From Fri Feb 7 18:00:06 2003
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 09:40:50 -0600 (CST)
From: Bob Corbett <>
To: Haiti mailing list <>
Subject: 14718: Blanchet: Fw: Haiti's govt spokesman writes US spokesperson in Haiti re: Sanctions (AHP) (fwd)

The Office of the Director of Communication of the Ministry of Culture writes to Ms. Trunzo on the question of economic sanctions

AHP, 4 February 2003, 3:30 PM

Port-au-Prince, February 4, 2003 (AHP)—The Office of the Director of Communication of the Minister of Culture and Communication sent an open letter Monday to Ms. Judith Trunzo, Public Affairs Officer of the American Embassy, following her note published January 29, 2003, in the Haitian daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste relating to the question of sanctions imposed against Haiti.

According to the Ministry's communications office, Mme Trunzo has tried to convince people that the Haitian government has no grounds to protest the attitude of the international community toward the Haitian people.

The Communications Directorate believes that Ms. Trunzo is apparently perplexed by the fact that, from her country's cultural perspective, charity has the same value as cooperation.

The letter written by the communications office denounced the fact that the country has been deprived of $500 million due to the enormous pressure exerted by the United States on international financial institutions that had signed loan agreements with Haiti.

According to officials from the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been violating its own statutes by going along with the urging of the U.S. government, now that the excuse has been eliminated that the IDB was waiting for the Haitian Parliament to ratify these loan agreements.

The Ministry of Culture and Communication recalls that the $56 million in aid to which Ms. Trunzo was referring in the Nouvelliste article have not been destined for Haiti because the donor institutions have decided entirely on their own how much of these funds are to be allocated to specific projects, as well as where the funds end up and the choice of direct or indirect beneficiaries of the projects set up by USAID.

The communications office reproaches USAID for serving as a cover for a planned policy of strangulation... or of utilizing these funds, in large part, to support associations and organizations which, strangely, happen to be, almost all, part of the political opposition.

Commenting that it would be interesting if USAID were to publish, in full transparency, the list of direct beneficiaries of its generosity, the Office of Communication of the Ministry of Culture indicates that one would find out in a hurry that there exists a strong correlation between this list and that of the associations which comprise the Group of 184 associations purporting to be from civil society that has surfaced recently claiming to be an authorized representative of the Haitian nation.

The office of Communications asks whether this coincidence is a new strategy for interference, a thinly-disguised support for political groups which are still refusing to admit their true intentions and a financial resource for politicians who can thus afford to dedicate most of their time to drafting resolutions and organizing press conferences.

According to the open letter, the Haitian people will now understand better the reasons for the repeated failure the OAS in its efforts to resolve the crisis, thanks to the revelation of the partisan and political involvement of those who have been presenting themselves as facilitators.

The letter goes on to say that the government will simply content itself with pointing out that these $56 million spent during the last fiscal year constitutes a major decrease in programs carried out by USAID under the dictatorial regimes of Jean-Claude Duvalier and his cohorts.

Will the American Administration have an increasingly difficult time accepting the disastrous consequences upon the environment, health, education, and nutrition for the most needy sectors arising from its policy of sanctions and ostracism the Ministry of Culture's Directorate of Communication wonders, asking whom they are trying to convince that democracy is under greater threat in Haiti than anywhere else.