February 13, 2014
LAWT News Service
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), an advocate for the Haitian people in the U.S. Congress, introduced a bipartisan resolution to honor the 210th anniversary of Haiti’s independence (H.Res. 474) and presented a copy of the resolution to Haitian President Michel Martelly. President Martelly was in Washington, DC meeting with members of Congress and President Obama. Haiti declared its independence from France on January 1, 1804, 210 years ago, following a revolt among African slaves against their French colonial masters.
"Haiti is the only country to have achieved its independence as the result of a successful slave rebellion," said Waters. "I am proud to introduce this resolution to congratulate the people of Haiti upon the 210th anniversary of their independence."
Waters’ resolution was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of ten members of Congress, all of whom are either members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs or have shown a strong interest in issues affecting Haiti. The cosponsors include Reps. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights; Albio Sires (D-NJ), ranking member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), senior member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; Karen Bass (D-CA ), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights; Barbara Lee (D-CA); Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY); Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL); John Conyers (D-MI); and Charles B. Rangel (D-NY).
"The people of Haiti have survived slavery, repression, and natural disasters," said Waters. "They have demonstrated tremendous courage throughout their history, and they continue to work to improve their lives and create a better future for themselves, their families, and their fellow citizens."
During Waters’ twelve terms in Congress, she has visited Haiti many times, and she has worked with her colleagues in Congress, State Department officials, Haitian political leaders, and Haitian civil society to promote effective governance, democracy, human rights, and economic and social development in Haiti. Following the 2010 earthquake, she introduced the Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act (H.R. 4573), which was passed and signed into law by the president.
"I urge all of my colleagues to pass this resolution and join me in honoring the 210th anniversary of Haiti’s independence," she said.