti, Mr. Chairman. You have noted how
President Aristide was elected with 67.5 percent of the vote, the
most of any person in this hemisphere. When he assumed office, he
initiated some reforms, cracking down on the military and the drug
trafficking, the smuggling, some of the slave labor conditions exist-
ing in terms of using Haitians in that country and in the Domini-
can Republic, some of the tax evasions by the businesses in that
country. I might add that President Aristide received international
support during his tenure, during those brief 9 months that he was
in office. The World Bank affirmed his economic and his social
progress. President Aristide said at the time that the Haitian peo-
ple were moving from misery to poverty with dignity. That is not
too much to ask.
But that was too much for some. As you noted, on September 30,
1991, there was a coup. It sent President Aristide into exile. Since
that time human rights and murders have been well documented.
A just-released report by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights
reports that over 3,000 Haitians have been killed by the Haitian
military police and civilian thugs since the coup. Some 300,000
Haitians are in internal exile. As you pointed out, tens of thou-
sands have fled and many are dying in the process.
Recently President Aristide said to me that he was hoping that
President Clinton would suspend the orders of picking up the Hai-
tian boat people and returning them to Haiti. President Aristide's
words were this, at least let my people die in dignity. Let them
choose the manner of their death and not return them to Haiti.
Now, I do not want to accuse anyone of racism or anything else,
Mr. Chairman, but what if 5,000 Cubans got in a boat and came
to Miami? Would we pick them up and send them back to Cuba?
Absolutely not. What happened to the Nicaraguans that came up
here during the 1980's? Did we send them all back? No. But we
will the Haitians. I think that policy ought to be looked at.
The inconsistencies, and mixed messages have undermined the
effectiveness of whatever goals the President has stated, and he
has stated that he wants to return President Aristide. But mere
words will not do it.
I think it is important to look again at what happened last year
with the Governors Island accord. It called for President Aristide
to name a Prime Minister. Sanctions would be lifted. The Par-
liament would undertake a series of reforms of the police and the
Armed Forces under the U.N. auspices. Aristide would decree an
amnesty for those involved in the coup, and after this General
Cedras and Lieutenant Colonel Francois were to retire and leave
and Aristide would return on October 30, 1993.
President Aristide signed this agreement on July 3 of last year.
He fulfilled the terms required of him. President Aristide kept his
part of the bargain. He did not violate it, but the military did.
Everyone knows what happened next. President Aristide ap-
pointed Prime Minister Malval, but he could not govern because of
the massive increase in human rights violations. He was practically
a prisoner in his own house. Then there was the open, blatant mur-
der of the Minister of Justice, Guy Malary. General Cedras and
Lieutenant Colonel Francois refused to step down pursuant to the
accord, and finally there was the retreat of the international com-
munity and the USS Harlan County from Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, I must say that as someone who has spent 8
years of my life in the military, this is clearly a low point in recent
U.S. policy not just toward Haiti, but internationally. The mighti-
est nation on Earth, one that just beat Saddam Hussein, being
faced down by a rag-tag element of no more than 100 drug traffick-
ers, smugglers, and murderers, and we turned around and tucked
our tail and ran. That is not the kind of military I served in, Mr.
Chairman. That is not the kind of military I want defending this
country either, but that is the kind of military that we have sent
a signal to Latin America that we have, one without resolve and
one without backbone.
Now, let me say something else, Mr. Chairman, that has not
been brought up yet. At about the same time that this happened,
our own CIA initiated a smear campaign against President
Aristide-and I choose my words carefully-a well-fashioned smear
campaign by our CIA to discredit President Aristide, leaks of por-
tions of CIA reports of his purported mental instability. Mr. Chair-
man, this episode disgusted me so much that I personally inter-
vened in questioning at length the operatives involved in this oper-
ation. I think I probably spent more time with the CIA on this than
any other single Member of the Senate. I was able to determine
that all of the information contained in those reports either came
from or passed through the Haitian military.
I was also able to secure statements in writing from four hos-
pitals in Montreal that allegedly treated President Aristide for
mental illness in the early 1980's. All four hospitals confirmed they
never treated Aristide.
A blatant smear campaign by our own CIA, and I must say this
publicly. After going through this whole episode with the CIA and
then seeing what has recently happened with this mole, Ames, I do
not doubt it. That whole place needs a housecleaning over there
and that is what President Clinton ought to be doing with the CIA.
After seeing what they tried to do to Aristide in this blatant smear
campaign, something ought to be done to straighten out some of
the operatives in the CIA.
Mr. Chairman, the administration has also sent mixed signals in
terms of trying to develop any solutions because they have not been
working with Aristide, a legitimately elected head of state, opting
instead to present him with a fait accompli every time they talk
with him. Here is something, sign it or else.
Now, the administration is now once again mistakenly pressur-
ing Aristide to sign off on the latest of the series of proposals. Now,
what does this proposal call for, Mr. Chairman? It calls on Presi-
dent Aristide to name a Prime Minister-and we have heard that
one before-after which the Parliament would pass a broad am-
nesty law-well, we have also heard that one before-as well as the
law separating the military from the police-well, we have also
heard that one before. General Cedras would then step down after
which the Prime Minister would be ratified. Then and only then
would the Prime Minister work with Aristide to secure his return.
Here is the difference between this and Governors Island. There
is no timeline for Aristide's return as in Governors Island. So, it
is much weaker than Governors Island. So, I ask, have we not been
there before with Prime Minister Malval? What happened after
Aristide named him? He was unable to govern. The same thing will
happen again. The State Department tells us the government must
be broader, but how broad? Apparently broad enough to satisfy the
military thugs because the Cabinet of Malval included two mem-
bers from sectors opposed to President Aristide and that did not
And therein lies the problem, Mr. Chairman. This recent pro-
posal gives the military a de facto veto over who Aristide nomi-
nates by forcing him to choose a Prime Minister at the end of a
barrel of a gun. Present administration policy mistakenly pressures
Aristide to make concessions to the military intransigence, and it
ought to be the other way around.
Moreover, the present proposal calls for a broad amnesty for
those violating human rights even as the killings continue today.
So, Mr. Chairman, it has to be asked, who are the bad guys here?
Who overthrew a duly elected government in a bloody coup? Who
killed 3,000 people? Who reneged on the Governors Island accords?
Whatever happen to pressure on the military? All of the pressure
is now being put on President Aristide, as if he is the bad guy. And
more and more this CIA disinformation coming out that he is in-
transigent, that he will not move, when it is really the military in
Haiti that is being intransigent.
One final observation, Mr. Chairman, I had talked to the admin-
istration about sanctions, closing up the border with the Dominican
Republic, and I am told that that is being done. But the March 1
Los Angeles Times reports that in just 2 days during the previous
week so much fuel had come over from the Dominican Republic,
the black market price of gasoline and diesel fuel dropped nearly
$3 a gallon.
Mr. Chairman, why does the administration not fulfill its prom-
ise to present a request to the U.N. Security Council to increase
sanctions against the military? We promised to do that. It has been
idle since January 15 when that deadline was set for Aristide's re-
turn by the Four Friends. We promised we were going to do it.
Nothing has been done.
I do not blame Cedras, I do not blame Francois, and I do not
blame the military in Haiti for doing what they are doing because,
as they see it, we are not going to do anything. We are going to
talk. We are going to say nice things about Aristide, and 1 year
and 8 months from now he is going to be out of office because the
elections will come around again. You cannot succeed yourself as
President, and then they will have succeeded. We will just keep
him out another 1 year and 7 months. He will be up here in exile
and that will be the end of the reform movement in Haiti. That is
their plan. That is what they are doing, and from the looks of it,
they are going to succeed unless we drastically change.
The State Department tells us that increased sanctions will hurt
the poor. Well, the concern for Haiti's poor expressed by the State
Department sounds noble, but it rings hollow for the reasons just
mentioned. Popular organizations in Haiti, the General Confed-
eration of Labor, the National Peasant Movement of the Papaye
Congress, the Coordinating Committee of Basic Christian Commu-
nities, all tell us that most poor Haitians would agree with a com-
plete embargo if it is enforced. As it stands now, the sanctions are
the worst of all possible worlds: weak pressure on the military, in-
cremental harm to the general public. The people of Haiti want
President Aristide's return, and that is what we ought to do.
Let me just close by saying these are the things I think we ought
to do immediately.
First, President Clinton must reiterate his unequivocal support
for President Aristide.
Second, the United States should provide leadership within the
U.N. for a full commercial trade embargo. This must include the
suspension of any exemptions for U.S.-licensed assembly plants
and should not be linked to forcing President Aristide to accept
forced coalition government.
Third, President Clinton should urge the U.N. to adopt a world-
wide freeze on visas and assets of the officer corps and civilian sup-
Fourth, the international community should not link the passage
of any resolution increasing sanctions to the acceptance of any plan
on the part of President Aristide. We ought to reiterate our support
for Governors Island.
Next, stringent enforcement measures must be applied, including
a strict naval, aerial, and border blockade by the U.N., backed up
by U.S. military forces. As I said, an embargo that is not strictly
enforced is the worst of all solutions.
Fifth, the United States and the U.N. should threaten the Do-
minican Republic with tough sanctions against that country if it
fails to enforce the embargo at its border.
Sixth, the United States must support U.N. efforts to increase
humanitarian aid and establish corridors of humanitarian relief.
Last, Mr. Chairman, the United States should press for the im-
mediate return of the U.N. human rights and technical missions to
Again, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for the opportunity to speak
on this important issue. If we cannot support duly elected demo-
cratic governments of a nation just 800 miles from our shores,
again what kind of message will we send to potential coup leaders
considering the overthrow of other democratically elected govern-
ments? We cannot and must not turn our backs on all those Hai-
tians who have bravely backed the government of President
Aristide through their votes and their voices and all too often with
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Senator Harkin follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF SENATOR HARKIN
Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving me the opportunity to testify before this Com-
mittee today. I commend you for holding these hearings at such a critical time in
Haiti's history and for your leadership on this issue.
Mr. Chairman, as you know, I have been very involved in the situation of Haiti
for some time now. But watching the recent events in Haiti has been a very painful
experience. I hope that we here today can begin to help focus U.S. policy towards
its stated goals of the restoration of democracy in Haiti and the return of its demo-
cratically elected president, Jean Bertrand Aristide.
Mr. Chairman, in December of 1990, Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, running on
the principles of "justice, transparency and participation" was elected President of
Haiti with 67.5% of the vote from among thirteen candidates. As Madeline Albright
noted it was "the largest majority of any elected leader in the Western Hemisphere."
The U.S.-backed candidate was far behind.
The election was widely hailed as fair and honest. A large contingent of inter-
national observers helped constrain the military.
Pres. Aristide initiated a series of reforms aimed towards cracking down on mili-
tary involvement in smuggling, drug trafficking, corruption and slave trade oper-
ations in the Dominican Republic sugar cane plantations. He challenged poverty
level minimum wages, cracked down on the business elites' chronic tax evasion and
its sweetheart deals with state monopolies. At the same time the Haitian govern-
ment received international support in the form of increased foreign assistance. The
World Bank affirmed Haiti's social and economic progress during Pres. Aristide's
short tenure. As Pres. Aristide said at that time, the Haitian people were moving
from misery to poverty with dignity.
But even this progress was too much for some-it being brutally interrupted by
the military coup of September 30, 1991 sending Pres. Aristide into exile. The subse-
quent violations to human rights, that continue as we speak today, are well docu-
mented. A just-released report by the special rapporteur to Haiti from the U.N.
Commission on Human Rights reports that at least 3,000 Haitians have been killed
by the Haitian military, police and civilian thugs ("attach6s") since the coup. Some
300,000 Haitians are in internal exile and tens of thousands have fled the repres-
sion, many dying in the process. Moreover, the Haitian military has embarked on
a systematic dismantling of the nascent democratic roots in Haiti brutally repress-
ing all civic, popular and professional organizations opposed to its authoritarian
But there was a hope. Shortly after the coup, then-candidate Bill Clinton pledged
the restoration of democracy in Haiti and the return of Pres. Aristide.
Unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, while I believe President Clinton himself is still
committed to a free and democratic Haiti, Administration policy has been marked
by a series of inconsistencies and mixed messages undermining the effectiveness of
its stated goals.
First came the Governor's Island Accord. The essential sequence of Governor's Is-
land called for Pres. Aristide to name a prime minister, followed by the lifting of
sanctions. The parliament was then to undertake a series of reforms of the police
and Armed Forces under the auspices of the U.N. and Aristide would decree an am-
nesty for those involved in the coup. After this Gen. Cedras and Col. Francois were
then to voluntarily retire before Aristide's return on October 30, 1993.
Pres. Aristide signed the agreement on July 3, 1993 and and fulfilled the terms
required of him. He kept his part of the bargain.
Not so with the military. Everyone in this room knows what happened next: there
was a complete inability of the appointed Prime Minister Malval and his cabinet to
govern owing in large part to a massive increase in human rights violations-includ-
ing the murder of Minister of Justice Guy Malary. Generals Cedras and Francois
refused to step down pursuant to the accord. And finally there was the retreat of
the international community and the USS Harlan County from Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, the Harlan County clearly was the low point in recent U.S. policy
towards Haiti: the mightiest nation on earth being faced down by a rag-tag element
of no more than one hundred drug traffickers, contraband smugglers and wanton
murderers of thousands of innocent Haitian civilians. The signal was loud and clear,
not least of all to the dictatorship and its supporters: the U.S. commitment to the
restoration of Pres. Aristide or democracy lacked resolve.
About the same time a CIA-smear campaign was unleashed against Pres.
Aristide, including leaks of portions of a CIA report of his purported mental "insta-
bility". Mr. Chairman, this particular episode disgusted me so much that I person-
ally intervened in questioning at length the operatives involved in this operation
and forced that the truth be told. I was able to determine that all the information
contained in the CIA report either came from or passed through the Haitian mili-
tary. I was also able to secure statements in writing from four hospitals in Montreal
that allegedly treated Pres. Aristide for mental illness in the early 1980's. All four
hospitals confirmed that they never treated Aristide.
Mr. Chairman, the Administration has also sent mixed signals in the process of
developing any solutions to the political impasse in Haiti. Since Governor's Island
the administration has consistently neglected to work with Pres. Aristide, a legiti-
mately elected head of state, opting instead to present him with proposals as a fait
accompli and pressuring him to sign on the dotted line.
The Administration is now once again mistakingly pressuring Aristide to sign off
on the latest of a series of proposals to break the present political impasse. This
proposal calls on Pres. Aristide to name a prime minister, after which the par-
liament would pass a broad amnesty law favoring those responsible for the coup and
other human rights violations as well as a law separating the military from the po-
lice. General Cedras would then step down after which the prime minister would
be ratified. Then, and ONLY THEN would the prime minister work with Aristide
to secure his return.
This proposal posits that the military will leave after a series of actions by both
Aristide and the Parliament but without the timeline for Aristide's return as in Gov-
I ask: Haven't we been here before with Prime Minister Malval? What happened
after Aristide named him? He was unable to govern precisely because of the military
in place. And the same thing will happen again. The State Department tells us the
government (the "center", they say) must be broader. How broad? Apparently broad
enough to satisfy the military thugs because the cabinet of Malval included two
members from sectors opposed to Pres. Aristide and that did not help. And therein
lies the problem, Mr. Chairman: the proposal gives the military a de facto veto over
who Aristide nominates by forcing him to choose a prime minister at the end of the
barrel of a gun. Present policy mistakenly pressures Aristide to make concessions
to military intransigence.
Moreover, the present proposal sends mixed signals as to our commitment to de-
mocracy by calling for a broad amnesty for those violating human rights even as
the killings continue. I ask: is amnesty an incentive to stop the killing?
Finally, Mr. Chairman, it must be asked: Who are the bad guys here? Who over-
threw a duly elected government in a bloody coup? Who reneged on the Governor's
Island Accord? Whatever happened to pressure on the military? All the pressure is
being put on Pres. Aristide to name a prime minister. We are told that the existing
sanctions on the military are beginning to work and that holes along the border
with Dominican Republic are minor. But the March 1 Los Angeles Times reports
that in just two days during the previous week so much fuel had come over from
the Dominican Republic that the black market price of gasoline and diesel fuel
dropped nearly $3 a gallon from a high of $9.
Why doesn't the administration fulfill its threat to present a request to the U.N.
Security Council to increase sanctions against the military? Such threat has re-
mained idle since the January 15 deadline for Aristide's return set by the Four
"Friends". Another mixed signal undermining its stated goals. More importantly,
why doesn't the U.S. close the assembly plant loophole in the present sanctions?
Some 50 U.S. companies continue importing goods from Haiti-in 1993 imports
jumped by some $47 million-up 50% from 1992-according to the U.S. Department
While the concern for Haiti's poor expressed by the State Department is noble it
rings hollow for the reasons just mentioned. Popular organizations in Haiti, includ-
ing the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the National Peasant Movement of
the Papay Congress, and the Coordinationg Committee of Basic Christian Commu-
nities tell us that most poor Haitians would agree with a complete embargo IF IT
IS ENFORCED! As it stands now, the sanctions are the worst of all possible worlds:
weak pressure on the military and incremental harm to the general public.
Mr. Chairman, the mixed policy signals must end. What can we do?
The people of Haiti are calling for Pres. Aristide's return to run the country and
pursue the reform program he initiated. A negotiated solution involving power shar-
ing with the criminals and murderers is little more than a "soft-coup". It is anti-
This is what Pres. Arsitide is rejecting and so should we.
The military high command should be replaced and a separate police force created
that is responsive to a civil authority. Pres. Aristide and his Cabinet must be re-
turned to office in an environment free from intimidation. Parliament must be able
to govern and Haitian citizens must be free from fear to discuss openly the problems
of development facing their country.
Mr. Chairman, there are things I believe that we can do to exert increasing pres-
sure on the military in Haiti and advance our goals of returning Pres. Aristide and
real democracy to Haiti:
First, Pres. Clinton should reiterate his unequivocal support for the democrat-
ically-elected government of Pres. Aristide.
Second, the .S. should provide leadership within the U.N. for a FULL commer-
cial trade embargo, with exemptions for humanitarian aid. This must include
the suspension of any exemptions for U.S.-licensed assembly plants and should
not be linked to forcing Pres. Aristide to accepting a forced coalition government
Third, Pres. Clinton should urge the U.N. to adopt a worldwide freeze on visas
and assets of the Haitian officer corps and civilian supporters
Fourth, stringent enforcement measures must be applied, including a strict
naval, aerial and border blockade by the U.N. As I said, an embargo that is not
strictly enforced is the worst of all solutions
Fifth, the U.S. and U.N. should threaten the Dominican Republic with sanctions
if it fails to enforce the embargo at the border
Sixth, the U.S. must support U.N. efforts to increase humanitarian aid and es-
tablish corridors of humanitarian relief, and
Seventh the U.S. should press for the immediate return of the U.N. human
rights and technical missions to Haiti.
Again Mr. Chairman, I thank you for the opportunity to speak on this important
issue. If we cannot support duly elected democratic governments of a nation just 800
miles from our shores, what kind of message will that send to other potential coup
leaders considering the overthrow of other democratically-elected governments?
We cannot, must not and will not turn our backs on all those Haitians who have
bravely backed the government of President Aristide through their votes, their
voices and all-too-many lives.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator DODD. Thank you very much, Senator Harkin.
I just would like to underscore the well-known Haitian expert,
Bob Novak, here, titled, "A Tin Ear on Haiti" yesterday, quotes
from Port-au-Prince here in the story:
Washington proceeds on the theory that the officers most visible in the 1991 coup
that ousted President Aristide, Francois, and General Raoul Cedras, are ready to
leave their posts once the Parliament passes and Aristide signs amnesty for the
military. The two officers say otherwise.
I presume Bob Novak has pretty good contacts with Raoul
Cedras and Francois, and they are saying no way, they are not
leaving under any circumstances.
Senator HARKIN. Why should they? They have the best of all pos-
sible worlds now.
Senator DODD. Thank you very much.
Senator HARKIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator DODD. I would be happy to have you stay or join us here
if you like.
Senator HARKIN. I want to hear my colleagues.
Senator DODD. Congressman Rangel.
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES RANGEL, U.S.
REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW YORK
Representative RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, this has been a moving
experience. I would like to associate my statements with those
made of Congresswoman Meek, as well as my dear friend, the Sen-
ator. I have never heard a more eloquent or comprehensive state-
ment than the one you made in opening up this meeting.
I guess we as Americans are frustrated because all of us have al-
ways liked to believe that our country would be on the right side
of a moral issue. When President Bush indicated that we were
going to restore democracy and Aristide, it was a proud point in
America's life. Certainly when President Clinton assured the world
that he would follow that policy, then it meant that the walls of
communism had shattered, that we were going to move forward as
a progressive Nation in terms of international trade, and that the
world could rely on us, and certainly in this hemisphere ambitious
generals overthrowing fragile democracies just will not be toler-
Senator Harkin touched upon it. There is certainly nothing in my
statement that I intended to say as relates to race, but when the
people testify this afternoon-and I say the people because you can-
not say the President, you cannot say the administration. It is al-
ways White House sources, State Department spokespeople, CIA
reports. I do not know who is responsible. I do not even know
whether we have a policy. I know that someone is running through
the U.N. trying to sell something to France, Venezuela, and Can-
ada, but I do not know where we are or where we are going. But
in talking with some of the people I do know, I get the impression
that this great Republic of ours has made a determination that
Haiti is not ready for democracy.
People who came out, encouraged by the United States and other
democracies, were slaughtered, tortured, burnt out of their villages,
and yet they came out like no other people that I have ever seen
recorded and said I want to vote. Then they picked somebody. They
did not pick the person we wanted them to pick. They picked the
person they wanted.
Yet, this afternoon you will hear them say that he has to now
broaden his base. Beyond the vote that he got from the people who
risked their lives, he has to broaden his base. It is not enough that
he has to broaden the base with the opposition, which of course is
unheard of in the United States, but he has to broaden his base
and get the approval of the people who were responsible not only
for the murder of his closest friends, the murder of the Minister of
Justice that was appointed and confirmed, but the murder, the
burning out, and the torture and the looting of entire communities
that supported Aristide. So, they will tell you that this is what he
has to do, and if he does not do that, if he is not politically active
in dealing with the murderers, then we will just stop doing any-
I do not believe this. This is not the leader of the free world. This
is not the person that encouraged the Organization of American
States to get involved with all of the reluctance they had in chal-
lenging military coups, and certainly this cannot be the country
that now goes before the U.N. and says if they give us a hard time,
if they rattle wooden swords, then the international community,
the United States, the OAS, and indeed the CIA, whoever they are,
will back off.
Now, what makes Haiti so different? Is it the color? Is it Aristide,
a man who speaks eight different languages? How can a couple of
people, General Cedras and Colonel Francois, that by all of the al-
legations have the blood on their hands, and yet they say that this
learned former priest with this overwhelming victory cannot return
to his country where he was elected because he needs a coalition.
Mr. Chairman, I hope and pray that my President does not even
know what is going on. There is nothing to indicate that he does.
There is nothing to indicate that Secretary of State Warren Chris-
topher knows, not even an assistant. I do not know who is doing
all of these things. All I know is that right now in my hometown,
New York City, we are lobbying in the hallways of the U.N. saying
that this President Aristide is irresponsible, will not cooperate, will
not give in to the enemy, and he is standing on democratic prin-
ciples, and we will not tolerate that. [Laughter.]
And they are angry. It is not as though it is a political deal
where we said we did not know what we were getting into and, my
God, we have to get out or it is just not worth the headache. Our
people are angry because there is not a capitulation to the people
that we have called. I delivered a letter to the Prime Minister,
Malval, and he read President Clinton's letter where the President
called Cedras and this other fellow murderers. Now the same peo-
ple that the President has directed to form a policy and work
things out have said in no uncertain terms that unless you do busi-
ness with those murderers, Aristide will never return.
I hope that all of us can get together with all of this confusion
and meet with the President of the United States and say, Mr.
President, you have gone through a lot and you still are and we
hope you do not even know what is going on. But if we are going
to be the great Republic that we know we can be, if we are going
to be that symbol of justice and democracy for smaller countries,
if we are going to be when people say why do you not do it like
they do it in America, then my God, we cannot have this stain on
our reputation, on our Constitution, during our watch.
And if there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, then I hope
we will be able to say that, yes, we went to the White House, yes,
we talked with the President, and yes, we tried to bring equity for
Haiti because this thing in my opinion is more important than
President Aristide, it is more important than Haiti. It is where is
America, where is the leadership in this world, and where were we
when it was being formed?
I thank you so much for giving us in the House and our friends
in the Senate an opportunity to be heard. I stand ready to be with
you whether it is in Haiti or wherever so that at least we would
e able to say that we resisted, we fought back. I hope we can say
we won. Thank you.
Senator DODD. Thank you very much, Congressman Rangel.
Let me underscore your point. I think you are correct. My sense
is that this is not a Presidential decision. Again, I have the same
difficulty you do, trying to find out who is calling these shots, be-
cause I cannot believe, knowing the President's feelings about so
many other issues, that he would want to be associated with a pol-
icy that is basically designed to put the pressure on the one indi-
vidual who has cut every deal and made every arrangement in the
past with the very people he had great reluctance to do so and with
So, I am hopeful that we will be able to have some influence on
that thinking as a result of today's discussion. I immensely appre-
ciate your testimony here this morning. Congressman Kennedy.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH P. KENNEDY II, U.S.
REPRESENTATIVE FROM MASSACHUSETTS
Representative KENNEDY. Thank you very much, Senator Dodd.
I want to just say how delighted I am to be here and hear so many
voices that are speaking with such clarity on this issue.
This is an issue that I am astounded by those that try to muddy
the waters as to what is trying to be accomplished here. This is
very straightforward. There was an individual that took on terrible
forces of evil and greed and avarice in Haiti that were in existence
for decades, took them on at great personal risk, at many attempts
at assassination, survived them, won an election, took on the
wealthy and powerful few, and as a result of the very attempts to
try and restore some kind of sense of fairness and justice and de-
mocracy and economic development in Haiti for the many, was
driven out of office under a military coup.
Your statement, the statements by Senator Harkin, by Charlie
Rangel, and by Carrie Meek get to the heart of what we are trying
to do here, and that is to be very straightforward in dealing with
those forces that exist here in the United States as well, that exist
within our State Department that have been very content over the
course of at least the last decade or two to play footsie with people
in El Salvador, with the powers that be in Nicaragua. The main-
stay of U.S. policy in Latin America, even going back as far as your
days in the Peace Corps, seems to be disregard the attempts at de-
mocracy, but adhere to a policy that says that whatever the doines-
tic policies of a government are we ignore as long as that govern-
ment is friendly to the economic interests of the United States. It
seems to me that that is what we have a continuation of.
Senator Harkin talked about the developments between the CIA
and the military government of Haiti. The fact is that we were giv-
ing money to the opposition to President Aristide, U.S. taxpayers'
funds, to try to defeat President Aristide in his election.
The notion that somehow we would allow our press to be duped
into a situation where they are accepting information provided by
our CIA that has been provided to the CIA by the military coup
is just absolutely bizarre, and the attempts by those forces to un-
dercut President Aristide continue to this day.
Now, I could take the few minutes that you have been kind
enough to provide me, Senator, this morning to continue the re-
marks in defense of President Aristide. I choose instead to try and
talk about conversations that I have had with Ambassador Pezzullo
and with Mike Barnes in recent days in trying to understand what
really differentiates the two sides in terms of this agreement.
Senator Harkin and you have indicated the deficiencies of the
U.S. proposal that is now being marketed at the U.N., as well as
amongst the Four Friends. I believe that the differences that were
articulated, particularly by Senator Harkin, are in fact the key to
I am concerned that if we harp on the problem, that even if we
get several liberal Democratic Senators, as well as members of the
Black Caucus and Liberal Democrats in the House, that given the
concerns that ultimately revolve around the fact that this is a poor
black country whose national defense purposes for our analysis
consist of the fact they are a threat to the United States because
of an immigration into this country, and as a result of that, it is
not a very popular policy to say that we are going to defend illegal
black immigration into the United States. As a result of that, I am
concerned that if we conduct a full-fledged, straight-up fight on this
issue, we could end up losing not because we are morally wrong,
but because we are politically on the wrong side of the issue.
The fact is that if we are going to conduct that fight, we ought
to do it with the recognition that there are, in fact, ways to win.
The way to win on this issue is to try to analyze exactly the dif-
ferences between the policy being advocated by Mr. Pezzullo and
the policies being advocated by Mr. Barnes. That is something that
I hope that in the later testimony that you have an opportunity to
pursue because it seems to me that what you effectively have here
is the United States saying that it is a requirement of President
Aristide to name a Prime Minister. President Aristide is concerned
that if he names that Prime Minister prior to the removal of
Cedras and Francois, that that Prime Minister is going to be sub-
ject to a state of terror that will, in fact, dictate the policies of that
In the United States, it is very difficult for us to understand the
fact that this government that Mr. Pezzullo wants to have put in
place, that he would suggest has the support of a broad spectrum
of Haitians, in fact can never speak articulately or with any force
as long as sitting on top of that government is a military regime
that shows no bounds in terms of the use of violence to achieve po-
On the other side of the equation, you have Mr. Aristide who is
saying that he will, in fact, name a Prime Minister if Cedras and
Francois are removed first.
So, why not try and find some way of accomplishing both? Why
not try to find some way of having the two occurrences take place
simultaneously? We can never ask-and I hope our State Depart-
ment would never suggest-that we in fact have some kind of list
of individuals that meet our approval that Mr. Aristide then has
to choose from that effectively give some kind of veto power to the
military that are behind our policy.
But if in fact the true question is whether or not President
Aristide is willing to name a Prime Minister, he has already dem-
onstrated his willingness to do that, and nobody I think could name
an individual with more credibility than Robert Malval. The dif-
ficulty was that once he named Robert Malval, as long as the mili-
tary continued to be in power, Malval's power was undercut.
So, the real question is not whether or not President Aristide is
willing to name a Prime Minister. The real question is whether or
not Cedras and Francois and the military elite are willing to leave
office at the same time. If in fact that could be achieved, then it
seems to me that it is possible to see President Aristide restored
If, on the other hand, Cedras and Francois are not willing to
leave, then it seems to me that the United States has a firm obliga-
tion to back up President Aristide with the kind of military force
that Senator Harkin, that I, and Charlie Rangel and others have
said from day one that unless the military recognizes the United
States is willing, in fact, to put its troops on the line for the res-
toration of democracy, then I do not believe fundamentally they are
going to remove themselves voluntarily from power.
The State Department, for whatever reason, thinks that some-
how the light bulb has gone on with Cedras and Francois and that
they are now willing to cut some kind of new deal. I am very sus-
pect. I think President Aristide is suspect. I think many of us are
suspect that that in fact is the case.
But maybe they are right, and if they are, maybe there is a way
to strike some kind of agreement that allows this to take place. But
I would only do so if there is a commitment by this administration
and by Mr. Pezzullo and others in the State Department that sug-
gests that we are willing to then take swift and sure action that
will, in fact, bring about the restoration of the Aristide Govern-
ment. I think if they are willing to take that up, Mr. Chairman,
Senator Dodd, I think that it is something that I would bet Presi-
dent Aristide would be willing to, in fact, go along with. I do not
say that with any prior knowledge, but I do think that there would
be an effort made to try to make this plan work.
So, for that I thank you. I again want to associate myself with
the remarks that you so articulately gave at the beginning of this
I hope that you will take the opportunity to not just listen to, as
I am sure you will not, Larry Pezzullo's remarks later today, and
when he talks about the need to have a Haitian solution, to recog-
nize all of us want a Haitian solution. We do not want to impose
a U.S. solution to this problem. But before you get to a Haitian so-
lution, you have to make certain that there is not a military veto
to the U.S. solution that is being proposed.
Thank you very much.
Senator DODD. Thank you very much, Congressman Kennedy,
and I thank all of you for joining us here this morning.
Representative RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, I would like publicly to
be identified with the recommendation that has been made by my
friend and colleague, Congressman Kennedy, because I may have
been overcritical of our side in this negotiation. As a lawyer, when
I saw the new agreement did not indicate when the military was
supposed to leave and did not indicate when President Aristide was
supposed to return, I thought it was a done deal. But you have
given them another chance, and I would like to be with you for giv-
ing them another offer at least to say do it at the same time. So,
I would like to be associated with that because I know our State
Department are very creative, and I would just like to hear how
they are going to approach this.
Senator HARKIN. If I might also add, I like the suggestion made
by Congressman Kennedy, and I think it is something that could
work. I only have one fear and that is that in my conversations
with State Department officials, there seems to be some willingness
now that, well, maybe Cedras could leave but Francois could stay.
Well, better be careful of that one. He may want to just step down.
He would not be the head of the police in Port-au-Prince, but his
network is so broad and so big and so deep, that if Francois stays,
I do not think it will work either because I think his network of
thugs and killers in that country undermine whatever negotiations
would come along. So, I would just say we have to be careful of
Senator DODD. Thank you all very much for being here this
morning. I will be looking forward to working with you.
Let me invite our second panel to join us this morning. Mr. John
Hammock. John Hammock is the executive director of Oxfam
America located in Boston, MA. Mr. David Rogers is the regional
manager of Latin America, CARE, located in Atlanta, GA, and Fa-
ther Richard J. Ryscavage, executive director of the Migration and
Refugee Services, the U.S. Catholic Conference in Washington, DC.
I thank all three of you for joining us here this morning, if you
would take the witness table please.
I am going to put these lights on here and give you about 6 min-
utes apiece. You do not have to live by the lights, but try to wrap
your prepared remarks, if you would, and we will accept all of your
full statements and documentation that you would like to include
in the record, but just so we keep the process moving along here.
I will ask staff to do that, if they would. We will begin in the order
that I have introduced you. Mr. Hammock, we thank you for being
with us this morning.
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN HAMMOCK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
OXFAM AMERICA, BOSTON, MA
Dr. HAMMOCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a real pleasure
to be here.
Oxfam America is a nonpartisan agency with offices and a rep-
resentative in Haiti, working in partnership with the people of
Haiti striving for long-term development. We have worked in Haiti
for many years. I myself have lived in the Caribbean for 18 years
and have been visiting Haiti since 1971. I was there last just sev-
eral months ago.
