WASHINGTON – Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II and Hon. Donald M. Payne, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Task Force on Foreign Policy and International Affairs, released the following statement in response to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support of OAS report:
“The Congressional Black Caucus cannot overlook the serious concerns that the recent elections in Haiti have posed to its overall democracy. The CBC urges the United States and the international community to uphold the ideals of fairness and support a new Haiti election process that is free and fair, respecting the rights of the Haitian people.
We are not blind to the complexity of this issue, as well as the need for a functional Haitian government. Our Members have experienced first-hand the denial of voting rights, voter intimidation, and other acts of voter discrimination. No entity can truly report on the “will of the Haitian” people without accurately counting the unfair circumstances concerning the November elections. If the United States is going to play a role, public integrity calls for us to do for others what we would do for our own citizens: equal access and equal protection for those who want to participate in the democratic process.
On January 7, 2010, Cheryl Mills, Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, conceded that the United States would consider new elections if an OAS report recommended it. Philip Crowley, spokesman for the State Department, stated that “the first results did not reflect the vote of the people of Haiti,” and added that, “strong indications that significant electoral fraud has been recorded and preliminary results disclosed do not reflect the actual vote of the Haitian people.” Let us not attempt to disguise what we already know: the will of the people of Haiti was not, in good faith, represented. We believe that the recommendation of a new election should be included in the OAS report, and it should not be endorsed, in its entirety, as it currently stands.
The “will of the Haitian people” is yet to be determined. We urge the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to support a recommendation of new elections for Haiti. We are accountable for those things we say we support as a nation. As part of the very fabric of this country, the Congressional Black Caucus calls for a different message to be relayed to the people of Haiti.”