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Indybay Feature
Mon Mar 8 2004
US Backed Coup In Haiti
March 2004 Haiti Updates
3/8: Aristide spoke to Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! this morning in the most extensive english-language interview since his removal from Haiti. Local Haitian activist Pierre La Boissiere has also has given an interview with a local reporter on the situation in Haiti.

3/7: While the US helped support a large anti-Aristide rally in Port-au-Prince today, supporters of the democratically elected leader postponed a planned demonstration on Sunday, saying they were offered no protection. While some of the press in the US celebrates US-French cooperation other mainstream news sources are starting to detail how the US had been working to destabalize Haiti's economy for the past three years. John Kerry has even made a statement condemning how the US undermined democracy in Haiti, and papers like the Washington Post have started running stories on dangers to human rights in Haiti following Aristide's ouster. The Jamaica Observer points out that this is not the first time that the US has kidnapped a popular Haitian leader.

3/5: Aristide Details Last Moments In Haiti In First Address To Haitian People From Exile
"Thousands of outraged supporters of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide have poured out of Haiti's slums and into the streets, marching on the US Embassy to denounce the occupation of their homeland and demand Aristide's return." Prime Minister Yvon Neptune has called for an investigation into Aristide's ouster, but Neptune may not have long in office as there is talk that a US backed commission is thinking of appointing a new prime minister. The invasion of Haiti and toppling of a democratically elected government by US, Canadian and French forces has raised calls by Caribbean leaders for a UN investigation. Could Canada and the US's interest in Haiti be tied to cheap sweatshop labor or is the US interested in using Haiti as a new military base? Or with 905 Haitians returned by the US to Haiti since February 21, is the US occupation perhaps tied to a desire to keep Haitians from fleeing the country and get more votes for Bush in Florida in November's election?

3/4: Haiti's U.S. supported killers continue to exact their bloody revenge against leaders of Lavalas, as the US media continues to repeat State Department lies. In a phone conversation with a French writer on Thursday, Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide accused France of helping the US remove him from office. Later in the day, Aristide's lawyer reported that the Central African Republic shut off Aristide's phone service and that armed members of the French and CAR military are guarding him and that he is not free to leave. South Africa and the fifteen member Caribbean Community (Caricom) have called on the United Nations to investigate Aristide's ouster and in the US, Congressional Democrats attacked the Bush administration's handling of the crisis.

3/2: Yvon Neptune, Prime Minister of Haiti, describes the current events as a coup and says he is a prisoner in his office. He calls Aristide's resignation "not constitutional" because it was made under duress and threat. "The coup machine is in motion because the opposition knows they cannot win elections with President Aristide in the country." Guy Philippe set up shop in what was once the headquarters of Haiti's armed forces. Under Aristide, the building housed Haiti's ministry for women's affairs. Philippe's supporters pulled paintings out of the building and tossed them on a bonfire Tuesday afternoon. Philippe, declaring himself in charge of the police and military, threatened to arrest the Prime Minister. There are reports that many former supporters of Aristide are being rounded up, tortured and killed. Meanwhile, the lawyer who represents President Jean Bertrand Aristide told Pacifica Radio KPFK Los Angeles Radio that he had learned that the Central African Republic (CAR) has shut off President Aristide's phone service. He said that armed members of the French and CAR military are guarding President Aristide and he is not free to leave.

3/1/2004: The U.S. Marines and formerly exiled mass killers are now in control of Haiti. Opposition thugs have rolled through the pro-Aristide slums, firing indiscriminantly and even threatening to burn down a school.
In an interview with CNN Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide rejected Washington's assertions that he resigned willingly, accusing the US of staging a "coup d'etat." "They lied to me, and they may lie to you, too," he told CNN in a telephone interview. "No one should force an elected president to move in order to avoid bloodshed." In an interview arranged by Jesse Jackson with the AP, Aristide was asked if he left Haiti on his own, Aristide quickly answered: "No. I was forced to leave"
Monday morning, multiple sources who spoke with Aristide told Democracy Now! that Aristide says he was "kidnapped" and taken by force to the Central African Republic. Congressmember Maxine Waters said she received a call from Aristide at 9am EST. "He's surrounded by military. It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped," said Waters. She said he had been threatened by what he called US diplomats. According to Waters, the diplomats reportedly told the Haitian president that if he did not leave Haiti, paramilitary leader Guy Philippe would storm the palace and Aristide would be killed. According to Waters, Aristide was told by the US that they were withdrawing Aristide's US security. Audio and Transcript
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. Audio and Transcript In addition, groups such as Human Rights Watch are appalled that the US would place confirmed war criminals in power at a time when Haiti is in total crisis.
More From Democracy Now

2/29/2004: Aristide has left Haiti and Haitian Chief Justice Boniface Alexandre has been sworn in as president. President Bush has ordered U.S. Marines into Haiti to take part in this new regime change. There are reports from Haiti that democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide did not resign and was instead "taken away" against his will in handcuffs by US marines.
Today: 4-6 p.m. Democracy Now Special | Latest Posts To This Site About Haiti

2/28/2004: Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, is on edge with flaming barricades up across the city and armed masked men patrolling the streets as Haitians brace for an assault by armed gangs. Opposition leader Guy Phillippe has told reporters that he is following Washington’s lead. “I heard the United States asked our men to stop their advance to Port-au-Prince. It’s on the news on the Net,” said Phillippe, according to a report by the British Press Association. “We will keep on sending troops but we won’t attack Port-au-Prince until we understand what the US means.” The leader of this anti-democracy band of violent thugs has spoken: He will do what Washington says. Everything that happens next over the coming hours and days will be the direct result of signals sent by the government in Washington.
Guy Philippe is a former army officer who received training from the US Special Forces in Equador and says he admires President George Bush. Another rebel operation is being led by Louis Jodel Chamblain, who ran death squads in the 1980s and later headed a notorious paramilitary organisation called FRAPH, which terrorised Haiti in the aftermath of the 1991 coup that ousted President Aristide during his first term.
The General Council for the government of Haiti in the United States is speaking out against US support of right-wing opposition Audio From Flashpoints.
US Congresswoman Maxine Waters charges the U.S. Is encouraging a coup in Haiti (Audio).
Media vs. Reality in Haiti | Recycled Soldiers and Paramilitaries on the March | US can end the killing in Haiti it started | NarcoNews: Haiti 2004, The Great Irony | Latest Updates From Flashpoints
Updates From Democracy Now: 2/25 ( 1 2 3 ) 2/26 ( 1 2 ) 2/27 ( 1 )
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