Mr. Chairman, I think it is very important as a development
agency first to define what the problem is. The problem in Haiti
is the military and the police that violently overthrew a democrat-
ically elected government almost 2 years ago.
The problem in Haiti is the thugs who waved the guns on the
dock of Port-au-Prince last October and blocked the U.N. ship from
landing and aborted an international agreement.
The problem in Haiti is the power-hungry assassins who wield
power through a ruthless reign of terror, a reign of terror which
has included the murdering of the Minister of Justice of the elected
government in front of the Sacre Coeur Church, but the reign of
terror is more insidious and pervasive. People are tortured if sus-
pected. People are shot for speaking out.
This barbaric reign of terror has made long-term development,
which is what Oxfam focuses on, absolutely impossible at this time.
Organizations with which Oxfam America has worked haye been
driven underground. Programs to help peasants themselves, which
we have helped to start, have been purposely wiped out. Leaders
we have worked with have been killed. Let me make sure that you
understand. There has been a systematic effort to wipe out popular
organizations that in any way challenge the dictators in power. At
least 3,000 people have been killed; 300,000 to 400,000 people are
now underground, When I was there just several months ago, I
talked to some of these people underground. These organizations
that they represented have been decimated.
The restoration of democracy is absolutely essential for long-term
development in Haiti. Without it, we will not have long-term devel-
opment in that country. It is also essential for U.S. long-term inter-
ests. U.S. interests in Haiti cannot be served by the existence of
a poor population subjected to repression and mass migration.
Mr. Chairman, some people say, well, that is OK That is well
and good, but people are suffering under the embargo and it is too
much for people to suffer under this embargo. Garbage is piled
high on the streets of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, absolutely true. The
country is devastated ecologically, absolutely true. People have no
medicine and children are hungry, absolutely true. But what
caused this, Mr. Chairman? The embargo? Absolutely not.
We know that Haiti has been poor for years. Children have been
malnourished and medicine has been in short supply in Haiti for
years. Haiti has been the poorest country in this hemisphere for
years, and why? Not because of the current embargo, but rather be-
cause of policies of Haitian governments run by a very small elite
and its friends in the military and the police. And now these same
military have cynically discovered that there are poor people in
Haiti and invited the media in to film the starving child and
blamed it on the embargo. They have manipulated the press and
disregarded the results of U.S. Government data on the effects of
You will hear this afternoon from the USAID representative that
the embargo has not had any major effect on the people of Haiti
that has not already been there before. People of good conscience,
however, have fallen into the trap for blaming the embargo for the
poverty in Haiti. I spoke to people in Haiti and as one person there
told me very clearly, he said I have lived under an embargo all my
life, no education, little food, and no hope.
So, what can we do? I want to just outline several things that
need to be done.
First, we must eliminate the root cause of the problem: the cur-
rent military rulers of Haiti. You mentioned, Mr. Chairman, that
we were putting pressure on the wrong side. It is clear, if we are
going to have long-term development in Haiti, that we need to put
pressure on the right side and get on with the business of democ-
racy in that country. The United States must recommit itself to re-
storing an elected government as set out by the Governors Island
accord it helped to broker. At stake here is far more than the fate
of a duly elected President. It is the belief of the Haitian people in
the power of the ballot box and the belief that it is better to work
to build a free, democratic Haiti rather than taking to the deadly
Second, the U.S. policy in Haiti must be clear, unambiguous, and
consistent. The United States must speak with one voice and speak
forcefully. President Clinton publicly pledges support for President
Aristide s return while the State Department currently pushes a
dubious plan at this time at the U.N. The United States must not
send conflicting signals. The CIA and the Defense Department
must cease their relations with the Haitian military.
Third, Oxfam believes that we must strengthen the embargo.
The current embargo does not work, and the current embargo is
supported by absolutely nobody. We need strict enforcement of that
embargo, and we need to do it quickly. We must push for a full
commercial trade embargo, an international freeze on assets and
visas of the entire Haitian military officer corps. We must honor
the pledge we made over 6 weeks ago to tighten sanctions if the
military did not yield.
There are two last points I would make, Mr. Chairman. First, we
must immediately increase humanitarian aid to Haiti and closely
monitor its delivery. We must send seeds and tools for agricultural
production also. The U.N. needs to return its humanitarian and
human rights staff to Haiti and press for the reinstatement of the
international military and police training mission.
Fifth, when democracy is restored, it is very important that AID
be given the flexibility, when we do go back to Haiti, to act in a
nonbureaucratic and flexible way in Haiti, to work on the long-
term development of that country.
Let me end by saying that Haiti is a human tragedy. Let us not
forget that each Haitian is a human being with hopes and dreams.
Each has tremendous potential, but to liberate that potential, we
must restore democracy in Haiti and get back on the road to self-
sufficient, sustainable, long-term development.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Hammock follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF DR. HAMMOCK
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee.
Oxfam America is a non-partisan agency with an office and a representative in
Port-au-Prince-working in partnership with people striving for long-term, equitable
development in Haiti. We have worked in Haiti for many years. I lived in the Carib-
bean for 18 years; I have been visiting and working in Haiti since 1971. I was last
there three months ago. I know Haiti well.
Haiti is not Bosnia. In Bosnia it is hard at times to know who to blame, to know
who is causing the problem. But we do not have this problem in Haiti. In Haiti,
the people have made a courageous commitment to a non-violent, democratic proc-
ess-a process supported and monitored by the United States. In Haiti, the problem
is oh, so clear:
The problem in Haiti is the military and the police that violently overthrew a
democratically elected government two years ago.
The problem in Haiti is the thugs who waved guns on a dock in Port-au-Prince
last October and blocked a United Nations ship from landing and aborted an
The problem is the power-hungry assassins who wield power through a ruthless
reign of terror-a reign of terror that has included the murder of the Minister
of Justice of the elected government in front of the Sacre Coeur Church. This
reign of terror is insidious and pervasive. People are tortured if suspected; peo-
ple are shot for speaking out.
This barbarism by the Haitian military has made long-term development impos-
sible at this time. Organizations with which Oxfam America has worked have been
driven underground; programs to enable peasants to feed themselves, which we
have helped start, have been purposefully wiped out; leaders we have worked with
have been killed. Let me make sure you understand. There has been a-systematic
effort to wipe out popular organizations that in any way challenge the dictators-
and even those that pose no threat whatsoever. At least 3,000 have been killed.
Four hundred thousand people are in hiding. I spoke to some of these people who
work with our partners. Their organizations have been decimated.
The restoration of democracy is absolutely essential for long term development in
Haiti. It is also essential for long-term U.S. interests-U.S. interests are not served
by having a desperately poor people subjected to repression and mass migration for
Some may say this is all well and good, but people are suffering now under the
embargo, and will suffer too much if we tighten the current sanctions.
Garbage is piled high in the streets-absolutely;
The country is devastated ecologically-absolutely;
People have no medicine; children are hungry-absolutely.
But what caused this? The embargo?-absolutely not!
Haiti has been poor for years; children have been malnourished and medicine has
been in short supply for years. Haiti has been the poorest country in this hemi-
sphere for years. Why? Not because of the current embargo, but rather because of
policies of Haitian governments run by a tiny elite and its friends in the military
and the police. And now these same military leaders have suddenly and cynically
discovered that there are poor people in Haiti. They have invited the media in to
film starving children, and blamed poverty on the embargo. They have manipulated
the press and disregarded U.S. government data on the effects of the embargo. And
people of good conscience have fallen into that trap. They've argued that the embar-
go is too much for the poor. But as one man in Haiti told me, "I have lived under
an embargo most of my life: no education, little food, no hope."
So, what can we do? Five steps must be taken:
First, we must eliminate the root cause of the problem: the current military rulers
of Haiti. This is a precondition for democracy and long-term development for that
country. The U.S. must recommit itself to restoring the elected government as set
out by the Governors Island Accord it helped broker. At stake here is more than
the fate of a duly elected president. It is the belief of the Haitian people in the
power of the ballot box, and the belief that it is better to work to build a free, demo-
cratic Haiti than to take to the deadly seas.
Second, United States policy in Haiti must be clear, unambiguous, and consistent.
The U.S. must speak with one voice-and speak forcefully. President Clinton pub-
licly pledges support for President Aristide's return, while the State Department
pushes a plan designed without Aristide's knowledge and without a deadline for his
return. The U.S. must not send conflicting signals. The CIA and the Defense De-
partment must cease their relations with the Haitian military.
Third, we must strengthen the embargo. The current embargo does not work.
Oxfam America staff have witnessed fuel being brought into Haiti from the Domini-
can Republic and controlled by the military. We need strict enforcement. The Do-
minican Republic border must be scaled. The exemption allowing U.S. assembly
plants operating in Haiti to import over $150 million in trade last year must be
We must push for a full commercial trade embargo and an international freeze
on the assets and visas of the entire Haitian military officers corp. We must honor
the pledge we made over six weeks ago to tighten sanctions if the military did not
yield. By backing off, we further damage our already weakened credibility and fur-
ther embolden the military.
Fourth, we must immediately increase humanitarian aid to Haiti, and monitor
closely its delivery to make sure it is not misused or stolen. We must also send
seeds and tools for agricultural production. The United Nations needs to return its
humanitarian and human rights staff to Haiti and press for the reinstallment of the
international military and police training mission.
Fifth, when democracy is restored, aid must flow, not through agencies controlled
by the elite or groups linked to the military, but rather through popular organiza-
tions that work directly and effectively on long-term solutions to the overwhelming
poverty of Haiti. Among other things, this will require a flexible U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAII)). I recommend that Congress make Haiti a spe-
cial status country where USAID can respond quickly and effectively, without cum-
bersome, bureaucratic regulations.
Let me end by saying that this is a human tragedy. Let us not forget that each
Haitian is a human being with hopes and dreams. Each has tremendous potential.
But to liberate that potential we must restore democracy in Haiti and get back on
the road to self-sufficient, sustainable, long-term development.
I also submit for the record the document "Keeping Our Word: Towards Effective
U.S. Support for Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti". The policy statement has
been signed by over 65 major religious denominations, human rights, development,
and solidarity groups representing constituencies of over 50 million Americans.
Senator DODD. Thank you very much. Mr. Rogers.
STATEMENT OF DAVID ROGERS, REGIONAL MANAGER FOR
LATIN AMERICA, CARE, ATLANTA, GA
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On behalf of CARE, I
would like to testify on an issue of great concern to all of us: hu-
manitarian assistance in Haiti.
CARE has maintained an uninterrupted presence in Haiti since
1959, during which time chronic economic and political instability
have made it difficult to promote sustainable development. For dec-
ades the challenges in Haiti have been formidable. Poverty has re-
mained entrenched in an economy manipulated to serve the inter-
ests of a very few.
Haiti's first multiparty elections in 1991 signalled hope that
democratic pluralism and a free market economy would bring social
and economic justice to the Haitian people. That democratic process
has been interrupted by the current military junta.
CARE strongly supports the restoration of the democratic process
in Haiti and recognizes the need for imposing sanctions against
those who subvert this process, seize power illegally, and continue
to strip the Haitian people of their most basic human needs and
CARE's mandate, however, is to serve the interests of the poorest
of the poor. Throughout the embargo, CARE staff, the majority of
whom are Haitian, have worked under extreme adversity to pro-
vide critical humanitarian assistance to a population at risk.
Even if democracy could be restored today, the destitution that
most Haitians face each day will remain until the root causes of
poverty and underdevelopment are addressed. CARE is currently
assessing its approach to increase humanitarian assistance and
provide in full partnership with the communities it serves a more
comprehensive program of long-term development aimed at better
addressing social, economic, and ecological problems.
Northwest Haiti where CARE works historically has been the
poorest region of the country. Years of drought, massive deforest-
ation, compounded by the current embargo have resulted in the ir-
reversible degradation of precious natural resources. The northwest
consistently reports the highest overall incidence of
malnourishment in Haiti.
Until the embargo, CARE's programs in the northwest focused on
agroforestry, soil conservation, community water and sanitation
systems, maternal and child health. In addition, CARE delivered
food to community kitchens where grassroots organizations pre-
pared meals for poor women and children.
However, the need has grown enormously since that time. In
January 1992, CARE's food programs targeted only 20,000 people.
Now 2 years later, CARE's plan calls for the distribution of daily
supplemental food to 620,000.
A feeding program of this size requires approximately 4,500 met-
ric tons of food per month. The difficulties of maintaining such a
program under the conditions created by the sanctions are great.
Since the fuel embargo began in November, CARE's staff has
worked tirelessly to overcome the logistical and administrative
problems involved in transporting vast quantities of food in the ab-
sence of readily available fuel, spare parts, a functioning infra-
structure, and security. Despite their best efforts, food has piled up
on the docks in Port-au-Prince while CARE warehouses in the
northwest came dangerously close to empty.
This comes at a time when CARE's ability to deliver assistance
is critical to the survival of a highly vulnerable population. A re-
cent study of CARE's food programming in the northwest found an
irreversible pattern of decline in both natural resources and house-
hold assets. This study found that long-term economic and environ-
mental stress experienced in the northwest has limited agricultural
diversity, eliminating opportunities for even subsistence existence.
An alarming rate of decapitalization among peasant households is
taking place, especially among single women heads of households.
CARE will continue its critical humanitarian assistance in Haiti,
but we are also strongly committed to continuing long-term sus-
tainable development. As food security increases, together with our
Haitian partners, we will draw on their expertise in agriculture,
forestry, health, and other sectors to reinitiate programs that en-
hance the efforts of Haitian communities to rebuild and strengthen
Decisive action to restore democracy to Haiti is long overdue.
However, CARE recognizes the dilemma that the international
community faces in continuing, even tightening the embargo at the
peril of Haiti's most vulnerable population.
Until the democratic process is restored in Haiti, the NGO com-
munity, the United States, Canada, the OAS, the U.N. all share re-
sponsibility for ensuring that a comprehensive, integrated humani-
tarian assistance program can be carried out to mitigate the effects
of the embargo on Haiti's poor. Indeed, if the embargo is tightened,
it will be essential to have a parallel increase in humanitarian as-
sistance programming. And when the embargo is finally lifted, we
reiterate our commitment to assist the Haitian people in their ef-
forts to achieve equitable, economic, and democratic development.
Mr. Chairman, we look forward to working with the people of
Haiti and other partners in the international community who also
share this commitment.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rogers follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MR. ROGERS
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, my name is David Rogers. I am
the Regional Manager for Latin America at CARE. On behalf of CARE, I would like
to thank you for inviting us to testify on an issue of great concern to all of us, hu-
manitarian assistance to Haiti. CARE, through resources provided through the
Agency for International Development, the American donor public, and CARE-Inter-
national, has been able to help to alleviate the suffering of Haiti's poor during this
intense and prolonged period of political turmoil and economic hardship.
CARE has maintained an uninterrupted presence in Haiti since 1959. During the
past thirty-five years, chronic economic and political instability have made it dif-
icult to promote sustainable development. For decades the challenges in Haiti have
been formidable. Poverty has remained entrenched in an economy manipulated to
serve the interests of a very few. During this period CARE's programs have focussed
on agriculture, reforestation, primary health care, and-potable water.
Haiti's first multi-party elections in 1991 signalled hope that democratic pluralism
and a free market economy would bring social and economic justice to the Haitian
people. That democratic process has been interrupted by the current military junta.
response, the international community has imposed economic sanctions on Haiti
in an attempt to force the restoration of democracy.
CARE strongly supports the restoration of the democratic process in Haiti and
recognizes the need for imposing sanctions against those who subvert this process,
seize power illegally and continue to strip the Haitian people of their most basic
human needs and nghts. CARE's mandate, however, is to serve the interests of the
poorest of the poor. Throughout the embargo, CARE staff, the majority of whom are
Haitian, have worked under extreme adversity to provide critical humanitarian as-
sistance to a population at risk. CARE has acted as an advocate for those most vul-
nerable to the effects of this embargo--women, children, the sick and the elderly.
Haiti's poverty did not begin with the current embargo. It is one of the poorest
countries in the world where the vast majority-around 75%-live in absolute pov-
erty. Even if the democratic process in Haiti could be restored today, the destitution
that most Haitians face each day will remain until the root causes of poverty and
underdevelopment are addressed. CARE is currently assessing its approach to in-
crease humanitarian assistance and provide, in full partnership with the commu-
nities it serves, a more comprehensive program of long-term development aimed at
better addressing the social, economic, cultural and ecological problems.
Northwest Haiti historically has been the poorest region of the country. Years of
drought, massive deforestation, and low crop yields, compounded by the current em-
bargo, have resulted in the irreversible degradation of precious natural resources
andproductive capability. It is here in the Northwest where the poorest must pur-
chase most of their food as the result of increased soil erosion, poor fertility, and
meager agricultural production. The effect of rising food prices, some 50% higher
than last year, leaves an already vulnerable population in greater jeopardy. The
Northwest consistently reports the highest overall incidence of malnourishment in
Until the embargo in 1991, CARE programs in the Northwest focused on
agroforestry and soil conservation (producing two million trees annually), commu-
nity water and sanitation systems, and maternal child health activities in rural
communities dedicated to improving their standard of living. In addition, CARE de-
livered food to community kitchens, "cantines populaires", where informal, grass-
roots organizations prepare meals for poor women and children unable to maintain
a nutritionally adequate diet. However, since the start of the embargo last Novem-
ber, CARE has needed to expand its food assistance program, distributing dry ra-
tions to thousands of families throughout the Northwest. The need has grown enor-
mously since that time.
In January 1992, CARE's food programs targeted 20,000 people. Now just two
years later, CARE's plan calls for the distribution of daily supplemental food to
620,000; i.e., 300,000 in a regular program for nutritionally vulnerable and an addi-
tional 320,000 at risk because of the present emergency situation.
A feeding program of this size requires approximately 4,500 metric tons of food
per month. The difficulties of maintaining such a program under the conditions cre-
ated by sanctions are great. Since the fuel embargo began in November, CARE staff
have worked tirelessly to overcome the logistical and administrative problems in-
volved in transporting vast quantities of food in the absence of readily available
fuel, spare parts, a functioning infrastructure, and security. Despite their best ef-
forts, food piled up on the docks in Port-au-Prince while the CARE warehouses in
the Northwest came dangerously close to empty. There is still today about 8,400
tons of food in Port-au-Prince while in Gonaives, CARE's delivery point for the
Northwest, only 1,500 tons remain.
This disjuncture comes at a time when CARE's ability to deliver assistance is crit-
ical to the survival of a highly vulnerable population who have few options open to
them. In fact, a recent study of the impact of CARE's food programming in North-
west Haiti found an irreversible pattern of decline in both natural resources and
household assets. The study found that:
(1) the rapid deterioration of the natural resource base will have a severe and
prolonged impact on human livelihood in the region;
(2) the long-term economic and environmental stress experienced in the
Northwest region has limited agricultural diversity, eliminating opportunities
for even minimum existence;
(3) communities that have traditionally relied upon "hungry season" food,
much as wild plants and limes, are reporting dwindling amounts or the total
disappearance of these plants;
(4) most if not all inshore fishing resources are totally depleted;
(5) an alarming pattern of de-capitalization among peasant households is tak-
ing place; and,
(6) the de-capitalization of single women heads of households is especially evi-
dent. In some cases, women have been forced to sell their meager assets to fi-
nance the funerals of their husbands.
CARE, with support from the U.S. and Canada, the American donor public, and
members of CARE-International, will continue its critical humanitarian assistance
program in Haiti's Northwest. But, we are also strongly committed to continuing
long-term sustainable development. As food security begins to increase, together
with our Haitian partners, we will draw on their and our expertise in agriculture,
forestry, health, and other sectors to re-initiate programs that enhance the efforts
of Haitian communities to rebuild and to strengthen local capacity. Our long-term
programming strategy will focus on enabling Haitian counterparts to implement de-
velopment interventions, focusing, especially on the most vulnerable, female-headed
households. This will include the operation of a Monitoring, Targeting and Evalua-
tion Unit which will help identify families and communities in greatest need, and
set priorities for household interventions. This will allow CARE to maximize its
technical and material resources to reach the greatest number and have the most
far-reaching effect on protecting and replenishing household and community assets.
Decisive action to restore democracy to Haiti is long overdue. However, CARE rec-
ognizes the dilemma that the international community faces in continuing, even
tightening, the embargo at the peril of Haiti's most vulnerable population.
Until the democratic process is restored in Haiti, the NGO community, the U.S.,
Canada, the OAS, and the U.N. share responsibility for ensuring that a comprehen-
sive, integrated humanitarian assistance program be carried out to mitigate the ef-
fects of the embargo on Haiti's poor. Indeed, if the embargo is tightened, it will be
essential to have a parallel increase in the humanitarian program. And when the
embargo is ultimately lifted, we reiterate our commitment to assist the Haitian peo-
ple in their efforts to achieve equitable economic and democratic development.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, we look forward to working with
the people of Haiti and other partners in the international community who are also
share this commitment.
[The chart submitted by Mr. Rogers may be found in committee files.]
Senator DODD. Thank you very much, Mr. Rogers.
Well, I hope I pronounced that correctly. Ryscavage?
Father RYSCAVAGE. Ryscavage. That is correct.
Senator DODD. Very good. Welcome.
STATEMENT OF REV. RICHARD RYSCAVAGE, SJ., EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MIGRATION AND REFUGEE SERV-
ICES, U.S. CATHOLIC CONFERENCE, WASHINGTON, DC
Father RYSCAVAGE. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. Thanks for
the opportunity of speaking today.
The U.S. Catholic Conference has for many years been involved
in all aspects of migration to the United States from Haiti of Hai-
tians, and I would like to concentrate my remarks around the areas
of migration and refugee issues.
During the campaign, Bill Clinton called the U.S. refugee policy
a callous response to a terrible human tragedy. Then after the elec-
tion, the President astonished us by deciding to maintain that cal-
lous response, interdicting boat people and returning them to Haiti
without seeing if they needed protection. The new administration
hid behind some legal fig leaves and a pretense that interdiction
was meant to save the lives of drowning boat people.
This policy was supposed to be temporary. Organizations like my
own were often told that the best way to help the refugees was to
work at a political solution. Do not embarrass the administration
by criticizing the refugee policy. Let us concentrate on restoring de-
Well, that was over a year ago. Temporary calloused policy seems
to have become fixed calloused policy for the administration.
And with every passing day, it becomes more and more con-
tradictory. With the one hand, the United States shakes its fist
about human rights abuses in Haiti and then with the other hand
pushes people back into that abusive environment.
I cannot overestimate the damage this is doing not just to the
rights of individual Haitians seeking protection, but also the dam-
age it is doing to the entire refugee and asylum system worldwide.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has repeatedly ex-
pressed alarm at the U.S. policy mainly because countries are now
trying to justify their own noncompliance with standard refugee
procedures by specifically citing the U.S. policy in Haiti as a model
for their own misbehavior as nations. This is not a policy to be
proud of, and there are alternatives to this policy.
We have at the Catholic Conference been managing one of the
in-country processing centers inside Haiti, but it has never been
our opinion that these processing sites can substitute for out-of-
country asylum and safe haven alternatives. We have some very
practical problems and concerns with the in-country processing sys-
tem. For example, the INS sends down interview teams who have
no asylum experience and only 1 week of training in the political
realities of Haiti, but even if these deficiencies were corrected by
the Government, the in-country processing can only complement, it
could never substitute for, out-of-country protection.
There are reasonable and creative alternatives to the current pol-
icy. I would like to submit with your permission, Mr. Chairman, a
short options paper which outlines some of those possibilities which
we have also conveyed to the State Department. Most of these op-
tions do not involve any impact on south Florida or on the use of
any mainland U.S. territory facilities. I hope, Mr. Chairman, you
would prod and encourage the administration to take a look at
these options when they come this afternoon.
Just a brief remark about a forgotten issue. That is the protec-
tion of Haitians inside the United States. One consequence of the
former administration's foreign policy, which has really yet to be
cleaned up by the current administration, was the 10,000 Guanta-
namo Haitians that were prescreened in Guantanamo and brought
into the United States. Although they were given prescreened ap-
proval for refugee status, these Haitians have little chance of gain-
ing asylum without formal legal representation in the United
States, and nongovernmental organizations like my own, the few
that are working on these cases, find ourselves overwhelmed by the
legal work. It would be quite easy for the U.S. Government to grant
these 10,000 prescreened cases refugee status or at least some kind
of entrant status in the United States.
Finally, just a word about economic sanctions. The U.S. Catholic
Conference is in the middle of an internal process of reviewing our
position on sanctions. We initially supported sanctions on the con-
dition that there be humanitarian exemptions for food and medi-
cines, but now we are seeing that despite the exemptions, great
suffering has been visited upon the poor in Haiti because of the
sanctions. The poorest country in the hemisphere is fast becoming
a candidate for the poorest country in the world.
We recognize that sanctions constitute one of the few tools short
of military intervention available to the international community in
this situation, but as any economic embargo against civilian popu-
lations can never be a morally neutral act, they have to meet some
77-388 0 94 2
standards of ethical behavior. These are the questions that the con-
ference is asking today.
The effects of the embargo, the harm caused by the embargo,
must be proportional to the good that realistically can be hoped to
be achieved by the political process.
The second morally relevant question to ask is are substantial
segments of the population consenting to this depravation. I am not
sure the government or the church, for that matter, has clear an-
swers to those questions. The bishops of the United States have not
come to a definitive position, but the bishops of Haiti, seeing the
misery close up, have pleaded with the international community to
lift the sanctions because they are having a devastating effect espe-
cially on children and especially on the environment. One thing is
clear to us: the damage done to Haiti by the sanctions needs to be
assessed very carefully before they are tightened.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Father Ryscavage follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF FATHER RYSCAVAGE
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee. I am Father Richard
Ryscavage, S.J., Executive Director of the United States Catholic Conference's Office
of Migration and Refugee Services (USCC/MRS). We are one of the oldest and larg-
est private refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. We operate the refu-
gee processing center in Cap Haitien on the north coast of Haiti under contract to
the Department of State. In addition to our work in resettlement, the U.S. bishops
have charged my office with developing an innovative system of legal counseling
services for immigrants, asylum applicants, and the undocumented. A result of this
effort has been the establishment of a subsidiary legal services corporation of the
U.S. bishop's Conference called the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).
We also have pastoral care responsibilities for over 40 different ethnic groups in the
United States. This extensive experience with newcomers gives us a unique perspec-
tive on refugees.
I appreciate this opportunity to appear before this Subcommittee, which has
played such a key role in pressing for a more humane and effective U.S. policy to-
wards Haiti, to testify on the critical problems created by the political repression
in Haiti and United States policy with regard to Haitians seeking to flee that re-
pression. The situation in Haiti represents one of the most serious violations of
human rights in the world that is facing the Administration. The United States re-
sponse to that repression represents a failure of refugee protection. In turn, this fail-
ure by the United States to meet its obligations in the field of refugee asylum is
having disastrous effects both on the fate of individual Haitian asylum seekers and
on respect for the principle of refugee asylum worldwide.
Let me briefly say something about the moral framework for our concern.
The Catholic Church has for centuries struggled to clarify the moral obligations
of the State toward human persons. These moral obligations flow from the belief
that the State, as a human creation, must serve human beings. Human beings were
never meant to serve the State. In this light, the Church insists that public policy
which does not promote human dignity is bad policy. We judge policy by its respect
for human dignity.
This moral perspective shapes the way the Church views the crisis in Haiti.
Pope John Paul II explicitly stated his concern and interest in Haiti during his
1983 visit there. He observed
There is really a profound need of justice, of a better distribution of
goods, of more equitable organization of society, with more participation, a
more disinterested concept of service to all on the part of those who have
responsibilities * [T]here should be the possibility to eat one's fill, to
satisfy one's hunger, to be well kept, to have housing, schooling, victory
over illiteracy, honest and dignified work, social security, respect for family
responsibilities and for the basic rights of man: in a few words, everything
which ensures that men and women, children and the aged can jive truly
It is with the aim of ensuring that Haitian nationals are treated with dignity and
justice that the Catholic Church in the U.S. has maintained a commitment to Hai-
tian boat people.
I would like to concentrate my comments on the refugee questions involved in
Haiti policy. USCC/MRS has been deeply involved in the Haitian refugee problem
from the beginning. In 1982, testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigra-
tion and Refugee Policy, then-Bishop (now Cardinal) Anthony J. Bevilacqua dis-
cussed the "unjustifiable incarceration" of Haitian asylum-seekers. Bishop
Bevilacqua testified in 1984 before the House Subcommittee on International Oper-
ations on the Cuban/Haitian Adjustment Act of 1984. In his testimony, he discussed
"Haitian refugees [who] risked their lives to flee from misery and repression to this
More recently, on September 12, 1989, in testimony also before the House Sub-
committee on International Operations, former MRS Executive Director Msgr. Nich-
olas DiMarzio pointed out
At the same time that we are running this interdiction program, we are
leading the international outcry against the Hong Kong government's inten-
tion to return Vietnamese boat arrivals to Vietnam. The U.S. government's
historic and continued inequitable treatment of Haitians is indefensible.
Again, on June 25, 1992, before the same subcommittee, I testified in favor of the
International Refugee Protection Act of 1992, as an important declaration that the
United States must conform to the humanitarian norms of customary international
USCC/MRS is presently managing a refugee processing facility at Cap Haitien on
the North Coast of Haiti under a cooperative agreement with the Department of
State and, of course, along with the other resettlement agencies, we are involved
in the resettlement in the United States of those Haitians accepted by the United
States Refugee Program.
UNITED STATES POLICY OF INTERDICTION AND RETURN
Throughout the development of this problem, USCC/MRS has repeatedly and
forcefully called for respect for the rights of Haitian asylum seekers who flee Haiti
by boat to present their claims for political asylum and have them fairly adjudicated
rather than being summarily and forcibly returned to Haiti, as is now being done
by the United States Coast Guard. Current United States policy is a gross violation
of the principles of first asylum and non-refoulement which forbids a State from forc-
ibly returning political refugees to their persecutors.
No one denies that political persecution exists in Haiti. Supporters of President
Aristide are gunned down with impunity in the streets of Port-au-Prince before the
eyes of United Nations monitors. The United States Refugee Program operates three
refugee processing sites in Haiti. But those that flee by boat are returned without
examination even though many would surely qualify as political refugees. Over thir-
ty percent of those who fled by boat and were examined in Guantanamo were found
to have a "color of claim to refugee status."
What excuse, then, can the Administration possibly offer for the continuation of
such a contradictory policy? It says that many Haitian boat people might perish at
sea if not rescued by the Coast Guard. But all boats are interdicted, not just
unseaworthy ones. Even where rescue is required, this does not relieve the United
States of its obligation to give those rescued an opportunity to present their claim
for political asylum.
The Administration also argues that it is not in violation of its obligations under
the Protocol and 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees since the inter-
dictions take place in international waters. That the Administration must hide be-
hind such a technicality is shameful. Even Justice Stevens, in the majority opinion
of the Supreme Court case of Sale v. Haltian Centers Council. Inc. (U.S. Sup. Ct.,
1993), supporting the Administration's position, said:
The drafters of the Convention and the parties to the Protocol * may
not have contemplated that any nation would gather fleeing refugees and
return them to the one country they had desperate sought to escape; such
actions may even violate the spirit of Article 33; *
Many Haitian boat people, well qualified as political refugees, have been returned
to the Haitian police authorities. The United States position damages the core val-
ues of refugee protection worldwide: the principle of first asylum, which requires
that an asylum seeker be given an opportunity to present his or her claim to politi-
cal asylum and to have that claim fairly adjudicated before being forcibly returned
home, and the principle of non-refoulement, which provides that no refugee shall be
expelled or returned in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where
his or her life or freedom would be threatened. The United Nations High Commis-
sioner for Refugees (UNHCR) believes that the United States is in violation of its
treaty obligations in this respect.
Representative Carrie Meek has introduced a bill, the Haitian Refugee Fairness
Act of 1993 (H.R. 3663) to rectify this situation. USCC/MRS strongly supports that
bill, which is also supported by the UNHCR. I would request your permission to
submit for the record a letter from the UNHCR Representative to the United States.
Mr. Van Rooyen points out that current U.S. practice with regard to Haitian asylum
is "inconsistent with the fundamental principles of refugee protection." He states
that this fact "is eroding the commitment of the international community to the pro-
tection of refugees and has seriously undermined the ability of the U.S. authorities
to speak up on behalf of refugees worldwide."
To understand the importance of this situation, one only needs to talk to field
level UNHCR officials. Their common refrain is, "before this, when we had a protec-
tion problem, our first thought would be to turn to the American Ambassador for
help. Now that official no longer has credibility on refugee protection issues." When
you think of the role the United States has played in refugee relief and protection
in the past, Mr. Chairman, we can see what a tragedy this policy is for refugees
Let us be frank about this. The Administration is not concerned about boat people
in distress at sea. It maintains this policy out of a fear of a mass migration to South
Florida and the political consequences that might flow from that event.
No doubt President Clinton remembers the days in 1980 when the Cuban refugees
from the Mariel boat lift rioted in their camp at Fort Chafee, Arkansas and marched
down the streets of Fort Smith. That must have been an unpleasant experience for
a young Governor Clinton.
The alternative to the present policy, however, is not a mass migration to Florida.
The alternative is a high level White House commitment to finding a regional solu-
tion. The Administration has argued that regional solutions have been sought with-
out success by both the Bush and Clinton Administrations, but this was done with-
out adequate resources, direct Presidential involvement or imagination.
REGIONAL OPTIONS TO INTERDICTION
With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I submit for the record a brief listing of pos-
sible options as alternatives to the present policy of interdiction and summary and
forcible return. Administration officials can determine what mix of these options
best serves United States interests but it is urgent that they get on with it.
With respect to the economic sanctions presently being maintained against Haiti,
I want to express our serious concern about the potential damaging effects of these
sanctions on the people of Haiti. For this reason, USCC/MRS has preferred the use
of selective sanctions. Thus, we are appreciative of the Administration's efforts to
prevent the present stage of sanctions from reverting to a more comprehensive form
and for exploring ways of narrowly targeting sanctions against the ruling elite.
