Meeks, Sires & Levin Issue Joint Statement on Haiti
WASHINGTON – Chairman-elect of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman of the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade Subcommittee Albio Sires and Congressman Andy Levin released the following statement:
"As members of the House of Representatives, we have spent recent weeks working urgently to rush relief to the American people amidst the COVID-19 public health and economic disasters. We want our friends in Haiti to know, however, that we are still watching what is unfolding there with growing concern. Haitian President Jovenel Moïse is pursuing an increasingly authoritarian course of action, issuing a series of recent decrees that include creating an extra-constitutional domestic "intelligence" force. His latest actions are reminiscent of past anti-democratic abuses the Haitian people have endured, including the run-up to the Duvalier dictatorship. We will not stand idly by while Haiti devolves into chaos.
"When the 117th Congress convenes, supporting democratic actors in Haiti will be a top concern for this committee. We will work urgently with the incoming Biden administration to develop a U.S. policy that prioritizes the rights and aspirations of the Haitian people and supports a credible, Haitian-led transition back to democratic order. We will engage international allies and institutions to coordinate a multilateral strategy to address the ongoing crisis in Haiti and pursue accountability for Haitian officials who commit human rights violations and acts of corruption. As members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, we consider it our responsibility to monitor the events in Haiti and work in close collaboration with Haitian civil society organizations and citizens of goodwill that seek peace and democracy in their country. We assure the Haitian people that, as we tackle the crises we face in our own country, we will not forget our neighbors or our commitment to protecting their human rights."