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Archive: 2003 - 3/04

U.S. trained Haitian armed opposition  3/31/04 Granma: "That statement is the provisional conclusion by the Haiti Investigation Committee made up of religious and legal representatives from several different countries and created in 1991 by former U.S. Justice Secretary Ramsey Clark. "Two hundred soldiers from the U.S. Special Forces arrived in the Dominican Republic with the authorization of President Hipólito Mejía as part of a military operation to train Haitian rebels," revealed the report that was circulated in the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo… Speaking at a press conference, Barrios said that the committee possessed many reports confirming that the Haitian conspirators were armed and trained in Dominican military camps situated in the eastern region of San Isidro and the western areas of Haina and Neiba. "It is clear that Dominican territory was also used by the U.S. government for the purpose of providing support to the Haitian opposition," stated the priest who, along with other committee members, mentioned various incidents including the deaths of two Dominican soldiers involving armed members of the Haitian coup faction. The committee is due to present its definitive report to U.S. Congress, the Dominican Republic, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which last does not recognize the new regime in Haiti."

Aristide Must Be Restored to Power in Haiti  3/31/04 Znet: by Bill Fletcher Jr. - "The question facing pro-democracy forces is whether, in addition to demanding an investigation of the US role in the destabilization of President Aristide, and in addition to calling for the disarming of the thugs, that it is correct to call for the restoration of President Aristide to office. The arguments against making such a call seem to come down to the fact that President Aristide remains a lightning rod in Haiti and that there are many Haitian progressives on the ground in Haiti who oppose the president. Those who are against calling for the restoration of President Aristide are often concerned that supporting such a demand will color U.S. progressives as ‘pro-Aristide,' leaving us little room to reach out to the broad Haitian progressive movement."

Aristide Gone, Yet Supporters Still Fear Reprisals  3/29/04 Black America Web: "In February, Aristide fled the country, culminating months of dissention that evolved into an alliance between opposition leaders and armed rebels. Accounts of persecution and assassinations began as soon afterward, said Bill Fletcher Jr., president of TransAfrica Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. Torturous activities, such as roasting people alive in vats of hot oil, are common stories emanating from the island republic now, Fletcher said."

Crisis in the Caribbean - A Miasma Foretold  3/29/04 Counterpunch/Jamaica Observer: "The Bahamas put our position best: We simply have no choice but to deal with whatever Haitian regime is there. Of course, if we don't, the US might just find it necessary to issue a travel advisory about Bubonic Plague or Ebola fever in Nassau or Negril. Condoleezza Rice has apparently threatened Jamaica directly, telling Patterson to get rid of Aristide or face unspecified consequences."

Haitian rebel leader will cede city to police  3/29/04 Globe & Mail: "A convicted assassin who commands a group of armed rebels held high-level talks Monday about surrendering power to police in Haiti's second city, even as he vowed to kill ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide if he returns from exile. The contradictory messages underscore difficulties facing an interim government criticized for praising the rebels and forming alliances with shadowy leaders like Louis-Jodel Chamblain, co-leader of a disbanded army death squad. Mr. Chamblain's rebels still control much of northern Haiti, manning police stations that they torched during the rebellion and patrolling armed through the same cities that French troops are protecting."

French Return to Haiti After 200 Years  3/28/04 AP: "Haiti became the world's first free black republic after declaring independence on Jan. 1, 1804. But France did not recognize Haiti's independence until 1838 — after Haiti began paying France an agreed amount of 90 million gold francs to compensate former plantation owners. Speaking in November to honor the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Vertieres, which was fought just outside this colonial city, Aristide blamed Haiti's crushing poverty on having to pay off that debt. Payments continued into the 20th century."

Caribbean group withholds recognition for Haiti  3/27/04 AP: "Trinidad's Prime Minister Patrick Manning said as he left a summit meeting of Caribbean leaders that discussions had been "quite tense" and that a final determination would be put off until leaders discuss the issue again at a summit in July in Grenada. He gave no other details, but another leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they could not recognize Haiti's government because it was installed by what he called an insurrection."

Caribbean Leaders Withhold Haiti Backing  3/27/04 Guardian 

Haitian Premier Shunned by Caribbean Neighbors  3/26/04 Black America Web: "According to CARICOM’s charter, only democratically elected governments can be members of the organization. In its rush to name Latortue Haiti’s prime minister, the committee of wise men violated Haiti’s constitution, which empowers the country’s president to appoint the prime minister. But instead of allowing the interim president who succeeded Aristide to pick a prime minister, the Bush administration put that decision in the hands of the committee of wise men, whose selection was heavily influenced by the Bush administration, which sent an occupation force of several thousand Marines into Haiti hours after Aristide departed the country. The U.S. may not be pulling all of Latortue’s strings, but there’s little doubt that he is their puppet."

Mbeki: Haiti inspires Africans  3/26/04 News 24, SA 

Activists to seek arrest of Haitian  3/26/04 Newsday: "Constant came to New York in 1995, fleeing Haiti after Aristide,a former Catholic priest with leftist policies, returned to power. Since then, human rights groups have been trying to get the United States to arrest and deport Constant. U.S. officials have refused, saying his safety could not be guaranteed in Haiti. Critics say the United States has been giving Constant special treatment because he was a self-acknowledged informant of the CIA in the early 1990s. Constant's mother, speaking in French and asking not to be further identified, said in a telephone interview that her son is innocent of crimes he is accused of, including involvement in the 1994 massacre of two dozen people in Raboteau, Haiti."

Wyclef Shooting Video To Support Haiti By Nolan Strong  3/25/04 All Hip Hop: Jean supported the rebellion against Aristide.