However, we would point out that the policing of the sanctions has a delaying effect
on all shipping bound to Haiti and, thus, has a deterrent effect on all trade and,
in some respects, its practical effect is similar to that of a general embargo.
We recognize that the sanctions contain built-in humanitarian exceptions both for
food and medicine and for fuel to provide for distribution of assistance to the most
needy. The humanitarian, agricultural and ecological aid given by the United States
to the people of Haiti have until now prevented a bad situation from becoming a
desperate one. Still, sanctioning powers must be ever vigilant lest prolongation of
sanctions against Haiti lead to grave or irremediable damage to the people or their
land. Similarly, the continuation of sanctions in the absence of strong political will
to find a solution for Haiti would be morally unacceptable. USCC/MRS is also con-
cerned that the already badly weakened Haitian economy could be so seriously un-
dermined by prolongation of the sanctions as to make a timely economic recovery
impossible, as well as causing significant long term ecological damage to Haiti.
Given the poor state of the Haitian economy, we would urge that humanitarian, ag-
ricultural and ecological aid levels be adjusted upwards to meet the growing needs
of the people.
We recognize, of course, that the sanctions constitute one of the few tools avail-
able to the international community in this situation. However, the bishop's teach-
ing requires that sanctions be linked with a feasible political strategy for imple-
menting the return of democratically elected government to Haiti and political will
to implement such a strategy. Thus, we believe that both the probability that the
sanctions will be successful in helping to bring an acceptable political solution to
Haiti and the extent of the damage being done to the Haitian population must be
monitored continuously and intensively with a view to lifting or ameliorating these
sanctions if they become either unlikely to achieve their purpose or unacceptably
Currently the United States has three in-country refugee processing centers in
Haiti. The USCC/MRS operates an office in the northern part of the country in Cap
Haitien. The International Organization for Migration administers the largest office
in Port-au-Prince, and World Relief manages a processing center in Les Cayes in
the southern part of Haiti. The United States Immigration and Naturalization Serv-
ice (INS) is based in Port-au-Prince, and the officers make periodic visits, approxi-
mately monthly, to Cap Haitien and Les Cayes to interview asylum seekers.
As of February 25, 1994, 19,164 persons making up 8,201 cases entered USCC/
MRS' Cap Haitien office. Out of this number, INS interviewed 989 people, or 493
cases, and approved 151 people, or 43 cases. The approval rate in Cap Haitien is
approximately 15 percent of the people or 9 percent of the cases. From the three
offices, approximately 11,109 cases have been interviewed by INS out of which 822
cases, or approximately 7 percent, have been conditionally approved as of the end
of January, the most recent statistics available.
The USCC/MRS staff includes 3 expatriates and 11 locally-hired persons. We be-
lieve with this limited staff we have been able to do an excellent job preparing cases
and people for INS interviews in spite of the difficult conditions caused by the sanc-
tions. Recently, however, we have noticed a substantial drop in the number of appli-
cants reaching our office which we believe is due at least in part to the increased
transportation difficulties caused by the fuel shortage.
We entered into this activity after some soul searching since in-country processing
has a number of obvious deficiencies and we are strongly opposed to a policy which
makes it the only avenue out of Haiti for the political refugee. Because in-country
processing does provide relief for some, we have agreed to assist.
We have been concerned about the risk to the refugees involved in a relatively
long out processing time, during which refugees must apply for a passport and sub-
mit to fingerprinting by the police. Efforts have been made to smooth out this proce-
dure and urgent cases can sometimes be moved within a week if all goes well. But,
the average case takes about a month to process and some get hung up a good bit
longer than that. A particular problem is presented by the HIV positive applicants
approved for refugee status. While most out processing is accomplished without inci-
dent there have been cases of harassment of approved refugees and it is a worri-
some period. Every effort should continue to be made to make out processing as
smooth and trouble-free as possible.
There is concern that those politically active persons most in need of asylum
might fear to enter a public facility such as those operated by the Department of
State. We share this concern and it is one of the reasons we continue to insist that
in-country processing not be the only channel through which asylum can be sought.
The Department of State has recently revised its category system, establishing a
set of criteria for deciding which applicants will be seen by INS interviewing offi-
cers. This change was made in order to make it easier to distinguish those appli-
cants with the best claims and to speed up the ability of the system to address proc-
ess them in the face of a sharply growing volume of applications late last year. The
new criteria system probably provides greater guidance in identifying sensitive
cases but it will be crucial to maintain the flexibility with which it appears to have
been designed. However, this change will have only limited utility in sorting out
sensitive cases from a large volume of applicants. Most of these could also havebeen
flagged under the old system. If the volume of applications had remained as high
as it was in December, 1993, many worthy cases might never be seen at all. For
the moment, the volume of applications has declined again but, if it again goes up,
the only way of assuring rapid attention to sensitive cases will be by an increase
in Department of State, Joint Voluntary Agency and INS resources.
The Department of State has also indicated its intention to offer INS training to
non-governmental agencies and individuals to help them identify and refer potential
asylum seekers who might qualify under INS guidelines. While this may offer some
promise, there are also a number of pitfalls in such a system. If in-country process-
ing is to be given a fair opportunity to work, and most particularly so long as it
remains the only way for someone wishing to flee Haiti to access the United States
asylum system, adequate resources must be made available to provide for whatever
volume of Haitians desire to apply for political asylum at the processing facilities
As noted, the acceptance rate of applicants interviewed by INS has averaged
about 9 percent of applicants interviewed. In initial visits to Cap Haitien, accept-
ances averaged 4-5 percent but reversals by quality control officers and reinterviews
has brought this figure up.
These are very low acceptance figures. Our own staff reports that this is not en-
tirely unreasonable. Many of those coming into our office provide no basis for a
claim to political asylum. At the same time, while we certainly cannot expect INS
to agree with us on every case, we have been troubled by the rejections of some
cases which have seemed strong ones to us. We have drawn these to the attention
of INS, and we understand that our views are being considered.
One final comment on this issue. There has been considerable comment on the
performance of INS interviewing officers in Haiti. INS has responded to this by in-
troducing quality control officers in Port-au-Prince to review the work of interview-
ing officers. It has also developed a one week Haiti specific training course for offi-
cers before departure for Haiti. While it is too early to judge the effect of this train-
ing course, it is noteworthy that the assignment of interviewing officers to Haiti is
on a voluntary basis and that the great majority of such officers have neither a
background on Haiti nor experience in asylum work. Given the critical nature of
these decisions to the asylum seekers, it can be questioned whether this is a satis-
factory state of affairs.
PROTECTION OF HAITIANS IN TIIE UNITED STATES
USCC/MRS has also been very concerned about the situation of Haitian nationals
in the United States. These Haitians can be broken down into three groups:
A. Haitians who fled Haiti after the 1991 military coup and were subse-
quently paroled into the United States to pursue their claims to political asylum
after their claims were pre-screened on U.S. vessels or at Guantanamo Bay,
B. Haitians who entered the U.S. directly and have been granted parole with-
out pre-screening of their asylum claims; and
C. Haitians who are in the United States in undocumented status.
While the avenues they have taken to enter the United States are very different,
these three groups share a fear of return to Haiti because of the political turmoil,
civil strife, and unchecked human rights abuses that have been so prevalent there
since the military coup.
USCC/MRS urges the Administration and Congress to do everything within their
power to protect these individuals. U.S. immigration law and precedent executive
designations for deserving nationalities allow a great deal of flexibility to provide
such protection. For example, in recent years the United States has extended protec-
tion to Salvadorans, Liberians, Kuwaitis, Somalis, Bosnians, Lebanese and Chinese
students fleeing political turmoil in their homelands. It is imperative that the Unit-
ed States do the same for Haitians.
USCC/MRS suggests that Congress consider the following alternatives to protect
CATEGORY A: Haitians Whose Asylum Claims Have Been Pre-Screened
After the military coup of 1991, and before it issued the Kennebunkport Order,
the Administration instituted a policy under which Haitian asylum seekers' claims
were pre-screened either on board U.S. vessels or at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The
asylum claims of more than 37,000 Haitians were screened, a process that required
them to prove that they have a "credible fear" of persecution if returned to Haiti.
If an asylum officer deemed that they had met this standard, they were then pa-
roled into the United States to pursue their political asylum claims. Approximately
10,500 Haitians were admitted as parolees under this policy.
Under contract with the Community Relations Service of the Department of Jus-
tice, USCC/MRS has used its extensive diocesan refugee resettlement network to
welcome and see to the many service needs of more than 5,700 of these Haitians.
As with other parolee populations, access to certain federal benefits has also been
provided to ensure that the needs of these people are met. The focus of the resettle-
ment program, however, is on early self-sufficiency. CLINIC and its affiliates are
representing these 5,700 Haitians in their political asylum proceedings. The asylum
process is a difficult adjudication that requires intensive legal assistance on the part
of service providers. While the Haitians are awaiting adjudication of their asylum
claims, their parole status has been consecutively renewed for periods of 90 days,
180 days, one year, and then a second year. Each extension has resulted in months
of work by CLINIC, other nongovernmental organizations involved such as Church
World Service, and the INS.
In two years, CLINIC's Haitian project has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars
of charitable contributions from the Church community to the detriment of ongoing
operations that serve other deserving populations. CLINIC and its affiliates have
filed more than 2,200 affirmative asylum claims for the pre-screened Haitians over
the last two years. Despite these efforts, more than 7,000 pre-screened Haitians
have not been able to apply for asylum because they lack legal representation. Like
other nongovernmental organizations, CLINIC cannot afford to continue its work
with the Haitians at existing levels of service and has begun to explore options to
downsize its program.
Without legal representation, Haitians have little chance of obtaining asylum.
Bona fide refugees will therefore be faced with the prospect of either involuntary
return to their homeland or life in the shadows of U.S. society in undocumented sta-
In addition, the asylum process is very costly for the INS to administer. The prob-
lems that the agency has experienced in processing asylum claims are well known;
approximately 350,000 cases are currently pending before the asylum corps. Less
than 20 percent of the Haitians whom CLINIC has represented have received final
decisions on their asylum claims. The INS simply cannot keep pace with the asylum
claims of the pre-screened Haitians. Since these cases have already undergone ex-
tensive scrutiny during the pre-screening process, the INS should be relieved of the
burden their adjudication poses.
Relief must be provided to the service providers that represent Haitian asylum-
seekers and to the INS. USCC/MRS would suggest that screened-in Haitians be
granted "Cuban/Haitian Entrant-Status Pending."
Cuban/Haitian Entrant Status is a form of parole that was created in 1980 to
meet the needs of two significant and simultaneous influxes of asylum-seekers from
Cuba and Haiti. The Department of Justice at that time recognized that this sudden
increase in asylum-seekers would overwhelm the asylum system just set up under
the Refugee Act of 1980. Therefore, the decision was made to grant an extended pa-
role to recently arrived Cubans and Haitians and to ask Congress to address their
immigration status through special legislation. Congress did that when it granted
Cuban/Haitian Entrants permanent residence under the Immigration Reform and
Control Act of 1986.
Entrant status would continue to allow pre-screened Haitians access to federal
benefits such as AFDC, SSI and Medicaid. Coverage under federal programs is ap-
mropriate since these Haitians are in a refugee-like situation. Furthermore, if such
benefits were rescinded, the full burden to care for these people would fall to states
and localities or humanitarian assistance programs such as the USCC/MRS dioce-
san resettlement network.
USCC/MRS urges Congress to show compassion to pre-screened Haitian boat peo-
ple by granting them entrant status. The Administration has repeatedly refused to
do so itself despite the fact that pre-screened Haitians represent a burden to the
asylum system that is not unlike the one faced in the early 1980s. It is therefore
up to Congress to address their needs and alleviate the burden they pose to service
providers and the INS asylum corps.
CATEGORY B: Haitians Who Have Been Paroled Into the U.S. Without Pre-
Since the military coup in 1991, a much smaller group of Haitians has arrived
directly in the United States and has been granted parole without pre-screening of
their asylum claims. These individuals also have been, and continue to be, resettled
through federal programs administered by voluntary agencies such as USCC/MRS.
The INS should continue to grant parole to such individuals as well as extensions
of parole until their asylum claims are adjudicated.
CATEGORY C: Haitians Who Are in the United States in Undocumented Status
Many other Haitians are in the United States in undocumented status and fear
return to Haiti. They also deserve the protection of the United States.
USCC/MRS urges Congress to grant undocumented Haitians temporary protected
status (TPS) under section 244A of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Normally,
authority is given to the Attorney General to extend TPS to countries that are expe-
riencing certain extraordinary conditions, including armed conflict that poses a seri-
ous threat to the safety of returned nationals. In the Immigration Act of 1990, how-
ever, Salvadorans were statutorily granted TPS because the Administration had
failed to provide them any form of protection. Since the Administration has refused
to designate Haiti for TPS, we urge Congress to similarly intervene on behalf of
TPS would allow Haitians to remain in the United States until the Attorney Gen-
eral determines that conditions in their homeland are safe for their return. In the
interim, they would be granted work authorization, although they would remain in-
eligible for any federal benefit programs. Two objectives are thus achieved: undocu-
mented Haitians can live and work in safety without fear of involuntary return to
Haiti, and the INS will know where they reside so that it can facilitate their return
once conditions in Haiti are safe.
If the United States fails to protect Haitians in the United States, it will be set-
ting a dangerous precedent for other nations faced with similar refugee crises. In
addition, it will be sending a signal to the military leaders of Haiti that we do not
feel strongly enough about the human rights situation in Haiti to protect those indi-
viduals subject to abuse.
The Administration has defended its failure to extend protection by stating that
it has not actually deported anyone to Haiti since the military coup. It is more ap-
propriate, however, to regularize the status of these individuals and facilitate their
participation in U.S. society until they are granted political asylum or until condi-
tions in Haiti become safe enough for their return.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, there is still much to be done to make United States
policy on Haiti satisfactory. We must continue our efforts to improve in-country
processing. We must continue and improve protection to Haitians in the United
States. We must monitor closely the economic sanctions imposed on Haiti both from
the perspective of their effect on the Haitian people and their relationship to our
political goals for Haiti. And, we must find a regional alternative to the current pol-
icy of interdiction and summary, forcible return to Haiti of the Haitian boat people.
[Other material submitted by Father Ryscavage may be found in committee files.]
Senator DODD. Thank you very much, Father Ryscavage. I appre-
ciate your testimony.
The other day I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington
and was struck by the sort of bizarre coincidences of history. That
famous vessel that carried a boatload of Jewish refugees seeking a
safe harbor being rejected country after country. The one nation
that was extremely generous, given its economic condition, the pop-
ulation, and size, was the Dominican Republic that shares, of
course, the Island of Hispaniola with Haiti. In fact, it was just a
few miles-because the emigree population that arrived in the Do-
minican Republic settled in an area called Sasua on the northern
coast of the Dominican Republic and made a significant contribu-
tion, I might add, to the economic life of the Dominican Republic
over many years.
What a coincidence, indeed, that we are now looking at the very
same island, some 43,000 people over the last couple of years who
have sought a safe harbor find their own fate similar to those of
the people on that ill-fated ship more than 50 years ago, who were
seeking a safe harbor being returned as well to a nation where tor-
ture and murder are commonplace.
Father RYSCAVAGE. Mr. Chairman, I brought a picture of the St.
Louis today from the 1930's, and there is also a picture of the Hai-
tian boat people being sent back to Port-au-Prince. I thought vis-
ually it kind of connects to the two events.
Senator DODD. Now, the people on the St. Louis did not go to the
Father RYSCAVAGE. No. I understand that.
Senator DODD. The Dominican Republic accepted thousands. It
was one of the few countries that accepted thousands of refugees
on that same island. That is I would say, the bizarre coincidence
in a sense.
Let me examine a couple of these issues with you this morning
if I can.
First of all, I wonder if you might provide some suggestions to
us. Do you think it makes any sense for the international commu-
nity to support programs such as yours, CARE and Catholic Char-
ities, while the embargo has been imposed? This goes to the point
you were making at the conclusion of your remarks, Father
Ryscavage, about imposing an embargo against Haiti. Let me ask
our other two witnesses. We have a relief effort going on. I am curi-
ous as to whether or not there is any black marketeering going on
with some of the resources that are getting in. Yet, many would
argue that even that effort has a way of diluting the impact of an
embargo or sanctions effort. I wonder if you might just comment
on that. Mr. Rogers, we will begin with you.
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I think that the nutritional situation throughout Haiti is such
that the food that arrives is distributed among families. We realize
we have a problem in targeting, but that targeting tends to be that
even though we try to get it to the poorest families and to women
and children, it is being distributed among a whole family. The
food containers that arrive in Haiti are opened in our warehouses
in Gonaives. They could be tampered with en route. However, the
customs inspection occurs onsite right where we begin our deliv-
eries to the communities. So, I do not believe there is an issue of
diversion of food to people who are not in need.
I think that you are right. If the sanctions are strengthened, we
will need to ratchet up proportionately the humanitarian assist-
ance to meet the increased need that will occur.
Dr. HAMMOCK. Mr. Chairman, let me add here that the current
embargo, as it is, is really not the answer. It is hurting poor people,
and it is not doing much against the military. The data that AID
particularly has collected over the course of the last several
months, as you will hear this afternoon I think from Mark Schnei-
der, shows that in fact the effects of the embargo as an embargo
have not been as great as the media have made it out to be.
It seems to me that one cannot consider continuing the current
embargo. One either one has to say, hey, let us forget this whole
thing and lift the embargo and not worry about the implications of
that politically or we have to say we have to strengthen the embar-
go because we have to do something which is going to be much
more meaningful for political purposes.
The point that I was making earlier, clearly there is a moral di-
lemma when one is saying that one wants to strengthen the embar-
go. It will have an impact on people, but it is our belief, very strong
belief, that if there is going to be long-term development in Haiti,
that one has to change the current people in power. Unless you go
toward a military solution, one of the few options we have left is
a strengthened embargo which would, in fact, hurt the people who
are in power and hopefully help them to move out.
Senator DODD. Well, let me ask you all this and I'll begin with
you, Father Ryscavage. Do you believe it would have made more
sense initially to have a tougher embargo rather than the so-called
escalating approach that has historically been used where you
begin to apply economic sanctions and then ratchet them up de-
pending upon the response from the targeted nation or population?
Father RYSCAVAGE. I think when you look at places like Serbia
and the use of sanctions in South Africa and other places, there
seems to be a whole set of theories about how you apply sanctions
and the examples in those places which suggest exactly what you
are indicating, that perhaps severe sanctions in the beginning
would send a message strongly and that sanctions with loopholes
are kind of a disaster to begin with. It is like the Serbs getting
arms easily through the neighboring countries. There was supposed
to be an arms embargo on Yugoslavia but in fact it was not really
happening. I think the same thing is really true in Haiti. Everyone
I have talked to suggests that the embargo is not working because
it has too many loopholes, and that probably was a flaw right from
the very beginning.
Senator DODD. I know Haiti fairly well. I could accept the notion
that the embargo, even a poorly executed one would be having
some impact on the economic well-being of people living in Port-au-
Prince, but as you move out to the rural areas of the country, my
experience has been over the years that people in those areas are
far more dependent on sort of catch as catch can, make do as can
on a daily basis. They are not dependent on imports because of
their economic condition. They survive on a daily basis by scratch-
ing out a living and holding their families together as best they
can. How do you respond to that?
Father RYSCAVAGE. Well, I think at least what the church is tell-
ing us from down in Haiti and Catholic Relief Services and others,
the effects of the sanctions are uneven in the country. In other
words, there are parts of the country that are hurting far more
than other parts of the country. I think Mr. Rogers suggested the
northwest, for example, is hit particularly severely.
I think the question you have to ask at this point is has Haiti's
environment been so degraded really that even this kind of scratch,
make-do life in the rural areas is even possible or becoming less
possible in the coming year precisely because of not just the embar-
go, but the whole economic kind of collapse of the country in the
very basic sense of farming and lack of seeds and the trees and the
wood is gone and things of that sort.
Senator DODD. Let me ask you further, if I can, because there
has been a lot of speculation regarding this. Father Aristide, or
President Aristide, is a liberation theologist. There were some dif-
ferences, obviously, with the Catholic church in Haiti and President
Aristide. To what extent is that affecting in any way the view of
the local clergy in Haiti regarding President Aristide's return?
Father RYSCAVAGE. I think you are right. There have been prob-
lems with Aristide, but I think that question is often quite exagger-
ated because, in fact, if you will look at the Episcopal Conference
of Haiti, the bishops, you will find a full spectrum from Aristide
supporters to Aristide's opponents. So, when that Episcopal Con-
ference agrees on a statement, as it did over Christmas basically
calling for the lifting of the embargo, one has to question, this is
not simply coming from some kind of personal political position,
but it seems to be something they are arriving at as a group of
bishops looking at the situation on the ground. That is all we can
Senator DODD. Mr. Hammock?
Dr. HAMMOCK. I would like to go back to your other question
which I think is a crucial one. I have been in and out Haiti for 20
years and know the countryside quite well. Our data is that people
are surviving in the countryside. That, as you know, is through
subsistence farming. They do not deal with the market in most of
rural Haiti. When we do our humanitarian aid, we have been in-
sisting that we also include seeds as part of our humanitarian aid
for the next harvesting cycle, for the next planting cycle, which
would make it possible to grow as much food as possible within
Haiti. This was not a bad growing season in Haiti at the subsist-
ence level. So, the food needs are great, but I think your statement
is basically right on target in terms of the rural areas.
Where the problem has come is that Haiti was beginning to orga-
nize in the country. There were a number of popular organizations
in the country which were bringing peasants together in order to
better improve that subsistence farming. They have been destroyed
by the current government, and that I think is what is causing the
concern. It is not so much the devastation in the agriculture. It is
really I think the organizational destruction that has taken place
over the last 2 years of really wiping out the popular movements.
Senator DODD. Mr. Rogers, let me ask you if you would respond
to these questions as well regarding the overall impact of the em-
bargo. The northwest of the island of Hispaniola is historically dry
because the temperatures do not build up over land to create the
rainfalls that occur. So, all along that northern coast where I spent
2V2 years living in there, and it is very dry. It is under the best
of circumstances very dry.
Mr. ROGERS. That is right.
Senator DODD. Give me an nationwide assessment. Obviously
there is an impact here. I recall similar arguments being made in
South Africa when there was a significant embargo, and we had
many people suggesting and properly so, that this was causing
some significant depravation and pain. But the feeling was that
there was a larger issue at stake here and that the people who
were being subjected to that economic sanction, the people who
were feeling it in a sense, were so desirous of the end to apartheid
and the opportunity to participate in the free selection of their own
leadership, that they were willing to pay that price, as have people
historically throughout the world. What is your assessment?
Mr. ROGERS. I would agree that we have to look at the political,
the ecological, the economic with different lenses. There are several
indicators that have come out recently in an AID report in January
that state that malnourishment in the north and the south of Haiti
has increased over 40 percent over last year at the same time. Also,
the price index of basic food commodities in the country has in-
creased about 50 percent over the same time last year.
On the other hand, our own studies indicate that, as you men-
tioned, Mr. Chairman, there are a number of ecological zones and
certainly the impact of subsistence farming, of the intensive effort
to scratch out a living, to make charcoal with what is left-in fact,
some reports indicate people are trying to make charcoal out of cac-
tus now-continue. But it does vary from place to place.
On the political side, I would only venture to say that every indi-
cation we have is that the people in Haiti are very supportive of
Father Aristide's return, and they are willing to continue to tighten
their belts. But there is a limit. People are beginning to suffer.
Malnourishment is up pretty much all over the country, and we
have to make sure that our political objectives do not become an
obstacle for human survival.
Senator DODD. Let me ask you about the fuel situation. Have
your organizations been getting allocations of fuel since the first
two shipments arrived? Is there is a problem with diversion of fuel?
Specifically, has the military been given a percentage of those de-
Mr. ROGERS. I can say that CARE has been receiving the fuel as
scheduled. Basically our trucks pass by the fuel farm and fill up
before they make their deliveries to our distribution point in
Gonaives. I am really not in a position to comment on how that
fuel is managed in the fuel farm.
Senator DODD. What do you suspect is the case?
Mr. ROGERS. Well, there is a lot of traffic. I think that, as men-
tioned earlier, there is fuel coming in over the border from the Do-
minican Republic, but what can one expect if the people who are
not supposed to have access to the fuel are those same people who
are maintaining custody of that fuel farm? I cannot say. We have
to draw our own conclusions.
Senator DODD. It sounds to me like you have drawn a conclusion.
You can say it, Mr. Rogers. It is all right. [Laughter.]
Mr. ROGERs. Thank you. I have my doubts, Mr. Dodd.
Senator DODD. Father Ryscavage?
Father RYSCAVAGE. From Catholic Relief Services, I have just
heard that they are receiving the fuel. Again, it is hard to assess
that kind of thing I think from Washington.
Senator DODD. Do you have any information on that, Mr. Ham-
mock, yourself personally?
Dr. HAMMOCK. Not on that issue. I think on the fact of fuel com-
ing across the border, it is definitely not working in terms of keep-
ing fuel out of the black market.
Senator DODD. Let me just jump back to the impact on the poor
in the country. One of the areas that I always try to visit when I
am in Haiti is which was called in the past Cite Simon, the very,
very poorest of the poor areas in Port-au-Prince down near the wa-
terfront where the water tables are just a few inches below the
ground level and people are literally living in cardboard boxes.
That is not an exaggeration. How are these conditions? I cannot
imagine it getting much worse. How does it get worse as a result
of an embargo? Do you want to comment on that?
Dr. HAMMOCK. Having been there in November and having been
there in the past, and seeing the garbage piled up on the streets,
it really does look like it is in a rapid state of deterioration, even
from where it has been, which has always been in a state of dete-
I would say that people, as they have always done, are survivors.
It is amazing to me how resilient the human being can be. As you
know, those people survive every day on resiliency and they are
continuing to do so.
The situation, if one talks to people, does not appear to be much
better. Last November there was not any food coming in. Now
there is I think more food being delivered to that area. So, things
might be a little better than when I was there in November.
Father RYSCAVAGE. I think you would have to ask about the
medical issues, how they have kind of degenerated. I think the po-
tential for cholera and other things has increased in those particu-
lar types of situations you are referring to.
Senator DODD. I appreciate all the work the Catholic Conference
and Catholic Relief Services have done. The effort has been hercu-
lean in so many areas. I realize it is a dilemma because we are try-
ing to apply some pressures to convince the powers that be that
what they have done, what they continue to do is not only a viola-
tion of international law, but has killed some 3,000 people-and
those numbers are used fairly consistently by all human rights or-
ganizations. The public execution of people obviously intended to
send a clear message, the dragging of an Aristide supporter from
church and executing him outside of that church in front of inter-
national media and press, obviously for intended purposes.
I read the Governors Island accord. I read it carefully word by
word last evening signed by President Aristide and Lt. Gen. Raoul
Cedras, the words of "I pledge the following," and you read down
that list of that accord. Then, of course, to just totally, absolutely
walk away from it, to engage in the kind of violence seen.
Balancing these moral dilemmas is particularly difficult, knowing
full well that in the absence of the imposition of some sanctions,
the likelihood is that the military powers will prevail there. We will
look back and this is a sad chapter where for the first time in their
history, chose someone they wanted to lead them, by a margin of
some 70 percent, and within months of that decision, it was thrown
How much does that weigh, realizing that the other alternative
may be military force? I have to believe that the Catholic Con-
ference would have a very significant problem with the imposition
of a military intervention as a way of resolving the problem. Is
there some consideration given as to how you change the present
situation, short of the sanctions, short of military force?
Father RYSCAVAGE. Yes, we struggle with this a lot. That is part
of the internal review right now the International Policy Commit-
tee of Bishops is looking at, precisely this. How do you balance
I think there are two sort of tracks here. One would be to tighten
the embargo, to really recommend tightening the embargo, but to
somehow, not just increase the humanitarian aid, but isolate it
somehow. That may involve some show of force, a protection force
of some kind.
But then again you get into the question-I keep referring to
Bosnia because I think we have learned through our mistakes
there, both the NGO community and the governmental community,
about the difficulties of trying to protect humanitarian assistance
in the middle of a conflict or in trying to also arrive at political
goals. I think some of us at the Conference share this kind of hesi-
tation about engaging in that kind of very delicate exercise of
strengthening the humanitarian assistance while tightening the
pressures on the ruling groups. It is very difficult.
Again, I think it is going to require a considerable amount of
leadership from the White House and a lot of attention to this be-
cause I think some of the things we ask, as Congressman Rangel
said, what is the policy right now? Are they struggling the way we
are struggling at the Conference with the alternatives? I am not
sure of that. I do not hear a lot of that kind of debate from the
Senator DODD. I thank all three of you for being here today and
offering your thoughts. Obviously, we will be very anxious to hear
what thoughts that the Catholic Conference has on this particular
My suspicions are if the decision is made to lift the embargo,
that basically the likelihood of President Aristide's return is gone,
General Cedras and Lieutenant General Francois will have won,
they will have played a very clever game. The aspirations of the
people of Haiti will have been dashed, and I suspect that the flood
of refugees will mount significantly in the coming months.
Did you have a closing comment, Mr. Hammock?
Dr. HAMMOCK. I just wanted to add because as you know, Ray-
mond Flynn is the Ambassador now to the Vatican and he is very
closely tied to Massachusetts. We have our headquarters in Massa-
chusetts. One of the things we have been dealing with him on is
the Vatican's support for the current Government of Haiti. One of
the concerns that we have had is that the only government that
has recognized Cedras is the Vatican, and that has been a serious
concern of ours because it has helped to legitimize that govern-
I just wanted to raise that because I think that when I have gone
in Haiti and talked to many of the priests at the grassroots level,
as I am sure the Catholic Conference has also, there is a real split
in the church about what the efforts should be between many in
the leadership and many at the grassroots. I think that is some-
thing that hopefully in the review that the Catholic bishops are
going to undertake is going to be looked at because the Catholic
church, as you know, is a very, very important actor within the pol-
itics and the society of Haiti. I think it is a crucial actor that needs
to be listened to.
Senator DODD. Thank you very much. Thank you all very much.
I appreciate your being here.
Let me invite our last panel this morning to join us: Prof. Harold
Hongju Koh, who is a Smith professor of international law and
codirector of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights
Clinic at Yale University Law School, a good friend of mine and
constituent I would point out; the Honorable Michael Barnes, coun-
sel to President Aristide, a member of the law firm of Hogan &
Hartson here in Washington, a good friend and a former colleague
and, Michael, we welcome you; and Ms. Holly Burkhalter, the advo-
cacy director of Human Rights Watch in Washington. We thank
you, Ms. Burkhalter, for joining us as well. We thank you for being
here this morning.
I presume you have had an opportunity to listen to-I know you
have, Harold. You have been here since we took the elevator up to-
gether 2 hours ago. So, I know you heard from Congressmen and
Senators who were here and others.
Michael, we welcome you to the committee. I am very anxious to
receive your testimony and to have you share with us your
thoughts on the current policy with regard to Haiti.
STATEMENT OF HON. MICHAEL BARNES, COUNSEL TO PRESI-
DENT JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE, HOGAN & HARTSON,
Mr. BARNES. Well, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for giv-
ing me this opportunity. It is a privilege always to appear before
you and this committee, but particularly a privilege to be here rep-
resenting the democratically elected Government of Haiti and
President Aristide. I serve as his counsel. On behalf of President
Aristide, I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your continued
commitment to the restoration of the democratically elected govern-
ment and the hopes of the people of Haiti.
On behalf of the President of Haiti, I also want to thank Presi-
dent Clinton and Vice President Gore and their team for their con-
tinued efforts on this issue.
President Aristide would also want me to thank the many Mem-
bers of Congress, obviously, including the group that appeared be-
fore you this morning who have supported the aspirations of the
people of Haiti who are yearning desperately for an end to this bru-
tal coup regime and the restoration of the democracy that they
celebrated with so much excitement back at the time President
Aristide was elected.
You will recall very well, Mr. Chairman, that 3 years ago in
March 1991, President Aristide was beginning his efforts to estab-
lish democracy in Haiti. It was a tough job. It was an enormous
challenge, given the history of that country and the dictatorships
of the Duvalier family and others. His inaugural speech promised
social and economic reforms. His plans were backed by the inter-
national community which committed itself to unprecedented finan-
cial support, but unfortunately the international community did
not stay after the inauguration and sort of left President Aristide
and his new Government, his fledgling democratic Government, on
its own to tackle the tough problems of Haiti.
He was, however, taking on the issues of corruption and human
rights abuse. You will hear from Ms. Burkhalter about the progress
that was being made in the area of human rights under the Gov-
ernment of President Aristide. He was beginning to gain some civil-
ian control over the military.
Interestingly, the refugee out-migration essentially stopped. The
economic situation was still desperate in the country, but people
were coming back to Haiti during President Aristide's term in office
from Miami and from elsewhere because there was hope in the
country that maybe things for the first time were going-to begin
to get better. Haiti was in President Aristide's words beginning to
"move from misery to poverty with dignity." It is hard to believe
that that was the goal, but in fact in Haiti that would be a very
important move from the misery the people have always experi-
enced to just basic poverty.
Two years ago in March 1992, you will well recall that President
Aristide and his Government were regrouping after a failed OAS-
led effort to restore democracy. The so-called Washington protocol
which was concluded between President Aristide and a parliamen-
tary negotiating commission in February 1992-he named a con-
sensus Prime Minister, Rene Theodore. They committed themselves
to confirm that Prime Minister, the parliamentarians did, and a
new Cabinet and they recognized the necessity of President
The military, as you know, blocked the implementation of any of
the elements of that Washington protocol 2 years ago in March
1992. Unfortunately, his naming of a Prime Minister and his will-
ingness to designate a new government was not sufficient to jump-
start the process of transition to democracy and the climate of vio-
lence continued. Faced with intimidation from the military, the
Parliament did not even ever vote on the nomination of Rene Theo-
dore or take steps to implement that protocol.
