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CARICOM urged not to recognise new Haitian Gov't
March 27, 2004


Aristide

BASSETTERE, St. Kitts, CMC:

CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM) leaders have been urged not to recognise or support the new interim Government in Haiti.

The chairperson of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership (HLL), Marguerite Laurent, also wants regional leaders meeting here for their 15th inter-sessional meeting, to call for the 'unequivocal' reinstatement of the deposed Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his Government.

"I am here to ask CARICOM to support the reinstatement of President Aristide, the only elected and legitimate Government of the Haitian people," she told reporters yesterday.

The HLL is a non-governmental organisation established in 1994 to promote the civil, cultural and human rights of the Haitian Diaspora.

"I want to thank CARICOM for providing the Haitian people with the only light that it has at its darkest moment right now for Haitian development and democracy. We asked that CARICOM continues to stand fast for Haitian democracy and not recognise the illegal Government put in power by the Europeans and the Americans," Laurent said.

Laurent said CARICOM should also push for an investigation into the February 29 removal of the President as well as for a neutral peacekeeping force.

"Right now there is dictatorship in Haiti and we are talking about the lives and dreams of nine million black people to live with justice and to have those who have money pay taxes into the Government and to not kill without impunity. To have the one person-one vote principle respected," she said.

FORMAL POSITION PAPER

Laurent said she would be presenting a formal position paper to CARICOM leaders who have been meeting in caucus most of Thursday night and Friday discussing the political crisis in Haiti.

She said that the cycle of debt, dependency and foreign domination were some of the main issues preventing Haiti from achieving democracy.

However, Laurent believes that "given the circumstances, Aristide has done a good job in office. In the entire history of Haiti, President Aristide and the Lavalas party has built more schools in the 10 years that he has been President than ever in the 200 years of our existence. When President Aristide came in there were about 30 schools, today there are 120 schools," she said.

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