Members of the Stop CAFTA Coalition have denounced the approval of the CAFTA bill which passed narrowly by a vote of 217 to 215 in the House early Thursday morning.
“This is a tragedy for people in the United States, and even more so for the people of Central America and the Dominican Republic,” said Tom Ricker of the Quixote Center. “For three years, we have worked with our brothers and sisters in the region to build a broad-based cross-border movement against this agreement, only to see the Bush Administration and the Republican leadership use dirty tricks to guarantee its approval.”
“As we expected, the House Speaker kept the roll call open until after midnight while the Bush Administration twisted arms and bought off the remaining votes necessary for approval,” said Chloe Schwabe of the Share Foundation. “This Administration was unable to pass CAFTA on its merits, so it turned to scare tactics and lies, making the absurd claim that rejecting CAFTA would lead to violence and a dictatorship in Central America.”
“CAFTA is a sham, and the procedures used to limit debate and win over additional votes are an atrocity,” said Burke Stansbury of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). “What we saw on the floor of the House this week was nothing less than the total undermining of the democratic process.”
“This vote will not be forgotten by the people of the Americas. It is another example of a policy that seeks to dominate, economically and politically, a region of people demanding democracy and self-determination,” said Holly Miller of Witness for Peace. “The people of Central America will continue to resist the implementation of this agreement, and we stand in solidarity with them in the face of this injustice.”
For more information visit StopCafta.org