Haiti's Troika of Terror - Thugs, a Buffon, the Pirates  3/25/04 Black Commentator: "General Coleman’s helicopters provided limo service for the Gonaives ghoul-fest – a macabre exercise in nation-building that could only have been hatched by minds utterly consumed by racism. This is what Black government looks like to George Bush… However, fascist-minded Haitian Americans are cyber-wise, too. Emboldened by the gangster’s return to power, U.S.-based thugsters have issued threats to Aristide supporters on American soil. According to Marguerite Laurent, Chairperson of Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, pro-gangster e-mailers are circulating detailed information on potential targets… In an interview with Democracy Now! on Tuesday, TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson, a close confidant of Aristide and resident of St. Kitts, ventured that Bush’s campaign to drive Aristide out of the Western Hemisphere “will collapse of its own weight, and it should, upon the idiots in the State Department and the White House who tried to implement such a fool hearty, callous plan.” Robinson praised Jamaican Prime Minister and current Caricom leader P.J. Patterson for distinguishing “himself in making a place for President Aristide in Jamaica, and he has met for that with threats by this administration directly from the White House.” "

Haiti Update V: The Day after Tomorrow  3/24/04 Africana: "If Haiti's democracy has been placed in the grasping hands of these freedom fighters, then the vision of US-backed stability comes into sharper focus. Stability here appears to be synonymous with suppression of dissent and, in this case, suppression of Aristide's Lavalas Family party. This party, which still commands the loyalty of millions of Haiti's poor and disenfranchised, has been excluded from the rising thugocracy; there appears to be evidence that members of the party are in hiding, fearing for their lives. Regardless of the problems of Aristide's leadership, the Lavalas party continues to represent the hopes for democracy and empowerment of Haiti's impoverished majority. The US-backed government's attack on this party is an attack on the electorate. This is stability through tyranny."

Self-Determining Haiti: The American Occupation  3/23/04 Africana: By James Weldon Johnson, first published in The Nation, Aug. 28, 1920.

Haiti: Security Vacuum in the North  3/23/04 Human Rights Watch: "French military forces must work with the Haitian National Police to quickly retake control of the Haiti’s northern region, Human Rights Watch said today. A large number of journalists and government officials from the region have gone into hiding out of fear for their safety. Two Human Rights Watch representatives just returned from an assessment mission to the North of Haiti, during which they interviewed several journalists and government officials who described their lack of security. One former official, parliamentary deputy Gabriel Ducatel of Port-Margot, was being illegally detained in Cap Haïtien by the so-called Armed Forces of the North (Forces armées du Nord)… Human Rights Watch also interviewed a number of radio journalists in Cap Haïtien, including journalists with Radio Nationale, who had gone into hiding. They described the lack of security and their resulting fears for their safety. These journalists gave Human Rights Watch the names of another dozen journalists who were said to be in hiding too. The vast majority of political representatives from the Lavalas party are also in hiding: nearly all of the local mayors, CASEKs (a local post), and municipal officials linked to the party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide."

Convicts Rule Haiti Town, Executions Plague Another  3/23/04 Reuters 

Opposition to Haiti's PM attending Caricom meeting  3/23/04 Trinidad & Tobago Express: "The Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves; St Lucia's Kenny Anthony; and Antigua and Barbuda's Lester Bird said yesterday they could not envisage any such meeting with Latortue in the absence of a repudiation of his public attack on Caricom… Prime Minister Gonsalves, who met with the ousted Haitian leader over the weekend in Jamaica where he is on a ten-week stay, told the Express yesterday: "Mr Latortue has shown tremendous insensitivity in first announcing the freezing of Haiti's membership in Caricom, then to travel to Gonaives on Saturday to hail known murderers and political thugs as 'liberators', and now wanting to meet with Community Heads of Government to discuss the Haitian situation. I am totally opposed to any such meeting with him at this time". Gonsalves, who chairs five-member Prime Ministerial Working Group on "Options for Governance" in Caricom, that also includes Prime Minister Patrick Manning, said he also "has a serious problem with an official of the Organisation of American States sharing a platform with Latortue at what was a political rally in Gonaives". This was a reference to the OAS representative, David Lee, who along with members of Latortue's recently appointed cabinet were flown with the interm Prime Minister on a United States military helicopter to Gonaives for the rally where he welcomed as "liberators" armed rebels who had fought for the overthrow of the Aristide presidency."

African-American Coalition Launches Humanitarian Assistance Campaign for  3/23/04 VOA 

Aristide's Bank Accounts  3/22/04 Haiti Web: the Opposition cries foul but where do they get their funds?

PAHO Says Haiti Needs 'Intensified Action for Health'  3/22/04 PAHO: " "Intensified action for health," restoration of water systems and quick repair of health facilities are all urgently needed to relieve the suffering of people in Haiti, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) experts said today."

'We ugly! But we here!'  3/21/04 Jamaica Observer: "The so-called new prime minister of Haiti is one monsieur Latortue, who has a lot of chat for someone without a mandate from anyone except the US ambassador and his bosses. He is, he says, going to unite Haiti, so he has begun by boldly leaving out of his 'government' any representative of the people of Haiti. I give him three weeks… The political quagmire, according to the US and its clients, is entirely due to Aristide, except that the disputed senatorial seats were vacated three years ago and offers made for a new election. The Opposition refused. They refused as they have refused every single attempt by President Aristide to make peace and develop Haiti. One fundamental demand of the 'democratic opposition' was non-negotiable. There would be no democratic dialogue with Aristide! But, according to the US, it is Aristide that is the problem. The democratic opposition is almost entirely financed by USAID and by a far-right US Government outfit called the National Endowment for Democracy, which some describe as the human face of the CIA."

Haiti chief appears with rebel leaders  3/21/04 Seattle Times: ""I ask you for a moment of silence for all the people who fell fighting against the dictatorship, and especially for Amiot Metayer," Latortue said as the crowd went wild. Metayer was the leader of the Cannibal Army street gang, and anger over his death last year helped spark the rebellion. Rebel leaders who still run Haiti's fourth-largest city sat on a platform alongside Latortue, Organization of American States representative David Lee, recently installed interim Cabinet ministers Bernard Gousse and retired Gen. Herard Abraham, and new Haitian Police Chief Leon Charles."

USA-Led Occupation Targets Haiti’s Slums  3/20/04 World Socialist 

Local chaplain talks about experiences in Haiti  3/20/04 WTNH: "They can't talk to each other because they don't know what side people are on and people literally disappear. Rebels take them, they're killed and bodies wash up on the seashores." "There's no police no government. Each town in Haiti is being run by little armies and they're all armed." "Although we get all these press reports that the us is there and disarming people and everything is fine. There is no disarmament. The rebels are still in charge and they're in for the long haul." Father Carrier will return to Haiti in a month."

