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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:05 AM
Original message
Rep. Maxine Waters Calls on Congress Not To Recognize New Haitian Governme
The new US-supported Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue arrived in Washington Tuesday for his visit since the U.S. helped oust President Jean Bertand Aristide. Waters is calling on members of Congress not to recognize the new prime minister.

In February, Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide was removed from power in what he calls a modern kidnapping in the service of a coup d'etat backed by the United States.

Now, government officials have brought the new US-supported Prime Minister Gerard Latortue to Washington to meet with members of Congress, top Bush administration officials, international financial institutions and members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

This comes as Haiti descends even deeper into poverty and Aristide supporters are reportedly being killed in the streets.
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bluedeminredstate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. They don't even try to
fake it anymore. This takes balls.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
The U.S. has been a strong supporter of all of these issues. So okay, where is this whole mechanism now? Why hasnt it be into place? As far as I can tell, the only thing we have is the 15 CARICOM countries who have called for respect for democratically elected leaders and have not acknowledged the present unconstitutional government in Haiti and Venezuela.

Where are the Brazilians? Where are the Argentineans? Where are the Mexicans? Where are all these other countries? Many which are led by people who it is hard to say are U.S. puppets. Where are they? Why havent these mechanisms been put into play in this case?

Perhaps the silence is the result of economic blackmail Internal Monetary Fund debt, European Union pressure, or U.S.-imposed sanctions are reason enough for these countries to turn a blind eye to the sovereign nation across the water.

There is considerable information that the international banks, under orders from the United States, blocked aid to Aristides government. They said that they were doing this to leverage change after a questionable 2000 election. The question arises, though, as to whether this is an appropriate source for leverage.
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee....thats about it....
The only Democratic legislators who give a shit about democracy. How sad.

All the others are silent on the disgrace in Haiti.

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Leahy and Dodd were not silent
HAITI -- (Senate - March 04, 2004) Senator Leahy

HAITI -- (Senate - March 04, 2004)

Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, over the past week, we have all watched the images of killings, chaos, and looting in Haiti. I am sad for the Haitian people. Once again, their leaders and the international community have failed them, and the poorest and the most vulnerable are enduring the greatest suffering.

I am also deeply disappointed with the Bush administration. Over the past several years, this administration ignored the simmering problems in Haiti and hoped they would somehow resolve themselves. That approach obviously backfired. Things have spiraled out of control. We now have a full-blown crisis on our hands, accusations that the administration helped to engineer a

coup of President Aristide, and the deployment of thousands of U.S. Marines into a difficult situation. Bringing change to Haiti will now be a far more dangerous and costly undertaking. Moreover, the U.N. or some other impartial organization will have to conduct an investigation to answer nagging questions about Aristide's departure.
I recognize that many administration officials did not support President Aristide. I can understand that view, as I also lost confidence in him. There is no question that serious allegations of corruption and abuse surround President Aristide and his associates and that these issues should have been dealt with. President Aristide and other Haitian leaders should be held accountable for their actions. Having said that, we should not forget the courage that President Aristide displayed when he first spoke out against the excesses of the brutal and corrupt dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier.

But this administration did not want to make the effort to help clean up the Haitian Government, build a reform-minded opposition, and restructure the economy.

Instead, the Bush administration simply disengaged. During his first year in office, President Bush reduced aid to Haiti by about 25 percent. Concerned with the growing problems in Haiti, Senator DODD and I sent a letter to USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios in February 2002, urging an overhaul of our foreign aid program to Haiti. The response to our letter was essentially: ``Thanks for writing. We have a limited budget, but we will remain `flexible' in our approach.'' The results of this flexible approach speak for themselves.

To be fair, USAID was under heady pressure to absorb activities that the State Department should have funded. USAID does not deserve the blame for an administration-wide policy failure.

During the last month, United States policy toward Haiti crystallized around the goal of getting rid of President Aristide. For all the administration's tough talk aimed at President Aristide, this White House has embraced corrupt leaders with far less democratic credentials than President Aristide when it has suited its purpose. This episode is yet another reminder of how the contradictory policies and rhetoric of this administration are damaging U.S. credibility around the world.

In some respects, President Aristide's departure begins a new chapter for Haiti. In other ways, it is not clear just how new it is. For the third time in 20 years, a Haitian leader has been forced into exile, and at least for the third time in 90 years, the U.S. military has intervened in Haiti.

