Forty-five members of Congress are urging Secretary of State Clinton to support free, fair and inclusive elections in Haiti this November 28, as reported by the NYT and TheHill.com. The U.S. agreed to fund the Haitian elections despite the fact that 14 political parties are arbitrarily banned, and many internally displaced Haitians haven't been given the necessary identification to vote. As things currently stand, our petition's first recommendation is critical: "Withhold financial support for [the] elections."
Furthermore, 120 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who have recently served in Haiti's neighboring country, the Dominican Republic, sent Secretary Clinton a petition asking that the U.S. make its funding contingent on the full participation of all political parties and an active engagement to ensure that voters among the 1.5 million internally displaced Haitians are not disenfranchised. This proposal was also signed by the National Peace Corps Association President Kevin Quigley and the founding president of RPCV-comprised NGO "Friends of the Dominican Republic," Neil Ross.
In September, over 20 organizations in the U.S. and Haiti signed this petition. These include Action Aid USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, the National Lawyers Guild, and the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church.
We need you to send the letter below to your local Representative. Have you already signed the petition, passed it along to friends and family, and looking to do more? Please consider contacting your Representative and Senator by phone to ask them to endorse the Waters letter for fair elections in Haiti. It's incredibly easy, and you will be attended to almost instantly. Just call the Capitol Switchboard at 202–224-3121 and ask to be transferred to your legislator's office. You can also post this petition (bit.ly/haitielection) to your blog, Facebook or Twitter account. (RPCVs: edit the petition to include your RPCV title, country and years served. Also mention this when calling.)
Your Congressmember must declare that the US should "state unequivocally that it will not provide funding for elections that do not meet these minimum, basic democratic requirements," along with Maxine Waters; Donald Payne; William Delahunt; Barbara Lee; Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Alcee L. Hastings; Charles B. Rangel; Jan Schakowsky; Dennis Kucinich; Hank Johnson; Jim McDermott; Yvette D. Clarke; John W. Olver; Keith Ellison; Sam Farr; Donna M. Christensen; Raúl Grijalva; Michael Honda; Betty McCollum; Laura Richardson; Alan Grayson; Chellie Pingree; Eleanor Holmes Norton; Danny K. Davis; Sheila Jackson Lee; Elijah Cummings; Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick; Lynn Woolsey; Chaka Fattah; Fortney "Pete" Stark; Al Green; Stephen Lynch; Donna F. Edwards; John Lewis; Bob Filner; Diane Watson; Bennie G. Thompson; Tammy Baldwin; John Garamendi; Bobby L. Rush; Jesse L. Jackson Jr.; Bart Gordon; Melvin L. Watt; Corrine Brown; Lucille Roybal-Allard.
UPDATE: This petition has received endorsements from the following people:
"I very much agree with the petition!" -- Peter Hallward, expert in Haitian politics, Professor of Philosophy, Kingston University London; author, Damming the Flood
"Haiti is in desperate straits. Hope for recovery requires an effective government with popular support, which in turn requires that all political parties be given every opportunity to participate and function freely. Exclusion of what may well be the majority party evidently undermines this aim. I urge that funding be withheld unless this severe defect of the elections is overcome." -- Noam Chomsky, signer, world-renowned intellectual, Haiti scholar and human rights activist
"The US must back true democracy in Haiti. Hope for recovery from its terrible crises depends on an effective government with popular support. This means that all political parties must participate and function freely. I urge that the US do everything, including withholding funding, to this ensure that the elections include all parties." -- John Perkins, signer, bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
“Haiti’s unfair, exclusive elections imperil Haitian democracy and U.S. taxpayer assistance to the country. The U.S. government should not support this.” -- Brian J. Concannon Jr., Esq., signer; Director, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
Mark Weisbrot - Co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Kevin Pina - journalist, filmmaker, host of KPFA Berkeley's Flashpoints
Raj Patel - activist, academic, food policy expert, author, The Value of Nothing
Stephen Lendman - writer, host of The Progressive Radio News Hour
Andrea Pestone Capellán, RPCV-DR ('02-'04), Social Justice Fellow, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights
Media coverage of this push:
think tank Center for Economic Policy & Research, Truthout.org and Pacifica Radio's flagship station KPFA. Contact email@example.com for inquiries, providing endorsements, etc.
Two excellent sources for a better understanding of the Haitian elections: the Guardian and the LA Times.