BlueHummingbird News


At Information Clearing House: 06/03/03
Haiti – Regime Change: Caught between a rock and a Bush By William Bowles
Whilst the US tells the world of its desire to see freedom and democracy in Iraq, it’s busy starving Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere into submission by enforcing a complete embargo on economic aid through its control of the IMF, World Bank and the International Development Fund, unless the Aristide government bows to US pressure to ‘reform’. In all, the US is blocking aid totalling $500 million. The US is backing a coalition of tiny, right-wing parties, the Democratic Convergence, which has links to US right-wing organisations and big business interests in the Haitian economy and which has according to reports, millions of dollars of funding from, you guessed it, the National Endowment for Democracy. ...

From Reuters: Fri February 13, 2004 05:39 PM ET
U.S. Warns Haiti Opposition Against Aristide Ouster By Saul Hudson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell warned Haiti's opposition on Friday against ousting President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was restored to power a decade ago by a U.S. invasion and now faces an armed revolt. "We will accept no outcome that is not consistent with the constitution. We will accept no outcome that in any way illegally attempts to remove the elected president of Haiti," Powell told reporters after a crisis meeting with mediators. ...

At Centre for Research on Globalisation: 29 February 2004
US Sponsored Coup d'Etat: The Destabilization of Haiti by Michel Chossudovsky

From The Taipei Times: Monday, Mar 01, 2004, Page 9
The fire this time in Haiti was US-fueled By Jeffrey Sachs
The Bush administration appears to have succeeded in its long-time goal of toppling Aristide through years of blocking international aid to his impoverished nation

From Reuters: Sun Feb 29, 2004 06:43 PM ET
Aristide Quits Haiti, Bush Orders Marines In By Jim Loney and Alistair Scrutton
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled his chaotic Caribbean country on Sunday in the face of a bloody armed revolt, and President Bush ordered in U.S. Marines to restore order. ... The United States, which along with former colonial power France had called on Aristide to quit to help bring an end to the crisis, urged rebels to lay down their arms. ... The departure of Aristide, who had been insisting up until late this week that he would serve out his second term until 2006, was arranged by U.S. officials. ...

From Reuters: Mon Mar 1, 2004 01:47 PM ET
Aristide Tells U.S. Contacts He Was Abducted
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ousted as Haitian president on Sunday, told U.S. lawmakers and other contacts by telephone on Monday that he was abducted by U.S. soldiers and left his homeland against his will. ... Rep. Charles Rangel and Randall Robinson .. said in separate interviews with CNN that Aristide called them from the Central African Republic, where he is in temporary exile. ... "The president said to me that he had been abducted from his home by about 20 American soldiers in full battle gear with automatic weapons and put on a plane" on Sunday morning, (Robinson) said. ... "He said to me twice before he had to get off the phone, 'Tell the world that it's a coup. That American soldiers abducted (me).'" ...

At NY Newsday: March 1, 2004
U.S. political maneuvering behind the ouster BY RON HOWELL, STAFF WRITER
The departure of Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a victory for a Bush administration hard-liner who has been long dedicated to Aristide's ouster, U.S. foreign policy analysts say. That official is Roger Noriega, assistant U.S. secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, whose influence over U.S. policy toward Haiti has increased during the past decade as he climbed the diplomatic ladder in Washington. ...

From Reuters: Tue Mar 2, 2004 05:07 PM ET
Cheney Says Aristide Had Worn Out Welcome By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney said on Tuesday Jean-Bertrand Aristide had "worn out his welcome" as Haiti's president but the United States did not force him to leave as he claims. "He made the choice to leave. He resigned the office of his own free will and left on a civilian aircraft which we chartered for him. He left with his security detail," Cheney told Fox News. Aristide, who left Haiti on Sunday and is in temporary exile in the Central African Republic, has claimed he was abducted by U.S. soldiers and was a victim of a coup. ... "The fact of the matter was, that Mr. Aristide had worn out his welcome. He was democratically elected but he didn't govern in a democratic manner and had reached the point where clearly the opposition groups, rebels, were increasingly successful at undermining his authority," Cheney said. ...