What is to show for years of interventions and hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. assistance? Haiti remains one of the poorest and most corrupt countries on Earth, facing a myriad of complex problems. Removing President Aristide will not solve these entrenched problems, but it may provide a way forward.

The United States has compelling reasons to help. Haiti is just a few hundred miles away from our shores, and the social turmoil there could easily spread to the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, and elsewhere in our neighborhood. The United States has a long relationship with Haiti and many Haitian Americans live in the United States. Perhaps most importantly, we have a moral responsibility to help a nation where so many have been suffering for so long.

The United States, France, and others must work with the United Nations, the Organization of American States to help fill the power vacuum in Port-au-Prince. The international community must also come up with a substantial aid package to help the Haitian people get back on their feet.

This will be a long, slow process. If we are to succeed in meeting the challenge of recovery and rebuilding in Haiti, the United States and the international community must stay engaged. Most of all, the Haitians themselves must take responsibility, especially the religious and political leaders. But we must take care not to overlook a key group that must be involved in this process--middle-class Haitians who have left the country over the past few decades.

As Garry Pierre-Pierre, editor in chief of the Haitian Times, points out in Monday's Wall Street Journal, involving Haiti's middle class is essential. He writes:

The international community has to bring the country's middle class not merely to the table, but back to Haiti. This middle class has been fleeing Haiti for the U.S., where it has consolidated itself, for the last 30 years. We should look to that group, the Haitian diaspora, educated at the best schools in the U.S. and Canada, to help lead the country out of its perpetual cycle of violence and misery.

I agree with Mr. Pierre-Pierre, and believe that the administration should heed his advice.

We have missed one opportunity after another in Haiti. It is time for us to make the most of this unfortunate situation.

I ask unanimous consent to print the above-referenced letters in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:


Washington, DC, February 15, 2002.
Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. NATSIOS: We are deeply concerned with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Haiti. The political impasse between the Haitian Government and the political opposition has only made a serious situation more dire. As a matter of U.S. policy Haiti is being denied access to monies from the multilateral development banks until the government and opposition resolve their differences. For that reason, the humanitarian needs of Haiti must be met solely from bilateral donations through non-governmental organizations such as CARE, Catholic Relief Services and World Vision.

Violence, poverty, and disease are rampant throughout Haiti. Since the United States is opposing access for Haiti to multilateral monies to address these problems, we believe the U.S. has a moral obligation to ensure, to the maximum extent feasible, that U.S. bilateral humanitarian assistance allocations be maintained at adequate levels. However, that does not appear to be the case. As you know annual USAID/Haiti allocations have been cut in half since FY1999 to $50 million for the current fiscal year. Moreover, the Administration's FY 2003 request is only $45 million. At these levels we are very skeptical that USAID will be able to continue many critical programs, including school feeding programs, public health programs for Haitian children ages 0 to 5, and AIDS treatment and prevention programs.

We strongly urge you to review the overall FY 2003 USAID budget to determine whether additional funds can be found for USAID FY 2003 programs in Haiti. Moreover, we do not support efforts to obligate FY 2002 Haiti monies for purposes other than humanitarian assistance programs.

Thank you for your attention to our concerns. We look forward to working with you in addressing the humanitarian needs of Haiti's seven million people.

Sincerely yours,

Patrick J. Leahy,

Christopher J. Dodd,

U.S. Senators.


Washington, DC, April 2, 2002.
U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC.

DEAR SENATOR LEAHY: Mr. Natsios has asked me to respond to your letter of February 15, 2002, concerning the current situation in Haiti and declining U.S. assistance levels. We regret the delay in responding.

We share your concern about deteriorating conditions in Haiti, and are doing our best to help ease the situation within the constraints of current budget realities. Since September 11, 2001, worldwide pressures on overall resources limit our ability to maintain prior year levels for Haiti. We have made up most of the difference using Development Assistance and the Child Survival and Health Programs fund; however, these accounts are heavily subscribed.

Our programs will continue to have a meaningful impact in Haiti through the provision of primarily humanitarian assistance. Approximately 80 percent of the FY 2002 budget and FY 2003 request will go toward health, food aid, and education activities. These programs will still provide health and family planning services to approximately 2.7 million Haitians--mostly women and children--including HIV/AIDS prevention. They will also target food resources in Haiti to children under five and pregnant/lactating women, and will continue to make marked improvements in math and reading achievement test scores for 150,000 Haitian children.

