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Violence Cancels Haiti's Election

December 11, 1987

Who is really sabotaging democracy in Haiti? In your editorial you state that "The junta, it is clear, bears the chief responsibility for the brutal betrayal of Haitian hopes." Unfortunately, and typically, this is a short-sighted opinion without much historical perspective.

Many years of U.S.-sponsored dictatorships has left a country ill-prepared for democracy. Four-fifths of all Haitians are illiterate. Clean water is available to only 23% of the population. Haitians are the poorest people in this hemisphere and half the population is unemployed. I can only interpret Secretary of State George Shultz statement that "after three decades of dictatorship, you are free at last" with the utmost irony.

It seems we are at least 30 years too late in letting Haiti know "that the actions that they ordered or condoned are regarded by their neighbors as utterly unacceptable."

ALLEN ATWILL

Santa Barbara

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