Maxine Waters’ Message to President Moise

Maxine Waters, U.S. Representative for California’s 43rd congressional district, has been talked about in the news for making civilians tuning in to house meeting chuckle by her remarks. She has even been made into a meme that stayed relevant for quite some time. This time, her name in the news is no laughing matter. During the December 10 Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of Foreign Affairs Committee hearing entitled, “Haiti on the Brink: Assessing U.S. Policy Toward a Country in Crisis”, the congress woman made the following statement:

“Haiti is indeed a country in crisis, and we are long overdue for an honest assessment of the policies of the  United States towards Haiti as this crisis has developed.

In April of this year, I led a delegation to Haiti, which met with residents of the Lasalin neighborhood of Haiti’s  capital and surrounding areas, who described acts of unconscionable violence that occurred in November of 2018. The Lasalin massacre resulted in the deaths of at least 71 civilians, in addition to the rape of at least 11 women, and the looting of more than 150 homes. Survivors expressed concern that government-connected gangs, working with police officers, carried out the attacks to punish Lasalin for participation in anti-government protests.”

She then went into explaining to the other members present in the meeting what the protests were a chain reaction of, which we know is due to the poor treatment of Haiti’s people as well as the large sum of money that went missing under President Moise’s ruling.

“The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) has verified that Haitian security forces were  responsible for at least 19 killings since September 15, and attacks on journalists have steadily increased in recent months. Moreover, Amnesty International reported that Haitian police have repeatedly used excessive force during recent anti-government protests, including unlawfully firing live ammunition at protesters and indiscriminately launching tear gas. These acts of violence are alarming and raise grave concerns about human rights in Haiti.”

She closes by saying:

The U.S. State Department needs to understand that the concerns of the Haitian people  about corruption in their government cannot be ignored, and an inclusive dialogue cannot take place without respect for human rights.

The president of Haiti needs to take responsibility for the current political crisis in his country, and the protests will not stop until he does.”

Haitian-Americans are pleased to see someone taking talking about the crisis as serious as the congress woman is. Non-profit organizations especially are anxious for these issues to be resolved so they can get back to helping their people. Since the violence started over a year ago, many regular missionaries have not been able to make their way to Haiti, which hurts them because they know this is the one time many Haitians get the proper attention they need (medically, mentally, etc.).

It is the hope that the conversations about Haiti keep happening so more can be done to restore order on our island. Even something as simple as bringing the crisis up in conversation is a step in the right direction because it is opening the eyes of many people who are unaware of what is going on and we all know the more people working towards one goal, the better.

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