From Tue Oct 29 00:06:40 2002
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 14:03:04 -0600 (CST)
From: Bob Corbett <>
To: Haiti mailing list <>
Subject: 13457: Aristide: There will be no nationalizaton of accounts in American dollars (fwd)


Important declaration from the President of the Republic concerning bank accounts in American currency

By President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, 28 October 2002

National Palace, Monday October 28, 2002—President Jean-Bertrand Aristide reassured all Haitian and foreign depositors that their cash holdings in foreign currency deposited in commercial banks in Haiti will not be converted into gourdes and that there never was such a plan from the Government, contrary to a persistent rumor that has been going through Port-au-Prince since last week. This declaration was made after a meeting held this morning in the National Palace with economic and financial authorities of the country and members of the Professional Banking Association (APB), representing financial institutions of the country.

The Bureau of Communications of the Presidency publishes the complete text of this declaration for everyone’s edification:


I have the pleasure to make the following declaration:

So that no one can pretend to ignore it, the President of the Republic declares without any ambiguity:

  1. That there never was any question, there is no question and there won’t be any question of nationalizing cash holdings in foreign currency held in banks of the country.
  2. That there never was any question, there is no question and there won’t be any question of converting American dollars.
  3. That the Government never had any intention of substituting itself for the market.

The panic going through the market should withdraw so that peace can return, so that trust can increase. Because it is in all of of interest to direct the market towards economic growth.

I will take this occasion to tell our Haitian compatriots living on foreign lands: PUT YOUR MINDS TO REST. Economic actors and monetary authorities will all work for your well-being. Don’t let panic sweep through you, but on the opposite, let serenity guide you.

Your accounts in the banks here in Haiti are safe. We will take all necessary measures to protect them.

For the moment, put your minds to rest. The Government never thought, isn’t thinking and will not think of nationalizing your dollars put in bank accounts here in Haiti.

There soon will be one or more meetings between the APB and monetary authorities. Together they can see what technical measures can be taken to increase this trust, to promote growth.

For the moment, about the rumors, we want to say it and repeat it simply and clearly: there was no such thing, there is no such thing and there will not be such a thing.

Leave your American dollars in the banks. Put more money in if necessary. But don’t think of taking it out because the Government, while respecting your right to leave your money there or to take it out when you want to and if you want to, encourages you, respectfully, not to give in to panic. It will be good for everyone, it will be good for the country.

Just the same, we want to let the international community, especially international financial institutions, know about our commitments. We, Haitian Government, have made commitments towards the banks, economic actors, our population. We are trustworthy people, we will respect our commitments.

And we take the occasion to inform international financial institutions about what we freely decided:

We decided to keep the straight line: the one that will not go through nationalization of accounts in American dollars, or through conversion of these dollars. We guarantee the free circulation of dollars as well as gourdes. Since the market is free, we respect the rules of the game.

In this context of irrationality, we favor objective information, meeting, dialogue and mutual respect. Therefore, we invite all sectors involved to show responsibility in the name of the nation’s greater interests.

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide