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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 18, 1993


The President remains gravely concerned by the persistent refusal of the Haitian military authorities to fulfill their commitments under the Governor's Island Agreement and at the repression which they continue to carry out against the Haitian people.

The President stated on October 15 that there are important American interests at stake in Haiti. We must protect American lives. We want to avoid a mass exodus of Haitians fleeing political persecution at great risk to themselves and at great potential cost and disruption to the United States and other nations. We want to help restore democracy in Haiti and thereby promote democracy throughout this hemisphere.

Therefore, the United States is taking several measures which will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight to ensure strict implementation of the UN oil and arms embargo against Haiti. These measures will also sanction those individuals who are defying the UN measures, acting to disrupt the Governor's Island Agreement and preventing the restoration of democracy and return of President Aristide to Haiti.

The President is today signing an Executive Order that will freeze the assets under U.S. jurisdiction of individuals ("Specially Designated Nationals") who have obstructed the Governor's Island Agreement or the activities of the UN Mission in Haiti and who are perpetrating or contributing to the violence. It will also cover individuals who are financing or providing material support to those taking such actions. These groups include senior military and police officers and the civilian "attaches" and their financial patrons. Furthermore, we will deny visas to and prohibit the entry into the United States of such individuals.

The United States has deployed six Navy vessels to help enforce the UN embargo. Argentina, Canada and France also will contribute ships and other countries are actively considering participation.

The military and police authorities must understand that they have no future in continuing their brutal resistance to the return of democracy and President Aristide. The United States is determined to work with the UN, the OAS and others to oppose this repression of the democratic will of the Haitian people.

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