A Delegation To Move
A Delegation To Move
"Delegation of Haitian-American leaders..."
Delegation of Haitian-American leaders to Washington, June 20-21, 2006
Sponsored by Haiti Democracy Project
Photos by Rick Reinhard
In partial fulfillment of the grant "Project to Engage the Haitian-American Diaspora in the U.S. Policy Process" by Foundation Open Society Institute
Goals of the Delegation
To explore all possible aid for Haiti
To offer the human resources of the Haitian-American community
Members of the delegation
On February 7, 2006, after nearly six years, the Haitian people voted.
They waited in long lines.
They got it done.
When threats forced the director of the electoral commission to flee, the Haiti Democracy Project invited him to a seminar in Washington.
Jacques Bernard, director of the electoral commission
Representatives of the Haitian, U.S., and Dominican governments urged him to return.
John Merrill, director of transnational programs, Western Hemisphere, office of secretary of defense
Roberto Alvarez, ambassador of Dominican Republic to the OAS
Bernard did return and administered the second round successfully.
Haiti now had an elected government.
It was protected by the U.N.
With investment and aid, Haiti could move forward.
President Préval asked the United States to help the new government
But myriad distractions kept the U.S. from focusing on Haiti.
At the Ways and Means Committee, the delegation heard about a textile break for Haiti that had been bottled up for two years.
"The Republican members and staff..."
The Republican members and staff described the politics on the committee.
The delegation described the situation on the ground in Haiti, and the opportunity offered by the present moment.
The bill is acronymed HOPE
It would give Haiti the same access granted to the poorest countries of Africa
It would create 20,000 jobs.
Haiti could pull itself up
by its own efforts.
Haiti could compete.
As an example of the distractions, aid to Haiti had been cut from $40 million to $17.5 million as the delegation arrived.
The delegation took the good news of the elections to the policy-makers.
With a legitimate, elected government in place, the United States could help put Haiti on the road to recovery once and for all.
With Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.)
With Rep. Alcee L.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) greets the delegation
Delegation explains the opportunity that is before Haiti and the U.S.
Rangel commits to three major initiatives to unfreeze aid to Haiti.
If successful, these initiatives could put Haiti on the road to recovery.
One is an eloquent letter to the House Republican leadership.
Dear Mr. Speaker, Mr. Majority Leader and Mr. Chairman:
With the recent inauguration of President Préval, Haiti stands at a critical crossroads.
This is a key moment of opportunity for both the United States and Haiti.
To capitalize on this moment, Haiti needs to be able to create sustained economic opportunity for its citizens.
-Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Ranking Democrat,
House Ways and Means Committee
June 22, 2006
Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-N.J.) signs on.
At the White House, the delegation stressed the opportunities offered by the elections in Haiti.
At the Agency for International Development, it was skills offered by the Diaspora.
Altogether, the delegation saw ten members of Congress.
Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is Haiti’s top supporter in the U.S. Senate.
Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) undertook to ask House speaker Hastert, a fellow Illinoisan, to come to Haiti’s aid.
Eight House members
The delegation had a grueling schedule.
Reception at the Carneys’
A Haitian To Look Up To
A player of impressive all-around athleticism
"An inspiration for Haitian youth," says Wilby Louis (right), of the Union des Jeunes Progressistes
With Amb. Ernest H. Preeg, chairman of the Haiti Democracy Project