One year ago, in March 1993, there was again new hope for a
solution to the crisis. President Clinton met for the first time with
President Aristide and reaffirmed the commitment of the United
States to democracy in Haiti and stated his resolve to restore Presi-
dent Aristide to office. The President named a special envoy, Larry
UN/OAS special envoy Dante Caputo obtained the coup regime's
commitment to yield power and to permit President Aristide's re-
turn. In July on Governors Island in New York, the military ,for-
mally agreed and accepted a specific timetable for the transition
with dates for their departure from power and a date certain for
President Aristide's return. With that commitment, President
Aristide initiated the process of transition with the naming of yet
another Prime Minister, Robert Malval, and a new Cabinet and the
promulgation of an amnesty decree. It took one a month, a period
marked by threats and intimidation, for the Parliament finally to
ratify that new Prime Minister. The next day the U.N. voted to lift
all sanctions against Haiti.
In the 2 months that followed, the coup regime, the military dic-
tatorship, actively prevented, as we all know, further implementa-
tion of the Governors Island agreement and they solidified their
control. The violence steadily escalated. The UN/OAS human rights
monitoring mission found that human rights conditions had
reached what they called alarming levels. The Prime Minister, the
new Cabinet, and the Parliament were unable to function. They
could not leave their homes because they were so intimidated by
the climate of violence in the country.
The brave Justice Minister who was courageously spearheading
the drafting of legislation to reform the police and the judiciary
was murdered in the streets, and it is now clear, UN/OAS observ-
ers have made clear, that that murder was perpetrated by military
controlled thugs. There were hundreds of other murders, and the
UN/OAS now indicate that during this period since the coup there
have been over 3,000 Haitians murdered by the military regime in
The deadline for the departure of the high command passed. In
a last minute effort to salvage the process, special envoy Caputo in-
vited former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and other hemispheric
leaders to come to Haiti to form a protective shield around the Par-
liament so that the Parliament could pass the needed legislation.
Those leaders declined because they indicated the climate of vio-
lence in the country did not permit that kind of activity.
Well, here we are now in March 1994, and President Aristide is
seeking to renew international support for his return under the
Governors Island accord. President Aristide still stands committed
to the Governors Island accord which he signed on July 3 last sum-
Senator DODD. That is all right. Just keep going.
Mr. BARNES. I will wrap up quickly. Obviously, I have a long tes-
timony which I would be grateful if you would put in the record.
Senator DODD. It will be part of the record.
Mr. BARNES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me just comment that right now President Aristide is being
pushed very hard to name yet another Prime Minister under a
process that is much weaker, much less likely to result in the res-
toration of democracy than the Governors Island accord which he
entered into with the military last July 3. Why is this accord weak-
At Governors Island, President Aristide received a commitment
that the entire high command of the Haitian army and the police
chief, Michel Francois, would all either retire from the army or
leave the country and take military posts outside of Haiti. There
were dates certain for that to happen and for his return to office
in Haiti. Under the plan which was initially proposed to President
Aristide, by the U.S. Government in January, long before any of
these parliamentarians we keep hearing about came to Washing-
ton, President Aristide would have to name a new Prime Minister,
form the new Government while the reign of terror continues,
while these criminals who have perpetrated all these murders, in-
cluding the murder of a member of his last Cabinet that he named,
are still in power, still have the guns, still run the country. There
is no date set for their departure.
Indeed, under this plan the only person who would leave is Gen-
eral Cedras. The other members of the high command would re-
main in office. Under this plan, Michel Francois, who most inter-
national experts agree is the principal person behind the violence
being perpetrated today against the people of Haiti, would remain
in the army, would remain in Haiti, would remain in power. Yes,
on the organizational chart, he would be moved from police chief
to some other title. That is what President Aristide is being urged
to accept. And there is no date set for President Aristide's return
as there is under Governors Island.
The sanctions would again be lifted before his return. That is the
plan that he is being urged to support and accept. The sanctions
would be lifted again before he is back in the country. I personally
believe if the sanctions are ever lifted again before he is back in
the country, he will never go back to Haiti.
It is imperative that any plan have a date certain for his return,
have the removal of the entire high command and the police chief
and their replacement by officers in the Haitian army who are pre-
pared to work for a new Haiti, prepared to be subservient to civil-
ian control, and we believe there are such officers in the Haitian
army. We have contacts with members of the Haitian military, and
we believe there are people in that army who are disgusted by the
drug-running criminals who currently head up that army and run
the country. We believe that one or more of them would step up
and take positions in a new high command subservient to civilian
control, and we of course believe that the sanctions cannot be lifted
before the President is back.
Also an imperative element of Governors Island and an impera-
tive element of any new plan that might work is the return of the
international mission, the armed presence that was called for
under Governors Island, the UN/OAS team of police and military
personnel to oversee the situation to assure the security of every-
body. Aristide's opponents say they are afraid that the people of
Haiti will rise up and commit violence against them if he returns.
Well, then they ought to welcome, they ought to advocate, they
ought to seek the quick appearance in Haiti of that international
group that was called for under Governors Island, and similarly,
the people of Haiti who have been so repressed during this period
since the coup need the assurance of an international presence to
give them a sense of security that they will not continue to be ter-
rorized as they are daily.
There are people being killed every day in Haiti. It is not just
the Justice Minister. It is not just Antoine Izmery, the better
known people who have died. The experts tell us over 3,000 people
have been indiscriminately murdered by these thugs who have
taken this country hostage and who are refusing to fulfill the com-
mitments they made last July for the restoration of democracy.
Mr. Chairman, I could go on, as you well know, for a long, long
time about this issue and my testimony goes into many of these is-
sues in great detail, but I will stop and permit my colleagues to
testify and be happy to respond to questions.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Barnes follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MR. BARNES
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this important hearing and for the opportunity to
appear before your subcommittee at this critical moment of the political crisis in
Haiti. On behalf of President Aristide, I want to thank the Clinton Administration
for their efforts on this issue. I also want to thank the many members of Congress-
notably the group appearing before you today-who have supported President
Aristide and the vast majority of Haitians who yearn for an end to the brutal coup
regime and the restoration of democracy. Your hearings, meetings with President
Aristide and other Haitians involved in restoring the crisis, letters to the coup re-
gime and to supporters of democracy, and your outspokenness over the past
2V2years have helped give voice to the 67% of Haitians whose vote was nullified in
the September 1991 coup.
Three years ago, in March 1991, President Aristide was beginning efforts to estab-
lish democracy in Haiti. His inaugural speech promised social and economic reforms;
his plans were backed by the international community, which gave unprecedented
financial support. The President also proposed a "marriage between the people and
the army" founded on respect for the rule of law. He announced in his inaugural
speech the retirement of senior military officers implicated in serious past human
rights violations. Shortly thereafter, he dismantled the notorious section chiefs, a
military controlled network of rural strongmen, replacing it with a system of civilian
police under the Ministry of Justice. The President tackled corruption and human
rights abuses, gaining civilian control of the military. Refugee outmigration slowed
dramatically. Haiti was, in President Aristide's words, "moving from misery to pov-
erty with dignity."
Two years ago, in March 1992, President Aristide and his government were re-
grouping after a failed OAS-led effort to restore democracy. The Washington Proto-
col, concluded between President Aristide and a Parliamentary negotiating commis-
sion in February 1992, named a consensus prime minister, Rene Theodore; commit-
ted the Parliament to confirm the prime minister and a new cabinet; and recognized
the necessity of President Aristide's return. Coup leader Raoul Cedras said he
agreed to the protocol as a framework for resolving the crisis caused by the coup
and pledged cooperation. Unfortunately, President Aristide's naming of a prime min-
ister was not sufficient to jump start the process of transition to democracy. The
climate of violence continued. Faced with intimidation from the military, Parliament
did not vote on the Theodore nomination or take steps to implement the protocol.
Coup leader Cedras and his illegal regime, together with the presidents of the Sen-
ate and Chamber of Deputies, then promulgated an "agreement" repudiating the
Washington Protocol and Prime Minister-Designate Theodore, and paving the way
for the appointment of Marc Bazin as prime minister. President Aristide had sound-
ly defeated Bazin at the polls in 1990.
One year ago, in March 1993, there was new hope for a solution to the crisis.
President Clinton met for the first time with President Aristide and reaffirmed his
support for democracy in Haiti and his resolve to restore President Aristide to office.
The President appointed a Special Envoy, Lawrence Pezzullo. The UN/OAS Special
Envoy, Dante Caputo, obtained the coup regime's commitment to yield power and
to permit President Aristide's return. In June, on Governors Island in New York,
the military formally agreed and accepted a specific timetable for the transition.
President Aristide initiated the process of transition with the naming of a prime
minister and a new cabinet and the promulgation of an amnesty decree. It took one
month, a period marked by threats and intimidation, for the Parliament to ratify
the President's prime minister-designate. The next day, the UN voted to lift all
sanctions against Haiti. In the two months that followed, the coup regime actively
prevented further implementation of the Governors Island Agreement and solidified
its control. Violence steadily escalated; the UN/OAS human rights monitoring mis-
sion found that human rights conditions had reached "alarming levels." The prime
minister, the new cabinet and the Parliament were unable to function. Justice Min-
ister Guy Malary, who was courageously spearheading the drafting of legislation to
reform the police and judiciary, was murdered by military-controlled thugs. Civilian
elected officials, including popular Port-au-Prince mayor, Evans Paul, were forcibly
prevented from retaking office by armed paramilitary groups loyal to the coup re-
gime. A UN/OAS international military and police assistance mission provided for
in the Governors Island Agreement was met by armed protesters directed by the
military and did not deploy. The deadline for the departure of the high command
passed. In a last minute effort to salvage the process, UN/OAS Special Envoy
aputo invited former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and other hemispheric leaders
to come to Haiti to form a "protective shield" around the Parliament so that the Par-
liament could pass needed legislation. The invited leaders declined; former Presi-
dent Carter cited the coup regime's failure to comply with the Governors Island
Today, in March 1994, President Aristide is seeking to renew international sup-
port for his return under the Governors Island Accord. Instead of receiving support,
he is being pressed to name a prime minister again and to work with the Par-
liament toward the formation of another new cabinet and the passage of legislation,
principally an amnesty law for the coup regime. The negotiators argue that these
steps will press the coup regime to leave and should precede additional sanctions.
President Aristide has rightly rejected this proposal.
For the third time in as many years, President Aristide is being asked to name
a prime minister to start a process of political transition. For the third time, Haiti's
besieged Parliament is being promoted as the agent of the transition process. For
a third time, an amnesty is being offered as the key to reconciliation. In my view
it is time to stop pressing President Aristide to make further fruitless gestures. It
is time to get tough with the coup regime and its supporters to press them to relin-
The proposal now before President Aristide is being characterized as a Parliamen-
tary plan. Although it is publicly advocated by several Haitian parliamentarians, it
was originally floated by UN/OAS Special Envoy Dante Caputo and rejected by
President Aristide in late January. This proposal represents a major retreat from
Governors Island. It departs substantially from a resolution adopted by par-
liamentarians in January, during a conference in Miami convened by President
Aristide. The supporters of this proposal belong to a pro-coup faction of Parliament
led by Frantz Monde, a former macoute who is loyal to coup leader and Police Chief
Michel Francois. That is why the majority of the parliamentarians in the Chamber
of Deputies did not vote for it last week.
The plan calls for President Aristide to nominate a prime minister; to ratify a
broader amnesty than the President is permitted to grant under the Haitian Con-
stitution; and to choose the successor to coup leader Raoul Cedras from among the
existing high command that instigated and now maintains the coup.
This plan may succeed in lifting the embargo, the objective identified by Monde
in a public statement before leaving Haiti for Washington in early February. It will
not restore democracy. The plan is totally vague with respect to the key elements
of the Governors Island Agreement-the removal of the coup leadership, the date
of President Aristide's return and the role of the international community in imple-
menting the program and safeguarding the democratic transition process.
At Governors Island, we resisted the notion that the coup leadership remain in
office during the transition. We argued that this would give the regime a veto over
the prime minister, the formation of a government and the shape of reform legisla-
tion. Sadly, events have proven us right. That is why the Parliamentarians that met
in Miami and the members of the pro-democracy coalition in the lower house de-
mand that the high command leave before the Parliament is required to act on leg-
islative reforms or new nominees for prime minister and cabinet posts. If President
Aristide accepts this proposal, he accepts the proposition that his 67% popular man-
date is an inadequate base for governing the country. He will be forced to choose
a prime minister and Cabinet acceptable to the coup regime, or face continued stale-
Some negotiators have countered that the Parliamentary group promoting this
proposal is a centrist group with sufficient courage and clout to persuade the mili-
tary to stay out of the transition process. This ignores recent history. The par-
liamentary group is a pro-coup bloc. According to the UN/OAS Special Rapporteur
on Haiti, the Parliamentarians in tactical alliance with the coup have become "a
'legal' obstacle to [President] Aristide's return." As the Special Rapporteur notes in
his recent report, "In the days following the coup d'etat, they appointed 'President'
N6rette and 'Prime Minister' Honorat for the obvious purpose of legitimizing the ac-
tion of the military.* * They sabotaged the implementation of the Washington
protocols. They appointed Marc Bazin Prime Minister with the approval of the mili-
tary and bitterly opposed the negotiations mediated by [the] OAS, the United Na-
tions and Special Envoy Dante Caputo. And they have taken every opportunity to
make it known that they do not want [President] Aristide to return. The New York
Pact, signed on 16 July 1993 after the Governors Island Agreement, required the
political parties to change their attitude, calling on them to recognize [President]
Aristide, observe a political truce and pass a number of laws in Parliament, includ-
ing a law on the separation of the police from the armed forces. None of this has
been done by the Haitian Parliament." Moreover, pretending that the legislature
can function as a free, deliberative body while the coup leaders have guns to their
heads is a pretense with no relation to reality. A large number of the Parliamentar-
ians in the lower house are in hiding, or intimidated from participation. Some have
made clear they were afraid to oppose the plan. Others have been intimidated from
participating in the chamber's votes generally.
Negotiators also suggest that President Aristide should name a prime minister as
a way to establish a date for his return. They maintain that the date can be worked
out among this group as part of the process of building a consensus government.
This is completely unrealistic-absent the leverage of sanctions and an ongoing
international role in the transition process, the coup regime and their pro-coup bloc
in the Parliament have no incentive to set a date or to lay the groundwork for Presi-
dent Aristide's return. Based on our past experience, we can be sure they will work
to ensure President Aristide would be unable to govern if he ever did return. That
is why the Governors Island Agreement included a specific date-it established an
internationally recognized commitment to President Aristide's return. The inter-
national community agreed to help establish the framework for that return by de-
ploying an international technical assistance mission for military and police reform
in the transition period, and by ending the suspension of sanctions in the event of
non-compliance by the coup regime. The negotiators accepted the importance of es-
tablishing a date for President Aristide's return as part of the UN and OAS-bro-
kered talks, rather than as a detail to be worked out among the Haitians during
the transition. The negotiators also linked the date not to the process of forming
a new government but to their time frame for deployment of the international tech-
nical assistance mission for military and police reform. We accepted the four month
period-although we preferred a much shorter transition-based on the negotiators'
estimates that four months was the minimum period necessary to deploy the tech-
Negotiators have also suggested that President Aristide is constitutionally re-
quired to name a prime minister to spearhead the transition process. They argue
that Haiti's system of government divides powers between the president and prime
minister, that President Aristide alone cannot direct the transition process, and that
it is the lack of a prime minister that has created the current stalemate. Negotiators
suggest that the appointment of a prime minister would fill a power vacuum, enable
the re-establishment of a government, and lay the necessary groundwork for the re-
moval of coup leader Cedras. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Hai-
tian political system and the current crisis. President Aristide is the constitutional
head of state, with substantial power, because he is popularly elected by the Haitian
people, rather than by the Parliament. Since there is no majority party in Par-
liament, the Constitution requires the president to consult with the presidents of
the Senate and Chamber of Deputies on a prime minister designee. The political cri-
sis makes this nearly impossible. The president of the Senate is a pro-Aristide legis-
lator, but he is under threat from a pro-coup bloc of illegally elected Senators who
purport to have replaced him. A political vacuum does exist, but it was not created
byPrime Minister Malval's resignation and cannot be filled by his replacement. As
President Aristide has stated, the political vacuum stems from coup regime-spon-
sored violence that prevented Cabinet members under the Malval government from
governing. Until the entire high command steps down and is replaced by officers re-
sponsive to civilian authority, the vacuum will persist.
In the debate on this proposal, there has been virtually no discussion of the im-
portance of immediate, full deployment of the international military and police tech-
nical assistance mission in safeguarding any transition process. On Governors Is-
land, the UN and OAS assured President Aristide that the mission would be swiftly
deployed as a counterweight to the coup regime's continued presence during the
bulk of the transition period. The coup regime accepted this arrangement. The pro-
posal now being floated by the pro-coup bloc in Parliament permits the coup regime
once again to derail or substantially gut this important element of the transition.
The plan provides that a law on "international cooperation" on military and tech-
nical assistance would be debated along with the law separating the police from the
military. This step reverses the important progress achieved under the Governors
Island Agreement in deploying the mission, including a Status of Mission Agree-
ment signed with the UN by Prime Minister Malval and an initial deployment of
approximately 50 Canadians in Port-au-Prince.
Those who suggest that it is President Aristide's turn to take the initiative main-
tain that President Aristide's refusal to name a third prime minister leaves the
international community and the Haitian Parliament without a framework for re-
storing democracy to Haiti.
There is, of course, a framework for resolving this crisis: the Governors Island
Agreement. Within this framework, the Aristide government has proposed a way out
of the impasse, in a letter transmitted recently to United Nations Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The approach outlined addresses at the outset the key im-
pediment to the transition to democracy-the continued presence of the coup regime.
As the first step, the international community must use the leverage of increased
sanctions to require the entire military high command to relinquish power. Once the
high command has stepped down, the international human rights monitoring and
technical assistance missions can be fully deployed in Haiti. As envisioned in the
Governors Island Agreement, the international presence will create an environment
conducive to parliamentary deliberation and debate on reform legislation. It will
also permit consultation between the President and the Parliament on a new prime
minister and Cabinet, free from intimidation or reprisal. President Aristide would
return within ten days of the naming and ratification of the Prime Minister, permit-
ting him to supervise the transition process. Once the President has returned, the
international community can lift sanctions and resume the planned assistance for
economic and social reform programs.
Thirty-nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives agree with President
Aristide-they recently urged President Clinton to seek stiffer international sanc-
tions as the way to re-invigorate diplomatic efforts to restore democracy. The
Aristide government's proposed approach enjoys the support of Fermin Jean Louis,
the President of the Senate; of key leaders in the Chamber of Deputies, including
Samuel Madestin, the chair of the judiciary committee responsible for the law sepa-
rating the police from the military and other reform legislation; and of populist pro-
democracy parties whose coalition has a majority in the Chamber.
The coup regime has no intention of complying voluntarily with the Governors Is-
UN and OAS human rights experts certify that since the signing of the Gov-
ernors Island Agreement, the coup regime has continued to engage in unprece-
dented levels of human rights abuse.
(1) According to the UN/OAS mission charged with monitoring human
rights abuse, in Port-au-Prince alone, over 60 suspect deaths were reported
in September, and over a dozen in the first half of October, 1993. The mission
found evidence that these were targeted political assassinations by groups
tied to the military or by the military themselves.
(2) The regime has systematically targeted all segments of a once-vibrant
civil society, in a brutal effort to frustrate democracy's return. On September
11, Antoine Izmery was assassinated. A prominent Aristide supporter, follow-
ing the signing of the Governors Island Agreement, he was actively involved
in stimulating civic and grassroots groups to re-emerge and in organizing pro-
democracy assemblies. The UN/OAS mission concluded that the assassination
"was a carefully planned and orchestrated commando-style operation, involv-
ing the Haitian Armed Forces and their agents, who carried out the execution
with complete impunity." The UN/OAS mission hoped through its presence to
encourage civic leaders to re-emerge and to return to organizing activities. Ac-
cording to a senior UN official, this failed completely. The official explained
that the military continued to attack the mid to low level activists that tested
the principle, causing them to flee and forcing the leaders to remain in hid-
ing, During the post-Governors Island period, the military-controlled police
routinely arrived at the site of peaceful civic demonstrations almost as soon
as they began, forcibly dispersing participants and often seriously injuring
The neo-Duvalierist Front for Advancement and Progress of the Haitian
People (FRAPH) has emerged as a political vehicle for the coup to challenge
civilian elected officials at the polls. Through strong-arm recruitment tactics
and free food, the FRAPH is now attempting to enlist "members." FRAPH has
strong ties to the military, particularly coup leader Francois. It is responsible
for reviving the macoute network, and for much of the wave of terror against
pro-democracy Haitians, and was actively involved in frustrating the docking
of the Harlan County last year.
(3) Abuses of every type continue. In February alone, the prosecutor inves-
tigating the assassination of Antoine Izmery was kidnapped. According to the
UN/OAS mission, there were eight other kidnappings in the first half of Feb-
ruary, five involving members of popular organizations. A group of political
organizers from the pro-Aristide neighborhood of Cite Soleil were killed in a
violent attack on a "safe house" to which they had fled from severe repression
of their neighborhood. We have received credible reports of intimidation of
three Parliamentarians who recently traveled here to oppose publicly the pro-
posal endorsed by the pro-coup Parliamentarians.
The coup regime has repeatedly rebuffed efforts by international negotiators
and President Aristide to get the Agreement back on track.
(1) The regime refused to attend a UN-convened conference in Haiti in
early November to discuss ways to implement Governors Island. All parties
to the Governors Island talks, except the military, attended this meeting, as
did representatives of the U.S., Venezuelan, French and Canadian govern-
ments that form the "Four Friends," the UN and OAS leadership group on
this issue. Instead of attending, coup leader Raoul Cedras sent a letter impos-
ing further preconditions. UN/OAS Special Envoy Caputo adjourned the meet-
ing and denounced the coup regime for prolonging the crisis.
(2) In mid-December, the Four Friends of the UN and OAS Secretaries-Gen-
eral sent a military delegation to Haiti to discuss the coup regime's willing-
ness to implement the Agreement. Coup leader Cedras refused to receive
(3) In January of this year, President Aristide convened a conference in
Miami to discuss the political crisis and implementation of the Governors Is-
land Agreement. Once again, the military refused to attend.
It should now be clear that the current sanctions are not sufficiently stiff or tar-
geted to produce compliance:
The current global oil and arms embargo is too leaky to hamper the regime.
Shipments through the Dominican Republic keep the regime and its supporters
well supplied. The recent explosion of an informal gasoline warehouse in Port-
au-Prince, the sharp drop in the black market price from a high of $35/gallon
to a recent low of $12/gallon, and persistent traffic jams in the capitol leave no
doubt that the naval blockade of the Port-au-Prince port is an inadequate bar-
rier to oil shipments.
The U.S. commercial embargo permits continued assembly lant activity. U.S.
Government figures show that assembly plant activity has boomed during the
crisis. In 1993 alone, U.S. imports jumped by $47 million, an increase of almost
50%. Two-thirds of that increase, or $30 million, is attributable to apparel
trade, which is dominated by assembly plant activity. The humanitarian pro-
gram did not significantly contribute to this increase in trade. U.S. exports of
medicine rose by only $900,000; exports of rice increased by only $775,000 while
export of wheat and flour declined by $860,000.
Commercial air flights continue without restriction, permitting wealthy Hai-
tians to shop regularly in Miami for goods otherwise embargoed.
Until late October 1993, the coup leadership, their families and their supporters
were able to travel freely to the United States and to maintain bank accounts
and property here. At that point, the U.S. imposed an asset freeze on 41 indi-
viduals, including coup leaders Cedras and Francois. At the end of January, the
U.S. expanded asset sanctions to cover 523 members of the 925 member Haitian
officer corps. This is welcome, but too little and too late. It still leaves un-
touched the families of these individuals, half the officer corps, and supporters
of the coup regime. The 2V3 year delay in imposing asset sanctions, the three-
month delay in broadening asset sanctions to touch a meaningful segment of
the officer corps, and the exemption of family members and supporters has
given those targeted ample time to immunize holdings here from sanctions or
to transfer assets to other countries. Coup leader General Biamby has less than
$0.75 at risk, in a frozen Boston account.
The international community is still deliberating whether to impose a global
freeze on the visas and assets of the coup regime. Until global sanctions are im-
posed, the military, their families, and their supporters can insulate themselves
from the effects of the embargo by frequent travel and by moving assets and
ill-gotten gains from one country to another.
Threats are not meaningful because they have become commonplace and are not
accompanied by tough actions:
The UN committed that numerous violations of human rights during the demo-
cratic transition period preceding President Aristide's return would trigger re-
newal of sanctions. From early July at the outset of the transition period, the
UN/OAS human rights monitoring mission reported "alarming levels" of abuse.
Sanctions were not renewed until late October, after the deadline for the res-
ignation of Cedras had passed.
On October 30, the Security Council condemned the Haitian military for block-
ing President Aristide's scheduled return.
In mid-November, the Security Council President signaled a willingness to
strengthen sanctions if the coup regime continued obstructing implementation
of the Governors Island Agreement.
In mid-December, the UN Security Council passed a resolution requiring the
coup regime to implement commitments under the Governors Island Accord by
January 15 or face increased sanctions.
In mid-January, the deadline for compliance passed without any movement by
the coup regime or reaction from the international community.
Despite the complete lack of cooperation by the coup regime since October 30,
the international community has yet to impose additional sanctions.
There is an international consensus that the coup regime has failed to honor its
commitments under the Governors Island Agreement. There is also an international
consensus that the coup regime is responsible for the current crisis.
The next step is clear. The international community must redouble its efforts and
impose tough targeted sanctions against the military coup regime for its failure to
honor its commitments under the Governors Island Agreement. As we have seen in
Bosnia, once the United Nations started acting against the aggressors, the violence
began abating. Moreover, this is exactly what the Governors Island Agreement pro-
vides and what the UN, the OAS and the Four Friends have been promising since
October. The last ultimatum, issued by the Four Friends in mid-December, threat-
ened a full scale commercial embargo if the coup regime did not step down and per-
mit Aristide's return by January 15. Regrettably, the international community al-
lowed the deadline to slip, and has spent valuable time arguing over the shape of
a sanctions proposal and urging President Aristide to make more concessions. This
signals the coup regime that the international community is not serious about re-
storing democracy to Haiti. It also prolongs the crisis and the suffering. As Presi-
dent Aristide has repeatedly made clear, the international community should im-
pose the strongest possible sanctions-to dislodge the coup regime in the shortest
possible time and thereby minimize the suffering of the Haitian people.
Some worry that increasing the commercial sanctions on Haiti will irrevocably de-
stroy it. This concern is well intentioned, but misguided. The coup regime has
plunged Haiti into a human rights nightmare. Our refusal to toughen sanctions pro-
longs the crisis and the reign of terror. It also prolongs ordinary Haitians' poverty
and misery. The coup regime and the undemocratic governments that preceded the
Aristide government kept Haiti at the bottom of the hemisphere's misery index, and
on a path of steady deterioration relative to other countries in the hemisphere. As
a soon to be issued report commissioned by the United Nations Development Pro-
gram ("UNDP") concludes, "it is evident that the abuses of human rights, adminis-
trative chaos, and generalized corruption must be considered among the fundamen-
tal causes of the continuing deterioration of the standard of living in Haiti." Until
Haiti has a representative, democratic government, its citizens will continue to be
deprived of basic services and will remain dependent on international relief. The
UNDP-commissioned report notes, "The situation is paradoxical. The military,
which is benefiting from the revenues generated from contraband and which con-
trols the informal sectors of the country's economy, seek the lifting of sanctions and
are mounting an international campaign in the name of humanitarian assistance
and human rights, which they disrespect and violate on a daily basis. [In fact, Mr.
Chairman, just this weekend, we were reminded of the illicit profits being made
during the crisis when the Coast Guard intercepted a shipment of 300 pounds of
cocaine aboard a Haiti-bound Honduran freighter officially carrying cement.] In con-
trast, the civic/grassroots sectors, directly affected by the consequences of the Hai-
tian crisis, among them the petroleum embargo, insist on maintaining and strength-
ening the embargo and blockade. This apparent contradiction is explainable by the
fact that each group has a different understanding regarding the real implications
of the lifting of international sanctions and the embargo. For the military authori-
ties, it signifies a reaffirmation of their hegemonic position in Haiti, and for the
civic/grassroots sectors it implies the consolidation of a permanent condition of de-
pendence and marginalization."
Humanitarian aid has always been exempt from sanctions. Throughout the crisis,
the international community has expanded the scope of that exception to respond
to pressing needs. The UN/OAS recently began an emergency fuel program to en-
sure that humanitarian aid supplies could be delivered within Haiti, notwithstand-
ing the global oil embargo. Respected relief experts agree that the coup regime is
creating the principal difficulties in administering the humanitarian aid program.
The regime's campaign of terror has affected both relief workers and relief recipi-
ents, rupturing locally based distribution networks and disrupting efforts to target
feeding and provide staged vaccinations and medical assistance. The group Physi-
cians for Human Rights found that local health clinics and cooperatives have been
destroyed or abandoned; immunization workers have been physically threatened
and prevented from doing their jobs; and forced migration-of rural organizers and
leaders, due to the re-emergence of macoutes-has interfered with food supply and
delivery of all health services, including immunizations for children. Humanitarian
aid is clearly a stop-gap measure; until the coup regime is removed from power, the
public health crisis will continue unabated whether or not sanctions remain in
p lace. The UNDP-commissioned report corroborates the findings of Physicians for
Human Rights: "the public health crisis is rooted in the political crisis and the relat-
ed human rights abuses * the lifting of sanctions will not stop the deaths stem-
ming from violations of human rights, or those occasioned by interruptions in the
provision of medicine, the destruction of public health centers, and the persecution
of social workers.* *"
Haiti tests the international community's resolve and commitment to democratic
principles as no other trouble spot has. The Haitian people overwhelmingly chose
President Aristide and democracy in 1990. They have repeatedly signaled their will-
ingness to suffer additional sanctions if it will serve the purpose of restoring democ-
racy and removing the coup leadership. The international community should heed
their appeal. Our policy must be to strengthen the civilian elected government
against a coup regime and its supporters that intend to return Haiti to a colonial
It is shameful that this nation so close to our borders remains in the grip of a
bloodthirsty illicit regime despite universal condemnation and consensus that the
regime must go. In pressing President Aristide to make still more concessions we
are selling out the majority of the Haitian citizens to placate a small and violent
minority. If we waiver in our commitment to President Aristide, we risk the future
of Haiti. The UNDP-commissioned report warns against any easing of sanctions that
is not accompanied by a political solution to restore democracy. The UNDP con-
cludes that such an approach would "consolidate the military's power, debilitate
Haiti's democratic sectors, reinforce a system of institutionalized repression, and put
into question the viability of efforts to restore democracy." We also risk the future
of other fledgling democracies in the hemisphere. It is no coincidence that military
leaders in Venezuela, Peru and Guatemala challenged their democracies in the
months following the Haitian coup. Because of the constant, mixed signals that have
been sent by the international community over the past 21/2 years, coup leaders
Cedras, Francois, the high command and their supporters are convinced that they
will win in the end and the people of Haiti will lose. That would be tragic for Haiti
and for the cause of democracy throughout the hemisphere. The course is obvious:
We must redouble our efforts to oust this illegal coup regime. Sanctions brought the
coup regime to the bargaining table at Governors Island. Sanctions are the key to
the regime's ouster.
Senator DODD. Well, thank you very much, Congressman Barnes.
Let me just say I think you have done an excellent job in working
with President Aristide in these many months, and I think your as-
sessment is absolutely correct.
My own view is that this proposal that is being shopped around
is not worth the paper it is written on, quite frankly. I think it is
insulting, to put it mildly, to ask the duly elected and chosen rep-
resentative of the Haitian people to once again trust a group of
people who have not once, not twice, not three times, not four
times, who have repeatedly over and over and over again violated
every agreement they have signed, have continued to engage in a
systematic execution of the opposition in their country. As I say,
they have done so in the public view of the world, intentionally so
that the world would know what their intentions are for anyone
else who might continue to support the return of President
Aristide. So, I am deeply disappointed that that proposal is even
being suggested as being vaguely realistic.
I mentioned before you came here, the Bob Novak article, he is
a man whom I happen to like personally, but there is not much
that I would subscribe to in his column. I think the one point he
made the other day is that Raoul Cedras and others have no inten-
tion of leaving, based on his conversations with them. So, I do not
know who is drafting these proposals. The suggestion that some-
how the military have already agreed to something, which from his
discussions with them, they have absolutely rejected. Why we are
even proposing such an idea with that kind of information avail-
able to us is beyond me.
Mr. BARNES. Michel Francois was quoted recently as saying the
only way they will get him out is in a casket, which is confirmation
of conversations he apparently had with Mr. Novak.
Senator DODD. Thank you very much. Harold, we thank you for
STATEMENT OF HAROLD HONGJU KOH, SMITH PROFESSOR
OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND CODIRECTOR OF THE AL-
LARD K. LOWENSTEIN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
CLINIC, YALE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL, NEW HAVEN, CT
Mr. KOH. Senator, I appear here not as a representative of any
government, but as a lawyer for Haitian refugees. I appeared be-
fore the Supreme Court on their behalf last year and also as the
director of Yale Law School, Schell Center for International Human
It seems to me that as a professor, my comparative advantage is
in trying to figure out what is wrong with our policy, how we made
the mistakes that we made, and then to try to suggest how we
should avoid making those mistakes again.
To be blunt, watching our Haitian policy unfold over these last
few years has been like watching a slow motion train wreck as two
administrations have missed or mishandled one opportunity after
another. As it stands, our policy is close to upside-down. We are
hard on the refugees and we are soft on the coup leaders, rather
than the other way around.
How did we get into this mess? It seems to me when a Nation
like ours confronts gross violations of human rights, it has a range
of possible options. At the first level, you can think of things we
can do here, for example, adopting human rights standards, being
consistent in our condemnation, being accurate in our monitoring
and reporting, and providing safe haven, not necessarily asylum,
but safe haven for refugees while human rights abuses are going
If we choose to move to a second level, we can engage in political
intervention of a diplomatic kind. If we choose to ratchet things up
further, we can deny economic benefits such as trade benefits or
MFN or visas or landing rights, or we can impose economic sanc-
tions through the use of assets freezes or oil blockages. If we want
to move up to the fourth highest level, we can do military interven-
tion of various kinds, ranging from rescue to humanitarian provi-
sion of food to more limited forms of military intervention.
