PDA

View Full Version : Aristide Plans His Return To Caribbean



Ironduke
13 Mar 04,, 00:58
Aristide Plans His Return To Caribbean
Associated Press
March 12, 2004,


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A shootout between police and protesters killed two men and injured seven during a demonstration in support of Jean-Bertrand Aristide Thursday as the exiled Haitian president planned a return to the Caribbean.
The violence erupted as hundreds of protesters marched through the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince yelling "Aristide has to come back! We don't want Bush as president!"

Shots were fired and some protesters pulled out pistols. Police fired tear gas, and a shootout between protesters and police ensued, witnesses said.

Two young men were killed, and seven others were being treated for shotgun wounds, hospital officials said.

U.S. Marines, who are in Haiti to try to restore order, said they were patrolling near the protest but had nothing to do with the shootout.

Marines raided a house near the presidential palace before dawn Thursday in their first action of a new mission to disarm Haiti's many factions.

The search produced no weapons, but "The message out of this is, we are looking, and we will continue to do so," Col. Charles Gurganus said.

Aristide is in the Central African Republic, but he and his wife will fly to Jamaica, just 130 miles from Haiti, for a temporary stay early next week, Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson said Thursday. There they will be reunited with their two young daughters, who were sent to New York before Aristide left Haiti on Feb. 29.

Aristide has said the United States forced him out of office and claims he is still Haiti's democratically elected leader.

Last week, a summit of the 15-nation Caribbean Community in Jamaica called for a U.N. investigation into Aristide's departure. That call was echoed Wednesday by the 53-nation African Union, which said his removal was "unconstitutional." The two blocs comprise nearly one-third of U.N. member states.

Patterson said Aristide would stay only eight to 10 weeks while he finalized plans for "permanent residence outside of the region." Another Jamaican official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said South Africa was Aristide's final destination.

In Port-au-Prince, opposition politician Paul Denis said Jamaica was "making matters worse" for Haiti.

"If Aristide intends to come back to Haiti, we'll be glad to receive him, so we can arrest him," he said.

The opposition wants Aristide to stand trial for alleged corruption and the killings of opponents by armed gangs.

Aristide's lawyer in Paris said Wednesday he was considering bringing charges against the U.S. and French ambassadors to Haiti. Aristide says they told him there would be a bloodbath if he did not leave.

U.S. Ambassador James Foley told the British Broadcasting Corp. Thursday that Aristide "never once said that he didn't want to go."

"He never said: 'I think you are wrong. I think your assessment is wrong. I'm going to stay. I'm going to ride it out,'" Foley said. "It was all about his departure."

In the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, U.S. Ambassador Roy Austin told Radio I95 that "America was not going in to prop up someone like Mr. Aristide," charging he abused his power.

Austin said the Caribbean Community should send "at least a symbolic force" to Haiti. But the Caribbean bloc, angry that the United States sent troops the day Aristide left and not before, said last week it would not join the U.S.-led force.

Trying to bring stability, Haiti's new Prime Minister Gerard Latortue began choosing a Cabinet on Thursday.

Latortue, 69, a U.N. career officer and business consultant, said disarmament, reconciliation and eventually elections are his priorities.

He has said he wants his Cabinet to include retired army Chief of Staff Herard Abraham, in charge of security, and businessman and former Aristide Prime Minister Smarck Michel as planning minister.

Abraham supports recreating Haiti's disgraced and disbanded army, a key demand of rebels. Latortue said Aristide's disbanding of the army in 1995 may have been unconstitutional.

Disarmament will be the biggest challenge, and Latortue stressed the need for cooperation from international peacekeepers - led by 1,600 Marines and including nearly 1,000 French troops and police and soldiers from Chile. Canada plans to send an advance group of 85 soldiers to Haiti on Friday to be part of a larger contingent of 450.

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL_aristide_031204,00.html

Confed999
14 Mar 04,, 15:40
Originally posted by Ironduke
[b]and including nearly 1,000 French troops
What does France get from Haiti that's important enough to warrant this invasion? Could this be a genuine act of compassion? Could this be the dawn of a new era where people do things, not for profit but, because they need to be done? Could this be the beginning of a global movement toward helping others selflessly? I doubt it but I hope so, if for no one's sake but Haiti's.

Officer of Engineers
14 Mar 04,, 19:32
Originally posted by Confed999
What does France get from Haiti that's important enough to warrant this invasion? Could this be a genuine act of compassion? Could this be the dawn of a new era where people do things, not for profit but, because they need to be done? Could this be the beginning of a global movement toward helping others selflessly? I doubt it but I hope so, if for no one's sake but Haiti's.

Haiti, Canada, and France (the St Pierre Islands) are the only Francophone countries in this hemisphere.

Confed999
15 Mar 04,, 01:42
So were they recruited for language purposes or did they volunteer? I know the US has responsability and refugee issues with Haiti, wondering about French motive.

Officer of Engineers
15 Mar 04,, 03:50
Haiti is a former French colony and a member of the French version of the Commonwealth.

Praxus
15 Mar 04,, 04:15
Yah, and the US has the Phillipines, Marianes Islands, etc;)

Blademaster
16 Mar 04,, 05:00
Do you think France is responsible, directly or indirectly, for the sorry state that Haiti is in today?

Officer of Engineers
16 Mar 04,, 05:51
Originally posted by Blademaster
Do you think France is responsible, directly or indirectly, for the sorry state that Haiti is in today?

The Haitians would like to blame the French for not being more determined to keep the colony. Haiti started going downhill ever since they revolted and kicked the French out.

Confed999
17 Mar 04,, 01:01
Originally posted by Officer of Engineers
The Haitians would like to blame the French for not being more determined to keep the colony. Haiti started going downhill ever since they revolted and kicked the French out.
Yeah, the French have nothing real to do with the demise of Haiti, that I can see anyway. The ill will between the two, the distance and the lack of trade are what made me ask about their motive.