Update: Aristide 'U.S. Forced Me to Leave Haiti'
Posted: Sunday, February 29, 2004
Updated: March 02, 2004
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U.S. Rep M. Waters: Aristide Says 'I Was Kidnapped'
Another blow to democracy in homeland, local Haitians lament "Aristide was kidnapped!" they screamed, draped in Haitian flags. "Election yes, coup no," said the placards they raised in defiance.
Haiti's Aristide says he was abducted
Aristide: 'White American Military' Kidnapped Me
Aristide: 'U.S. Forced Me to Leave Haiti'
Aristide accuses U.S. of forcing his ouster
BBC: Embattled Aristide leaves Haiti
Other news reports have stated that Aristide has not left Haiti
Haiti: return to savagery
¤ Haiti 2004: Another US-Backed Coup
¤ Aristide Bows to Pressure, Leaves Haiti
¤ Bush Increases Push for Haitian to Leave Office
¤ While U.S. Tries to Mask it's Role - Haitians resist coup attempt
¤ The Haiti Boomerang
¤ Bush accused of supporting Haitian rebels
¤ U.S. can end the killing it started in Haiti
¤ US is Arming Anti-Aristide Paramilitaries
¤ ESC: Act on Haiti now!
¤ Haiti's Descent into Gang Warfare
¤ Haiti still enslaved for all its rebellion
¤ Beloved Haiti: A (Counter) Revolutionary Bicentennial
¤ US Double Game in Hait
¤ Haiti-A Call For Global Action
¤ Media vs. Reality in Haiti
Crisis In Haiti
In the past week paramilitary groups in Haiti have continued to burn buildings and attack police stations, while the "opposition" continues to refuse negotiations and call for President Jean-Bertrand's Aristide's resignation, with the support of the US and Canadia n governments.
Meanwhile, the corporate media (and some "alternative media") have continues to ignore numerous aspects of the situation: US financial support of the opposition, previous US involvement in the region (including support of military dictators, the freezing of over $500 million in international aid and loans, and efforts to prevent the raising of the minimum wage). Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and has been used as a source of cheap labour by companies like Disney, Wal-Mart and KMart. Workers are paid as little as 11 cents per hour.
US and Canadian diplomats have placed the blame on Aristide, who has publically declared himself to be willing to negotiate with the opposition. The opposition consists of a collection of political parties supported by US funds, the Haitian media and the Haitian economic elite, whose popular support is estimated at between 8 and 12%.
Haiti has a long history of resistance:
The year 2004 marks 200 years of Haitian independence. In 1791, 400,000 Africans enslaved in Haiti rose up against French colonial rule. Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti a free nation in 1804, culminating the world's only successful revolution of enslaved people. From the beginning, Haiti found itself isolated and besieged. The United States led a worldwide boycott against Haiti and refused to recognize the new nation until 1864, fearing that its freedom would pose a danger to the U.S. system of slavery. In 1825, the Haitian people were forced to assume a debt to France of 90 million gold francs (equivalent to $21.7 billion today) as "reparations" to their former "owners", in return for diplomatic recognition and trade. To make the first payment, Haiti closed all its public schools in what has been called the hemisphere's first case of structural adjustment.
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