In closing, we are watching the situation very closely and remain flexible on funding options for FY 2002. We welcome a continuing dialogue with Congress on appropriate assistance levels for Haiti as events unfold.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Please let us know when this office can be of further assistance.


Assistant Administrator,
Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs.

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Senator Chris Dodd's statement on Haiti
I cite those international agreements because we think of our Nation as being a nation of laws, not of men. These agreements either meant something or they didn't.

The Santiago Declaration and the Inter-American Charter on Democracy, apparently both documents mean little or nothing when it comes to supporting democratically elected governments in this hemisphere--not ones that you necessarily like or agree with or find everything they do is in your interest, but we do adhere to the notion that democratically elected governments are what we support in this hemisphere.

HAITI -- (Senate - March 02, 2004)

Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I wish to address, if I may, the subject matter of Haiti and the events that have occurred there over the last several days, now going back a week or more, in that country, that beleaguered nation only a few hundred miles off the southern coast of Florida.

On Sunday morning, as we now all know, the democratically elected government, the President of Haiti, was forced out of office. The armed insurrection, led by former members of the disbanded Haitian Army, and its paramilitary wing called FRAPH, made it impossible for the Aristide government to maintain public order, without assistance from the international community--international assistance that was consciously withheld, in my view.

President Aristide left Haiti on Sunday morning aboard an American aircraft. President Aristide reportedly has

gone into exile in the Central African Republic, where I am now being told he is not allowed to communicate with others outside of that country.
Members of the Black Caucus of the other body, and others who had an opportunity to speak with President Aristide yesterday, have publicly restated his claim that he was forcibly removed from Haiti by U.S. officials.

I quickly point out that Secretary of State Colin Powell and others have emphatically denied that charge. Such an allegation, if true, is extremely troubling and would be a gross violation of the laws of the U.S. and international law. Only time will tell. I presume there will be a thorough investigation to determine exactly what occurred from late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, regarding the departure and ouster of the President of Haiti, President Aristide.

Over the coming days, I believe an effort should be made to reconstruct what happened in the final 24 or 48 hours leading up to President Aristide's departure so we can resolve questions of the U.S. participation in the ouster of a democratically elected leader in this hemisphere.

Let's be clear that whether U.S. officials forcibly removed Aristide from Haiti, as he has charged, or he left voluntarily, as Secretary of Powell and others have stated, it is indisputable, based on everything we know, that the U.S. played a very direct and public role in pressuring him to leave office by making it clear that the United States would do nothing to protect him from the armed thugs who are threatening to kill him. His choice was simple: Stay in Haiti with no protection from the international community, including the U.S., and be killed or you can leave the country. That is hardly what I would call a voluntary decision to leave.

I will point out as well, if I can--and I know that international agreements are not always thought of as being terribly important in some people's minds. But in 1991, President Bush, the 41st President, along with other nations in this hemisphere, had signed the Santiago Declaration of 1991. That declaration, authored by the Organization of American States, said that any nation, democratically elected in this hemisphere, that seeks the help of others when they are threatened with an overthrow should be able to get that support.

Ten years later, the Inter-American Charter on Democracy was signed into law, a far more comprehensive proposal, again authored by the Organization of American States, the U.S. supporting. The present President Bush and our administration supported that. That charter on democracy stated that when asked for help by a democratically elected government being threatened with overthrow, we should respond.

President Aristide, a democratically elected President made that request and, of course, not only did we not provide assistance, in fact we sat back and watched as he left the country, offering assistance for him to depart.

I cite those international agreements because we think of our Nation as being a nation of laws, not of men. These agreements either meant something or they didn't. The Santiago Declaration and the Inter-American Charter on Democracy, apparently both documents mean little or nothing when it comes to supporting democratically elected governments in this hemisphere--not ones that you necessarily like or agree with or find everything they do is in your interest, but we do adhere to the notion that democratically elected governments are what we support in this hemisphere.

When they are challenged by violent thugs, people with records of violent human rights violations, engaged in death squad activity, in the very country they are now moving back

into and threatened, of course, successfully the elected government of President Aristide, then I think it is worthy of note that we have walked away from these international documents signed only 3 years ago and 10 years ago.

There is no doubt, I add, that President Aristide has made significant mistakes during his 3 years in office--these last 3 years. He allowed his supporters to use violence as a means of controlling a growing opposition movement against his government. The Haitian police were ill trained and ill equipped to maintain public order in the face of violent demonstrations by progovernment and antigovernment activists. Poverty, desperation, and opportunism led to wide government corruption.

