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3 5005 01308 539o _.ESH START FOR HAITI?
CHARTING THE FUTURE OF U.S.-HAITIAN RELATIONS
2nd Flo JX
S. HRG. 108-544
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE,
PEACE CORPS AND NARCOTICS AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION
MARCH 10, 2004 Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations
JLAIWA!,'VSIy OCT 3 2,05 U.S. DEPOS
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana, Chairman
CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio LAMAR ALEXANDER, Tennessee NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., Delaware PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin BARBARA BOXER, California BILL NELSON, Florida JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia JON S. CORZINE, New Jersey
KENNETH A. MYERS, JR., Staff Director ANTONY J. BLINKEN, Democratic Staff Director
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE, PEACE CORPS AND NARCOTICS AFFAIRS
NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota, Chairman LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut
GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia BARBARA BOXER, California
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming BILL NELSON, Florida
JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., Delaware
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
Boxer, Hon. Barbara, U.S. Senator from California 4
Coleman, Hon. Norm, U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Chairman of the Subcom m ittee 1 Cummings, Hon. Elijah, U.S. Representative from Maryland 12
DeWine, Hon. Mike, U.S. Senator from Ohio 5
Dobbins, Hon. James, Director, International Security and Defense Policy
C enter, R A N D 67
Prepared statem ent 70 Dodd, Hon. Christopher J., U.S. Senator from Connecticut 18
Franco, Hon. Adolfo, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Latin America and
the Caribbean, U.S. Agency for International Development 27
Prepared statem ent 28 Graham, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from Florida 7
Prepared statem ent 10 Heinl, Michael, Co-Author, "Written in Blood, The Story of the Haitian People
1492-1995, W ashington, DC 75
Maguire, Robert, Director, Programs in International Affairs, Trinity College,
W ashington, D .C . 77
Prepared statem ent 79 Noriega, Hon. Roger, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere
Affairs, Departm ent of State 21
Prepared statem ent 23 Pezzullo, Hon. Lawrence, Former U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti (Retired), Washington D .C . 72
Prepared statem ent 73 Waters, Hon. Maxine, U.S. Representative from California 14
Prepared statem ent 16
Responses to Additional Questions Submitted for the Record by Members
of the C om m ittee 101
Responses to Questions Submitted by Senator Dodd to Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega 101
Responses to Questions Submitted by Senator DeWine to Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega 103
Responses to Questions Submitted by Senator DeWine to Assistant Administrator Adolfo Franco, USAID 104
Additional Information Submitted for the Record 106
Joint Proposal & Position Paper: The Haiti Reconstruction Fund, prepared March 2, 2004 by The National Organization for The Advancem ent of H aitians 106
A FRESH START FOR HAITI?
CHARTING THE FUTURE OF U.S.-HAITIAN RELATIONS
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE,
PEACE CORPS, AND NARCOTICS AFFAIRS,
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, Washington, D.C.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:31 p.m. in Room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Norm Coleman, Chairman of the subcommittee, presiding. Present: Senators Coleman, Dodd, Boxer, and Bill Nelson.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. NORM COLEMAN,
U.S. SENATOR FROM MINNESOTA
Senator COLEMAN. This hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Narcotics Affairs will come to order.
I'd like to thank our witnesses for coming to this important hearing, and Congressman Cummings, for being so on time. And I certainly would like to acknowledge the tremendous interest in this topic.
Haiti is the second-oldest republic in the hemisphere, a country of great promise. Unfortunately, that promise has not yet borne fruit. Haiti is the most impoverished nation in our hemisphere, has the highest AIDS rate, and a very, very troubled 200-year history.
The title of this hearing, "A Fresh Start for Haiti? Charting the Future of U.S.-Haitian Relations," was chosen very carefully. I believe there is a moment of opportunity here to come together to think about lending a hand to Haiti to support a future that is an improvement over Haiti's past. I look forward to hearing, from our witnesses, practical and specific ideas to put Haiti on track for a more promising future.
I know there has been considerable debate in Washington over the issue of Haiti, and with Aristide's departure, that division has only intensified. Let me lay out my own view on President Aristide. He may have come to office through elections that had the trappings of democracy, but that does not mean he governed like a democrat. Aristide broke and politicized the Haitian police, chose to rely instead on a paramilitary group of supporters to harass and even kill opponents. He has been accused of drug trafficking and corruption. Rigged parliamentary elections in 2000 were never re(1)
solved. Having lost the trust of the Haitian people, Aristide decided to resign from the Haitian presidency. I trust the statements of Secretary of State Powell, and I do not believe Aristide was kidnapped or overthrown by a coup d'6tat.
There is an important point here. Fair elections are very important, but democracy has got to mean something more than just periodic elections. Democracy needs honest governance, freedom of expression and assembly, protection of human rights. President Aristide fell short in all these measures, and I believe the people of Haiti can do better.
There is a legitimate concern regarding U.S. policy toward a faltering democracy, such as Haiti. What is our international responsibility to stand with democratically elected governments that have lost the trust of their people? But our challenge and focus now is, how do we meet the needs of the Haitian people today and tomorrow? While Congress has an essential role in holding the administration accountable on foreign and domestic policy, I believe we do a disservice to the people of Haiti if we spend too much time turning their latest crisis into a political rallying cry in this country. I think there is an incredible moment of opportunity here for the U.S. and the international community to join together to make a sustained and long-term investment in Haiti. Haiti needs our help. It does not need our bickering.
The deployment of international forces and the distribution of emergency humanitarian aid is a good start to deal with Haiti's short-term crisis. I hope the witnesses will shed some light on how many troops are going to be needed and what is going to be the role of the U.N., CARICOM, and other multilateral groups. I also hope the witnesses will discuss efforts to get food and medical supplies to Haiti's neediest hospitals and orphanages. I also want to express my hope that our embassy will get to work on the many pending international adoption cases.
There is a political process unfolding in Haiti. As stipulated in Haiti's constitution, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court became interim President upon Aristide's departure. And according to the principles set out in the CARICOM plan yesterday, a council of seven Haitians appointed former Minister Gerard Latortue as interim President.
In the long term, I believe the U.S. needs to make an investment in the new Haitian Government. We must, however, keep this government accountable to put our assistance to good use and to uphold the principles of human rights and good governance that matter to Americans. I was proud to work with Senator Nelson on an amendment that sends a message about this financial commitment, but I believe we need to begin to develop specific plans. To that end, I will have some specific questions for our witnesses.
I would like to place into the record an op-ed, which appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today, by Brian Atwood, former director of USAID and now dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Afairs at the University of Minnesota, someone my colleagues may remember well. Mr. Atwood appeals to us to work in a bipartisan way, rather than finger-pointing, to give Haiti a better future.
[The information referred to follows:]
U.S. NEEDS To STOP PLAYING PARTISAN POLITICS WITH HAITI
[BY J. BRIAN ATWOOD-MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE, MARCH 10, 2004]
Even an optimist has a hard time being positive about Haiti's future. After more than a decade of experimentation with democracy, Haiti is today a failed state. Haiti's elected president is once again seeking asylum, forced out by armed thugs and major international powers who lost patience with him.
The controversy today is whether the United States forced President JeanBertrand Aristide out of power, participating in what he has called a "coup d'6tat." One can only believe the denials the Bush administration has offered, though for reasons unrelated to Haiti, many will not. No, if Aristide was forced out, it was not at the end of an American gun. He was instead the victim of longstanding American neglect.
It may be a very long while before Aristide ever sees Haiti again. But that is less important than knowing whether Haiti will ever again be a viable nation state. Will this island, just off the coast of Florida, end up being an inhospitable prison for its 8 million inhabitants? Will it become a safe-haven for drug traffickers or terrorists? Or will it become a stable, functioning polity with an economy viable enough to satisfy its people's needs?
These are vital questions for our political leaders, for the answers have serious national security implications-and not just for the people of Florida. A policy of treating Haiti as if it were Alcatraz prison may satisfy our need to protect Florida from a huge influx of refugees, but it will not protect our Nation from the threats that could emanate from a failed state.
We never did give Haiti's democratic government the support it needed. We in the Clinton administration tried very hard to support the new democracy. We made choices that seemed reasonable given the constraints in Washington, but in retrospect some of those choices came to undermine that goal.
We insisted, for example, that Aristide serve out the remaining part of his term rather than staying in office long enough to compensate for his years of asylum. The consequence was that a popular president had to leave office after about a year. The subsequent election placed in office a man widely believed to be an Aristide puppet. This served neither the new government nor Aristide, as it undercut confidence in the new president and made Aristide look like a behind-the-scenes manipulator.
We offered $100 million a year in foreign assistance-a generous amount-but the needs were closer to $1 billion. Our expectation was that the World Bank would provide large soft loans to help repair and create much-needed infrastructure. These resources were never forthcoming. The great dividend democracy was to provide never became a reality and disillusionment set in.
Aristide was reelected in 2001 and took office just after President Bush entered the White House. The Bush administration made it clear from the beginning that it would not be very friendly. Aristide, after all, was the president that Bill Clinton restored to power. The Aristide election was messy. His Lavalas Party claimed national assembly seats that it most likely stole through ballot-box fraud. While Aristide's margin of victory put his popular election beyond dispute, opposition complaints about stolen assembly seats soured the relationship with the new U.S. administration. Soon, direct aid to the Haitian government was cut off; the administration used Haiti's political stalemate as an excuse to do nothing.
It is often said in the democracy-promotion business that elections do not make a democracy. The institutions and values of democracy take years to build. When the backdrop is abject poverty, the challenge becomes immense. New leaders are expected to change these conditions overnight. In the case of Haiti, the international community, with the United States in the lead, provided too little help at first and then turned its back.
Thus, Aristide, an imperfect leader but a man thoroughly capable of empathy for the poor, was denied the wherewithal to respond to their plight. It was only a matter of time before the clash between warlords would fill the political vacuum. This is not unique to Haiti. Conflict is common in the world's poorest nations.
Yet, there is always hope, even for failed states. Uganda is a perfect example of a nation that resurrected itself after two civil wars and years of despotic leadership. Uganda is halfway around the world, Haiti is not.
There is no question that our leaders in Washington have played politics with Haiti. Republicans criticized Clinton for sending in the military and then abandoned a democratically elected president because they did not like his politics. Democrats saw the constraints more clearly than the opportunities and were too quick to excuse Aristide's failures of governance.
It is time to stop playing partisan politics with Haiti and to start seeing it as a potential national security threat. If our political parties can work together on this problem, the United States can help turn Haiti around. It may take a large investment and a generation, but one thing is certain: We cannot afford a failed state of
8 million people just off our shore.
Senator COLEMAN. We have a lot of people who want to speak this afternoon, so I must ask the panelists to keep their remarks to just five minutes. Logistics dictate that we need to be strict on this point if we're ever going to make it through these three panels and 11 witnesses.
With that, I would acknowledge that my good friend and colleague, Senator Dodd, will be here later; at that time he will have an opportunity to make opening remarks.
I would, then, defer to my colleague, Senator Boxer, if she has any opening remarks.
STATEMENT OF HON. BARBARA BOXER,
U.S. SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA
Senator BOXER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I am just so pleased to see the Honorable Elijah Cummings here, the Honorable Maxine Waters here, because I've spoken to them, I've heard from them on this issue. Mr. Chairman, I think we're going to benefit from their wisdom. Congresswoman Maxine Waters was in Haiti.
And I'm just going to make a few statements here, observations. And I hear, in your remarks, that you're looking ahead, and you're saying we need to help the people, and I'm with you a hundred percent. But I have to tell you, we'd better spend a couple of minutes looking back, because the ramifications of what has happened, I think, are huge.
And let me start by saying, I have great respect for Secretary of State Colin Powell. And before the U.S. helped Aristide flee the country-or some would say, told him if he didn't flee, he's a dead man, in so many words-Colin Powell said the following, "Aristide is the democratically elected President of Haiti, and we cannot allow a situation to come about where he is thrown out of power by thugs or by some rebel movement or the opposition." This is what he said. That was February 18th.
The next day, this is what he said, "In many cases, it's just a few thugs that are dominating a particular town or city, and so what we have to try to do now is stand with President Aristide-he is the elected President of Haiti-and do what we can to help him." He was still with Aristide on that next day.
But by February 28th, the administration changed its tune. This is ten days later. An official White House statement that Aristide's, "failure to adhere to democratic principles has contributed to the deep polarization and violent unrest that we are witnessing in Haiti today. His own actions have called into question his fitness to continue to govern Haiti. We urge him to examine his position carefully," whatever that means, "to accept responsibility, and to act in the best interest of the people of Haiti."
So, Mr. Chairman, ten days before, Colin Powell is saying, he's the elected President and we stand by him. We're going to do what we can to help him. And ten days later, a signal is being sent-
a very clear signal-that he's got to get out of the country, obviously calling for his resignation.
Now, my understanding is, Aristide had agreed to power-sharing plans, he agreed to political compromise. So I need to understand, from this administration-and I know the witnesses before us, at this panel, can't answer for the administration-but I want to know what, in ten days, changed that they would say, on one day, you're the democratically elected President, and then, ten days later, send a signal to the thugs there, don't worry, the United States is with you. And why do I say that? We have people, like Guy Philippe and Louis Jodel Chamblain-and I know that our witnesses here know them better than I. My understanding is-and they've been called murderous thugs. They've been called murderous thugs. And according to news reports, Mr. Chamblain shouted, "We're grateful to the United States." And Mr. Philippe said, "The United States soldiers are like us. We're brothers. We're grateful for their service to our nation and against the terrorists of Aristide."
So, here we have this situation. Now, who's suffering the most? The people of Haiti. And that's where I join in with your comments, that clearly we have to help the people of Haiti. But we cannot allow what has occurred to go by as if it was just nothing. Because it was something, something that makes me very confused about whether we believe it when we tell countries in the world that if you're democratically elected, you'll have us to stand with you, and then, all of a sudden, send these signals out. Whether Aristide was good, bad, indifferent, he was elected. And the question is, What made that ten-day change? And that's why I'm really here-two reasons-to find out what happened that we made this U-turn, and to see what can we do now to make sure that thugs and murderers don't take over this country?
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, very, very much, Senator Boxer.
I've asked my colleagues, Senator DeWine and Senator Graham, to participate. This is the first opportunity the Senate has had to explore this issue, and I felt it important to get their perspectives.
With that, I would turn to my colleague, Senator DeWine.
STATEMENT OF HON. MIKE DeWINE, U.S. SENATOR FROM OHIO
Senator DEWINE. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for allowing me to be here today. And I congratulate you for holding this hearing, as well as Senator Dodd.
I don't pretend to be an expert on Haiti. I've had the opportunity to travel there, I think, 13 times in the last 10 years, since I have been in the Senate. There is really no other nation like Haiti in our hemisphere. Haiti is different. Haiti is unique. No other nation in our hemisphere is as impoverished. Today, at least 80 percent of all Haitians live in dire poverty, with at least 75, 85 percent either unemployed or under-employed. Per capita annual income is less than $400, although those figures are really, frankly, irrelevant when you travel to Haiti, see the unbelievable poverty.
No other nation in our hemisphere has a higher rate of HIV/ AIDS. AIDS is the number-one cause of all adult deaths in Haiti,
killing at least 30,000 Haitians annually, and orphaning 200,000 children. No other nation in our hemisphere has a higher infantmortality rate or a lower life-expectancy rate. No other nation in our hemisphere is as environmentally strapped. Haiti is really an ecological disaster today, with a 98 percent deforestation rate and extreme topsoil erosion.
But despite its radical differences from other countries in this hemisphere, Haiti remains in our backyard. It is intrinsically linked to the United States by history, by geography, by humanitarian concerns, by the illicit drug trade, and by the ever-present possibility of waves of incoming refugees.
Haiti's problems, Mr. Chairman, are our problems, and we aren't going to be able to do anything about any of these problems unless Haiti, the United States, and the international community are all willing to, today, take bold and radical steps. Business as usual in regard to how we deal with Haiti is just not going to get it anymore. If we do not want to be in a position, Mr. Chairman and my colleagues, where we see marines back on the shores of Haiti every two or three years from now on, we're going to have to do things differently.
I have several ideas I'd like to share with the subcommittee.
First, I believe the international community must help Haiti to restore a democratically elected government, one free of corruption and the influence and involvement of violent human-rights-abusing thugs and killers. That obviously means that the rebels, who we've already heard referenced today by some of my colleagues, simply cannot be part of this new government.
Second, I believe that the international community must free Haiti of its $1.17 billion in foreign debt. And I think the United States should take the lead in that. That is a debt that has been passed down from government to- government. It is a debt that burns the Haitian people, that will continue to keep them in poverty. And it should be done away with, and we should take the lead in that. I believe that we can set conditions on that, that we can set conditions of good governance, and set that over a period of time. But we should make it clear that that debt should be done away with, and we should go and work with the international community to do that.
Third, we must increase trade and create jobs, and help the Haitians work. These are people, Mr. Chairman, who are very energetic people. They're a hardworking people. They want nothing more than what we want, and that is to feed their families. I have introduced, along with Congressman Clay Shaw, in the House, a trade bill. In the Senate, it is S. 489. If this bill were enacted, it would help restore jobs and create new ones. Haiti, at one time in the not-too-distant past, had at least 100,000 assembly jobs, very simple assembly jobs that people could take pride in and that fed many, many families. Today, Haiti has less than 30,000 of these assembly jobs. The passage of this bill would lead to, very quickly, the creation of at least another 70,000 to 80,000 of these jobs. Fourth, we must help Haiti develop a self-sufficient system of agriculture, and stop the influx of people into Cap-Haitien and Portau-Prince, into the slums of these two cities, where they cannot make a living.
Fifth, we must help Haiti restore the rule of law. The international community needs to resume programs for mentoring magistrates and judges, and the new Haitian Government needs to create a functioning disciplinary body to oversee the entire judiciary.
Sixth, we must help Haiti establish an independent, professional national police force, one capable of quelling the violence of the armed thugs who threaten the streets of Haiti with abandon.
And, seventh, and finally, the international community should immediately restore the direct aid to the government that was suspended under President Aristide so Haiti can rebuild much-needed institutions and infrastructure for the delivery of food, humanitarian aid, and healthcare.
Just to put this in perspective, in 1994, prior to Aristide's reinstatement of power during a time of military dictatorship under Cedras, our assistance to Haiti was far greater than it is today. In 1994, we provided, Mr. Chairman, $69 million. The current budget is for $54 million. We have, at one time, provided up to $235 million. If we are to make a real difference-and I don't want to suggest any particular figure, but we're going to have to be at, at least, the $150 million that the Foreign Relations Committee reported out last week.
Finally-and I know the bell has rung; let me just make one final, if I could, comment, and that pertains to the current situation in Haiti. It is abundantly clear, from the people that I talk to in Haiti today, both in Port-au-Prince and outside Port-au-Prince, that while our troops are doing a tremendous job there, it is abundantly clear to me that there are not enough troops in Haiti today. And it is a danger to those troops by not having enough troops, and it is also clear to me that unless more troops are put into Haiti by the United States, that we are not going to be able to stabilize the situation, and that this crucial period of three months before the U.N. moves in is a very, very delicate timetable, very delicate period of time, and it's essential that more U.S. troops be put in.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you very, very much, Senator DeWine. I noted that I specifically asked my colleagues, Senator DeWine and Senator Graham, to participate in this discussion today. This is the first time the Senate has had a chance to visit this issue.
Senator Graham, I defer to you for any opening comments.
STATEMENT OF HON. BOB GRAHAM,
U.S. SENATOR FROM FLORIDA
Senator GRAHAM. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your holding this hearing today on an issue that is extremely important to a near neighbor of the United States, but also raises issues about U.S. policy in similar circumstances around the world.
Mr. Chairman, I'd like to ask that my prepared testimony be placed in the committee record, and I will speak from a somewhat shortened version.
Senator COLEMAN. Without objection.
Senator GRAHAM. Mr. Chairman, the departure of former President Aristide, just ten days ago, caused the people of Haiti to enter a new phase of their efforts to build a democracy. There has been, there will be, much discussion about the nature of that departure and the characteristics that surrounded it. I have spoken and writ-
ten on those in the past. Today, I want to talk about what we need to be doing immediately in order to be of maximum assistance.
I want to associate myself with the comments of a man who has shown the deepest commitment and compassion to the people of Haiti, Senator DeWine. I would characterize his remarks as particularly focused on the mid-range issues in Haiti. I'm going to focus more on the short-range. What do we do in-starting with the circumstances that existed-that exist on the streets today?
The question I'm here to discuss is, What should be the role of the United States, as a good neighbor, to the 8 million people living in one of the poorest and, currently, one of the most violent countries on earth? From firsthand experience over the past three decades, I know the Haitian people to be hardworking, to be committed to improving their lives, even in the face of unimaginable hardship.
Tens of thousands of Haitian refugees have resettled in my home state. I have come to appreciate their strong commitment to family, their religious values, the understanding of the benefits of education to themselves and their children, and to an entrepreneurial spirit that would improve any community in America. I know that the United States and the international community have a strong desire to see Haiti succeed.
We also have the lessons of the past decade to learn from as we try once again to help the Haitian people build governmental institutions and a growing economy. The road ahead will not be easy, nor is the outcome assured. That is why it is imperative that the United States takes a strong and constructive role in Haiti at this time.
Let me quote from some statements that were made just yesterday by the CIA director, George Tenet, relative to the circumstances in Haiti. Director Tenet said, "What concerns me is the possibility that the interim government, backed by international forces, will have trouble establishing order. A humanitarian disaster or mass migration remains possible. Anti-Aristide rebels still exert de facto control over many parts of the country and have yet to make good on promises to lay down their arms."
I am here today to call on the administration and the Congress to take immediate action to fulfill our responsibilities and to act in our national interest to stabilize the situation in Haiti, and to begin to build a long-term stable, democratic state. I would pose four steps to do this immediately, and a fifth that has longer-range implications.
First is security. The tragic events of recent days indicate that the security forces that we've sent to Haiti, along with the French, the Canadian, and the Chilean forces who are there, are not sufficient to maintain order and security. I would join in the remarks that Senator DeWine has made to that effect. Additional forces are needed immediately to provide a level of security that will allow the democratic institutions to develop, a broad-based provisional government to be organized, and commercial activity to restart. I happened to meet a man, in the Miami Airport on Monday, who runs a small manufacturing plant near the airport in Port-auPrince. He says his business has been shut down because the customs service in Haiti is shut down and they can't clear either mate-
rials coming in or exiting the country. And that put several hundred people, who earn their living at his plant, in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
Mr. Chairman, I see and hear that the red light is on, so if I could just limit myself to one sentence?
Senator COLEMAN. If you could sum up, Senator Graham, that would be fine. Thank you.
Senator GRAHAM. Humanitarian assistance-there clearly is a threat of a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions. And according to today's news reports, we are engaged in an urgent appeal to raise $35 million for six months of humanitarian aid. If necessary, the United States is going to have to step in and front-load that assistance, particularly food and medical facilities.
The United States, third, should have a permanent senior person, who has the respect of the President, the Congress, and the American people, to serve on a full-time basis as the President's representative in Haiti.
And, fourth, the political transition, the task of putting together a broad-based transitional government is going to be very challenging, yet I see this as a rare opportunity. Success in Haiti will require a sustained political effort led by the United States, supported by the international community, that moves towards free and fair elections and the other components of a functioning democracy.
And let me just conclude, Mr. Chairman, with a final comment about the long term. What we have seen now twice in Haiti-we've seen it in Bosnia, we've seen it in Somalia, we've seen it in Kosovo, we've seen it Afghanistan, and we've seen it in Iraq. What have we seen? We've seen the United States military be called to action, and, with great professionalism and expedition of time and, in most instances, limited or no casualties, they've carried out their military mission. And then what happens? We move to the occupation phase, and everything seems to collapse. The fact that we had an occupation in Haiti for the better part of two years just ten years ago, and now we're back with a Haiti that many would argue is worse off than it was in 1994, is one illustration of that.
I think we need to accept the fact that the United States will have a role in nation-building, in nation-sustaining efforts. And rather than attempt to deny that fact, let's get prepared to do it. As an example, there should be a reserve force of at least 50,000 people, selected from the law enforcement agencies of the world, who are prepared and trained to do specifically the kind of work that the streets of Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince require today, and they should be distributed in terms of their linguistic and cultural backgrounds so that they can effectively move in and provide assistance. A similar reserve corps of civil engineers should be on hand, so we don't have the situation we did in Iraq, of where Saddam Hussein was able to restore the electric system more quickly in 1991 after the war, than we were able to restore it in 2003.
Senator COLEMAN. Senator Graham, if you could finalize your comments.
Senator GRAHAM. I would just finalize by saying, I look forward to working with this committee on all of these issues, particularly
this development of a permanent capability to respond to the challenges of occupation.
And I thank you, again, for your interest in this very important subject.
[The prepared statement of Senator Graham follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF SENATOR BOB GRAHAM
With the departure of former President Aristide 10 days ago, the people of Haiti have entered a new phase in their efforts to build a prosperous democracy. I am hopeful that the next chapter on Haiti will have a better ending than the chapter that was just concluded.
There is a need to determine the exact circumstances surrounding President Aristide's departure, but that is not our undertaking at this hearing. The question we should be addressing is, What should be our role as a good neighbor to 8 million people living in one of the poorest and, currently, most violent countries on the Earth?
From firsthand experience over the past three decades, I know the Haitian people to be hard working and committed to improving their lives even in the face of unimaginable hardship. Tens of thousands of Haitian refugees have resettled in my home state, and I have come to appreciate their strong commitments to family, to religious values, to the benefits of education for themselves and their children, and to an entrepreneurial spirit that would benefit any community in America.
And I know that the United States and the international community have a strong desire to see Haiti succeed.
We also have the lessons of the past decade to learn from as we try again to help the Haitian people build governmental institutions and a growing economy.
But the road ahead will not be easy, nor is the outcome assured. That is why it is imperative that the United States takes a strong and constructive role in rebuilding Haiti.
To do this right is our responsibility and is in our national security interest. If we shy away from our responsibilities or fail to maintain our commitment long enough, we will find ourselves back again in Haiti in 2014, just where we are today, 10 years after our last half-hearted effort to bring democracy there-forced to start rebuilding from scratch.
As CIA Director George Tenet testified before the Armed Services Committee on Tuesday:
In this hemisphere, of course, the situation in HAITI is very fluid. The
process of setting up an interim government and moving toward new elections has just begun. Selection of a consensus prime minister this week would be an important next step. What concerns me is the possibility that the interim government, backed by international forces, will have trouble establishing order. A humanitarian disaster or mass migration remains possible. Anti Aristide rebels still exert de facto control over many parts of the country and have yet to make good on promises to lay down their arms.
Those forces include armed gangs, former Haitian Army officers, and members of irregular forces who allegedly killed Aristide supporters during his
A cycle of clashes and revenge killings could easily be set off, given the
large number of angry, well-armed people on both sides. Improving security will require the difficult task of disarming armed groups and augmenting
and retraining a national security force.
The interim government's nascent consensus could also run aground if
hardline Lavalas (pro-Aristide) or Democratic Platform (anti-Aristide) elements break ranks and seek to exert control.
I am here to today to call on the administration and Congress to take immediate action to fulfill our responsibilities and to act in our national interests to stabilize the situation in Haiti and to begin to build a stable democratic state.
I would propose a five-point plan that needs to be put into action immediately:
The tragic events of recent days indicate that the security force that we have sent to Haiti, along with French troops, are not sufficient to maintain order and security.
Additional forces are needed immediately to provide a level of security that will allow the democratic institutions to develop, a broad-based provisional government to be organized, and commercial activity to restart.
The forces currently in Haiti are obviously not sufficient for the task. One lesson of our past involvements in nation building is that you need to use maximum, not minimum, military presence at the outset. The current incremental approach is a proven recipe for failure. Already we see the armed groups threatening to re-emerge if international forces cannot protect the people.
2. Humanitarian Assistance
Haiti is the poorest nation in our hemisphere. The current political unrest has halted humanitarian shipments to some parts of the country for weeks.
We all saw news footage of warehouses full of humanitarian supplies being looted during the unrest. A more vigorous effort to provide humanitarian food and medical supplies throughout the country needs to be implemented immediately.
The United Nations on Tuesday issued an appeal for $35 million for six months' worth of humanitarian aid, but given the desperate circumstances there, that may prove to be too little, especially if it arrives too late.
A project as big as rebuilding Haiti is not a part time job. The President needs to appoint a senior person to lead this effort on a full-time basis. This person needs to be experienced in the problems associated with nation-building and the particular problems of Haiti.
This person needs to be respected by both parties so that they will be able to effectively argue for the resources that will be required to accomplish the task at hand. Finally, this person must be of sufficient stature in the administration that their voice will be heard when needed.
4. Political Transition
The task of putting together a broad-based transitional government is very challenging, yet I believe a rare opportunity exists at this time. Success in Haiti will require a sustained political effort, led by the United States, supported by the international community, that moves towards free and fair elections.
This is a particularly challenging task given the history of elections in Haiti. Nevertheless, it is a prerequisite to building self-sustaining governmental institutions and a growing economy.
We have recognized the importance of this type of effort in Iraq. I hope we will recognize its importance just a few hundred miles from our shores.
5. Nation-Building Capacity
Finally, let me say that there is one lesson that we must take from our expenences in the past decade or so, not just from Haiti but from Somalia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq-and now from Haiti again.
Some have denied that the United States should have any interest in "nation building" or "nation sustaining" efforts, but I would describe that as being a supreme state of denial. It is inescapable that the United States, as the sole superpower in the world, is going to have a responsibility-once a dictator has been deposed or another action taken-to lead the international community in helping countries such as Haiti get back on their feet and move forward.
In each instance over the past 10 or 11 years, we find ourselves virtually reinventing the wheel once the military phase ends and the occupation and rebuilding phase begins. We largely task the Department of Defense with managing the reconstruction, when that is not their assigned or chosen mission. And sad to say, while the military phase is usually a glowing success in which all Americans can rightfully take pride, the rebuilding phase proves to be much less successful.
But we should emulate the military's ability to recruit, train, plan and exercise skilled personnel to develop an international capacity for restoring order and forging a new future for occupied countries. That capacity must include several key elements:
An international police reserve force with diverse linguistic and cultural skills
that can be called in to restore and maintain order.
Humanitarian aid coordinators with plans to pull together both public sector
and non-governmental organizations to address urgent needs for food, medicine
Teams of civil engineers to lead the rebuilding of shattered water, sewer and
telecommunications systems and other essential infrastructure.
Legal and political experts to laws, establish justice system reforms.
Such a capacity should reside within the United Nations, but the United States must be the leader in assuring that it is a real and meaningful capacity-or we will find ourselves repeatedly asking our taxpayers to bear the greatest burden, as we have in Iraq.
And we need to see such an effort launched soon in Haiti. Or, I fear that we will find ourselves going back in with a military force in another 10 years.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you very much, Senator Graham.
And, with that, I will turn to our panel and thank them for their patience. We are honored to have our colleagues from the House here today. We have with us the Honorable Congressman Elijah Cummings, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Honorable Congresswoman Maxine Waters, from California.
Congressman Cummings, would you please begin?
STATEMENT OF HON. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM MARYLAND
Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Chairman, and to the entire committee, it is certainly a pleasure to be here today, and I'm pleased that your subcommittee is having this important hearing on Haiti. But, more important, after this hearing today, I hope that we will move to take constructive steps to help the Haitian people.
I also associate myself with the words of Senator Graham, Senator Boxer, and Senator DeWine.
While I realize that the title of today's hearing asks the question, "A Fresh Start for Haiti? Charting the Future of U.S.-Haitian Relations," I believe that it is extremely important that we, the United States Congress, get to the bottom of what has transpired over the last few weeks-indeed, years-in Haiti.
Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, almost since the creation of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in 1969, we've had a Haiti Task Force on issues facing the people of Haiti. I might add that that task force is headed by, at this time, John Conyers, who is with us, Congressman Conyers, of Michigan, and certainly Congresswoman Barbara Lee, of California.
As you all know, Haiti is about 700 miles off the coast, our coast, and about 80 percent of the 8 million citizens of Haiti live in dire poverty. The truth is, Mr. Chairman, the people of Haiti desperately need our help. People are literally dying every day, not because of gunshots, but because they do not have clean water, adequate food, or medical supplies readily available. But as we address this issue of helping the Haitian people with the basic necessities of everyday life, we also have to gain their trust. Trust will be an important key to our success or failure in Haiti.
As we look back at what has transpired in Haiti over the last few weeks and, as I mentioned earlier, the last few years, I believe that we must clear up and find out how did we get to where we are today. Our looking back at the past is not meant to be an indictment of anyone in particular; however, I believe that we must and can learn from the past.
As the committee members are well aware, the United States, for all intent and purposes, pulled out of Haiti in 1996. Our military pull-out was accompanied by our government suspending or blocking humanitarian loans from going to Haiti. Mr. Chairman, quite frankly, the United States and the international community have
a trust and credibility problem with the Haitian people that must be fixed if we are to effectively and efficiently move forward.