Majority of Jamaicans Support Aristide, Welcome Ousted Leader  3/19/04 Black America Web: "Jamaicans in South Florida are appalled at the circumstances that forced Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti's first democratically-elected president, out of office, some community leaders there say. Because of that, few of them have qualms about Aristide being granted temporary refuge in their homeland."

Haitians Under the Gun Getting the Word Out on Cell Phone  3/19/04 Pacific News Service: "One call from Haiti to a California radio station covering the coup aftermath came like so many others: on a shaky cell phone, with a connection that crackled and faded in and out, but which carried a clear message. This time it was the mayor of Milo, hiding from a group of armed former military men and convicted death squad leaders. We are swimming in blood everywhere. The oppression is atrocious," said Jean Charles Moise, who advocates for the return of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Moise's district of 50,000 persons counts many being targeted now by gunmen of the National Liberation and Reconstruction Front. Noel Vincent, a literacy teacher, is using cell phones to report from Cap Haitian to family in Florida. "I am so afraid I may never see you again," he told relatives as a reporter was allowed to listen in. "You must tell everyone what is happening here and in the Central Plateau... The death squads are reforming and they are coming for all who support democracy." ...Jean Kernazan is a radio producer on Radio Soley in Brooklyn, home to the largest Haitian community in the United States. Kernazan says he's spending hundreds of dollars weekly on calls to cell phones in Haiti. Many callers from Haiti, in order to save money, place quick calls and ask to be called back."

Marines Face Danger on Haiti Night Patrol  3/18/04 AP 

US Builds Gangster State in Haiti  3/18/04 Black Commentator: "The US-led multinational force and the police bear down exclusively on Aristide supporters. "There's a lot of them" to be arrested, said Leon Charles, the newly appointed police director general. What about the lawless “rebels” that came to town with Guy Philippe? “The government has to make a decision about the rebels. That's over my head,” said Charles."

Exiled Aristide vows to stay out of politics  3/18/04 Independent, SA 

Mercy, politics and history dunces  3/18/04 Jamaica Observer: "In addition, we should remember that slaves from Jamaica were sold in Haiti and vice versa. This means that families of slaves were split up between Jamaica and Haiti. So being charitable to Haitians means that we are doing so to our own extended families."

Haiti, a wake-up call for us all  3/17/04 Jamaica Observer: by Hazel Ross-Robinson, wife of Randall Robinson. "President Aristide co-operated fully with Caricom as the latter attempted to forge a non-violent, constitutional solution to the Haitian crisis, for this is the Caribbean tradition. Haiti's so-called opposition stubbornly refused, year after year, to go to the polls, deeming a selected government more appropriate for the Haitian people than an elected one, thereby pushing Haiti into a vortex of instability which to this day has not abated."

Probing U.S. ties to Haiti coup  3/17/04 Newsday: "Sen. Christopher Dodd says he wants to know whether U.S. taxpayers paid to train Haitians who plotted to overthrow President Jean-Bertrand Aristide… Dodd said he planned to ask the inspector-general of the U.S. Agency for International Development to investigate the International Republican Institute. Two years ago, USAID gave the institute $1.2 million to train Haitians. In the Dominican Republic, IRI then held a series of classes for 600 Haitians, who crossed the border from Haiti, said IRI spokesman Thayer Scott. Dodd is especially concerned about the involvement in IRI of a hard-line Haitian Aristide opponent named Stanley Lucas. Lucas had been "undermining" international efforts to get Aristide foes to moderate their positions, Dodd said, citing allegations made two years ago by Brian Dean Curran, then U.S. ambassador to Haiti. Dodd said USAID agreed to Curran's demand that Lucas be barred from the program, but Lucas wound up working with IRI anyway."

US coup in Haiti could spell trouble for African countries  3/17/04 NNPA: "The Bush administration has long been criticized for helping to block nearly $500 million in international aid for Haiti. Ironically, the basis cited for taking that approach was Haiti's disputed election in May 2000. The opposition movement and the Organization of American States, a regional organization that includes the U. S. and 35 other nations in the Western Hemisphere, disputed the way Haiti counted the votes for eight seats in the senate after 30,000 people ran for 7,500 seats. The senators eventually resigned, but the money, including $146 million in approved international funding and $350 million for which Haiti could subsequently qualify, was embargoed until Haiti paid arrears on other loans amounting to about $105 million. Only $45 million of the money was released. Among other things, the money was to be used for clean water, health purposes, roads and education. "In affect, what they did was simply pay Haiti back for the arrears clearance, so Haiti didn't actually get any money," explains Ira Kurzban, Aristide's attorney in Miami. "Now, I expect in light of President Aristide's so-called resignation, they will now expedite everything…This is the most fierce economic embargo against the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. I mean, Haiti was given not one penny for three years by the World Bank, the IDB (International Development Bank), the U. S., France and the European Union." "

Haitian activists being hunted down  3/17/04 SF Bay View: ""Friday evening (March 12) the 'whites' went up to the Bèlè neighborhood where they killed more than 16 people. They arrested a whole bunch of others whose whereabouts remain unknown to this very moment. "Today, Sunday (March 14), from what I have learned, these folks picked up several young men who belonged to 'Rene Civil's group.' They got hold of them in Dèlma 75, St-Martin Street, Tiremasse St. and in Bèlè. Right then and there, they placed a black bag on their heads and up to this moment no one knows what has become of these young men. "Please, what is the most important priority at this juncture of the struggle is to have a human rights organization present to help protect the activists and to find out where they are taken after arrest - especially in situations where no trace of their whereabouts can be found."

Furious at Jamaica welcoming Aristide, Haiti freezes diplomatic ties  3/16/04 AFP: "As the plane was landing in Kingston, Haitian prime minister Gerard Latortue announced in Port-au-Prince he had suspended relations with Jamaica. "I am immediately recalling the ambassador and we are freezing our relations with Jamaica," Latortue said at a news conference. He also said he would reconsider Haiti's relationship with the Caribbean Community (Caricom) group, which is currently headed by Jamaican Prime Minister Percival Patterson."

