Congressional Black Caucus Urges Decisive U.S. Assistance to Haiti
April 24, 2008 (EIRNS)—Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) urged President Bush today to take immediate and decisive action to help Haiti, the impoverished island nation which has been convulsed in recent weeks by food riots. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, whose economy and food-producing capabilities have been decimated over two decades by criminal free-trade policies.
The CBC initiative is led by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), who authored a letter to George Bush in the CBC's name, requesting a personal meeting to discuss the Haitian situation. It also called on Bush to immediately increase U.S. aid to Haiti, including debt relief and extension of Temporary Protective Status for Haitian nationals who are currently in the U.S. As recently as last week, the Coast Guard was intercepting and turning back boats carrying Haitian nationals, who had left the island and were attempting to reach the United States.
In 1941, Haiti was self-sufficient in food production, thanks to the efforts of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his Good Neighbor Policy. Roosevelt twice met with Haitian President Vincent, and personally oversaw many of the efforts to assist Haiti.
Lyndon LaRouche remarked that the U.S. government and military no doubt already have the blueprints and/or documents in their files, on emergency programs to assist devastated Haiti, and that now is the time to unearth those documents and act swiftly. The U.S., under British influence, created the post-FDR disaster in Haiti, and the U.S. has the responsibility to fix it.
Rep. Hastings asked in the CBC's letter, "How desperate must the humanitarian crisis in Haiti become before the United States is willing to offer this deserving nation the compassion and generosity that it has bestowed on other countries?"
Last week, during its consideration of the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation of 2008 (H.R. 2634), the House unanimously adopted an amendment which Rep. Hastings had authored, called for the expedited cancellation of Haiti's foreign debt.