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Radio Address to American Troops in Haiti

October 01, 1994

I wanted to take this opportunity to say a few words to those of you who are part of Operation Uphold Democracy. For the last 2 weeks, your efforts to bring peace and stability to Haiti have moved all of us here at home. I want you to know just how proud and grateful I and all other Americans are for what you're doing.

Your Nation has asked you to take responsibility for a difficult but important mission. The work you're doing is helping the Haitian people win their fight for freedom and democracy. It's making possible the return of an honestly elected government. It's proving to the world that the United States will stand up for democracy in our hemisphere, will honor its own commitments, and expects those who make commitments to us to honor them.

You have responded brilliantly to the call of duty. In less than 2 weeks, your presence and your professionalism have helped curb the violence in Haiti, given hundreds of refugees the confidence to return home, permitted the Haitian Parliament to resume its work, and restored the mayor of Port-au-Prince to his office. These are the kinds of steps that will help the multinational force you are leading do its job and do it right.

As you carry out your demanding mission, you should know that your safety remains our number one concern. General Shalikashvili, Lieutenant General Shelton, and your other commanders have assured me that they are taking every possible precaution to ensure your welfare as you carry out your mission.

You're the finest fighting force in the world, the best trained, the best equipped, the best prepared. I share the pride of every American in your efforts on behalf of peace and democracy. You're performing a difficult mission with extraordinary skill. You have our thanks, our praise, our admiration, and our prayers.

On behalf of the American people, I wish each and every one of you Godspeed in the service of our Nation.

NOTE: The address was recorded at 3:43 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on September 30 for broadcast on October 1. In his remarks, the President referred to Lt. Gen. Henry H. Shelton, USA, commander of U.S. forces in Haiti.

William J. Clinton, Radio Address to American Troops in Haiti Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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