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Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 22:59:25 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bob Corbett <bcorbett@crl.com>
Subject: (fwd) HTI: This Week in Haiti 13:30 10/18/95 (1)
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.951021225821.15197B-100000@crl10.crl.com>

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Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 18:35:12 -0700
From: Bob Corbett <bcorbett@crl10.crl.com>
To: bcorbett@crl.com
Newgroups: hrnet.americas
Subject: (fwd) HTI: This Week in Haiti 13:30 10/18/95

Newsgroups: hrnet.americas
Message-ID: <5wGGze9wNMB@oln-f06.oln.comlink.apc.org>
From: DEBRA@OLN.comlink.apc.org (Debra Guzman)
Organization: Human Rights Network - HRNet
Subject: HTI: This Week in Haiti 13:30 10/18/95
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 17:09:00 +0100
Reply-To: DEBRA@OLN.comlink.apc.org (Debra Guzman)

## author : haiticom@blythe.org
## date : 18.10.95

Gore Wields neo-liberal hammer

Haiti Progress, This Week in Haiti,
Vol. 13, no. 30, 18-14 October 1995

Nineteen years. That was the length of the first US occupation of Haiti. Never again, we were told. The 1994 version was going to be quick and painless, a necessary expedient to restore democracy. Yes, yes, quick and painless, the exit strategy was already mapped out. Yes, yes, one billion dollars in aid, the international community was rallying around Haiti. Yes, yes, stop the flow of refugees, peace and justice for all.

Yankee go home! came the cry from Cite Soleil this week. UN go home! said hundreds of demonstrators as they stoned an official US motorcade. What? How could this be? One year after the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, isn't everything running smoothly, even spectacularly? Not really. The promises are unraveling and fast. No end to the misery, no aid, no foreign investment, no justice, no democracy, and, yes, the refugees keep leaving and, yes, the troops will be staying. All of these facts became clear this week, even for those liberals and progressives who have shut their eyes to the reality of Haiti this past year.

The catalyst was the celebration of the one year anniversary of President Aristide's return last Oct. 15 on the shoulders of the US imperial army. US Vice President Al Gore and UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali, the hard cop and soft cop, came to Port-au-Prince this weekend for the occasion. Boutros Ghali observed the observers, showed support for his new colonial administrators, urged national reconciliation, and talked about keeping UN forces in Haiti after their mandate runs out in February.

Gore read the riot act to Aristide on adhering to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). I was greatly encouraged by President Aristide's commitment to continue on the economic reform program put forward by the government in Paris last year, Gore said wryly after meeting with Aristide at the National Palace Oct. 15. If his public comments stopped right there, few would have raised eyebrows. But Gore went beyond diplomatic niceties, and forcefully insisted that Aristide implement the SAP, leave office in February, and retain Prime Minister Smarck Michel. We discussed the need for continuing international assistance to meet the developmental requirements of Haiti and the steps the government of Haiti and its people need to take in order to ensure the continued flow of these funds, Gore smoothly threatened.

Of course, a governor like Smarck Michel would see such an aid cut-off as catastrophic (even though there has been no real aid turn-on) since his approach to running the Haitian economy was predicated on foreign assistance. He designed a budget for the next fiscal year that relies on external sources for 40% of its financing, about $100 million. But the aid of course has strings attached. There was ambiguity and unresponsiveness from Aristide as the IMF and World Bank insisted that adjustment - and above all privatization - stay on schedule. Thus, Michel made known his intent to resign just before the Oct. 15 ceremonies and the arrival of Gore.

Gore made it abundantly clear that the United States wanted Smarck Michel to stay on as prime minister, despite the overwhelming popular hostility to his policies. Prime Minister Michel has been a leader and an inspiration in Haiti over the past 12 months as President Aristide's point man on economic reform, and budgetary process and negotiations with international financial institutions, Gore said in a joint press conference with Aristide on Oct. 15. We have enormous respect for him and naturally we would greatly regret his departure.

Gore also reiterated the very same warnings that Michel had made in recent weeks when defending his economic reform package. The support of the international financial institutions for economic reform and progress in countries around the world has always been conditioned on measures to ensure that the money is able to be put to good use and is not simply wasted, Gore said. He especially singled out privatization, one of the three major points of the Aug. 1994 Paris Plan, which also demands that the Haitian government open up its internal market and sack thousands of state workers. Privatization, we know from experience from all over the world, is an important part of the reform process and continued progress on reform is always essential to get the continued support from these international financial institutions, Gore said. It is critical that the reform process continue because we know from experience in many other parts of the world when reform is put into place the lives of the people improve. Yes, the lives of rich people improve. The lives of the poor worsen drastically.

In fact, Gore was well aware that the entire US prescription for Haiti, both political and economic, is a hard pill to swallow. Reconciliation, rebuilding and healing and privatization can be painful, Gore said as he passed through the impoverished southern town of Cap Rouge at the end of his 10-hour stay in Haiti. But we have no doubt you will overcome all obstacles. His message to the Haitian people: we know what's best for you, and you will have to do what we say, like it or not.

Despite Gore-encouraged speculation that Michel might stay on as prime minister, the resignation was effective Monday. That was the very day that the Haitian government was supposed to open bids on the state-owned cement plant and flour mill.