264. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Haiti1

203377. Subject: DAS Bushnell Meets With Charles on Aid Cuts.

1. (Confidential—Entire text.)

2. DAS Bushnell met with Ambassador Serge Charles July 31 to review recent developments, including aid cuts in House Appropriations Committee.2 Charles re-emphasized “devastating” psychological impact of committee action on GOH. He said amount of money involved was not as important as symbolic value of action. Charles claimed resentment to this “signal” is giving comfort to those in Haiti who wish to see GOH and United States drift apart.

3. On subject of refugees, Charles noted two recent developments: the GOH has apprehended a military official involved in organizing the refugee traffic and forced his resignation, and the GOH is in process of purchasing six new Coast Guard patrol boats to help curb illegal emigration. Charles said GOH would reconsider these purchases if U.S. security assistance stopped because of recent committee proposals.

4. Bushnell stated administration is opposed to aid cuts and plans to work vigorously to restore funds.3 He expressed Department’s satisfaction with President Duvalier’s recent moves to bring on a more dedicated economic team. Bushnell urged that the GOH continue its progress both on economic and human rights fronts. He noted that it will take time—and a continuation of steps in the right directions—to change public and congressional perceptions about Haiti.

5. Present with Charles was Auguste Douyon, designated as “Private Secretary to the President.” Department would appreciate any information about Douyon.

6. Department would also appreciate any information Post can obtain regarding new developments described para 3 above.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800368–0097. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Davis; cleared by Warne; approved by Bushnell.
  2. On July 24, the House Appropriations Committee approved $5.2 million in foreign aid to Haiti in FY 1981, a reduction of $2 million to “demonstrate its concern for brutality and corruption.” (“House Committee Votes Restraint On Foreign Aid,” The Washington Post, July 25, p. A18)
  3. In telegram 202972 to Port au Prince, July 31, the Department provided the Embassy with a list of talking points regarding the aid cuts. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800367–0431)