President Aristide, in my view, must assume responsibility for these things. But did the cumulative effect of these failures amount to a decision that we thought we could no longer support this democratically elected government? If that becomes the standard in this hemisphere, we are going to find ourselves sitting by and watching one democratically elected government after another fall to those that breed chaos and remove governments with which they don't agree. They are being told by the Bush administration now that the Haitian Government was a government of failed leadership. That is a whole new standard when it comes to engaging in the kind of activity we have seen over the last several days.

Having been critical of President Aristide, I point out that he was elected twice overwhelmingly in his country. He was thrown out of office in a coup in the early 1990s. Through the efforts of the U.S. Government and others, he was brought back to power in Haiti. Then he gave up power when the government of President Preval was elected. During those 4 years, President Aristide supported that transitional government. He ran again himself, as the Haitian Constitution allowed, and was elected overwhelmingly again, despite the fact the opposition posed little or no efforts to stand against him.

There was a very bad election that occurred in the spring of 2000, in which eight members of the Haitian Senate were elected by fraud. Those Senators were removed from office. Six months later, President Aristide was elected overwhelmingly again. It is the first time I know of in the 200-year history of Haiti as an independent nation where a President turned over power transitionally peacefully to another democratically elected government. Whatever other complaints there are--and they are not illegitimate about the Aristide government--there was a peaceful transition of democratically elected governments in Haiti. That never, ever happened before. What has happened there repeatedly is one coup after another--33 over the 200-year history of that nation.

Whatever shortcomings they may have had, President Aristide provided for the first time in Haiti's history a democratically elected government transitioning power to other people peacefully. I will also point out that he abolished the military and the army, an institution that did nothing but drain the feeble economy of Haiti of necessary resources.

Haiti did not have a need for an army. There were no threats to Haiti. In retrospect, he may regret that. But the army, in my view, was a waste of money in Haiti, served no legitimate purpose, and President Aristide should be

commended for abolishing an institution that had been the source of constant corruption and difficulty on that nation.

Blame for the chaos does not rest solely on the shoulders of President Aristide. The so-called democratic opposition bears a share of the responsibility for the death and destruction that has wreaked havoc throughout Haiti over the past several weeks.

The members of CARICOM, with U.S. backing, put on the table a plan calling for the establishment of a unity government to defuse the political crisis. The opposition rejected this proposal on three different occasions, despite the fact that President Aristide said he was willing to have a government of unity, to give up power, to share governmental functions with the opposition. The opposition said no on three different occasions, despite the fact that the nations of the Caribbean region urged the opposition to avoid the kind of transition that we have seen over the last several days.

A hundred or more Haitians already have lost their lives. Property damage may be in the millions. Given the direct role the U.S. played in the removal of the Aristide government, it is now President Bush's responsibility, in my view, and moral obligation to take charge of this situation. That means more than sending a couple hundred marines for 90 days or so into Haiti. Rather, it means a sustained commitment of personnel and resources for the

foreseeable future by the U.S. and other members of the international community that called for the removal of the elected government.
If the Bush administration and others inside and outside of Haiti had been at all concerned over the last 3 weeks about the fate of the Haitian people, perhaps the situation would not have deteriorated into near anarchy, nor would the obligation of the U.S. to clean up this mess now loom so large.

We are now reaping what we have sown. Three years of a hands-off policy left Haiti unstable, with a power vacuum that will be filled in one way or another. Will that vacuum be filled by individuals such as Guy Philippe, a former member of the disbanded Haitian Army, a notorious human rights abuser and drug trafficker, or is the administration prepared to take action against him and his followers, based upon a long record of criminal behavior?

It is rather amazing to this Senator that the administration has said little or nothing about its plans for cracking down on the armed thugs who have terrorized Haiti since February 5.

Only with careful attention by the United States and the international community does Haiti have a fighting chance to break from its tragic history. In the best of circumstances, it is never easy to build and nurture democratic institutions where they are weak and nonexistent. When ignorance, intolerance, and poverty are part of the very fabric of a nation, as is the case in Haiti, it is Herculean.

Given the mentality of the political elites in Haiti--one of winner take all--I, frankly, believe it is going to be extremely difficult to form a unity government that has any likelihood of being able to govern for any period of time without resorting to repressive measures against those who have been excluded from the process.

