CaribWorldNews, MIAMI, FL, Mon. June 22, 2009: Republican and Democratic lawmakers are set to leave for Haiti this morning to discuss U.S policy towards Haiti.
The bi-partisan delegation is being led by Congressman Kendrick Meek and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart and will meet with Haitian President Rene Preval in the poverty-stricken country.
Also set to make the trip are representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. It is the first time that all five of the South Florida delegation will be travelling to Haiti together.
The move comes just days after former president Bill Clinton formally accepted his appointment as special envoy to Haiti.
The Haitian government is hoping that the $347 million that the U.S pledged in aid for Haiti could finally be delivered and that temporary protective status will be granted to Haitian immigrants.
The Obama administration has been largely silent on the issue of TPS for Haitians but has held off on deporting thousands who were set to be sent back to Haiti recently. Still the migrants lives remain in limbo.
The congressional trip comes as the United Nations mission in Haiti `categorically denied `allegations that its forces had fired on a demonstration in the capital, during which one person died.
`Based on preliminary information, it appears that the death of the individual concerned in fact resulted from a wound to the head that was inflicted by a stone or similar blunt object,` the mission, known as MINUSTAH, said in news release.
The demonstration took place last Thursday near the Cathedral of Port-au-Prince after the funeral of Father Gerard Jean-Juste.
The mission stressed that although its peacekeepers were present and fired in the air to disperse the crowd, their actions seem to have no link with the death of the demonstrator.
MINUSTAH also rejected recent allegations that its security personnel entered various university campuses in the course of responding to recent demonstrations, reiterating that its standing instructions to its military and police personnel strictly forbid entry into such premises.
The mission was set up in 2004 to help re-establish peace after an insurgency forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile. It is tasked with, among others, helping to improve state administration and reforming the country`s judicial sector.