It seems to me that you do not have to agree with me on exactly
which level we ought to be operating, to agree on four basic prin-
ciples. First, we should keep the pressure up. When the U.S. Gov-
ernment chooses to start with condemnation, safe haven policies,
and reporting, it should not relax those policies as it moves up the
scale of sanctions. If the regime proves recalcitrant, the United
States should keep the pressure constant at the low end and ratch-
et up the pressure if more leverage is needed.
Second, we should avoid too little too late. Economic sanctions
will not bite, if we freeze bank accounts after the money is gone;
oil embargoes do not work if they are imposed after oil stockpiles
have been built up. Democracies are fragile, as you well know, and
once a democratically elected government has been ousted, its abil-
ity to restore itself has a very short half-life. So, many of these eco-
nomic sanctions will mean nothing if they are applied too little too
Third, we can also agree on the principle of safe haven. Refugee
outflows are a symptom, not a problem. As Congressman Barnes
pointed out, when Aristide was in power, few Haitians fled. To
solve the refugee crisis, we have to address the democracy crisis.
Ironically, this point was recognized by Warren Christopher in
1980 as Deputy Secretary of State when he said our support for
human rights offers the only long-term solution to the most press-
ing problem on the international agenda, the problem of refugees.
Fourth and finally, we need to pursue regional burden-sharing
programs. Both refugees and the restoration of democracy in Haiti
are regional problems, American problems, not just U.S. problems.
We need to work out their solutions in a collective forum.
If this is what we should do, how should we have approached the
situation in Haiti back in September 1991? Obviously, at the outset
we should have started out with domestic action: aggressively criti-
cizing the regime; accurately monitoring, reporting, and certifying
abuses; putting in place a temporary safe haven policy; and then
we should have pushed up the ladder to further sanctions. We
should have applied principles of regional burden-sharing, devel-
oped interim solutions to the refugee problems, and we should have
kept the pressure on without relaxing our moral condemnation,
without twisting our reporting, and without adjusting our safe
haven policy. We should have accelerated quickly to full-scale eco-
nomic sanctions. That is what we should have done.
What did we in fact do? We began with moral condemnation, but
then the Bush administration imposed economic sanctions too tim-
idly and slowly. When the refugees started coming, the administra-
tion began to view the refugees as the problem, not the regime. In
May 1992, President Bush abandoned the safe haven principle and
started returning all Haitians summarily to their persecutors.
As a Presidential candidate, President Clinton recognized that
this was a cruel policy. Yet, upon assuming office, he fell into the
same trap. He also relaxed the safe haven policy. Once he did that,
it was inevitable that he would also relax his moral condemnation
of human rights abuses, that monitoring and reporting of the
abuses by the Government would become suspect, and that this
laxity would undercut acceptance of the international human rights
standards at home.
At Governors Island, these errors were compounded. Instead of
keeping the pressure up, we lifted the trade sanctions before Presi-
dent Aristide returned to Haiti. We supported an amnesty for the
coup leaders which eliminated their incentives not to engage in
human rights abuses. We did not insist that they leave Haiti, as
we did with Duvalier, Avril, and with Marcos in the Philippines.
Only after it became clear that the coup leaders were going to flout
Governors Island and the killings of Antoine Izmery and Guy
Malary, did we move enough to condemn what they were doing.
The result is that we have this paradoxical policy: we enforce an
economic blockade at the same time as we are returning innocent,
unarmed Haitian people to the same thugs. When John Shattuck
criticizes the Haitian policy, it is his statement which the Govern-
ment calls "wrong outrageous," not our policy. Most tragic, this was
a textbook opportunity for the Clinton administration to implement
its policy on democracy and human rights. Yet now they are in-
clined to relax that.
So, what is wrong with the current proposal? Again, we are not
choosing to keep the pressure up. The idea that we lift sanctions
before the President gets back is a classic example of the same
error we made before: too little too late. Again, we are proposing
amnesty and eliminating the incentive to get rid of human rights
abuses while this is going on. We have no safe haven proposal in
Finally, we have not utilized the principle of regional burden-
sharing. We have no proposals for the return of the international
civilian mission, no insurance for the protection of President
Aristide when he returns.
Senator, Congress has been passive far too long in the face of the
abuses that have been going on in Haiti. The power over immigra-
tion is a power of Congress under our Constitution. Ours is a Na-
tion of refugees. Most of our ancestors came here by boat. If they
can do this to the Haitians, they could do this to any of us. I fer-
vently hope that these hearings will encourage Congress to step
from the sidelines and to try to break this cycle of disaster before
it continues again.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Koh follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MR. KofI
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee: My name is Harold Hongju
Koh. I am the Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law
and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr., Center for International Human Rights,
Yale University. For the last two years, I also served as Counsel of Record for a
class of Haitian refugees and a group of Haitian Service Organizations in Sale v.
Haitian Centers Council, 113 S. Ct. 2549 (1993) and 823 F. Supp. 1028 (E.D.N.Y.
1993). That case culminated last June in a two-part decision: the Supreme Court
upheld the Bush-Clinton policy of summarily returning all fleeing Haitians to Haiti
pursuant to the so-called "Kennebunkport Order," Exec. Order 12,807, but several
weeks later, a Brooklyn federal judge, after trial, ordered the release of some 300
Haitians who held been held behind barbed wire in Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba,
for more than a year.
I speak here today as a law professor and an advocate for refugees and inter-
national human rights, not for any government. Let me offer a brief diagnosis of
the current political crisis in Haiti.
Let me be blunt. Watching the U.S. Government's Haitian policy unfold over the
last two years has been like watching a slow-motion train wreck, as two administra-
tions have missed or mishandled one policy opportunity after another. As it cur-
rently stands, our policy toward Haiti is perilously close to upside-down: we are in-
ordinately hard on Haitian refugees, and inordinately tolerant of the illegal military
coup, rather than the other way around.
Our current crisis has resulted from a combined failure of recognition and resolve.
We have not adequately recognized our national interests in preserving democracy
and human rights in Haiti, nor have we acted with sufficient speed and resolve to
address those interests. How did this happen?
When a nation such as ours confronts gross violations of human rights of the kind
that have occurred in Haiti since the September 1991 coup, it has a range of foreign
policy options. These options can be grouped into four levels, ranging from Level
One, the least interventionistic, to Level Four, the most interventionistic. At Level
One, Domestic Actions, I would include all of those policy steps our government
could take here at home in the United States, without the help or assistance of
other nations, to condemn the human rights abuse abroad. At this level, I would
include such measures as: (1) adopting international human rights standards as
U.S. domestic law by treaty or statute; (2) maintaining consistent public moral con-
demnation of the human rights abuses abroad; (3) accurately monitoring, reporting,
and certifying those abuses; and (4) providing temporary safe haven for refugees
who come to our shores-not asylum, but some form of temporary refuge or pro-
tected status until the political crisis can be solved.
At Level Two, Political Intervention, I would group more proactive policy meas-
ures, such as: (1) diplomatic intervention, (2) regional political action, and so forth,
for example, the mobilization of shame through OAS resolutions.
Moving up to Level Three, Economic Intervention, our nation could both deny eco-
nomic benefits to Haiti-withhold carrots-or impose economic sanctions-brandish
sticks. Under Denial of Benefits I would include: (1) withholding of trade benefits-
Most-Favored Nation Status, membership in the General System of Preferences, etc.
(2) multilateral loans, (3) visas, (4) export licenses, (5) air landing rights, (6) foreign
aid-whether security assistance under Section 502b of the Foreign Assistance Act
or general or country-specific development assistance under Section 116, or (7) any-
thing else the target nation might hold dear-the Olympic Games, for example, in
the recent case of China. Under imposition of economic sanctions, I would include
the whole range of options available under the President's unilateral or multilateral
emergency economic powers: (1) assets freezes, (2) trade embargoes, (3) blockades
of oil, etc.
Finally, and most extreme, when all else fails, the U.S. could theoretically pursue
"Level Four" options: Military Intervention. Such options would range from (1) lim-
ited forms of humanitarian rescue, to (2) military intervention to provide food and
humanitarian assistance-as we did in Somalia, for example-to (3) limited inter-
vention and (4) larger-scale multilateral activities.
Let me caution that by listing military intervention as a policy option, I am nei-
ther advocating it for Haiti nor addressing the domestic constitutional question of
whether congressional approval would be required for such action under either the
War Powers Clause of the Constitution or the War Powers Resolution. My point is
simply that we need not agree on how far and how quickly the U.S. should go in
any particular situation, to agree on five basic propositions.
First, as we go up the scale, the instruments available to us become increasingly
blunt instruments for achieving the restoration of democracy and human rights. A
second principle: keeping the pressure on. Whatever the U.S. government chooses
to do at Level One-domestic actions-should not be relaxed as it moves up the
spectrum of sanctions. If the Haitian regime proves recalcitrant, the United States
should keep the pressure constant at the low end, then ratchet up the pressure if
more leverage is needed.
Third, avoiding too little, too late. Economic sanctions will not bite if we freeze
bank accounts after the deposits have been withdrawn; oil embargoes will not work
if they are imposed after stockpiles have been built up. We must remember that de-
mocracies are fragile, and that once a democratically elected government has been
ousted, its ability to resume power has a very short half-life. Thus, many of these
sanctions will mean nothing unless they are imposed swiftly and aggressively.
Fourth, the safe haven principle. The refugee outflow from Haiti is not the prob-
lem, but the symptom. While the Aristide Government was in power, few Haitians
fled. To solve the human rights crisis, we must address the democracy crisis, while
showing the refugees compassion and offering them some form of refuge until de-
mocracy is restored. This point was recognized in 1980 by then-Deputy Secretary
of State Warren Christopher in a speech entitled "Human Rights and the National
Interest," where he observed:
[O]ur support for human rights may offer the only long-term solution to
one of our most pressing problems on the international agenda-the prob-
lem of refugees.* * When a government respects the human rights of its
citizens, refugees are a rare phenomenon. And we know that refugees are
more likely to return home when the human rights situation has improved
Fifth and finally, we should pursue a regional burden-sharing approach to the res-
toration of democracy and human rights in Haiti. Both refugee policy and the res-
toration of democracy in Haiti are American, not exclusively United States', prob-
lems. Both issues affect all nations in the region, and should be addressed by short
and long-term multilateral solutions agreed among the member states of Organiza-
tion of American States (OAS) and the United Nations.
The goal of any effective United States policy should be to develop long-term re-
gional burden-sharing solutions to the democracy problems, initiating interim meas-
ures to address the refugee problem humanely, while exercising moral leadership
to mobilize public and multilateral support for both efforts.
Applying these principles, what should the U.S. have done in September 1991,
when the Aristide government was first overthrown, to help restore democracy and
human rights? At the outset, we should have started at Level One measures and
moved quickly up the scale: aggressively criticizing the regime for violating inter-
national human rights, accurately monitoring, reporting, and certifying human
rights abuses, and putting into place a humane temporary safe haven policy for Hai-
tian refugees until democracy could be restored.
Applying the principle of regional burden-sharing, we should have quickly con-
vened regional bodies to develop a program of multilateral action toward both the
Haitian military regime and interim problem of dealing with refugee outflows. Such
a program would have been authorized by the Santiago Commitment to Democracy
and the various OAS resolutions urging the restoration of constitutional government
'See. e.g., OAS Resolution AG/CIRES. 1080 (XXI-0/91) on Representative Democracy (calling for
an automatic meeting of the OAS Permanent Council "in the event of any occurrences giving
rise to the sudden or irregular interruption of * the legitimate exercise of power by the
democratically elected government in any of the Organization's member states * "); OAS res-
olution MRE/RES. 1/91, document OEA/Ser.FN.1 (Oct. 3, 1991) (demanding "full restoration of
the rule of law and of the constitutional regime," the immediate reinstatement of Aristide, rec-
ommending action to bring about the diplomatic isolation of the junta and urging all OAS states
to suspend nonhumanitarian economic financial and commercial ties with Haiti); OAS resolution
Third, we should have kept the pressure on. Without relaxing our moral con-
demnation, our political reporting, or our safe haven policy, we should have moved
quickly to full-scale economic sanctions, while preserving limited forms of military
intervention as an option.
In fact, as you well know, our government did not take these obvious and prudent
policy measures. When the coup occurred in the fall of 1981, the Bush Administra-
tion began with moral condition ion and regional approaches to political solutions,
but imposed economic sanctions too slowly and timidly. When boatloads of refugees
started to come, the Administration began to view the refugees, not the regime, as
the problem. In May 1992, President Bush abandoned the safe haven principle, and
adopted an unprecedented policy of summarily and returning all Haitians directly
As a presidential candidate, President Clinton repeatedly and correctly criticized
the "Bush Administration's cruel policy of returning Haitian refugees to a brutal
dictatorship without an asylum hearing."2 Yet upon assuming office, he endorsed
that policy as his own and defended the Bush repatriation policy before the Su-
preme Court. Once he took this step, it became inevitable that his Administration
would relax its moral condemnation of human rights violations in Haiti, skew its
monitoring and reporting of those abuses, and undercut the acceptance of inter-
national human rights standards at home.
At Governor's Island last summer, these errors were compounded. Instead of
keeping the pressure up, the Administration urged that the trade sanctions be lifted
before President Aristide returned to Haiti, and supported a broad grant of amnesty
to the military leaders, effectively eliminating their incentives not to engage in on-
going human rights abuses. No insistence was made that the key coup leaders leave
Haiti, although our government never hesitated to make similar requests in the
case of Duvalier, Prosper Avril, and Ferdinand Marcos, for example. After Gov-
ernor's Island, when it became clear that the coup leaders were not honoring the
terms of the pact, and engineered the killings of Aristide supporter Antoine Izmery
and Minister of Justice Guy Malary, the Administration did not move quickly
enough to protest, or to make it clear that such abuses would not be tolerated. Fi-
MRE/RES.2/91 (Oct. 8, 1991) (condemning the decision to replace the constitutional president
of Haiti); OAS resolution MRE/RES. 3/92, May 17, 1992 (asking OAS members to deny port ac-
cess to vessels violating the embargo and to freeze the assets of coup supporters); OAS Res. CF/
RES. 594 (923/92), Nov. 10, 1992 (urging the OAS member states to act through the United
Nations to strengthen representative democracy and constitutional order in Haiti).
2He went on to say:
The Bush Administration is wrong to deny Haitian refugees the right to make their
case for political asylum. We respect the right of refugees from other parts of the world
to apply for political asylum, and Haitians should not be treated differently.
Statement by Bill Clinton on Decision by U.S. Court of Appeals: Bush Administration Policy is
Illegal (July 29, 1992) (emphasis added). Only three days after the Kennebunkport Order issued,
Governor Clinton declared:
I am appalled by the decision of Bush Administration to pick up fleeing Haitian on
the high seas and forcibly return them to Haiti before considering their claim to political
asylum. It was bad enough when there were failures to offer them due process in mak-
ing such a claim. Now they are offered no process at all before being returned.
This process must not-stand. It is a blow to the principle of first asylum and to Ameri-
ca's moral authority in defending the rights of refugees around the world. This most
recent policy shift is another sad example of the Administration's callous response to
a terrible human tragedy.
As I have said before, if I were President, I would-in the absence of clear and com-
pelling evidence that they weren't political refugees-give them temporary asylum until
we restored the elected government of Haiti. Statement of Governor Bill Clinton on Hai-
tian Refugees (May 27, 1992) (emphasis added).
In September, Governor Clinton issued a statement "reaffirm[ing] my opposition to the Bush
Administration's cruel policy of returning Haitian refugees to their oppressors in Haiti without
a fair hearing for political asylum." Governor Clinton Reaffirms Opposition to Bush Administra-
tion's Policy on Haiti (Sept. 9, 1992). Even after his election, the President-elect stated:
[W]ith regard to the Haitians, I think my position on that has been pretty clear all
along. I believe that there is a legitimate distinction between political and economic ref-
ugees. But I think that we should have a process in which these Haitians get a chance
to make their case. I think that the blanket sending them back to Haiti under the cir-
cumstances which have prevailed for the last year was an error and so I will modify
Wash. Post, Nov. 13, 1992 at Al0, col. 3 (emphasis added). Finally, Bill Clinton's & Al Gore's
Putting People First: Ilow We Can All Change America stated the incoming Administration's in-
tent to "Stop the Forced Repatriation of Haitian Refugees-Reverse Bush Administration policy,
and oppose repatriation." Id. at 119 (1992).
nally, when lightly armed U.S. military personnel were sent to Haiti with the stated
purpose of retraining the military, Haitian gangs staged a demonstration at the
dock. Rather than responding with resolve, our government turned the ship, the
Harlan County, around and sent it back, sending a clear signal to the junta and
its supporters of our lack of resolve in enforcing the Governor's Island pact or restor-
ing democracy and human rights.
Our upside-down policy is replete with ironies. Our warships are now enforcing
an economic blockade off the coast of Haiti, alongside Coast Guard cutters who are
intercepting and returning unarmed boat people to the same Haitian military The
Administration concedes that the threat of violence renders it too unsafe for the
armed American soldiers to land in Port-au-Prince, yet Coast Guard cutters con-
tinue to return unarmed boat people to the same Haitian thugs who have arrested
and punished them upon return.4 When John Shattuck, the Clinton Administra-
tion's top human rights official, returned from Haiti in mid-December and suggested
that a review of our Haitian policy might be necessary an anonymous official said
that his statement, but not our policy, "was completely wrong and outrageous."5
Most tragic of all, Haiti presented the textbook opportunity for the Clinton Adminis-
tration to implement its foreign policy of promoting democracy and human rights,
yet the Administration now seems inclined to relax the pursuit of both democracy
and human rights.
During the campaign, President-elect Clinton declared that "U.S. foreign policy
cannot be divorced from the moral principles most Americans share."6 Most Ameri-
cans share the belief that our nation should support elected democracies, promote
human rights, exert moral leadership, and pursue a humanitarian, yet realistic, pol-
icy toward refugees. The Haitian refugee situation presented the incoming adminis-
tration with both a challenge and an opportunity: the challenge of succeeding where
its predecessor had failed in solving a complex political and refugee crisis, and the
opportunity to do so in a way that signaled a return to-not a rejection of-our most
fundamental American values. Thus far, the Clinton Administration has neither
met the challenge nor grasped the opportunity.
I sincerely hope that these hearings will spur Congress to step from the sidelines
and take action to remedy this grave situation at this very late date.
Thank you very much. I stand ready to answer any questions that you may have.
Senator DODD. Thank you very much, Mr. Koh. I appreciate your
testimony immensely. Ms. Burkhalter.
STATEMENT OF HOLLY J. BURKHALTER, ADVOCACY
DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, WASHINGTON, DC
Ms. BURKHALTER. Thanks very much for having Human Rights
Watch at this hearing and thank you for your opening statement.
It was very fine.
I had not thought that I would use my scarce minutes to go over
the human rights record of the de facto military regime that rules
Haiti because I thought it was something that everyone knows
about. Certainly you know about it and your staff knows about it
and the witnesses that preceded me know about it. However, the
Clinton administration does not appear to know about it and is not
speaking frankly about it. Therefore, I am obliged to bring out just
a few facts that are elaborated in my lengthy statement which I
know will appear in the record.
It concerns me greatly that one of the first casualties of the Clin-
ton administration's human rights policy was truthfulness, and in
this regard, the administration follows in the footsteps of previous
governments that have not been frank about human rights. I would
even go so far as to say that Haiti is the Clinton administration's
3R.W. Apple, Jr., President Orders Six U.S. Warships for Haiti Patrol, N.Y. Tires, Oct. 16,
19093 at Al, col. 6.
4Howard W. French, Boat People Face Persecution, N.Y. Times, Oct. 30, 1993 at 5, col. 6.
5Holmes, "Rebuking Aide, U.S. Says that Haiti Policy Stands," N.Y. Times, December 16,
6P-resident-elect Clinton's Georgetown speech, Dec. 12, 1991, at 281.
El Salvador because many of the tricks and games that previous
governments have used to obscure and obfuscate the human rights
situation in Central America are being emulated by this adminis-
tration on Haiti.
For example, one of the most concerning human rights develop-
ments in the last year has been the development of the FRAPH,
the paramilitary force that is working hand in glove with the Hai-
tian Armed Forces. The FRAPH claims it has 300,000 members. I
do not know if it does, but it certainly has tens of thousands of
paramilitary thugs who are responsible for much of the killing,
rape, torture, abuse, destruction, and most importantly, destruction
of civil society in Haiti.
The Clinton administration managed to avoid mention of the
FRAPH and the existence of this enormous paramilitary organiza-
tion that spreads the army's tentacles into every community in
Haiti, and managed not to mention that FRAPH ever exists, in this
year's State Department country report.
Similarly, on the question of whether returnees are treated abu-
sively or fairly, this administration has been extremely-well, it
has been just absolutely wrong about what happens to returned
Haitians. They told our team that was in Haiti just a few weeks
ago that, oh, well, maybe the returnees get picked up by the army.
They get shaken down for money. They get slapped, around a little
bit, but hey, it is not really repression. They are not really hurt.
Nothing really happens to them.
Well, as a matter of fact, my organization has shown that a num-
ber of detainees are picked up and jailed. No one has access to
them. The international community has no access to them. Human
Rights Watch has no access to them, and the Embassy itself has
no access to returnees that have been jailed and shaken down, ac-
cording to the Embassy, by soldiers who meet them at the dock.
The administration, just like the bad old days in El Salvador,
punishes the messenger of the bad news instead of the people that
brought you the abuses. I must say that observing the way that
John Shattuck was treated when he spoke the truth about U.S. pol-
icy toward Haiti and toward the refugees reminded me very much
of the way the Reagan White House repudiated Ambassador Hin-
ton when he spoke out plainly about death squads in 1983.
Finally, by focusing on numbers of killings rather than the phe-
nomenon of destruction of civil society and the complete and total
decapitation of the popular organizations that were Aristide's polit-
ical base, this administration focuses on numbers, that ugly old
numbers game we saw way too much of in Salvador.
Probably the two aspects of the Clinton administration policy,
however, that alarmed me the most are, one, the in-country proc-
essing program which has deprived Haitians of that one right that
they still should be able to retain. They have little else, but like
every other human being on the planet, Haitians should have the
right to flee when their lives are in danger, and it is that right to
escape that the U.S. Government has prevented. No amount of tin-
kering with a very poor policy of dealing with refugee applications
in that country or onboard ship can substitute for desperate and
frightened and terrorized people's right to try to leave their country
which we are preventing.
My organization has made a lot of recommendations about alter-
natives to the present policy with regard to the treatment of refu-
gees and asylum seekers.
The second aspect of policy that I find the most disturbing is the
ceaseless pressure behind the scenes on President Aristide on the
issue of impunity for the army. The Clinton administration says it
has a publicly neutral position on whether or not the Haitian
Armed Forces should be accountable in some way for the atrocities
that they have committed over the past years. In fact, the United
States has no position on that whatsoever, but behind the scenes
twisted Aristide's arm behind his back and literally forced the
elected President to his knees on the question of whether or not
there should be some ability to purge the Armed Forces, at least
Even Aristide does not insist on trials knowing how fragile the
Haitian judiciary is and how porous it is for political pressure
which he himself in the past has exercised. Even the President has
not insisted on trials and we do not either, but there must be some
way to identify the murderers in the Haitian Armed Forces and to
purge them so that their reign of terror is not continued.
On this position our Government, which says it is neutral, is not
neutral at all. The Clinton administration is insisting that Presi-
dent Aristide agree to the army's demand for absolute impunity
and this I think is the key to this crisis. The army has no reason
to move on these political questions because if they hold out for a
better deal, they will get it, and they have gotten a better deal,
whereas the elected President of the country insists that there be
some accountability for human rights abuses, as he should. Wash-
ington is forcing down his throat an absolute amnesty for all
crimes that assures that these people will be around forever to con-
tinue this reign of terror and make it impossible for a civilian gov-
ernment to rule that country.
We have a number of alternatives. The first would be to cease
the illegal policy of refoulement, of sending refugees back without
a proper hearing.
Two, we must speak frankly about abuses, and I believe that we
would be speaking more frankly about abuses if we were not trying
to justify the return of helpless people to terror.
Three, we should end our public neutrality on the question of im-
punity for the Armed Forces and line up fair and square behind the
right thing which would be some form of accountability for this
Four, we should expand the freezing of assets and visas to go be-
yond the inner core of the army, but also to their civilian support-
Five, we should target the sanctions policy so that it hits the peo-
ple that it was aimed at and provide some form of amelioration for
the very poorest.
Six, and most importantly, there must be a U.N. and OAS proc-
ess back on track again, and that process must include some inter-
nationally supervised form of accountability so that the Haitian
people can know that their rights will be protected and at the same
time members of the Armed Forces will not have to fear the mob
77-388 0 94 3
violence and the spontaneous uprisings that have occurred in the
[The prepared statement of Ms. Burkhalter follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF Ms. BURKIIALTER
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to testify before your subcommit-
tee about the human rights situation in Haiti. My name is Holly Burkhalter, and
I am the Washington Director of Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch,
which was founded in 1978, reports on human rights abuses around the globe, as
well as maintaining special projects on women's rights, arms sales, and prison con-
At this morning's testimony I am representing my own organization as well as
the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, with whom Human Rights Watch/
Americas collaborates on Haiti. The National Coalition maintains an office in Port-
au-Prince, and HRW/Americas researchers travel frequently to the region. Together
with the National Coalition, we have published five reports on Haiti since the Sep-
tember 1991 coup that overthrew President Aristide. In addition to reports about
Haiti, we have issued dozens of statements, published articles, and held briefings
about human rights developments in that country.
As you know, our work on Haiti is not limited to documenting and denouncing
human rights violations. We have also closely monitored U.S. policy toward Haiti
and have criticized policies that do not support human rights principles. We have
urged the international community to include human rights as an essential compo-
nent in efforts to restore President Aristide and democracy to Haiti.
TIlE CURRENT IMPASSE
Before describing the current human rights situation in Haiti and a critique of
U.S. policy toward Haiti as it affects human rights, I would like to describe our rec-
ommendation on breaking the current impasse in a negotiated settlement to restore
President Aristide and democracy. There has been a great deal of discussion about
tightening the current embargo and/or strengthening targeted sanctions to pressure
the de facto leaders in Haiti to honor obligations they made in the Governors Island
Accord. We believe that the wisest course at this time is for the Clinton Administra-
tion to review a badly flawed policy on Haiti, and to at last address clearly and pub-
licly the source of the impasse--the army's intransigence and abusiveness. The
President, Secretary of State, and Special Envoy must make it plain that the U.S.
opposes a blanket amnesty for the worst abusers and supports President Aristide's
right at a future date, to purge the armed forces of the worst abusers.
Until now, the U.S. has not supported President Aristide on these, the only two
issues upon which he has insisted. In fact, the U.S. has pressured Aristide to com-
promise on these issues. This tactic has encouraged the military leaders to hold out
for additional concessions, thus prolonging the stalemate. If the United States
makes it plain that the issue of impunity for the army is not open for discussion,
by declaring that the U.S. supports the democratically-elected president who is at-
tempting to uphold his constitution, it will become clear to the armed forces for the
first time that there is no advantage to prolonging the crisis. At the very least, if
the U.S. changes its position and supports accountability for human rights crimes,
it will be taking a principled position on human rights that has been sorely lacking
in its policy toward Haiti during the past year.
The failure of the United States to oppose impunity for the army contributed
greatly to the failure of the Governors Island Accord. Today, the Clinton Adminis-
tration compounds its mistake by supporting new proposals that grant even more
concessions to the de facto leaders. We have criticized publicly the Clinton adminis-
tration's support for the plan proposed by the Haitian parliamentarians, which does
nothing to protect human rights.
We fault the new plan on the following grounds: it calls for the lifting of the UN
embargo if General Raoul C6dras retires, a condition he already agreed to in the
Governors Island Accord yet failed to honor. The departure of Gen. C6dras does not
go far enough to rid the armed services of leaders who have committed or ordered
serious human rights abuses since the September 1991 coup.
Moreover, the parliamentarians' proposal calls for the prompt passage of an am-
nesty law. In compliance with the Governors Island Accord, President Aristide has
already decreed an amnesty covering crimes against the state. Any legislation
broadening the amnesty to cover serious human rights violations against Haitians
would seriously damage efforts to restore democracy by perpetuating the complete
impunity that the army already enjoys.
Another provision of the plan calls for the "ratification of a new prime minister"
and the "installation of a government of concord" as a condition for lifting the em-
bargo. As with the Governors island Accord, which also required President Aristide
to appoint a cabinet, no assurances are forthcoming that would guarantee the safety
of the appointees. In light of the fact that the individuals who murdered Justice
Minister Malary and others are enjoying continued impunity, asking President
Aristide to appoint another cabinet in the current, repressive climate in Port-au-
Prince is a recipe for disaster. Without some provision for removing from the armed
forces the elements responsible for past assassinations, the naming of a new cabinet
by President Aristide puts those appointees at unconscionable risk.
The Clinton Administration should make its primary goal the purging from the
Haitian armed forces those responsible for serious abuses as a necessary require-
ment to restore President Aristide or reorganize his cabinet. Few in the State De-
partment appear to appreciate the fact that it is in the Haitian army's long-term
best interest to have an orderly transition from power. During past periods of tran-
sition, there have been incidents of "street justice" carried out against the armed
forces and other repressive groups.
Today, the Haitian army fears the possibility of violence in retaliation for the
reign of terror it has conducted once the military has relinquished control of the
country. The army might be more flexible about stepping down if they no longer be-
lieve that Washington will support their every demand, and if they receive guaran-
tees that they will be protected from mob violence and their departure facilitated
by the Aristide government. The key to these assurances is not in granting them
impunity for the thousands of killings of ordinary Haitians that have occurred in
the past 2V2years, but rather adopting mechanisms sponsored by the international
community for identifying those most responsible for abuses and recommending
those to be purged (as was done by the Ad Hoc Commission and the Truth Commis-
sion in El Salvador). Under such circumstances, General C6dras and others within
the armed forces might be more willing to discuss their departure.
Human Rights Watch/Americas is neutral on the U.S. and UN embargoes against
Haiti, but we are concerned that their effects are indiscriminate and harm innocent
citizens more than those it is intended to hurt. In fact, many of the intended targets
are instead profiting from the leaky embargo through the black market under their
control. (And, of course, the U.S. exempted American businesses from the embargo.)
The embargo may prove helpful, however, in increasing the tensions between busi-
ness elites, who for the most part are not profiting from the embargo, and the army
leaders, who are. Nonetheless, the embargo alone is not a substitute for a policy of
real support for human rights in Haiti.
HUMAN RICIITS SITUATION IN HAITI
Last month, Human Rights Watch/Americas conducted a factfinding mission to
Haiti, travelling to Port-au-Prince and Gonaives. Our researchers found that Hai-
tians remain in the relentless grip of the military and armed thugs, who murder,
attack and harass suspected Aristide supporters with impunity. In spite of the well-
documented human rights crisis that now exists in Haiti, the U.S. continues to sup-
port a policy of summary repatriation of Haitians attempting to flee persecution,
leaving persecuted Haitians with nowhere to turn. This fact was dramatically illus-
trated by Haitians in Gonaives who told our researchers that they are forced to set
out to the sea in rickety boats to escape attacks by the armed forces and thugs who
raid their neighborhoods, only to return once the assailants have departed. The sea
has proved safer for them than the U.S. Embassy's refugee program, as nine
Gonaives residents found out when they risked exposure to apply for asylum in
Port-au-Prince and were arrested and tortured. Those Haitians have taken to calling
the sea "the embassy."
The Women's Rights Project representative on the recent mission found that the
Haitian police (which are part of the army) rape with impunity, and that these
rapes are often politically motivated means of terror against presumed Aristide sup-
porters. Haitian women have been raped during illegal house-searches, during the
arrests of their husbands, and as punishment for their presumed political beliefs.
Most of the rapes documented by the Women's Rights Project were committed by
the police and the attaches-armed civilians in the employ of the police. In all in-
stances of politically-motivated rape of women (like other human rights violations
in Haiti) there has been an absolute failure of the state to prosecute the aggressors
or in any way to protect these women from further reprisal.
Although the Armed Forces of Haiti (Forces Arm6s d'Haiti, FAD'H) remain nomi-
nally steady at some 7,000 men, their strength and sway has grown since the Sep-
tember 1991 coup with the addition of tens of thousands of civilian attachis-para-
military troops supplied by the army with guns and other weapons, identify cards,
and confidence in their impunity from sanction. In the second half of 1993, these
bands of thugs were fashioned into the quasi-political organization known as the
Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (Front pour l'Avancement et el
Progres d'Haiti, FRAPH). FRAPH has been nurtured by the military since its emer-
gence last year and has been responsible for some of the most gruesome human
rights abuses during the past few months.
In the first half of 1993 and thus far this year, the military continued to restrict
basic freedoms in Haiti-banning public support for Aristide, banning most meet-
ings, and intimidating the independent media with threats, illegal arrests, and tor-
ture. Arbitrary arrest, beatings and torture while in detention continued to be the
rule rather than the exception. The deployment of the Organization of American
States and United Nations International Civilian Mission, beginning in February,
led to certain modifications in the repression, particularly outside the capital. Con-
sistent intervention by observers on behalf of people illegally arrested or mistreated
in detention led to releases from prison and somewhat fewer arrests. The presence
of the Mission emboldened local groups to organize pro-Aristide rallies in some cities
(most of which were swiftly repressed) and communal meetings in several rural
areas. Regrettably, to escape the scrutiny of observers, the army made greater use
of civilian attaches, making it more difficult to implicate the army in illegal acts.
