2004-02-13 / Community

Meeks To Powell: Do Something About Haiti

Meeks To Powell: Do Something About Haiti

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks has called on Secretary of State Colin Powell to back CARICOM’s plan to end the political impasse that has lead to violence in Haiti.

A few weeks ago the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) put forth a proposal that would lead to a democratic and peaceful end to the political situation that has turned violent in Haiti.A0 The U.S. has yet to publicly back this proposal.

"People are dying in Haiti.A0 Our government must do something now," said the Congressman.A0 Pow ell is scheduled to speak before the House International Relations Com mittee this week to justify the President’s international programs and budget.A0 Meeks has requested that Powell issue a statement backing the CARICOM proposal.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As you testify at the House In-
ter national Relations Committee Hear ing this week, I urge you to publicly support the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) proposal to end the political impasse that has lead to violence in Haiti.A0I also en courage you to lead our government in taking a more active role in mediating a solution in Haiti.

It is my understanding that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has put forth a proposal that would lead to a democratic and peaceful end to the political situation that has resulted in the current crisis in Haiti, but that despite other efforts you have engaged in to assist Haiti, neither you, nor other senior officials from our government have yet to issue a statement publicly supporting this proposal.

To my knowledge the CARICOM proposal is similar to the OAS Resolution that our government previously supported, and calls for a democratic and peaceful solution to the current conflict in Haiti.A0For instance, the proposal calls for the Haitian government and opposition to take concrete steps to reduce tensions and to negotiate a nonviolent and democratic resolution to the crisis.

With news reports this weekend of violence spreading to as many as 9 towns, and as many as 40 people be ing killed, something must be done to prevent further deaths!A0 Publicly supporting the CARICOM proposal at the upcoming House Inter nat ion al Relations Committee Hearing is the first step in reiterating U.S. support for a peaceful solution in Haiti.A0However, most importantly, the US must make it clear to all sides, that given the developing humanitarian crisis and the very real threat of more bloodshed, it is time for political leaders on all sides to put the Haitian people’s needs ahead of their own desires.A0Thus, the opposition must be encouraged to re-consider the CARICOM plan and the Haitian government must be held accountable in implementing it.

I look forward to your remarks at the House International Relations Committee Hearing.


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