We, the National Conference of Haitian Protestant Bishops, are a large group of church leaders and reflect the feelings of the majority of registered voters and believers throughout the land. After several great meetings in which we noted the deplorable living condition of the Haitian people, we have proposed the following resolution to get Haiti out of the May 21 and November 26, 2000 electoral and political crises.
a) It has been two long years of numerous, endless, unsuccessful rounds of negotiation. We are outraged to see the condition of children as well as adults dying of hunger and lack of medical care. In the hospitals, decomposed bodies are found with scales and worms among other patients waiting for care, thus spreading a foul odor throughout the population. Each week, several dead bodies are found lying in the streets or by garbage piles. Dogs and pigs are seen by eyewitnesses eating these unidentified remains, as was the case for the young pastor named Rubens Exact on May 13?16, 2002. Voices of school children, church members and people from all walks of life and religious background are shouting loud and clear that these living conditions are inhuman, totally unbearable, and unacceptable by any conscientious and moral leaders.
b) We are thankful to the OAS for the efforts put forward to solve this crisis through numerous negotiations for a political accord. Unfortunately, all of us in the national and international communities must face today the harsh reality and honestly admit that OAS and the Haitian leaders have failed in their mission. The following are, in our humble opinion, the cause of the failure:
1. The OAS has shown a lack of moral strength and consistency by not being able to apply Resolution 806 which required the Aristide government to bring to justice all the criminals who perpetrated the violent crimes of December 17, 2001 and to make amends to all victimized political leaders who had their homes and vehicles totally destroyed by fire, and to the family of murdered Ramy Daran whose body was burned alive. Simultaneously, the OAS worked at putting great pressure on the opposition, forcing them to return to the negotiating table in violation of the principles of Resolution 806.
2. The OAS failed to remain impartial as a neutral mediator. Several strong and clear recommendations emanated from them in support of Mr. Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas in their proposals to the opposition to recognize and legitimate Aristide’s presidency and regime along with many other demands in his favor. Therefore, in our view, this is upholding the electoral fraud and governmental corruption, which is a great offense to all moral and religious sectors in our nation.
3- The OAS has not taken seriously the statements of several U.S. officials and ex-Haiti chiefs of police who have been crying out loud implicating Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide in cocaine trafficking. Reference:
a) letter of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Narcotics and Terrorism, 01-17-00.
b) letter of US Congressmen Benjamin Gilman, Jesse Helms, and Porter Goss, 12-08-00
c) letter of Mr. Mario Andrésol, Wall Street Journal, 06-12-02
We believe that the OAS has the moral and humanitarian responsibility and authority to ask Mr. Aristide to clarify this situation and clear his name, if he is not guilty, and should do this before it proposes to the Convergence Démocratique and the Haitian people recognition of him as president of Haiti. This is to avoid any question to the moral credibility of the OAS in being seen as a supporter of a drug trafficker in the Western Hemisphere.
Due to these circumstances and many others, CONEPH (National Conference of Haitian Bishops), on behalf of the religious sector, the silent majority and the whole nation, strongly recommends the following:
1. Cessation once and for all of this negotiation game and unfruitful runaround talks tending to extend the sufferings of the Haitian people into a third consecutive year of more useless time devoted to this crisis. Return the case to the United Nations as was done in 1993 when the OAS also failed to resolve the Haitian crisis during the military regime.
2. Resignation of both presidents, M. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, president of Fanmi Lavalas, and Professor Gérard Gourgue, president of La Convergence Démocratique.
3. Establishment of a Transitional Government of Public Safety and National Reconciliation to restore a state of law and order and stability in the country, provide national amnesty to facilitate a peaceful climate in order to organize free, honest and democratic general elections within a reasonable time frame.
4- It will not be acceptable for the Lavalas Family to organize the next general elections if we want to have the confidence and massive participation of the Haitian population. Not only is Fanmi Lavalas deeply implicated in the present crisis, but all elections organized by it since 1995 and 1997 to May 2000, July 2000, and November 2000 have been fraudulent and created crisis. Only an independent transitional government with international observers will win the confidence of the voters.
Mr. Ambassador, we request your help and support for a new alternative for the Haitian people. We cordially welcome the OAS to the side of the suffering and moral people, as against the side of the narco-terrorist regime of Mr. Aristide. If we can’t get any help and support from the OAS, we will have to publicize this injustice in the international press, and let our religious affiliations and civil populations around the world know how their governments through the OAS support a bad, narco-criminal regime in Haiti, so they can make the proper decisions in choosing their leaders at the next elections in their own countries.
Thank you so much for your attention.
Bishop Joel W. Jeune
Secretary General, spokesperson of CONEPH (Conférence Nationale des Evêques Protestants Haitiens;
National Conference of Haitian Protestant Bishops)