Human rights conditions began to deteriorate immediately following the signing
of the Governors Island Agreement in New York, on July 3, 1993. The military,
aided by its attaches or armed civilians, began a deliberate campaign of heightened
terror and violence. Killings, forced disappearances, illegal arrests, torture and beat-
ings increased sharply in July and August. Conditions deteriorated further after the
inauguration of the short-lived constitutional government of Prime Minister Robert
Malval and the lifting of the international oil and arms embargo. In the two months
before President Aristide's scheduled return on October 30, the army increasingly
collaborated with gangs of armed civilians who kidnapped, tortured, and killed
Aristide supporters. Those armed civilians made nightly visits to many popular
neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, firing their guns into the air, threatening residents
and making arrests. Similar bands prevented the Malval government from function-
ing and blocked the implementation of measures approved at Governors Island that
would have led to a restoration of President Aristide s government.
The parameters of the violence are graphically demonstrated by the rising death
toll following the Governors Island Agreement. Using figures for political killings or
suspicious murders from the International Civilian Mission for the months of May
through September and from Haitian human rights groups after that, the pattern
of violence in retaliation to political developments is clear.1
1993 DEATII TOLL
M ay 9 September 60+
June 5 October 80+
July 34 November 70+
A ugust 33 Decem ber 40+
Many of the victims were community leaders or members of groups favoring
Aristide's return. Others, such as the people killed in the December 27 arson attack
in Cite Soleil (described below) died because they lived in the shantytowns where
there existed considerable support for Aristide.
Although the number of fatalities are alarming, the Haitian armed forces and the
attaches have learned what repressive units in other countries have shown in the
past-that it is not necessary to kill all of your opponents as long as they are aware
that they will be quashed if they engage in any activities deemed suspect. In this
way, each victim serves as an example to many Haitians not to engage in, or appear
to support opposition activities.
Further, fatality figures do not reflect the effect that political repression has had
on Haitian society. Haitian human rights groups credibly estimate that tens, if not
hundreds, of thousands of Haitians are displaced (commonly referred to as "in hid-
lit is worth noting that the presence of the International Civilian Mission made it possible
for the first time to obtain relatively accurate figures on the number of victims of human rights
ing"). This populational displacement is not only a consequence of repression; it is
also part of a strategy to dismember and scatter local organizations and discourage
all forms of expression and association, except those favoring the military regime.
The impact on families and communities of this displacement is dramatic, since
wage earners are unable to work.
During the past year, civil society has continued to fall victim to repression, as
it had in the first year after the coup, as we reported in our February 1993 report,
Silencing a People. Restrictions on the rights of free speech and free assembly, the
virtual ban on meetings by popular organizations, even non-political ones, led to
their increased fragmentation, as well as a demoralization that has had a negative
impact on grassroots development and self-help projects. The fledgling efforts to or-
ganize demonstrations in support of Aristide's return, strengthened by the arrival
of the Civilian Mission, collapsed with the renewed terror that began last Septem-
ber. The only public demonstrations tolerated since then have been organized by
FRAPH and other like-minded groups.
Although human rights violations were clearly on the rise throughout the year,
two incidents in September effectively ended any prospect for the fulfillment of the
conditions within the Governors Island Agreement: the brutal attack during the re-
instatement of Evans Paul as mayor of Port-au-Prince, and the assassination of
prominent Aristide supporter Antoine Izm6ry, discussed below. With these flagrant
attacks, the coup leaders declared to the international community, and to fellow
Haitians, that they had no intention of honoring the conditions of the accord.
On September 8, armed civilians killed at least three people and badly wounded
many others during the ceremony to reinstate Evans Paul as mayor of Port-au-
Prince. Mayor Evans Paul was not alone in being prevented from returning to office.
Throughout September and October, members of the Malval government were simi-
larly, if less dramatically, prevented from assuming office. In most cases, groups of
aggressive, armed civilians would gather outside and often inside government build-
ings. Prime Minister Malval himself was forced to work at home for his entire ten-
ure because the state-owned Villa D'Accueil, where he proposed to establish his of-
fices, remained occupied by attaches.
The second major blow to a resolution of the crisis came on September 11, when
imminent businessman and Aristide supporter Antoine Izm6ry was assassinated.2
Izmry, who was attending a memorial for victims of the 1988 St. Jean Bosco mas-
sacre, was dragged from a church during mass and shot point blank in the head
as he knelt on the street. The shocking murder was carried out by men in civilian
clothes with active support from the military.
The International Civilian Mission conducted a thorough investigation into the as-
sassination and concluded that, "the elaborate plan to assassinate Antoine Izm6ry
could not have been carried out without the complicity, if not the direct participa-
tion, of highly placed members of the Haitian armed forces." The Mission's report
names participants in the assassination plot, as well as identifying the attache who
shot Izmery as Gros Fanfan.
Killings over the past year by the army and its affiliated death squads have con-
tinued the orgy of violence that decimated hundreds of popular organizations in the
early months after the 1991 coup. (At that time, Haitian human rights organiza-
tions estimate that 1,500 to 2,000 Haitians, most of them political or community ac-
tivists.) The continuity in the violence against organized communities is suggested
by International Civilian Mission's characterization of the activists killed in Septem-
ber and October:
[the victims] were members of popular organizations considered pro-Lavalas
* in particular leaders who continued to be active in their localities. The
perpetrators were armed men mostly operating in civilian clothing, usually at
nightfall, without covering their faces. They were armed with automatic weap-
ons (Uzis and M16s) and operated in red or white pick-up vehicles, sometimes
with government plates. In several cases there was information regarding a di-
rect link between the perpetrators and the FAD'H, and the impunity and
logistical support of their operation is strongly indicative of FAD'H involvement.
Their activities appear to be supported by a major intelligence operation
2See OAS/UN International Civilian Mission in Haiti report, Report on the Assassination of
Antoine Izmiry, November 1993.
3Note by the Secretary-General, The Situation of Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti: Ad-
dendum, A/48/532/Add.1 (New York: United Nations Publications, November 18, 1993).
In what became the final blow to efforts to restore democracy and President
Aristide to Haiti-just three days after the FRAPH-organized demonstration at the
Port-au-Prince dock that prevented the USS Harlan County from docking-Guy
Malary, the Justice Minister of the Malval government, was gunned down in his car
as he left work. His driver and a bodyguard were also killed, and a fourth man was
During the ambush on Malary's car, his driver lost control, slamming the car into
a wall and flipping it over. The evidence suggests that Malary and his companions
were shot at close range after the accident. The International Civilian Mission was
prevented from approaching the scene for more than an hour. When they were
granted permission, they saw the commander of the anti-gang service of the police
ordering the round-up of frightened witnesses. They also noted that the vehicle bore
the marks of many small calibre bullets and several holes of large diameter indicat-
ing the use of heavy assault weapons.
TIlE EMERGENCE OF FRAPII
Many of the worst abuses of the post-Governors Island period have been carried
out by the neo-Duvalierist group Front for Haitian Advancement and Progress
(Front pour l'Avancement et le Progres Haitien, FRAPH), which has cultivated anti-
foreigner nationalism and called for an end to UN and OAS involvement in Haiti.
FRAPH, while ostensibly an independent political organization, functions as a
surrogate for the military. Its activities, including public demonstrations, violent
thuggery, and assassinations, are tolerated, and even encouraged, by the army.
FRAPH openly identifies with the late-Fran9ois Duvalier (Papa Doc), who ruled
Haiti through terror from 1957 to 1971. Its leaders and spokesmen are Emmanuel
Constant, 37, son of an army commander under Duvalier and nephew of Bishop Em-
manuel Constant of Gonaives, and Jodel Chamblain, a former soldier said to have
taken part in the November 1987 election massacre and a close associate of Roger
Lafontant and participated in the attempted coup d'etat.4 Chamblain is also a
former Tonton Macoute who claims his pregnant wife was murdered by a pro-
Aristide mob in 1991.5
The group has attracted the support of Duvalierist political movements
disenfranchised since 1986 and conservative anti-Aristide politicians not previously
identified as Duvalierists. It makes use of its virtual monopoly on public discourse
by building local chapters around the country, during a time when the democratic,
popular organizations that emerged since 1986 have been rooted out or forced un-
derground by violent persecution. FRAPH leaders claim the organization has
300,000 members. (This figure is probably optimistic but FRAPH is recruiting
throughout the country and from all accounts its membership is growing rapidly.)
By January 1994, the group had a presence in virtually every town and communal
section. Although many members are attacks, thugs or former Tontons Macoutes,
some men (and women) join defensively, seeking a FRAPH card as protection for
themselves and their families. The decision could also be seen as a desperate reaction
to poverty and despair of political change, as FRAPH membership carries with it eco-
In October, FRAPH called for demonstrations and general strikes to protest both
the presence of the International Civilian Mission in Haiti and the mediation of
Dante Caputo. On October 5, armed civilians attending a FRAPH press conference
at the Hotel Christopher in Port-au-Prince attacked a group of people leaving a
meeting with Mayor Evans Paul and ransacked the parliamentary liaison office of
the prime minister. FRAPH had called the press conference to announce the general
strike planned for October 7.
During the course of the conference, more than 100 FRAPH supporters sur-
rounded a nearby building on the hotel grounds where Mayor Paul had just con-
cluded a meeting with local school principals. The armed civilians, some firing auto-
matic weapons, broke into the building, ransacked it and arrested forty-one people.
Uniformed police who were present, the mission reported, "made no attempt to con-
trol the conduct of the armed civilians and they themselves participated in the ille-
gal arrests." The forty-one detainees, including former Senator Wesner Emmanuel
and his son, were forced from the building with their hands over their heads and
taken to the Anti-gang Service police station in the very same vehicles that had
been used to transport supporters to the FRAPH press conference. Police accused
the detainees of assault but released them without filing formal charges.
4OAS/UN International Civilian Mission in Haiti, Report on the Assassination of Antoine
Izmery, November 1993.
sBella Stumbo, "A Place Called Fear," Vanity Fair, February 1994.
FRAPH leaders, in the October 5 press conference, called for a general strike to
begin on October 7, stating they would use "any means whatsoever" to grind the
country to a halt if the Malval government did not admit Duvalierists into the cabi-
net. They warned merchants and public transport drivers, in particular, to stay
home. By paralyzing the country with fear, the strike succeeded. A few courageous
trade union and popular organization leaders spoke out on the radio in opposition
to the strike, yet very few people dared to leave their homes. Many of those who
did were met with intimidation and violence.
FRAPH also organized the "demonstration" at the port in Port-au-Prince on Octo-
ber 11, the day the USS Harlan County was scheduled to unload its contingent of
U.S. and Canadian military trainers. In a radio broadcast, FRAPH leader Emman-
uel Constant urged all "patriotic Haitians" to go down to the waterfront to protest
the military mission's arrival. The events at the port that day were reported
throughout the world.
The gates to the wharf were kept closed by Port Security, and the Harlan County
was prevented from docking by the presence of a freighter in the deep water berth.
Gun-toting FRAPH demonstrators and attaches yelled insults at the scores of for-
eign journalists, and then violently assaulted them and the car of the U.S. charge
d'affaires. All this took place, according to International Civilian Mission monitors,
"in the presence of a large number of uniformed police who did not intervene."6
The most atrocious of FRAPH's abuses was a fire set deliberately by armed men
in the shantytown of Cit6 Soleil on December 27, 1993, during which residents were
prevented from leaving the burning site. The Health Ministry reports that 860
homes were destroyed in the blaze, and 5,000 people were left homeless. The Justice
and Peace Commission has reported that 22 people were killed and 25 are unac-
The arson attack was reportedly in retaliation for the murder of FRAPH leader
Paul Issa, who was killed in the early hours of December 27 in murky cir-
cumstances. FRAPH leader Emmanuel Constant blamed Aristide supporters for the
murder, while others have claimed that Issa may have been killed as a result of
a FRAPH internal feud. Although FRAPH members have denied responsibility for
the conflagration, there have been reports that uniformed police surrounded the
area, keeping residents in and allowing only FRAPH members to pass. During the
fire, known FRAPH members beat and arrested several people while the military
looked on. The police did not intervene to stop the carnage, nor did the fire depart-
ment, which is under military control, make any effort to fight the blaze.
In the weeks following the devastating attack on Cit6 Soleil, additional murders
took place. The president of a Cit6 Soleil political movement (Alliance des
Democrats Patriotes Revolutionarraires Haitiens) reported the killing of five young
men around 10:00 p.m. on February 9, 1994. A large number of soldiers and armed
civilians he identified as local FRAPH members, came to the neighborhood in vehi-
cles. Three of the young men were then reportedly hacked with machetes and shot,
and two others who attempted to flee were pursued and killed.
ATTACKS AGAINST THE PRESS
While there is no formal censorship of the media, reporters and media outlets
know that they are constantly at risk. Many reporters for Radio Tropic-FM, a sta-
tion that has continued to broadcast news reports throughout the post-coup period,
have been arrested, mistreated or threatened in recent months. The best known
case is that of Colson Dorm6.
Dorm6, a reporter and archivist of Tropic-FM was kidnapped on February 1, 1993,
while covering the arrival of Dante Caputo at the Mais Gat6 Airport, where hun-
dreds of anti-Caputo demonstrators had gathered. After filing a brief, live report,
he was hit in the head and thrown into the back of a pick-up truck. He was held
blindfolded for a week in a clandestine detention center. His captors shaved his
head, made him sleep on a bare floor and fed him only three times. During his in-
terrogation, his captors insisted that his radio station was financed by the Lavalas
movement and tried to persuade him to become an informant. On February 8, he
was dumped, still blindfolded, in front of Tropic-FM in Port-au-Prince, wearing only
his undershorts and a T-shirt.
Another reporter, Jean-Emile Estimable, a reporter for Radio Cacique, was ar-
rested on January 22, 1993 by a Marchand Dessalines section chief who reportedly
found pro-Aristide leaflets in Estimable's home, and subsequently turned him over
to soldiers who repeatedly beat him with rifle butts and fists, and kicked him. He
was then taken to St. Marc army base, where members of the army continued to
OSecretary-General, Situation, Nov. 18, paragraph 18.
beat him until he lost consciousness after they banged his head into a wall several
times. He was granted provisional freedom on February 2.
Reporters for the popular Creole language weekly newspaper, Libete, which is con-
sidered pro-Aristide and critical of abuses by the army, have received many threats.
For security reasons, all reporters write under pseudonyms. Street vendors selling
the newspapers have been threatened, beaten and arrested.
ATTACKS ON CONGREGATIONS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS
As in the early months after the coup, Haiti's churches have proved no sanctuary
from military violence. Soldiers and armed civilians have not hesitated to enter
churches (as in the Izmery case), or to beat and arrest congregants.
In February 1993, congregants were attacked after a memorial mass at the cathe-
dral in Port-au-Prince for the hundreds of victims of the Neptune ferryboat disaster.
Armed men in civilian clothes threatened people outside the church, and beat and
arrested dozens of people. Bishop Romelus, who had presided over the ceremony,
was knocked to the ground, beaten and kicked. Just after the memorial, a car carry-
ing other participants was surrounded, and a policeman ordered the car to drive to
the Anti-gang Service, where the car's occupants were beaten.
In another incident, uniformed soldiers and men in civilian clothes interrupted a
Sunday mass at a church in the Bel Aire neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on June
27, when congregants began shouting pro-Aristide slogans. The soldiers released
teargas in the church and arrested and beat seven people. The mass was televised
live on government run television, so viewers were able to watch the assault. The
detainees were held at the police headquarters, where they were severely beaten
during interrogation. They were freed later in the day.
ATTACKS ON POPULAR ORGANIZATIONS
There have been countless attacks on members of popular organizations and reli-
gious leaders considered supportive of President Aristide's return. One of the most
recent attacks took place on February 3, 1994, when heavily armed soldiers assas-
sinated a group of young people in the early hours in Sarthe, or Carrefour Vincent,
just north of Port-au-Prince. Uniformed troops and armed men in civilian dress pro-
jected teargas into the house where the victims were meeting, forcing all inside to
flee. As they exited the building, the soldiers opened fire, mercilessly killing them.
The depression crater from a grenade was noticeable inside the house and four pools
of blood were discovered just outside. Six bodies were found at the house, and other
possible victims of the attack were encountered in the streets nearby, raising the
death toll to as high as fifteen.
The youths reportedly belonged to the Unity Organization to Combat the Misery
of the Haitian People (Ogoanisasyon Tel Ansamn pou Kombat Mize Pep Ayisyen,
OTAKEMPA) based in Cite Soleil. They had left Cit6 Soleil to escape the repression
there, which intensified following the December 1993 fire.
In another case, Chantal Bien-Aim6, a member of the Popular Assembly of Saint
Martin in Port-au-Prince, was arrested on May 11, blindfolded, and taken to the
downtown police station known as the Cafeteria. She was accused of distributing
pm-Aristide leaflets, and was beaten on the head and stomach. She was released
the next day, and complained of stomach pains; she died on May 16 as result of
the injuries she sustained. Two weeks later, armed men broke into Bien-Aim6's
home, searched it, and beat the occupants.
Also in May, members of the Papaye Peasant Movement, (Mouvement Paysan do
Papaye, MPP) based in the Central Plateau, were arrested and beaten for allegedly
possessing pro-Aristide leaflets. On May 9, Leonel Paul, president of the Marecage
chapter of the MPP was arrested by thirty section chief deputies and severely beat-
en. He was transferred to the Hinche prison, and brought before Major Charles
Josel, known as Commanlder Z. Paul reports that Commander Z ordered him beaten
500 times with a club during a two-day period. He was released after his wife paid
a fine, and told not to speak to the International Civilian Mission or return to
Hinche or he would be killed.
In June, another MPP member, Cclestin Pedanoy, was arrested by police and dep-
uties of the local section chief of Savanette in the Central Plateau. After they
searched his bag and found MPIP documents, he was taken to the home of the sec-
tion chief and beaten fifty times with a club. The next day he was transferred to
the army post, where he was tortured with the djak (where a person is suspended
and beaten after a stick is placed behind the victim's knees while his hands and
legs are tied) and kalot marasa (a common form of torture where assailants simulta-
neously clap their hands as hard as possible on the victim's ears). He was released
after six days, escaped a subsequent arrest attempt, and went into hiding.
Three section chief deputies arrested Previlus Elvian on June 5 at his home in
Perodin. Section Chief Edner Odeide beat Elvian, a member of the Rally of Perodin
Peasants (Rassemblement Paysan de Perodin, RPP), for several hours each day, say-
ing that he did not like the work Elvian was doing with the RPP. He was released
four days later after his family paid US$60; he has been in hiding ever since.
UNITED STATES POLICY
Instead of insisting that the protection of human rights of Haitians be a fun-
damental component of any political solution in Haiti, the Clinton administration
deliberately ignored the issue of human rights throughout the Governors Island ne-
gotiations and after. The Administration sacrificed accountability for human rights
abuses for the hope of achieving a quick political settlement, and supported an in-
discriminate and inhumane policy of forcibly repatriating Haitians fleeing well-docu-
mented persecution. While the Administration took some actions against the de
facto leaders following the collapse of the Governors Island Accord, those actions
were undermined by its record of granting innumerable concessions to the human
rights abusers in power in Port-au-Prince who chose to ignore the Accord's provi-
sions. Now, with its credibility seriously undermined, the Administration is left with
few options to facilitate the restoration of democracy in Haiti.
GOVERNORS ISLAND ACCORD AND ACCOUNTABILITY
The ill-fated Governors Island Accord was signed on July 3. It called for the res-
ignation of General C6dras shortly before the return of President Aristide to Haiti
on October 30, the lifting of UN and OAS sanctions, and the provision of more than
$1 billion in international assistance. After the conditions of the Accord were met,
Haiti was also set to receive technical and military assistance to promote develop-
ment and administrative, judicial and military reform, namely the separation of the
police from the army.
Perhaps the most controversial requirement of the Accord called for Aristide to
issue an amnesty in accordance with the Haitian Constitution, which allows the
president to provide an amnesty for political crimes but not for common crimes.
Aristide was under consistent pressure from UN Special Envoy Dante Caputo and
Ambassador Lawrence Pezzullo, Special Envoy for President Clinton, to make con-
cessions on the Haitian army's accountability for its crimes. Aristide acquiesced, but
insisted correctly that the amnesty should cover only the crimes relating to over-
turning the constitutional order, not murders, disappearances and torture that had
taken place since the coup.
As could be predicted, the amnesty proved to be a serious point of contention be-
tween Aristide and the de facto leaders. But, instead of siding with Aristide in a
public, unequivocal way, the Administration consistently refused to state publicly its
Position on which crimes should be included in the amnesty or whether an amnesty
'aw needed to be passed by the Haitian parliament. Privately, the Administration
argued that a broad amnesty was necessary to satisfy the demands of the de facto
rulers. In fact, during August and September, U.S. officials now acknowledge that
they presented the Justice Minister and Prime Minister Malval with drafts of am-
nesty laws that had been passed in other countries, some of which covered not just
crimes against the state, but also serious human rights abuses against Haitians.
After the USS Harlan County was turned away and General C6dras began ac-
tively pressing Parliament to vote a broader amnesty that would include human
rights violations, the Administration remained silent on the issue. Several Adminis-
tration officials maintained that it was up to Haitians to decide whether to hold
human rights violators accountable--even while those same abusive elements re-
mained in control. By the time Haitian citizens would be in a position to support
accountability, the broad amnesty under consideration would have been law and
those responsible for abuses protected from prosecution. In the end, the only clear
signal sent by the U.S.'s public silence and private support for a broader amnesty
was that the de facto leaders would not be held accountable for the violations they
had committed against Haitian citizens.
U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE
In its eagerness to persuade the Haitian security forces to adhere to their prom-
ises under the Accord, the U.S. proposed a premature military assistance package
including $1.25 million under the International Military Education and Training
Program (IMET) nearly $1.2 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for mili-
tary professionalization; and $4 million in Economic Support Funds for police
professionalization through the International Criminal Investigations Training As-
sistance Program (ICITAP). Congress conditioned U.S. aid by prohibiting military
assistance or training in which there would be participation by any member of the
Haitian military involved in drug trafficking or human rights abuses. Even though
U.S. Ambassador William Swing promised that trainees in the IMET program
would be screened, at the time of the breakdown in the implementation of the Ac-
cord, the Administration had failed to put forward a realistic plan to ensure that
this assistance would not end up in the hands of human rights abusers.
The Pentagon's commitment to screening out human rights abusers and its assur-
ances that leaders of the coup would not receive U.S. training recently has been
called into question following the release of Pentagon documents showing that at
least ten Haitian army officers continued to receive IMET training in the U.S. after
the overthrow of Aristide on September 30, 1991. The internal Pentagon documents
contradict statements made by the Defense Department denying that training con-
tinued after the coup. According to reports, some of the trainees began their pro-
grams after the coup took place, while others were allowed to complete their train-
ing that had begun before the coup. The disclosure of the information led Rep. Jo-
seph Kennedy (D-MA) to assert, "The United States should never condemn the
abuse of democracy and human rights and then turn around and train the abusers
on our own soil."?
In September, the UN Security Council approved a U.S.-sponsored resolution to
send 567 UN police monitors and 700 military personnel to Haiti, including some
sixty military trainers. These forces were to include about 500 U.S. troops. After
concerns were raised about the lack of adequate human rights screening procedures
for trainees, Ambassador Swing announced that the U.S. would no longer be train-
ing an interim police force. Instead, UN police monitors and trainers (not including
U.S. participants) would conduct the training and, with the Malval government,
would be responsible for screening out human rights abusers. The training plan was
scrapped once the Accord collapsed, yet as recently as mid-December, there were re-
ports that the "Four Friends" (the United States, France, Canada and Venezuela)
would attempt to convince the Haitian armed forces to allow American and other
military personnel to establish a training mission in Haiti.8 The Four Friends re-
portedly also were pursuing the reintroduction of police trainers from Canada,
France and other French-speaking countries. In addition, some International Crimi-
nal Investigations Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) personnel have recently
returned to Haiti for consultations with members of the Aristide government.
BREAKDOWN OF THE GOVERNORS ISLAND ACCORD
From the outset, the U.S. and the international community discounted the mount-
ing evidence that the military would not honor its obligations under the agreement.
UN observers and human rights activists warned U.S. officials that violence by the
de facto leaders and their supporters had escalated dramatically, yet those voicing
caution about ending sanctions were disregarded. Instead, in order to reward the
de facto leaders for their anticipated cooperation, the UN embargo was lifted in Au-
gust, assets were unfrozen and visas reinstated.
As the Clinton administration was finalizing plans for the deployment of U.S.
military trainers and observers to Haiti, a debate over U.S. involvement in humani-
tarian intervention was unfolding after American troops suffered fatalities in Soma-
lia. Vocal Members of Congress were highly critical of the Administration's plan for
protecting the U.S. trainers destined for Haiti, as was Defense Secretary Les Aspin.
Despite a climate of uncertainty about the mission as planned, the White House re-
solved or overruled the Defense Department's objections, and the troops were sent
Implementation of the Governors Island Accord came to an abrupt end on October
11, when a gang of armed paramilitary attachess" and FRAPH members assisted by
Haitian security forces, initiated a noisy protest at the Port-au-Prince dock as the
Harlan County approached, preventing the ship carrying U.S. and Canadian mili-
tary trainers and observers from docking. Confronted by the loud mob, the Adminis-
tration quickly ordered the withdrawal of the ship, without consulting with Western
diplomats or heeding the advice of some observers who favored immediate pressure
on the Haitian leaders to allow the Harlan County to dock, rather than a total re-
treat. The ship's withdrawal prompted the Special UN Envoy Dante Caputo to com-
plain that, "The excuse for the pullout was that demonstration, and that is the right
word, excuse * *. There were 200 people screaming at the port. Early this year,
7Paul Quinn-Judge, "Haitians Trained after Coup," The Boston Globe, December 6, 1993.
sJohn Goshko, "Four Countries to Press Plan for Training Mission in Haiti," The Washington
Post, December 17, 1993.
we were confronted with 3,000 people when we first came here, many of them
armed, but we went ahead anyway."9
In any case, the Harlan County's withdrawal precipitated a massive withdrawal
of international observers and resulted in an enormous victory for the Haitian mili-
tary. The first to announce their departure were the Canadians, who began evacuat-
ing their troops on October 14. As described elsewhere, UN/OAS International Civil-
ian Mission personnel were recalled from rural areas to Port-au-Prince out of fear
for their safety following an escalation in attacks. The day after the Canadians
began their withdrawal, the Civilian Mission decided to begin evacuation of its staff
to the Dominican Republic, leaving Haitians who had cooperated with the Mission
in increased danger. Most importantly, the Harlan County s retreat emboldened the
de facto leaders, who let deadlines agreed to in the Accord pass without action and
who demanded new concessions from Aristide.
In the weeks leading up to the planned arrival of the Harian County, and even
after the ship was turned away, U.S. officials repeatedly stated their firm belief that
the Haitian military would uphold its part of the Accord. During his visit to Port-
au-Prince in late September, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs
Alexander Watson told reporters that the army leaders would carry out the require-
ments of the Accord, "to the letter" and that the military leaders "are committed
to meeting those responsibilities." 10 Two days after the Harlan County was turned
away, Col. James G. Pulley, the U.S. Army officer who was commander of the small
UN military contingent already in Haiti at the time of the Harlan County pullback,
declared, "I have confidence in the armed forces of Haiti."11 This comment prompted
an unnamed diplomat to state, "For weeks the United States wanted no mention
of the violence here.* * Now the Haitian Army and police block an American ship
from docking * and all they can come up with is a statement of confidence in
Haiti's officers."12 The U.S.'s unwarranted trust in the Haitian armed forces' good
intentions, and its belief that the military would serve as a guarantor of stability,
resulted in predictable failure.
The Administration's response to the Haitian de facto leaders' refusal to live up
to the Accord was again disappointing. The Administration did push for the UN to
reimpose an oil and arms embargo against Haiti and it reinstated a block on the
financial assets of the de facto authorities.13 At the same time, however, the Admin-
istration began to pressure Aristide to broaden his cabinet to include conservatives
and to enact a blanket amnesty, thereby repeating its failed strategy of additional
concessions to the de facto leaders. Although Administration officials strenuously de-
nied reports that they were pushing for the inclusion of "anti-democratic" forces in
the cabinet, the symbolism of the pressure on Aristide to compromise after the mili-
tary's many acts of defiance was not lost on the de facto leaders. By December, Spe-
cial Envoy Pezzullo had declared that there needed to be a national dialogue "with
major forces in the political realm, the labor unions, the military, the private sec-
tor.* *"14 Pezzullo also stated that officers who had not engaged in oppression
should be consulted on forming a new coalition government, thereby continuing the
Administration's search for "moderates" within the Haitian military who could be
cultivated as U.S. allies.
Even though political violence in Haiti had escalated enough to prevent U.S. and
Canadian military trainers from landing at the Port-au-Prince dock and to force the
withdrawal of UN/OAS human rights monitors, the U.S. continued to repatriate all
refugees attempting to flee Haiti, without prior screening for asylum-seekers with
legitimate claims. The Administration, which remained fearful of a surge of Haitian
boat people landing in Florida, announced that it would continue to rely upon its
in-country processing (ICP) program in Haiti to consider Haitians' applications for
political asylum in the U.S. The ICP program has been criticized by Human Rights
Watch/Americas, the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, and by others as seri-
*Howard French, "U.S. Advisor Meets Haitian But Sees No Breakthrough," The New York
Times, October 16, 1994.
to U.S. Insists Plan to Restore Aristide Remains on Track," The Miami Ilerald, September 22,
11 Howard W. French, "U.S. Move Angers Diplomats in Haiti," The New York Times, October
a3 The list of individuals originally targeted was limited, but has since been expanded to in-
clude approximately 564 individuals, most of them officers. The expanded list has not been made
14"Clinton Advisor Urges Sharing Power with Some in Haitian Military," The Miami HIerald,
December 8, 1993.
ously flawed, and inappropriately applied in Haiti. In no other instance is ICP seen
as a viable substitute for the internationally recognized right to flee one's country
and seek refuge. The program is incapable of protecting applicants, and the informa-
tion supplied by them in support of their asylum claims. Numerous cases of persecu-
tion of applicants to the program have been documented. Moreover, case adjudica-
tion is biased against applicants and the State Department's consistently inaccurate
assessment of the human rights situation is infused into the program at all levels.
In addition to violating international law regarding the prohibition of
refoulement,15 as well as numerous other principles of refugee protection, the U.S.
policy of forcibly repatriating Haitian refugees undermines the Administration's
ability to condemn human rights violations committed by the de facto leaders be-
cause it must justify its repatriation policy by contending that those fleeing are not
suffering from widespread political violence. The result is a tacit agreement between
the U.S. and the de facto leaders, that the refugees do not warrant attention or pro-
tection as long as each side benefits by ignoring their plight.
On February 8, President Aristide rightly ended his year-long silence on the Clin-
ton administration's forcible repatriation policy, describing its implementation as a
"floating Berlin Wall." He announced that he was reconsidering a 1981 refugee
agreement between Haiti (then ruled by Jean-Claude Duvalier) and the U.S. that
permits U.S. officials to board vessels from Haiti to search for illegal immigrants,
but also specifically provides that the U.S. will not return individuals who might
have legitimate claims of political persecution to Haiti. The U.S. reacted to
Aristide s statements by criticizing Aristide for raising the issue. The State Depart-
ment spokesman remarked that, "* * threatening to abrogate that agreement
amounts in effect to encouraging people to leave Haiti in a way that could only re-
sult in deaths at sea, which is presumably something that President Aristide would
wish to avoid. So we find his remarks quite mystifying."16 The spokesman ex-
plained, incorrectly, that the U.S.'s forcible repatriation policy is not a violation of
international law because of the 1981 agreement, and commented that those who
believe that it is a violation of international law have a "peculiar view."17 In fact,
as stated above, with or without the bilateral agreement, the U.S.'s policy of forcibly
returning refugees violates customary international law prohibiting refoulement.
The Administration's efforts to defend its repatriation policy have become increas-
ingly embarrassing to the White House and State Department. At a December 8
briefing by Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Af-
fairs John Shattuck, he replied to a reporter's question about the refugee policy by
stating, "In the future when that restoration of democracy occurs, the policy of inter-
diction and the grave difficulties that I think that poses for issues of asylum, will
no longer be the applicable policy." 1 Two days later, Shattuck was asked whether
the U.S. policy conformed with either the spirit or letter of the International Cov-
enant on Civil and Political Rights, to which he responded, "The U.S. is committed
to considering the asylum applications of all who make them in Haiti, and it-to
the extent that that commitment is fulfilled and I believe it is, then the United
States is acting consistent with the covenant in question. But this is not an easy
issue and it is not an issue that will be resolved until democracy returns to Haiti." 19
Just days later, following a trip to Haiti, Shattuck stated, "I'm going back with
a view that a policy review is necessary."20 The following day, the State Depart-
ment spokesman declared there was no plan to change the policy. Shattuck himself
was reportedly reprimanded by Peter Tarnoff, Under Secretary of State for Political
Affairs. One State Department official stated that Shattuck's comments were, "com-
pletely wrong and outrageous.* * It was a completely rogue statement."21 Yet
Shattuck's sentiments are shared by other Administration officials who have told
15 Article 33 of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees provides:
No Contracting State shall expel or return ("refouler") a refugee in any manner what-
soever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on
account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or po-
The U.S. is not a party to the 1951 Convention, but has signed and ratified its 1967 Protocol.
In any event, the Convention's non-refoulement clause is declaratory of customary international
law and therefore binding on the U.S., and for that reason it has been incorporated into U.S.
domestic law, including the Refugee Act of 1980.
leAs transcribed by Federal News Service, February 9, 1994.
1sAs transcribed by Federal News Service, December 8, 1993.
l9As transcribed by Federal News Service, December 10, 1993.
zo"U.S Aide to Seek New Policy on Fleeing Haitians," The New York Times, December 15,
21 Steven A. Holmes, "Rebuking Aide, U.S. Says Haiti Policy Stands," The New York Times,
December 16, 1993.
human rights activists that they are uncomfortable with the policy or do not support
In congressional testimony on February 1, Shattuck returned to the Administra-
tion's publicly stated policy by reporting that the in-country processing program had
been reviewed and improved, particularly in rural areas. Shattuck concluded that
"there is a significant effort of outreach that's being made by the United States to
assure that all those who have a claim to refugee status in country can be-can get
that claim met."22
During a fact-finding trip to Haiti in mid-February, however, Human Rights
Watch/Americas and the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees found that the ICP
program was more restrictive and unresponsive to the seventy of the refugee crisis.