It brings me no pleasure to say at this juncture that Haiti is failing, if not a failed state. The United Nations Security Council has authorized the deployment of peacekeepers to Haiti to stabilize the situation. I would go a step further and urge the Haitian authorities to consider sharing authority with an international administration authorized by the United Nations in order to create the conditions necessary to give any future Government of Haiti a fighting chance at succeeding. The United States must lead in this multinational initiative, as Australia did, I might point out, in the case of East Timor; not as Secretary Defense Rumsfeld suggested yesterday: Wait for someone else to step up to the plate to take the lead. It will require substantial, sustained commitment of resources by the United States and the international community if we are to be successful.

The jury is out as to whether the Bush administration is prepared to remain engaged in Haiti. Only in the eleventh hour did Secretary of State Colin Powell focus his attention on Haiti as he personally organized the pressure which led to President Aristide's resignation on Sunday. Unless Secretary Powell is equally committed to remaining engaged in the rebuilding of that country, then I see little likelihood that anything is going to change for the Haitian people. The coming days and weeks will tell whether the Bush administration is as concerned about strengthening and supporting democracy in our own hemisphere as it claims to be in other more distant places around the globe. The people of this hemisphere are watching and waiting.

I yield the floor ::

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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thank you for those two posts...I stand corrected......(n/t)

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Thanks to you -- Santiago Declaration of 1991
very important

I will point out as well, if I can--and I know that international agreements are not always thought of as being terribly important in some people's minds. But in 1991, President Bush, the 41st President, along with other nations in this hemisphere, had signed the Santiago Declaration of 1991.

That declaration, authored by the Organization of American States, said that any nation, democratically elected in this hemisphere, that seeks the help of others when they are threatened with an overthrow should be able to get that support.
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
6. And see other LBN item
Powell praises new Haitian leader.
Powell's gaul is unmitigated! :puke:
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
8. Funny how Democracy works.
Even the dirtiest barrell contains more than a few good apples.

Thanks for the heads-up, seemslikeadream!

For those who don't understand why they should give a damn:

Aristide Talks With Democracy Now!
About the Leaders of the Coup
and U.S. Funding of the Opposition in Haiti

democracynow. org, March 17th, 2004


JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE: We had an army of 7,000 soldiers controlling 40% of the national region. Not only they led those coup, they had 32 coup d'etats, the last one 33. After the coup they led in 1991, they and members of a criminal organization, well known FRAPH, killed more than 5,000 Haitians. Some people don't like to hear 5,000 because for them it could be double or more than that. Let's say more than 5,000 people were killed by the army at that time with the help of the well-known criminal organization called FRAPH. When i went back on October 15, 1994, it was obvious that the Haitian people couldn't go ahead with killers. The Haitian people wanted people to protect them, not people to kill them. So, the army was disbanded. Now they reached a way to have more drug dealers, like Guy Philippe who was arrested for drugs in Panama, sent back to Santo Domingo and then back to Haiti with the assistance of those who pretend to restore peaces to Haiti, Chamblain was already convicted twice and now he is back. So having criminals, drug dealers, thugs who were convicted to come back with an army, then when they guess what we had through those 32 coup d'etats, leading Haiti from misery to misery while we want to move from misery to poverty with dignity, this is maybe what they have in their minds.
AMY GOODMAN: When the CARICOM U.S. Group came and negotiated the U.S.-backed peace plan that you accepted with Noriega, Roger Noriega, Assistant Secretary of State representing the United States, how did they refer to the opposition, how did they refer to the people you just described as Jodel Chamblain, Guy Philippe?

JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE: The meeting we had with members of my government and diplomats and heads of international delegations in my office, Mr. Noriega referring to those thugs terrorists said "I will call them killers", that's what he said. I'm shocked when today I still see members of the international community acting with those killers. More than that accompanying Guy Philippe, a killer, to distribute food to people, so trying to project another image of him when as a well-known drug dealer and a killer he should be put in jail. So, it is scandalous. The world needs to know that. The more they listen to what is going on in Haiti today, the more they may join the Haitian people to prevent the killers to continue to do the same, killing people.

AMY GOODMAN: Jean-Bertrand Aristide on board the chartered jet as we headed over the Atlantic. The U.S. Delegation headed by congress member Maxine Waters and the Jamaican Member of Parliament Sharon Hay-Webster. Bringing the Aristides to Jamaica, this as members of the Bush administration from Condoleezza Rice to Donald Rumsfeld warned that Jean-Bertrand Aristide should not return to this hemisphere. I asked Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide if he could talk about the killing of the justice minister in Haiti in 1993; Louis Jodel Chamblain, one of the current so-called rebels, was convicted of murdering Guy Mallory. This was Jean-Bertrand Aristide's response.

JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE: From 1991 to 1994, the Minister of Justice, Guy Mallory, Father Mallory's son, Antoine Izmery, the people they killed lost their lives because they were calling for democracy, the restoration of the constitutional order for my return to Haiti. After I returned, we had a trial. And Chamblain was convicted by a court of us. Twice. In spite of that, nothing happened only impunity and assistance and heavy machine guns were provided to him and the orders to have them appearing as rebels, as if they were not anymore killers, people already convicted. This is the cynical picture.


Excellent resource, that!
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
10.  Emmanuel "Toto" Constant was the founder and head of FRAPH
Campaign to Deport Constant - Who is Toto Constant?

Emmanuel "Toto" Constant was the founder and head of FRAPH, first the "Revolutionary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti," later "Armed Revolutionary Front of the Haitian People." FRAPH was Haiti's most prominent paramilitary organization during the de facto regime. Constant was also a close advisor to the dictatorship, and maintained an office in the military headquarters. U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher called FRAPH "a paramilitary organization whose members were responsible for numerous human rights violations in Haiti in 1993 and 1994." A less restrained U.S. Embassy cable called FRAPH a group of "gun carrying crazies", eager to "use violence against all who oppose it." Numerous monitors, including the United Nations, the Organization of American States, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch documented the multitude of atrocities committed by FRAPH.

FRAPH did not target only Haitians. In October, 1993, when the U.S.S. Harlan County arrived in Port-au-Prince with troops ready to implement a U.S.-brokered peace accord, Constant organized a violent FRAPH demonstration. Demonstrators carried guns, sticks and machetes, and some shouted, in English, "Kill whites! Kill whites!" A year later, when U.S. troops returned to finally oust the dictatorship, Constant ordered that "ach FRAPH man must put down one American soldier." When U.S. troops stormed the FRAPH headquarters, Constant threatened journalists with: "Everybody who is reporting the situation bad... by the grace of God, they will end up in the ground."

Despite these atrocities, Mr. Constant has received the continued support and protection of the U.S. Government. Government sources have confirmed Constant's claim that the CIA encouraged him to form FRAPH, and provided him with financial and strategic assistance. U.S. soldiers arriving in Haiti to oust the de facto dictatorship were told that FRAPH was a legitimate political party that needed to be respected and protected. In the intervention's first days the U.S. Embassy arranged a press conference outside the Presidential Palace for Constant to announce his transition to politics. The conference was cut short, because even a cordon of U.S. soldiers could not protect Constant from the enraged crowd (for more information on this and other aspects of the Constant/U.S. relationship, see David Grann "Giving The Devil His Due" included in this packet).

Constant fled to the U.S. in late 1994, when a Haitian judge called him in for questioning. After a public outcry, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service initiated deportation proceedings. A judge ordered Constant deported to Haiti in September, 1995, because "his continued presence in the United States sends the message that the United States actively endorses his position and undermines the United States' mission in Haiti." That order has never been executed. Shortly after it was issued, Constant discussed his relationship with the CIA on CBS' Sixty Minutes, which led to a secret agreement exchanging Constant's continued presence in the U.S. for his silence. /

Feb. 14, 2004. 07:43 PM

Haitian rebels take two towns

GONAIVES, Haiti (AP) Haitian rebels brought in reinforcements from the neighbouring Dominican Republic, including a former soldier who led death squads in the 1980s and a police chief accused of fomenting a coup, witnesses said Saturday, as police fled two more northern towns.

A 20-man commando arrived from the Dominican Republic, led by Louis Jodel Chamblain, a soldier who headed army death squads in 1987, and Emmanuel Constant, co-leader of a militia known as the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, or FRAPH, which killed and maimed dozens between 1992 and 1994, witnesses in Gonaives said. Chamblain fled to the Dominican Republic after 1994, while Constant went to New York City.

Guy Philippe, a former police chief who fled to the Dominican Republic after being accused by the Haitian government of fomenting a coup in 2002, also arrived in Gonaives to help the rebels prepare for an expected government showdown. It was unclear when the commando arrived.

