Petition to Congress on the Plight of Haiti in Light of Destabilization

Drafted by:
Ecumenical Program on Central America & the Caribbean (EPICA)
Global Justice, Inc.
Foreign Policy in Focus/IPS
TransAfrica Forum

sign petition:

We, organizations and members of the international community, denounce the flagrant violation of international sovereignty laws by the United States government through its involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Haiti. The United States has entered Haiti without invitation of the Haitian government or its duly-elected president.

The Bush administration has overstepped its constitutional and moral authority. By no law of the United States is there any sanction given for the overthrow of a duly-elected government. Indeed, there are extensive laws that explicitly forbid it. This reckless usurpation of power further isolates the United States in the global community of nations and more closely resembles the activities of a rogue state.

We condemn the manner in which the Bush administration created the conditions for regime change in Haiti by obstructing the deployment of international assistance that had been specifically requested by President Aristide to halt the military opposition. What happened in Haiti may not be unprecedented, but remains a clear violation of international and federal laws, as well as being unethical and immoral.

The choices made by the Bush administration are causing irreparable harm to the Haitian people and further advance the notion that regime change should be the modus operandi in the relations between the United States and other countries with whom it disagrees.

We, as organizations that work for global justice, are not writing solely out of concern regarding the treatment of the administration of President Aristide of Haiti but also for the precedent it sets in light of the allegations of a direct U.S. role in the removal of an elected leader from office.

The problems caused by recent behavior by this administration, including the allegations here noted of forced removal of a president, sending of troops without specific authorization of Congress, and being actively complicit in the decay of a nation and the degradation of its people, causes us to respectfully urge Congress convoke a Commission with wide-ranging authority to examine U.S. government activities as they relate to Haiti in these five areas:

1. Removal of the duly-elected president of Haiti
2. Obstruction of economic aid to Haiti--whether directly or indirectly--during President Aristideís term of office
3. Using convicted criminals and thugs to attain the overthrow
of the Haitian government 4. Using disinformation to foment discontent in Haiti
5. Permitting convicted criminals and terrorists to operate
freely in the United States

Therefore, we, the signatories of this letter demand:
• A condemnation of the coup and a return of Haiti to constitutional democracy.

• That Congress investigates the role of the United States government, including the military and various intelligence agencies, in the destabilization campaign against Haitiís democracy and their role in the overthrow of President Aristide.

• Cessation of any and all U.S. overt and covert support for continuing repression in Haiti. Arrest of the criminals and death squad leaders and no reconstitution of the Haitian army. An immediate disarming of the so-called military opposition and the immediate detaining of known Haitian convicted criminals and terrorists operating on U.S. soil.

• Grant refugee status to Haitians fleeing the current situation; suspend Haitian deportations indefinitely; grant temporary protective status to Haitian nationals currently residing in the United States, given the serious political crisis in Haiti.

• Immediate resumption of humanitarian and economic assistance and emergency aid to the people of Haiti.

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