CLARKE AND MEEKS CO-LEAD LETTER TO SECRETARY BLINKEN URGING THE U.S. TO CONDEMN THE UNDEMOCRATIC ACTIONS OF PRESIDENT MOÏSE, AND SUPPORT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT IN HAITI.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 6, 2021
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Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09) co-led a letter with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05) to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken encouraging the United States to unambiguously reject the undemocratic actions of President Moïse to retain power in Haiti.
The letter is supported by:
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05)
Chairman, Committee On Foreign Affairs
Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08)
Chairman, Western Hemisphere Subcommittee
Rep. Andy Levin (MI-09)
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20)
Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05)
Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09)
Full text of the letter below:
February 6, 2021
The Honorable Antony Blinken
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Blinken:
Congratulations on your confirmation as Secretary of State. With your confirmation, we look forward to reclaiming America’s moral leadership on the world stage.
In that spirit, we write to express great concern about ongoing developments in Haiti. As Members of Congress who believe deeply in democracy and the rule of law, we feel it is essential that the United States unambiguously reject any attempt by President Moïse to retain power in contravention of those principles. The time for a Haitian-led democratic transition is now.
We cannot parse words: President Moïse has lost credibility. He has been ruling by decree since January 2020, and although he pays homage to forthcoming elections, he insists they can only occur after the completion of dubious constitutional reforms. His attempt to unilaterally name the members of the body that would certify the results of a future election also demands scrutiny. His extra-constitutional decrees – including the establishment of a domestic intelligence force, the unilateral appointment of key officials, and the harsh criminalization of acts of protest – must be called out for exactly what they are: attempts to hold onto the Presidency at the expense of the democratic process.
The human rights situation in Haiti is equally perilous. Civil rights are under siege, and those who advocate for them are often facing literal attacks. Seemingly state-sanctioned violence targets those who challenge the state. Victims of such violence have no path towards accountability and justice. Meanwhile, Haiti remains gripped in a cascade of economic, public health, and political crises.
Members of the opposition have sent President Moïse an unmistakable message that his term must end on February 7. There have also been clear calls for a legitimate transitional government to be promptly established so that democratic elections can resume. The people of Haiti deserve a voice in their own governance, and the United States must extend its own voice to that critical cause.
We look forward to working with you to advance democracy, the rule of law, and human rights around the world. To that end, we hope that the State Department will closely monitor the
unfolding events in Haiti, take swift steps to condemn President Moïse’s undemocratic actions, and support the establishment of a transitional government.
Yvette D. Clarke has been in Congress since 2007. She represents New York’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes Central and South Brooklyn. Clarke is Chair of the Homeland Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation Subcommittee, under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.