Aristide Backers Left Out of Coalition  3/16/04 AP: "Wilgo Supreme Ebouard, leader of a neighborhood group, angrily complained that peacekeepers patrol the slum from dusk to dawn and that residents are afraid to leave their homes… An official involved in the process said all the 11 ministers chosen so far had not served in government since 2000 when Aristide was re-elected in a rigged vote. The official said the list included Yvon Simeon as foreign minister; Bernard Gousse, an anti-Aristide lawyer, as justice minister; Henri Bazan, president of the Haitian Association of Economists, as finance minister; and former Gen. Herard Abraham as interior minister."

Resistance Populaire contre la Repression  3/16/04 Haiti Progres: nice pic of large pro-Lavalas/Aristide demonstration.

Aristide Now in Jamaica; Haiti Denouncess Ex-president’s Visit  3/16/04 NYT 

Liberal Says He Was Fired for Criticizing Aristide, Black Caucus  3/16/04 The Nation 

Warrant snags Aristide aide  3/16/04 Toronto Star: ""It is not about a person with a history of crimes against humanity or fear of prosecution and persecution (in Haiti).... We have a person who has information that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration wants," Mamann told Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada adjudicator Ilze De Carlo. Meanwhile, Aristide returned to the Caribbean yesterday for the first time since being ousted as Haiti's president, enraging the new government with a visit to Jamaica. Haiti recalled its ambassador in protest amid fears that Aristide is plotting a return to power… "Those who are loyal to Aristide are being harassed and it has become a witch hunt. It's not just," Jean's close friend from Montreal, Serge Bouchereau, said after the hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board's Toronto headquarters."

Haiti arms row rocks South Africa  3/15/04 BBC 

Regional rift deepens over Haiti  3/15/04 BBC: "Mr Chavez, who is himself accusing the US of fomenting the opposition to his rule in Venezuela, said he supported Mr Aristide's claim to be the rightful leader of Haiti and would refuse to recognise the government of new Prime Minister Gerard Latortue. Haiti's Caribbean neighbour, Jamaica, also said it would not recognise Mr Latortue's authority, at least until after a regional summit of the Caribbean Community scheduled for next week."

The Haiti Support Project  3/15/04 BWT 

U.S. Marine shot and wounded in Haiti  3/15/04 CNN: "The Marine was patrolling the Belair neighborhood, a stronghold of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, around 9:35 p.m. when he was shot in the left arm, Edwards said. The weapon was believed to be a small-caliber pistol, and the injury is not life-threatening, he said. Anger has been brewing among residents in the neighborhood since Marines -- under fire -- shot and killed two men on Friday. The Marines said the two were gunmen, but no weapons were recovered. Residents said those killed were neither militants nor armed, and that one was playing basketball."

US Military Intervention Number 3 - Haiti: a Coup without Consultation  3/15/04 Counterpunch: "Despite the heavy presence of troops from the United States, Canada and Chile--plus those that are to join them from seven other countries--occupying Port-au-Prince, disorder and chaos still reign in this city, where there is only one hospital. The facility is being managed by Cuban doctors who are continuing to give support and solidarity to the Haitian people having freely decided not to abandon the suffering population to its fate."

The Real Haiti Dilemma  3/15/04 Global Black News: "The significance of the Republic of Haiti goes far beyond anything currently reported in the news. It is almost an unwritten code by America and France that Haiti remains destabilized and the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Its anguish began with the first European contact by Columbus in 1492. Within a 25 year period after his arrival, the indigenous Arawak of Haiti virtually disappeared under Spanish genocide. It is no coincidence that 2004 is the 200 year celebration of Haiti's independence (1804), and the same year a democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was forcefully removed by American military."

Aristide leaves for Jamaica - Clearance came after tense stand-off in Bangui  3/15/04 Jamaica Observer 

French take over patrols for U.S. Marines in troubled Haiti neighborhood  3/14/04 AP: "A five-member delegation of American and Jamaican officials, including Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., met with Aristide late Sunday. Sharon Hay-Webster, a representative of the Caribbean Community regional bloc who is leading the delegation, said Aristide was likely to leave before midnight Sunday after a meeting with Central African Republic President Francois Bozize… French soldiers patrolled La Saline, a gritty seaside slum like many where Aristide still commands support and where resentment and anger brewed after Marines shot and killed two men in a firefight on Friday. The Marines said the two were gunmen, though no weapons were recovered. Residents said those killed were not armed or militant."

Debunking the Media's Lies about President Aristide  3/14/04 Dissident Voice 

Haiti's Murderous Army Reborn  3/14/04 Pacific News: "CAP HAITIAN, Haiti--I am the mayor of Milo, a district of about 50,000 people near Cap Haitian. When I was elected nine years ago, at the age of 28, I was the youngest to serve in that office in Haiti's modern history. I've traveled in the United States on speaking tours, telling Americans about how we were building democracy in Haiti under the Aristide government. In late February my district came under attack by anti-Aristide forces and I fled for my life. From where I am now -- hiding in the woods -- I see the old Haitian army is back. Those they don't kill, they lock up in containers, because they burned down the jails. The kind of containers you put on ships… One has to ask, why is all of this happening? Is this because we used to have only 10 public high schools but now we have over 150? Is it because we made a democracy where people could go in the streets, protest, and be free to say whatever they want? Is it because black people in the country now, people who were poor and always kept out of the political life of the country, they have come out and have been participating in democracy?"

The International Wrong  3/13/04 In These Times: "Those circumstances would be farcical were they not so tragic—and so redolent of Western imperialism. The colonial scenario of masters banishing insurgent subjects to far-flung exile is etched into Western history; Aristide’s treatment is just a contemporary echo. There is little national concern being expressed about the Haitian situation because Aristide’s treatment conforms neatly to the Western narrative about unruly colonial subjects. For those reasons and more, the CBC’s shrill objections to business as usual in Haiti are particularly welcomed and very long overdue."