There is a question of trust, and, unfortunately, whether it is true or not, there is a former democratically elected president of Haiti saying to the world that he was forcibly removed from office. This issue must be addressed, and that is why several members of Congress-not just some members of the CBC, which I am honored to chair-have called on Congress for an independent commission to uncover the facts-and I underscore the facts-which led to President Aristide's departure from Haiti.
But bigger than the question of President Aristide and how he came to leave Haiti, we need to know what specific steps the United States took to defend this democracy.
Members of the committee, as you are well aware, several countries in the Caribbean, specifically CARICOM countries, are extremely troubled by the recent turn of events in Haiti, and hold the United States responsible. So as we move forward, we need to ensure that we begin to mend fences and fix our damaged relationships with our Caribbean neighbors. This CARICOM issue is one of the many issues that Members of the Congressional Black Caucus discussed in our meeting last week at the United Nations, with U.N. Ambassador to the U.N., John Negroponte, and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Mr. Chairman, my reason for discussing this recent history with the committee today is because I do not believe that the Haitian people are just going to forget it and look to the future without some answers. But as we look to the future, after answering these critical questions, I believe that the United States must be Haiti's partner and make a long-term commitment, and sustained commitment, to the people of Haiti.
The reason I'm emphasizing the long-term and sustained commitment, which Senator Graham referenced, is because we went through this with Haiti in the mid 1990s, and then we pulled out. And as a result, we now have to send U.S. troops in again.
One word about our troops, Mr. Chairman, and I know that you and all of the committee members join me in saying this, I want to commend them and thank them for their service to our country. We all owe them a great debt of gratitude.
Mr. Chairman, as this recent crisis was reaching a critical point two weeks ago, 18 members of the CBC met with President Bush, Secretary Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card. When we met with the President, our message was clear and focused on three main points that are still salient today.
May I just briefly summarize?
Senator COLEMAN. Please.
Mr. CUMMINGS. First, we told the President that we must defend democracy in Haiti. The people of Haiti must have the final say in their government. It cannot be a puppet government. Second, the rule of law must be adhered to in Haiti. Third, and perhaps most important, we must get humanitarian assistance to the people who need it most in Haiti.
And so, Mr. Chairman, again, we emphasize that, while we are extremely concerned about President Aristide and his departure
and the way it was done, we also want to make sure that the people who are living in dire poverty in Haiti receive the kind of humanitarian assistance that they need, and we want the rule of law restored. And the other thing is that we want a democracy, the type of democracy that we stand up for in this country over and over again, traveling around the world defending, that it be defended there in Haiti.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Congressman Cummings.
With that, Congresswoman Waters.
STATEMENT OF HON. MAXINE WATERS,
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA
Ms. WATERS. Thank you very much. Senator Coleman, I'd like to thank you for holding this hearing and allowing us to participate here today.
I'm very appreciative for the comments I've heard from my own Senator, Senator Barbara Boxer, and I absolutely love the recommendations that were given by Senator DeWine here today. I've worked with Senator Dodd for many years, and I respect all of the work that he, too, has done on this issue.
I would like to say that it is clear that a coup d'6tat took place in Haiti. We've learned that our government made the departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the democratically elected leader of Haiti, a precondition to introducing United States forces to restore order. At the very least, despite our government's claims to support democratically elected governments, this administration was unwilling to take any real steps to prevent President Aristide's overthrow. Uncovering the truth about our government's role in President Aristide's departure is critical to any attempt to chart the future of U.S.-Haitian relations.
I've been involved in U.S. policy towards Haiti since shortly after President Aristide was ousted in a coup d'6tat in 1991. I became acquainted with President Aristide while he was in exile here in the United States following the 1991 coup. I joined with other members of Congress to convince President Clinton to intervene to allow President Aristide to return to Haiti and resume his position as the democratically elected President of Haiti. As a result of our efforts, President Aristide was able to return to Haiti in 1994. Let me just say that Mr. Randall Robinson was then the executive director of TransAfrica, an organization that took the lead. He went on a hunger strike, and almost died, to try and make the return possible. And many of us were arrested in our attempts to get the attention of the White House at that time.
Mr. Chairman, the sad reality is that the same people who supported the 1991 coup were involved in planning this year's coup. Mr. Andre Apaid is a factory owner in Haiti, born in New York. He owns 15 factories in Haiti. He holds an American passport, and he supported the 1991 coup. And he's now a leader of the Group of 184, who posture themselves as the legitimate protesters against this government. He has been accused of not wanting to pay any taxes, angry with President Aristide not only because he was being forced to pay taxes, but because President Aristide was insisting on
decent wages for the people who work in the 15 factories that he owns there.
Many of the thugs that were involved in this coup d'6tat are former members of the Haitian military, are members of the feared death squad known as the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, commonly referred to as FRAPH, which was responsible for numerous human rights violations during the three years following the 1991 coup. Mr. Louis-Jodel Chamblain was second in command of FRAPH and was convicted in absentia for his role in the 1994 Raboteau massacre and the 1993 assassination of Antoine Izmery. Jean Tatoune was a local FRAP leader, who was also convicted of involvement in the Raboteau massacre. Mr. Guy Philippe is a former police chief and military officer, who led several coup attempts between 2001 and 2003, and is a big, well-known drug dealer.
I'm convinced that the recent coup involved not only Mr. Andre Apaid and the armed thugs, but I'm very concerned about the role that our own ambassador, Mr. Roger Noriega played. Ambassador Noriega's history is replete with actions against Haiti, both as Senator Jesse Helms' chief of staff and now as the Bush administration's Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
I've been to Haiti three times since the beginning of the year. I first went to celebrate the 200-year independence of Haiti, January 1. While I was in Haiti, I met with President Aristide and members of the Lavalas Party, as well as Mr. Andre Apaid and other members of the Group of 184. I was also present when the international community-where the United States, France, Canada, the OES, and the U.N. all were represented, and members of CARICOMpresented the CARICOM proposal to President Aristide. The CARICOM proposal was designed to limit President Aristide's power, and provide for the selection of a new prime minister who would be acceptable to the opposition and able to exercise more independent power in Haiti. President Aristide signed off on and accepted CARICOM's proposal. As you know by now, the opposition, led by Mr. Andre Apaid, refused to accept the proposal and sign up.
Meanwhile, while they were holding out, not coming to the peace table, they were giving covert aid to the thugs who had taken over the cities of Gonaives and the city of Cap-Haitien. This was led by Mr. Guy Philippe, the drug dealer and the killer. And they got stronger and stronger as the days went on, and they openly said, through the press, that they were coming into Port-au-Prince, and they were going to kill President Aristide.
In Port-au-Prince, you had what is known as the Chim~res and Lavalas and the OPs, poor people, gathering to protect Port-auPrince. They were gathering with machetes and weapons, and you could see the confrontation drawing near. We begged Colin Powell-we begged him-to please send some troops in-we didn't care if they were United States or international-to stop what we thought was going to be this confrontation. Then we learned that President Aristide had been visited in the wee hours of the morning and told that he had to leave, that there was about to be a blood-bath, that he would be killed, many Haitians would be killed. And he maintains that he was literally kid-
napped and put on a plane and made to leave. Now, he's sitting up in C.A.R., the Central African Republic, under guard by the Africans and the French.
I said to Colin Powell, just today, as I caught up with him in committee, they're guarding them, and they said they will not do anything unless they are told by the United States and France what they can do. He's ready to leave. He has found a place that's acceptable to him. What will the United States do to say to him, "You're free to go wherever you have been accepted?" Now, I think it's very important for the members of Congress to find out why the United States is holding him captive and why they won't allow the Central Africa Republic to release him. I think if they do that and let him go wherever he has been accepted, and we move with an aggressive program, such as that which has been described by Mr. DeWine, then we'll be on our way to restoring government to Haiti.
I would simply say this, and I will wind up-and I know you would like me to get over with this-I think you're right about the humanitarian aid, but I think there are some other things that must be done. The American citizen, Mr. Apaid, who's not only responsible for being involved in this coup, but the previous one, should be made to come home, and he should be put out of Haiti.
The killers-Mr. Guy Philippe, Mr. Louis Chamblain-they should be jailed. They were already convicted in absentia, and they are running around now having said that they would put down their arms, and they're thumbing their nose at the United States. They don't intend to go anywhere. They want to reestablish the military, such as they had under Mr. Cedras.
I believe that the constitution of Haiti should be respected. I believe that there should be elections. And I think we have to resolve this question of how President Aristide was made to leave. I think that we have to give assistance to Haiti to deal with the big drug dealers that's up on the Dominican Republic border. President Aristide has given the United States the ability to interdict drugs in Haitian waters, that's not being used. But that's one of the problems. It is being used as a trans-shipment point for drugs, and we are doing nothing to relieve them of the responsibility.
And, lastly, let me just say this. In this aid that we're talking about-because we were not giving money to the government, they had no money for infrastructure; they have literally no water system. Children are dying because the water is polluted. They die from the bacteria, from diarrhea. The first thing we must do is help to construct a water system for clean and potable water in Haiti.
And, with that, I thank you very much for allowing me this time.
[The prepared statement of Congresswoman Waters follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE MAXINE WATERS
Senator Lugar, Senator Coleman, Senator Biden, Senator Dodd, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, thank you for allowing me to testify here today. It is clear that a coup d'6tat took place in Haiti. We have learned that our government made the departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the democratically-elected leader of Haiti, a pre-condition to introducing United States forces to restore order. At the very least, despite our government's claims to support democratically-elected governments, the Bush administration was unwilling to take any real steps to prevent President Aristide's overthrow.
Uncovering the truth about our Government's role in President Aristide's departure is critical to any attempt to chart the future of U.S.-Haitian relations.
I have been involved in U.S. policy towards Haiti since shortly after President Aristide was ousted in a coup d'6tat in 1991. I became acquainted with President Aristide while he was in exile here in the United States following the 1991 coup. I joined with other members of Congress to convince the Clinton administration to intervene to allow President Aristide to return to Haiti and resume his position as the democratically-elected President of Haiti. As a result of our efforts, President Aristide was able to return to Haiti in 1994.
Mr. Chairman, the sad reality is that the same people who supported the 1991 coup were involved in planning this year's coup. Andre Apaid, a factor-owner who holds an American passport, supported the 1991 coup and is now the leader of the Group of 184. Many of the thugs are former members of the Haitian military or members of the feared death squad known as the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), which was responsible for numerous human rights violations during the three years following the 1991 coup. Louis Jodel Chamblain was the second-in-command of FRAPH and was convicted in abstentia for his role in the 1994 Raboteau massacre and the 1993 assassination of Antoine Izmery. Jean Tatoune was a local FRAPH leader, who was also convicted of involvement in the Raboteau massacre. Guy Philippe is a former police chief and military officer, who led several coup attempts between 2001 and 2003.
I am convinced that the recent coup involved not only Andre Apaid and the armed thugs but also our own Ambassador Roger Noriega. Ambassador Noriega's history is replete with actions against Haiti, both as Senator Jesse Helms' chief of staff and now as the Bush administration's Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
I have been to Haiti three times since the beginning of this year. While I was in Haiti, I met with President Aristide and Lavalas party members as well as Andre Apaid and other members of the Group of 184. I was also present when the international community and the members of CARICOM presented the CARICOM proposal to President Aristide. The CARICOM proposal was designed to limit President Aristide's power and provide for the selection of a new prime minister, who would be acceptable to the opposition and able to exercise more independent power in Haiti.
I believe the demonstrations organized by Andre Apaid and the Group of 184 were designed to provoke the Haitian police into retaliating against the demonstrators, who routinely threw rocks, spat in the face of police officers and defied government orders establishing permissible parade routes for protests. In the beginning, these tactics worked and the police responded. However, when President Aristide learned what was happening, he was able to control the police and prevent them from carrying out acts of retaliation.
When the police stopped responding to provocations by the demonstrators, I believe the U.S. Government and the French Government became involved in exerting increasing pressure on President Aristide, by refusing to fully support the CARICOM proposal and covertly supporting the thugs, who were taking over cities and cutting off supplies of food and water. Meanwhile, the thugs became bolder and bolder, threatening to carry out a bloodbath if President Aristide did not leave Haiti. Yet neither Andre Apaid nor the U.S. government ever admitted they knew who these thugs were or denounced their invasion of Haiti.
I repeatedly appealed to Secretary of State Cohn Powell to assist the government of Haiti,; yet the Bush administration refused to provide any assistance whatsoever to stop the violence until after President Aristide's departure. It is clear that President Aristide's departure was a precondition to any U.S. efforts to stop the violence. President Aristide told me that he was forced to leave Haiti on February 29, 2004, after U.S. officials told him that he and many other Haitians would be killed if he refused. President Aristide apparently is being held against his will in the Central African Republic.
I urge the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to investigate the circumstances under which President Aristide and his wife are being held in order to ensure that they are not being held against their will. The United States should inform the government of the Central African Republic that President Aristide should be allowed to leave the Central African Republic whenever he is ready to do so. Furthermore, the United States should make certain that he is allowed to travel to any country of his own choosing that will receive him and offer him assistance in doing so.
The members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee must determine the truth about our Government's role in the organization and execution of the coup d'6tat that led to President Aristide's departure. The American people deserve to
know how and why this administration allowed a democratically-elected government to be overthrown by a group of heavily-armed thugs.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you very, very much, Congresswoman Waters.
We'll turn to, at this point, unless Senator Dodd has any followup questions, I would dismiss the panel.
Senator DODD. No, let me join my colleagues on the committee in thanking our two witnesses here, and also our two colleagues in the Senate who spoke. I'm sorry I missed hearing their direct comments. But I thank both our colleagues in the House, who have been deeply involved in these issues. As Maxine pointed out, Congresswoman Waters has pointed out, we've spent a lot of time over the years working on this issue, going back more than a decade now. And Elijah Cummings, we thank you immensely, as chair of the Black Caucus, for being here and expressing your views on this subject matter.
Mr. Chairman, I thank both of our witnesses for being here and participating.
Senator COLEMAN. I share in that thanks. I do note that Congresswoman Jackson Lee intended to be here. I believe that she's, obviously, unable to make it.
Again, I want to thank my colleagues from the House for being here. With that, this panel is dismissed.
Before we begin with the second panel, I would turn to my colleague and distinguished Ranking Member, Senator Dodd, for any comments that he may have.
STATEMENT OF HON. CHRISTOPHER J. DODD,
U.S. SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT
Senator DODD. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again, you've got a lot of witnesses here, and I don't want to take a lot of time on this, but I do want to express some opening thoughts, if I can, on the subject matter.
First of all, let me, again, thank Bob Graham and Mike DeWine for their participation. And, let me underscore, I gather the suggestions that Senator DeWine made-and I want to second them; I think they are very sound suggestions. He's been a terrific advocate on trying to get this straight in Haiti, and I thank him immensely and thank him for being here.
Bob Graham, of course, has been involved in these issues. This isn't just a foreign-policy issue for Senator Graham; it's a local issue, as well, obviously, given the tremendous impact that his state of Florida feels. Every time there is a disruption in the normal course of events in Haiti, Florida feels it very directly. So we appreciate, immensely, his work.
And I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing. Often, we'll have a hearing weeks after events, rather the in the midst of them, to get some sense of it. And I appreciate, immensely, the fact that this subcommittee is looking into this issue to find out what went wrong, or, perhaps even more important, to give us an opportunity to look forward. Because not only is it important that we analyze what happened over these last few weeks, but critically important for the 8 million people who call Haiti their home, they want to know what can be done to get this right, both
from a security standpoint, as well as economic opportunities, to put it mildly.
So we're all well aware, obviously, that on Sunday, the 29th of February, a democratically elected government, a head of government in our own hemisphere, was forced out of office. An armed insurrection led by former members of the disbanded Haitian Army and its paramilitary wing, FRAPH, made it impossible for the Aristide government to maintain public order.
Now, I know there's been an effort ongoing for-in fact, for months, for years-to smear President Aristide, and to denounce him in every way possible. I think those accusations have gone way beyond the reality. That's not to suggest that President Aristide did not have serious problems in terms of his governance of Haiti. I'm not going to excuse his misbehavior at all. But to suggest somehow that his behavior constituted a decision that would cause us not to stand up to support an elected government, I think, is wrong; notwithstanding the fact that, in 2001, the United States, Haiti, and 32 other nations, as members of the Organization of American States, adopted something called the American Democratic Charter and, therein, pledged to, "Respond rapidly and collectively in the defense of democracy." Virtually nothing was done by the United States or other OAS members, in my view, to come to the aid of the beleaguered Aristide administration, a democratically elected government. Either these documents mean something or they don't. And if they mean something, we ought to be able to stand up and do what we can to defend these democratic processes. Frankly, it makes me wonder whether the Inter-American Democratic Charter is worth the paper it was printed on. I suspect others throughout the hemisphere do, as well.
I give credit to members of CARICOM who valiantly attempted to rescue one of their own. Sadly, their urgent entreaties to the United Nations Security Council to take up the cause of Haiti fell on deaf ears. President Aristide found himself with two
unpalatable alternatives: to remain in Haiti and face certain death at the hands of armed thugs advancing on Port-au-Prince, and likely the deaths of many of his supporters or others, as well, or resign and accept exile. Now, whatever the specifics of his Sunday-morning departure from Haiti, I can't blame him for holding the belief that his departure was involuntary, nor do I quite fathom how those in the so-called democratic opposition, who summarily rejected the U.S.-backed CARICOM power-sharing proposal on three different occasions-which, I might add, would have diffused the political crisis-are still at the table with U.S. officials and others discussing the future of Haiti, while individuals-or the individual-who signed on to the CARICOM effort is not and is living in exile.
At the appropriate time, I'm going to ask witnesses this afternoon what the U.S. response has been to CARICOM's request for an independent international investigation surrounding President Aristide's resignation. Whatever the specific circumstances of President Aristide's departure, it is indisputable, in my view, that the United States played a direct and very public role in pressuring him to leave office. There was no question that President Aristide made mistakes, and serious ones, during his most recent three
years in office. All of us here recognize that. Poverty, desperation, and opportunism bred government corruption. As head of state, President Aristide must assume responsibility for those things that occurred on his watch. But there is plenty of blame to go around for the mess in Haiti.
The United States and other members of the international community must assume, in my view, a heavy responsibility for what they did not do in Haiti; namely, help Haitians lift themselves from the desperate poverty and ignorance and despair which is gripping their country, empowering their government to serve them. This is the 21st century, and yet 80 percent of the 8 million people, who live on the western wing of the island of Hispanola, live in abject poverty. Eight out of every ten people, per-capita earnings of $440 a year in 2002. To give you some measure of the comparison, the per-capita income for all of the rest of Latin American and the Caribbean was $3,280 a year during the same period of time. Not surprisingly, in such circumstances only half of Haiti's children attend school. Only about 40, 45 percent can read or write-less than in Iraq, I might add.
A scarcity of resources has also contributed to the public-health crisis in that nation. More than 15 percent of the children don't live past the age of five, and the average life expectancy is under 50. Haitians also suffer from the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the Western Hemisphere. Roughly 6 percent of the Haitians are infected.
Mr. Chairman, U.S. foreign assistance in Haiti has fallen far, far short of the needs that I have just mentioned. The lion's share of U.S. assistance over the last three years has been P.L. 480 food assistance, daily feeding programs for thousands of Haitians, mothers and children, to help them stave off starvation. Child survival and HIV/AID programs administered through the NGOs have also been a part of the U.S. aid initiative.
At the moment, Haiti is slated to receive $52 million in FY 2004 assistance. Put that in perspective for you, that the U.S. military intervention back in the mid 1990s cost us $2 billion to go in. And I've heard estimates that the protracted cost of this recent effort in Haiti is going to cost us somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion dollars. Mr. Noriega, I think, may take issue with that number, and certainly when he's testifying, he can do so. But, nonetheless, when you consider $52 million is all we can come up with to assist this impoverished country, and yet it's certainly going to cost us factors 10 or 20 times that amount in order to bring stability there, which could have been avoided, in my view.
Over the past three years, the administration virtually zeroed out all direct U.S. economic assistance programs to the Government of Haiti, zeroed out all-all-domestic assistance programs. We're kidding ourselves if we think the institutional incompetence and corruption in that nation is ever going to be seriously addressed, in Haiti or elsewhere, without direct assistance.
Official international financial institutions have acted no better, in my view. The poorest nation in this hemisphere has been denied access to their resources. The Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank virtually turned off their aid spigot to Haiti for the last three years. Four hundred million dollars already ap-
proved by the IDB loans were withheld, with annual Federal revenues of only $273 million in expenses, while 361 million-clearly the withholding of these funds had a huge consequence on the Haitian economy.
Finally, under pressure, the IDB relented last July, and began the process of restarting its assistance programs to Haiti, albeit at a pace that has been inexcusably slow. Under less-than-ideal circumstances, there is now underway an effort to organize an interim government to govern until elections can be organized, as we all know. It is very important, in my view, Mr. Chairman, that we all understand that no matter how honorable the individuals chosen to serve in this government are, they lack electoral legitimacy. It is, therefore, also important that any interim government does not overreach its mandate by attempting to make fundamental changes to the Haitian political landscape, such as the restoration of the Haitian armed forces.
The principal responsibility of this temporary governing body must be, in my view, to organize and to conduct presidential and parliamentary elections, obviously, with significant international assistance and supervision, within the next 10 to 12 months. No interim government is going to be able to succeed unless lawlessness is brought to an end, and order restored. At a minimum, that is not going to happen unless armed gangs are disarmed, and quickly.
To that end, I look forward to hearing how the administration intends to respond to those who took up arms against the Haitian Government-dangerous individuals, like Guy Philippe, a former member of the disbanded Haitian Army, and other notorious human rights abusers-who have taken public credit for murdering policemen and burning public buildings, yet continue to move freely and very publicly throughout Port-au-Prince.
As I mentioned earlier, recent events in Haiti call into question the administration's commitment to the Inter-American Democratic Charter, specifically its obligation to come to the collective defense of struggling democracies like Haiti. The United States fell far short in recent weeks; others did, as well. The question for today's hearing is whether that was a temporary lapse or not.
Our hearing this afternoon, Mr. Chairman, should give the administration the opportunity to answer this and important questions related to continued involvement in Haiti. And I appreciate your indulgence in listening to those opening remarks. I have some other suggestions I'll make at a later point in the hearing.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Senator Dodd.
With that, I will introduce the second panel: Mr. Roger Noriega, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Mr. Adolfo Franco, Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, USAID.
Secretary Noriega, you may proceed first.
STATEMENT OF HON. ROGER NORIEGA, ASSISTANT SECRETARY, BUREAU OF WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. NORIEGA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It's a pleasure to be here to speak to the subcommittee about the topic of Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, Senator Dodd, Senator DeWine, Senator Graham, a chapter in the history of Haiti has just come to a close, and the Haitian people are preparing to write a new one. The resignation of President Aristide, on February 29th, marked the end of a process that, in its early days, held out a bright promise to free Haiti from the violence and confrontation that has plagued that country since its inception 200 years ago. Sadly, that hope remains unrealized. Responsibility for this failure resides largely with President Aristide, himself. But the task before the United States, working with the international community, is to help the 8 million people of Haiti break the cycle of political misrule that has caused so much misery.
Mr. Chairman, let me be clear, the history of Mr. Aristide's misrule in Haiti proves what we all know to be true, that a democratically elected government can undermine its democratic legitimacy by the manner in which it governs. Nowhere is that principle more firmly enshrined in the hemisphere than in the Inter-American Democratic Charter itself. That charter is not an a la carte menu, where a constitutional government can pick and choose which of the essential rights they will honor, and which they will violate, which it will respect, and which it will ignore, and then call on the solidarity of the international community to bail them out when they foul things up so badly that they cannot hold onto power. By his actions and his failures to act, Mr. Aristide undermined his own ability to govern Haiti.
I don't want to dwell on Mr. Aristide's legacy, which is a very sad one, but I would like to discuss it thoroughly in my written statement, which I'll submit for the record.
Suffice it to say, however, that after all the broken promises, it is no wonder that when one of the largest pro-Aristide gangs turned against him and rose up in rebellion last month, the government of Haiti had no effective, let alone legitimate, means with which to respond.
The message to the hemisphere, when the rest of the world did not respond to Aristide's demands for international support, is that we will work together to help good leaders govern well, but we're not under any obligation to help bad leaders govern badly. In the end, no country, the United States included, was inclined to send forces to sustain the failed political status quo in Haiti. President Aristide decided, of his own free will, to resign, initiating a constitutional process that transferred power to the President of the Supreme Court.
There are several key points that I wish to make regarding U.S. policy toward Haiti as we move forward with our international partners to help the Haitian people. Number one, the United States has been, and will continue to be, a firm supporter of democracy in Haiti. That is a cornerstone of our policy.
The United States has been, and will almost certainly remain, Haiti's leading provider of economic aid. This aid was never suspended or cut off, as some have claimed. Between 1995 and the year 2003, the United States provided over $850 million in assistance in Haiti. This was channeled mostly through non-governmental organizations because of the corruption that's rampant in the government's system under President Aristide.
Third point, our leadership at the OAS in negotiating Resolution 822, in September 2002, helped open a door to the normalized relations between Haiti and international financial institutions. And since then, IDB loans have begun to flow. We will continue to support IFI, international financial institution, lending to Haiti based on technical merits.
Looking forward, our goal is, first, to stabilize the security situation and provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Haitians, promote the formation of an independent government that enjoys broad popular support, and work with that government to restore the rule of law and other key democratic institutions in Haiti, while encouraging steps to improve the difficult economic conditions of the Haitian people.
The United States is not alone in this process. There are about 2,400 troops on the ground, mostly U.S., but including France, Chile-the Canadians are also on their way. Under the terms of the U.N. resolution approved unanimously by the Security Council on February 29th, U.S. forces are already there as part of this multinational interim force to contribute to a secure and stable environment.
The key elements of the international plan that was initiated by CARICOM are, as we speak, being carried out, to name a Prime Minister, who will, in turn, form a consensus government to lead Haiti forward. This rapid progress is a positive sign of a commitment on the part of Haiti's political leadership to a constitutional transition and the full return of democracy.
As the multinational interim force ends its mission, we will support the U.N. stabilization force called for by the U.N. Security Council, and we will work with the United Nations and the Organization of American States to help the Haitian people begin to rebuild their institutions, starting with the Haitian National Police. As I speak, the administration is engaged in intensive efforts to achieve these goals.
Senator COLEMAN. If you would summarize the rest of your testimony, Mr. Noriega, your entire statement will be entered into the record.
Mr. NORIEGA. I sure will, sir.
My colleague, Adolfo Franco, of USAID, will testify about the varied and comprehensive actions that his agency has taken to support this transition effort.
President Bush has called for a break from the past in Haiti. Indeed, we must have a break from the past if Haiti is to go forward. That break will not come in the form of a new autocrat or demagogue, but by unleashing the incredible potential of the Haitian people in a positive and productive direction.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Noriega follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ROGER F. NORIEGA
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members, it is a pleasure to appear and to speak before this subcommittee today on the topic of Haiti. A chapter in the history of Haiti has just come to a close and the Haitian people are preparing to write a new one. The resignation of President Aristide on February 29 marked the end of a process that in its early days held out a bright promise to
free Haiti from the violence, authoritarianism, and confrontation that has plagued that country since its independence two hundred years ago. Sadly, that hope remains unrealized. While responsibility for this failure resides largely with Aristide himself, the task before the United States, working with the international community, is to help the people of Haiti break the cycle of political misrule that has caused so much misery.
As we move ahead, it is important that we understand where the problems lie. The Haitian people are not to blame for the country's poverty and lack of development. Rather, the absence of good government, even the will to govern fairly and effectively, lies at the heart of the problem. Aristide's legacy of frustrated hope was caused as much by what he did not do as by the steps he took. At the end, even his supporters in the international community realized that his rule had undermined democracy and economic development in Haiti rather than strengthened it.
Mr. Chairman, let me be clear. The history of Mr. Aristide's misrule in Haiti proves what we all know to be true-that a democratically elected government can forfeit its democratic legitimacy by the manner in which it governs. Said another way, being democratically elected does not give a leader free license to rule as he sees fit. Nowhere is that principle more firmly enshrined in this Hemisphere than in the Inter-American Democratic Charter itself. By his actions and failures to act, Mr. Aristide undermined his own ability to govern Haiti.
Let's be very clear. U.S. policy in Haiti and throughout the Western Hemisphere-indeed the world-is to support democracy and the strengthening of democratic institutions. On September 11, 2001, the United States joined the 33 other members of the Organization of American States-including Haiti-in signing the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The creation of the Democratic Charter owed much to the hemispheric concern against the undermining of democratic institutions in Peru-by an elected government. It acknowledges that the essential elements of representative democracy go well beyond merely holding elections, and that governments have the obligation to promote and defend democratic principles and institutions.
The commitment to strengthening democracy has been the cornerstone of our policy in Haiti since the restoration of Aristide to power-by the international community led by the United States-in 1994. This process was set back by the highly flawed parliamentary elections of June 1995, badly run local elections in April 1997, and fraudulent parliamentary elections once again in May 2000. This series of bogus electoral exercises, and the Haitian government's unwillingness to govern fairly, opened the door to many subsequent acts of political violence and intimidation by Aristide against his opponents. Our approach in encouraging respect for constitutional processes and good governance in. Haiti focused on working with our hemispheric partners through the OAS and with other friends of Haiti. In June 2001, the OAS General Assembly approved Resolution 1831 calling on the Government of Haiti to take steps to create an environment conducive to free and fair elections as a means of resolving the political crisis created by the tainted elections of 2000.
On December 17, 2001, the Government of Haiti lashed out at its opponents with a series of brutal attacks by pro-Aristide thugs on persons and property. This led to OAS Resolution 806, which called for the creation of an OAS Special Mission to Strengthen Democracy in Haiti and for the Aristide regime to take vigorous steps to restore a climate of security.
When the Government of Haiti failed to comply with the terms of Resolution 806, the OAS responded with another resolution-822-in September 2002. In this resolution, the Government of Haiti again committed itself to take a series of actions to promote a climate of security and confidence leading to free and fair elections in 2003. I was Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council when Resolution 822 was approved, and the U.S. delegation did the heavy lifting in negotiating the document. Resolution 822 took the key step of calling for the normalization of economic cooperation between the GOH and the international financial institutions-as a means of providing Haiti with further incentive to develop its institutions and promote sustainable development.
In the face of the Haitian Government's non-compliance with the terms of these resolutions, the Caribbean Community-CARICOM-and the OAS sent a high-level delegation, which included President Bush's Special Envoy for Western Hemisphere Affairs, to Haiti in March 2003. In September 2003, the United States facilitated the OAS effort to send another special envoy to Haiti, Ambassador Terence Todman, to help broker a breakthrough in the political stalemate. While all this was taking place, the United States donated $3.5M to the OAS Special Mission in Haiti to support its work.
These impressive efforts came to naught. Rather than taking steps to build political consensus, reign in the rampant corruption that robbed Haitians of their al-
ready meager resources, or promote an atmosphere of security, Aristide continued to recruit and arm gangs of thugs to be unleashed against his opponents. In the process, he undermined what little legitimate law enforcement capacity remained in the already corrupted and weakened Haitian National Police. U.S. law enforcement assistance was essentially limited to support of the Haitian Coast Guard, a rare and largely autonomous police unit that continued to have professional and competent leadership.
Further undermining the rule of law and the effectiveness of his government, Aristide turned a blind eye to the rampant corruption and drug trafficking of those within his circle of power.
It is no wonder, therefore, that when one of the largest pro-Aristide gangs turned against him and rose in open rebellion in the city of Gonaives last month, the Government of Haiti had no effective, let alone legitimate means with which to respond. The rapid collapse of Government authority throughout Haiti bore testimony not to the strength of the thugs and gangs who sought to bring him down, but to Aristide's own failures. By gutting respect for the rule of law and reverting to authoritarian practices, he undermined his own legitimacy and demeaned the word "democracy."
Under these circumstances, Aristide agreed to what he had steadfastly rejected before, a plan that would open the door to consensus government and a way forward to resolve Haiti's political crisis. This was, of course, the CARICOM Prior Action Plan, with its own Plan of Action and endorsement by the United States, France and Canada. For Aristide, this change of heart came too late to save his government. Nor did his eleventh-hour appeal for foreign military intervention garner support in the international community. No country, the United States included, was inclined to send forces to sustain the failed political status quo in Haiti. In what may eventually be considered his finest hour, Aristide decided to resign, initiating a constitutional process that transferred power to the President of the Supreme Court.
There are several key points that I wish to make regarding U.S. policy toward Haiti-as we move forward with our international partners to help the Haitian people:
1. The United States has been and will continue to be a firm supporter of democracy in Haiti. That is a cornerstone of our policy.
2. Aristide's departure was never a U.S. demand. We continuously worked with
our international partners to break through the political impasse and allow democracy to have a chance. Even France, while calling on February 25 for Aristide's ouster, remained supportive of our efforts to find a negotiated solution. While we were convinced that Aristide was a key obstacle in these efforts, we sought to work with him up until the very end. These efforts were conducted at the highest levels of the United States Government, with Secretary Powell
in the forefront.