Moreover, forced repatriations to the Port-au-Prince pier have become increasingly
dangerous since the October retreat of the Harlan County, with human rights mon-
itors and journalists barred from the dock. In addition, repatriates identified as
"high priority" for expedited asylum interviews by U.S. Embassy personnel prior to
disembarkation have been arrested at the pier and detained for several days.
ROLE OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
The role of the Central Intelligence Agency in Haiti received a great deal of atten-
tion during the last few months of 1993. A CIA analyst's congressional briefing,
which was highly-critical of Aristide, and the revelation that the CIA-supported Na-
tional Intelligence Service was engaged in political terrorism and drug trafficking,
raised serious questions about the quality of information provided by the CIA to pol-
icy-makers, as well as the involvement of the U.S. agency in human rights abuses
A week after the Harlan County was turned away from the Port-au-Prince dock,
Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NY) requested and received a briefing by the CIA chief Latin
American analyst Brian Latell about Aristide's background. At the briefing, which
was reportedly attended by a dozen Senators, Latell stated that Aristide had been
hospitalized with psychological problems, had been implicated in the murder of po-
litical opponents, and had incited mob violence.
While Human Rights Watch/Americas and the National Coalition for Haitian Ref-
ugees have criticized Aristide for two speeches he made that seemed to justify "pop-
ular justice" or mob violence, we found no evidence that he had incited actual acts
of violence. We have found allegations that Aristide ordered the murders of political
opponents to be unfounded. We have also noted that during his brief tenure as
president, human rights observance in Haiti improved considerably. Even though
the human rights record of Aristide should be discussed, abuses that may be attrib-
uted to him pale in comparison to his successors now controlling Haiti, yet those
records were not a subject of a CIA briefing during this volatile period. More than
a month later, the Miami Herald reported that the allegations of Aristide's hos-
pitalization were false.23 Even though much of Latell's information was false or dis-
putable, there was no official rebuke, such as the one Assistant Secretary Shattuck
reportedly received for stating his opinion on the refugee issue.
When questioned about whether, in light of the CIA reports about Aristide, the
Administration believed Aristide was capable of governing, the State Department
spokesman replied that it was up to Haitians to make "those types of judgments."
He went on to state that the U.S. evaluates foreign leaders differently at different
times, "and that's stuff we keep confidential."4 In this case, however, the CIA's
evaluation was not kept secret, and it has been argued that the Haitian military
was aware of growing apprehension in the U.S. about Aristide, and that those
doubts strengthened its resolve to hold on to power. At the very least, the CIA dis-
cussion about Aristide's mental health during this period of rising tensions both in
Port-au-Prince and Washington-resulted in a lengthy diversion from the human
rights crisis that was unfolding in Haiti.
In November, information about the activities of the CIA-supported intelligence
unit (Service d'Intelligence National SIN), which reportedly operated until just after
the September 1991 coup, began to surface. The SIN reportedly spent millions of
dollars provided by the U.S. for training and equipment, provided little narcotics in-
telligence, which was its intend purpose. Instead, senior members of the SIN report-
edly interrogated and tortured political activists, raising serious questions about
22Assistant Secretary John Shattuck's testimony before the Subcommittee on International
Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights of the House Foreign Affairs Commit-
tee, on February 1, 1994, as transcribed by Federal News Service.
23Christopher Marquis, "CIA Report on Aristide was False, The Miami Herald, December 2,
u As transcribed by Federal News Service, November 3, 1993.
U.S. complicity in human rights violations. U.S. funding for some of the individuals
committing those abuses, while Washington was ostensibly condemning violations,
sent yet another mixed signal to Haitian leaders about U.S. dedication to human
rights. Three SIN leaders-Col. Ernst Prudhomme, Col. Diderot Sylvain and Col.
Leopold Clerjeune-were included on the U.S. Treasury Department's list of tar-
geted frozen asset beginning on November 1.25
At the time of this writing, the Clinton administration was considering lending
its support for a tougher UN embargo, proposed by France, similar to the U.S.'s own
current bilateral embargo that would encompass all items except humanitarian fuel,
food, medicine, and some industrial traffic. The U.S. is also urging other countries
to cancel or reject requests for visas of more than 500 military officers, with visa
cancellations extended to officers' families if the military refuses to yield. The U.S.
reportedly plans to allow the sanctions against Haiti to take their toll and force the
de facto leaders back to the negotiating table or to honor previous obligations under
the Governors Island Accord.26 With U.S. support for Aristide clearly deteriorating,
and its efforts to "broaden" the cabinet and include "moderate" members of the
armed forces in any political settlement escalating, the likelihood that future nego-
tiations will emphasize respect for human rights is remote.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE UNITED STATES
End the U.S. policy of downplaying the human rights crisis in Haiti by imme-
diately and publicly denouncing serious human rights abuses.
Renew statements of unequivocal support for the return of President Aristide
as the democratically-elected leader Haiti.
Oppose publicly and explicitly any broad amnesty that would absolve members
of the Haitian armed forces and their supporters for serious human rights
abuses committed since the September 1991 coup. U.S. support for a blanket
amnesty undermines the very goals the U.S. claims to advocate-support for
human rights and the rule of law. Any quick political advantage gained by sup-
porting a broad amnesty will be short-lived since democracy cannot be built on
a foundation of impunity for murder and torture.
U.S. assistance and training for members of the armed forces should be made
available only after the High Command is replaced and thorough human rights
screening to exclude human rights abusers in the armed forces is completed.
The U.S. must ensure that abusive members of the armed forces do not receive
any U.S. training or assistance. The U.S. should also make public the list of the
members of the new police or armed forces who receive U.S. assistance.
The Clinton administration's sanctions must be more carefully targeted if they
are to exert pressure on those who have in their hands the key to change in
Haiti. The list of approximately 564 Haitians whose assets will be frozen and
who will be denied visas by the U.S. is not enough. Much of its impact is lost
by the fact that the complete list is not public. Also, the great majority of those
included are military officers and their immediate relatives; only a few are civil-
ians. An effort must be made to include civilians whose support for the de facto
regime warrant personalized sanctions. HRW/Americas also urges the Clinton
administration to propose to the UN and OAS that all other countries join in
similar targeted sanctions, and to make public the list of those individuals
whose behavior against democracy and human rights in Haiti deserves inter-
Provide information on alleged CIA funding of the Haitian National Intelligence
Service which reportedly engaged in the torture of political activists and com-
mitted other abuses. Initiate a public inquiry into CIA activities in Haiti and
implement effective guidelines that will prevent the CIA from funding or in any
way supporting human rights abuses by agencies in Haiti. Further, the Clinton
Administration should publicly disavow inaccurate and biased information pro-
vided by its analysts.
End the summary repatriation of Haitian boat people. Forcibly repatriating flee-
ing Haitians, without regard to their legitimate claims for asylum, violates
internationally recognized principles of refugee protection. The in-country refu-
gee processing program is chronically deficient and under no circumstances
should serve as the only alternative for asylum seekers.
2S"C.I.A. Formed Haitian Unit Later Tied to Narcotics Trade," The New York Times, Novem-
ber 14, 1993.
26By mid-February, the U.S. was actively supporting a proposal by some Haitian par-
liamentarians that lacked any guarantees to ensure accountability for past human rights viola-
tions or respect for human rights in the future.
The U.S. should rescind Executive Order 12324 of September 1981, under shich
Haitian vessels found in international waters and bound for the U.S. are inter-
dicted and returned to Haiti after on-board screening for asylum seekers. The
U.S. should also rescind Executive order 12807 of May 1992 which stipulates
that all Haitian boats be interdicted and their passengers returned to Port-au-
Prince with no prior screening for asylum seekers.
The U.S. should actively support a multilateral, regionally-based response to
the refugee crisis, including the establishment of one or more safe havens. It
should employ the good offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees to ensure observance of basic principles of refugee protection.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE UN, OAS, AND SPECIAL ENVOY
Redeploy the entire International Civilian Mission to Haiti to monitor and de-
nounce human rights abuses.
UN/OAS Special Envoy Dante Caputo should satte publicly and clearly that he
opposes a blanket amnesty that would absolve members of the Haitian armed
forces and their supporters for serious human rights abuses committed since the
September 1991 coup.
Support the creation of a Truth Commission and other mechanisms similar to
those estalished in El Salvador to bring to light abuses committed since the
coup and to begin the process of ridding the armed forces of human rights abus-
UN assistance and training for members of the armed forces should be made
availiable only after the High Command is replaced and thorough human rights
screening for abusive members of the armed forces in sompleted. The UN must
ensure that abusive members of the armed forces do not receive any UN
trainint or assistance. The UN should also make public the list of the members
of the new police or armed forces who receive UN assistance.
The UN should actively support the creation of regional safe havens for fleeing
refugees, based on the concept of burden-sharing. It should employ the good of-
fices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure observ-
ance of basic principles of refugee protection.
Senator DODD. Well, thank you very much. I thank all three of
you for your excellent testimony.
I would submit for the record at this point a letter from the Car-
negie Endowment for International Peace signed by Ian Martin,
who was until recently the Human Rights Director of the UN/OAS
International Civilian Mission in Haiti, now is a senior associate
with the Carnegie Endowment, to John Shattuck regarding the
human rights situation. We will put that in the record and note
that after the return of Mr. Shattuck from Haiti, he specifically
called for a complete policy review, an overhaul, and was quickly
reprimanded for that suggestion and then was told that his state-
ments were completely wrong and outrageous. Completely a rogue
statement by Mr. Shattuck. I think your testimony here this morn-
ing and those we received from others would indicate quite the con-
trary. It was on track, and I am told that an awful lot of people
within the Department agree with Mr. Shattuck as well.
[The letter referred to follows:]
CARNECIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE,
February 3, 1994.
Mr. John Shattuck,
Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and
Humanitarian Affairs, U.S. Department of State,
Washington, DC, 20520.
DEAR JOHN: I started back at Carnegie on the day you released the first annual
State Department human rights report under your responsibility. I haven't had a
chance to see it yet, but I am sure that in many places it reflects your own prin-
cipled approach to objectivity in assessing the human rights situation in different
I have however had the Haiti entry sent to me, and I hope it will be useful to
you if I tell you directly why I think that although some sections are quite strong
in their summary of the reality of the Haitian human rights situation, in other im-
portant respects it is a disappointingly flawed account of the period I experienced
there. Despite its positive comments on the credibility as well as the effect of the
presence of the International Civilian Mission and citations of our findings, it does
not correctly reflect our published or private assessment of the nature and extent
of human rights violations. This opinion is of course a person one; I no longer speak
officially for the Mission.
The report deals first with political and other extrajudicial killings. It gives some
of the Mission's figures for what we called killings or suspect deaths (inadvertently
reversing our figures for the months of May and June: we recorded nine in May and
five in June, not the other way around; and attributing all 67 deaths recorded for
July/August to Port-au-Prince when in fact 58 of them occurred in the capital-para.
20 of our report to UN General Assembly document (A/48/5632 dated 20 October).
Although it says that the Mission registered over 100 homicide cases from June to
September, it does not give our figure of over 60 killings or suspect deaths in Sep-
tember, nor does it say anything about killings in October before or after the evacu-
ation of the Mission (apart from that of Guy Malary). We stated that the Mission
was investigating over a dozen reports between 1 and 15 October, which can be as-
sumed to have been less than the total that would have been reported for the period
had we remained in Haiti; we were not able to verify reports after our evacuation,
but Haitian human rights monitors reported at least 47 killings in the violence that
followed our departure. This suggests that the total for July-October probably ap-
proached or exceeded 200.
I thus believe that the report tends to understate the death toll. Perhaps more
serious however is the way in which it minimizes the extent to which killings can
be assumed to have been politically motivated, where the key statements in the re-
port is that "of these 67 killings [registered by the Mission in July/August]. ICM
officials believe at least 7 may have been politically motivated." In an early analysis
of the killings in July and part of August which we provided to the embassies of
Canada, France and the U.S., we identified those of the victims who had known po-
litical affiliations which suggested that they might have been politically targeted.
This did not at the time correspond to the full proportion of the total which we be-
lieved were likely to have been politically motivated, and we gained additional infor-
mation on July/August killings as our investigations proceeded, as well as becoming
to better analyze the pattern of killings as these continued through September and
into October. In our main report (A/48/532, paras. 22-25) we analyzed very care-
fully, in terms similar to those in which we explained our analysis in conversations
with U.S. officials, the categories of killings: a minority of cases where eyewitnesses
said that the victims were killed or taken away by members of the FAD'H; other
cases were although the killing was not witnessed the victims had been official cus-
tody or there were other indications of targeting by the FAD'H; a large number of
cases where eyewitnesses attributed killings to armed men in civilian clothing, some
of them where the victim had political affiliations or the killings had a clear political
context; and the remaining cases, where there was no specific information pointing
to a politically targeted killing. This remaining category cannot however be excluded
from consideration of political killing, for reasons we explain in para. 25: the armed
groups operate under the cover of the police, their operation may be intended to in-
timidate the population of localities most opposed to the post-coup authorities, and
(as the State Department report itself notes) there is credible testimony linking the
Port-au-Prince police to the systematic operations of paramilitary armed groups en-
gaged in arbitrary killings.
Our analysis of the political character of the killings was extended in our supple-
mentary report (A/48/532/Add.1, dated 18 November, paras. 2-11). I appreciate that
the State Department report does not have space for such an extensive analysis. It
appears to me however that the extent and political character of killings (and simi-
larly of disappearances) over this period is seriously downplayed.
The downplaying of the gravity or military responsibility for killings appears also
in the report's account of two of the most serious events of September. The report
says that attach6 violence resulted in at least one death and numerous injuries at
a September 8 city hall ceremony to mark the return of Port-au-Prince's pro-Aristide
mayor." Most reports said that five people were killed. The Mission was scrupulous
in reporting only the three deaths it could verify, and gave the names of these three
victims in its report. It also referred to the presence of the police, who did not inter-
vene. The State Department's report describes the extrajudicial execution of Antoine
Izmery as follows: "armed civilians attacked Aristide supporters during a church
service, killing prominent pro-Aristide activist Antoine Izmery and one other per-
son." If you have been able to find the time to read the Mission's detailed report
of its investigation into these events, you will readily appreciate that this does not
give an accurate impression of this cold-blooded execution nor of the compelling evi-
dence of official complicity.
The report addressed the experience of the Mission directly in its Section 4, Gov-
ernmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of
Alleged Violations of Human Rights. It seriously understates the failure of the mili-
tary to respect the terms of reference of the Mission over access to detainees, which
was not only a matter of refusal of general visits to prisons but denial of access to
detainees who had recently been arbitrarily arrested and tortured. By referring to
intimidation of observers in only two departments, the report also understates this
aspect of its experience. Most regrettable however is the absence of any reference
to what we described in our report as "persistent threats made against people ap-
parently because of their contacts with the Mission or because the fact that they
had been the victims of human rights violations has been made public by the Mis-
sion and others" (A/48/532, para. 40, illustrated with examples in para. 41).
The State Department reports says that "on two occasions ICM vehicles were de-
liberately damaged; one was stoned by a pro-Aristide mob and another was battered
by soldiers and armed civilians." In our published reports we cite two occasions
when ICM vehicles were attacked: when a marked vehicle of the Mission with a
team of observers driving in Cap Haitien was surrounded by armed men in military
uniform, who banged on its sides and roof with their rifles and batons, in the pres-
ence of an officer who made no attempt to stop them (A/48/532, para. 66); and when
after about 300 men had surrounded for a time the office of the Mission in Hinche,
they proceeded to a residence of Mission observers, where they assaulted a local em-
ployee and smashed the windows of a mission vehicle (A/48/532/Add.1, para. 25). In
these reports we cites several other instances of what the State Department report
rather dismissively calls "perceived threats and intimidation," including members of
the Mission being threatened with loaded weapons and in one incident being fired
upon. I don't know what incident the writer has in mind in stating that a Mission
vehicle was stoned by a pro-Aristide mob; neither the Executive Director of the Mis-
sion no I can recall any incident which could be so described. Certainly it is quite
wrong to give the impression that the Mission was intimidated in its work at any
time by pro-Aristide groups, let alone that this was on an equal footing with the
hostility displayed toward it on many occasions by the military and those liked to
The U.S. Government may have a different assessment from the Mission on a
number of these issues, and that would be a matter for useful discussion. My con-
cern however is that the State Department report gives the impression that it is
relying substantially on the Mission's information while not summarizing or select-
ing from this in a manner which is faithful to the Mission's own reporting.
I look forward to seeing you again now that I am back in Washington, and should
be happy to discuss this matter with you.
IAN MARTIN, Senior Associate.
Senator DODD. Let me start with you, if I can, Ms. Burkhalter.
Let me ask you as of today, right now, is the situation getting
worse or is it getting better in terms of the human rights condi-
tions in Haiti given the control of the military?
Ms. BURKHALTER. I actually think it is very much worse. There
was an orgy of killings. Many of the 3,000 dead were killed in the
first months after the coup, but what has become entrenched and
what has just developed over the past year has been a vast expan-
sion of the army's power in the country through the development
of the FRAPH and other paramilitary organizations.
In that regard, every single aspect of daily life of Haitians is
under scrutiny. Therefore, people cannot hold a meeting, not any
kind of a meeting. They cannot leave their houses. There may be
some 500,000 Haitians that have been displaced because of the ex-
treme human rights abuses. There are continued spasms. of vio-
lence. The Embassy portrays these as sort of exceptions, but frank-
ly I think that when you have at least 100 people killed, when the
FRAPH, aided by the police, burns down a section of Cite Soleil,
77-388 0 94 4
the victims including many tiny children, I hardly think of that as
The fact of the matter is in Haiti like in Salvador, you do not
have to kill 3,000 people every day or every year to get the message
across. The most important aspect of the human rights situation in
Haiti for Haiti's future is that civil society has been absolutely de-
stroyed. There is not a peasant organization or a popular church
organization that can function freely and above ground. These or-
ganizations are necessary not only for Haiti's future economic de-
velopment as previous speakers, but notably the Oxfam representa-
tive described, but they are an essential check on the authority of
any future government, including Aristide's.
One of the great, most wonderful sights I have ever seen in my
15 years in the human rights field was the development of civil so-
ciety in Haiti following the ouster of the Duvalier regime. Particu-
larly after Aristide's election, the spontaneous development of little
cooperatives in marketing, associations and health groups and pop-
ular literacy organizations, et cetera, I have never seen anything
like it in a country that had been under dictatorship for that long.
Most countries immediately splinter into 59 political groups, not
Haiti. All of those groups that were created and that are so essen-
tial to the future are gone. They are absolutely obliterated.
Senator DODD. How active is John Shattuck, Assistant Secretary
of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, within the
administration? He has been an advocate and concerned about the
human rights situation in Haiti, I want to ask you the same ques-
Ms. BURKHALTER. Well, as an outsider, it is not possible for me
to know all of the ins and outs of policymaking. I do commend the
Assistant Secretary for his visit to Haiti to go to the funeral of Guy
Malary, and I think he did speak frankly about U.S. policy before
he was publicly humiliated and forced to withdraw those remarks.
On the other hand, I would think it is a discredit to the Human
Rights Bureau that he heads, the quality of the State Department
country report which is a piece of trash on Haiti and it sullies an
otherwise decent volume that is quite useful on many other coun-
tries in the world. If the bureau is not responsible for that product,
as I suspect they are not, then the authority of the bureau needs
to be expanded considerably in terms of the quality of what goes
out in its name.
I think the Human Rights Bureau needs to be much more in-
volved in the question of this neutrality on the amnesty question,
and I highlight it in my own testimony. I would assume that
Shattuck, who comes from the human rights community himself,
has made his voice heard. I do not think it has been heeded, how-
Senator DODD. Well, let me just point out I asked someone from
that department be here today to testify because, obviously, the
human rights situation is one that is on the minds of people. That
request was denied. We have no one that will appear today from
that bureau within the State Department to answer questions
about this matter.
Mr. KOH. Senator, if I may speak to this as well. I think that
one of the accomplishments of this committee in its legislation in
the 1970's was to make it clear that human rights policy and for-
eign policy do not proceed on separate tracks. The purpose of hav-
ing a human rights bureaucracy was not so that that bureaucracy
can be ignored.
It seems to me that the question is not so much whether John
Shattuck has input with his colleagues, but whether this committee
is putting pressure directly on Under Secretary Wirth, Secretary
Christopher, the National Security Adviser, and other players in
the Government who are directly involved with making the Haitian
policy. I think it is too easy to say it is the responsibility of the
human rights officer when it is very clear that on some matters the
human rights officer's words are not being heeded by the people
who are making the foreign policy. That is where this committee
and the Senate have an important role to play in pushing the ad-
Senator DODD. It seems to me that the administration finds itself
on the horns of the obvious dilemma here. To admit in fact that
you have an outrageous human rights situation where the evidence
is overwhelming, and then to pursue a refugee policy that runs di-
rectly contrary to this evidence puts you in direct contradiction
with yourself. This seems to me to be the situation we are in, to
put it bluntly.
Mike, let me ask you to comment on the overall human rights
situation at this juncture.
Mr. BARNES. Well, it is a desperate situation, as has been noted
by my colleagues here on the panel. I recall, Mr. Chairman, when
you and I met with Baby Doc back in the 1980's when he was in
power, and the situation was terrible then. You and I raised the
human rights question with him in the meeting we had in the
Presidential palace. The human rights situation today is much,
much worse for the people of Haiti than it was under the Duvalier
The macoutes are back in force and in a way it is worse in some
respects. It is less organized by the section chiefs. It is more indis-
criminate. A Haitian found with anything that indicates support
for democracy in his possession is almost certainly going to be ar-
rested, beaten, and possibly killed. This is a much worse situation
than what we saw when we were there and it was terrible in those
Senator DODD. Let me focus, if I can, on the Mond6 plan. I would
like to have you comment on the genesis of that plan. This is the
so-called centrist plan that has been proposed to President Aristide
which we have already discussed at some length here this morning
already. What is your understanding as to how this plan came to
Mr. BARNES. Well, it was first presented to me in January by the
State Department and Dante Caputo.
Senator DODD. Who is the author of it?
Mr. BARNEs. I do not know who the author of it was. I assume
someone in the State Department, but I do not know that for a
It was then presented to President Aristide by representatives of
the Clinton administration at the very highest levels. We raised at
the outset concerns about the plan, similar to the ones I have al-
ready stated today.
They then brought to Washington a group of parliamentarians
from Haiti and presented the plan to them, and some of them en-
dorsed it. It has now been endorsed by a minority of the lower
house in the Parliament in Haiti. The Clinton administration will
tell you that it was endorsed by a majority, but it was endorsed by
a majority of those present and voting. But because of the reign of
terror in the country, the majority of members of the house were
Senator DODD. First of all, do you want to describe who Mr.
Mr. BARNES. Mr. Mond6 is a self-proclaimed macoute. He is one
of those who wore the uniform of the macoutes under the
Duvaliers. He is proud of it. He said when he came to Washington
as part of that delegation, he was not coming to talk about the res-
toration of democracy, he was coming to talk about lifting sanc-
tions, about how to get the sanctions lifted.
He is perceived to be, and I am do not know but I am told by
everybody, that he is a close associate of Michel Francois. Dante
Caputo said Francois was implicated in the murder of Guy Malary.
I have no reason to doubt that assessment. Everyone assumes that
these attaches who are the new macoutes, the macoutes of the
1990's, are operating in cooperation with Mr. Mond6 and Mr. Fran-
cois and others. He is not someone with whom we should be doing
a lot of business.
Senator DODD. Who paid for his trip to come to the United
Mr. BARNES. As I understand it, the parliamentarians came here
under the aegis of the Center for Democracy.
Senator DODD. Which is USAID as I am told.
Mr. BARNES. I am not personally aware of where the money came
from for that trip.
Senator DODD. I am told it was under USAID, a taxpayer sub-
Mr. BARNES. I understand that the Center for Democracy re-
ceives funds from the U.S. Government, but you would have to ask
Senator DODD. But he leads the pro-coup faction. This is the
leader of the so-called centrists.
Mr. BARNEs. The group that has been most active in support of
this plan and that voted last week for the plan in the lower house
of the Parliament is the same group that initially supported the
coup immediately after the coup, the same group in the Parliament
that did so. They voted for Nerette, for Honorat, for Bazin, all the
various people who were put forward to put a sort of facade of de-
mocracy on top of the coup. This is the same group that promoted
those efforts to undermine the restoration of democracy and they
are supporting this plan which in our view tragically, if imple-
mented, would institutionalize the coup. It would keep in power the
very people who are responsible for all of these human rights viola-
tions that we have been hearing about from Ms. Burkhalter and
The only person who would be asked to leave power under this
plan is General Cedras. He would retire from the army. Well, his
term in the army expires in October anyway. He will be leaving in
October, as I understand it, in any event whatever happens with
this. So, that is academic.
Really the issue is what happens to General Dupreval? What
happens to General Biamby? What happens to Colonel Francois?
The people who control the country today through a reign of terror
would remain in place under this plan.
Senator DODD. I appreciate that point. This whole notion of a
centrist group has now become part of the mantra.
Mr. BARNEs. That is right.
Senator DODD. This is a very effective technique if you can sort
of characterize as such. Washington loves centrist groups.
Mr. BARNES. The argument is that President Aristide's almost 70
percent base of support is not adequate and that if he is not willing
to share power with the people who perpetrated the coup, then he
is intransigent. The people who perpetrated the coup represent,
what, 3, 4 percent perhaps of the population of Haiti, maybe at a
maximum 8 or 9 percent. Aristide is being pressed to share power
with them, to designate a Prime Minister acceptable to them, to
designate a government acceptable to them. He is asked to do it
while the criminals who have perpetrated all these human rights
violations remain there in the army in control with the guns so
that, in essence, he is being asked to name a government accept-
able to them because they will not take the steps that they are ex-
pected to take under this plan, certainly, unless they are satisfied
that the new government will treat them well. Of course, they are
controlling not just the military, but now they control the central
bank, the telephone company, the airport, the port, the sugar mo-
nopoly. Everything in the country that makes money is now con-
trolled by Michel Francois and his associates in the high command
of the military.
Senator DODD. Let me just come back just to complete the notion
of this group. Was President Aristide consulted prior to the forma-
tion of this group and their arrival as to who they were at all?
Mr. BARNES. No, not at all. In fact, the president of the Senate,
who came to Washington at the invitation of the Center for Democ-
racy, bailed out quickly when he discovered what this was all
about. He is not supporting this plan and has criticized the effort
that has been made.
Senator DODD. How many people are part of this group?
Mr. BARNEs. Well, the vote in the house last week was 35, 35 in
support of it. That is not a majority of the house, and it is essen-
tially the same block of members of the house who have opposed
democracy at every turn since the coup. They supported the coup.
Let me say there are some people who have been proponents of
democracy who have aligned themselves with this plan. My per-
sonal view is that they are doing so under intimidation, and given
the atmosphere in the country, it is difficult to criticize them for
supporting something that obviously will not result in the restora-
tion of democracy, but they are under great pressure.
Senator DODD. There were six people, as I understand it, who
signed the letter to the U.N. outlining this proposed compromise.
Mr. BARNES. That is right.
Senator DODD. Who were the six people?
Mr. BARNES. I have that list. I do not have it in front of me.
Senator DODD. I would like you to describe to me who these peo-
While we are waiting that, I understand that Mr. Frantz Mond6
was also one of the founding members of FRAPH. Is that true?
Mr. BARNES. That is correct.
Senator DODD. This is the organization that has been described
by Ms. Burkhalter as basically the organization of the thugs that
are perpetrating some of the worst human rights violations.
Ms. BURKHALTER. It is a giant death squad.
Mr. BARNES. It is a death squad. That is a good description of
Senator DODD. Now, is it a fact that Frantz Mond6 was one of
the founding members of FRAPH?
Mr. BARNES. That is my understanding. He stated at a recent
public meeting in Haiti, "I am FRAPH."
Senator DODD. The leading signature is Mr. Frantz Mond6, the
man who you just described.
Can you tell me about these other people?
Mr. BARNES. Senator Larosiliere is a very conservative member
of the alliance which is an anti-Aristide coalition.
Jean-Jacques Signon was a former member of the FNCD party,
but he switched to the alliance coalition after the coup. He appar-
ently saw the writing on the wall and decided to support the oppo-
nents of democracy.
Jean Eddy Talandieu Desjardins is a member of the alliance coa-
lition. He is a member also of the MKN which is the Duvalierist
party, and he is an avowed member of FRAPH.
Victor Beniot was a candidate for President in 1990. He with-
drew. He has been a political rival of President Aristide and a critic
of President Aristide. I would not put him by any means in the
same category as these other individuals. He is not a member of
FRAPH. He does not have that history of support for the Duvalier
Michel Gaillard is an associate of Mr. Beniot.
Importantly, it was not signed by Firmin Jean Louis, the Presi-
dent of the Senate who was a part of that initial group that was
brought to Washington by the State Department.
Senator DODD. Well, I think that is important that the people
know who these so-called centrists are and this document we are
shopping around as the sort of a moderate position in the midst of
all of this.
Let me stick with this and I will come back to the refugee issue
in a second, Mr. Koh.
Could you comment for us briefly on the Aristide counter-
proposal? Because as I understand it, this is not just a rejection of
this so-called centrist group, but President Aristide has a counter-
Before asking you to describe that to me, let me ask you this: Is
the Governors Island accord revivable, obviously with new dates, is
this still a viable option for President Aristide? Or is that now, in
light of events that have occurred, become a dead letter?
Mr. BARNES. It is only revivable if the international community
puts its imprimatur behind that.
Senator DODD. Well, would President Aristide support this?
Mr. BARNES. Absolutely, absolutely.
Senator DODD. So, the timing, the sequencing that is included in
the Governors Island accord would be supported by President
Mr. BARNES. Yes. He remains totally committed despite his, as
you know, very strong reservations at the time that the military
would not fulfill its commitments under Governors Island. At Gov-
ernors Island, we were very wary of the 4-month timeframe that
was established under that agreement. We feared that the military
would use that timeframe to undermine the accord and make mis-
chief, and tragically we were all too right.
President Aristide has been proven right again and again and
again throughout the last 21/2 years when it comes to assessing the
intent of the Haitian army. He knows them well, and his view is
that it will require maximum pressure from the international com-
munity to dislodge them from power and the lucrative corrupt ac-
tivities they are engaged in now.
Senator DODD. I would like you to describe what President
Aristide has now proposed as an alternative to this particular pro-
Mr. BARNES. Well, he is proposing two things in essence. One is
that the international community fulfill the promise that it made
in December. You will recall that in Paris in December, the so-
called Four Friends, the United States, Canada, France, and Ven-
ezuela, met and announced that if the army did not remove itself
from power and permit the restoration of democracy by January 15,
then the U.N. imposed sanctions would be tightened, and there was
a specific list of ways in which the sanctions would be tightened.
It is now almost 2 months later and that has not happened.
President Aristide believes that that is a tragic loss of time. Almost
2 months more of repression on the people of Haiti has been caused
by the failure of the international community to keep that commit-
ment that was made in December.
So, that is point 1: Do what they said they would do in December
if the army did not get out by January 15. Another deadline passed
without any response from the international community.
The second point that President Aristide would make is that the
clear way to move this process forward is under a different se-
quencing from the one proposed in this plan that the United States
is advocating. He believes that the first step toward the restoration
of democracy has to be the stepping aside of the repressive regime
and their replacement by military officers who are committed to
the restoration of democracy. As I say, we believe there are such
officers in the Haitian army. The Haitian army is not a monolith,
but the people at the top are thugs, they are criminals. They need
to step aside as the first step.
Then you can move quickly to the formation of a new government
that could operate in an atmosphere without the terror that reigns
today. The reason you could not get a majority to vote last week
in the Parliament was they are afraid. Many of them are in hiding.
Some of them are in exile because they know they would be killed
if they showed up to vote at the Parliament.
You need to bring in the international presence, bring back the
UN/OAS presence that was called for under Governors Island, and
you need to enact the various laws that were called for under Gov-
It is absolutely right, as Professor Koh and Ms. Burkhalter have
said, that it really is obscene to talk about amnesty for these peo-
ple. However, President Aristide signed a document on July 3 com-
mitting himself to amnesty for these people. He remains at this
late date, after the murder of some of his closest friends and associ-
ates, still committed, despite the very correct analysis of this situa-
tion by my colleagues here, to that amnesty. That was part of what
was called for under Governors Island and he is prepared to see
that implemented despite the outrageousness of it.
Governors Island also called for the separation of the police from
the military. As you know, they have never had a civilian police
force in Haiti. So, that needs to be done.
None of that can be done in the current atmosphere with the
guns pointed at the heads of the members of Parliament. So, you
need removal of the people who are perpetrating the violence and
the terror before you can implement these steps under Governors
Then he would return on a date certain, and he says it would be
under his proposal 10 days after the Prime Minister takes office,
and then on that date the sanctions would be lifted, not, as the
U.S.-supported plan calls for, prior to his return.
Senator DODD. What has been the reaction to that proposal from
the State Department?
Mr. BARNES. Basically, Mr. Chairman, I will tell you the State
Department's position-and I understand it-is they say that is
great. That is a great plan. If we could do it, that is a great plan.
But Francois and Cedras and these guys will not go. So, talking
about making that the first step makes your plan unworkable.
Since they will not go, you have to come up with a plan that is
acceptable to them. So, they are pushing on President Aristide fur-
ther concessions beyond the concessions he made at Governors Is-
land. We made enormous concessions at Governors Island, as you
well know. It was not a plan President Aristide wanted at Gov-
ernors Island at all because we believed there that the first step
should be the removal of the military leadership. So, what they say
is, since you cannot get them out first, you have to agree to a
power-sharing arrangement that permits Michel Francois to stay in
the army and stay in power and his buddies continue to run the
central bank and the telephone company and everything else.