Four persons injured in pro-Aristide demonstration  3/12/04 Granma: "AT least four persons were injured in a demonstration by supporters of President Jean Bertrand Aristide when the Haitian police fired on protestors demanding the return of the deposed leader. Various journalists covering the demonstration confirmed that shots were fired and other witnesses stated that both the police and demonstrators exchanged fire, according to Europa press."

Role in Haiti Events Backfiring on Washington  3/12/04 Inter Press: "''The developing world is now challenging the U.S. and France for not being democratic; that is of great long-term significance,'' she added "

HAITI: Aristide's Call for Reparations From France Unlikely to Die  3/12/04 IPS 

Gerard Latortue, Haiti's Illegitimate Ruler  3/12/04 NarcoNews: "Where is Aristide's alleged "resignation letter"? AP's own translation of the supposed "resignation" letter reveals that it was not a resignation at all, not by any legal standard. The text that the US Embassy "translated" from the original Creole as "tonight I am resigning" more truthfully translates to "if tonight is my resignation." What kind of "resignation" is that? (And why haven't AP and other Commercial Media followed up on that story?)"

Try Bush as a Global Pirate  3/11/04 Black Commentator: "Thus, the new “prime minister” of Haiti appears as surprised as the rest of his countrymen when conveyed the title by an “eminent” rump of persons chosen by the occupying power. The man picked for the job on Tuesday, business consultant Gérard Latortue, doesn’t even arrive in Haiti from his home in Boca Raton, Florida, until Wednesday. U.S. Marines believe they have killed Haitian gunmen in battle, but seem unconcerned as to their identities. Half a world away, the constitutional head of state, elected with overwhelming popular support in a process deemed free and fair by the entire international community, is held captive by an African military dictator after being kidnapped by the world’s superpower in cahoots with the former colonial master of his country."

Haiti News  3/11/04 Haiti Support: "Latortue went straight to work Thursday, meeting with interim President Boniface Alexandre to discuss a Cabinet he wants to include retired army Chief of Staff Herard Abraham, in charge of security, and businessman and former Aristide Prime Minister Smarck Michel as planning minister. Abraham supports recreating Haiti’s once-disgraced army, a key demand of rebels who helped force Aristide from office. Latortue said Aristide’s disbanding of the army in 1995 may have been unconstitutional."

KU prof asked to translate Aristide's statement  3/11/04 Lawrence Journal-World, KS: "Aristide, who is now in exile in Africa, has said he was kidnapped and denied resigning his post. Freeman translated the controversial passage as: "Thus, if this evening it is my resignation which can prevent a bloodbath, I agree to leave ... " "

Aristide to press charges against French, US diplomats  3/11/04 The News, Pakistan: ""President Aristide has asked me to lodge a lawsuit in France ... for abduction and illegal detention" against French ambassador Thierry Burkard, the lawyer, Gilbert Collard, told AFP. He added that a US lawyer, Ira Kurzban, was to lodge a similar lawsuit in the United States against the US ambassador, James Foley. Kurzban told a news conference in Paris on Wednesday that he planned to file the lawsuit. The US lawyer was on his way back to the United States after meeting Aristide in the Central African Republic, where the ousted Haitian leader has been since being flown out of Haiti on board an aircraft organised by the US government on February 29."

U.S. Hand In Aristide Ouster America's Shameful Treatment of Haiti  3/10/04 Northstar Network: by Ron Daniels - "In the end, the violent insurrection that erupted in Gonaive by gangs formerly allied with Aristide provided the perfect opening for the U.S. to oust someone for whom the right wing ideologues had a deep dislike and distrust. As the rebellion spread and heavily armed former death squad leaders, drug dealers and human rights abusers crossed the border from the Dominican Republic, Washington and the international community watched as they captured town after town. Presented with a formula for power sharing and a government of national unity based on a proposal originally crafted by CARICOM, to his credit, Aristide quickly accepted. Even though he would have largely been reduced to a figurehead, he correctly argued that it was time that Haitians learned to move from “elected President to elected President instead of coup d’etat to coup d’etat.” "

New Haitian Prime Minister Arrives, Vowing to Restore Unity  3/10/04 NYT: "Gérard Latortue, the economist and former diplomat chosen by a United States-backed council to lead Haiti out of its political crisis, arrived in the country from southern Florida on Wednesday, promising to reconcile opposed factions and bring peace and prosperity to a nation long wracked by poverty and brutalized by generations of dictators."

The intrigues in Haiti's crisis  3/10/04 Trinidad & Tobago Express: "Incidentally, amid all the talk, in and out of the Caribbean region, about help for crisis-ridden Haiti, it is Castro's Cuba that has had in Haiti, for the past three years, more than 500 (five hundred) doctors and nurses spread across the country, providing desperately needed medical attention. Also in Haiti are Cuban technical experts in various fields, including agriculture, engineering and education, with the latter focused on promoting literacy. A question of immediate relevance is whether America under Bush, would want in Haiti what America under Reagan had forced in Grenada-getting rid of all Cubans-doctors, nurses, construction workers, or else. In the meanwhile, we await on the emergence of Caricom's case for UN probe into the circumstances of Aristide being out of power."

Port-Au-Prince by Johnny  3/10/04 Znet: "The U.S. Marines stood by and did nothing while the library at the Aristide Foundation was burned. With my own eyes I saw the American Marines stand and watch while rebels cut a woman and shot her. I yelled at them, “Do something!” and they swung their guns around toward me and yelled, “Get back!” While I hid in a field the American Marines put their hats on the bodies of dead people and posed for pictures with them. It made me sick because in Haiti we respect the dead. The Americans scare me; I don’t believe that they want anything good for the Haitian people because they support the criminals who oppose democracy. We are fearful of the old army because they are those who killed the street children of Lafanmi Selavi. They killed the peasants in the North who wanted to have democracy and supported Aristide."