At the Chicago Sun-Times: March 2, 2004
Bush undermined Haiti democracy BY JESSE JACKSON

Comment at The Guardian: Tuesday March 2, 2004
Why they had to crush Aristide by Peter Hallward
Haiti's elected leader was regarded as a threat by France and the US
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was re-elected president of Haiti in November 2000 with more than 90% of the vote. He was elected by people who approved his courageous dissolution, in 1995, of the armed forces that had long terrorised Haiti and had overthrown his first administration. He was elected by people who supported his tentative efforts, made with virtually no resources or revenue, to invest in education and health. He was elected by people who shared his determination, in the face of crippling US opposition, to improve the conditions of the most poorly paid workers in the western hemisphere. Aristide was forced from office on Sunday by people who have little in common except their opposition to his progressive policies and their refusal of the democratic process. With the enthusiastic backing of Haiti's former colonial master, a leader elected with overwhelming popular support has been driven from office by a loose association of convicted human rights abusers, seditious former army officers and pro-American business leaders. ...

From Reuters: Thu Mar 4, 2004 06:22 PM ET
US Says Aristide Exit a Lesson for Failed Leaders By Saul Hudson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday rejected pressure for an investigation into whether it pushed former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to resign and said it would not prop up "failed" elected leaders. After days of criticism that Aristide was ousted in a U.S.-assisted coup, the Bush administration's new defense of his "rescue" stoked fears its Haiti policy set a precedent for other leftists in Latin America, such as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. ... The new U.S. defense shifted from denying it forced Aristide out to explaining why the administration allowed him to fall as rebels were closing in on the capital. ...

From Reuters: Fri Mar 5, 2004 07:40 PM ET
Aristide Supporters Denounce Haiti 'Occupation' By Ibon Villelabeitia and Jim Loney
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - Thousands of furious supporters of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide poured out of Haiti's slums and into the streets on Friday, marching on the U.S. Embassy to denounce the "occupation" of their homeland and demand Aristide's return. ... A crowd estimated at more than 10,000 materialized suddenly in Port-au-Prince, seething at Aristide's flight to Africa five days ago, hurling slurs at U.S. Marines and calling President Bush a "terrorist." ... They blamed a wealthy elite, Bush and French President Jacques Chirac for what they called the "foreign occupation." ...

From Pacific News Service at Information Clearing House: Mar 05, 2004
Aristide Details Last Moments In Haiti, Calls For Stop To Bloodshed In First Address To Haitian People From Exile - Jean-Bertrand Aristide
" ... I have always denounced the coming of this coup d’etat, but until the 27th of February, the day before, I didn't see that the crime was going to be accompanied by kidnapping as well. The 28th of February, at night, suddenly, American military personnel who were already all over Port-au-Prince descended on my house in Tabarre to tell me first that all the American security agents who have contracts with the Haitian government only have two options. Either they leave immediately to go to the United States, or they fight to die. Secondly, they told me the remaining 25 of the American security agents hired by the Haitian government who were to come in on the 29th of February as reinforcements were under interdiction, prevented from coming. Thirdly, they told me the foreigners and Haitian terrorists alike, loaded with heavy weapons, were already in position to open fire on Port-au-Prince. And right then, the Americans precisely stated that they will kill thousands of people and it will be a bloodbath. That the attack is ready to start, and when the first bullet is fired nothing will stop them and nothing will make them wait until they take over, therefore the mission is to take me dead or alive. ... "

At The Moscow Times - Context: March 5 - 11, 2004
Operation Sweatshop By Chris Floyd
Jean-Bertrand Aristide's move to raise Haiti's minimum wage was the last straw for American corporations and elitist U.S. factions.
This week, the Bush administration added another violent "regime change" notch to its gunbelt, toppling the democratically elected president of Haiti and replacing him with an unelected gang of convicted killers, death squad leaders, militarists, narcoterrorists, CIA operatives, hereditary elitists and corporate predators -- a bit like Team Bush itself, in other words. ...

