Four Cantabrigians are part of a Boston-area delegation which traveled to Port-au-Prince to express solidarity with the Haitian public and democratically-elected officials.
Director of Cambridge Peace Action Cathy Hoffman and delegation co-Chair Dessima Williams, a Brandeis professor, left early this morning from Logan Airport. Cambridge residents Carol Thomas and Paul Shannon left yesterday afternoon.
"I think that this is a crucial time to travel to Haiti," Hoffman said. "We need to stand openly in support of President Aristide's return which has been set by the United Nations for the 30th."
The original mission of the 19-person delegation was to support the reinstatement of Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the democratically elected leader of Haiti who was ousted in September of 1991 in a military coup.
But efforts to reinstate Aristide have been stymied, and it is uncertain if and when he will return to power.
"The mission is now more diffuse since his return is questionable," said Joanna Barnette, a member of the board of the Haitian Communication Project, a Boston-based group working to raise local awareness of Haitian issues.
The delegation plans to meet with international groups, Haitian democratic organizations and the democratically-elected Haitian legislators currently in hiding. They also plan to hold a press conference while in Port-au-Prince.
"I am going from the peace commission in support of the other elected officials currently hiding in Haiti," Hoffman said. "I'm going to Haiti to honor the Haitian community in Cambridge."