3. The United States has been and will almost certainly remain Haiti's leading
provider of economic aid. This aid was never suspended or cut off, as some have claimed. Between 1995 and 2003, the United States provided over $850 million
in assistance to Haiti.
4. The United States did not cut off assistance to Haiti by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs). Our leadership at the OAS in negotiating Resolution 822 in September 2002 helped to open the door to normalized relations between Haiti and the IFIs and since then IDB loans have begun to flow. We will continue to support IFI loans to Haiti based on their technical merits.
Looking forward, our goal is first to stabilize the security situation and provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Haitians, promote the formation of an independent government that enjoys broad popular support, and work with that government to restore the rule of law and other key democratic institutions in Haiti, while encouraging steps to improve the difficult economic condition of the Haitian people. The United States is not alone in this process. Under the terms of a UN Resolution approved unanimously by the Security Council on February 29, U.S. forces are already in Haiti, participating in a Multilateral Interim Force to contribute to a secure and stable environment. The key elements of the international plan initiated by CARICOM are, as we speak, being carried out to name a new Prime Minister who will in turn form a consensus government to lead Haiti forward. A Tripartite Council and Council of Eminent Persons, both preliminary steps to naming the new Prime Minister under the plan, were formed within a week of Aristide's resignation. We expect the Council of Eminent Persons to nominate the new Prime Minister within a day or two. The Prime Minister will form a government, in consultation with the Council of Eminent Persons and in agreement with President Alexandre,
to begin the laborious process of rebuilding Haiti's democratic institutions. This rapid progress is a positive sign of commitment on the part of Haiti's political leadership to a constitutional transition and the return of full democracy.
As the Multinational Interim Force ends its mission, we will support the UN stabilization force called for by the Security Council and will work with the UN and OAS to help the Haitian people rebuild their institutions, starting with the Haitian National Police. As I speak, the administration is engaged in intensive efforts to achieve these goals.
We are forming an inter-agency working group to meet 2-3 times per week to forward the many policy initiatives we are pursuing:
Complete multilateral coordination to define the mission and end state of the
Multinational Interim Force (MIF) now deployed in Haiti.
Follow up with UN Member States on voluntary contributions to help defray
expenses of the MIF.
Address urgent need for disarmament by working with the new Haitian government and the MIF or follow-on UN stabilization force (peacekeeping operation).
Set strategy for reform of police and justice institutions. An integrated approach
is the best solution-pursue simultaneous reform and strengthening of police,
justice system, and prisons.
Coordinate with and support the UN and OAS Special Mission in efforts to implement reform strategies for police and justice system.
Participate in UN, OAS, and international community efforts to rebuild democratic institutions through human rights training, support of independent electoral commission, political party building, development of legislative capacity.
Consider feasibility of forming a truth and reconciliation commission to examine
human rights abuses.
Continue U.S. leadership in forming Haiti's transition government.
In the shorter term, we are acting to meet the humanitarian needs of Haiti's people. My colleague Adolfo Franco of USAID will testify about the varied and comprehensive actions his agency is taking. Speaking from the Department of State perspective, Ambassador Foley issued a disaster declaration on February 18. In response, the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, a component part of USAID, provided approximately $487,000 to support the distribution of emergency relief supplies and provide emergency medical supplies. Our total direct bilateral assistance for the period 1995-2003 was $850 million, with $71 million for fiscal year 2003.
The administration has also acted to shore up the Haitian National Police. In a larger sense, our participation in the Multilateral Interim Force (by far the largest of those countries now participating) and the follow-on UN stabilization force will serve as a security umbrella for the Haitian National Police (HNP) while we help to reform and strengthen it. But we have also acted in the short term. President Alexandre has appointed a new police chief, Leon Charles, a man of proven integrity and ability, and we will continue to encourage positive change and reform within the HNP leadership. We have provided material assistance and supplies to the Haitian Coast Guard, which has proven to be a reliable partner with the U.S. Coast Guard in conducting repatriations and cooperating on security matters.
President Bush has called for a "break from the past" in Haiti. Indeed there must be a break from the past if Haiti is to move forward. That break will not come in the form of a new autocrat or demagogue but by unleashing the incredible potential of the Haitian people in positive and productive directions. Nowhere is there written that the Haitian people must be poor or ruled by tyrants. They deserve leaders worthy of their trust and respect, who favor the common good over personal gain. The rule of law must be upheld. Those responsible for crimes and abuses must be punished. Gangs and thugs cannot be allowed to hold sway. Support from the United States and the international community can help-and they will have it-but the long-term job of building Haitian democracy is up to the Haitians themselves. They, above all people in our hemisphere, deserve some success.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Secretary Noriega.
STATEMENT OF HON. ADOLFO FRANCO, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR, BUREAU FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Mr. FRANco. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. It's a pleasure to appear before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to discuss with you the unfolding humanitarian situation in Haiti, and USAID's continuing efforts to help the Haitian people realize their dream of peace, prosperity, and democracy.
I've submitted my complete statement for the record, Mr. Chairman, and, with your permission, I will summarize that statement.
Senator COLEMAN. I appreciate that; thank you.
Mr. F Nco. Mr. Chairman, the conflict in Haiti since early February has severely restricted the movement of commercial goods and relief supplies, including food, fuel, and medical stocks. This has hindered USAID's ability to distribute food assistance to those populations which we normally serve.
Mr. Chairman, I returned from Haiti last night, where I met with Ambassador Foley, representatives of other donor organizations, and with major non-governmental organizations which provide relief supplies. Access and distribution remain major obstacles for both humanitarian deliveries and regular commercial activity. USAID and its implementing non-governmental organization partners report that the primary humanitarian concern continues to be a lack of security. This impedes safe passage for the transportation and distribution of relief supplies that include fuel, water, and other commodities. Enhanced security will enable USAID and its partners to resume normal distribution of food and medical supplies and implement programs to address Haiti's immediate-, medium-, and long-term needs.
Mr. Chairman, USAID and its partners have now conducted assessment trips to a number of places in Haiti, including CapHaYtien, Port-de-Paix, and Jeremie. USAID is using light aircraft to transport its assessment teams, and, in some cases, making use of these aircraft to deliver needed supplies to organizations outside the capital, particularly in the rural northwest.
Based on the best information available to us and to our partner organizations, I want to make it clear, though, Mr. Chairman, that Haiti currently has enough food to feed its people, although vulnerable populations, including the very young and very old are beginning to feel the effects of several weeks of disruption in the food transportation and distribution system. To meet these needs, Mr. Chairman, USAID estimates that with the 20,000 metric tons of food and commodities we have in Haiti, and by working with our partner organizations, that we will be able to continue our efforts once the security situation is fully stabilized. You may have read that some of this food was looted during the recent unrest, on February 29th, but I'm pleased to report to you that I visited the port facilities yesterday, and that under 10 percent of USAID's food stocks were looted. The majority of our food remains intact and is in secure storage in Port-au-Prince, under Marine guard.
Mr. Chairman, the interruption of basic health services, particularly in the north, due to insecurity and poor road conditions, represents another point of concern. Recent assessments by USAID
have led to the conclusion that the current health situation in Haiti is not at an emergency level, although there are acute shortages of medical supplies, including antibiotics and oxygen tanks in many health facilities around the country.
To meet the needs in the health sector, USAID has sent large amounts of medical supplies to Haiti in recent days and has provided a grant to the Pan American Health Organization for additional supplies. In addition, the International Committee of the Red Cross has increased its staff size, and is currently providing medical services free of charge in several facilities, including Canape Vert Hospital in Port-au-Prince. Mr. Chairman, USAID has responded quickly to the potential for a humanitarian crisis in Haiti. Although there is a significant humanitarian concern, we do not have a crisis in the country at the present time.
When U.S. Ambassador Foley declared a disaster, on February 18th, because of the insecurity, the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance provided $50,000 to transport and distribute emergency relief supplies, including 12 medical kits and 3 surgical kits. These kits are equipped to serve 10,000 people each for approximately 3 months. In addition, USAID approved $400,000 in funding for the Pan American Health Organization to purchase additional medical supplies and to conduct emergency relief services in Haiti.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, USAID continues to monitor the situation in Haiti closely, and we're working to meet the most critical needs as expeditiously as we can. We're also working with other agencies and our implementing partners to develop a postconflict program strategy that will ensure the continued provision of emergency relief, which remains our paramount concern, and to improve basic services and generate productive employment over the immediate-, short-, and medium-term.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Franco follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ADOLFO A. FRANCO
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, it is a pleasure to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace corps and Narcotics Affairs, to discuss with you the unfolding humanitarian situation in Haiti and USAID's continuing assistance with helping the Haitian people realize their dream of peace, prosperity and democracy. The central focus of my remarks is on what USAID is doing through our humanitarian assistance programs to mitigate the effects of the social and political unrest on the most vulnerable segments of Haiti's population. This statement is an update of my presentation of March 3, 2004 to the House Committee on International Relations. This testimony reflects current events in Haiti, especially in the aftermath of President Aristide's resignation and departure from Haiti. The political situation remains fluid and the potential continues for further civil unrest and violence perpetrated by armed gangs. This is evident by Sunday's recent events with the demonstrations which lead to the deaths of four individuals including a foreign journalist, and 20 others wounded.
The ongoing political turmoil and economic deterioration in Haiti have created the potential for a humanitarian crisis and have affected numerous aspects of development such as food security, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation. While sufficient food stocks are currently in-country and no immediate food crisis exists at present, this could change quickly in coming weeks, especially in the north, due to insecurity and disruptions in the transportation and distribution system. USAID
currently has in storage more than 11,000 metric tons of P.L. 480 Title II food commodities for direct food distribution to Haiti's indigent populations and children's orphanages throughout the country. Most of the food stocks are under secured storage in Port-au-Prince. The World Food Program and European Union also have available for distribution, stocks of at least 5,000 metric tons, and 3,100 tons respectively.
The U.S. Government through USAID is Haiti's largest bilateral donor. In FY03, USAID contributed $71 million. Through fiscal years 1995-2003, USAID provided a total of $850 million in direct bilateral assistance. Prior to the outbreak of violence, USAID had planned $52 million in assistance in FY04 to programs ranging from health, democracy and governance, education and economic growth. We are currently analyzing additional assistance options. To ensure that quality service delivery continues to benefit those Haitians who are most in need, USAID assistance is channeled principally through NGOs. USAID is also the lead donor in addressing critical transnational issues such as HIV/AIDS and other debilitating infectious diseases, a seriously degraded natural resource base, respect for human rights and the rule of law, and trafficking in persons.
USAID uses food aid both to supplement its humanitarian program and as a development tool. P.L. 480 Title II funds account for more than one-half of USAID/ Haiti's funding. This food-assisted program promotes improvements in household food security, nutrition, and the welfare of women, children, and poor, marginal farmers in six out of the nine districts of Haiti-affecting the lives of 640,000 poor Haitians. Emergency response is also critical. Last year, over $3 million in emergency assistance was provided to communities affected by drought and flooding.
CIVIL UNREST AND THE USAID PROGRAM
Lawlessness continues and the situation remains fluid following the resignation of Aristide and the appointment of Supreme Court Justice, Boniface Alexandre as the interim President. The presence of international security forces has already improved the security situation in country. Nonetheless, there are a significant number of weapons in the hands of armed gangs in Haiti, and there have been violent conflicts between opposition protestors and supporters of the former Aristide government, as well as, widespread looting, and robberies of civilians at roadblocks throughout the capital. On March 7, violence broke out during a protest in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, resulting in at least four deaths and at least 20 injuries. Aside from this most recent indication of unrest, the situation in Port-au-Prince has been relatively calm. According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the situation in Port-au-Prince is returning to normalcy, as public transport has resumed and the security situation has become more stabilized. However, some public services, including the provision of water, electricity, and communications, are not functioning at normal levels. Basic health services are also inadequate.
Increasing conflict since early February has severely restricted movement of commercial goods and relief supplies, including food, fuel, and medical supplies, creating difficult conditions in some areas, and for those normally dependent on food assistance. Access and distribution remain major obstacles for both humanitarian deliveries and regular consumption. USAID and its implementing partners continue to report that the primary humanitarian concerns at present stem from limited access, security, and unsafe passage for transporting and distributing relief supplies, fuel, water, and food commodities. There appears to be no massive shortages of food or other essential commodities at this time as Haiti benefited from good harvests over the last two agricultural seasons. However, an accurate assessment of the situation outside of Port-au-Prince has just begun.
Food Availability: USAID's NGO development food aid partners and the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) currently have approximately 15,000 metric tons (MT) of food stocks in country. The European Union (EU) has 2,500 MT at a warehouse and 600 MT at the port in Port-au-Prince. There is also an additional 2,000 MT available from other donors. Thus the total amount of food assistance available from all donors is approximately 20,000 MT. There are no massive shortages of food or other essential commodities in Haiti at this time. Pockets of food insecurity have been reported, and orphanages and institutional feeding programs in urban areas are vulnerable to prolonged food shortages; however, USAID and cooperating sponsors are not requesting emergency programs.
Due to poverty and chronic malnutrition in Haiti, some segments of the Haitian population are vulnerable to severe malnutrition. However, daily reports from
USAID's four partners in Haiti-CARE, Save the Children Foundation (SCF), World Vision International (WVI), and Catholic Relief Services (CRS)-indicate that none believe the situation requires re-programming of planned food assistance. Regionspecific reports from food aid organizations are summarized as follows:
WVI does not anticipate a food crisis erupting in its targeted areas of Central
Plateau and Ile de la Gonave, even if distributions stop for a short time because of the strong coping mechanisms among the populations and the good December
harvest. WVI is currently operating at 100 percent on Ile de la Gonave.
CRS reported that food supplies for orphanages in Haiti are limited and some
orphanages have begun to run out of food. CRS is considering using existing
funds to purchase food on the local market for vulnerable orphanages.
On February 22, looters broke into a WFP warehouse in Cap-Haitien and took
800 metric tons (MT) of food stocks, mainly vegetable oil and pulses. Despite the loss of food stocks, WFP estimates that it still has sufficient stocks either
in Haiti or en route to the country to provide assistance to 373,000 people.
WFP reported that the shipment of 1,200 MT of rice scheduled to arrive at the
Cap-Haitien port is on hold until the security situation improves. According to WFP, a total of 268,000 people are in need of food in the north and northeast,
where prices have increased since early February.
USAID and WFP have undertaken a rapid assessment in Cap-Haitien to identify current needs in schools and health centers. WFP is also preparing a sixmonth Emergency Operation (EMOP) to provide assistance to the most affected people in the north areas of the country. WFP's assistance, in partnership with other agencies, aims to ensure that children and their families meet daily nutritional needs in order to prevent a decline in their nutritional status.
Fuel Availability: Fuel is vital not only for transport, but also for the continued operation of facilities and equipment such as hospitals, bakeries, and freight moving equipment at ports. According to the fuel companies, there is currently enough fuel in storage in Port-au-Prince to supply the country for two to three weeks, but the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are concerned that fuel shortages may lead to the shutdown of the Capital's electrical plant and water treatment station. CARE reported that there is a potable water crisis in Gonaives due to a lack of fuel. Although CARE has food stocks in Port-au-Prince, the organization lacks fuel for transportation, particularly for food distributions in the north.
Medical Supplies: A major humanitarian concern at present is the interruption of basic health services, particularly in the north. The ability to purchase and transport drugs and fuel to health facilities nationwide has been disrupted in major population centers due to the sporadic access to banks and insecure travel on the roads. The ICRC has been organizing regular convoys to both Gonaives and Cap-Haitien in cooperation with the Haitian Red Cross, and ICRC medical teams have also been stationed at facilities in these cities.
It is not clear at this time how many medical facilities have been affected by the recent unrest. Reports from the Hbpital Communaut6 Haitienne in the Capital indicate that there is an increase in the number of trauma patients at the hospital and care is hindered by fuel shortages for generator power and lack of surgical and medical kits. Similar disruptions of supplies are occurring in Gonaives and other areas.
Currently there are no reports of an outbreak of the six major childhood vaccinepreventable diseases. However, increased cases of diarrhea and fever have been reported throughout the country. The Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) has sentinel sites in Haiti, of which 30 percent to 40 percent are still functional and operating.
A Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) epidemiologist recently arrived in Haiti to reactivate the health surveillance system, as Haiti lacks adequate surveillance data from health facilities throughout the country. PAHO will monitor data on measles outbreaks, polio, diphtheria, typhoid, and violence, as well as acute malnutrition. According to PAHO, there is a shortage of tuberculosis (TB) drugs and a disruption of TB programs in the north. M6dicins Sans Frontires-Belgium is requesting TB drugs from PAHO.
Port-de-Paix Assessment: On March 5, representatives of USAID/OFDA, USAID/ FFP, U.N. World Food Program (WFP), U.N. Children's Education Fund (UNICEF), and CARE conducted an assessment of the humanitarian situation in the city of Port-de-Paix, located on the northwestern coast. The assessment indicated that looters broke into the city's Department of Health office, and the vaccines in the cold chain may have been compromised. There have been no reports of measles or any other disease outbreak in Port-de-Paix. Access to food is also becoming difficult for
the poorest segments of the population, particularly since the suspension of WFP food distributions. Food prices have reportedly increased from 25 to 100 percent. Some fuel is available on the market, though the cost of one gallon has increased from approximately 23 Haitian dollars to 80 Haitian dollars. Lack of fuel has affected the city's electricity supply and hindered the local hospital's ability to sterilize equipment and thereby perform major surgeries.
Les Cayes Assessment: On March 5, representatives from USAID/OFDA, USAID/ Haiti, CRS, and UNICEF conducted an assessment of the humanitarian situation in the southwestern town of Les Cayes. The humanitarian situation has not deteriorated significantly as a result of the recent political unrest, and the only sector currently affected appears to be fuel.
Displaced Populations: USAID and its NGO partners continue to report very limited displacement and no "sites" with concentrations of internally displaced persons (IDPs). According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), numbers of IDPs cannot be accurately assessed at present. However, UNOCHA notes that significant numbers of residents are moving from insecure cities to other areas or returning to their places of birth in the mountains. Movements have also been reported from rural areas to main cities.
On February 23, the Government of the Dominican Republic (GODR) indicated that the Dominican Republic does not have structures in place to manage a migratory wave of refugees. The GODR also noted that Dominican authorities have closed the border with Haiti along critical points. On February 24, the GODR sent 1,200 additional troops to patrol its border with Haiti. The GODR has declined to state the total number of troops along the 225-mile border. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, approximately 400 Haitians have fled to the DR, Jamaica, and Cuba since early February 2004.
U.S. GOVERNMENT HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE TO HAITI'S POLITICAL CRISIS
On February 18, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti James B. Foley issued a disaster
declaration due to the ongoing complex emergency in Haiti. As an initial response to the situation, OFDA has provided $50,000 through USAID/Haiti to support the transport and distribution of emergency relief supplies, including 12 medical kits and three surgical kits, valued at approximately $87,000. Each medical kit is equipped to serve 10,000 people for approximately three months.
On February 26, the medical kits arrived in Port-au-Prince. In addition, OFDA approved $400,000 in funding for PAHO to purchase additional medical supplies
and to conduct emergency relief activities in Haiti.
On February 24, OFDA deployed a three-person team to Port-au-Prince, including a Senior Regional Advisor as Team Leader, a Health Officer, and an Information Officer.
OFDA has contracted with Airserve for two to three aircraft to move relief personnel and light cargo around Haiti if required in the coming days and weeks.
USAID/Food For Peace has significant amounts of additional food stocks which
can be transported to Haiti by sea for food assistance within 7-14 days if needed.
OFDA has awarded a grant in the amount of $400,000 to CRS for local procurement and emergency cash grants to institutions serving vulnerable populations
such as orphanages and hospitals.
The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince is currently developing a security asset
plan that will address protection of people and USG buildings, transport of goods and people, and security of NGO partners, such as CRS, WVI, CARE, and Save the Children. A top priority of the security asset plan is to secure and protect the airport and port in the Capital.
There are approximately 15,000 MT of USG-procured food commodities immediately available for distribution in Haiti. USAID will continue to work with other members of the donor community to mobilize the additional resources required for the Haiti post-conflict effort.
In sum, the United States and the international community continue to stand with the people of Haiti. USAID is closely monitoring the humanitarian impact of the current political crisis in Haiti. With the presence of international forces in Haiti, the security situation has improved significantly, and normalcy is slowly returning to the Capital, Port-au-Prince, and other affected areas. Also, the delivery of humanitarian assistance has improved. USAID/Haiti and OFDA personnel are continuing to assess the situation, in order to deploy assistance where it is most ur-
gently needed. Further, USAID is collaborating with the interim government of Haiti, other USG Agencies, donors, and implementing partners to develop a postconflict program strategy that will ensure the continued provision of emergency relief and improved basic services, and generate productive employment over the immediate, short and medium-term. In addition, USAID is working with other donors to jointly identify long-term priorities in Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony.
[Additional information submitted by Mr. Franco follows:]
U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
FACT SHEET NUMBER 5, FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2004 / MARCH 9, 2004
Haiti's 200-year history has been marked by political instability and weak institutional capacity, resulting in a severely debilitated economy and an impoverished population. The current complex emergency is rooted in the country's inability to resolve a four-year political impasse. Following a military coup that ousted elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1991, the international community intervened militarily to restore Aristide to power in 1994. In May 2000, Aristide's party, Lavalas Family, claimed an overall victory in disputed legislative and municipal elections. In November 2000, the opposition boycotted the presidential election that Aristide won unopposed with low voter turnout. On December 17, 2001, the crisis escalated as armed commandos stormed the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince in an assault that the Government of Haiti
(GOH) characterized as an attempted coup d'6tat.
The electoral controversy paralyzed the Aristide administration, and Aristide
lost popular support due to the inability of the government to attract investment to the country, create jobs, or reduce poverty. As a result, growing lawlessness, instability, and politically-motivated violence began to overwhelm the
country in 2002.
In late 2003, anti-government demonstrations in Port-au-Prince, Gonaives,
Petit-Gove, and other towns began to increase in size, frequency, and violence.
The most recent surge in conflict and violence began on February 5, 2004, when members of armed opposition groups seized control of Gonaives, Haiti's fourthlargest city. Armed groups opposed to former President Aristide expanded their control throughout parts of the Central, North, Artibonite, Northeast, and South departments. The democratic opposition has distanced itself from the armed groups. Since the takeover of Gonalves, approximately 130 people have
been killed in the violence.
On February 29, Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned from the presidency. In accordance with the Haitian constitution, Supreme Court Chief Justice Boniface Alexandre was sworn in as President of an interim government. Prime Minister
Yvon Neptune will retain his post until a new Prime Minister is selected.
Structural and institutional weaknesses in Haiti, closely linked to the country's
historical, socio-economic, and agricultural development, have had long-term effects on numerous aspects of Haiti's development, such as food security, water and sanitation, health, and nutrition. For many years, Haiti has been the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and is currently the only Least Developed Country in the Western Hemisphere. The country was ranked 150th out of 173 countries in the 2003 United Nations (U.N.) Development Program
Human Development Report.
Due to the ongoing and chronic nature of Haiti's underdevelopment, the country is vulnerable to rapid deterioration of humanitarian indicators in a complex emergency. However, certain impacts of a complex emergency, such as malnutrition, are not sudden-onset situations and typically require several months to develop. Two important factors may contribute to food insecurity in Haiti: ris-
ing or unstable prices, and a drop in remittances. Haiti is heavily dependent on remittances, receiving an estimated $800 million on average annually. In addition to food insecurity, the rising incidence of disease and displacement may also contribute to a humanitarian crisis. USAID and its implementing partners
are monitoring all of these indicators as closely as possible.
The U.S. Government (USG), through USAID, is Haiti's largest bilateral donor.
In FY 2003, USAID contributed $71 million. From FY 1995 to 2003, USAID provided a total of $850 million in direct bilateral assistance. For FY 2004, USAID has planned $52 million in assistance for programs including health, democracy and governance, education, and economic growth. To ensure the provision of assistance to Haitians most in need, USAID assistance is channeled principally through non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The USG provides food and
food-related assistance directly and indirectly to 640,000 Haitians.
On February 29, the U.N. Security Council authorized the immediate deployment of an international military force to restore order in Haiti. The U.S. has assumed initial control of the multinational force. Troops from other countries will support the military force, followed by a longer-term U.N. peacekeeping mission. There are approximately 1,750 U.S. troops, 600 French troops, 400 Chilean troops, and a small contingent of Canadian troops in Haiti. The troops have spread out throughout Port-au-Prince to secure key areas and facilities, including the presidential palace, the airport, and foreign embassies. On March 5, U.S. troops in Haiti moved for the first time beyond the capital to Gonaves and Cap-Haitien. The troops will assess the needs of the Haitian national police in the two cities and determine the possible scope of future international troop
On March 4, the Organization of American States (OAS) announced the establishment of the Tripartite Council, appointed by the GOH, the Democratic Platform coalition, and the international community. Council members include Leslie Voltaire, the Minister of Haitians Living Abroad; former Senator Paul Denis, a member of the Democratic Platform coalition; and Adama Guindo, the U.N.
Resident Representative in Haiti. The Tripartite Council has selected the seven members of the Council of Wise Men, which in turn will propose a new Prime
Minister to interim President Alexandre.
On March 7, violence broke out during a protest in Port-au-Prince, resulting in at least six deaths and at least 30 injuries. On March 8, hundreds of looters targeted an industrial park near the Port-au-Prince airport and threatened passing cars with machetes. International media reported that multinational security forces were not stationed in the vicinity during the disturbance. Armed opposition leader Guy Philippe stated on March 8 that armed combatants would take up arms if the multinational security force is unable to disarm the
chimeres, or armed Aristide supporters.
On March 8, former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide declared from exile in the Central African Republic that he was still the President of Haiti, and called for "peaceful resistance" in Haiti. Interim President Alexandre was officially inaugurated on March 8.
On March 8, the U.N. announced that an assessment team is scheduled to arrive in Haiti on March 9 to help prepare for the deployment of a peacekeeping mission to the country by June 1. The team will make recommendations to U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan regarding the size and composition of the mission.
Port-au-Prince port assessment: On March 5, USAID/Haiti officials and a USAID/OFDA team member conducted an assessment of the Port-au-Prince port. There are initial indications that looters stole approximately 10 percent of USG-funded food stocks. As of March 6, U.S. Marines have secured the ort area where P.L. 480 food commodities are stored. On the evening of March 6, U.S. Marines exchanged gunfire with would-be looters. Warehouse officials are attempting to conduct a full assessment of current food stockpiles; however, this assessment could be hindered if insecurity recurs in the port area. Non-governmental organizations, including CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Save the Children-U.S. (SCF-U.S.), will attempt to move their containers out of the
port as security permits.
* Port-de-Paix assessment: On March 5, representatives of USAID/OFDA, USAID
Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP), U.N. World Food Program (WFP), U.N.
Children's Education Fund (UNICEF), and CARE conducted an assessment of the humanitarian situation in the city of Port-de-Paix, located on the northwestern coast. The results of the assessment indicated that there is a lack of security in the city, as eight separate armed groups are intimidating and extorting money from the local population. A committee of notables acts as a liaison between the population and the armed groups; however, this group has no legal
The Port-de-Paix assessment also indicated that looters broke into the city's
Department of Health office, and the vaccines in the cold chain may have been compromised. There have been no reports of measles or any other disease outbreak in Port-de-Paix. Since major flooding in December 2003 destroyed Portde-Paix's water infrastructure, the city has had a water shortage. Access to food is also becoming difficult for the poorest segments of the population, particularly since the suspension of WFP food distributions. Food prices have reportedly increased from 25 to 100 percent. Some fuel is available on the market, though the cost of one gallon has increased from approximately 23 Haitian dollars to 80 Haitian dollars. Lack of fuel has affected the city's electricity supply and hindered the local hospital's ability to sterilize equipment (and thereby perform major surgeries).
Les Cayes assessment: On March 5, representatives from USAID/OFDA, USAID/
Haiti, CRS, and UNICEF conducted an assessment of the humanitarian situation in the southwestern town of Les Cayes. The security situation in the town is fragile, with narcotic traffickers reportedly influencing local events. The humanitarian situation has not deteriorated significantly as a result of the recent
political unrest, and the only sector currently affected appears to be fuel.
The poor water situation in Les Cayes pre-dates the current political crisis.
The water needs to be treated with chlorine, but there is a lack of public education on water safety. CRS stated that there have been some cases of typhoid and diarrheal diseases as a result of the lack of potable water. Health problems in Les Cayes are also chronic and due mainly to the lack of potable water. Food insecurity in the town appears to be primarily due to a lack of purchasing power among some of the population, particularly in the poor area of La Savanne. Food prices have increased in Les Cayes by approximately 30 percent.
* Cap-Haitien assessment: On March 8, the USAID/OFDA assessment team traveled to Cap-Haitien with representatives of WFP, UNICEF, CRS, and CARITAS to assess the humanitarian situation. The assessment team cited fuel as the main concern in Cap-Haitien, as in the other towns previously assessed. Though fuel stations remain open, the price of fuel has increased from 17 Haitian dollars to between 60 and 80 Haitian dollars. Stores and schools are also open in the city. No WFP food stocks currently remain in Cap-Haitien. Since the recent crisis began in early February, looters have stolen 800 MT of assorted food commodities from the WFP warehouse, in addition to 15,000 bags of commercial rice from the port. No major shipment of food, commercial or humanitarian, has
arrived in Cap-Haitien since the current political unrest began.
" The USAID/OFDA team met with the International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) in Cap-Haitien on March 8. According to ICRC, the priority areas for the provision of humanitarian assistance in Cap-Haitien, and the northern department in general, are as follows: fuel, vaccines (the re-supply of vaccines as well as fuel to maintain the cold chain), security for the "humanitarian corridor"
from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitien to allow for the transport of food and relief
supplies, oxygen for hospitals, and security for hospitals.
" USAID's NGO development food aid partners and WFP currently have nearly
15,000 metric tons (MT) of food stocks in country. The European Union (EU) has 2,500 MT of food at a warehouse and 600 MT at the port in Port-au-Prince. Other donors have an estimated 2,000 MT available. Thus, the total amount of food assistance available from all donors is approximately 20,000 MT.
* WFP is preparing a six-month Emergency Operation (EMOP) to provide assistance to the most affected people in the north areas of the country. WFP's assistance, in partnership with other agencies, aims to ensure that children and their families meet daily nutritional needs in order to prevent a decline in their nutritional status. WFP is also preparing a Special Operation (SO) to increase logistics and communications capacity.
On March 5, WFP delivered between 12 and 16 MT of food rations to a hospital
and orphanage in Port-au-Prince. This marked WFP's first food distribution since the outbreak of unrest in the country in early February 2004. WFP indicated that, if the security situation does not deteriorate, WFP will carry out its planned March distributions to 66,000 people at 23 health centers in the capital. All of the 94 schools in Port-au-Prince that normally benefit from WFP food
distributions remain closed.
According to assessments by the USAID/OFDA team, the current health situation in Haiti is not at an emergency level. However, the health care system is experiencing a rupture in supplies, due to the insecure environment that exists for drug deliveries and a lack of health staff reporting to work due insecurity.
The poor public health infrastructure is a chronic problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
The ICRC surgical team working at Canapd-Vert Hospital in Port-au-Prince is
providing treatment free of charge for the wounded. The numbers of injured had decreased, until the outbreak of violence in Port-au-Prince on March 7. On March 4, ICRC brought in surgical supplies from the Dominican Republic to establish a supplementary operating theatre at Canapd-Vert Hospital. Additional beds have also been installed, bringing the total number to 100. ICRC has provided surgical kits (each kit contains supplies for 100 surgeries) to hospitals in Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Jacmel, and Port-au-Prince. On March 6, an ICRC convoy traveling from the Dominican Republic across the Dajabon-Ouanaminthe border arrived in Gonaives with a generator for the city's public hospital. The convoy also carried fuel for National Society ambulances and ICRC vehicles.
ICRC plans to bring a surgical team to the hospital in Gonaives, security permitting.
U.S. Government Response
From February 9 to 11, the USAID/OFDA Senior Regional Advisor and a USAID/OFDA Regional Advisor traveled to Port-au-Prince to assist USAID/ Haiti and partner organizations with contingency planning for humanitarian assistance.
On February 18, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti James B. Foley issued a disaster declaration due to the ongoing complex emergency in Haiti. In response, USAID/OFDA has provided $50,000 through USAID/Haiti to support the transport and distribution of emergency relief supplies including 12 medical kits and three surgical kits, valued at approximately $87,000. Each medical kit is equipped to serve 10,000 people for approximately three months. On March 4, USAID/OFDA distributed one medical kit each to Mddecins Sans Fronti~res (MSF), CRS, and World Vision International (WVI), and nine kits to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)-supported PROMESS warehouse. The PROMESS warehouse will store the nine kits on behalf of Management Sciences for Health (MSH), PAHO, and USAID/OFDA. USAID/OFDA has also approved $400,000 in funding for PAHO to purchase additional medical supplies and to conduct emergency relief activities in Haiti. In addition, USAID/OFDA has approved $412,287 for CRS for emergency cash grants to support local institutions and provide services for most vulnerable populations.