African Union Blasts Haiti Ouster  3/9/04 AP 

Aristide’s Lawyer: Bush is getting even in Haiti  3/9/04 NNPA: "An attorney for former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, now in exile, says he believes President George W. Bush sought to finish the agenda of his father by removing rather than protecting the embattled president last week. “Dick Cheney was the secretary of defense, Colin Powell was the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and George Bush, the father, was president at the time of the first military coup against President Aristide,” recalls the attorney, Ira Kurzban of Miami. “Is there a settling of scores in some sense? They thought they got rid of him the first time, but Clinton brought him back. And now they want to make sure, before the November election, that they get rid of him a second time.” ...“There is one issue that is at the core of the problems in Haiti that few people are talking about,” says retired Congressman Walter Fauntroy (D-D.C.), who served for 15 years as chairman of a Bi-partisan, Bicameral Congressional Task Force on Haiti. “In the last 10 years, Haiti has become a major illegal drug transshipment for the Cali, Medellin and Baranquilla drug cartels in South America.” "

US-Haiti by Noam Chomsky  3/9/04 Znet 

Aristide's removal presents threat to Cuba says report  3/8/04 Rebelion: "Journalist and French writer Thierry Meyssan has claimed that France and United States agreed in the summer of 2003 to a joint plan to prepare a coup d'etat against the ousted president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, due, among others things, to utilize the country as a base of operations to finish off Fidel Castro "within five months". The other motive was the French reaction to Aristide's decision to demand that Paris refund debt payments contracted with the former colony throughout the XIX century."

Haitians in U.S. lash out at Hill black caucus ties  3/8/04 Washington Times: "Leaders of South Florida's Haitian community met behind closed doors over the weekend and denounced some members of the Congressional Black Caucus for their ties to departed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. "We have to wonder if some of the Congressional Black Caucus may have profited from their relationship with Aristide," said Carlo Jean-Joseph, an immigration lawyer from Lauderhill in neighboring Broward County."

Haitians in U.S. lash out at Hill black caucus ties  3/8/04 Washington Times: "Leaders of South Florida's Haitian community met behind closed doors over the weekend and denounced some members of the Congressional Black Caucus for their ties to departed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. "We have to wonder if some of the Congressional Black Caucus may have profited from their relationship with Aristide," said Carlo Jean-Joseph, an immigration lawyer from Lauderhill in neighboring Broward County."

Haitian immigrants protest Bush at rally  3/7/04 Chicago Tribune: "U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said that she had talked on the phone with Aristide's American-born wife, Mildred Trouillot, hours before the couple left the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and that Trouillot had not said anything about an imminent departure. "I'm telling you that this was not a woman who was preparing to pack her bags," said Schakowsky, who called for a congressional investigation into the circumstances around Aristide's demise."

Aristide supporters plan Haiti backlash  3/6/04 Reuters: ""If they don't bring the president back, there's going to be a lot of blood," said Jean Gustave, near the ruins of St. Jean Bosco, the church where Aristide railed against Haiti's Duvalier family dictatorship in the mid-1980s. Aristide supporters promised daily demonstrations to protest the ouster of Haiti's first freely elected president, who won a second term in office in 2000 but was pushed out by armed rebels and political opponents who accused him of corruption and human rights violations. The council of "wise men" chosen on Friday to help pick a new government includes only one member of Aristide's Lavalas family movement, which had dominated the government. Four are from the political opposition and two are from churches. The council appeared to have settled on top candidates to replace Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, an Aristide ally."

Call for probe into Aristide ousting  3/5/04 Daily Dispatch, SA: "Miffed that it was ignored in the resolution of Haiti's crisis, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) has called for an international inquiry into the ousting of Haitian ex-president Jean Bertrand Aristide. "Despite what we have heard in public and despite what we have learnt in private, we simply say that the situation calls for an investigation of what transpired," Jamaican Prime Minister Percival (PJ) Patterson, Caricom chairperson, was quoted as saying by the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper yesterday. After Aristide's resignation and abrupt departure under escort by United States forces, Patterson convened a two-day emergency Caricom meeting. In Washington, members of Congress on Wednesday grilled US Secretary of State Colin Powell and his top official for Latin America, Roger Noriega, over the international pressure put on Aristide to step down."

US faces mounting international fury over Aristide's 'forced' exit  3/5/04 Independent, UK: "South Africa added its voice last night to a growing international chorus questioning the circumstances surrounding Jean-Bertrand Aristide's departure from Haiti and demanded an investigation into allegations that the US forcibly removed a democratically elected president from office. In a thinly veiled attack on the Bush administration, South Africa's Foreign Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said that if Mr Aristide had been prised from power against his will, it would have "serious consequences and ramifications for the respect of the rule of law and democracy the world over"… Meanwhile, the Haitian consul general in New York has taken the position that Mr Aristide is still the country's legitimate president."

In Aristide's Wake, a Land Long Divided by Class, Color Explodes  3/5/04 LA Times 

Haiti: Must the show go on?  3/4/04 Al Ahram: "With Aristide seemingly ousted, American and French troops have once again landed in Haiti to run the island's affairs, writes Gamal Nkrumah"

House Members Blast Administration For Haiti Policies  3/4/04 Democracy Now: "Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega [Cuban-American] was grilled by Congressional Democrats yesterday for the Bush administration's handling of the crisis in Haiti at a hearing of the House International Relations subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere."

Rep. Gregory Meeks Questions U.S. Officials on Haiti Policy  3/4/04 US NewsWire 

Haiti, Is That One of the Tahitian Islands? The Yuppie Silence  3/3/04 Counterpunch: "The "progressive" community in America has always and will continue to flabbergast my perception of know-all. As one who commonly identifies with the monolithic-activist-culture, furthermore a proud son of Haiti (albeit Diaspora) striving to fulfill the prodigal Caribbean prophecy, an anomaly has manifested itself on the crown of this dualistic self-perception; grant me the luxury of expounding as to why."

U.S. Psy-Ops Exposed, South Africa Rejects Washington's Claim Aristide Was Denied Asylum  3/3/04 Democracy Now: "Democracy Now! has learned from the South African ambassador to the United Nations, Dumisani Kumalo, that President Aristide did not request asylum or exile in South Africa, nor did the South African government deny him amnesty or exile as alleged by the US State Department and The New York Times."

Caricom draws South Africa into the loop over Haiti - Likely to coordinate response with Mbeki  3/3/04 Jamaica Observer: "Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders will resume their talks on the Haiti situation today, but it appeared last night that they were attempting to fashion a response to the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in concert with South Africa, the world's most powerful black nation."

