Originally: Open Letter to Congressional Black Caucus
Open Letter to the Congressional Black Caucus
Dumas M. Siméus
October 29, 2004
As a Haitian-American, a former president of TLC Beatrice Foods (a $2 billion multinational corporation), and now the owner of the largest African American food processing business in the United States, I am truly grateful for the opportunities the U.S. has afforded me. I am also grateful to the U.S. for the support it has offered to Haiti thus far. However, given the latest alarming developments, the U.S. needs to demonstrate a stronger show of support for the interim government in order to protect this young, developing democracy and prepare for peaceful and transparent elections in 2005.
Along with many others in Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora, I supported Jean-Bertrand Aristide during his presidency. To see his presidency end as it did on February 29, 2004 was discouraging and troubling. Aristide?s time has passed and the country must move on. Now is the time for all parties to reconcile for the good of Haiti.
While Haiti was reeling from the blow dealt by Hurricane Jeanne, violent demonstrations broke out in recent weeks. Some thugs have even used copycat tactics termed “Operation Baghdad” in which the heads of at least seven Haitian policemen have been severed. The country cannot move forward with this type of hoodlum pulling the world?s attention backward to thoughts of the past and violence.
I urge you, the Congressional Black Caucus, to help Haiti and enact these initiatives:
- Demonstrate your support for the interim government with a public statement and a Congressional Black Caucus delegation visit with the Prime Minister to help fund solutions to the current situation. I would be happy to join you on this diplomatic mission.
- Pass the Haitian Economic Recovery Opportunity Act (HR 4889) exactly as passed by the Senate (S2261). This legislation could be the springboard for the creation of up to 100,000 direct jobs in Haiti, and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs.
The Congressional Black Caucus can play a visible, pro-active leadership role in helping Haiti move forward and become self-sufficient economically rather than being constantly dependent on the international community for humanitarian aid. I, along with many in the Haitian Diaspora, would be grateful for your support and speed of action.
Sincerely, Dumas M. Siméus
Chairman & Founder, Siméus Foods International, Inc.
812 South 5th Avenue
Mansfield, Texas 76063
Phone: (817) 473-1562
Fax: (817) 473-0591