On February 24, USAID/OFDA deployed a three-person team to Port-au-Prince, including a Senior Regional Advisor as Team Leader, a Health Officer, and an Information Officer. On March 7, a Military Liaison Officer joined the team in
USAID/OFDA has provided $340,981 to Air Serv for emergency air transport. On March 3, two light planes contracted by USAID/OFDA with Air Serv arrived in Port-au-Prince. The planes, each with capacity for nine passengers, are available to the USAID/OFDA team to conduct assessments and deliver relief supplies throughout the country as required. Various USAID implementing partners, including U.N. agencies and NGOs, may accompany the USAID/OFDA
team and USAID/Haiti staff on assessment trips.
USAID/OFDA has also provided $500,026 in funding to WVI for emergency relief kits and cash-for-work initiatives.
The Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM) has provided $20,000 to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince for assistance to Haitian migrants. In addition, State/PRM will support the ICRC appeal for Haiti. The final amount of funding for the appeal is pending approval.
U.S. Government Humanitarian Assistance to Haiti Implementing Partner Activity Location Amount
Pan American Health Organization
Catholic Relief Services
World Vision International
Transport and distribution of emergency relief sup- Port-au-Prince and other affected areas
plies; 12 emergency medical and three surgical
Medical equipment and emergency health activities Nationwide Emergency cash grants Port-au-Prince and the southern peninsula
Emergency air transport in support of USAID/OFDA, Nationwide
NGOs, U.N. and other humanitarian organizations
Emergency relief kits and cash-for-work initiatives North, Central Plateau, South, West, and Northwest departments, and lie de La Gonive
Total USAID/OFDA State/PRM Assistance
U.S. Embassy/Port-au-Prince Assistance to Haitian migrants
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance to Haiti in FY 2004 (to Date)
$137,000 $400,000 $412,287 $340,981 $500,026 $1,790,294
$20,000 $20,000 $1,810,294
1'USAID/OFDA funding represents committed and/or obligated amount as of March 9, 2004.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Franco.
Mr. Franco, you indicated in your testimony that enhanced security is necessary for the normal distribution of food and supplies, and you also indicated some concerns about the interruption of health services up north, again because of security issues. And I'm not sure whether you or Secretary Noriega can answer this, but how many troops do we need to provide the kind of security that would allow for that distribution of food and supplies? My colleague, Senator DeWine, has strongly suggested that what we have now is not sufficient. Can you tell us what we need to make sure that we can have normal distribution of food and supplies?
Mr. FRANco. I'm not really qualified to answer the question, so I will have Secretary Noriega answer the question, Mr. Chairman; but I will say this, that the security issue-and I want to report this, because I've met with all the donor organizations and also international organizations, OAS representatives, U.N. organizations, non-governmental organizations, including CARE, CRS-and every one of the organizations has said that the key thing is that we have now secured installations, as I have referenced a port where we have food, but that distribution remains a problem. The exact number of what's needed, I have to defer to Secretary Noriega.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you.
Mr. NORIEGA. Mr. Chairman, the assessment of the number of people that we need on the ground-that is to say troops-will have to be made by the military. We have approximately-we have an expectation that the current countries that have committed troops will, when they have deployment in the next several days, reach a point of 3,400-about 3,450 persons-on the ground. We're going to have to look at what their tasks are, what the geographical coverage that that particular size force can provide, and what missions they can carry out. And then it will be the role of the military commanders to ask for additional resources, if they need it.
Having said that, there are other countries that have offered support, and we have undertaken an urgent diplomatic effort to encourage other countries to make those troops available in the shortrun, rather than waiting for the longer-term peacekeeping mission.
So that's underway. The determination will be driven by the commanders on the ground and what the missions are that are required. But I think that there is a political commitment to--not just on the part of the United States, but other friends of Haitito provide additional resources, if that's required.
Senator COLEMAN. We had invited a representative from
SOUTHCOM to be here, and they were not able to be here, but that is important information. There may be sufficient food, but if it can't get to those who need it; if there's sufficient medical supplies, but it can't get to those who need it because of security concerns, then it's like not having it in the first place. So we will continue to press on that issue. Time is of the essence, and we want to make sure that there are adequate bodies on the ground to ensure that food can be distributed.
There was some discussion by some of the witnesses about the CARICOM relationship. Can you describe the nature of that relationship today? Is it intact? Talk a little bit about the strains. And where do we go with the future with CARICOM and its role in Haiti?
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes. CARICOM took up the mantle of trying to find a diplomatic solution toward the end of last year at the request of President Bush in a meeting with Prime Minister Manning of Trinidad and Tobago. This was another iteration in diplomatic efforts, over the last three years, to try to create a more sustainable political situation on the ground. They made a valiant effort, and I think that the merits of their plan are so good that we're still implementing it, although they have formally disassociated themselves from it.
I was personally involved in the effort to implement that plan; I went to Haiti, spent some time convincing-trying to convinceopposition leaders that it was a workable, feasible plan that we were committed to. We weren't able to convince them to join in the process because of the scar tissue-frankly, a lack of confidence in both Aristide and the international community, which the opposition feels has been turning its back on his abuses for too long.
Right now, we have-Secretary Powell and I have communicated with CARICOM leaders to explain the situation because some of them actually believe that-Aristide's version of the facts that he was kidnapped, which is, of course, ridiculous. But we need to convince them that we want to go forward, and we need to convince them, frankly, that the 8 million people in Haiti still need their help.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, very, very much, Secretary Noriega.
Senator DODD. Thanks, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, again, for holding this hearing.
Let me, if I can, begin by going back to the Inter-American Democratic Charter, because in your testimony, Secretary Noriega, you point out that a democratically elected government can forfeit its democratic legitimacy by the manner in which it governs. Said another way, being democratically elected does not give a leader free license to rule as he sees fit. Nowhere is that principle more firmly enshrined in this hemisphere than the Inter-American Democratic Charter itself.
I presume you've read it-of course, you served in the OAS as an ambassador, so you've been through the charter-and it does, in paragraph 21, make that indication. At what point did the OAS decide, by a two-thirds vote, which the charter requires, that the standard had been met?
Mr. NORIEGA. The standard-there was aSenator DODD. Standard that it forfeited its democratic legitimacy. That's in the-you said that's-it's right, it's in the charter here
Mr. NORIEGA. Right.
Senator DODD [continuing]. -but it also says that two-thirds of the members of the OAS have to vote accordingly. Mr. NORIEGA. Right.
Senator DODD. At what time did the OAS reach the conclusion you did?
Mr. NORIEGA. It's interesting about the charter, sir, that the charter has never been invoked, including its
Senator DODD. That's not the question I have for you.
Mr. NORIEGA. Well, the charterSenator DODD. The charter says they should meet and voteMr. NORIEGA. Yes.
Senator DODD [continuing]. to reach that conclusion. Was this a unilateral decision we made?
Mr. NORIEGA. Every country made a decision for itself not to invoke the charter, not to put securitySenator DODD. So there was noMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. forces on the ground.
Senator DODD [continuing]. vote at the OAS.
Mr. NORIEGA. I never said there was.
Senator DODD. Well, you said-no, here, you said that it had forfeited its legitimacy.
Mr. NORIEGA. I said that a government can, and in ourSenator DODD. Do you thinkMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. in ourSenator DODD [continuing]. the Aristide government did, or not? I assume, by your statement-you didn't make that statement just as an abstract idea.
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. The point that I was making was that the troubles that Haiti-that President Aristide got himself into--didn't happen overnight. It was the result of a systematic abuse of human rights, ignoring the essential elements of democracy that are laid out in the charter.
Senator DODD. But that was not an OAS determination.
Mr. NORIEGA. No, sir, it doesn'tSenator DODD. In fact, are you familiar with what was adopted on the 24th of February by the OAS regarding Haiti?
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. Yes, sir.
Senator DODD. The resolution?
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes, sir.
Senator DODD. Want me to read it for you?
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes, please, go ahead.
Senator DODD. Let me read it for you here. This goes on expressing-I won't give all the preamble stuff, but expressing its profound regret that the opposition-speaking about the opposition in Haiti-has not accepted the CARICOM plan, which offers the best prospects for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis, expressing the hope that they will reconsider. Went on to resolve that they call upon the United Nations Security Council to take the necessary and appropriate urgent measures, as established by the charterin the charter to address the crisis in Haiti-knowing that the OAS has no ability to militarily intervene in the situation, the implication, at least for this person reading it, is that they were urging the U.N. to take some steps five days prior to the departure of Aristide, on the 29th, to try and step in-to try and stop this collapse that was occurring, and it goes on and condemns the opposition for not embracing the CARICOM proposal. That's what the OAS would say. Isn't that true?
Mr. NORIEGA. The OAS supported the CARICOM process at the time. We were urgently supporting the CARICOM process to try to convince the democratic opposition participation in the process.
Senator DODD. So it's not, then, your conclusion that the Aristide government had lost its legitimacy.
Mr. NORIEGA. I believe that the-it was-not in a formal way, no, sir. In the terms of the invocation of the charter, no country invoked the charter. No country invoked
Senator DODD. I didn't ask-I asked you whether or not you thought they had forfeited the-is that your conclusionMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. In my viewSenator DODD [continuing]. -or the Bush administration's conclusion they forfeited?
Senator DODD. Not in a formal way, sir. We don't make-we didn't make that decision unilaterally.
Senator DODD. Obviously, it wasn't done-formally, I mean-at that point.
Mr. NORIEGA. The decision we made was that propping upmerely propping up the Aristide government was not worth risking American lives.
Senator DODD. Let me jump to Aristide's departure, if I can. During your March 1 appearance on Nightline, you stated, and I quote, that "President Aristide approached our ambassador. He made the decision to resign. He chose the destination." That's your statement on March 1.
Later last week, on March 3rd, you told the House International Relations Committee that Mr. Aristide did not learn that the Central African Republic was his destination until the evening of February-on the evening of February 29th, until about 20 minutes before he landed.
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes.
Senator DODD. Which of those statements is accurate?
Mr. NORIEGA. They're both accurate. But I don't want to mince words; because I think, quite frankly, almost immediately when I said that, in the Nightline interview, I thought I needed-I should have clarified that.
When the plane took off, at about 6:30 in the morning, all of us thought the plane was headed for South Africa, that it was on its way to South Africa, which is the destination that he sought. Within minutes, 30 minutes or so, of the plane taking off, we heard from the South African Government that they were not able to take him. So we immediately had to scramble to find another place. As far as I know, his destination is still South Africa, and he can go as far asSenator DODD. He didn't make the choiceMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -whenever he wishes.
Senator DODD [continuing]. -to go there.
Mr. NORIEGA. He made the choice to go, and we provided a plane for him to go to South Africa.
Senator DODD. That's my question. He didn't make the choice of the country.
Mr. NORIEGA. We made a-he made-he decided that he wanted to go to South Africa. We made an effort to try to get the permission of the Government of South Africa to receive him.
Senator DODD. But he did not make the choice to go to the Central African Republic.
Mr. NORIEGA. No, and when heSenator DODD. Okay.
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. took off, it was not
Senator DODD. Are there anyMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. our decision-it wasn't our decision notSenator DODD. [continuing]. ---other statements you made that you'd like to correct at this moment? Any other contradictions?
Mr. NORIEGA. No, sir, I don't think that-I've explained my response to thatSenator DODD. You've explained it. I want to know if there are any other circumstances in which an explanationMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -If you have any need for clarification on any of my statements, Senator, please raise them with me, and I'll be glad to clarify.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Senator Dodd.
Senator BOXER. I want to thank Senator Dodd, because basically the administration is essentially telling us not to look back, only forward, and I think we have to look forward, and we have to do two things: we have to walk and chew gum at the same time. We have to go forward and protect the people there and make sure things go well there, but we will have to get to the bottom of this.
Now, when I-before Senator Dodd came-I read some quotes of Colin Powell. And Colin Powell said, on the 18th of February, essentially, we're going to back Aristide; he's the democratically elected guy. The next day, he reiterated the same thing. And ten days later, a statement comes down from the administration essentially saying, gee, he ought to really look in his heart and ought to get out.
This is odd. This is odd. And then when you put together these treaties that Senator Dodd-who spoke eloquently on the floorthat we're looking at, the Santiago Declaration and the Inter-American Charter on Democracy-if we're just going to say, well, no one's going to enforce these, what's the signal to the rest of the world? What is it? What if we just said, one day, well, we have a nice Constitution, but, eh, let's rip it up. I don't think that would go over well. And since we are the leader in the world, and have the greatest democracy in the worldMr. Noriega, I am exceedingly troubled. And these are the questions I'm going to ask you to answer in writing, because we do not have enough time today. And I look forward to them. And I would like to have them back, you know, as fast as you can. And they're questions raised in an op-ed piece in the L.A. Times by Jeffrey Sachs. And here's what they are:
Did the U.S. summarily deny military protection to Aristide? And if so, why and when?
Did the U.S. supply weapons to the rebels, who showed up in Haiti last month with sophisticated equipment that last year reportedly had been taken by the U.S. military to the Dominican Republic, next door to Haiti?
Why did the U.S. abandon the call of European and Caribbean
leaders for a political compromise, a compromise that Aristide had already accepted and, by the way, told his thugs to get out of the streets because the U.S. asked him to? So his thugs were taken off the streets, and the other thugs were left on the
Most important, did the U.S., in fact, bankroll a coup in Haiti,
a scenario that may be possible, given what we see? And he [Sachs] says, "It brings to mind Groucho Marx's old line, 'Who
are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?'"
Now, this whole thing has to be answered. And this one Senator here-and I know other Senators feel the same way-believes we're going to get to the bottom of this, like we, in America, get to the bottom of everything. And, to me, it's just stunning, and I don't know how we move forward in good faith if we can't clear the air as to what really happened.
Let me read you the New York Times editorial of March 4th,
The Bush administration's belated and ham-handed
intervention last weekend practically delivered Haiti into the hands of an unsavory gang of convicted murderers and former death-squad officers under the overall command of Guy Philippe, who American and Haitian officials believe to be a drug trafficker. Indeed, those who have benefitted most by the administration's policy toward Haiti are the weak and divided opposition that rejected political compromise, and these murderous thugs, like Guy Philippe and Louis Jodel Chamblain. Philippe and Chamblain went
so far as to thank the U.S. for its Haiti policy.
And I mentioned this in my opening statement, Mr. Noriega. I don't know if you were here. According to news reports, Mr. Chamblain shouted, "We're grateful to the United States." And Mr. Philippe said, "The United States soldiers are like us. We're brothers. We're grateful for their service to their nation and against the terrorists of Aristide."
How does it make you feel when murderers, like Philippe and Chamblain, are thanking the United States and putting our beautiful treasure of our soldiers in their category? How does it make you feel?
Mr. NORIEGA. I would-Senator, I have all the time you need to answerSenator BOXER. Well, just answer
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. --questions.
Senator BOXER [continuing]. -that question. How does it make you feel when those two gentlemen praise this administration and say that the American military are their brothers, when these are the guys who are murderers and thugs and drug dealers? How does it make you feel?
Mr. NORIEGA. I can't make-I can't put myself in theirSenator BOXER. I didn't ask you to put yourMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. ---crazy thinking. Senator BOXER [continuing]. Well, howMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. These areSenator BOXER [continuing]. -does it make you feel?
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -violent criminal thugs, who have no place in Haiti. Contrary to what the editorial said, we are not delivering Haiti over to these people; we're delivering Haiti over to
8 million decent HaitianSenator BOXER. And what are yourMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. people, who finally deserveSenator BOXER [continuing]. what are you goingMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -a chance toSenator BOXER [continuing]. -with those people?
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -make decisions about their future, whose rights have been violated systematicallySenator BOXER. Okay, and what are yourMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -for years.
Senator BOXER [continuing]. -plans to go after those people?
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -UhSenator BOXER. Those thugs?
Mr. NORIEGA. In my view, it should be the policy of the United States that these people be-at the appropriate time, when the Haitian National Police is prepared to incarcerate them, they should put them in jail. They should certainly be disarmed. And they should face criminal charges for their violations of rights over the long haul and just recently.
Senator BOXER. So-but my point is, if we are in a situation where we are an occupying force, along with other nations, I trust, you said when the Haitian police-would you not move on those people, on those thugs?
Mr. NORIEGA. The sooner the better, Senator.
Senator BOXER. Fine.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Senator Boxer.
Senator NELSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You remember the time you used to sit on this side?
Mr. NORIEGA. Actually, I sat on that side.
Senator NELSON. Was it easier back then?
Mr. NORIEGA. Just for the record. It was-I didn't have to pay attention when I was sitting back there.
Senator NELSON. Well, you and I have been at it now for several sessions, and I want to look forward now. I'll just state that I think it's been the policy of the United States Government to have a regime change, and that was not only in Iraq, but it's also in Haiti. And I think there are a lot of troubling questions because of that. But for Senator Graham and me, who are on the receiving end of the destabilization by people taking the flight in rickety boats, it creates another difficult situation. And so it is clearly in these two Senators' interest to see the place stabilized as quickly as possible.
There's an article out today that says that the Marines are going to start disarming the militants. Perhaps you already talked about that. But the nuts and bolts of government, I'd like to know, what are your plans to come to the Congress for appropriations to help you stabilize Haiti?
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes. Senator, on the migration question, I'll note that in the week before President Aristide resigned, there were
about 900 Haitians picked up at sea in the week-yesterday, there were none; I think in the week since, it's probably in the dozens.
On the question of resources, there are resources that are available from other countries. Our own budget is about $55 million, $53 million. There are international financial institution loans that are available. We have to assess what our requirements will be. And we'll have to approach decision-makers within our administration on whether we need additional resources from what we have available, and-that would have to be reallocated to Haiti-and a decision by them if they wanted to come to Congress to seek additional resources.
Senator NELSON. Well, we have an authorization bill that's moving forward. And just like last week, I was raising Cain here with representatives of the State Department with regard to the future expenditures in Iraq, of which there is a blank line in the request for authorization for appropriations; so, too, because of the circumstances here in Haiti, we need to know, as soon as possible, so that we can fill in that and start to plan for these. And now that we have a vehicle that is being considered, we need to do that.
For example, such things as: Are we going to provide assistance for elections? When can we expect parliamentary and presidential elections to take place? And are we serious about the commitment, over a sustained period of time? And you've heard my comments from this position of the committee. I have been very bipartisan in my comments, because I think the previous administration did not give Haiti the attention that it should have after Aristide was put back in. But neither has this administration. And we're seeing the result of inaction and a hands-off policy. So I want to see that sustained level of commitment by this government, and that is my responsibility, as a member of this committee, not only to speak of as a Member of the Senate .from Florida, along with Senator Graham.
I'd like to know, what is it going to cost for your plans for the reforming of the national police, which is going to be essential for future stability?
And then I'd like to know, Mr. Franco, about the P.L. 480 funding and what you're going to need from the United States. You're going to find a bunch of willing Senators here that want to support you, but we've got to have a coach that'll call the plays.
That's about it.
Mr. FRANco. May I comment very briefly, Senator? Mr. Chairman?
Senator COLEMAN. Yeah, very-please. And I appreciate-the series of questions from Senator Nelson demonstrate that there's so much more information that we need.
Secretary Noriega, I'll allow you to respond briefly, or Mr. Franco, but clearly there's a lot more information that we need, and the record will ultimately reflect that.
Mr. FRANCO. Just very quickly, Mr. Chairman. We share Senator Nelson's concerns. But I can tell you that both AID and-not only AID, but the non-governmental organizations and the other donors' primary and paramount concern right now is to make sure that the essential emergency food reliefs, medical reliefs get back on track.
We have plenty of food in country; we just need to get that distributed.
Simultaneously, Senator, we are doing our level best to get an assessment as to what future requirements will be, and we'll get that back to you. We are the largest single bilateral donor in Haiti. We have been, and I forecast we will continue to be.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you.
Senator DEWINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, I want to get back to the point I made earlier, and that is that I think we need more troops in Haiti. And I want to discuss that with you in just a minute.
You made a point that the number of troops that are needed has to ultimately be decided by the military, and I guess that's true, to an extent, but I want to take issue with you a little bit. That's true, to an extent, but really the number of troops that are needed is determined by what we expect them to do.
We talked a little bit about-there was a dialogue a moment ago about the problem with food distribution and movement of food. And we know that's so essential in Haiti. You can have food there, but if you don't move it around, you've got a problem. Schools are not open. I know that from talking to people, a lot of the schools are not open. The normal going about of business in Haiti, a lot of that is not going on. Some of it is, but some of it's not. There is what I would describe, for want of a better way of describing it, as a fear factor and a public confidence problem; and it's a psychological thing.
I would maintain that when you try to determine the number of U.S. troops that are needed, there's a certain number that you have to get to before you get a critical mass. And once you reach that critical mass, then everyone sort of figures it out. We're there. And the thugs and the guys with the guns sort of get it figured out. And I'm not sure we're quite there yet.
In Haiti, our brave troops face a situation which is, in some respects, more dangerous and tougher than we faced the last time we came in. Last time, we had to kind of roll up the military and deal with them, and we did that.
This time, we've got two different groups-more than two groups, really-that have been armed. We've got the rebels, who came in and were marching on, moving toward Port-au-Prince, and we've got the Aristide gangs that had been, over time, given guns by Aristide and were armed. And these two groups, unfortunately, still are armed, and still have guns. And that's the problem. And they're pretty well-armed.
So that's how I see the situation. And, you know, you and I have talked privately about it. You don't have to respond now. But I just wanted to make the point, again. I don't think we've reached the critical mass yet. And until we reach it, I don't think you're going to have the security level where we need it. I don't think you're going to have the public confidence where we need it. I think once we get there, then things are going to calm down. And no longer are people in City Soleil going to be describing to me what I was told yesterday, of these gangs, these guys riding around with their guns and terrorizing people, or the description I got yesterday from
someone up north of being shaken down, a hospital being shaken down for money. You know, as long as that continues, the people aren't going to be confident that they can go about their business. I think there's a real problem.
Let me move, if I could, Mr. Franco, to where USAID goes in the long run. And I appreciate what you say that your immediate concern is, getting the food distributed. You're doing the right thing, and we're proud of you trying to do that. But the long run, where Haiti goes, is something I think this committee has to look at.
And my time is almost up, and I hope we have a second round.
One question. Back in 1999, there was a program in Haiti called USAID Jobs. It's my understanding the program was pretty successful, leading to an average of $55 per month in wages for thousands of Haitians. It was a-I don't know if it was-kind of a--our depression-era, Franklin Roosevelt-type program or not, but it put a lot of people to work, built some roads, got some things done. Are we going to try something like that again?
Mr. FRANCO. Well, Senator DeWine, we're certainly looking at that. I know that you met with the Administrator~
Senator DEWINE. I did.
Mr. FRANCO [continuing]. I can tell you that that's one of the things we're looking at. Since we're looking back a bit-I think it's important to see what we did right and what we did wrong. I can tell you that we will be developing a comprehensive program with our partners, meaning the other international organizations and other countries that are working in Haiti, in terms of how we'd respond, and determining our comparative advantages. Certainly, food for work, and these immediate jobs programs are things that we are looking at and will be looking at as one of the immediate responses. We will be working on something comprehensively with our other partners, and that's certainly on the USAID agenda.
Senator DEWINE. Well, my time is up. I want to talk to you a little later about agriculture, too.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you very much, Senator DeWine.
Senator GRAHAM. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I'd like to ask Mr. Franco-you indicated that we have an adequate quantitative supply of humanitarian items-food, medicinein country; the problem is one of distribution. Yesterday, the United Nations issued, "an urgent appeal for $35 million for six month's worth of humanitarian aid." What is the $35 million for if the problem is distribution as opposed to quantity?
Mr. FRANCO. We just received that request. We are analyzing it and taking a look at it. ButSenator GRAHAM. Excuse me, the "it" being?
Mr. FRANCO [continuing]. "it" being the request from the
Senator GRAHAM. We did not participate in the United Nations decision to make such an urgent request? Mr. FRANCO. We certainly didn't at USAID, no. Senator GRAHAM. Was anybody in the U.S. Government involved with this?
Mr. NORIEGA. Not that I'm aware of.
Mr. FRANco. We haven't been involved.
Senator GRAHAM. Could you provide us with a written response which would indicate what was the basis for the U.N. urgent appeal? Who made the urgent appeal? And do you agree or disagree with its validity?
Mr. FRANCO. I certainly will, Senator Graham. I want to see what it is.
[At the time of publication, Assistant Administrator Franco had not yet provided an answer to this question.]
Mr. FRANco. I wanted to clarify a point. There are sufficient food stocks in country, currently, for the targeted populations that have been the recipients in the past. We do not have, nor is there, a generalized feeding program in Haiti. Because of the deteriorating situation, I haven't looked at the U.N. proposal. I have to see what their forward thinking is on that. The medical area is very much a concern. It is for the international community and the Red Cross; it might be as part of the U.N. appeal, as well. So I'll take a look at that, as well. We're responding as quickly as we can on the medical front. But I'll get you a written response on that.
Senator GRAHAM. Mr. Noriega, I'd like to ask you some security questions. What percentage of the U.S. and other nations' troops that are in Haiti are in Port-au-Prince?
Mr. NORIEGA. Are which?
Senator GRAHAM. In Port-au-Prince, what percentage of the totality-and I think you said it was approximately 3,400 troopsMr. NORIEGA. Are in Port-au-Prince? It's my understanding that the vast majority of them are in Port-au-Prince. And so far, the plan for the U.N. deployment is that most of them will stay in or near the capital area. Other countries are beginning to look at what their mission would look like in other provincial capitals, which we think is important, that we start looking at deployments.
Senator GRAHAM. Given the fact that Haiti has an atrociousand I think that's a generous word-highway system, what's the plan to be able-if, for instance, there's an outbreak in the northern regions, as there was prior to February the 29th, to get security personnel there?
Mr. NORIEGA. Senator, I'd have to get you a more detailed answer on the whole security picture-for example, what the airlift capacity is and helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft that's part of the current deployment. But I'd be glad to do that, sir.
[At the time of publication, Secretary Noriega had not yet provided an answer to this question.] Mr. NORIEGA. And, of course, there are several other countries involved in this, and they will have their own assets and logistical tale.
Senator GRAHAM. I mean, I'll just make a comment. It sounds as if we have an Afghanistan solution here, where we are giving some protection to the capital, and the other 6 million Haitians, who live outside of Port-au-Prince, are pretty much naked. Mr. NORIEGA. I think it's fair to say, Senator, that the current mission and the tasks for the U.S. deployment is very much centered on the capital. But I think you're raising valid points, and we
certainly have considered the importance of deploying outside the capital, to the provincial capitals. There's a lawlessness there that's prevailing, and we do need to address that. You're exactly right, sir.
Senator GRAHAM. It seems to me that one thing we've learned in the number of places that I mention in my remarks, from Haiti to now Iraq, is that there is a correlation between the number of security troops on the ground and the incidence of lawlessness. I think we had our highest percentage, per capita, in Kosovo, and we had the lowest incidence of violent actions in Kosovo, which leads you to believe that there is some correlation between the degree of presence and the degree of security. I think it's critical that we reevaluate what it is we're trying to accomplish in Haiti, insofar as security, and then evaluate the number of people we've got on the ground to carry out that mission.
Mr. NORIEGA. Senator, the comments you've just made on security, and that Senator DeWine made, really echo what I've heard among decision-makers in the executive branch, that the number depends on the mission and the tasks, and those are decisions that are made by civilian policymakers, and then you ask your military people to give you their best judgement about what sort of forces need to be on the ground. And then this is a decision we have to make with our international partners in perhaps a division of labor. But we're into, now, I think, the tenth day of a deployment. We've got 3,400 people on the ground, and we're-or, I'm sorry, it's probably close to 2,800; we're going to build up to 3,400 in the days ahead. And then we'll have-but we're also, at the same time, looking for other countries that are willing to put large numbers of forces on the ground in the very near term.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Senator Graham.
We have an outstanding third panel. We have about 50 minutes left. I know there's a strong desire on the part of my colleagues to continue the questioning. I'm going to ask my colleagues if they can limit their questions in this second round. I'm going to ask one question with just a brief statement. But, again, we have an extraordinary third panel that I'd certainly like to get to, and I know Ambassador Dobbins, who's on that panel, has some time constraints.
First, just a very quick statement. I hope we look forward. We have to look forward. There are 8 million Haitians who need us to look forward. There are a quarter of a million Haitians who are HIV-positive that need us to look forward. And whether it's the security concerns that Senator Graham has raised or the litany of questions that my colleague, Senator Nelson, has raised, employment concerns, infrastructure concerns, environment, et cetera, et cetera-so we need to look forward. That has to be our focus. We will be letting down the people of Haiti if we don't get about doing that.
A very narrowly focused question for some of the moms and dads in Minnesota and, I think, throughout America, there is concern about international adoptions. A number of our families adopt kids from Haiti. Secretary Noriega, you and I talked about that while some of the conflict was going on. Can you tell me what is being done for the kids in orphanages? Is there food being provided? Can
you tell me whether the process of adoption, and adoptions, are still ongoing? Has it been interrupted by the political turmoil? Are families still getting the kids that they worked with and gone through that whole process? There's a lot of fear and anxiety out there that I have heard, and I'd just like my parents to have a better understanding of what the current situation is.
Mr. NORIEGA. Senator, the government, right now, is not functioning in a normal way. It will be a number of weeks, I think, before we could say that that's happening again. And, of course, in these adoption cases, it's very important that all of the steps be carefully followed. So there will be a period of time, I think, where we can't necessarily expect these-depending upon where a person is in the process of adoption, it will be difficult to culminate some of those adoptions. However, it is a priority for us-it has been throughout the crisis-to identify if there are some people that we can move the children out if they're at that stage, and we continue to treat that as a priority. And I know that orphanages are certainly a part of our target population in terms of feeding programs.
Mr. FRANco. If I could just add, Mr. Chairman, just to complement what Secretary Noriega said, orphanages are, unfortunately, one of the areas that have been most adversely affectedI alluded to that in my testimony-and particularly in the northwest part of the country. And they are dependent. They are part of our targeted food programs. So that is a paramount concern. We had a survey done yesterday, and we are taking some immediate relief supplies to the northwest to address that concern.
Senator COLEMAN. I appreciate that, thank you.
Senator DODD. Thanks. Thanks, Mr. Chairman. And, again, thank you for these hearings.
Let me ask you, Mr. Noriega-I, too, I think, obviously looking forward is going to be very important, what we do from here. But I don't want to minimize at all, in any way, what happened here. Because there are precedents being set. And, as such, I think they pose some serious questions in the hemisphere. Certainly Venezuela comes to mind, Peru comes to mind.
You talk about losing political legitimacy becoming a standard by which we would no longer support a democratically elected government; then, I can only imagine how Alejandro Toledo must be feeling this evening if that becomes the standard, since I think the latest polls show him about 7 percent favorable in Peru. And I'm worried that that message being sent out-that losing political legitimacy means if you ask other nations to step up to your assistance when you're being threatened, that we will not respond.
So, I think it's important we dwell on this a bit because I want to know what happened. I want to know, for instance, whether or not President Aristide, at any point, asked the United States to militarily step in, since the opposition rejected any offers to accept the CARICOM proposals. I want to know what happened here. He [President Aristide] says, of course, he was kidnapped. We said, "No, look, we gave him a choice," I presume, that he could stay, with no defense from the United States, and face whatever happened to him, or we'd fly him out of the country. Now, what I want to know is, at any point did we offer, or were suggestions made,
that we might want to use the force to bring some stability? I'm told that we are talking about maybe two or three hundred. In fact, I think you and I, in different settings, agreed that the number of armed thugs who are operating in the northern part of the country numbered no more than about two or three hundred people. Is that correct?
Mr. NORIEGA. I think it's grown since then.
Senator DODD. Well, I mean-no, then; when the thingMr. NORIEGA. At the time?
Senator DODD [continuing]. -I'm talking about theMr. NORIEGA. That's right, sir. I
Senator DODD [continuing]. So we'reMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -agree with that.
Senator DODD [continuing]. -talking about a relatively small number of people, at least that was the conclusion.
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes.
Senator DODD. The suggestion that we might have been able to respond to that with a small enough force to come in-was that ever a possibility? Did we suggest that? Did Aristide ask us for that? Did we reject that?
Mr. NORIEGA. Essentially, President Aristide did ask for that in his many phone conversations with representatives of the international community. And our CARICOM partners very much appealed to us to be able to do that. We made a-Senator, I have to say that there's a big difference between Alejandro Toledo and the way he's governing and Aristide.
Senator DODD. Well, see, I'm just using an example. All right, I don't accept that. You don't like that example. Forget about it. I'll just
Mr. NORIEGA. But, Senator, theSenator DODD. But let's get back to the point. He asked for the help, and we said no.