The rebels launched a bloody uprising nine days ago from Gonaives, 100 kilometres northwest of the capital Port-au-Prince, and Haiti's fourth-largest city. Some 50 people have been killed. ...


In September, police reportedly found an arms cache and evidence of plans to assassinate government officials at the home of Emmanuel Constant, former leader of the paramilitary organization Front pour l'avancement et le progrs d'Hati (fraph), Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, who had fled to the usa in Decem-ber 1994. Two men were arrested at the scene, including a former army sergeant. By December, some 34 people report-edly remained in detention on suspicion of plotting against the authorities and engaging in other related activities, but had not been brought to trial.

Letter to Attorney General Janet Reno and Secretary Madeleine Albright
Re: Emmanuel "Toto" Constant
New York, December 11, 2000
Dear Attorney General Reno and Secretary Albright:

Our organizations are writing to request that the United States government execute the outstanding final deportation order obtained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) against Emmanuel "Toto" Constant in December 1995. Constant is wanted by Haitian prosecutors for serious human rights crimes in Haiti.

The Center for Constitutional Rights made this request to Attorney General Reno on August 4 and September 25, 2000, but has yet to receive a reply. Human Rights Watch has similarly written on several occasions to Secretary Albright without response

As you know, Constant was a founder and secretary general of the paramilitary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH). FRAPH members were responsible for human rights atrocities under the military government that ruled Haiti from 1991 to 1994, including extrajudicial executions, torture, and rape.

In February 1995 Constant's presence in the United States had become public and U.S. officials were pressured to arrest him. On March 29, 1995 Secretary of State Warren Christopher wrote Attorney General Reno an extraordinary letter requesting Constant's "expeditious deportation from the United States." Citing the Immigration and Nationality Act, Secretary Christopher "concluded that the continued presence and activities of Emmanuel Mario Constant ... in the United States ... would . . . cast doubt upon the seriousness of our resolve to combat human rights violations . . . I also request that you take all steps possible to effect his deportation to Haiti." Secretary Christopher understood Constant's role in Haiti's terror:

is officially regarded by the Department of State as an illegitimate paramilitary organization whose members were responsible for numerous human rights violations in Haiti in 1993 and 1994 . . . Mr Constant is one of the co-founders and current President of FRAPH. He was instrumental in sustaining the repression that prevailed in Haiti under the illegal military led regime ...

How America Determines Friends and Foes

Noam Chomsky
The Toronto Star, March 14, 2004

The arrests were followed by what amounted to a show trial in Miami. The Five were sentenced, three to life sentences (for espionage; and the leader, Gerardo Hernandez, also for conspiracy to murder), after convictions that are now being appealed.

Meanwhile, people regarded by the FBI and Justice Department as dangerous terrorists live happily in the United States and continue to plot and implement crimes.

The list of terrorists-in-residence in the United States also includes Emmanuel Constant from Haiti, known as Toto, a former paramilitary leader from the Duvalier era. Constant is the founder of the FRAPH (Front for Advancement of Progress in Haiti), the paramilitary group that carried out most of the state terror in the early 1990s under the military junta that overthrew president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

At last report, Constant was living in Queens, N.Y.

The United States has refused Haiti's request for extradition. The reason, it is generally assumed, is that Constant might reveal ties between Washington and the military junta that killed 4,000 to 5,000 Haitians, with Constant's paramilitary forces playing the leading role.

The gangsters leading the current coup in Haiti include FRAPH leaders.

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Why Haiti? Why Now? Three words: Cuba, Venezuela, Oil.
Why Haiti? Why Now?

by J. Damu
Sumitted to portside, March 2, 2004

Black people across America and throughout the world, in fact all people who love and honor democracy and social justice, have to be outraged at what was surely the cloaked in darkness gunpoint kidnapping of Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide by U.S. militarists, this past Sunday, February 29.

We must speak as one to denounce this latest "lebensraum" (living space) foreign policy of the Bush administration, which is beginning to resemble more and more that of the German nazi era.

Despite this moral outrage committed against the long suffering people of Haiti, the first anywhere to successfully rise up against their slave masters, an act of defiance for which they've never been forgiven, the questions asked by many protestors, as hundreds streamed from San Francisco's underground rail system to demonstrate against Bush's latest crime, were, "Why Haiti?" and "Why now?"