At ZNet: March 01, 2004
Bringing Hell To Haiti - Part 1 by David Cromwell and David Edwards
At ZNet: March 02, 2004
Hell To Haiti, 2 by David Edwards
At ZNet From The Black Commentator (Issue 80 - March 4, 2004): March 5, 2004
Godfather Colin Powell: The Gangster of Haiti by Glen Ford and Peter Gamble
(Kevin Pina’s notes on the ‘killing fields’)

From Reuters: Sat Mar 6, 2004 12:09 PM ET
Aristide Supporters Warn Fight for Haiti Not Over By Ibon Villelabeitia
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - Anger simmered among supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the Port-au-Prince slums on Saturday nearly a week after he fled to Africa, while Haiti's council of elders worked to pick a new prime minister for the impoverished Caribbean country. "We are going to burn down the palace with the Americans inside," said Jean Enzo, a resident of the slums where Aristide built a power base as a firebrand Roman Catholic priest two decades ago. "We have weapons and we are ready to fight." ...

At Democracy Now: Monday, March 8th, 2004

From Reuters at Yahoo: Mon Mar 8, 3:11 PM ET
U.S. Scolds Aristide for Saying He Still Leads Haiti
DALLAS (Reuters) - The White House on Monday scolded ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrande Aristide for insisting he was still the president of his Caribbean country and warned him not to stir up divisions there. ...

From Reuters at The NYT: March 8, 2004 4:03 p.m. ET
Aristide Plans to Sue U.S., France for Kidnap - Lawyer

From The Washington Post: Monday, March 15, 2004; Page A15
Exiled Haitian Departs for Jamaica Over U.S. Protest By Peter Eisner
Aides, American Lawmaker Join Aristide on the Trip From Africa
BANGUI, Central African Republic, March 15 -- Deposed Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Monday left this landlocked African nation where he has been marooned since his ouster last month and headed for Jamaica accompanied by a U.S. lawmaker and other supporters. ... "We think it's a bad idea," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice told NBC's "Meet the Press." "We believe that President Aristide, in a sense, forfeited his ability to lead his people, because he did not govern democratically." Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, on CNN's "Late Edition," said: "And the hope is that he will not come back into the hemisphere and complicate [the] situation." ... In comments since arriving here, Aristide has charged that he was kidnapped by U.S. officials and forcibly sent into exile. ...

At San Francisco Bay View: March 17, 2004
US coup in Haiti could spell trouble for African countries
by Hazel Trice Edney, NNPA Washington correspondent
Washington (NNPA) – The Bush administration's complicity in the overthrow of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide implies that other democratic nations, including those in Africa, might also be vulnerable for coup d'états or pre-emptive strikes, says the president of TransAfrica Forum, a leading research institution in the nation's capital. ...

From AP at The Argus: Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 3:23:22 AM PST
New Haitian Cabinet excludes Aristide supporters By Paisley Dodds
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haiti's new U.S.-backed Cabinet took office Wednesday without a single member of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's Lavalas Family party, setting the stage for a showdown before the government even gets to work. Several Haitian politicians complained that the new government unfairly excluded several political groups including Lavalas, Haiti's largest party, after Prime Minister Gerard Latortue promised it would be represented. But U.S. Ambassador James Foley said "Latortue chose wisely" and that Haiti could expect significant U.S. and international aid. **I do think that the situation will stabilize, which is remarkable given the complete breakdown a virtual state of anarchy,** he told The Associated Press. ... Under a U.S.-backed plan, Latortue was chosen to return home from decades in exile in Florida, and came to Haiti last week promising to bring Lavalas into his government and to help reconcile the country. ...

From VOA News: 21 Mar 2004, 20:35 UTC
New Haitian PM Calls Rebels 'Freedom Fighters'
Haiti's new Prime Minister Gerard Latortue has praised insurgents in the northwestern town of Gonaives who began the uprising that forced former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power. ...

