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Sunday, February 29, 2004
The Haitian example
Oh yeah, Team Bush is probably quite pleased. "President Aristide resigned," the Aristide of the United States said today. "I would urge the people of Haiti to reject violence, to give this break from the past a chance to work. And the United States is prepared to help."
This represents a huge change in U.S. policy towards Haiti, which historically has been based on trying to control Haiti, a stance that doesn't appear to have changed recently. But Bush is a man of his word, so we all have to assume that things will be different this time.
I suspect what we see here is an example of how the U.S. would prefer to handle all of these disputes. Destabilize a country with a leader who "needs" to be replaced -you listening Hugo?-, broker a deal and allow a government that is in line with U.S. interests, and knows what the punishment for not doing Uncle Sam's business, to come into being. Then they can dance in the Oval Office or whatever Bush and friends like to do when celebrating.
See, it all works out fine for everyone!
UPDATE: Was the U.S. behind Aristide's resignation?
Jim Defede, Carol Rosenberg and Martin Merzer of The Miami Herald write:
Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide claims he ''did not resign'' and was ''kidnapped'' by U.S. diplomatic and military officials, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters told The Herald on Monday...Agence France-Presse writes:
A man who said he was a caretaker for the now exiled president told France's RTL radio station the troops forced Aristide out.The radio program Democracy Now says:
Multiple sources that just spoke with Haitian President Jean-Bertrand 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.Here's the transcript of Amy Goodman's interview with Maxine Waters on Democracy Now
In a Taipei Times piece entitled "The fire this time in Haiti was US-fueled," Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University says the White House "appears to have succeeded in its long-time goal of toppling Aristide through years of blocking international aid to his impoverished nation."
In a related story, Patrick Markey or Reuters writes:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called U.S. President George W. Bush an "asshole" on Sunday for meddling, and vowed never to quit office like his Haitian counterpart as troops battled with opposition protesters demanding a recall referendum against him.An "asshole" he is, but perhaps one still in the minors. 2:47 p.m. 03/01/04
Aristide "was not kidnaped," Powell said yesterday.
In a story published yesterday, Steven Dudley of The Boston Globe writes:
An accusation in a Miami courtroom last week that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was personally involved in drug-trafficking apparently gave the United States more leverage to persuade Aristide to leave the country, diplomats in Haiti said yesterday.In another March 1 story, Ron Howell of New York Newsday writes:
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.One question that Aristide needs to be asked is if he feels he faces the possibility of retaliation for speaking out. It seems odd, but by no means beyond the realm of possibility, that he would be removed and detained, but allowed to say whatever he wanted. Then again, I suppose if government officials and reporters were not able to contact him, an even bigger scandal would appear to be going on.
Hey Haiti, Uncle Sam will tell you what to do so just shut the hell up! 9:22 a.m. 03/02/04