Mr. NORIEGA. Right. And I-but I think-yes. We were not willing to put American lives on the line merely to keep him in power, and
Senator DODD. We made that decision on our own.
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -Each country made its decision not to do that, and every country could have put people in.
Senator DODD. Well, clearly, the United States is a leader in all of this. This wasn't-we're not sitting around with coequals. Obviously, the U.S. is the principal player.
Wouldn't you agree with that?
Mr. NORIEGA. We made we made a decision for ourselves that we were not willing to do it.
Senator DODD. So we made a decisionMr. NORIEGA. It was a difficult decisionSenator DODD [continuing]. -That'sMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. Senator. ISenator DODD [continuing]. aboutMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. I concede that. By all means. Senator DODD. Mr. Chairman, the reason I raise that is because I'm going to ask, tomorrow in a letter to the inspector general of the USAID, to look into the programs of the International Republican Institute (IRI). We've raised this issue before, and I want to
go into it with you here because clearly we've been involved with the opposition for some time. We've expended public monies on behalf of the opposition. I want to get into some discussion with you briefly with you here about that support because clearly we have made, at some point here, a choice, or at least with public monies, we've made a choice.
Now, I've raised the issue, Mr. Noriega, with you on previous occasions, and I would assume that you're up to date on what the IRI has been doing with respect to Haiti in the last ten months. Is that fair?
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes, sir. They've been supporting democratic opposition.
Senator DODD. As I understand it, USAID, in September 2002, approved a two-year $1.2 million grant to IRI for its Haiti program, is that correct?
Mr. NORIEGA. That's my understanding, yes, sir.
Senator DODD. All right. The approval of this new grant was conditioned on the IRI country director, Stanley Lucas, being barred from participating in this program for a period of time, because the U.S. ambassador in Haiti had evidence that he was undermining U.S. efforts to encourage Haitian opposition cooperation with the OAS efforts to broker a political compromise. Is that not true, as well?
Mr. NORIEGA. I've heard that, yes, sir.
Senator DODD. Well, is that not-no-heard it-is it true?
Mr. NORIEGA. I've seen it as a recordSenator DODD. Didn't you agree
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. of mySenator DODD [continuing]. wasn't that a-didn't we reach that agreement, that he would not be a part of itMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. TheSenator DODD [continuing]. -as a result of the U.S. ambassador's request?
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes, sir. That's
Senator DODD. All right.
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -my understanding, yes. Senator DODD. I'm sorry? Yeah, I know. All right.
But I want to get into what role did the Western Hemisphere Bureau play in USAID officials' decision in Washington approving the circumvention of these restrictions on IRI because I gather Mr. Lucas is back involved. What role, if any, did your office play in his re-involvement?
Mr. NORIEGA. None. That's a grant-management decision, and there was a difference of opinion as to whether or not the understanding was violated. I wasn't a party to the decision, but AID, which manages that grant, reached an understanding that-and we were-we were consulted-my front-office deputy was consulted on the decision to go ahead and go with-go forward with the program because of the fact that there was apparent misunderstanding.
Senator DODD. All right. Now, as I understand it, between December of 2002 and January of 2004, IRI has conducted numerous training sessions in the Dominican Republic with more than 600 Haitian opposition figures. Is that correct?
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes, sir. It's my understanding-and the participation in these things is-it's very broad-based. And IRI does its training in the DR because in 1999 its country team leader, one of them, was threatened by the point of a gun by an Aristide thug and was-essentially they were run out of the country. So this is getting to a point where we're sort of blaming the victims here in this process. I think that these people, as they do everywhere in the world, are doing honorable, good work, promoting our values and
Senator DODD. I'm not questioning-I just want to know the details of what's going on here. Is Stanley Lucas still involved?
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. As far as I know, he is still part of the program.
Senator DODD. Can you assure this committee that Mr. Lucas, the IRI staff, and participants in the training programs have had absolutely no involvement or contact with Guy Philippe or other members of the Haitian armed forces of FRAPH?
Mr. NORIEGA. I have never heard that, and, to my knowledge, it wouldn't be the case. It certainly wouldn't be acceptable.
Senator DODD. Yeah. But do you knowMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. We knowSenator DODD [continuing]. whether or notMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. we know who thisSenator DODD [continuing]. that's the case?
Mr. NORIEGA. Pardon me, sir?
Senator DODD. So you know whether or not that's the case?
Mr. NORIEGA. I have never heard that assertion. And if it were the case, we would certainly stop it. We knew who Guy Philippe was and that he had a criminal background. He would have no role in-whatsoever inSenator DODD. Well, I want you to inquire, if you would. I want you to makeMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -Please do. Yeah, I'll be glad to
Senator DODD [continuing]. whether or not we had-whether or not the IRI staff or people-if Stanley Lucas had any contact with FRAPH officials or Guy Philippe.
Mr. NORIEGA. I will certainly do that.
[At the time of publication, Secretary Noriega had not yet provided an answer to this question.]
Senator DODD. Let me quickly-let me just jump-because one of the concerns-and I'll come back to you, Mr. Franco, on this-I want to know what discussions, if any, the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic has had about U.S. concerns with Haitians residing in the DR who are plotting against the Aristide government.
Mr. NORIEGA. If we had contact with the HaitianSenator DODD. What discussions the U.S. Embassy and the Dominican Republic has had about U.S. concerns with Haitians
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes, sir.
Senator DODD [continuing]. -residing in
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes, sir. We have had discussions with them, because we wanted to make sure that these people were watched. And we believe that the Dominican authorities were taking it very
seriously, and that they were prepared to take-as I understood it, prepared to take legal measures if these people crossed a certain line. But I'm speaking specifically of Guy Philippe, for example.
Senator DODD. Yeah. Have there been any contacts between Dominican officials and Guy Philippe? Mr. NORIEGA. Not that I'mSenator DODD. Or other well-known Haitian dissidents? Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -not that I'm aware of. Senator DODD. All right. And I wonder if you might-over the last several years, the United States has given fairly significant amounts of lethal and nonlethal defense assistance to the DR. The committee received the following notices, and let me recite what they are.
January 23rd, 2002, $2.7 million in a variety of defense equipment and material, including communications equipment, training aids, tents, clothing, and individual communication
January 23rd, 2002, 20,000 excess M-16s to replace older, obsolete, and nonfunctioning weapons, valued at $2.7 million. The notice also stated that the older weapons would be replaced on a one-for-one basis, and destroyed upon completion of the
May 15th, 2002, $784,000 for radios and antennas.
March 27th, 2003, one million rounds of excess ammunition for
use in M-16s, valued at $150,000.
What I want to know, Mr. Noriega, is, has the administration verified that this defense equipment has been used for the purpose it was intended, and, very specifically, whether or not the verification of the 20,000 obsolete weapons that the M-16s would replace have been destroyed, as required? Mr. NORIEGA. Senator, to the best of my knowledge-and I'll have to get you this in writing-no transfer of weapons from the United States Government to the Dominican Republic has taken place since 1991.
[At the time of publication, Secretary Noriega had not yet provided an answer to this question.] Mr. NORIEGA. And you're citing explicit notifications, and I don't doubt-I don't doubt that you have them in front of you, but I specifically asked for an accounting of these things, and, under thisunder the U.S. program-that was in-to the best of my knowledge, none of those rifles-20,000 reconditioned M-16 Al rifles has ever been delivered. We expect that they would be delivered-the first 2,300 of the weapons may be delivered in April or May. They have not been delivered to date.
Senator DODD. I have anotherSenator COLEMAN. Senator Dodd, I willSenator DODD. Yeah.
Senator COLEMAN [continuing]. -enforce this, some time limitations here.
Senator DODD. Yup.
Senator COLEMAN. Senator Boxer. Senator BOXER. Thank you.
You said that when President Aristide asked for protection from the 200 thugs or so that you estimated were there, that you said no, because you were fearful it wasn't worth putting American troops on the line for him. And I'm wondering, do you think U.S. troops have been placed in added danger because so many of Aristide's supporters believe that the U.S. Government forced him from office, and that's causing some instability in the country? Do you fear a little more for our troops because of that?
Mr. NORIEGA. In light of the public statements that give credence to that falsehood, some of which have come from-unfortunately, from U.S. officials, including some in the Congress-in light of the fact that those falsehoods have been given some credence, perhaps it has caused some in Haiti to hold a grudge against the United States.
Senator BOXER. What falsehoods?
Mr. NORIEGA. ThatSenator BOXER. What Members of Congress said falsehoods?
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -I willSenator BOXER. Name them.
Mr. NORIEGA. The suggestion that Aristide was kidnapped is one that has been made in the public domain.
Senator BOXER. Well, didn't he say that?
Mr. NORIEGA. He has
Senator BOXER. Hasn't he used that word?
Mr. NORIEGA. He has said that, and that's beenSenator BOXER. And hasn't he beenMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. that's a falsehood.
Senator BOXER [continuing]. -quoted?
Mr. NORIEGA. And it's been repeated in the public domain, ma'am.
Senator BOXER. Yes, it has been repeated that he said that. But you're accusing Members of Congress, or whomever you're accusing, of spreading falsehoods, when they're quoting Aristide.
Mr. NORIEGA. I said they gave credenceSenator BOXER. And I'm asking youMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -to those falsehoods.
Senator BOXER. So the answer to my question is yes, you think that U.S. troops are in added danger because so many of Aristide's supporters believe him, that the U.S. Government forced him from office.
Mr. NORIEGA. I'm not on the ground, but I think it's a logical conclusion, yes.
Senator BOXER. Okay. That's why I think it's so important to get to the bottom of this, because you're insisting there's no truth to any of that.
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes.
Senator BOXER. That in no way was Aristide forced out by America. And that's why I don't agree with my Chairman today, who I really appreciate his holding this hearing and allowing us such leeway here, that you don't look back. If you're right, and there's not a whisper of truth to the fact that we forced him out or that guns were given to the opposition, you ought to welcome a in-depth investigation on this.
But I have to say-and, Mr. Chairman, again, we just disagree on this point; we are in total agreement that moving forward is crucial for the Haitian people, and we need to do it for the children, for the women. And if we don't get, you know, an adequate request here, I'm going to lean on my colleagues here, all of whom, I think, have in their heart what I consider to be true compassion for the people, and I'm going to help-be part of a coalition to get to the Haitian people what the Haitian people need. That goes without saying.
But whether it was Pearl Harbor, where there was an investigation as to how that happened, whether it's 9/11, where we move forward with 100 percent agreement on going after bin Laden and the terrorists, we still have a commission, and the President is looking back-and he has said he will now not put a time limit on his time spent with the commission, and I am very glad about that-or whether it's looking into weapons of mass destruction and that whole intelligence failure, we look back. This is America. The truth shall set you free. And you cannot move forward in a successful way if you do not figure this out.
So I would just say, Mr. Noriega, I've watched you in front of the House, I've watched you here, and I just think, putting together all the pieces, that the story isn't exactly as you would tell it, because it doesn't add up. For the greatest country in the world to be fearful of 200 thugs-my goodness. And to tell someone, "You can stay, but, unfortunately, there's a group of murderous drug dealers and thugs that are armed to the teeth who are going to get you, or you can go," that's not a choice. That is not a choice. And if you were honest about it, you'd know that wasn't a choice.
If I told you, Mr. Noriega, that you would have to come sit on our side of the aisle or you might be beat up by somebody, you might even sit on our side of the aisle. You know what I'm saying. So I have to just say, I'm troubled by this. I think in the long run we're going to get to the truth, and we have to get to the truth. And I know Senator Dodd wants to get to the truth. And I hope that Senator Lugar wants to get to the truth because it's our job to do that. And I want to do that very much.
Mr. NORIEGA. SenatorSenator COLEMAN. SenatorMr. NORIEGA. Mr. Chairman, I'll stay as long as necessary. If you watched the House hearing, I was there for four hours. I wasn't given an opportunity to answer any of these questions that might shed some light on this, and I'm still not being given the opportunity to answer some of the questions about what our thinking was. But we'll cooperate with any inquiry, I'll stay here as long as you want. I'll come back up and visit. But I'll be glad to answer any questions that you have thatSenator BOXER. YouMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -might set the record straight. Senator BOXER. Mr. Chairman, with due respect, I know what your answer is. You said it wasn't worth sending any military into the country, at President Aristide's request, because it wasn't worth putting their lives on the line. You said that. I know what the facts are. Colin Powell, on the 18th of February, said we'll
never let thugs take over Haiti; Aristide's elected. He repeated it twice, then, ten days later, there's a whole other-I mean, this isn't a matter of your having X-number of minutes.
Mr. NORIEGA. Well
Senator BOXER. It's a matter of what you have already said
Senator COLEMAN. Let meSenator BOXER [continuing]. -on the record.
Senator COLEMAN [continuing]. -if I may, and I'm going to enforce time constraints on my colleagues. But, Mr. Noriega, if there's a question you are asked that you don't have a chance to adequately answer, I'd certainly give you that opportunity.
Mr. NORIEGA. Sure. Specifically to the point of what happenedand I'm not going to abuse the opportunity, Senator-Mr. Chairman-specifically on the question of what happened between when Secretary Powell made his statement, I think, on February 13th
Senator BOXER. 17th.
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -17th-and I think he might have said it on the 13th, because I couldn't remember-it was maybe a Friday the 13th-where he made the statement about not allowing these thugs to overthrow a constitutional government, there was hope that there was a way we could do that by supporting a sustainable political settlement. In the intervening weeks, that became-it became clear that we weren't able to do that. And there's a reason for that, and it's-I mentioned before, that opposition wouldn't agree to the plan. But we also noticed other things. We noticed that the-while the Haitian National Police was goingSenator BOXER. I hear you.
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -we noticed that while the Haitian National Police was goingSenator BOXER. Senator Dodd, Secretary Powell's quote on the 17th andMr. NORIEGA. Okay, 17th and 18th. We also know that in the intervening time, that President Aristide's people were arming his criminal gangs and thugs with guns, while the Haitian National Police was going without guns. We know that the palace sent gangs to attack the Coast Guard facility, because they wanted to be able to preserve the migration card. The Haitian Coast Guard personnel fought a pitched battle defending themselves from Aristide's mobs, who had set on them because they wanted to prevent our ability to repatriate people, because they wanted to have the migration card, to be able to continue to play that card.
So those few elements that were-could have actually helped maintain the rule of law were being undermined even at the very last minute, and we had to make an assessment of whether this was a reliable guy, and this was a reliable partner in any sort of political process. And we-and, frankly, we reassessed that it wasn't-he couldn't be part of any sustainable solution. WeSenator BOXER. Even though he agreed to the deal, and the rebels didn't, right?
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. And at the same time, he was taking these measures, most of the violence-and this was our assessment-most of the violence-in Port-au-Prince, in particular-was the result of Aristide's gangs setting on people, looting and
Senator BOXER. Right, butMr. NORIEGA. [continuing]. killing and attackingSenator BOXER. [continuing]. he had agreed to the plan, and the opposition didn't. That's the point.
Mr. NORIEGA. He agreed to sign his name on another scrap of paper.
Senator BOXER. Yes.
Mr. NORIEGA. But he continued to conduct himself in the same way that he had for a decade. We put the man back in power in '94 once. We did this before. And in the intervening decade, we learned a thing or two about whether he was a reliable interlocutor. We were willing to try to uphold some sort of political solution if there was some sort of balanced solution. That wasn't possible. He demonstrated that he was more interested in a violent solution. And, frankly, we decided not to create a doctrine where every poor, failed, irresponsible leader can dial 911 and ask for U.S. marines to come and surround the palace to protect them.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you.
I'm going to turn to Senator Nelson.
Senator NELSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
This is the first that I have heard, Mr. Chairman, that Aristide's thugs had moved on our U.S. Coast Guard facility.
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes, sir.
Senator NELSON. And what happened?
Mr. NORIEGA. They fought into the night, and eventuallySenator NELSON. Fought with whom?
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. -These mobs set on this Coast Guard facility called Killick, which is five miles north ofSenator NELSON. And who were they fighting, our Coast Guard people?
Mr. NORIEGA. They were-no, I'm sorry, they were fighting the Haitian Coast Guard people.
Senator NELSON. Oh, it was the Haitian Coast Guard.
Mr. NORIEGA. Yeah, the Haitian thugs were-Aristide's mobs and gangs were attacking a Haitian Coast Guard facility. These are people that we had, earlier in the day, cooperated with to repatriate some people to Haiti. They're a very professional bunch, these Coast Guard folks, very professional. They were really heroes that night. They had to get in their boats and take to sea to avoid the violence. And the next day, they showed up for work again. They're heroes. And their commander has now been appointed by the new President to be the interim chief of the Haitian National Police. His name is Leon Charles. So it was clear that that was a calculated effort to prevent our ability to repatriate people, so that they could continue to throw people into the sea, to be used as a lure to lure us to committing military in there again to save Aristide's skin one more time. And this was-and we can show you some information that will bear that out, Senator, in a very compelling way.
Senator NELSON. I'm curious, at this time of violence, including this-I thought you had first said that they were attacking our U.S. Coast Guard. You're talking about the Haitian Coast Guard. But I'm curious, at this time, you all-the policy of the government was not to enact temporary protected status of Haitians who were
in detention in Miami, and who were going to be sent back to Haiti at this particular time of violence. Isn't that a very poor choice of timing?
Mr. NORIEGA. It was a very difficult decision, Senator, but it was a decision that if we did not-if we did not demonstrate that we were willing to put these people back, that we would, instead, have tens of thousands risk their lives. It was a very, very difficult decision. I was personally involved in that, and I admit that it was a very, very difficult decision. I think, in the long run, it saved lives. And I'll note that, in the week before-as I mentioned before, in the week before Aristide's departure or resignation, there were 900 people that took to the seas. In the weeks since, Admiral Loy said this morning it was zero.
Senator NELSON. Now, I'm not talking about the people that were picked up at sea, the 900.
Mr. NORIEGA. No, I-that's right, sir.
Senator NELSON. I'm talking about the ones thatMr. NORIEGA. That's right.
Senator NELSON [continuing]. -were in detention in Miami, had been there for months.
Mr. NORIEGA. Yup. Yup. Yes, sir, you're right. I'm
Senator NELSON. During that two weeks of violence, how many of them were returned?
Mr. NORIEGA. As far as I-I don't know, sir. I'll have to get you the number. But I remember looking into this quite explicitly to see if there was any possibility that we could at least leave those people were they were.
Senator NELSON. Well, that's got the Haitian communityMr. NORIEGA. I'll get you an answer.
Senator NELSON [continuing]. -in Miami up in arms. You can see why. I mean, the people had been there for awhile, they're in detention, and then all of a sudden the government policy is, we're going to ship them back in the middle of all the bloodshed and the violence.
Mr. NORIEGA. Senator, I'll get you an answer in writing on the numbers that were repatriated.
[At the time of publication, Secretary Noriega had not yet provided an answer to this question.]
Senator DODD. Did anyone object to that? Did anyone raise their voice at the time about this?
Senator NELSON. In the administration.
Senator DODD. No, I know youSenator NELSON. The two Senators over here were raising Cain.
Senator DODD [continuing]. -But I'm curious about whether or not anyone expressed any outrage about that. Mr. NORIEGA. There were concerns expressed onSenator DODD. Was the issueMr. NORIEGA [continuing]. all sides. Senator DODD [continuing]. raised with you? Mr. NORIEGA. It was
Senator DODD. Were you involved in the decision? Mr. NORIEGA. In terms of the repatriateSenator DODD. All right.
Mr. NORIEGA [continuing]. these persons, no, I wasn't involved in the decision. There wasn't a decision; there was a policy, a standing policy, of returning people. Now, whether they-we did so in the last ten days, I don't really know. You probably know better than I do, but I can get you an answer on that.
Senator NELSON. All right. A year ago, you said to me that you were positively disposed to and would work to get the administration to move on Senator DeWine's legislation, which a number of us here are helping him with, which is aimed at creating Haitian jobs in the garment industry. What position has the administration taken on this in the last year?
Mr. NORIEGA. As I-our position hasn't changed, Senator, as the legislation hasn't moved. But as I've said in discussions with Senator DeWine, I think this is a very favorable time to be raising this issue, and we'll work with them to try to get-be as forward-leaning as we possibly can to do this because I think that creating those jobs-restoring, really-restoring those jobs in the assembly sector can contribute greatly to the recovery of Haiti. And there are American investors who know those workers and want to get back in there and open their operations up. And they may be willing to move as quickly as anybody, to go in and start their operations back up. So we do need to take a look at that, and that'll be part of our strategy, Senator.
Senator NELSON. You know, a couple of years ago we passed the Caribbean Basin Initiative, but Haiti was left out. And Senator DeWine is trying to fill the hole. And it's beyond me that we wouldn't be doing this long before. All you have to do is give a wink and a nod from the White House, and that legislation will fly out of here. I would encourage your positive promotion of that legislation.
Mr. NORIEGA. We'll certainly consult with our USTR colleagues and-but I think you made a very good point, Senator, and we'll continue to work with you on that.
Senator COLEMAN. I'll turn to Senator DeWine, but associate myself with Senator Nelson's comments regarding that-the treaty, the trade agreement and the necessity to move forward very quickly.
Senator DEWINE. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
Let me first say that, Mr. Secretary, I agree with your comments about Leon Charles. I've had the opportunity to meet him, on several occasions, as he's head of the Coast Guard, and I was glad to see that he was appointed the interim head of the police, and he certainly is a professional and is someone who I'm sure will bring credit to the current position that he is in.
I think that, as we have discussed, Haiti, for the next several months, you know, is in an absolutely critical time, and I'm not going to belabor my point, the point several other of my colleagues have made, about the number of troops that we're going to need. And I've already made that point, to get through that period of time and bring about the stability.
But now is the time, though, also, to plan for what happens beyond that. And, you know, $52 million a year is just not going to get it, from this administration, and from this government. We're
going to have to have other countries involved; there's no doubt about it. But we're going to have to take-you know, whether we like it or not, we're going to have to take the lead. I don't know what the magical figure is, but, you know, the committee has come up with-this committee has come up with authorization of, you know, a total of $150 million. Anybody who has studied what is going to have to take place in Haiti, I think, would come to the conclusion that that's, frankly, the minimum, and that's just not going to be a one-year shot; that's going to be for a number of years. When you're looking at humanitarian assistance, we're doing the bare minimum now, and that's in the low 50s, and that's just humanitarian assistance. That's no money going to the government. We're going to have to deal with elections. Elections are not cheap. We're going to have to deal with building back the police, infrastructure for the country. We're going to have to deal with the ecological disaster that is Haiti today, and get some real long-term, sustainable agriculture programs going in that country. That absolutely has to take place. We're going to have to deal with the rule of law issue, with the courts. Those are long-term projects.
No one does them any better than the United States. We do it the best. You know, we had good programs in there before; we can do that again and bring in the Justice Department. So these are long-term, sustainable programs that we're going to have to put in place-USAID, other U.S. agencies. And so, you know, we've got to start doing that.
But as my colleague from Florida just said, you know, the cheapest thing we can do is pass Senate Bill 489, which is the trade bill. And I just really appreciate your comments. You know, now's, as you say, a favorable time to do this. This is at no cost to the United States. It's not going to cost us any jobs. Probably anybody who really understands the industry would say it'd probably create some U.S. jobs. And it's going to do something for Haiti that nothing else can do, and that is create jobs down there. They had 100,000 not too many years ago, before the embargo, the well-intentioned embargo, took the assembly jobs down, almost overnight, from 100,000 assembly jobs down to now probably 30,000. And when you go in there and talk to people, you know, these are, by Haitian standards, jobs that people line up for, that people want. For every worker in there who is working an assembly job, they support, you know, 20 or 25 other people. It has a tremendous multiplier effect in the economy.
So if we're talking about bringing stability to Haiti, and if we're talking about giving a shot in the arm to the new coalition government that's going to emerge, bringing stability to the country, giving hope to the people, you know, passage of this trade bill is a very, very tangible thing that we can do. And so, you know, support from this administration is certainly very, very welcome and would be very, very much appreciated, and I think it could be part of a package of things that will really make a difference.
So we thank you for your good comments. And I thank my colleagues, from Florida. And, Mr. Chairman, thank you, again, for holding the hearing.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Senator DeWine.
Mr. NORIEGA. Senator, if I may just comment very, very briefly on that. I would say that it's important that we-if there's anything that bothers me, it's the-what we read in the newspapers, that this is a hopeless situation and that we're going to-it's just a waste of money. Because I don't believe that for a moment.
Senator DEWINE. Nor do I.
Mr. NORIEGA. We put hundreds of millions of dollars in there, and people are saying we've got nothing to show for it. Well, I think there's a reason for that. I think we do have some things to show for it. I mean, helping people just live from year to year is a good thing. But I think that it will be a better investment-that it's not predicated on our simply keeping one person in office and accommodating one person's irresponsible behavior. And you can ask Mr. Dobbins about this. We stood up the Haitian National Police Force. It was a good investment; they were great people. But he'll tell you that, almost immediately, Aristide dumped a bunch of his thugs into the middle of this thing, and then he wouldn't pay for it. And then they committed political killings in broad daylight. And we, frankly, didn't do enough to respond to that. And you can ask him whether he thinks we should have done more. We had farcical elections, one after the other, and we wouldn't let the international community condemn that, because we wanted to uphold Aristide as some sort of a symbol of restoring democracy.
Those mistakes that we made, the original sin, really, of our engagement, was that it was all about one person, and so you can ask a little bit about the experiences they had in those days, and I can assure you that we will have-we will learn-we have learned from those things. We've learned from those mistakes. And this will be based on the interests of the 8 million Haitian people, and not just one or two individuals.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Noriega. And thank you, Senator DeWine.
Senator GRAHM. Thank you, again, Mr. Chairman, for this hearing and the opportunity to elucidate some issues in which the United States might be of assistance to Haiti.
I want to associate myself with two remarks Senator DeWine has just made. One, I have observed, for the better part of 30 years, on a very close basis, the quality of the people who have come from Haiti. I have to assume that the people who have stayed in Haiti share those similar characteristics, and they are people who have great potential if they can be liberated from this history of violence and oppression. Second, as it relates to jobs-as I indicated in my remarks earlier-by chance I ran into a man who employs several Haitians, and he said that they're about to lose their job because of the collapse of the basic commercial system, such as the customs services.
I wonder if you might give some attention to this. What can we do, as we're dealing with these other security and humanitarian issues, to get the economy, at least that which already exists, maintained?
Mr. NORIEGA. Senator, you've put your finger on the first part of it; we have to get ahead of the security curve.
Senator GRAHAM. But will you give some attention and give us a report as to what your assessment is, the requirements to get the economy that did exist moving and what the United States is going to do to try to get it back to pre-February 29th standards?
Mr. NORIEGA. It's a high priority. We have the port-well, I hope we don't get back to those standards, because there was a corrupt customs system that just sort of strangled the private sector. But we've got the port open again. We've got to get the customs operating again, and those are high priorities, jump-starting the economic growth.
Senator GRAiAM. Would you give us a report as to what specifically is going to happen to get the economy going?
Mr. NORIEGA. Do you want that right now, Senator?
Senator GRAHAM. No, notMr. NORIEGA. Oh, okay. We'll get youSenator GRAHAM. I'd like to get that in writing.
Mr. NORIEGA. Absolutely. By all means.
[At the time of publication, Secretary Noriega had not yet provided an answer to this question.]
Senator GRAHAM. I'd like to move to another question, and that is our intelligence. I'm concerned that the situation seemed to have emerged so rapidly and at a much more intense level than apparently policymakers in Washington were aware of. What is your assessment of the quality and credibility of U.S. intelligence services in Haiti to facilitate the decision-making process of policymakers in Washington?
Mr. NORIEGA. Yes. Well, Senator, it's a sensitive area, and I probably would give you a fuller answer. But I'm satisfied that we had access to timely intelligence. Events were fast-breaking in the final weeks; I concede that point.
Senator GRAHAM. Are you saying that the policymakers knew what the situation was sufficiently-that isMr. NORIEGA. ISenator GRAHAM. But the question isMr. NORIEGA. I thinkSenator GRAHAM [continuing]. -How did we use the information?
Mr. NORIEGA. The real deterioration of the security situation in Aristide's tenuous situation came with the uprising in Gonaives. We knew that this was a relatively small band of people. What we could not have-what we did not know was how quickly the police would capitulate, and we did not understand, I think-and this is not really an intelligence failure; but we did not understand how much dissatisfaction there was with Aristide and that people would actually welcome these people as if they were liberating territory. And then these other folks came in from the Dominican Republic, former members of the army and some of their small gangs. But these are relatively small numbers of people, and I guess we didn't really appreciate how brittle the institutions were and how they crumbled. The Haitian National Police people disappeared almost immediately.
Senator GRAHAM. I may pursue some further questions on that privately. But let me just conclude. I'm concerned that one of the
things that's important to the United States' credibility in Haiti and globally is that we be consistent. And it seems to me as if, during the crucial days leading up to February the 29th, we did not live up to that standard. Senator Boxer gave some of the quotes. I would just add a couple of more.
According to the New York Times, on February the 13th, Secretary of State Powell stated, "The policy of this administration is not regime change." Then on the 18th of February, in the New York Times, Secretary Powell was quoted as saying, "We cannot buy into a proposition that says the elected President must be forced out of office by thugs." Then on February the 26th, we voted, in the OAS, our delegate, our ambassador, for a resolution that resolves to call upon the United Nations Security Council to take the necessary and appropriate urgent measures to establish, in the Charter of the United Nations, to address the crisis in Haiti.
Question. Did our representative of the United Nations, Mr. Negroponte, did he urgently pursue this resolution that the United States had voted for?
Mr. NORIEGA. The U.N. Security Council members-he met with them, and the consensus was to issue a statement of the president of the council, which was issued, that called for a political settlement. The council did not act, at that point.
Senator GRAHAM. And then subsequent to February 29th, Secretary Powell stated that the reason that the United States did not send security in before President Aristide's departure was because we did not want to, "prop up the regime." And that seems quite a different statement than the ones that he made consistently throughout earlier February and the fact that we voted, the United States of America, for this OAS resolution.
Mr. NORIEGA. We were prepared to send folks in if it were part of a political solution. When it became clear that that wasn't going to be the case, we made a difficult decision that it was not sustainable, not an effective use of American military force, and we didn't.
Senator GRAHAM. Then what did the former chairman of our joint chiefs of staff mean when he said, "We cannot buy into the proposition that the elected president must be forced out of office by thugs"?
Mr. NORIEGA. I'll be glad to ask him to clarify his statement, but I think what he meantSenator GRAHAM. The fact that you have to ask the Secretary of State for clarification is the most telling statement how uncertain and unsustained was our statement of policy position.
Mr. NORIEGA. What you just said was a very valid point. Let me attempt to clarify that. At the time he made that statement, it was before we knew conclusively that the democratic opposition was not going to join in the process, the power-sharing process. And then we saw actions by President Aristide to resort to violence and to continue the use of criminal gangs to intimidate opponents and to attack even our interests, I think, if you consider the importance of the Coast Guard facility there to be able to return people. We saw that this-that without the-some sort of balanced approach, that it was not sustainable to just come in and say we're going to support Aristide.
Frankly, I think that where we would be today is, he would be in the palace with his thugs, and we would be protecting him from other thugs while other criminal gangs would be out exacting a price, and we would be there as bodyguards for Aristide. That, frankly, is not a particularly appealing scenario, either. And we had to think in those terms. We had to be concerned about also creating a doctrine where we have an obligation to send U.S. military in to support anyone that asks for it. That's just simply not a very good policy from our standpoint. It's one thing to say that we respect constitutional order; it's another thing to say that it creates an obligation to automatically deploy U.S. forces to surround a national palace to protect a leader.
Senator GRAHAM. Well, I'll just close that-we ought to go back and revisit the Santiago Accords and the Inter-American Democratic Charter because it seems to me, by plain English, that we have, in effect, accepted the responsibility of coming to the protection of a democratic government that's under siege, or follow the procedure laid out in Article 21, which is to suspend that nation from participation in the OAS and, thus, from the OAS's responsibility to protect. And we did not follow that legal procedure.
Mr. NORIEGA. Can I just comment on that, very briefly? It's a very telling point to me that the Government of Haiti, in all of the last several years, since that charter was approved, never invoked the self-help mechanism of Article 17. And the reason was, we came to understand, that it would create an obligation on their part to respect the essential elements of democracy and, they felt, would put them on a course toward suspension because they were systematically violating all of the essential elements of democracy. On several occasions-as Chairman of the Permanent Council, I asked the Ambassador of Haiti, "Why don't you use Article 17?" I never got an effective answer. That was 18 months ago. That was in July of 2002, I think it was. And they never did. And the reason was, President Aristide knew that he did not measure up to those standards of respecting the essential elements of democracy, as laid out in that charter.
Senator GRAHAM. Thank you.
Senator NELSON. Mr. Chairman, just before Senator DeWine leavesSenator DEWINE. I'll come right back. I'll come right back.
