Haiti: Join Congresswoman Maxine Waters in calling for an investigation to John Bolton's role in illegal arms shipments
May 02, 2005
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photo: ©2005 Haiti Information Project - This peaceful marcher who was protesting the USA destruction of the Haitian economy — by flooding the markets with cheap USA-subsidized rice — was shot in plain view of armed UN forces who did nothing to prevent this assassination of pro-democracy activists and Lavalas by the Haitian National Police (PNH).

Haiti: Join Congresswoman Maxine Waters in calling for an investigation to John Bolton's role in illegal arms shipments

Contact Senators Boxer and Dodd

Congresswoman Waters urges Democratic Senators to investigate JOHN BOLTON'S role in improper arms shipments to Haiti

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35) wrote to each of the Democratic Senators on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations considering John Bolton's nomination to be Ambassador to the United Nations. Her letter urges the Senators to investigate reports that the State Department shipped weapons to Haiti last August, in violation of a 13-year-old arms embargo on Haiti and despite evidence of serious human rights abuses by the interim government of Haiti.

The text of the Congresswoman's letter follows:

I thank you for your leadership on John Bolton's confirmation hearings. You indeed have exposed information about John Bolton's qualifications and actions that the Senate should take very seriously before deciding whether to confirm John Bolton's nomination for United States Ambassador to the United Nations. I am writing to share with you additional information that you may find useful in determining whether John Bolton makes unilateral decisions and creates his own policies on important issues such as arms exports and foreign military assistance.

Last August, the State Department reportedly transported 2,657 weapons to Haiti to train and equip the Haitian National Police, in violation of a 13-year-old arms embargo on Haiti. These weapons included several M-14 rifles and sub-machine guns, as well as over 2000 revolvers and hundreds of pistols. The weapons shipment is described in the enclosed "Department of State Press Guidance on US Weapons Donated to the Government of Haiti." The decision to allow these weapons to be shipped to Haiti was made while John Bolton was serving in his current post as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. The State Department reportedly is considering the approval of a proposed commercial sale of an additional $1.7 million in weapons to Haiti, which would also violate the arms embargo. This proposal is described in the enclosed "Department of State Transmittal No. DDTC 010-05 Certification of Proposed Issuance of an Export License."

The arms embargo on Haiti was enforced throughout the administration of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the democratically-elected President of Haiti. Because of the arms embargo, the democratically-elected government of Haiti could not purchase weapons from the United States to train and equip the Haitian police to carry out their law enforcement responsibilities. One can only wonder why the democratically-elected President of Haiti was denied the ability to purchase weapons for Haiti's security, but the unelected interim government of Haiti has been able to acquire weapons from the State Department for free.

As you know, President Aristide was overthrown in a coup d'etat on February 29 of last year. Since the coup d'etat, violence and insecurity have escalated throughout Haiti. Former soldiers from the brutal Haitian army, which was disbanded ten years ago, now roam Haiti freely. The interim government of Haiti has been unable or unwilling to enforce the rule of law or disarm the former soldiers. Furthermore, according to human rights organizations, the interim government is carrying out summary executions, which contribute to the violence. Under these circumstances, it is highly likely that the weapons shipped to Haiti by the United States last August were used in the commission of human rights abuses.

It has been alleged that the violence and repression in Haiti are being orchestrated by the interim government of Haiti to ensure that Lavalas, President Aristide's political party, will not be able to campaign effectively should there be elections in Haiti later this year. I am deeply concerned that shipments of additional weapons to Haiti, including the proposed commercial sale of weapons under consideration at the State Department, will be used to carry out additional human rights abuses and acts of violence.

I am hopeful that you and your colleagues on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will investigate the reported arms shipments to Haiti and determine why John Bolton allowed the State Department to ship weapons to the illegitimate interim government of Haiti in violation of the arms embargo and despite evidence of serious human rights abuses.

I would appreciate it if you keep me informed of the results of any investigation regarding the reported arms shipments and the role John Bolton played in their approval and facilitation. Please call me if you have any questions or if you would like to discuss this or any other issue involved in U.S. policy toward Haiti.

Maxine Waters
April 29, 2005

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Contact Info for Senators Boxer and Dodd

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

Send an eMail message to Barbara Boxer http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm

In the box for: "What is the topic of your message?"

Select: Nomination of John Bolton as UN Ambassador

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)

Send an eMail message to Chris Dodd http://dodd.senate.gov/webmail/form-opinion.html

In the box for: "Please select the topic which best describes your message:"

Select: Foreign Affairs

See Also:

Flashpoints: Does Haiti need more arms? The United States government is secretly and illegally arming the U.S. installed coup government of Haiti. Over the last few weeks more details have surfaced in terms of the extent of the illegal arms flow Apr 11

Aristide's Lavalas puts UN duplicity to the test in Haiti (HIP) - Evidence continues to mount of the United Nation's complicity in an on-going campaign by the US-installed government of Gerard Latortue to terrorize and exterminate sympathizers of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's political party known as Lavalas. Mar 3

Arms Shipments to Haiti under the tenure of John Bolton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters demands a Senate investigation Washington, D.C. - Today Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35) released a statement denouncing last year's shipment of thousands of weapons to Haiti by the U.S. Government, in violation of a 13-year-old arms embargo on Haiti, and demanding that the United States investigate why John Bolton allowed these weapons sales to occur while serving as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. Apr 27

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