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17871: Feldman: Fw: [GAA] Urgent Press Release from Haiti (fwd)

From: Janet  Feldman <kaippg@earthlink.net>

Dear Friends,

Hello and a Happy New Year to All (and great to have you back, Bob)! In this
year of Haiti's Bicentennial, there is much to celebrate and also much to do to
fulfill the promise inherent in the struggle and liberation which that Republic
represented. Below is a good example of both the problems to solve and the
caring and commitment needed to do just that. With greatest thanks and all best
wishes, and may this anniversary year bring with it a renewed strength of
purpose and productivity, to match our passion for this beloved land and its
brave, beautiful people!

Janet Feldman, kaippg@earthlink.net

Managing DirectorGlobalJustice
  January 10, 2004

Tel:  551-7540 in Haiti, DC 202-296-6727

U.S. student activists travel to Haiti; Declare U.S. aid embargo hurts Haitian

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI   Students investigating U.S. foreign policy toward Haiti
declared that the current aid embargo unnecessarily hurts the Haitian poor.
Twelve American students representing Global Justice, an organization that
mobilizes students around issues of HIV/AIDS and child health, spent the first
week of January investigating the political and economic situation in Haiti.
Students call upon the U.S. government to end the development aid embargo and
support the Haitian government’s efforts to improve security.

During visits to clinics including GHESKIO and the Partners in Health hospital,
Zanmi Lasante, as well as international institutions including the U.S. Embassy
and the Intra-America Development Bank, students learned about broad efforts
being made to address Haiti’s grave health crisis.

Despite these programs to ameliorate this crisis, a bilateral development
assistance embargo imposed by the United States against the government of Haiti
continues to undermine efforts to achieve adequate healthcare for the Haitian
people.  Building the necessary health infrastructure in Haiti cannot be done
by NGOs alone.  The U.S. government has conditioned bilateral assistance upon a
series of provisions imposed by the OAS that include the improvement of
security as a pre-requisite for holding Parliamentary elections.

In the face of the political stalemate in Haiti, the students call up on the
U.S. government to oppose any efforts to violently overthrow the current,
democratically elected government of Haiti.  “The Government of Haiti must be
empowered and supported to carry out its role of strengthening the national
public health system and improving security.   The Haitian people should not
have to suffer as a result of an unjust U.S. embargo”, stated Micah Sucherman
from the University of Colorado.

Students are compelled to stand in solidarity with the Haitian people to
champion their rights within the international community.  The students plan to
work with the groups they met in Haiti to change U.S. policy towards Haiti.

Global Justice is an organization that works to educate, train, and mobilize
college students in the U.S., in solidarity with young people worldwide, to
promote global human rights and social justice.  GJ campaigns through its two
campaigns, the Student Global AIDS Campaign (SGAC) and the Student Campaign for
Child Survival (SCCS).

Interviews available upon request.


Eric Cioe, President

NYC Student Initiative for AIDS, Inc.


"Because until we find a cure, every day is World AIDS day."

Website: www.globalaidsalliance.org