Senator NELSON. Well, I just want to say, he's getting ready to offer-and I'm going to help him-an amendment to the budget resolution, tonight, to take the administration's position from $50 million for Haiti to $150 million, which-it's a generally agreedupon figure. If you could get a signal from the White House agreeing to that, we could pass his amendment tonight on the budget resolution.
Mr. NORIEGA. I'll get on the phone, sir.
Senator COLEMAN. Let me-we're going to end this panel. My colleague, Senator Dodd, assures me that he has a narrowly focused question on a local issue. I am going to yield to him for that purpose only.
Senator DODD. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Well, just one--I wanted to ask Mr. Franco one quick question. There was a fellow-someone at USAID, who countermanded the
Ambassador's decision regarding Stanley Lucas, and do you know who that is, Mr. Franco?
Mr. FRANCO. That countermandedSenator DODD. The decision by the American ambassador not to have Stanley Lucas involved in the IRI program.
Mr. FRANCO. Well, the best of my recollection on this, Senator Dodd, is-and I had conversations with Ambassador Curran at time about this-he requested that we work out an accommodation. It would have been his preference, I think, not to have Mr. Lucas involved inSenator DODD. Who countermanded-who countermanded that?
Mr. FRANCO. I don't think anyone countermanded. I think there were discussions and an agreement reached with Ambassador Curran on how we would proceed with the IRI grant and what Mr. Lucas's participation would be in that grant. Subsequent to that, based on the agreement we had with Ambassador Curran, I think there was a mistake made by IRI, in terms of what his participation would be, and there was a violation of that agreement that Ambassador Curran, IRI, and we had all worked out.
Senator DODD. Well, as I mentioned, we've got the-I've asked the Inspector General to take a look at the whole thing. Have you examined, by the way, the $1.2 million, how that money's been expended? Have you been following that?
Mr. FRANCO. Yes, we have, sir.
Senator DODD. Okay, fine.
Mr. FRANCO. One-oh, I'm sorry.
Senator DODD. No, just-I wanted to-and I'll make a requestI have the-there's a Haitian Health Foundation which I know you're aware of; it's out of the Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut, Dr. Jerry Lowney, who's been very-been living there for years-going down-Dennis, from my old congressional district-go to Haiti on a regular basis to perform voluntary medical services in the town of Jeremie, way out in that far peninsula point.
Mr. FRANCO. I'm aware of that.
Senator DODD. And they've currently got a couple of grants pending.
Mr. FRANCO. Yes.
Senator DODD. And they're worried about how this is all going to work out, and I'd appreciate it if you'd take a look at those. And, lastly, Mr. Chairman, let me just say here, I-Senator Graham has made the point again-aside from-and, obviously, we're going to go forward, and I applaud what Senator DeWine and others are doing. But the precedent-setting nature of how we handle this situation-these agreements and charters must mean something. If they don't mean anything, then what are we doing them for, and why do we hold others to a standard that we aren't willing to meet ourselves.
And I say this to you, Mr. Noriega, but knowing of the statements made by the Secretary of State, knowing how our ambassador votes on the 24th of February, knowing we turned down Mr. Aristide, despite a request to stand in assistance, knowing we're dealing with a small group of thugs at the time, knowing that we have support going on for meetings with opposition groups in the Dominican Republic, and so forth, this looks very messy, to put it
mildly. And I think it's further evidence of people's uneasiness about the conduct of foreign policy.
Mr. Aristide wasn't in the palace in Haiti by some coup. He was there because he was elected twice, overwhelmingly, by the people of Haiti. Now, I know that you and others have always had a problem with Mr. Aristide. But the people of that country elected him twice. He stepped down from office, served in private life, when Mr. Preval was Prime Minister, ran again for election under the constitution. That's the first time I know of in Haitian history that we've had a democratic transition of government like this. And we walked away from this.
I'm profoundly concerned that others are going to see that example in Haiti as a further rationale to maybe engage in that sort of conduct again if they don't like the new government that emerges here.
So I'm-I don't want to dwell on this particular point, but I don't think you can just brush by it and say, well, that's history. That's over with. We may regret certain things, but we're not going to worry about it too much. I worry about it very, very much, because these charters either mean something or they don't. And if we're going to sign onto them, then we ought to be willing to stand up and try and defend them.
Secretary Powell did that, in my view. The Secretary of State did it for several days. For whatever reason, he was overridden by someone else's sense of decision or sense of agenda here, and I regret that deeply.
But I appreciate very much having the hearing today.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you.
Mr. Noriega, I'm not going to actually-I'm actually going to-I'd prefer not to debate this point. Let me close.
Mr. NORIEGA. Right.
Senator COLEMAN. Because I've heard the answer.
Mr. NORIEGA. But I have toSenator COLEMAN. And let meMr. NORIEGA. It's not that point. I was-on IRI, butSenator COLEMAN. Very briefly.
Mr. NORIEGA. I just wanted to note, for the record, that George Fauriol, who's the project director-vice president of IRI-he's project director of IRI in Haiti, spent a great deal of time on the phone with opposition leaders trying to convince them to join in this power-sharing deal. I got one e-mail from him at 12:34 in the morning, around February 24th. So he was working very hard trying to get these people to buy into that deal. And that, frankly, is the role he should have been playing. And I didn't want to leave the impression that somehow IRI wasn't playing a bona fide role here.
Sorry, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much for your indulgence.
Senator COLEMAN. Thanks. And I was going to say, and I'll say to my friend and colleague, obviously there are some different perspectives on this. It's clear that there's a perspective that says Aristide never lived up to these agreements, never wanted to live up to these agreements, and never invoked those agreements, and that between the time that early statements were made by Secretary Powell, there was a series of actions and conducts of incite-
ment of violence that significantly changed the situation. We may want to revisit that at some point in time, but I really do hope that we can figure out a way to move forward.
I'm going to call the second panel. I'm going to apologize to the second panel that they've waited so long. But the future of Haiti is at stake.
Mr. Franco, you are compelled to say one last thing before we move on?
Mr. FRANCO. I want it to end on a very positive note, Mr. Chairman, about the Haitian Health Foundation, Senator Dodd. The president of the Haitian Health Foundation is in Port-au-Prince today. We dispatched a plane yesterday to pick her up for consultations in Port-au-Prince, and we delivered supplies to the orphanage there.
Senator COLEMAN. On that very positive note, I appreciate participation. Thank you, gentlemen.
Our second panel is made up of Ambassador Jim Dobbins, former U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, and currently Director of International Security & Defense Policy at RAND; Ambassador Lawrence (Larry) Pezzullo, former U.S. Envoy to Haiti, retired; Mr. Michael Heinl, co-author, Written in Blood, The Story of the Haitian People 1492 to 1971, and Dr. Robert (Bob) Maguire, Director of Programs in International Affairs, Trinity College.
Senator NELSON [presiding]. Ambassador Dobbins. Ambassador DOBBINS. Senator?
Senator NELSON. You don't have to stand. You can sit. Ambassador DOBBINS. No, no, I'm going to. Don't worry. Thank you.
Senator NELSON. Please.
Ambassador DOBBINS. Would you like me to start? Senator NELSON. Please proceed.
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES DOBBINS, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE POLICY CENTER, RAND
Ambassador DOBBINS. Well, thank you. Thank you, Senator, and thank you to the committee for inviting me and the rest of the panel here today.
I think, for those of us who were involved in America's intervention in Haiti of a decade ago, we ask ourselves, and I expect you'll ask us what went wrong. Why wasn't this fairly significant effort of more enduring value? And I think there's several answers to the question.
The easy answer is, it's President Aristide's fault. And I think that's an accurate answer insofar as it goes. President Aristide did fail to seize the many opportunities that were offered to him and to Haiti to move forward. He consistently blocked necessary economic reforms. He refused to disassociate himself from elements of his support that were corrupt. And he never worked to ensure that the many elections, which he was going to win in any case, were free and fair and above-board.
I think that many people are unhappy about the manner of President's Aristide's departure. I suspect fewer are unhappy about the fact of his departure. And I suspect fewer still would like him
to come back. Although given Haiti's penchant for endlessly repeated tragedy, I don't think it's an eventuality that one could absolutely exclude at this stage.
I think it's too easy, though, to blame Haiti's problems and current plight on President Aristide, and I think we miss an opportunity to critique our own mistakes of the past decade, of which there are numerous.
Reflecting on the decade, let me just go through the lessons that I draw from it.
First, that exit strategies and departure deadlines are incompatible with the enduring reform of failed or failing states. In the aftermath of Somalia, the Clinton administration went in with a very narrow political margin. It committed itself to leave within two years. It felt constrained to make that commitment. Worse still, it felt constrained to keep the commitment. Two years is simply too short a time to fix a society as broken as is Haiti.
Second, that institution-building in failed states required significant resources. In the aftermath of the American intervention, U.S. aid to Haiti went to the astronomical level of $200 million a year. In the light of subsequent American nation-building efforts, this is a pitifully small sum. Bosnia, only two years later, received seven times more assistance, on a per-capita basis, despite the fact that Haiti was much more needy than Bosnia. Kosovo received four times more. And today Iraq is receiving 30 times more assistance, on a per-capita basis, than Haiti did at the absolute peak of American interest. These sums are simply too small to underwrite the kind of fundamental reforms that would make our interventions of lasting significance.
Third, Haiti is too polarized to conduct its own elections. The opposition wouldn't trust Aristide. If these elections are organized by the new government, Aristide supporters aren't going to trust them, will refuse to run, and then will try to discredit the process. I believe the U.N. or the OAS needs, not only to support a Haitiangovernment-run election, it needs to actually run the election and be the ultimate arbiter when disputes arise.
Fourth, we need to provide direct assistance to the Haitian Government. Even the Clinton administration was disposed to put most of its assistance through NGOs because it was worried about accountability and possible misuse of funds. This is applying a band-aid to the situation in Haiti. Haiti needs institutions. It's not going to get institutions unless we help fund those institutions and unless we use those institutions to deliver assistance to the Haitian people.
Fifth, we need to move quickly to push through basic economic reforms. It's natural enough in these kinds of situations to focus on the security and the political aspects because those seem an early ticket out. And I think, back in the mid '90s, we didn't put enough emphasis on doing the basic economic reforms-things like the electric company, the telephone company, the port, the other things that Haiti needs to become a functioning society and a magnet for investment-until our influence had diminished to the point where we simply couldn't push them over the barrier.
Sixth, security is more than police. We built up a good police department. But the best police department in the world, if it doesn't
have courts to try criminals, and prisons to put them in, is left with no choice when it catches a criminal but to kill him or let him go. And either of those ultimately corrupts the force, as it did corrupt the force that we built.
Seventh, don't cut off assistance to Haiti unless you're willing to invade. Haiti is simply too weak, its institutions too dependent on foreign assistance, to survive a prolonged period of international isolation. We cut off assistance to Haiti in 1991, and we had to invade in 1994. We cut off assistance in 2000, we had to invade in 2004. It follows almost as the night the day. So you either have to stomach the government that's there, and assist them, or you have to determine that you're ultimately going to intervene once again.
And, finally, the lesson I draw is that reconciliation in Haiti has to begin in Washington. Of all of America's nation-building missions, all of which have been controversial, none has been more controversial than Haiti, and none has been more partisanly controversial than Haiti. Haiti's leaders have learned that if you don't like American policy, just wait until the next election. It's all too often that Haiti's political leaders would rather listen to their patrons and their champions in Washington than to the American Ambassador. And America's not going to be able to exercise its full influence and its potential influence in Haiti unless it does it on the basis of a bipartisan consensus. We've had Democratic policies; ultimately, they didn't work. We had Republican policies; they obviously didn't work. I think we should try to give a bipartisan effort a real shot.
Now, having said we made a number of mistakes, we didn't do everything wrong back in the early '90s, and we ought to look at some of the things we did right and try to emulate them.
First of all, we put in a very large, capable force, and we established security in Haiti within days. There is a danger that we're now doing in Haiti exactly what we've done in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is dribble forces in, fight the problem, deny that more is necessary, never secure control of the streets, and fight a rearguard battle for months or years thereafter. We really ought to follow the more-is-better dictum, which several Senators here have already made.
Second, we put in significant numbers of police. For the first time ever, a thousand armed international police were put in as part of that peacekeeping force. This was an innovation in international peacekeeping, which has been imitated since, and ought to be imitated again in Haiti.
Third, the transition from the U.S.-led phase to the U.N.-led phase went exceptionally smoothly in Haiti during the Clinton intervention. We worked closely with the United Nations. It was a seamless transition. The United States participated significantly in the U.N. phase of the operation. The military part of the U.N. peacekeeping effort was commanded by a U.S. general, and there were significant U.S. troops in it serving under U.S.-under U.N. control, without the slightest incident. And we all know that only the United States has significant influence in Haiti. The United Nations is an important instrumentality through which we can appropriately and legitimately exercise that influence, but it's not an alternative to a continued American engagement, and I certainly
hope that this administration will look at the very successful record of U.N. and U.S. collaboration in the mid '90s when it looks at how to design the next phase of our engagement there.
I think that's-those are my lessons and conclusions, Senator.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Dobbins follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JAMES DOBBINS'
I would like to thank you and the committee for inviting me to testify today on Haiti. It is said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce. Haiti, sad to say, goes only from tragedy to tragedy. American Marines are engaged in our fourth intervention in Haiti in ninety years. Jean Bertrand Aristide is the thirty third Haitian President to be driven from office, in his case for the second time.
Those of us who worked to organize the last American intervention, in 1994, thought we had given Haiti the opportunity to break this cycle of misrule, poverty and instability. Our hopes have been disappointed. More importantly, so have those of the Haitian people.
Even as America reluctantly launches upon another round of nation-building in Haiti, it is worth examining what went wrong with the last effort and why those hopes were disappointed.
The short answer is that President Aristide failed to avail himself of the multiple opportunities he was provided, from 1994 onward, to set Haiti on the path to democracy and prosperity. He blocked the economic reforms that would have made Haiti more attractive for foreign private and public investment. He refused to disassociate himself from supporters with records of corrupt or abusive behavior. He never worked sufficiently to create a level electoral playing field, even when his own overwhelming popularity would have assured him and his party ultimate victory.
President Aristide is preeminently responsible for his and Haiti's current plight. While there may be a good number here and in Haiti that regret the manner of his going, fewer, I expect, regret that he has gone, and even fewer would like to see him return. Given Haiti's penchant for cyclical tragedy, however, such a turn of events cannot be excluded.
To blame Haiti's current crisis exclusively on President Aristide is to miss an opportunity to learn from our own mistakes over the past decade. Even against the background of Aristide's intractability, different American decisions at multiple points over the past decade would have produced different and better results. Personally, I draw the following lessons from this decade.
(1) Exit strategies and departure deadlines are incompatible with enduring reform of failed states. In the wake the Somalia fiasco, nation-building became a term of derision. In 1994 the Clinton administration's political margin for another such operation in Haiti was exceedingly narrow. President Clinton felt constrained to promise that the American troop commitment would last no longer than two years. Worse still, when the time came, he still felt constrained to keep that commitment. Two years is too short
a period to fix a society as profoundly broken as Haiti.
(2) Institution building in failed states requires significant resources applied over extended periods. American and international assistance to Haiti, even at the peak of the Clinton administration's interest, was, in comparison with subsequent more successful efforts, very low. Only two years after Bosnia received seven times more assistance on a per capita basis. Kosovo received four times more. Today, Iraq is receiving more than thirty times more American assistance, on a per capita basis, and one hundred times more in absolute terms than Haiti received in the immediate aftermath of the last U.S. intervention. None of these other societies is remotely as
needy as is Haiti, and none of them lies on our very doorstep.
'The opinions and conclusions expressed in this testimony are the author's alone and should not be interpreted as representing those of RAND or any of the sponsors of its research. This product is part of the RAND Corporation testimony series. RAND testimonies record testimony presented by RAND associates to federal, state, or local legislative committees; government-appointed commissions and panels; and private review and oversight bodies. The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit research organization providing objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.
(3) Haiti is too polarized to conduct its own elections. Since 1995 each
Haitian election has been worse organized than the last. How much of this was due to incompetence and how much to willful manipulation has been hard to establish. Opposition parties were never willing to give the Haitian electoral authorities the benefit of the doubt in these matters. One must anticipate that the political forces associated with Aristide will be equally suspicious of any election organized by his successors. As it has done in Bosnia, Kosovo, Cambodia and East Timor, the international community needs to do more than support Haitian authorities in organizing the next elections. The UN or the OAS should organize and oversee the balloting and
be the final authority in adjudicating any disputes that arise.
(4) Provide significant assistance directly to and through the Haitian government. Donors have long preferred to provide the bulk of their aid to Haiti through NGO's in order to ensure accountability and appropriate use of their funding. The result is to simply apply band-aids, as foreign experts and organization temporarily provide what should be government services to individual Haitians, without doing anything to build up the capacity of
the Haitian government.
(5) Push through basic economic reforms while U.S. and international leverage is at its maximum. It is natural to focus initially upon matters of security and politics, which seem to offer the keys to an early exit. The most difficult reforms to introduce in Haiti, however, will be economic ones, putting badly mismanaged state monopolies, like the electric and telephone monopolies, and the port on a sound commercial basis. The earlier these steps are embarked upon, the likelier it is that progress can be made before
international interest and influence begins to wane.
(6) Security is more than police. Rebuilding the Haitian National Police
is the easiest of the reconstruction tasks before us today, because it is the institution that was adequately funded in the mid 1990's. This time around, equal attention and adequate funding should be given to judicial and penal
(7) Don't cut off assistance to Haiti unless you are willing to send troops.
In the early 1990s the imposition of sanctions on the Cedras regime led to large-scale refugee flows and the 1994 U.S. intervention. A decade later the international communities' decision to cut off assistance to the Haitian government again after the flawed 2000 Senate elections was perfectly justified but quite unwise. Unable to deliver even minimally on his electoral promises, Aristide's popularity waned, and his reliance on force increased, just as had that of the Cedras regime in similar circumstances a decade earlier.
Without formal and legitimate instruments through which to govern, Aristide was forced to rely, even more than he otherwise might, on informal and illegitimate sources of power. Absent international support, Haiti's already weak institutions disintegrated to the point where a few hundred armed criminals credibly threatened to take over the country. Haiti's next government will come to power through a similar reliance, however unwilling, upon criminal and abusive elements in the society. This cycle can be broken only through a long term U.S. and international effort to develop
Haitian institutions for governance.
(8) Reconciliation in Haiti must begin in Washington. All of America's nation-building missions have been controversial at home, but none more so than Haiti, and none in so partisan a manner. Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq have had critics and supporters in both parties. With Haiti, the debate has been the bitterest, and conducted most along party lines. American influence has been less effective as a result. Haitian political leaders have learned that if you do not like U.S. policy, just wait till the next election. Haitian factions often listen more to their advocates in Washington than the American Ambassador. Against the background of the last decade, it is fair to say that neither the distinctly different Democratic or Republican approach to Haiti have yielded great results. The time has come to construct a bipartisan effort to help Haiti break its endless cycle
of misrule, poverty and chaos.
It would be wrong to suggest that we did nothing right in Haiti a decade ago. There were aspects of the 1994 intervention that were successful and should be emulated. Nearly one thousand international police were introduced in 1994 along with the military peacekeepers, an innovation in international peace operations. The transition from the U.S. led multinational coalition to the UN run peacekeeping
mission six months after the arrival of U.S. troops was well prepared and nearly seamless. U.S. troops continued to serve in Haiti under UN control. An American General commanded the UN force. The U.S. and the UN collaborated closely and without friction.
Only the United States has real influence in Haiti. The more united we are at home, the more decisive that influence will be. The UN is the appropriate institutional framework through which the U.S. can bring that influence to bear. The UN is in no sense an alternative to American leadership and engagement. As we look toward the transition from U.S. to UN control over peacekeeping in Haiti, therefore, we should not view this as an opportunity for American disengagement, but rather a means to share the burden more broadly and to secure full international and local legitimacy for the sustained efforts, which must ensue.
Senator NELSON. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF HON. LAWRENCE PEZZULLO, FORMER U.S.
SPECIAL ENVOY TO HAITI (RETIRED), WASHINGTON, D.C.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Let me begin with one, I think, central issue here, and that is the question of bipartisanship.
Senator NELSON. Try it again.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. The question of bipartisanship. I mean, we've already heard here, and at other hearings, the finger-pointing and the constant questioning of our role, our position, our attitude. It gets to a point where we forget the Haitians. And I think, as much as we can look at the failures of Haitians to govern themselves, these are a traumatized people, for good reason, and they can't look back much to their history to find lessons. So, indeed, their lack of confidence is basic. But when they look at a Washington, and hear a Washington, constantly questioning itself, not necessarily Haiti-and I would question the expertise of the people who talk about Haiti-the arrogance we show-we wouldn't be that arrogant about our own country very often, but we're very arrogant when it comes to making judgerments about what's going on in another country, what the attitudes are, who they are, what-where they fit into-you know, detrimental to their own capacity to govern their own land. That's fundamental.
Now, as to where we are and where we go, I do think we should be looking ahead-very clearly looking ahead. And I think several things are basic. One, Haitians have to put this together. There's no question in my mind that, without them, really putting this thing together in a constitutional way is not going to work. I don't believe you have to bring in everybody in the world to run it for them. I do think they have to abide by, first of all, their constitution, which Aristide constantly winked at. The president of Haiti is not the chief of government; he's the chief of state. The prime minister is the chief of government. Aristide absorbed both those positions. The prime minister is responsive to the parliament. Aristide's prime ministers were never responsive to a parliament. They considered parliament a unnecessary body. So they undercut the very basic aspects, the basic institution of the country, they undercut. And you've got to begin there.
What's promising to me is that this new democratic group has followed a pattern already very constitutional, which ultimately, if followed-and we should insist that they follow, and aid should be tied to their following; no question in my mind-that constitutional process should bring them to a point where they do have an elected
president, they do have a new elected prime minister, they do have a new parliament. And that parliament and prime minister and president should adhere to the tenets of their own constitution.
Without a governmental process in place, a political process in place, foreign assistance rarely works. We constantly talk about foreign assistance as if it's some magical thing. It's not really a question of absorptive capacity; that's sort of a technical term people like to use. It's really the capacity of institutions of government, politically, to deal with intelligence. And it's not the expertise from outside. I mean, there are a million people who have worked in assistance around the world who can tell you what happened at Turkey ten years ago, and what happened in Vietnam, and what happened in every other country you can think of. The fact of the matter, it has to be built into the home environment, into the home psyche.
So you need a government, to begin with, that adheres to its own laws, that has competent people in place. And after that-and this would be my concern-you stay very, very close to it. You just don't talk about levels of aid; you talk about implementations of aid, you talk about the order of the aid, you talk about researching what happened to the aid, you go back and study. There is a terrible fallacy in the aid field, and you find it in the World Bank, in AID, and everywhere. They'll spend forever studying the details of a program-feasibility studies, study after study, expert visits, and so on. But once the aid is finalized, forget it. Nobody ever goes back in. They're too busy looking at the other program, and the next one, the next one. Terrible. Terrible for the recipient because they know nobody watches. Terrible for the process because you say it failed. And terrible for those who say, what are we throwing our money down a rat hole for. It's got to be followed very carefully, by us and by other donors.
At the same time, there has to be a respect, which I'm afraid we fail to offer to recipient countries, especially to this new, nascent government. We should step back and give them at least the respect of a new nation trying to govern itself and be very intrusive, in the sense of wanting to know, but not going beyond that. That takes a lot of skill and patience, and a little less over-the-shoulder coaching from the United States.
So my cardinal concerns would be bipartisanship here, but really bipartisanship, respect for the Haitians, but forcing them to adhere to their own constitutional structure.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Pezzullo follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF LAWRENCE PEZZULLO
Mister Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I appreciate your invitation to testify on the subject of "A Fresh Start for Haiti. Charting the Future of U.S.Haitian Relations."
Once again events in Haiti have commanded the attention of the world community and make urgent the need for the United States and other international actors to restore public order and help Haitians build for the future.
A. HAITIAN INITIATIVES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Since Haitians have to take the lead in reconciling their differences and setting the foundation for a viable future, let me outline first the critical steps Haitians
must take and then speak of the supportive contributions the United States and other external actors can make.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the difficulties that lie ahead for the Haitian people and those who are chosen to lead the country. They have been deeply traumatized by recent events and draw few useful lessons from Haiti's history of governmental failure. But staring into an abyss has a way of focusing attention. I believe the leaders of the democratic opposition to the former government recognize the hazards and opportunities that lie ahead and are up to the challenges.
1. The Haitians have moved quickly to initiate the CARICOM proposal by forming a tripartite commission, which, in turn, will appoint a group of elders to select a new Prime Minister. That process must proceed quickly. Any delay in selecting a new Prime Minister will perpetuate the current leadership vacuum and offer opportunities to dissident elements interested in perpetuating conflict and or seeking partisan gains. Any remaining rebel forces must be urged to commit themselves to support the new government and to turn in their arms to police authorities.
2. The new PM must form a broad-based interim government of "national reconciliation" that commits itself to abide by the Haitian Constitution in governing and overseeing a transition to a newly elected democratic government. National reconciliation must be more than a slogan, given the polarization of Haitian society engendered by the last government. The interim government would be well advised to call upon the advice and resources of international organizations that have focused on the strengthening of "civil society."
3. The interim government must honor the international commitments and obligations of the previous government. It also must appeal to the international community, (a) to provide peacekeepers until a revamped police force can maintain public order, (b) to continue humanitarian assistance programs and (c) to provide technical and economic assistance in fields ranging from job creation to executive training.
4. The interim government would be well advised to open a public dialogue with the Haitian people to keep them informed of government activities and plans and to seek their support and cooperation. That in itself would be an innovative departure from the paternalistic tradition of the past, especially if it incorporated a feedback mechanism to help the government keep its finger on the public pulse. It would be a good way to begin making public officials accountable.
B. U.S. POLICY
The United States has been drawn into the current Haitian crisis as it has on many occasions in the past. This time we should try to do it right. It will take discipline and subtlety; neither of which' comes in large supply during crises and especially in a presidential election year. Already much of what passes for debate in this country has been finger pointing. That's the worst way to start, if we hope to play a constructive role in helping Haiti.
We need the statesmen in both political parties to come forward and set a tone of bipartisanship: the quicker the better. Otherwise, whatever positive contribution we might make in the Haiti situation will not have the congressional support needed, and we will find ourselves debating the wrong issues, sending the wrong signals and ultimately working at cross purposes with the democratic forces in Haiti that desperately need our mature counsel, support and assistance.
Assuming we can attain some degree of discipline and focus on our contributions in Haiti, the policy should be one of nonobtrusive involvement. That would require us to be deeply involved every step of the way as the new interim government organizes itself, sets priorities and begins implementing programs. We must insist that, inter alia, it abides by the Haitian Constitution, is broad based, is conferring with the public, is meeting its international obligations and begins early on to make plans and seek assistance to hold national elections. Our technical and economic assistance programs should be monitored closely, audited and reviewed regularly. (Below find suggested areas of U.S. Government Assistance.)
Involvement at the level of intensity noted requires political and social skills of a high order. The success of our involvement hinges in large measure on the quality of our personnel engaged in the Haiti crisis.
It is easy to lap over into obtrusiveness when involvement is as intensive as recommended. It is one thing to insist that programs be implemented effectively, quite another to be seen as dictating. Haitians are not alone in thinking that the United States marches to the beat of its own drum, indifferent to the interests of people in the Third World. To be effective in helping the new Haitian leadership find its own way that stereotype must not be given credence. After all, the prime objective in Haiti is to build a new political culture based on the rule of law, which encour-
ages greater citizen participation and attracts self confident and capable people to enter public service. Big Brother will not get you there.
C. SUGGESTED U.S. GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES
Leadership in calling donor conference for new Haitian Government
Continued leadership in Peacekeeping
Immediately unfreeze suspended assistance program funds Support programs that build civil society and encourage other donor's contributions
Support electoral preparation and encourage other donors to offer assistance Initiate job-creation programs
Encourage IFIs to invest in infrastructure projects and ecology Reinstitute police training program
Reopen program to build independent judiciary Consider Haiti for inclusion in "Free Trade" agreements Senator NELSON. Thank you, Ambassador.
Ambassador Dobbins, do you need to catch a plane?
Ambassador DOBBINS. No, no, I changed my plans. But thank you very much, Senator.
Senator NELSON. Well, thank you.
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL HEINL, CO-AUTHOR, "WRITTEN IN BLOOD, THE STORY OF THE HAITIAN PEOPLE 1492-1995,"
Mr. HEINL. I thank the committee for the invitation to speak.
I *was asked, in the committee's invitation, to ponder three things. First of all, is this moment an opportunity for a fresh start in Haitian-American relations? Second, can Haiti be, quote, turned around, unquote? And, finally, what kind of help does Haiti need?
The current situation is an opportunity to change the nature of our engagement with Haiti. But whether all parties will or can avail themselves of it is very much an open question. For the good of both countries, the cycle of paying attention to Haiti only when a crisis is brewing or when American economic or geopolitical interests are perceived as being at stake, can and must be broken.
Haiti and its problems are problems of the hemisphere. Failure on the part of those interested in Haiti to frame and implement short-, medium-, and long-term policies will lead to growing dangers in the Western Hemisphere from disease, ever-worsening environmental degradation, violence, unchecked drug trafficking, and overwhelming refugee outflows.
The United States, for its part, has to evolve towards Haiti a consistent, long-term policy which will bring to bear our treasure and influence in ways which will benefit both Haiti and the United States. Our relationship need not be a zero-sum game. We can advocate policies that protect the interests of the United States and its citizens without acting to the detriment of Haiti and its people.
The goodwill that characterized the Haitian reception of foreign troops in 1994 is more muted and less widespread in 2004. The foreign community has a narrow window to convince Haiti's urban masses that its intentions are benign.
Woodrow Wilson said of Mexico, "I will teach the Latin Americans to elect good men." Much of this governessy attitude towards Haiti still prevails in the international community. Indeed, even
the framing of the question (Can Haiti be turned around?) suggests that Haiti is some sort of barge that can be towed hither or yon with little reference to those most affected, the Haitians. Haitians of all classes must have a sense of ownership of the process of rebuilding their country and its institutions.
Key to everything will be security. Funds must be ensured for prompt payment of salaries to judges, teachers, and police. Foreign troops will be required in Haiti long enough to train and mentor police, and to instill an ethos of independence, honesty, and professionalism. At least ten years will be required for this. Emergency job creation for the unemployed urban masses will go far to lower the temperature while longer-term solutions are implemented. In this process, the Haitian Government will have to be held to far stricter standards of accountability than heretofore.
Aid to Haiti falls into three categories: short, medium, and long term. While Haiti's needs are great, its absorptive capacity, with all due respect to Ambassador Pezzullo, is limited. Donor nations need not equate quality or efficacy of aid programs with amounts funded, particularly at the outset of this process.
What follows is a short list of some of the items that need to be addressed.
Short term: one, secure the country, so interrupted feeding programs can be resumed. Reduce the number of weapons in circulation. Two, get emergency generating capacity in to assure stable electricity supply in the major cities, particularly Port-au-Prince. Several barges from Hydro Quebec anchored in Port-au-Prince harbor supplying current to Port-au-Prince's poor would buy time for other reforms. Three, start or revive public-works programs to get cash into the economy. Four, back-salary payments should be made immediately to police, judges, teachers, and other public-sector employees. Five, freeze payments on all Haiti's international debt. Most new aid should be structured as grants, rather than loans.
In the medium term, Haiti's medium-terms interests have long been apparent. First, potable water programs. Second, harbor dredging and rebuilding in provincial ports. Only by reviving the moribund economies of the provinces will the flight to major urban centers diminish. Three, funding of AIDS treatment and prevention on the lines developed by Paul Farmer in the Plateau Central. Also, nationwide campaigns against malaria and tuberculosis need to be undertaken. Four, preferential U.S. tariffs for products made in Haitian assembly plants. Five, reforestation. Six, rural electrification and irrigation. Seven, regularization of land titles, and a look at ways to encourage Haiti's diaspora to invest their talents and money in the motherland.
In the long term, addressing all of the above issues will be so much writing on water if the foreign community does not enable Haitians to effect a sea change in the culture that has brought them to this point. Writing in 1929, after 14 years of American occupation, the British Minister in Port-au-Prince observed the failure of American aid programs, "with their batteries of experts in Buicks and promises of prosperity on the Illinois model." This has been the fate of most foreign aid to Haiti. This may be one of the last opportunities for Haiti and the international community to get it right.
Thank you very much.
Senator Coleman [presiding]: Thank you, Mr. Heinl.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT MAGUIRE, DIRECTOR, PROGRAMS IN
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, TRINITY COLLEGE, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Dr. MAGUIRE. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much for having me here today.
I did submit a statement, which I would like put into the record, please, and I'll summarize.
Senator COLEMAN. Without objection.
Dr. MAGUIRE. I've kind of been waiting 25 years to talk to you guys. So here's the chance.
