The Los Angeles City Council sent a message to Haiti's military rulers Tuesday by voting to stop doing business or investing in any company that operates in the Caribbean country.
In the 1980s, the council adopted a similar resolution to put economic pressure on the white-dominated South African government to abolish apartheid, a system of racial separation.
Councilwomen Jackie Goldberg and Rita Walters, two of the Haiti resolution's sponsors, said they hope other local governments will follow suit, as occurred in the struggle to end white minority rule in South Africa.
Walters said "only when these sanctions were put on South Africa . . . did the South African government take another look at their policies (and) release (black leader Nelson) Mandela from prison. And now Mr. Mandela is president of the country."
The resolution states that the city will not resume investments in any company with holdings in Haiti until ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is restored to power.