The removal of Aristide has been a long simmering coup in the making that dates back at least to the Clinton presidency and the refusal of Congress to release promised funding to the economically devastated island. However the timing and execution of the Haitian coup has to be placed within a regional and world context. The coup, or extra-democratic process, which brought George Bush to the White House, allowed him to hand over U.S. foreign policy decision making, as it effects the Western hemisphere, to naturalized U.S. Cubans dedicated to the overthrow of the Cuban revolution.

Their policies, although geared to the overthrow of Fidel Castro and socialism in Cuba, converge neatly with U.S. designs to destabilize the Caribbean and Central-South American region and insure U.S. supremacy and access to Venezuela's all important oil.


BTW: Thanks for the great background and resources, seemslikeadream. Reading your posts is like getting a college degree that's useful.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. What fun would it be if we didn't talk a little about drugs and CIA

Haitis Nightmare: The Cocaine Coup & The CIA Connection

Aristides electrifying accusations opened the floodgate of even more sinister revelations. Massachusetts senator John Kerry heads a subcommittee concerned with international terrorism and drug trafficking that turned up collusion between the CIA and drug traffickers during the late 1980s Iran Contra hearings.

Kerry had developed detailed information on drug trafficking by Haitis military rulers that led to the indictment in Miami in 1988, of Lt. Col. Jean Paul. The indictment was a major embarrassment to the Haitian military, especially since Paul defiantly refused to surrender to U.S. authorities. It was just a month before thousands of U.S. troops invaded Panama and arrested Manuel Noriega who, like Col. Paul, was also under indictment for drug trafficking in Florida.

In November 1989, Col. Paul was found dead after he consumed a traditional Haitian good will gifta bowel of pumpkin soup. Haitian officials accused Pauls wife of the murder, apparently because she had been cheated out of her share of a cocaine deal by associates of her husband, who were involved in smuggling through Miami.

The U.S. senate also heard testimony in 1988 that then interior minister, Gen. Williams Regala, and his DEA liaison officer, protected and supervised cocaine shipments. The testimony also charged the then Haitian military commander Gen. Henry Namphy with accepting bribes from Colombian traffickers in return for landing rights in the mid 1980s.

Haiti's drug links are thought to date back to "Baby Doc" Duvalier
Haiti's drug money scourge

Easy money

At the same time, the rebels who ousted Mr Aristide have also been linked to the illegal drugs trade.

One of the rebel leaders, Guy Philippe, allegedly had his US visa revoked because of involvement in the drugs trade when he was police commissioner of the north coast city of Cap-Haitien.

Another prominent rebel, Jodel Chamblain, is known to have been close to Michel Francois in the early 1990s, when he was one of the leaders of the Fraph paramilitaries.

He has also been sentenced to life imprisonment for the death of a businessman and the 1994 killing of Aristide supporters.

Sympathisers of the former president have also alleged that the rebels who took control of Haiti in February 2004 were directly financed by drugs money, but there has so far been no proof of this.

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. If you want trouble, you've come to the right place.
Here's where the BFEE meets the road:

The original site's been hacked, pummelled and destroyed so many times that it's in danger of being forgotten.

For those who don't like to read, here's the Truth, the Short Form:


"Yeah. I rubbed out
your Constitution, see!"
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
Some things never change
German propaganda to Allied soldiers

Fat Boy found sleeping with the fishes
DENNIS, Mass. The beloved Fat Boy was finally found, though not in one piece.

Police recently rescued the remains of the 7-foot-tall fiberglass restaurant statue from a watery river grave near his former perch in front of Cape Cod eatery Spaghetti Eddies.

Fat Boy, who went missing in July, was found with his hands and head sawed off. The corpulent cook's round belly, however, was still intact.

The unfortunate find was the latest development in an unsavory saga that has captivated Cape Cod diners.

Spaghetti Eddie's owner Robert Swanson reported the 50-pound mascot missing July 25. All that was left behind after the heist were Fat Boy's size 10 shoes, a sign and some sunglasses.

"I've got your chef and I want 400 pounds of gorgonzola ravioli in unmarked bags," said a voice on Swanson's answering machine.
Both Swanson and investigators believed the ransom request to be a hoax. Police got a major break after a month-long lull in the case.

Some keen-eyed kayakers found a black trash bag sticking out of Grand Cove near the Bass River, according to police. The bag contained Fat Boy's severed torso. scm/090403_ctv.html
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
15. They sure did pick an "opportune" time to take over Haiti
No one even cares...if they even know about it.. Haiti's troubles are a drop of warm spit in an ocean of traumas we see daily.. They chose their time well..
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