We've heard a lot about Secretary Powell's comments, back and forth, on Haiti, and I would say that two weeks ago, one thing he said is that he was disappointed in Mr. Aristide. And I believe we are all very disappointed in Mr. Aristide. There was much to be disappointed about.
But I think as we've heard today in some of the back and forth that has occurred, we also need to express our disappointment in the opposition to Mr. Aristide, for their intransigence, their failure to engage over time, and their determined objective to broker their way into power. I think it was quite shocking that they rejected Secretary Powell's pleadings to come to the table, to accept the CARICOM solution, and to avoid what has happened today.
In sum, I think we're not seeing, in the past years in Haiti, a struggle over issues, ideas, and principles, but more a matter of power struggle and a power grab. Hopefully, however, the process that's underway now will lead Haiti to a new political future, with fresh faces, and maybe some old faces that earn democratic credentials.
I also think that Secretary Powell's disappointment should be extended to the policies and practices that were enacted on his watch, especially over the past three years.
As I have outlined in this briefing paper of my Haiti program at Trinity College, our policies toward Haiti have evolved from ones of engagement to ones of estrangement, where we have been working assiduously to isolate the government, withhold resources from it, and punish it. And, in so doing, we have been sacrificing our leverage and influence over the government.
I would echo a comment that I just heard on the panel here, that governments do merit some respect, especially if they're democratically elected. Haiti is not going to be Switzerland overnight. We have to accept that Haiti is going to have fits and starts and many mistakes. And when we sacrifice our leverage and influence, we turn our back on that government.
Concurrently, I think we've been seeing in Washington a parallel presumptive policy working to strengthen the opposition, emboldening it, and suggesting that there are signals from Washington that its zero-option policy had Washington support. This is not my analysis alone. This analysis comes also from our former ambassador in Port-au-Prince, who said, at his July 2003 speech to the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce, that:
There's an incoherence in Haiti that has troubled me,
the incoherence of the way Washington's views are interpreted here. Those of you who know me will realize that since I arrived here as President Clinton's ambassador, and then President Bush's, I've always talked straight about U.S. policy and what might and might not be new policy directions. But there were many in Haiti who preferred not to listen to me, the President's representative, but to their own friends in Washington, sirens of extremism or revanchism on one hand, or apologists on the other hand. They don't hold official positions. I call them
the chimere of Washington.
I think it's very important that we look into this. Who are these chimere in Washington, and what were they doing, and what were they saying, and what signals were they sending to Haiti? I think we need to respect this concern that our ambassador had.
It seems to me that-over the years, we've seen a kind of gradual strangulation of the Government of Haiti, pushing Mr. Aristide and his government more and more into a corner, with predictable results. As your maneuvering space shrinks, sometimes you make bad decisions, sometimes you strike out and harm yourself. And with fewer and fewer resources, the government was left managing scarcity.
I do disagree with Mr. Noriega, in the sense that we did cut off assistance to the Government of Haiti. As I understand it, all we have assisted has been the Haitian Coast Guard.
With fewer and fewer resources, the government was left managing scarcity. And in the Haiti political reality, regardless of who you are, this means managing power, and it means turning to the gangs.
We've seen, now, the departure of Mr. Aristide. I think the phrase that comes to my mind right now is a pyrrhic victory. As the country has descended into lawlessness, gunmen, revenge, and the settling of scores throughout the countryside, the infrastructure has also deteriorated. As bad as it was, it's gotten worse. We hear about the humanitarian crisis that is emerging. I spoke yesterday with Dr. Paul Farmer, and he has tremendous concerns about this, and attacks that have occurred on his hospital in the Central Plateau by the so-called rebels. We've seen the virtual Balkanization of the country into competing gang fiefdoms, and they're all wellarmed. I'm very concerned that Haiti is vulnerable right now to become much more engaged in narco-trafficking. We've heard in past years that 9 to 13 percent of the cocaine that comes in to the U.S. goes through Haiti. Yesterday, I saw a citation that it was 25 percent.
I have five recommendations, but I'm just going to mention a couple of them, because several have already been mentioned.
I would agree with the bipartisan approach, but I think one of the things we need to do to make sure we have a bipartisan approach is to attend our own wink-and-nod tendency toward Haiti. And if we're going to disarm the chimeres in Port-au-Prince and in Haiti, I think, figuratively, we must disarm the chimeres of Washington, as well. We need to talk straight with Haiti.
I think, as well, in terms of the issue of disarmament, while I applaud the initiative taken yesterday by the multi-national force to go out and disarm, this is going to be very tough, because Haiti is much better armed now than it was ten years ago, when there were 21,000 troops and the Aristide government was asking for disarmament. It didn't happen then because our mandate was force protection.
One thing I would point out, Haiti does not manufacture guns. Not a single gun is manufactured in Haiti. They all have to come from somewhere. Where do they come from? If we're going to disarm, we also have to move to stop the illicit flow of guns into Haiti, and there's just so much out there about the Dominican Republic that I think we really do have to get to the bottom of this.
I'll just stop there, gentlemen, and close.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Maguire follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ROBERT MAGUIRE, PH.D.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting me to speak before you and other members of the subcommittee. I am happy to have this opportunity to share my insights and analysis on Haiti. I have followed Haiti and Haiti-US policy issues for 25 years. Over that time I have come to know the country both from the "bottom-up" through work at the Inter-American Foundation, a U.S. government agency, where I held responsibility for its grassroots development programs in Haiti, and from the "top down" through work at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and scholarly activities at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and Brown Universities. I continue my involvement with Haiti as the Director of the Trinity College Haiti Program in Washington, DC, a program that has been supportedby the Ford and the Rockefeller Foundations.
Today, in the streets of Port-au-Prince and throughout the Haitian countryside, we have been seeing the kind of murder and mayhem that characterized the country between 1991 and 1994, following a violent coup d'6tat carried out by Haiti's army, leading to three years of brutal de facto military rule. Gunmen roam with impunity. Civilians are fired upon by armed thugs and snipers. Bodies mysteriously appear, some of them face down with hands bound and bullet holes in their backs. Rampaging mobs of civilians and erstwhile soldiers and members of paramilitary death squads attack public and private property, looting, burning and destroying in a practice that Haitians call dechoukaj, or uprooting. U.S. and other international troops, hustled into Haiti to protect the lives of their nationals and to try to stabilize this situation find themselves drawn increasingly into the middle of Haiti's muddled environment of anger, frustration, and fear, as their mission "creeps" to include disarming the multitudes of Haitians with weapons.
From the Central African Republic, Haiti's suddenly exiled President, JeanBertrand Aristide, insists that his removal was a coercive one while, concurrently, in Port-au-Prince a new, provisional President is sworn in under the watchful eyes of ambassadors and envoys, and a new Prime Minister is named by a group of citizens who now form a national political advisory board. All of this has this veteran Haiti-watcher thinking, Mr. Chairman, that we are seeing a case of "deja vu all over again."
Two weeks ago, Secretary of State Cohn L. Powell stated that he had been "disappointed" with Haiti's now-deposed President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Secretary Powell is correct in this statement, as there is no doubt that Mr. Aristide provided much to be disappointed about. I will not elaborate here, as Mr. Aristide's detractors have already undertaken that task with much gusto. I wonder, however, if Mr. Powell has also been disappointed in Haiti's self-proclaimed democratic opposition, a group of political and economic leaders who have also given us much to criticize and regret. The single-minded intransigence of this largely ad hoc. group toward achieving its one, unifying objective-the removal of Mr. Aristide from office-has motivated it to behave rather undemocratically. Its
leaders failed to engage in true democratic process as measured by elections and by negotiated solutions to political problems. Instead, particularly in recent months, they have appeared to practice that deeply rooted Haitian political practice of giving a "wink and a nod" to violence in the street if you believe it furthers your political objectives, emulating, unfortunately, a strategy amply employed by Mr. Aristide in recent years.
And, over the past three years, they have acted with a veto from an empty chair at the negotiating table, repeatedly undermining or thwarting internationally-led attempts to find a solution to Haiti's political crisis. This included their rejection in late February of the urgings of Secretary Powell to accept the plan presented by CARICOM to achieve a peaceful, mediated solution to Haiti's longstanding crisis that would have permitted Haiti's elected President to serve out his term, while providing them with a shared role in the country's governance.
This failure of U.S. influence when push came to shove in late February is doubly distressing since the personalities who comprise this opposition have been widely perceived as allies-even sycophants-of Washington. Among these personalities are individuals who have participated for years in an array of political strategy meetings organized by the International Republican Institute using U.S. Government funds, and who have repeatedly visited Washington over the past three years. And, at least one of the highest profile leaders of this faction, Mr. Andre Apaid, is a U.S. citizen.
As I scan this political landscape, Mr. Chairman, I get a strong sense of deja vu all over again, as self-styled and unelected political chiefs broker their way into power. In their mind's eye, again taking a page from deeply rooted Haitian political practice, the means justify the ends. And what are those ends? Allow me to state, Mr. Chairman, that what we have been seeing in Haiti over the past years is not a political struggle of competing issues, ideas, and principals. It is nothing more than a struggle among the political class and its allies, and the now-unseated government and its allies to seize, and/or to hold on to, power.
Let us hope that the dust of confrontation and violence settles in Haiti and that moderate, reasonable voices, with viable ideas, will emerge from among those struggling for power, and that some true democratic credentials will begin to be earned. Let us hope, also, that new democratic voices, less tainted by participation in the tragic political confrontations of the past, will come forth to relieve the country of its largely failed leadership on both sides of the current political equation. Hopefully, the process currently underway to lead Haiti through to new parliamentary and then presidential elections will provide that opportunity.
THE CONDUCT OF U.S. POLICY TOWARD HAITI
In terms of disappointment, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I also wonder whether this sense of Mr. Powell has extended to those who have been largely responsible for the conduct of U.S. policy toward Haiti since January 2001. As I have outlined in Trinity College Haiti Program Briefing Paper Number 8, U.S. Policy Toward Haiti: Engagement or Estrangement, published last November, over the past ten years, U.S. policy toward Haiti has evolved from one where our government was constructively engaged with the government of Haiti in an attempt to nurture democratic institutions and democratic practice in this country trying to find its way out of 200 years of bad and mostly authoritarian governance, to a policy that worked to isolate the Haitian government, withhold resources from it, punish it, and push it into a corner.
Concurrently, as we constantly chastised that government, our efforts focused more and more exclusively on working with Haiti's opposition groups. In following this path, we sacrificed carefully constructed leverage and influence with Haitian elected political actors, many of whom are already pre-disposed to be distrustful of the United States as a dominant force in Haitian political reality that has not always made choices that have worked toward the benefit of Haiti's people.
If I may, Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit Briefing Paper Number 8 as a part of my written testimony since it elaborates this analysis in much greater detail than I have an opportunity to do in this testimony today.
Not all in Washington abandoned that leverage and influence we worked to achieve over many years. As I reminded the Honorable Cass Ballenger of North Carolina, at a hearing on Haiti called by his subcommittee last week, in March 2001, I escorted to his office several high Haitian government officials who had traveled to Washington only a month after the inauguration of Mr. Aristide to his second term in office to participate in a symposium on Haiti at Trinity College. Among them were Mr. Yvon Neptune, who at that time was the President of Haiti's Senate, and Mr. Leslie Voltaire, then the Minister for Haitians Living Overseas and cur-
rently the government's representative on the new tripartite commission established last week in Haiti. Also a part of the Haitian government delegation were two ministers who, even though members of the opposition, had accepted Mr. Aristide's invitation to join his government's cabinet. One of these ministers was Mr. Marc Louis Bazin, Mr. Aristide's principal opponent in the 1990 election who, subsequently, briefly served as the Prime Minister of the 1991-1994 de facto military regime. What better example could we have had of the potential for political reconciliation in Haiti than Mr. Aristide and Mr. Bazin working together. Sadly, because Mr. Bazin had rejected participation in the bitter opposition to Mr. Aristide (at that time called the "Democratic Convergence"), his credentials as a member of the opposition working within the Lavalas government were not accepted by Aristide's opponents in Haiti and in Washington.
On that same day, I escorted this high level Haitian delegation to the office of one of the members of this committee, Senator Dodd. Much to the credit of both Mr. Ballenger and Senator Dodd, they were open to meeting these Haitian government officials and engaging them in constructive conversation. And the Haitian officials were anxious to engage them and others.
Sadly, Executive Branch officials in Washington reacted quite differently to this March 2001 opportunity for dialogue. Not only did ranking officials choose not to engage these Haitian government officials, but, in the run-up to the symposium, they urged me not to invite them to Washington. This, Mr. Chairman, is my own personal story of a golden opportunity the Bush administration lost to maintain and strengthen U.S. influence and leverage in Haiti, and to assist Haiti emerge from its dark political past. Surely, this is not the only time that this kind of opportunity was lost.
Rather than taking advantage of this and similar opportunities, it seems to me that our government was not only busy isolating Haiti s elected government, but, through various intermediaries and political operatives in Washington, it was allowing signals to travel to Port-au-Prince that emboldened the opposition and its "zero option" policy of intransigence by suggesting that the opposition had Washington's support.
THE CHIMERES OF WASHINGTON, D.C.
This is not my assessment alone. This concern that presumptive policy signals were being sent to Port-au-Prince from Washington, and that those signals were highly damaging to efforts to resolve what was, back then, a relatively reparable political crisis, was shared by none other than the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti. In his farewell address in Port-au-Prince last summer to HAMCHAM, the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce, the career diplomat who headed our embassy in Haiti, the Honorable Brian Dean Curran, reflected on Haiti's long-standing political crisis remarking:
There is an incoherence (in Haiti) that has troubled me: the incoherence
of the way Washington's views are interpreted here. Those of you who know me will realize that since I arrived here as President Clinton's Ambassador and then President Bush's, I have always talked straight about U.S. policy and what might and might not be new policy directions. But there were many in Haiti who preferred not to listen to me, the president's representative, but to their own friends in Washington, sirens of extremism or revanchism on the one hand or apologists on the other. They don't hold official positions. I call then the chimeres of Washington.
And who, pray tell, might these irregular actors be? I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that this subcommittee takes steps to get to the bottom of this. It might begin by heeding the supposition of the Washington Post that the International Republican Institute has played an important role in the "wink and nod" messages from Washington sent to the opposition. In its February 19th edition, the Post editorialized:
In particular, it (the administration) has declined to exercise its considerable leverage on the civilian opposition parties, some of which have been supported by such U.S. groups as the International Republican Institute and which have rejected any political solution short of Mr. Aristide's immediate resignation.
In sum, Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that our policy-and practices-toward Haiti in recent years have been driven, unfortunately, by a deeply rooted animosity to one man-Jean-Bertrand Aristide-that has been held among a relatively small but powerful group of actors in Washington. Policies rigorously enacted under the
auspices of this zealous group in order either to emasculate Mr. Aristide politically or to force him out of office, as we are witnessing today, have put the country and its citizens at grave risk, while concurrently creating potential spill-over effects both in the Caribbean and on to our shores.
To achieve the narrow political goal of getting Mr. Aristide, the chimeres of Washington have, in essence, enacted policies that have devastated Haiti. What better example can one identify of being willing to throw out the bathwater in order to get the baby.
ACTS OF DESPERATION
As I reflect on the result of these policies of isolation, non-engagement, constant criticism and punitive action I get the sense of the gradual strangulation of an elected government. As the noose around its neck tightened, it was pushed increasingly toward ill-advised and desperate acts. The suspension of international assistance was a particularly key element of strangulation. The government of Mr. Aristide, like all governments in this tragically poor and resource-starved country, was deeply dependent on external assistance in order to enact government programs. During his inaugural address of February 7, 2001, Mr. Aristide took a quite unusual-perhaps even unprecedented-step or a Haitian President when he outlined a series of social welfare, infrastructure development and investment goals of his government, suggesting that his term in office be judged according to his ability to meet these goals. These plans were derived from the Lavalas Family party's "White Paper" for Haiti, an unusual attempt-for Haitian political parties-to set forth a platform that directed itself toward the country's multitude of social, economic and environmental problems.
Sadly, following the virtual complete suspension of bilateral and multilateral aid to his government as a result of the May 2000 election's eight flawed senatorial vote counts and the Haitian government's bewildering failure to address this issue, few resources were available to the government to work toward these goals. As Mr. Aristide and his government were pushed more and more into a corner, predictable results emerged. With fewer and fewer resources to manage, the government was left to manage scarcity and, became increasingly desperate and corrupt. And, in Haiti's political reality, managing scarcity means managing power, with equally predictable results. Mr. Aristide, presiding over a resource starved government under constant assault from political opponents both in and beyond Haiti, took to the streets, aligning his government with impoverished urban youth-the now infamous chimeres of Haiti-who, by way of organized gangs, served as a means of managing the maintenance of power.
Mr. Chairman, when I was a boy growing up in the New Jersey suburbs in an area that had just recently been farmland, I occasionally encountered a rabbit that had found its way into my back yard that was enclosed with a chain link fence. Sometimes, I attempted to catch the rabbit, gradually backing it into a corner of the fence as what I perceived as the best strategy to do that. I never did manage to catch one of those elusive critters, but I remember how the rabbits that I managed to back into the corner of the fence became increasingly desperate as their maneuvering space shrank. In fact, I recall vividly on one occasion how a panicked rabbit that I had edged into the corner acted with such desperation that bashed itself against the fence, injuring itself in its attempts to elude my grasp. Aghast at the blood streaming from the animal, I quickly backed away. This was the last time I tried cornering a rabbit in order to capture it. It was not my goal to force self-inflicted damage.
I relate this story, Mr. Chairman, because I think of it when I reflect on what has happened in Haiti over the past several years. As the government of Haiti was increasingly backed into that corner, it acted more and more like that panicked rabbit of my youth, injuring itself in desperation. Ultimately, as its maneuvering space shrank, the government, in its increasing desperation to escape the trap, inflicted many wounds on itself. What a tragedy of huge proportions.
A PYRRHIC VICTORY
The departure 6f Mr. Aristide, at least for now, has been achieved. Those who have sought it for quite some time are now rejoicing in their political victory. But their victory is proving to be a Pyrrhic one as Haiti has descended deeper and deeper on the slippery slope of lawlessness. Revenge killing and settling scores-in Portau-Prince and elsewhere in the country-have become the new ordre du jour. Prisons throughout the country have been emptied, reinforcing the unfortunate reality of criminal impunity. Secondary cities, towns and villages across the land have become the domain of gang leaders establishing fiefdoms in what is now a balkanized
country. And, with the descent into lawlessness comes the prospect of Haiti's emergence as a kind of narco-trafficking free state, as the countryside's runways and ports fall within the domain of the local warlords, many of whom already have a history of involvement in drug trafficking.
The victory is Pyrrhic also, Mr. Chairman, because it was achieved through the slow strangulation of Haiti's capacity to respond to the humanitarian, social and environmental challenges and crises before it. And, in recent weeks, we have seen in particular a rash of significant damage to the country's already weak humanitarian and development infrastructure, as roads and ports have been severely damaged and destroyed, and public and private buildings looted and burned. This destruction has included attacks by marauding armed rebels on such medical installations as the highly-respected hospital in central Haiti operated by Dr. Paul Farmer's Partners in Health organization, where two members of the staff have been murdered, the hospital's only ambulance has been commandeered, and medical staff and patients have been constantly threatened by the bandits.
Perhaps the most Pyrrhic element of this victory, however, has been its achievement at the expense of the Haitian population's faith in democracy. This is illustrated most vividly by the enthusiastic welcome given by some to the return of the gunmen. While there should be no doubt that this welcome has been fueled by a realistic sense of self-preservation by those who do not have the guns, by the gratitude of those released from Haiti's jails and their families, and by former military and paramilitary figures who have been waiting patiently for such an opening to occur, this welcome is also fueled by another factor. Haiti's citizens are deeply disappointed, indeed, disgusted, with the comportment of all of the country's political leaders who, over the past decade, have been so intent on their own, personal struggles to maintain or attain power that they have sacrificed their country. To coin a phrase, Haiti's politicians have been fiddling while Rome has been burning.
This disenchantment with democracy is an enormously tragic and dangerous development. Haitians have harbored "dreams of democracy" since the 1986 ouster of the Duvalier dictatorship. Their dreams have repeatedly been turned into nightmares. It is in everyone's interest in this room that we work together to deflect that disenchantment and restore faith in the resolution of disputes through participation, engagement, the peaceful mediation of differences, rule of law, and the rejection of all forms of political intimidation, violence and recidivism.
BREAKING THE CYCLE OF DEJA VU
So, where do we go from here?
I will leave to others the debate and the necessary investigation over the circumstances of Mr. Aristide's abrupt departure from Haiti on February 29th, 2004. Surely, the removal-regardless of how it occurred-of a democratically-elected leader prior to the completion of his term is a set-back to Haiti's democratic process and a threat to other nations in the hemisphere; indeed around the world. Regardless of whether or not Mr. Aristide is restored to the presidency to complete his term of office ending on February 7, 2006, however, there are several steps we can take, actions we can support, and principles that can guide us that will contribute toward a sustained resolution of Haiti's seemingly unending internal and external political warfare.
Bipartisanship in Washington
First, from a Washington and U.S. perspective, we must forge a bi-partisan approach toward Haiti. Of course, this being Washington and ours being a democracy, we will agree to disagree over certain specifics. But, even amid our disagreements, we must be prepared to examine our role in Haiti's affairs in a more even-handed manner that does not chose sides, stem from deeply rooted personal animosities, or seek to profit from Haiti's misfortunes.
In this regard, it is of great necessity that the chimeres of Washington be removed from any real or perceived role in the future of U.S. policy toward Haiti. We must put an end to "wink and nod" messages coming out of Washington. These messages-and actions that reinforced them-have caused considerable damage not only to Haiti, but also to the credibility of Washington's leadership on Haiti and around the world. I would urge you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, to examine the roles of these chimeres, who, as the U.S. Ambassador suggested, were aiding and abetting Haiti's tragedies.
Specifically, I would urge you to clarify the validity of various allegations that have been leveled at the International Republican Institute for its role in exacerbating and reinforcing an atmosphere of political intransigence and violence in Haiti. I would urge you, also, to explore alleged links among Haiti's resurgent gun-
men once based in the Dominican Republic and drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, and money laundering.
Political Inclusion in Haiti
Second, I would urge us to support policies and practices that will reinforce the notion of political inclusion in Haiti. Let us work-successfully this time-not to play favorites, but rather to get all the legitimate political actors in Haiti under its political tent. It is of vital importance that Haiti's once and future political actors all participate in the governance of their country and accept the responsibilities that come along with it. To this end, the framework offered by CARICOM that is now moving forward is an excellent one. Acts of dechoukaj and political intimidation aimed at politicians and their supporters, including appointed and elected officials of the Aristide government and the Lavalas party, and the urgent flight from the country of these political actors, is not.
Ending the Political Culture of 'Winner Takes All"
Third, and directly related to the need to have all legitimate political actors gain inclusion in governance, we must support steps to put an end to Haiti's tried and true political practices of "winner takes all" and "loser undermines the winner." In this regard, Haiti's electoral laws that prescribe a winner takes all approach toward each and every elective office should be re-examined. In my view, Mr. Chairman, this approach, particularly in a country that has had one dominant party (Fanmi Lavalas-FL) competing with many smaller ones, and that may now have a weakened FL competing with a newly fragmented political opposition, has only exacerbated polarization and confrontation. Some form of proportional national representation, perhaps in Haiti's Chamber of Deputies, would help to ensure broader political participation. A party that captures, say, 10 percent of the votes nationwide, could be awarded 10 percent of the seats in that parliamentary body. This would both bring that element into the process and force upon it the responsibilities of governance.
Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle
Fourth, there is an immediate need to move against the armed thugs and convicts who have been freed from prison, as well as against armed street gangs of all stripes, and to reestablish some semblance of rule of law. In this regard, Haiti's civilian-led police will require immediate and long-term strengthening and support, while the country's judicial system requires the same. The thugs must not find their way into the police force. Putting this genie back into the bottle will be a difficult, but necessary element not only to allow the country to move forward, but to provide a needed push toward ending impunity. The return of the army and of the FRAPH gunmen and criminals is in the best interests of only those particular individuals, not of the Haiti, its citizens, and the international community.
In this regard, Mr. Chairman, the announcement made yesterday that international forces already in Haiti will actively undertake disarming of the Haitian population is a welcome one. This task, of course, will be an elusive one, fraught with problems and may even lead to spates of violence and bloodshed, but it is a necessary one. It is quite unfortunate that disarmament did not take place in 1994/ 95, when there were 21,000 troops in Haiti and the restored government was asking for it. At that time, narrowly defined rules of engagement focused on force protection inhibited effective disarmament of Haiti's soldiers, paramilitary members and others in the population with guns. Sadly, in the intervening 10 years, more weapons have entered the country, making today's task-to be undertaken by 5,000 troops-a much more difficult one.
For effective disarming to occur, Mr. Chairman, and for Haiti not to become immediately re-armed once it does, we must also pay attention to the sources of Haiti's weapons. Not a single gun is manufactured in Haiti. They all must come from somewhere. In this regard, it is important that we get to the bottom of allegations that illicitly acquired weapons have been flowing into Haiti from the neighboring Dominican Republic, as well as "rebel commandos."
Stay The Course
Fifth, we need to be prepared to stick with Haiti over the long haul. Staying the course will mean that our attention to Haiti can not be merely intense and short term, as it was in 1994/95, and then leaving the country to its own devices, while enacting partisan-driven policies in Washington that harmed gains that had been made. In this regard, I wholeheartedly agree with the statement made yesterday by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that Haiti will require a decade (or even more) of intense international community commitment in order to avoid the repeat of the "band-aid" scenario of 10 years ago.
If the term nation-building gives some of this subcommittee a case of heartburn, perhaps it would help to think of it another way-say, "nation-nurturing"-where we provide active and sustained support to the non-governmental-and governmental-bodies in Haiti that will develop the country and its required institutions. In other words, we do not have to build Haiti, but we should have a long term commitment to all Haitians to help them rebuild their own country.
Mr. Chairman, the tragic developments in Haiti, some of which are still unfolding, are to some considerable extent the result of U.S. policies and practices that have sacrificed the well-being of Haiti to achieve a narrow political goal-the removal of one man from elected office. These policies and practices have not served Secretary Powell; they have not served President Bush; they have not served the United States Congress, they have not served the American people, and they have surely not served the long-suffering people of Haiti.
Again, I thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts and analysis with you, and I stand ready to work with all of you to help improve the way the government of the United States relates to and works with its Caribbean neighbor.
U.S. POLICY TOWARD HAITI: ENGAGEMENT OR ESTRANGEMENT?1
DR. ROBERT MAGUIRE
Inquiry into the size of a country, usually elicits a straight-forward answer. In the case of Haiti, that answer, from a US point of reference, is generally something like, "about the same size as the state of Maryland." The question of Haiti's size, however, when posed two decades ago to a wizened Haitian community leader, evoked an intriguing, figurative answer. "Haiti," the old man stated, gesturing with his hands and arms, "is like an accordion. Sometimes it is large and sometimes it is small." 2
From the perspective of U.S. foreign policy, Haiti over the past 200 years has fit this pattern of a metaphorical accordion: sometimes large and sometimes small. And, without doubt, there have been times when the accordion's bellows have opened very wide. If nothing else, geography-that is, Haiti's proximate location to the U.S.-demands that American policy-makers watch their southern neighbor closely and maintain at least a minimal engagement.
At times, American policy makers have watched Haiti with deep concern over the impact of developments there on the U.S. Certainly this was the case in the aftermath of Haiti's independence in 1804, when American leaders, particularly in its plantation South, feared that the Caribbean country's "virus of freedom" would spread to the slave plantations in the Carolinas, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. Other times, American engagement in Haiti has evolved far beyond observation to direct intervention, most notably during the 19-year U.S. military occupation of 1915 to 1934.
Had U.S. policy makers in the late 1980s and 1990s used the accordion metaphor, they would have proclaimed its bellows to be wide-open. Great -attention was paid to Haiti in the period leading up to and following the demise of the Duvalier family dictatorship in 1986, and then again in the period following the 1990 presidential election of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, his subsequent removal from office in 1991 as a result of a violent military coup d'6tat, and his later restoration to office as a result of a UN-sanctioned and U.S.-led military intervention. Today, Haiti's geographical proximity, a variety of developments there linked to ongoing U.S. policy interests, and the presence in the United States of a large and growing Haitian-born and Haitian-American population combine to keep the bellows of that metaphorical accordion open.
As much as U.S. officials and policy makers at times may have wanted those bellows to close tightly so Haiti would "just go away," this simply does not happen. And it will not happen short of a highly improbable geological episode that will either physically displace, or submerge, the island that Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic!
'A publication of the Haiti Program, a unit of Programs in International Affairs at Trinity College, Washington, DC.
2"Haiti: Dreams of Democracy," 1987, a documentary film produced by Jonathan Demme.
The exact nature of the engagement the U.S. maintains with Haiti, and the relationships it spawns, has varied over time since 1804 and among differing sets of actors. Looking at the broad sweep of the U.S.-Haiti relationship over the past two hundred years, however, the New York-based National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) has concluded that the hemisphere's two oldest republics "share a long, sordid love-hate relationship," adding that "unfortunately, the last three years have fit tragically into that pattern."3
THE "THIRD RAIL" OF U.S. HAITI POLICY
Before exploring the nature of the U.S. relationship with Haiti over the past three years it is useful to reflect on contemporary U.S. policy maker's views of that country as both a foreign and a domestic policy issue, particularly given its proximity to U.S. shores. A key underlying factor of this hybrid policy focus is migration, a phenomenon that bridges both foreign and domestic issues and that has been characterized by at least one U.S. diplomat as the "third rail" of U.S.-Haiti policy. And, as those who ride mass transit systems such as the Washington, D.C. Metrorail know, the third rail is the hot one that threatens to burn those who touch it.
Since the late 1970's brought the first significant wave of Haitian boatpeople onto the beaches of South Florida, migration has been a hot rail of U.S.-Haiti policy. To keep from being burned, a succession of administrations-from that of Ronald Reagan, through those of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, to the current administration of George W. Bush-viewed Haitians fleeing by boat as unwelcome economic migrants and not political refugees. Accordingly, each developed immigration-and interdiction-policies aimed specifically at keeping Haitians in Haiti, or sending them back.4
Today, the specter of Haitian boatpeople arriving on the beaches of South Florida puts fear not only in the minds of policy makers, but also in the hearts of politicians seeking either elective office in Florida or the American presidency. As demonstrated in November 2000, electoral victory in Florida is a political prize that hangs by a thread. How Floridians react at the ballot box to issues surrounding Haitian boatpeople, including policies in Washington toward Haiti that may be perceived as either provoking their outpouring or keeping them in Haiti, could be the difference between electoral victory or defeat-in Florida and, by extension, in a Presidential race.5 To this end, issues linked to Haitian boatpeople have received unrelentingly tough responses from the current Bush administration, which has even associated the arrival of illegal Haitian migrants with U.S. terrorism vulnerability.6 In view of the weight of Florida in American electoral politics and of the heat generated by Haitian migration over the past four presidential administrations, it is easy to understand why migration, in terms of U.S.-Haiti policy, is viewed in Washington as a hot rail issue.7
THE LAST THREE YEARS: WHAT KIND OF ENGAGEMENT?
For the Clinton administration, neighboring Haiti was certainly a wide-open accordion, receiving attention highly disproportionate to its size and to other global
3"Yon Sel Dw~t Pa Manje Kalalou: Haiti on the Eve of its Bicentennial," National Coalition for Haitian Rights, Policy Report September 2003, p. 34.
4 For an overview of the evolution of U.S. immigration policy toward Haiti see "Haitian Migration to the U.S.: Issues and Legislation," Ruth Ellen Wasem, Congressional Research Service (CRS) Issue Brief, February 28, 1992. See also, "Haiti and Asylum Seekers: A Chronology of Major Events," Ruth Ellen Wasem, CRS Report for Congress, June 23, 1994.
r In regards to the fragility of Florida's political prize, the growing population of naturalized Haitian-Americans in South Florida-and the extent of its participation at the ballot box-is potentially key as an electoral "swing vote" in the Sunshine State. According to 2000 U.S. Census data, the number of Haitians residing in Florida is 228,949, a 117 percent increase since the 1990 census. ("Newcomers from around world set up shop in Broward," Fort Lauderdale SunSentinel. January 12, 2003.)
