THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT ON SANCTIONS AGAINST HAITI
One of the cornerstones of our foreign policy is to support the global march toward democracy and to stand by the world's new democracies. The promotion of democracy, which not only reflects our values but also increases our security, is especially important in our own Hemisphere. As part of that goal, I consider it a high priority to return democracy to Haiti and to return its democratically-elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to his office.
We should recall Haiti's strides toward democracy just a few years back. Seven years ago, tired of the exploitative rule that had left them the poorest nation in our Hemisphere, the Haitian people rose up and forced the dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier to flee. In December 1990, in a remarkable exercise of democracy, the Haitian people held a free and fair election -- and two-thirds of them voted for President Aristide.
Nineteen months ago, however, that progress toward democracy was thwarted when the Haitian military illegally and violently ousted President Aristide from office. Since taking office in January, the United States Government has worked steadily with the international community in an effort to restore President Aristide and democracy to Haiti. The OAS and United Nations Special Envoy, Dante Caputo, has demonstrated great dedication and tenacity. To support Mr. Caputo's effort, Secretary of State Christopher in March named U.S. Ambassador Lawrence Pezzullo as our Special Adviser for Haiti.
We and the international community have made progress. The presence of the International Civilian Mission has made a concrete contribution to human rights in Haiti. Mr. Caputo's consultations with all the parties indicated that a negotiated solution is possible.
Unfortunately, the parties in Haiti have not been willing to make the decisions or take the steps necessary to begin democracy's restoration. And while they seek to shift responsibility, Haiti's people continue to suffer.
In light of their own failure to act constructively, I have determined that the time has come to increase the pressure on the Haitian military, the de facto regime in Haiti and their supporters.
The U.S. has been at the forefront of the international community's efforts to back up the UN/OAS negotiations with sanctions and other measures. Beginning in October 1991, we
froze all Haitian government assets in the United States and prohibited unlicensed financial transactions with Haitian persons. Today, I am acting to strengthen those existing provisions in several ways.
First, I have signed a Proclamation pursuant to Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act prohibiting the entry into the U.S. of Haitian nationals who impede the progress of negotiations designed to restore constitutional government to Haiti and of the immediate relatives of such persons. The Secretary of State will determine the persons whose actions are impeding a solution to the Haitian crisis. These people will be barred from entering the United States.
Second, pursuant to the authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Executive Orders on the Haiti emergency, I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury to designate as "Specially Designated Nationals" those Haitians who act for or on behalf of the Junta, or who make material, financial or commercial contributions to the de facto regime or the Haitian Armed Forces. In effect, this measure will freeze the personal assets of such persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction and bar them from conducting any transactions whatsoever with the individuals and entities named.
Third, I have directed Secretary Christopher to consult with the OAS and its member states on ways to enhance enforcement of the existing OAS sanctions program. And I have directed Secretary Christopher and Ambassador Albright to consult with the UN and member states on the possibility of creating a worldwide sanctions program against Haiti.
Sanctions alone do not constitute a solution. The surest path toward the restoration of democracy in Haiti is a negotiated solution that assures the safety of all parties. We will therefore strongly support a continuation and intensification of the negotiating effort. We will impress on all parties the need to take seriously their own responsibilities for a successful resolution to this impasse.
Our policy on Haiti is not a policy for Haiti alone. It is a policy in favor of democracy everywhere. Those who seek to derail a return to constitutional government -- whether in Haiti or Guatemala -- must recognize that we will not be swayed from our purpose.
At the same time, individuals should not have to fear that supporting democracy's restoration will ultimately put their own safety at risk. Those who have opposed President Aristide in the past should recognize that, once President Aristide has returned, we and the rest of the international community will defend assiduously their legitimate political rights.
It is my hope that the measures we have announced today will encourage greater effort and flexibility in the negotiations to restore democracy and President Aristide to Haiti.