Child Mortality in Haiti Not Embargo's Fault

I write in hopes of correcting the message of the Danziger cartoon, Nov. 15, in which a forlorn Haitian mother, with a wilting child on her back, shows us the Harvard study findings that 1,000 Haitian children die monthly because of the United States-led sanctions. I attended a meeting in which the New England Observers' Delegation (a group of 15 prominent educators, community activists, and others who traveled to Haiti Oct. 28 at the request of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide) presented a report to the Haitian ambassador to the US, Jean Casimir, and to the public.

The group was disturbed by the amount of misinformation the media have been helping to disseminate. They reported that the people struggling for peace in Haiti support the embargo and link the tragic deaths of their children directly to the military, which is preventing food and health supplies exempted from the embargo from reaching health clinics.

The report states that ``the fuel embargo is clearly having an impact: Gasoline prices have soared. While this has an effect on the poor, the media may have exaggerated this effect. Even pro-democracy organizations who saw their constituencies being hurt by the limited embargo still supported a full commercial embargo as a necessary sacrifice.'' Thousands of children were dying monthly under the military long before the embargo was implemented. Why has this tragedy suddenly been linked to the embargo by our media?

Opponents of democracy in Haiti are doing everything they can to sabotage the return of President Aristide by creating a disinformation campaign. The media must be careful not to be manipulated by it. Elizabeth Marouk, Boston

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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