Saturday, February 28, 2004

Hti: Speaking truth to Congressional Black Caucus power

Black lawmakers are calling on President George W. Bush to send 250 to 400 troops as part of an international force to "restore the rule of law" in Haiti and protect the fragile democracy there.

"We want to see the government stabilized in Haiti," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, in a telephone interview yesterday.

"It's not an issue for us whether [Haitian President Jean-Bertrand] Aristide is doing a good job or not. The issue is that we have a democratic government there ... We have a country in turmoil. Just our presence sends a powerful message," Cummings said.
Some Haitians in the United States say they resent the actions of the Congressional Black Caucus.

"They have been blinded by Aristide," said Clotilde Charlot, a board member of the Haiti Democracy Project in Washington, which maintains Aristide has become dictatorial in recent years. In 1994 the United States sent 20,000 troops to restore Aristide to power, following his ouster three years before in a coup.

The caucus "supported him in the 1990s, and in so doing they were in sync with the Haitian people's democratic aspirations, but when Aristide started turning back they did not withdraw their support."

Charlot said she believes some of the black lawmakers know Aristide is not the beloved democratic leader he once was, "but they don't want to admit they were wrong."
I wonder if this has anything to do with the CBC's fondness for dictators? Some on the CBC, like Maxine Waters, for instance, never met a dictator they didn't like. If Castro is a favorite, why shouldn't also Aristide be, mongoose gangs and all?


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