6 The tough response of the Bush administration to Haitian boatpeople was demonstrated in October 2002 with the detention and subsequent removal of the 211 Haitians who washed up near Miami Beach (a handful are still in detention). The administration has justified this tough and ongoing response, at least in part, by linking Haitian boatpeople with the illicit arrival of foreign terrorists on U.S. soil. For a discussion of how Haitian boatpeople have been linked with terrorism vulnerability, see, "The War Comes Back Home: Can John Ashcroft fight terrorism on our shores without injuring our freedoms?" Richard Lacayo, Time, May 4, 2003. For a discussion of Haitian boatpeople policy options see, "Next Steps for U.S. Policy Toward Haiti," Robert L. Bach and Robert Magnire, November 6, 2002, posted at http://www.trinitydc.edu/academics/ depts/Interdisc/International/Haiti-Program.htm 7Given that the first significant wave of Haitian migrants arriving by boat on U.S. shores actually occurred toward the end of the Carter administration, an argument can be made that five successive administrations have been seized by the issue.
issues. To appreciate how large an issue Haiti was for that administration, think back to such developments as:
the efforts-and ultimate success-of Clinton to rally international support
around United Nations Resolution 940 that sanctioned the U.S.-led multinational military intervention in 1994 to displace an authoritarian military regime and restore democratically-elected government;
the creation within the U.S. Department of State of the ambassadorial level
post of Special Haiti Coodinator, and the post-intervention shuttle diplomacy etween Washington and Port-au-Prince of such senior officials as the U.S. National Security Advisor, and;
the visit to Haiti by President Clinton in 1995, the first of a sitting U.S. President since that of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934.8
This attention to Haiti underscores not just the country's dominance as a policy issue, but also that the approach toward Haiti under Clinton was one of direct, and sustained, engagement at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
The Democratic administration's high level executive branch engagement did not play well with everyone in Washington, especially a number of key elected officials in the U.S. Congress who sat on the other side of the political aisle and their allies in such think tanks and political advocacy organizations in the nation's capital as the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Heritage Foundation, and the International Republican Institute for International Affairs. While some were simply critical of the disproportionate attention bestowed upon Haiti by the administration vis-a-vis other global hot spots, others took issue with the administration's approach to Haiti's problems.
These latter critics received a boost when the political balance of power in Washington shifted following the November 1994 off-year congressional elections that brought control of the U.S. House of Representatives to Republican lawmakers. Coming less than two months after Clinton's successful efforts to restore elective government to the coup-ravaged Caribbean country, the shift of political power in Washington provided an enlarged platform for critics to attack the administration's Haiti foreign policy "success" and to place constraints on follow-up actions. Those leading the charge against President Clinton and his Haiti policy tended also to be relentlessly critical of the highest profile beneficiary of that policy: Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Verbal criticism evolved into congressional action aimed at constraining, stalling, or undermining Clinton's Haiti policy initiatives. One such action was the passage of the Dole Amendment, which set stringent conditions on the release of aid to the Haitian government.9 Combined with continued unsettled conditions in Haiti and reports of such post-intervention concerns as questionable legislative elections, episodic incidents of politically-linked street violence, increased drug trafficking, and delays in economic privatization, congressional actions eventually had the effect of limiting U.S. assistance to the Haitian government, including aid to support the critically important, yet exceedingly fragile, newly formed Haitian National Police.
Following the controversial vote-counts that accompanied Haiti's May 2000 legislative and municipal elections, there was little prospect for the Clinton administration to argue successfully before Congress for the continuation of direct bilateral assistance. The failure of Haitian officials to respond to and quickly resolve the 2000 election controversy added strength to those critical of the administration's policy and took the wind from the sails of perplexed policy makers.'0
Republican-led legislative branch efforts to constrain the Clinton administration's engagement with Haiti turned out to be a type of preseason practice in view of the outcome of the November 2000 U.S. presidential election. Following the January 2001 transition to the administration of President George W. Bush, some individuals who had been highly critical of the Clinton administration's Haiti policy moved from legislative, advocacy organization and think tank positions into executive branch posts with varying degrees of responsibility over policy creation and overSRoosevelt visited Cap Haitien in July 1934, a month prior to the end of the U.S. Occupation of Haiti.
9 Section 583 of P.L. 104-107, the Dole Amendment, became law on January 26, 1996. It "prohibited assistance to the Government of Haiti unless the President reported to Congress that the Haitian government was conducting thorough investigations of political and extrajudicial killings and cooperating with U.S. authorities in this respect." See, statement of Alexander F. Watson, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, March 21, 1996.
1oFor an analysis of the May 2000 elections see, Robert Maguire, "Haiti's Political Gridlock," Journal of Haitian Studies, Vol. 8 (2), Fall 2002, pp. 30-42.
sight. Others who remained in influential legislative, advocacy and think tank jobs experienced heightened access to, and consideration from, executive branch policy makers.
In early 2001, the U.S. approach toward Haiti began to move in a different direction. The new administration began its tenure by stating that the "Eight Steps to Address the Post-2000 Election Political Crisis"-an agreement hammered out in December 2000 by then-former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake during his last "shuttle diplomacy" mission of the Clinton administration-was "an appropriate road map to get started." 11 The administration then began to scale back direct engagement with the Haitian government, abandoning the position of Special Haiti Coordinator in the State Department and removing such senior officials as the U.S. National Security Advisor from day-to-day involvement with Haiti.
With the discontinuance of high level, direct engagement from Washington, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince assumed the principal role for direct contact with the Haitian government. Concurrently, in Washington, Bush policy makers, while maintaining support of the diplomatic efforts of the Organization of American States to resolve the political crisis in Haiti that flowed out of the flawed 2000 elections, intensified their use of the OAS as a forum for strenuously voicing concerns about the Haitian government. Voicing those concerns at the OAS for the administration was a new U.S. Representative to the hemispheric organization, appointed to this post from the staff of Republican Senator Jesse Helms, one of the most vociferous critics of the Clinton Haiti policy.12
By mid-2001, a definitive trend Wad emerged. Washington's relations with Haiti had moved away from the direct engagement/dialogue approach of the Clinton administration toward less direct engagement through the embassy in Port-au-Prince and the OAS. Concurrently, several Washington-based think tanks and nongovernmental organizations with active ties to Republican leaders in the White House and on Capitol Hill, most notably the International Republican Institute for International Affairs (IRI), emerged as stronger voices addressing U.S.-Haiti policy issues.
As these operational shifts took hold, other voices, critical of the new direction of Haiti policy, spoke out. One such voice, the aforementioned NCHR, has characterized the Bush administration policy toward Haiti over the past three years as "a policy of willful neglect and containment, a policy driven by an almost pathological aversion to direct engagement." 13 This apparent aversion to direct engagement created a policy dynamic in Washington that appears to be taken from a page in the book of Haitian political strategy.
A NEW POLITIQUE DE DOUBLURE
In the late nineteenth century, when successive, regionally-based, Afro-Haitian military chieftains managed to gain power in Port-au-Prince, the capital city's own, mixed-race (mulatre) economic and political leaders "easily manipulated their darkskinned puppets," a political strategy "Haitian historians have labeled politique de doublure (government by understudies)." These alliances, albeit often short-lived, between the puppets and the urban elites ensured a mutually advantageous consolidation of political and economic power.14
In view of recent U.S.-Haiti policy trends, a twenty-first century politique de doublure has emerged, only this time based principally in Washington, not in Portau-Prince. Two somewhat distinct sets of understudies have been active over the past three years. One set of Washington-based U.S.-Haiti policy doublure is those whose voices are stridently critical of the Haitian government and supportive of its political rivals. These understudies, with apparent connections to the Bush administration and influential Republicans in the U.S. Congress, are listened to carefully, particularly in Port-au-Prince, where they are viewed as having significant influence over U.S. policy and as speaking for the administration.
One Washington-based understudy that has gained particular prominence in this regard is the aforementioned International Republican Institute (IRI). The organization's determined, ongoing efforts to organize and support political opposition to the Aristide government have raised eyebrows in Washington, particularly among some
1Testimony of Sec. Powell, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, Secretary of State Nomination, Part II, January 17, 2001.
l2Roger Noriega was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the OAS in 2001, a post he held until his confirmation as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs in July 2003.
13 Op. cit., "Yon S6I Dwht"
'4Haiti: State Against Nation, The Origins and Legacy of Duvalierism, Michel-Rolph Trouillot (Monthly Review Press: New York, 1990), p. 76.
members of Congress on the Democrat side of the aisle who have expressed concerns about the Bush administration's policy toward Haiti.15
The second set of understudies in Washington's world of Haitian doublure is those who are less critical of the government in Haiti and less supportive of that government's opponents. Among these understudies are eight U.S.-based consulting firms, or lobbyists, who, during the last six months of 2002, received total representation fees in excess of $1 million from the Government of Haiti. Their fees, tracked as part of the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), are a matter of public record. Fees and funds exchanged between the first set of understudies and their associates in Haiti, however, are not a matter of public record.16
This second set of voices, although not speaking from positions of power within or aligned to the executive branch and therefore not generally viewed as successfully influencing administration policy, contributes to a cacophony on Haiti that exists in the U.S. capital and that bounces along a north to south axis between Washington and Port-au-Prince. Characteristic of this cacophony is limited direct dialogue between policy protagonists and the tendency of various players-in Washington and in Port-au-Prince-to speak at each other, not with each other.
The emergence of Washington's own brand of politique dedoublure has been noted with considerable dismay recently by a U.S. Ambassador to Haiti. In July 2003, in Port-au-Prince, during a farewell address to the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce (HAMCHAM), the American envoy reflected on Haiti's longstanding political crisis, stating, "There is an incoherence (in Haiti) that has troubled me: the incoherence of the way Washington's views are interpreted here. Those of you who know me will realize that since I arrived here as President Clinton's Ambassador and then President Bush's, I have always talked straight about U.S. policy and what might and might not be new policy directions. But there were many in Haiti who preferred not to listen to me, the President's representative, but to their own friends in Washington, sirens of extremism or revanchism on the one hand or apologists on the other. They don't hold official positions. I call them the chimeres of Washington When you want to understand U.S. policy, you will listen to my successor, an experienced and coherent career diplomat, and not to the chimeres." 17
The Ambassador's comments reinforce the supposition that U.S. engagement with Haiti over the past three years increasingly has become the domain of diverse Washington-based understudies. They also suggest that the answer to the engagement-or-estrangement paradigm posed in the title of this essay is neither one nor the other. Rather, U.S. policy toward Haiti over the past three years, viewed as part of a continuum of a long term, sordid love-hate relationship, has devolved into a particular admixture of "estranged engagement."
THE PILLARS OF U.S.-HAITI POLICY
Following his reflections on Washington's chimeres the U.S. envoy to Haiti summarized his country's current policy orientation, "(L)et me be clear and coherent about U.S. policy toward Haiti. The United States accepts President Aristide as the constitutional president of Haiti for his term of office ending in 2006. We believe the legislative and territorial elections of May 2000 were seriously flawed and that the government of Haiti bears the principal responsibility for rectifying them. We strongly supported OAS efforts to bring about a negotiated compromise between the parties leading to new elections We continue to support (OAS) Resolution 822
A more complete enunciation of Bush administration policy toward Haiti was made in mid-2002 in a speech delivered in Washington by the State Department's then-Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. "Our objective in Haiti is clear," the official stated. "We desire a fully democratic Haiti-one that is more prosperous
"5See, for example, the exchange between Mr. Noriega and Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), "Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, The Nomination of Roger Noriega to be Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs," May 1, 2003.
160p. cit., "Yon S61 Dwt," The NCHR notes that while it is possible to ascertain the amounts paid to Washington-based agents of the Haitian government on account of FARA regulations, it is not possible to ascertain the amount of support from Washington-and the IRI in particular-to opposition groups in Haiti (pp. 6 & 7). 17"Reflections," Brian Dean Curran, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, mid-July 2003 (unpublished). In Haiti, Chimeres are partisan political street activists prone to taking extreme measures, including violence, to represent their viewpoints.
"Ibid. OAS Permanent Council Resolution 822, "Support for Strengthening Democracy in Haiti," was passed on September 4, 2002.
and more respectful of human rights. With a robust democracy, the Haitian people will enjoy a better standard of living."19
The State Department official then elaborated that "our Haiti policy rests on four pillars, all equally important (author's emphasis). We seek to:
"Support efforts to strengthen democracy and improve respect for human rights; "Provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable Haitians, and actively
promote sustainable economic development;
"Discourage illegal migration, which threatens maritime safety and the lives of
those who risk dangerous sea travel; and
"Stem the flow of illegal drugs through Haiti to the U.S."
Are these four policy pillars really equal? An answer to this question is suggested by the NCHR in its recent report. "It is clear," analyzes the human rights organization, "that, while concerned with the political gridlock and subsequent deterioration of human rights in Haiti, the U.S.'s priorities-as judged by the areas in which it has actually poured resources and taken concrete steps to address the problem-are narco-trafficking and refugee flight by boat." The United States, continues the NCHR assessment, "is quietly preparing for a potential implosion (in Haiti). In addition to making plans to build a proverbial fence around the country, in an effort to avoid a humanitarian disaster, the U.S. has also increased its emergency food aid program to the country." 20
Comments from U.S. government officials support this conclusion. The State Department official cited above acknowledged that "mitigating humanitarian distress is among our immediate priorities." 21 The former American envoy to Haiti acknowledged an impending Haitian humanitarian crisis, linking it directly to migration, that hot rail of U.S.-Haiti relations. "In the United States," he elaborated, "we also see the crisis in terms of a steadily increasing outward flow of illegal migrants." In response to this crisis and the subsequent migratory flow, he told his audience in Port-au-Prince that, "(t)he United States this year has increased its assistance to Haiti to $70 million. The traditional migrant source zones will be particularly targeted for assistance."
In view of the current U.S. approach of less-than-direct engagement with the goverment of Haiti, at issue is how this aid is delivered. The U.S. Ambassador addressed this topic in his Port-au-Prince speech when he reminded his audience, "As you know our assistance program in Haiti reflects our ongoing unwillingness to deal directly with the government for political reasons. U.S. assistance is delivered to the people of Haiti through NGOs and the private sector."22 In his speech in Washington, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs also addressed the issue of how the United States delivers humanitarian assistance to Haiti, stating that the U.S. chooses "to channel our assistance to the Haitian people through international and local non-governmental organizations.23
Several aid-related developments, however, appear to contradict this apparent approach of engagement with the people of Haiti accompanied by estrangement from their government, and to reinforce the supposition that all policy pillars are not created equally. The first of these developments, direct U.S. bilateral support of the Haitian Coast Guard, also suggests that U.S. assistance is even more strongly linked to the migration issue than alluded to by the U.S. Ambassador in his Portau-Prince speech. Aid channeled to this Haitian government entity not only strengthens its ability to curtail migrant flows but also reinforces its ability to engage in surveillance and pursuit of drug traffickers.24
Second, through its support of OAS Resolution 822, the U.S. has cast its vote to de-link Haiti's political crisis from the suspension of direct, multilateral funding of the Haitian government. Although the U.S. maintains that its bilateral aid is not channeled through the Haitian government, through its support of OAS Res. 822, it now supports the resumption of multilateral assistance to that government by way of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, both of which are heavily dependent on U.S. government funding. Or, as stated by the U.S. Ambassador in Port-au Prince, "(W)e are encouraging the IDB to be prepared to
19"U.S. Haiti Policy: Remarks by Ambassador Lino Guitierrez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State," Dinner Discussion, Inter-American Dialogue Conference "Haiti and Development Assistance," Washington, DC, May 22, 2002. 20Op. cit., "Yon SM1 DwMt," pp. 34-35
2 Op. cit. "U.S.-Haiti Policy"
22 Op. cit., "Reflections"
23 Op. cit. "U.S. Haiti Policy"
24Op. cit., "Yon Sel Dwrt," p. 34
move quickly, but appropriately, as soon as arrears are paid. The World Bank should not be far behind."25
TOWARD ANOTHER U.S.-HAITI POLITIQUE?
In recent months, several other developments have further complicated the picture of "estranged engagement" sketched out above. Altogether, they may be indicative of a gradual shift of the Bush administration away from understudies and chimeres toward more direct engagement with its Haitian counterparts.
One development relates to the important policy pillar of narco-trafficking. In a somewhat surprising move last June, the Aristide government arrested and expelled the alleged, notorious Haitian drug kingpin, Jacques Ketant. Then, in mid-October, Haitian authorities followed with the arrest and expulsion of another notorious drug kingpin, Eliobert Jasme, a.k.a. ED1, a prominent Port-au-Prince businessman.26 Both Ketant and Jasme are in U.S. custody in South Florida. Ketant, according to one official, is "singing like a bird." Which tunes, exactly, he is singing, are yet to be revealed. The fact that Mr. Ketant is chirping loudly, however, poses considerable risk to President Aristide and his government, particularly if the supposed drug kingpin alleges, as many of his political detractors already have, that neither President Aristide nor his government have clean hands insofar as Haitian drug trafficking and the riches it brings are concerned.
Speculation abounds in Washington and Port-au-Prince as to why Haitian authorities have moved when they did to arrest and expel two notorious drug traffickers that the U.S. has requested for some time. Given the great importance of action against drug trafficking as a key U.S. interest in Haiti, much of that speculation revolves around the question of whether the government of Haiti is giving the U.S. something of great importance to set the stage for receiving something in return. Might that something be a reduction of U.S. political heat on President Aristide and his administration, particularly in so far as it relates to allegations of government collusion with drug traffickers, accompanied by more resolute support from Washington of the Aristide government's stated intentions to take steps to resolve, at long last, the controversial results of the 2000 legislative elections? In addition to lowering the political heat, one must ask, of course, whether or not any quid pro quo might also have something to do with lowering the heat along the dreaded third rail of migration, especially as U.S. elections appear just over the horizon.
Concurrent with movement by the Government of Haiti on the narco-trafficking front, are developments on the policy front linked to the arrival of Washington's new envoy to Haiti. 27 In public statements and, reportedly, during a September 19 private meeting with President Aristide, Washington's ambassador has enunciated several key components of the U.S. stance vis-A-vis the current Haitian government, along with obstacles toward heightened U.S.-Haiti political cooperation. Specifically, the U.S. Ambassador has reiterated the legitimacy of Aristide's February 7, 2001 to February 7, 2006 term of office, while calling firmly for there to be no change vis-a-vis the Haitian constitutional parameters that govern presidential terms in office. Also, the envoy has identified U.S. administrative and security concerns regarding legislative elections in 2004, setting forth key steps to address them.28
Another recent development is linked to the involvement in Haiti of a well-respected and prestigious American diplomat. In the June meeting of the OAS General Assembly in Santiago, Chile, U.S. Secretary of State Powell suggested that if tangible progress had not been made soon by the Government of Haiti toward the
25Op. cit., "Reflections" The Government of Haiti paid $32 million in arrears to the IDB in July, thus opening the door for about $200 million in loans from that organization. In early October, the World Bank's private sector financing unit, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), approved a $20 million loan for investment in a trade free zone near the Dominican Republic border, the bank's first loan to Haiti since 1998. ("World Bank arm OKs first loan to Haiti since 1998," Anna Willard, Reuters, October 10, 2003.) 26"Haiti hands accused drug trafficker to U.S.," Reuters, October 16, 2003. in between the arrest and expulsion of Kettant and Jasme, the Government of Haiti arrested and expelled two other high profile drug traffickers, Eddy Aurelien and Carlos Ovalle (a Columbian resident of Haiti). They, also, are in the hands of U.S. authorities. 27 Ambassador James B. Foley arrived in Port-au-Prince in mid-September, 2003. 2sKey issues addressed by Ambassador Foley during his Sept. 19 meeting with President Aristide, summarized in an article in Haiti's LeMonde newspaper, included changes to strengthen the objective electoral oversight capacity of the Haitian National Police, improved election security vis-4-vis steps toward disarmament of the civil population (i.e. "popular organizations"), and the constitution of the long-awaited Provisional Electoral Commission required to oversee elections. The security issue included specific concern regarding fugitive gang-leader Aiot Metayer. Metayer was found murdered in late September. (See "Un certain 'plan americain' dononce mais deja en marche," Haiti en Marche, 15 au 21 Octobre 2003, XVII (37).
achievement of steps set forth in OAS Resolution 822, an OAS re-assessment of the situation should occur.29 As a result, Terence Todman, a retired U.S. diplomat, and only one of a handful of Americans who hold the penultimate Foreign Service Officer rank of Career Ambassador, has been present in Haiti frequently since August of this year. Mr. Todman, who is also a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is working under the auspices of the Secretary General of the OAS.
Whether the designation to the OAS of this prestigious U.S. diplomat in response to the U.S. Secretary of State's recommendation represents a shift in the Bush administration from its understudy orientation toward more direct engagement is another matter for speculation. While few in Washington believe that there will be a return to the high-ranking Washington/Port-au-Prince shuttle diplomacy of the previous administration, there is little doubt that this involvement of a senior American diplomat represents a modified policy approach. One indication of the potential impact of the retired diplomat's engagement emanates from Port-au-Prince, where his visits have been compared in significance with that in 1978 of then-U.S. Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young. Young's visit resulted in important, albeit temporary, gains in the respect of human rights during the Jean-Claude Duvalier regime. Hope runs strong among at least some Haitians that this new U.S.-recommended initiative will be instrumental in breaking the seemingly endless political gridlock that is choking their country.30
As Washington and Port-au-Prince await the incorporation of Special Envoy Todman's findings and recommendations into upcoming reports of the OAS Secretary General, speculation abounds that the perspective of the West Indian native and senior U.S. diplomat may be inclined toward breaking that gridlock through increased engagement with a President Aristide and Haitian government that will more robustly address U.S. concerns. That engagement would be paralleled by less U.S. patience with the "zero option" political delaying tactics of Aristide's understudy-influenced opponents. Should this be the case, the currently stalled OAS diplomatic initiatives toward easing Haiti's political crisis, as written into Resolution 822, may begin to move forward.
A FINAL CONSIDERATION
In reference to the tenor and direction of current U.S.-Haiti relations, the NCHR suggests that it is strikingly apt to consider the axiom that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." 31 In the long run, a policy of estranged engagement that heightens the risk of implosion and humanitarian crisis in Haiti is in no one's rational interests. All this approach has accomplished is to make things worse for all involved, especially ordinary citizens in Haiti who are already suffering tremendously not just from unmet expectations, but from increased violence, insecurity, and deprivation.
In spite of all its faults and blemishes, "Haiti," the NCHR points out, "is not nearly as much of a Pandora"s Box as some of the world's other hot spots. Effective, respectful diplomatic engagement in Haiti," the organization states, "does not dictate a protracted, prohibitively costly "nation-building" exercise for the U.S.32
In view of the "ineffective utter failure over the past three years" of the U.S. policy of estranged engagement "to compel positive change in Haiti,"33 time is overdue for Washington to reassess its approach toward Haiti. Developments such as U.S. support through OAS Res. 822 of the de-linking of economic aid from the political crisis, the engagement with the OAS of Ambassador Terence Todman, the arrest and hand-off of drug traffickers, the reiteration by the new U.S. ambassador of the legitimacy of President Aristide, and-not mentioned previously-indications of renewed U.S. consideration to complement the current OAS effort to assist and strengthen the Haitian National Police, all point in this direction.34
Experience as a child and a parent, a student and a teacher, and a worker and a supervisor have all indicated to this writer that positive feedback and positive reinforcement are a much more effective means of getting something done-and done well-than are negative steps that result in estrangement. In that regard, a policy
29"U.S. Commits Another $1 Million to OAS Efforts in Haiti-Colin Powell," OAS Press statement GA-09-03, June 9, 2003.
30"Nouvelle configuration politico-electorate," in Haiti en Marche, XVII (30), 27 Aout, 2003. 31Op. cit. "Yon S61 Dwt," p. 35
321bid, p. 36
33Ibid, p. 35
34For an assessment of lessons learned in the creation of the Haitian National Police force, see, "Building the Haitian National Police: A Retrospective and Prospective View," Janice M. Stromsem and Joseph Trincellito, Trinity College Haiti Program, Haiti Papers, Number 6, April 2003.
of direct, positive and effective engagement might lead to salubrious developments for all. Perhaps it is still not too late, especially with Haiti's bicentennial upon us, for the perpetual U.S.-Haiti love-hate relationship to focus more on the former and less on the latter.
Senator COLEMAN. Gentlemen, thank you very, very much.
Ambassador Dobbins, I didn't get a chance to listen, but I've read your comments. I think you talk about the need for reconciliation in Washington. I was wondering whether you think that's possible, after watching the discussion that we just went through. Can we put aside some of this, kind of, "Where were we yesterday," in order to actually do the things that have to be. done in Haiti? Do you have a sense for whether that's possible?
Ambassador DOBBINS. Well, I think you can answer better than I can the degree to which one can put aside questions about the exact manner in which President Aristide left. I suspect, based on the discussion I heard today, that that's going to be difficult.
But the question is whether you can simultaneously move forward, that issue aside, recognizing it's going to be addressed, and that may be painful, on a program which I think should be broadly acceptable to, you know, a wide selection of the country and the Congress. I didn't hear much disagreement in this panel or in any of the other panels about what we should do from here on. And so I do think it would be worth trying to work out something that had broad bipartisan support and was forward-looking, even as we, you know, continue to look into, and perhaps dispute, the recent history.
Senator COLEMAN. And my sense, by the way, as we look to the future, I think there is broad bipartisan support for those things that have to be done.
I know there was discussion about giving direct aid to the Haitian Government. And my question is, in terms of giving aid, talk to me a little bit about accountability, and also-if we continue to work with the government and continue to work with the NGOsis there a sense that we just have to do both in order to meet the needs that are out there?
Ambassador DOBBINS. Some of my colleagues probably can give you a more precise answer. My feeling is that if you're going to help Haiti build the institutions it needs, you're going to have to accept lower levels of accountability, higher levels of diversion, and less control over how the money is spent than ideally you would like. It doesn't mean that you put all of your money through the Haitian Government. It's a question of proportionality. But our preference for accountability and for avoiding politically controversial outcomes when we provide assistance has, I think, led us to starve the Haitian Government of what it needs to develop the capacity to govern well one day, in order to meet our short-term political needs-I mean, political needs to avoid being criticized for misusing our resources.
Senator COLEMAN. Mr. Heinl.
Mr. HEINL. Yes, I would like to add to that, to just say that, in the short term, the NGOs really are probably the most effective way just to get things going; because the state of paralysis in the Haitian Government is such, for whatever reasons, many of which have been addressed today, that it will not be an effective instru-
meant in the immediate future to take the kinds of steps that we need to take right now to at least stabilize the situation and prevent it from getting any worse.
Senator COLEMAN. Mr. Pezzullo, do you want to respond?
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, I ran a large NGO, and I do think they do marvelous work. But, by and large, NGOs cannot really help a government reorganize itself.
Somebody mentioned, here, a change in basically the climate, the political climate, the culture of Haiti. I think that's key. In my prepared remarks, which I deviated from, you'll find them.
I do think the new Haitian government would be well advised, early on, to open up a new dialogue with the Haitian people and bringing them in, in a real sense. There are all kinds of programs now developed at Inter-American Development Bank, AID-they call them transparency, and so on. But what they do, in effect, if you are diligent in following them, is, you start to bring the various segments of the society into the process of governing--education, training, participation of one sort or another. This does a lot of things for them. First, it builds up a sense of confidence, a sense that they're part of the process. It also eventually brings accountability. One of the great failures of most governments is the lack of accountability. People get into authority, they don't have a process to keep them accountable, and they slip off. Everybody slips off.
So I think that type of program should come right out of the government. And I would urge them, if they're thinking of any initial program, to go to the World Bank or go to the Inter-American Development Bank and do that, and do it quickly.
On the institution-building, this is a long process. It's not a rebuilding of police forces; it's building up the capacity within the society to fill major positions in government. It's just not the minister; it's all the people with him.
In Haiti, they have some real problems with status institutions, which Aristide was urged very strongly to get rid of, to privatize, because they are always the focus of graft. That's the electric company, the port facility, the airport. These were great places for people to make money and to put in cronies. Privatize them. Let them pay taxes. Let the government benefit from that and demand services.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you.
We'll have a further conversation another time-this was all about rule of law, and we didn't touch upon that, but I'm very interested in that, both in Haiti and at some other areas.
But I would turn to my colleague, Senator Dodd.
Senator DODD. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me thank all four of you. And, at least in the case of two you, I've known for some time. And Larry Pezzullo, Larry, it's a pleasure to see you again. We've dealt with each other a lot over the last 20 years. I haven't seen you in a long time. You look wonderful.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Thank you. Same to you.
Senator DODD. Nice to have you back before the committee. And Jim Dobbins is someone I've admired for a long time. He's been a real hand when it comes to the Western Hemisphere, and it's nice to see you back. And I've had a chance to listen to you on a couple of occasions when you've testified on Haiti and other matters.
Let me ask all four of you just one quick question. One of the discussions going on-I mean, I-again, I mean, we're all-I think, all-there's no question that certainly President Aristide contributed, not insignificantly, to the set of problems that we have, and I don't want to keep on dwelling on the point, but I-maybe I'm old-fashioned, but the idea of standing up for democracies, I thought, was something we kind of tried to do, even-and if we start using a standard of failed leadership in countries, and that's going to be a reason we start undermining elected governments, we're going to have a-going to have a lot of work on our hands, as I look around the world.
But one of the things that President Aristide did that I think most people applauded was to disband the army. And the only case I know was the case of-was Pepe Figueras, in Costa Rica, back in the early 1950s, when he successfully led a revolution there and got rid of the military, and they have a national police force and so forth, but, nonetheless, made the case, I thought, successfully, and a case can be made in a lot of other places around the region, that this is much of a rationale for it anymore.
Now, there's talk by this interim government about reconstituting a military in Haiti again. And I wonder if all four of you would make a quick comment on the wisdom-put aside whether or not the interim government is a legitimate government to start making decisions like that, but just the whole idea of bringing a military force back into Haiti, given the history of problems that have been associated with Haitian military in years past. Obviously, I'm editorializing in my questions here how I feel about it, but I'd be interested in your comments on it.
Why don't we begin with you, Mr. Heinl.
Mr. HEINL. I think the debate over the Haitian army is much like the debate over the word "marriage" in this country. Everyone's focusing on
Senator DODD. Don't get me into that.
Mr. HEINL [continuing]. -everyone's focusing on the word "army," and not focusing on what actually an army should or should not be doing for a country the size of Haiti. If President Aristide had had some sort of national force, he'd probably still be in power. But, instead, in 1995, he disbanded the armySenator DODD. I don't disagree. He probably regrets it dearly.
Mr. HEINL. I'm sure. He disbanded it, because the army's role traditionally had been in making coups, and he had been ousted himself, of course, as we all know, in 1991. But whether you call it a national constabulary, an army-or maybe one part of the national police force needs to be truly national, as opposed to local law enforcement personnel-I suspect, in a country of 8 million, that there is need for more than 5,000 keepers of the peace, and that would be how I would view answering your question.
Senator DODD. Jim.
Ambassador DOBBINS. Well, I think I tend to agree. I do think that it would be a mistake to try to reestablish the Haitian army, given its reputation for abuse and the divisive nature of the institution in Haiti. It would send all the wrong signals.
On the other hand, the Clinton administration had to be persuaded to support Aristide's decision to disband the army. It wasn't
a decision the Clinton administration had come to on its own. Its intent was to seek to reform and professionalize the army.
I do think-I have always had reservations about having a single security force in a country like Haiti, or, indeed, any country. I mean, no country that I know of, certainly not the United States, would repose all of its authority and all armed power in a single monopoly force, which always has the possibility of becoming abusive. And, therefore, some division of labor, with a couple of whatever you call them, a constabulary and a local police force, or something, would certainly make sense, just from a, you know, good-governance point of view.
The question is, Can Haiti afford it? That's the real question. Haiti needs a decent police force. It needs law and order. You don't want a bunch of guys with tanks and M-16s providing that. So you've got to give them a decent police force. Then if you've got enough money left over so that you can also give them a constabulary that can do rural policing and border patrol and that sort of thing, go ahead.
Ambassador PEZZULLO. Well, the plan that we were putting before-Aristide agreed to it-was to reduce the size of the military and really get rid of the heavy weapons company, get rid of the infantry company, both of which were silly, and turn it in, basically, to an engineering brigade that can fix roads and take care of public-works types of things, and rescue. Something like that, two or three thousand people, might make sense at some point. But certainly I would think that the interim government would stay away from this issue and tend to its-to try to put together the basis for, first of all, an election, which, I agree, is going to be very troublesome and difficult, and getting very good people in place in government ministries, so you can show that, indeed, you can govern the country.
Dr. MAGUIRE. I think, in part, this whole idea of restoring the army has come about because of the celebratory way that some of these commandos were welcomed into communities, and I think we need to look at that for the answer, as well. Obviously, there's a strong sense of self-preservation among Haitian people. You celebrate the guys coming in with the guns. And especially when they knock down all the prisons and let all the prisoners out, I'm sure the prisoners and their families were glad to celebrate that, as well. As well, of course, when the Haitian army was disbanded, it didn't go anywhere. It stayed there, and people had their guns cached away, and they've brought them back out, and this is maybe why we saw the numbers grow as the number of towns fell.
But I look at this in another way, as well. I look at it in a way that I think Haitians have become very disenchanted with democracy and with their so-called political leaders, of all stripes. For the past five or six years, they've been squabbling, fighting for power, blocking the Congress, abusing power in the palace, and, in a sense, fiddling while Rome's burning. So I think we need to restore the faith in democracy in the Haitian people, and it's not going to happen through an army; it's going to happen by having leaders who have to act responsibly when they are before the Haitian people, not just fight over power.