At Democracy Now: Thursday, March 25th, 2004
EXCLUSIVE: Condoleezza Rice Threatens Jamaica Over Aristide

From AP at The Guardian: Friday March 26, 2004 3:31 PM
U.N. Urged to Probe U.S. Role in Haiti By BERT WILKINSON
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (AP) - Caribbean leaders said the U.N. General Assembly should investigate Jean-Bertrand Aristide's claims that the United States staged a coup in Haiti and forced the ouster of the country's first democratically elected president. The 15-nation Caribbean Community also said it was considering rejecting the U.S.-backed government of Haiti. ...

From AFP: (05/04/2004)
Powell rejects probe into Aristide's departure as Haiti sets vote
PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) US Secretary of State Colin Powell rejected calls for a UN probe into the departure of former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide, as the troubled country's interim administration announced elections for next year. Powell, in Haiti to show support for the US-backed transitional government, insisted that Aristide's resignation and flight into exile on February 29 had prevented a "bloodbath" in the violence-wracked impoverished Caribbean nation. Meanwhile, Haiti's Prime Minister Gerard Latortue announced that he and Haiti's fractious political rivals had agreed for general elections -- municipal, legislative and presidential -- to be held next year. ...

At The NYT: April 6, 2004
On Visit to Haiti, Powell Says the U.S. Weighs Prosecution of Aristide on Corruption Charges By CHRISTOPHER MARQUIS

From Inter Press Service News Agency: April 13, 2004
U.S., France Blocking Haiti Probe By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 13 (IPS) - The United States and France have intimidated Caribbean countries into delaying an official request for a probe into the murky circumstances under which Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted from power in February, according to diplomatic sources here. The two veto-wielding permanent members of the 15-nation Security Council have signalled to Caribbean nations that they do not want a U.N. probe of Aristide's ouster. Any attempts to bring the issue or even introduce a resolution before the Security Council will either be blocked or vetoed by both countries, council sources told IPS. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who has been caught in the middle of the dispute, says he is unable to act unless he has a formal request to do so either by the Security Council or the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM), of which Haiti is a member. ... At its summit meeting Mar. 27, CARICOM heads of government ''reiterated their call for an investigation under the auspices of the United Nations.'' But despite that announcement, the group has been dragging its feet over a formal request for a probe. ''The reasons are obvious,'' says a Caribbean diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. ''We are under tremendous pressure not to follow up on our request.'' ...

At ZNet: April 20, 2004
Plan Haiti Emerges by Anthony Fenton
The US government, in cahoots with the illegal regime of Gerard Latortue and powerful elements within the Haitian Diaspora, are lobbying to impose punitive legislation on Haitians, paving the way for the entrenchment of neoliberal programs that are guaranteed to enrich the few and further impoverish the many. The backdrop against which these plans are emerging is the continuing witch hunt that is terrorizing supporters of Aristide and members of the Lavalas party, forcing many into hiding, while indiscriminately murdering countless others. ...

From News24 (SA): May 19 2004 11:00:18:223AM
Haitians want Aristide back
Thousands of demonstrators have called for the return to the country of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti - Thousands of demonstrators called for the return of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Tuesday during a Flag Day rally that turned violent when riot police fired warning shots and tear gas. At least one man was killed in the incident. ... US Marines helped the police by conducting patrols but did not fire any rounds, according to Col. David Lapan ... The 15-nation Caribbean Community, which has refused to recognise Haiti's interim government because of the allegations that Aristide has made, has asked the Organisation of American States to investigate the circumstances of Aristide's departure. ... Leaders of the Caribbean Community, based in Guyana, wanted the investigation conducted by the UN Security Council, but they dropped the request on the assumption that France and the United States would use their veto powers to halt such an inquiry. ...

From THE ASSOCIATED PRESS at Newsday: May 24, 2004
U.S. increases aid to Haiti by $60M
WASHINGTON -- The United States is committing an additional $60 million in aid to Haiti, bringing the total for the year to $160 million, the State Department said Monday. The additional money will be used to send advisers to Haiti's government ministries, train the Haitian national police and help cover a budget gap that Haiti's interim government inherited. ...

