U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee: Letter to George Bush
(signed by nine Congressional Black Caucus members)
February 20, 2004
President GEORGE BUSH,
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:
Thank you for your Administration's new initiative to resolve the current political crisis in Haiti. The Congressional Black Caucus agrees that we cannot allow ``thugs'' and ``murderers'' to overthrow the democratically-elected government of President Jean Betrand Aristide, as Secretary Powell stated on February 17, 2004. Additionally, we are pleased that the United States, France, Canada, CARICOM, and the OAS will meet with the Government of Haiti to discuss how we can work together to secure the country, stop the escalating violence, restore the rule of law, and take steps forward to implement the CARICOM proposal.
There must be an immediate cease-fire, and as these talks move forward, we hope that the United States insists that all parties lay down their arms and stop the violence. Haitians are dying every day, and the United States must do its part to guarantee a cease-fire, uphold democracy, and promote stability in a sovereign nation in our own hemisphere. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus agree that these emergency talks will be critical to ending the current violence.
We respectfully encourage you to invite experienced, independent observers to travel to Haiti to monitor and observe the meeting. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. We look forward to working with you to help resolve this crisis.