Our response to that is President Aristide, under the urging of
the very highest levels-the Secretary General of the U.N. called
President Aristide and said sign at Governors Island. The Sec-
retary General of the Organization of American States called Presi-
dent Aristide and said sign. The highest levels, believe me, of the
U.S. Government called President Aristide at Governors Island and
said sign. The President of the United States called him the morn-
ing after Governors Island and said that was terrific that you
signed that. We are going to stand with you. We support Governors
President Aristide then fulfilled every commitment he had made
at Governors Island. He named the Prime Minister. He named the
Cabinet. He issued the amnesty decree even after one of his closest
friends, Antoine Izmery, was murdered in the streets. He fulfilled
all of his commitments.
Now they are coming back to him and saying, yes, you fulfilled
all your commitments, the army fulfilled none, all they did was
continue to kill people, but they will not go. So, you have to do
more now, Mr. Aristide. You have to enter into a new plan, much
weaker than Governors Island-that will result in power sharing
and very likely-they do not say this, but very likely will result in
your never going back because once again we are going to lift the
sanctions before you are back in Port-au-Prince.
I understand their frustration. Francois says he will not go un-
less in a casket. Cedras told Novak he is not going anywhere.
Senator DODD. He said even under the so-called centrist plan he
is not going to leave.
Mr. BARNEs. Absolutely. I understand the frustration of Larry
Pezzullo and Mike Kozak and the other good people in the U.S.
Government who are working on this. They are dedicated people.
They want to see a solution to this problem. I understand their
frustration, but the answer is not for President Aristide to make
further concessions to the thugs.
The answer is for the U.N. and the Organization of American
States and, yes, the United States, which committed to President
Aristide that if he would sign this document, they would make sure
that the document was enforced, now to take the steps necessary.
In December they said if the army did not get out by January
15 they were going to increase the sanctions. My colleagues on the
panel here have indicated ways in which the sanctions could be in-
creased which would, in fact, put pressure on the military. I am
told that Mrs. Cedras shops every week in Miami. The price of gas-
oline in Port-au-Prince has dropped from where it was at $35 a gal-
lon down now to $9 a gallon or something. So, the wealthy people
in Haiti are not suffering because of this embargo. The embargo is
When the assets of General Biamby were frozen in a bank ac-
count in the United States, they found that he had less than $5 in
that bank account. He is not a fool. They have been warned for 2
years that their bank accounts might be frozen, so they have put
their funds elsewhere.
It is necessary now for the international community to dem-
onstrate that it is serious about the restoration of democracy.
For the last 2 months all we have read in the Washington Post
and the New York Times is that President Aristide is being intran-
sigent and that more pressure needs to be put on President
Aristide to make further accommodations to the military.
Well, they read that in Port-au-Prince. They get the fax the
minute it is off the presses up here, and they are loving it down
there because they know that if they just sit tight and President
Aristide does not agree to make these further concessions, which
I would not advise him to make-I do not think he should make-
that they are going win. They are absolutely convinced, Mr. Chair-
man, that they are going to win because they think that the inter-
national community is going to throw up its hands, say, well, we
cannot force these guys out. President Aristide is not willing to
make these accommodations to the military, so we are going to
write him off. That is what they think is going to happen and trag-
ically that is the direction in which we are headed.
Senator DODD. Let me just ask you as a point of reference here,
under the Haitian constitution a President cannot succeed himself,
is that correct?
Mr. BARNES. That is correct.
Senator DODD. How much time is left?
Mr. BARNES. Less than 2 years, February 19.
Senator DODD. So, if you hold on until February 19, it becomes
not only a de facto but also a de jure elimination of President
Aristide is out.
Mr. BARNEs. Absolutely.
Ms. BURKHALTER. Mr. Chairman, can I add one-
Senator DODD. I just want to come back to one point here and
then you can comment as well. In fact, I will focus the question to
We have now heard from a couple of people here this morning,
that CARE is somewhat ambivalent about the issue of whether or
not sanctions ought to be increased because of the hardship being
felt by poor people. We heard the Catholic Conference describe how
it is going through this same sort of a quandary. My suspicions are
that it is in fact not going to be terribly supportive for toughening
the sanctions. It may in fact suggest that lifting the present sanc-
tions would be the proper road to follow because of the impact
being felt by the average poor Haitian, the impact these sanctions
What is your information regarding the impact of the sanctions
presently on the population, and on what do you base that conclu-
Ms. BURKHALTER. We were just there a few weeks ago, but we
are not a medical group and we did not do a medical survey in the
way that others have done.
We anecdotally did not see-and we went throughout the coun-
try-the sort of mass starvation and famine indicators that would
force us to take a position against the embargo on humanitarian
grounds. We, however, do have a concern about the use of an eco-
nomic embargo that does have an impact on the poor because if it
gets to such a point as it causes really great hardship, then it be-
comes illegal under international humanitarian law. We have not
reached that assessment ourselves that it has reached those levels,
but if it does, then we will have to oppose it. As it is now, we are
neutral on the embargo.
I will say, however, that it is necessary and it is appropriate to
tighten the embargo and the effects of the embargo on the coup
leaders. It was mishandled from the very beginning, as Mr. Barnes
has said, and to close the door after the horse is long gone and
make it even tougher on the poor is clearly wrong-headed.
I think that even an increased embargo in support of a bad policy
is not the way to go. I think the international community should
keep faith with its commitments and they should be looking for
ways to make the embargo better, though I think it is way late for
Senator DODD. Does President Aristide support tightening of the
sanctions, and if so, in what manner?
Mr. BARNES. Yes, he does in all the ways that have been dis-
cussed. He spoke at the U.N. last fall and said that the answer
here is to get this over with quickly because the people of his coun-
try are suffering. I can tell you that he suffers with them. The man
is a priest. He went into the priesthood to serve the people of Haiti
and he went into government to serve the people of Haiti. They are
suffering terribly. The poor people of the country who, as you well
know, are the vast majority of the people, are suffering under this
situation. He wants to see the maximum pressure possible for the
shortest period of time to get this crisis over with. He has advo-
cated all of the steps that could be taken to maximize the embargo
with humanitarian exceptions.
Senator DODD. Let me ask you also because people here have
suggested, some more directly than others, that if the sanctions do
not work, that exercising a military option in order to restore Presi-
dent Aristide ought to be given more than just serious consider-
ation. The participants in such a military operation I would pre-
sume would be the United States, in concert with international al-
lies, the U.N. or the OAS or some combination of the two. How
does President Aristide feel about that option?
Mr. BARNES. President Aristide has said that the people of Haiti
would be very grateful to be rescued from the tragic situation they
find themselves in today. He has not advocated a military action
to rescue the people of Haiti from this reign of terror that they are
experiencing, but he has noted that the people of Haiti would be
The situation in the country is desperate. I do not know if you
have been there recently, Senator, but I know you have been to
Haiti many times. It is far worse today than anything you have
ever seen in Haiti, and I know you have seen the worst poverty
that Haiti has had in the past. It is a desperate situation and the
people of Haiti would be enormously grateful to be rescued from
the reign of terror that they are living through today.
Senator DODD. Let me turn if I can now to the refugee policy.
As I understand, President Aristide is going to terminate or an-
nounce the termination of cooperation of the United States regard-
ing refugee policy. What is the rationale for that at this juncture?
I understand the concerns about the policy implications of'sanc-
tions and not tightening them and the like, but to move away from
cooperation on refugees, what is the thinking behind this?
Mr. BARNEs. President Aristide is reviewing that policy. He has
not indicated yet that he will terminate it.
But this is inhuman what we are doing. We are picking people
up at sea and taking them back into a reign of terror in their coun-
try. It is indefensible, and it is being done pursuant to an agree-
ment between the United States and Haiti that was entered into
a long time ago, in the early 1980's I believe, by a different govern-
President Aristide asked the people of Haiti to remain there and
to be confident that the international community would rescue
them from this tragic crisis with the understanding that there was
going to be an all-out effort by the international community to re-
solve this crisis. He was asked specifically at the highest levels of
the Clinton administration in the earliest hours of the Clinton ad-
ministration to support their efforts for the restoration of democ-
racy and ask the people of Haiti to remain there because hope was
coming and their rescue was coming. Well, it is now well over a
year later and the people of Haiti remain caught in this reign of
terror in their own country, and President Aristide is reviewing the
Mr. KOH. Senator, if I could speak to that. It raises a point of
international law which is my specialty. I think it is a mistake to
say that President Aristide is considering terminating the agree-
ment. The United States has terminated the agreement by its ac-
tions. This agreement exists between no other two countries in the
world, only the United States and Haiti, and it is an agreement
which permits stopping of boats and selective return. That is what
it says in the preamble, in other words, the United States may re-
turn economic migrants but not political refugees.
Now, as you know, for well over a year the United States has
been returning everybody. It is pursuing a "don't ask" policy with
regard to political refugees and that is a breach of the agreement,
which permits "selective return." The United States is not keeping
up its part of the bargain.
I think that at this point, the question that the legitimate Gov-
ernment of Haiti should be asking itself is should it be providing
this legal fig leaf to the U.S. Government to engage in what is es-
sentially an illegal stoppage of boats on the high seas?
I think that the suggestion that somehow the choice is President
Aristide's to continue to play ball with the U.S. Government mis-
states the point. The point of law is that the United States had
agreed that it would not return legitimate political refugees. This
was a policy that Ronald Reagan respected for 8 years and that
George Bush respected for 3 years and 6 months, but that now
Bush changed and now President Clinton has continued this draco-
nian policy for 14 months. So, it is the United States which is in
breach of this accord, and I think the only question is whether
President Aristide decides that for his part he should no longer re-
spect the agreement.
Senator DODD. Let me ask this since we have moved into this
subject. The in-country processing of Haitian asylum seekers, how
is that working? Is that effectively identifying those who have le-
gitimate asylum claims?
Mr. KOH. No. That is a facade. The situation in Haiti is that-
I have been to the in-country processing point. Where it was lo-
cated originally it required people to line up at a place outside the
U.S. Embassy where they could be observed by Macoute members
of the antigang headquarters. They have since moved it to the
Banque National de Paris Building on Avenue John Brown where
again-and I have entered this building--you can be observed by
those who see you when your only purpose of going is to get an ap-
There is a very graphic case which shows the folly of this system.
Understand that under the current policy, if President Aristide
were coming on a boat, he would be returned, no questions asked,
because we have a "don't ask" policy about political refugees. There
was a Haitian soldier, Williams Corascelon, who had refused to lift
arms against supporters of Aristide. He then fled on a boat, was
picked up, and summarily returned by the U.S. Government to
Haiti, and at Port-au-Prince he sought in-country processing.
After they interviewed him, they finally realized that he never
should have been returned in the first place. He was a bona fide
political refugee and he was in grave danger. He was given what
was called a list processing, which still took about a week and a
half, 10 days, and then when they brought him to the airport to
take him out as a refugee, he was arrested by the Haitian military.
I understand that it took protests at the very highest levels of the
U.S. Government before he was finally released. During those 6
days, he could have been killed, he could have been tortured. This
is the folly of the system that we are pursuing.
This is the core point. When our Government intervenes to re-
turn Haitians to their persecutors or when it calls for amnesty,
then our taxpayers' money is being used to aid and abet human
rights violations. We have become a party to the abuse, not simply
observers, but a party to it. I think that is the human rights disas-
ter which is going on.
Senator DODD. Someone suggested that an alternative to just
bringing people to the shores of the United States-there are alter-
natives to returning people to Haiti-given the quantities and the
obvious point, that this country cannot accept any and all refugees
who wish to come here, by whatever means they arrive on shore.
Would you just briefly describe what some of those alternatives
might be and practically how they would work?
Mr. KOH. Right. Since May 1992, we have been pursuing a policy
of everybody being returned. As I said, the first option, not my de-
sired option, but one that the Reagan administration pursued for
8 years and that the Bush administration pursued up until May
1992 was to interview people and to determine whether or not they
had a credible fear of persecution. Now, they did this in part on
Coast Guard cutters. After a while they started to do it at Guanta-
namo. So, Guantanamo remains a possibility.
That base, whose use we sued about, was never run like a legiti-
mate refugee camp, pursued and patrolled by U.N. High Commis-
sioner on Refugees representatives. Instead people who were
brought there were treated like prisoners of war. So, a bona fide
refugee camp offshore has never been explored by this administra-
A third country option is also possible. A number of countries
had taken refugees, but after the United States started simply re-
turning them, logically they are going to say if the United States
will not take the refugees, why should we? The third country op-
tions have not been fully explored.
The possibility of safe haven sites within Haiti has never been
fully explored, it seems to me. If you do not want people to get on
a boat, we have, for example, the "Kurdistan" solution which was
applied in Iraq.
Finally, the temporary protected status option pursued with re-
gard to Salvadorans and others. We have simply the question of
whether they ought to be granted a status, for example, a Cuban/
Haitian entrant status where they have the same status as Cu-
It seems to me that you have to understand that the relative
magnitudes have been distorted. Over a period of 10 years, some
900,000 Cubans came to the United States. At a period of uncon-
trolled migration with no serious efforts to restore Aristide, we
were talking in the range of 30,000. During the period when
Aristide was actually in office, almost nobody left Haiti.
I think the point is when the refugees are sending a signal, when
the refugees start to flow, that is what put pressure on the admin-
istration to deal with the political problem. The Clinton adminis-
tration has cut off the refugee flow, and that is what has led them
to take their time about dealing with the political problem.
Senator DODD. Now, I will ask this of all three of you. Is there
any doubt in your mind that if there is not a change of policy here
that President Aristide will not be returned to Haiti during the re-
mainder of his tenure?
Ms. BURKHALTER. Well, it does not seem likely, and even if he
is returned, if there has not been some way to purge the Armed
Forces, he will be killed just like his Cabinet members were.
Mr. KOH. I think that is right. I am not an expert on Haitian
constitutional law, but I think there is a serious question as to
whether the 5-year clock of his term should run against Aristide
when the coup overthrew him in violation of the Constitution.
Senator DODD. When he gets back, he can hire you to go down
and represent him. [Laughter.]
Mr. KOH. That is a case I would love to take, Senator.
Senator DODD. Mr. Barnes?
Mr. BARNES. I agree with them.
Senator DODD. Let me just ask a related question. Let me begin
with you, Dr. Koh. Is there any doubt in your mind that if Presi-
dent Aristide is not returned and if the military leaders continue
in power, that the flow of refugees, however they are handled, is
going to continue to increase?
Mr. KOH. None at all. When I was in Haiti last year, we were
in the town of Hinche, which I know you have visited. We met a
nun who deals with refugees. She spoke to us in Creole and at a
very poignant moment in the conversation, she said to us, "Tell Bill
Clinton that the people are suffering." Then we asked, "do you
want the embargo lifted?" and she said, "No. We are prepared to
suffer if Aristide will return."
Mr. BARNEs. That is the tragedy here, Mr. Chairman. The people
of Haiti have been suffering terribly with this embargo. The aver-
age citizen of Haiti is suffering terribly with this embargo but pre-
pared to accept it if there was a likelihood that they were going to
get their democracy back, that they were going to get their Presi-
dent back. But the tragedy here is they are being forced to suffer
without the prospect of the restoration of the democratically elected
Senator DODD. I would note that last month alone, despite wide-
spread publicity over how refugees are handled on the high seas,
some 350 Haitians were picked up at sea with the full knowledge,
I presume, that their likelihood of arriving anywhere would be very
small indeed and that if caught, would be sent back as well. De-
spite those efforts, the numbers continue to leave.
Mr. BARNES. And others die at sea.
Senator DODD. Yes, absolutely.
Well, I am very anxious to hear our administration response this
afternoon to many of the issues that have been raised here this
morning. Some have questioned the ordering of witnesses. I think
it makes eminently good sense to have the questions being raised
and then give those responsible for policies an opportunity to re-
spond. Normally these things are done such that they like to come
first and then let the questions get raised afterward, but I thought
it would be appropriate to hear from people who have serious ques-
tions, including Members of Congress.
By the way, the invitation to Members of Congress was open-
ended. I did not invite the four Members of Congress to appear
here. They asked to appear here. As is the practice, any Member
of Congress who requests to appear before a committee, certainly
before this Senator, will be given that right, whether he or she is
from the House or the Senate.
Certainly the testimony of others, including the panel, before us
has been extremely helpful and worthwhile. We ask you to keep up
the work you are doing and we will do our best to see to it that
Members of the Senate are well informed as to what the facts are
here. This afternoon we look forward to the administration's re-
sponse to these concerns. I thank you all for being here.
The committee will stand in recess until 2 p.m.
[Whereupon, at 12:01 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to re-
convene at 2:04 p.m., the same day.]
The subcommittee met at 2:04 p.m., in room SD-419, Dirksen
Senate Office Building, Hon. Christopher J. Dodd (chairman of the
Present: Senators Dodd and Coverdell.
Senator DODD. The committee will come to order.
Let me welcome our witnesses this afternoon to this hearing on
present policy in Haiti. I will give them a chance to get settled
here, but first I will introduce the entire panel. We are pleased to
welcome the Honorable Lawrence Pezzullo, Special Adviser to the
Secretary on Haiti, and with him is Ms. Kathleen Thompson, Chief
of the Refugee Section, Office of International Affairs, Immigration
and Naturalization Service. The Honorable Mark Schneider, Assist-
ant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Agency for
International Development. Mark, it is a pleasure to have you be-
fore the committee as usual. The Honorable Walter Slocombe, the
Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy, the Department of
Defense, who is accompanied by Admiral Abbot from the Joint
Chiefs of Staff. Admiral, we thank you for being here today. Let me
welcome all of you.
What I am going to do is put this clock on for about 7 minutes
or so as a guide here so we can move along. We will obviously ac-
cept your full statements and supporting documentation that you
would like to add as part of the record.
I would note-and I mentioned this at the close of the morning
session-I realize this is somewhat out of the usual order of things.
Normally people talk about having the administration come before
and then others afterward. I thought it would be helpful to hear
from people who have some strong views on the issue and then give
the administration a chance to respond to those issues because I
am sure you have been well briefed and informed as to what was
said this morning.
So, again, I thank you for taking the time to be here.
Before turning to the panel, let me turn to my colleague from
Georgia who has joined us and ask him if he has any comments
at all he would like to make.
Senator COVERDELL. No, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am just
ready to proceed.
Senator DODD. Ambassador Pezzullo, welcome.
STATEMENT OF HON. LAWRENCE PEZZULLO, SPECIAL ADVI-
SOR TO THE SECRETARY ON HAITI, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
STATE; ACCOMPANIED BY KATHLEEN THOMPSON, CHIEF,
REFUGEE SECTION, OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS,
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, U.S. DE-
PARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Thank you. Thank you very much. I have
prepared some testimony here, Mr. Chairman, which goes on at
some length. I would like to make just a few points and then an-
First of all, the United States has never deviated from the posi-
tion as articulated by the President on March 16 of this year when
he met with President Aristide for the first time, that we support
the return of the democratic government and the return of the
President, President Aristide, within a negotiated framework which
has been led by an envoy from the UN/OAS, Mr. Dante Caputo.
The process of engaging by the United States with the Four
Friends, who have been very supportive of these negotiating ef-
forts-that is the French, the Canadians, and the Venezuelans-led
eventually to the Governors Island accord on July 3 and then later,
as a part of that, the New York Pact, which was basically the
framework that was worked out by the parties with the help of the
international community to bring about a return to democratic gov-
ernment and an end of the de facto rule.
That went into effect with the confirmation of a Prime Minister,
Robert Malval, and then finally was interrupted because of the fail-
ure of the military to comply with eir commitments on the Gov-
ernors Island and specifically the commitment by the commander
in chief, General Cedras, to retire on October 15. As a result, the
sanctions which were under Governors Island suspended, not lifted,
but suspended under the confirmation of the Prime Minister, were
reimposed. Beginning in mid-October, the sanctions which we had
put on in June were reimposed. These were sanctions under chap-
ter 7 of the U.N.
Since then we have had a succession of things happening, most
notably the absence of a central government. Malval, who resigned
from the prime ministership in December, left behind a vacuum, an
executive vacuum, which various elements aligned with the mili-
tary or some of the military support groups try to fill, each using
what we considered unconstitutional approaches. I will not bore
you with the specifics, but they were trying to use the constitution
in an illegal manner to impose a de facto regime.
That vacuum which the international community, represented by
the friends, saw as a need that had to be filled led us in December
to meet with the President and suggest that he take actions to fill
that political vacuum, build some sort of parliamentary coalition of
forces so a government would be back in place. At the same time,
we asked the military to comply with what they committed them-
selves to and set a deadline of January 15 for compliance, which
they did not do. Since then we have been working with the friends
on a resolution which would increase sanctions against the mili-
President Aristide in our many conversations has made the point
repeatedly that he thinks sanctions, increased sanctions, but sanc-
tions as a means of bringing about change could bring about a
break in the military control and ultimately lead to a solution. We
never saw it that way. We saw the need for sanctions which are
in place, comprehensive sanctions that are implemented by a naval
blockade, the most comprehensive ever imposed on any country in
the Western Hemisphere, as not sufficient absent a political initia-
tive. We have always sought some political initiative to move the
political elements forward, including some basic legislation.
That vacuum, which has remained in place, has over the last
couple months been looked upon as a deficiency by parliamentar-
ians. We were involved in discussions with the parliamentarians
early in this situation. President Aristide was as well. He called
the conference in Miami in early January. The parliamentarians
themselves, most of them from his faction of the political spectrum,
supported a building of a coalition government and the naming of
a Prime Minister. That has become now matured over time and is
one of the central issues which currently is out in front of the pub-
lic and in front of the international community.
We think, as do the other friends of Haiti and the people at the
U.N., we feel that that is an initiative that requires the support of
the President in that it builds at the center of the country a politi-
cal concentration of power which can dominate parliamentary ac-
tion and also ultimately form the basis of a government which can
perform as a government which will have the capacity to build in
the center of the country. Haiti has always had a failure at the cen-
ter, and this would be a beginning of the building of that center
not only to break the current impasse, but ultimately to govern.
Let me stop there, Mr. Chairman, and see if any of my colleagues
want to make a statement.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Pezzullo follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR PE7ZULLO
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to be here today to brief you on the cur-
rent political situation in Haiti and to update you on international efforts to bring
about a return of democracy and President Aristide to Haiti.
First let me underscore that President Clinton remains firmly committed to reach-
ing these goals through a peaceful, negotiated settlement that protects the rights
of all Haitians, as he told President Aristide on March 16 of last year when the two
met for the first time. We are convinced that returning democracy and President
Aristide to Haiti can be achieved through the right combination of political leader-
ship by Haitians and diplomatic and economic pressure by the international commu-
nity. Strategies based on other assumptions only serve to divert energy from and
undermine the diplomatic track toward a settlement.
The Clinton Administration quickly assumed a leadership role in trying to broker
such a settlement. We worked very closely with UN/OAS Special Envoy Dante
Caputo, the other Four Friends of Haiti (France, Canada and Venezuela) and the
rest of the international community and we continue to do so. Our efforts resulted
in the now-familiar Governor's Island Accord signed by General Raoul Cedras and
President Aristide on July 3. On July 21 I testified before the House Subcommittee
on Western Hemisphere Affairs to describe in detail the events leading up to that
agreement and the provisions of the Accord. Explicit in the accord is a need for exec-
utive and parliamentary action: naming and ratifying a prime minister, naming a
new commander-in-chief, and passing legislation. Both parties committed them-
selves to reconcile the sharp differences that separate Haitians. In order to ensure
cooperation between the two branches of government, the New York Pact was
signed in late July. In the New York Pact, Haitian parliamentarians and other polit-
ical actors agreed to a political truce with the executive, called for a broad-based
government of "national concord" and committed themselves to pass needed par-
liamentary legislation to move the Governor's Island process forward.
As you know, in accordance with the Governor's Island Accord, President Aristide
nominated a new Prime Minister, Robert Malval, who was confirmed by the par-
liament, and in late August was sworn in to office at the Haitian Embassy. As was
agreed at Governor's Island, international sanctions were suspended to enable the
new Malval government to function and lay the groundwork for President Aristide's
return to Haiti on October 30. Unfortunately implementation of the Governor's Is-
land Accord came to an abrupt halt in mid-October when General Cedras failed to
live up to the commitments he made on July 3. Specifically, Cedras did not honor
his commitment to retire on October 15 and the military failed to ensure appro-
priate security conditions to permit the UN police and military mission to deploy
in a safe environment as was envisaged under the Accord. The military, the sole
entity responsible for law and order in the country, instead increased repression and
stood by as the number of politically motivated murders by its shadowy civilian as-
sociates, designed to forestall full implementation of the Accord, rose. The most
egregious examples of this were the execution of Aristide supporter Antoine Izmery
and the murder of Justice Minister Guy Malary. As a result, the international com-
munity quickly reimposed international sanctions against Haiti.
While we continue to put on pressure through international sanctions, we must
also recognize that sanctions are a tactic to pressure the military leadership to ful-
fill the commitments made by General Cedras at Governors Island, not an end in
themselves. Sanctions absent a political process will not bring about the peaceful
settlement we all seek in Haiti. Real political action is necessary on the part of all
parties to implement the remaining steps of the Governors Island Accord and to
egin to build a political center in that fractured society.
In order to re-energize the process, Prime Minister Malval tried to take an initia-
tive to build such a center. At the invitation of President Aristide, Prime Minister
Malval came to the U.S. in early December to discuss his proposal for a national
conference with President Aristide. After their meeting, both President Aristide and
Prime Minister Malval met with President Clinton on December 6 to gain U.S. sup-
port for the initiative, which President Clinton gave them. Malval next went to
Rome to meet with Vatican officials to begin the process of reconciliation. Unfortu-
nately, by the time Mr. Malval reached Paris, where he was to brief the Four
Friends about his proposal, President Aristide and his advisers had withdrawn sup-
port for the initiative. Mr. Malval resigned his post in mid-December.
The Four Friends met in mid-December to discuss ways to move forward on im-
plementing the Governor's Island Accord. It was agreed that unless the military
lived up to its commitments by January 15, the Four Friends would recommend re-
questing additional sanctions in the UN Security Council. At the same time the
Friends also agreed that both President Aristide and the Parliament have essential
roles to play in moving the political process forward. This includes: enacting legisla-
tion called for in the agreement; naming and confirming a new commander-in-chief
of the armed forces; and naming a new Prime Minister capable of being confirmed
by the legitimate Parliament. The Friends affirmed the need for Haitians to estab-
lish coalition majorities among democratic elements in their parliamentary system
in order to bring about such cooperation on implementation. In addition, building
a broad-based coalition would further isolate the military and increase the pressure
on its leadership to comply with its Governor's Island commitments. The Friends
provided aides memoires to both the Haitian military and President Aristide outlin-
ing the international community's position.
In order to make clear to the military that our policy to reverse this coup and
re-establish democracy would not change, the United States imposed additional uni-
lateral sanctions. We froze the U.S. assets of those individuals who are impeding
implementation of the Governor's Island Agreement and prohibited all business
transactions with officers of all ranks in the Haitian Armed Forces. We have also
barred their entry into the U.S. In addition, we have made it clear that we would
support a proposal to the U.N. Security Council to increase U.N. sanctions by
universalizing the existing OAS trade embargo, banning non-commercial air service,
and recommending the freezing of assets and lifting of visas if such a resolution is
part of a viable political strategy.
At the same time, we have made clear that the sole cause of the sanctions is Gen-
eral Cedras' failure to carry out the commitments he made at Governor's Island. We
have noted that we look forward to cooperating with a new military leadership com-
mitted to reforming the institution consistent with its proper role as an apolitical,
In mid-January, President Aristide resumed the process interrupted by the mili-
tary's reneging in October and by the collapse of the Malval initiative by hosting
a conference in Miami. At that conference, a working group was established com-
posed of many of the participants at Governor Island and the New York Pact. Many
of President Aristide's parliamentary supporters, and a few of his parliamentary op-
ponents, attended the Miami Conference as did members of President Aristide's
original Presidential Commission.
In addressing the Miami conference, I explained our belief that the Governor's Is-
land process is in our view the only possible basis for a solution, not only because
it was agreed to by the parties, but because the steps it calls for are those that are
in any event essential to ending the crisis and establishing democratic legitimacy.
I also noted that because of the deep-seated fears of all the parties to act without
some guarantee that other political actors would fulfill their obligations, implemen-
tation was paralyzed. Breaking through this paralysis requires true reconciliation
and building up mutual confidence, perhaps by restarting the process through a se-
ries of simultaneous steps. (A copy of prepared remarks is attached.)
The Miami conference took a step toward removing this paralysis. It was a chance
for President Aristide to hear the concerns and fears of his supporters and oppo-
nents who are living in Haiti and it was a chance for these politicians to hear Presi-
dent Aristide's concerns. He called upon them to put aside party affiliation and work
together on a plan for reconciliation and political action. The end result was a rec-
ommendation to the President that he take the initiative to break the deadlock. In
its preambular paragraphs, the political working group reaffirmed its support for
Aristide's physical return and for the Governors Island Accord and the New York
Pact and recommended that the political actors and parliamentarians who signed
the New York Pact unite their efforts to effectively implement these two agree-
ments. The group recommended to President Aristide that he begin the process by
naming a new prime minister and forming a government of national concord, as
called for in the Pact of New York and necessitated by the absence of a government
and parliamentary majority of any party. With a view to breaking the current im-
passe, the group recommended also that Aristide seek to obtain the suspension of
the sanctions once the following actions had occurred:
1 the departure by early retirement of General Cedras, with the guarantees con-
tained in the amnesty issued by the President;
2 the ratification of the new Prime Minister;
3 the installation of a government of national concord;
4 the return of security and respect for human rights.
After the January 14-16 conference in Miami, the parliamentarians and political
actors returned to a Haiti where the political dynamic had changed. International
sanctions had succeeded in making both political actors and business leaders realize
that the situation in Haiti was untenable. Fissures in the Haitian military became
public. While some military forces tried to intimidate parliament to install a 'junta-
style" new government to fill the political vacuum created when Prime Minister
Malval resigned in mid-December, others defended the parliamentarians, who stood
firm against such intimidation.
Political leaders, the business community and labor unions began calling for a
means to break the impasse. Many of these organizations saw the political vacuum
as a threat to a democratic outcome in Haiti. As long as the prime ministership-
a strong political figure in Haiti's constitutional parliamentary system-remained
vacant, these politicians saw that extremist elements would continue to attempt to
force an illegitimate solution to the crisis.
Legitimately-elected parliamentarians and other democratically-oriented politi-
cians began to formulate ideas on how to break through the deadlock. What
emerged was a conviction that the parliament should begin working to build a
broad-based parliamentary initiative to implement what had begun at President
Aristide's conference in Miami. In early February a number of these parliamentar-
ians, including the Presidents of both the upper and lower houses of parliament and
supporters and opponents of President Aristide, came to Washington under the aus-
pices of the Center for Democracy. The Center is one of several non-governmental
organizations which, prior to the coup d'etat, and again in August through October,
had been working on a program to help strengthen the Haitian parliament. The
group came to Washington so that they could continue their dialogue with one an-
other and to discuss with President Aristide and the international community their
views on restarting the Governor's Island process.
On February 4, I met with President Aristide to discuss the situation in Haiti and
the new dynamic we saw developing there. I briefed him about the broad-based par-
liamentary delegation that was coming to Washington and I encouraged him to
meet with the group to formulate with them an action plan. He said he would wel-
come their visit. I also urged him to name a new Prime Minister to fill the political
vacuum. The person would have to have the capability of being confirmed by the
legitimate parliament and of putting together a true government of national con-
cord. He said he was working intensively to this end and would accelerate his ef-
At this point I would like to make clear why we believe that a new Prime Minister
and a broad-based government are so important to this process. Unlike the U.S.
Presidential system, the Haitian constitution provides for a parliamentary system
of government. The 1987 Haitian Constitution is an anti-Duvalierist document
which creates elaborate checks and balances to prevent the recurrence of a brutal
dictatorship. It divides executive power between the President, as the Chief of State,
and the Prime Minister, as the Head of Government. Given the fact that a great
deal of power resides with the Prime Minister, a vacancy in that position makes the
political situation very unstable. As I stated earlier, the vacuum created by the res-
ignation of Malval was being exploited by those very extremists who seek to remove
President Aristide from a solution altogether. The parliament, including opponents
of President Aristide, stood up to that threat, because they recognized that such a
"solution" would not be acceptable to the international community, would not ulti-
mately lead to a suspension of international sanctions and, most importantly, would
not resolve the political crisis.
However the vacuum remains and the instability continues. In order to restart the
political process of implementing Governors Island, we need a government in place
working in concert with the parliament. President Aristide's supporters, while they
enjoy a one vote majority in the Senate, do not have a majority in the lower cham-
ber. As with other parliamentary systems, in order for a government to function it
is necessary to form coalitions to pass needed legislation or gain a vote of confidence
for a new government or confirmation of key nominations, such as the replacement
for General Cedras. This does not mean that Aristide should "power-share' with the
military; it does mean that President Aristide must work within his own parliamen-
tary system. In order to build a coalition among legitimately elected parliamentar-
ians the new government and prime minister will have to negotiate to build an oper-
ating majority. The parliamentary delegation which came to Washington on Feb-
ruary 6 came with a view to begin forming such a coalition.
While in Washington, the group met with UN/OAS Special Envoy Dante Caputo,
UN and OAS officials, and representatives of the Four Friends, including myself.
They also spent many hours meeting among themselves, defining their positions and
trying to reach consensus on the best way to unblock the crisis. They also met with
President Aristide to explain their view of the situation in Haiti and to hear his
ideas for breaking the impasse. In meetings with the international community, we
made clear that any proposal to break the political impasse must be consistent with
the principles of Governors Island and must bring about the return of democracy
and President Aristide to Haiti. In meeting with the group, the Four Friends and
the UN/OAS Envoy reiterated the conditions laid out in the December 22 aide me-
moire to the Haitian military and confirmed that these requirements had not
changed. We understand that in initial meetings with President Aristide, he ex-
pressed a great reluctance to put a prime minister in office before General Cedras
and Police Chief Francois were replaced, noted that different parliamentarians had
described several distinctly different approaches, urged them to come up with a sin-
gle unified approach for his consideration and said he personally favored the Miami