From Reuters at Lycos: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 6:12 p.m. ET
Floods Kill 500 in Haiti, Dominican Republic By Joseph Guyler Delva

From Reuters: 26 May 2004 21:25:13 GMT
U.S. to pull all 1,900 troops from Haiti in June By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) - The United States plans to remove all of its 1,900 troops in Haiti by the end of June as U.N. peacekeepers assume their duties in the Caribbean nation, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. ...

From Reuters: Wed May 26, 2004 08:09 PM ET
Dominican, Haiti Floods Death Toll Nears 2,000 By Joseph Guyler Delva
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - The death toll from devastating floods and landslides in Haiti and the Dominican Republic rose to at least 1,950 on Wednesday with the discovery of more than 1,000 bodies in a Haitian town. ...

From Associated Press at Yahoo: Sat, May 29, 2004 11:31am ET
Heavy Rains Threaten Waterlogged Haiti By PETER PRENGAMAN
MAPOU, Haiti - Heavy rains threatened the waterlogged southern border of Haiti and Dominican Republic as rescue workers rushed Saturday to collect decomposing bodies and reach villagers cut off days ago when torrents and mudslides buried entire communities. ... "The magnitude of the disaster is much worse than we expected," said Guy Gavreau, director of the U.N. World Food Program in Haiti. French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier visited Port-au-Prince on Friday and promised urgent aid and long-term help in reversing the deforestation that is the source of deadly floods and mudslides in Haiti, where impoverished people strip mountains of trees to make charcoal. ...
From Associated Press at Yahoo: Sat, May 29, 2004 1:56pm ET
Quake Hits Flood-Stricken Haitian Border By JOSE P. MONEGRO
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - An earthquake Saturday struck a flood-ravaged region along the Dominican-Haitian border, including a river town where more than 440 people were killed in floods this week. ... The 4.4-magnitude quake lasted for four seconds, said Jose Luis German, spokesman for the National Emergency Commission. He said the epicenter was 20 miles underground on the Haitian side of the border, which was worst-hit by the floods. ...

At Salon: July 16, 2004
The other regime change By Max Blumenthal
Did the Bush administration allow a network of right-wing Republicans to foment a violent coup in Haiti?

At The NYT: August 2, 2004
Five Months After Aristide, Mayhem Rules the Streets By MICHAEL KAMBER

From The Associated Press at ABC News: Oct. 3, 2004
Pro-Aristide Politicians Nabbed in Haiti
Clashes in Haiti Kill at Least 14 People;
3 Pro-Jean-Betrand Aristide Politicians Are Arrested
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Three politicians allied with former President Jean-Betrand Aristide were led away in handcuffs after a six-hour standoff at a radio station, and gunfire erupted Sunday in Haiti's capital where political clashes have left 14 dead. Tensions have exploded as the impoverished country struggles to recover from floods unleashed two weeks ago by Tropical Storm Jeanne, which killed more than 1,550 and left some 900 missing, most presumed dead. ...

From The Associated Press at The Guardian: Friday October 15, 2004 4:01 PM
U.S. Embassy Staffers Urged to Leave Haiti By AMY BRACKEN

From Reuters: Fri Oct 15, 2004 06:57 PM ET
Haiti Vows Crackdown on Anniversary of End of Coup By Joseph Guyler Delva
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - Haiti's U.S.-backed government vowed on Friday to crush "terrorist" supporters of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as gunfire crackled in the capital on the 10th anniversary of the end of a coup against him. Police took up positions in streets deserted because of fears that two weeks of violence were about to spiral out of control and surrounded the Port-au-Prince slum of Bel-Air where Aristide supporters gathered. ...

From The NYT: December 2, 2004
Powell Visits Haiti, a Nation Kept on Edge by Persistent Violence By Michael Kamber
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Dec. 1 - As Secretary of State Colin L. Powell met with Haitian politicians Wednesday morning inside the National Palace, gunfire erupted outside, setting off gun battles throughout the day that left three Haitians dead and nine injured. ... About noon, nearly an hour and a half after the gunfire, Mr. Powell emerged to address reporters, saying: "We have to forcefully take on the people like those who did the shooting this morning. We have to disarm. We have to get all weapons out of the hands of those except the government." ...

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