From Sun Jan 11 07:15:09 2004
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2004 01:15:29 -0600 (CST)
Subject: [HaitiReport] Haiti Report for January 9, 2004
Article: 171614
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Haiti Report for January 9, 2004 Prepared by Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center

Congressional Black Caucus Attacked for its Support of Haiti

Haiti Report, 9 January 2004

Haitians celebrated their bicentennial of independence not with the patriotic groundswell of support that President Aristide had hoped for but with burning tire barricades, stone-throwing and calls that he resign over his widely perceived mis-rule. Despite this, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) officially is not backing away from its longstanding support of Aristide. The [CBC members] have made it clear that they support the sovereign government of Haiti, said a spokeswoman for Rep. John Conyers, dean of the caucus. Tom Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said, I think they’re indulging in the politics of nostalgia for the days when Aristide was an embattled democrat. Embattled democrats are great at some times in history, but they can go sour, and unfortunately Aristide has done that. James Morrell, executive director of the Haiti Democracy Project, attributes it to loyalty, charging that caucus members blindly follow Conyers. Among Haiti’s leading lobbyists in Washington is ex-Representative Ron Dellums, former chairman of the CBC. When you’re in the CBC, the prevailing custom is seniority, and this Haiti issue is seen as Conyers’ bag, said Morrell. And so you follow, you don’t question. This caucus, it’s already weak enough, so if they start questioning it will break up into divisions. Plus there’s been the perception that there will be a political cost to be paid if you’re seen as anti the government of Haiti. (The Hill, 1/7)