The fire this time in Haiti was US-fueled  3/3/04 Taipei Times 

Aristide: 'U.S. Forced Me to Leave Haiti'  3/2/04 Scotsman: "Mr Aristide was put in contact yesterday with The Associated Press by the Reverend Jesse Jackson following a news conference where the civil rights leader called on Congress to investigate the president’s departure. When asked if he left Haiti on his own, Mr Aristide quickly answered: “No. I was forced to leave. “They were telling me that if I don’t leave they would start shooting, and be killing in a matter of time,” he said during the brief interview via speaker phone. He spoke English with a thick accent, his voice obscured at times by a bad connection. When asked who the agents were, he responded: “White American, white military. They came at night. ... There were too many. I couldn’t count them.” Mr Aristide told reporters that he signed documents relinquishing power out of fear that violence would erupt in Haiti if he refused to comply with the demands of “American security agents”."

CBC: Bush helped rebels oust Aristide  3/2/04 The Hill: "Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), said, “We were misled about their plan to force out Aristide. I don’t think any member of Congress can trust what this administration now tells us.”

"I Was Kidnaped"--Aristide  3/1/04 Black World Today: "The most alarming reports of Aristide's final hours in Haiti is that he was abducted by a contingent of U.S. Marines early Sunday morning and led from his home in handcuffs, according to reporter Kevin Pina during a special broadcast Sunday evening on the crisis in Haiti by Amy Goodman of WBAI-FM. Pina based his account on reports from a palace guard and a cameraman of ABC-TV. In another report, a security guard at Aristide's home said that the Marines came and escorted him away at gunpoint. "He did not want to go," the security man told reporters."

Drug allegation gave US leverage on Aristide  3/1/04 Boston Globe: "The most serious charges of drug-trafficking in Haiti have been leveled not at Aristide but at some of the leaders of the insurgency that had battled to unseat him in a revolt that began Feb. 5 in northern Haiti. Many analysts and diplomats remain nervous of a future Haiti government that includes these powerful rebels, many of them associated with previous, brutal Haitian regimes."

Haiti as Target Practice - How the US Press Missed the Story  3/1/04 Counterpunch 

PRESIDENT ARISTIDE SAYS 'I WAS KIDNAPPED' 'TELL THE WORLD IT IS A COUP'  3/1/04 Democracy Now: "TransAfrica founder and close Aristide family friend Randall Robinson also received a call from the Haitian president early this morning and confirmed Waters account. Robinson said that Aristide "emphatically" denied that he had resigned. "He did not resign," he said. "He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup." Robinson says he spoke to Aristide on a cell phone that was smuggled to the Haitian president… Because the South African foreign minister had called me - foreign minister Zuma - from India mid-afternoon on Sunday and she asked how I was doing and I thought I was going to be doing much better and I told her so. And I said because I'm sure that president Aristide has arrived in South Africa. She said no, he hasn't arrived here. We haven't heard anything from him. We don't know where he is and then we became really alarmed. She said there's been no request for asylum. So, you see the State Department is telling an interested public, including members of the congress, that South Africa refused asylum. The State Department knows better. They know that President Aristide was not allowed to request asylum from South Africa or anybody else because he was not allowed to make any phone calls before they left Haiti, during the flight, and beyond."

'This sets a dangerous precedent'  3/1/04 Jamaica Gleaner: "THE CARIBBEAN Community (CARICOM) yesterday deplored 'the removal of President Aristide' from office, as setting 'a dangerous precedent for democratically-elected governments anywhere and everywhere...' The statement, issued by Jamaica's Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, chairman of CARICOM, said that CARICOM Heads of Government would meet here tomorrow to discuss the situation."

Jean Bertrand Aristide: Humanist Or Despot?  3/1/04 Pacific News: "Aristide said, "Change takes time, Lyn. Some people have spent years paying Haitians very little. When I wanted to raise the minimum wage in 1991, they had a coup and you know what happened." He reminded me that he had gone to parliament to raise the minimum wage in 1994, though it was still very low. "Of course people should be paid more, but in a democracy we have to share power and this is what was [voted on.]" he said. When a major American daily paper published an article that portrayed Aristide as a despot, I was aghast. "Don't you care that they're saying this about you?" I asked him. As much as I disagreed with some of his politics, I was hurt when I saw him so maligned. Aristide always had an answer: "What is important is not journalists, it's to make democracy real. How can we say we love our brother but we let him starve? How can we say we want democracy but we do nothing when people have no home? How can people have peace in their hearts when they have no peace in their stomach?" "

Aristide Tells U.S. Contacts He Was Abducted  3/1/04 Reuters: "But Rep. Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat and, like Waters, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said after talking by telephone with Aristide that interpreting his allegations of "kidnapping" was "subjective." "They strongly suggested that he get out of town. The military helped him make the decision," Rangel told reporters as a Congressional Black Caucus delegation met in New York with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to discuss Haiti. While there had been reports Aristide left Haiti in handcuffs, Aristide denied this, Rangel said. "He said he was not in handcuffs. He felt like he was in handcuffs." "

Veterans of Past Murderous Campaigns Are Leading Haiti's New Rebellion  2/29/04 NYT 

Kerry says U.S. fueled conflict in Haiti  2/27/04 Miami Herald 

Bush accused of supporting Haitian rebels  2/27/04 UPI: "Activists at a Friday press briefing outlined what they believe to be a well-crafted plan by the Bush administration to overthrow Aristide. Former Haitian military members, drug dealers and militants were armed and trained in the Dominican Republic thanks to military support from the United States. They have now crossed the border into Haiti, activists said. The rebel insurrection that erupted three weeks ago has left roughly 80 people dead, nearly half of whom were police officers. U.S.-supported coups in Latin America and Africa during the Cold War were referenced by many as models for what they perceive to be the Bush administration's current strategy in Haiti."

Economic Misery Provoked Bloodshed in Haiti  2/26/04 Black America Web 

Washington's Hand Against Democracy and for Extra-Constitutional Regime Change in Haiti  2/26/04 Black Commentator: "It is well documented (See the COHA report referenced below) that the so-called Haitian opposition has no real program, platform or constituency, other than less than 4% of the population in Haiti and the stated desire to overthrow Aristide and bring back the old Haitian army."

