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Haiti: Different Coup, Same Paramilitary Leaders
For a closer look at what is happening right now on the ground in Haiti, we look back at the involvement of the U.S. in the 1991-1994 coup period with veteran investigative journalist Allan Nairn who broke a number of stories that proved the direct links between US intelligence agencies and Haitian paramilitary death squads in the early 1990s.
Many of the men leading the armed insurrection in Haiti right now are well known to veteran Haiti observers and, for that matter, the US intelligence agencies that worked closely with the paramilitary death squads which terrorized Haiti in the early 1990s. People like Louis Jodel Chamblain, the former number 2 man in FRAPH, Guy Philippe, a former police chief who was trained by US Special forces in Ecuador and Jean Tatun, another leader of FRAPH.
In an hour-long interview with the Washington Post, published today Guy Philippe vowed a bloody assault on Port-au-Prince "very soon" if Aristide refuses to leave office. Philippe and Chamblain told the paper that Aristide's departure and his replacement by an interim leader who would call new elections was the only possible peaceful solution to their three-week-old insurgency. Chamblain said "Aristide has two choices: prison or execution by firing squad."
Preparations against a possible assault by the paramilitaries were evident in Port-au-Prince. Pro-Aristide militia groups stepped up their vigilance in the increasingly tense capital, setting up roadblocks and burning tires after dark at intersections throughout the city. Vehicles throughout the city are being stopped and searched.
Philippe said some of his forces are already in Port-au-Prince, some, he said, under cover in the National Palace. He predicted that they would use intelligence to identify and locate leaders of pro-Aristide groups, "neutralize them" and take the city in "one or two hours." He said his forces would kill Aristide if he resisted an attack, but that a trial would be preferable, either in Haiti or at an international court. Philippe said he would welcome an international peacekeeping force, provided Aristide was gone.
For a closer look at what is happening right now on the ground in Haiti, we are going to look back at the involvement of the US in the 1991-1994 coup period.
Allan Nairn, a veteran investigative journalist. He was in Haiti during the 1991-94 coup and broke a number of stories that proved the direct links between US intelligence agencies and Haitian paramilitary death squads. Among the stories he broke was that the head of FRAPH, Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, was on the payroll of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
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