Rep. Barbara Lee Calls for Truth and Action for Haiti On Anniversary of Ouster of Aristide
February 29, 2005
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Rep. Barbara Lee Calls for Truth and Action for Haiti
On Anniversary of Ouster of Aristide

Press Release from Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Ninth Congressional District of California
U.S. House of Representatives


For Immediate Release Contact: Nathan Britton 3/1/05 (202) 225-2661

(Washington, DC) - Representative Barbara Lee issued the following statement on the anniversary of the violent ouster of Haiti's democratically elected President, Jean Bertrand Aristide:

"Today marks the one-year anniversary of Haiti's 33rd coup d'etat. The internationally orchestrated ouster of President Jean Bertrand Aristide last year sent Haiti into a political, social and economic downward spiral and cast a dark shadow of doubt on our nation's commitment to the principle of democracy.

"As we reflect on this tragic anniversary, it is high time that we remove all doubt as to our commitment to democracy and demonstrate our commitment to a healthy, democratic Haiti.

"We would oppose the overthrow of our own government, and there must be no doubt that we would oppose the overthrow of other democratically elected governments. Yet today, grave doubts remain about the role the Bush administration played in the removal of President Aristide. This is a fundamental issue of democracy, and the American people deserve to know the TRUTH about just what happened.

"That is why I have reintroduced the The Responsibility To Uncover The Truth about Haiti (TRUTH) Act. The Truth Act will create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the unanswered questions about the Bush administration's role in this violation of democracy.

"Our nation has a responsibility not only to help restore democracy, but to help Haiti to rebuild, starting with the basic building blocks of public health.

"Today in Haiti less than 45 percent of Haitians have access to safe water and access to sanitation. Haiti accounts for 90 percent of AIDS cases in the Caribbean. A healthy nation cannot grow under such conditions, and that is why I have reintroduced the New Partnership for Haiti Act of 2005, a comprehensive plan where Haitians and Americans work together to address these issues and rebuild the nation's health infrastructure.

"A year after this crime against democracy, the situation in Haiti is deplorable. The unconstitutional government has allowed the political violence of armed gangs and thugs to grow, while schools and hospitals close. We have a responsibility to ensure that Haiti disarms these thugs and stops the political violence, that political prisoners are freed, and that truly democratic elections set Haiti back on the course to democracy. We must know the TRUTH about the full degree our nation's involvement in creating this situation, and we must set about making it right."

Nathan Britton
Communications Director
Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee
1724 Longworth House Office Bldg.
ph 202 225-2661 fax 202 225-9817

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