[News] Haiti Resolution-Berkeley California City Council-5-20-08

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Mon Jun 2 10:53:47 EDT 2008


Berkeley (California) City Council Resolution – Adopted May 20, 2008

Supporting the People of Haiti

RECOMMENDATION

1) Call on all authorities in Haiti, the United 
Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, the 
United States, Canada and France, as well as 
Brazil, Nepal, and Jordan (those countries who 
have large contingents of troops assigned), to 
work for rapid implementation of the following:
a)     Release of all political prisoners,
b)     Guaranteed freedom of speech and assembly,
c)      The safe return of Human Rights Activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine,
d)     A thorough investigation of all 
allegations of United Nations troop raids in Cité

Soleil and elsewhere regarding perpetration of 
violent attacks, rapes and sexual exploitation, 
and where misconduct has occurred, ensure the 
restoration of the subject villages, homes and 
families, and compensation to innocent victims.

e)  All alleged violators to be brought to 
justice and duly punished if guilty,

f)   Withdrawal of foreign military forces from 
Haiti, and support for democratic processes in governance,

g)  Jean-Bertrand Aristide must be free to return 
to Haiti, in accordance with the Haitian Constitution.

  2) Urge Senator Dianne Feinstein to support S. 
2261 with the Amendment passed in the House that 
adds a Sense of the Congress that, due to the 
current humanitarian and political instability in 
Haiti, including food shortages and political 
turmoil, the Secretary of the Treasury should use 
his influence to expedite the complete and 
immediate cancellation of Haiti's debts to all 
international financial institutions, or if such 
debt cancellation cannot be provided, to urge the 
institutions to immediately suspend the 
requirement that Haiti make further debt service 
payments on debts owed to the institutions.

3) Request Representative Barbara Lee [CA-9] to 
introduce legislation to establish an Independent 
Commission on the 2004 Coup d’Etat in the 
Republic of Haiti, and request Senators Barbara 
Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to introduce similar legislation in the Senate.

4) Express our city’s solidarity with the people 
of Haiti to achieve much needed peace and 
improved living and working conditions and extend 
a standing invitation to President Aristide to 
once again visit the City of Berkeley.

5) Direct the City Manager to send copies of this 
Resolution to the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, 
United States Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza 
Rice, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne 
Feinstein, Representative Barbara Lee, President 
René Préval of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and 
the Ambassadors of Canada, France and Brazil.

BACKGROUND

The  2004 Haiti Coup d’Etat resulted in the 
premature end of President Jean-Bertrand 
Aristide’s second term, and the installation of 
an interim government led by Prime Minister 
Gérard Latortue and President Boniface Alexandre.

Many of the supporters of the Fanmi Lavalas party 
and Aristide, as well as progressive
and independent observers worldwide, denounced 
the rebellion as a foreign controlled
coup d’état orchestrated by Canada, France, and the United States to remove a
democratically elected President.

The people of Haiti have suffered tremendously as 
a result of violence, high unemployment, 
widespread hunger and natural disasters since the 
2004 coup. They need real support from the 
international community to provide jobs for 
sustainable development under Haitian control. 
Debt cancellation is essential to this process.

Cancellation of Haiti’s debts will enable Haiti 
to improve health care, education and other 
essential government services; invest in critical 
infrastructure; and improve the lives of the Haitian people.

Attachment 1: “U.N. Troops Accused of Human 
Rights Violations in Haiti,” Maria Luisa 
Mendonca, Americas Program, Center for International Policy, January 29, 2008.

Resolution adopted by the Berkeley, California 
City Council, May 20, 2008 by unanimous vote.



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