Aristide begs for outside help as rebels tighten noose  2/26/04 Independent, UK 

Wyclef Jean Voices Support For Haitian Rebels  2/26/04 MTV 

HAITI: ON THE BRINK  2/26/04 PBS: "REP. CHARLES RANGEL: I'm now convinced after listening to Mr. Foley and Mr. Powell that the United States are on the side of the opposition and they want President Aristide either to leave by a jet or leave in a body bag and I'm telling you, if I was in the opposition, I would say we won."

Anarchy sweeps Haiti's capital as Aristide faces end  2/26/04 Telegraph, UK 

Haiti's Lawyer: U.S. Is Arming Anti-Aristide Paramilitaries  2/25/04 Democracy Now: ""There's enough indications from our point of view, at least from my point of view, that the United States certainly knew what was coming about two weeks before this military operation started," Kurzban said. "The United States made contingency plans for Guantanamo." "

Activists, politicians question U.S. hand in Haiti crisis  2/25/04 Final Call 

Bush Rebuffs Aristide, Warns Haitians  2/25/04 Reuters 

Black nation under siege needs us now  2/25/04 SF Bay View: Haiti viewed by an insider

U.S. Reluctant to Defend Democracy at its Doorstep  2/24/04 Black America Web: by Dewayne Wickham

Haiti Action  2/21/04 HaitiAction.net 

Protesters in Miami demand that Aristide step down  2/21/04 Miami Herald: "The protest at Miami's Bayfront Park was coalition of Haitian, Venezuelan and Cuban groups that also demanded the ouster of Fidel Castro and President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Several speakers called Aristide, Castro and Chavez murderers and terrorists, their speeches peppered with comparisons to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. "Chavez must go. Aristide must go. And Castro must go," Haitian-born organizer Rubens Eliatus told the media as a crowd cheered."

Faces from Haiti's Bloody Past Lead Revolt  2/21/04 Reuters: "GONAIVES, Haiti - His gunmen killed 3,000 people when a military junta ruled Haiti with an iron fist. Now, at the head of a rebellion aiming to unseat President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former death squad leader Louis Jodel Chamblain speaks of democracy and constitutions."

Rising Stakes In Haiti as Ex-Dictator's Thugs Take Over Opposition  2/20/04 AntiWar: "The crisis – and the possibility of a major outflow of boat people desperate to reach U.S. shores – has forced the Bush administration to take a more active role in the diplomatic discussions about how to deal with the crisis than it had previously been willing to consider."

US Goal: Declare Haiti a Failed State  2/19/04 Black Commentator: "The Bush administration is preparing to declare Haiti a “failed state,” so that Washington can step in to put the pieces back together as it chooses. Creating the conditions for such a declaration has been the U.S. objective since George Bush came to power. For three years Washington and the European Union have imposed an aid embargo on Haiti, squeezing the hemisphere’s poorest nation until it screamed – and then squeezing harder."

Five Questions About Haiti and the Coup Attempt Echoes of Venezuela 2002 Are Heard Across the Caribbean  2/19/04 NarcoNews 

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters calls for support of Aristide; denounces Duvalier supporter Andre Apaid  2/19/04 Radio Progreso 

Congresswoman Maxine Waters warns of bloodbath in Haiti  2/19/04 SF Bay View 

No coup in Haiti! Tell Secretary of State Colin Powell to stop backing gangs trying to overthrow President Aristide  2/19/04 SF Bay View 

Town falls as Haitian rebellion spreads  2/18/04 Sydney Morning Herald: "Armed rebels have seized the central town of Hinche and killed the district police chief as an uprising against the embattled President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, spread to new areas of Haiti. Two other men also died, while Aristide loyalists reportedly killed two anti-government supporters in the port town of St Marc, pushing the death toll since February 5, when rebels seized the northern city of Gonaives, to almost 60."

Rep. Maxine Waters Charges U.S. Is Encouraging A Coup in Haiti  2/16/04 Democracy Now, Pacifica: "We speak with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) about what role the U.S. is playing in the current events in the country. In Haiti, anti-government gangs and militias are working with opposition groups and former army officers in an effort to overthrow the government of Jean Bertrand Aristide. There is concern that Washington is once again working behind the scenes to foment a coup."

Haiti at brink again - U.S. owes help By Randall Robinson  2/16/04 Final Call 

Beloved Haiti - A (Counter) Revolutionary Bicentennial  2/15/04 Counterpunch: "The ridiculous names like Gonaives Resistance Front that these right-wing paramilitaries have assigned themselves are already being echoed in the capitalist press, which also refers to them, idiotically, as "rebels," and to their activities as the activities of "crowds." A contact I spoke with hours ago who returned from Port-au-Prince today told me that the real crowds are those who are fleeing these fascist coup operations in the North and the massive PRO-Aristide demonstrations in the capital. This contact said the situation here is very similar in many respects to the US-supported attempt to overthrow another democratically elected government, that of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela."

Media vs. Reality in Haiti  2/13/04 Infoshop: "Judging by the corporate media’s recent coverage of the crisis in Haiti, one might be led to believe that they are “aiding and abetting” an attempted coup d’etat aimed at the democratically elected Jean Bertand Aristide. On a daily basis, mainstream international media is churning out stories provided mainly by the Associated Press and Reuters that have little basis in fact."

Some Democrats Urge Bush Administration to Take Stronger Action on Haiti  2/11/04 VOA: "Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who co-chairs the Haiti Task Force in the Black Caucus, which represents African-American lawmakers in Congress, says the administration "has not been on the side of democracy in Haiti. As a result of their lack of support for a democratically elected president, I believe and many believe that they are aiding and abetting the violence in Haiti." "

Comments on April 9th by Actor/Activist and TransAfrica Forum Board Chair Danny Glover During Press Conference with Haiti's President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on the Occasion of the 200th Anniversary of the Death of Toussaint L'Ouverture on April 7, 2003  4/9/03 TransAfrica 

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