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Profile: Gerard Latortue

 
  

Positions that Gerard Latortue has held:

  • Prime Minister of Haiti (2004-)
  • Employee of UN Industrial Development Organization in Africa (1972-1994)
  • Former foreign minister of Haiti


 

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Gerard Latortue actively participated in the following events:

 
  

March 9, 2004      Haiti Coup

       Haitian Gerard Latortue is appointed Prime Minister by the seven-member Council of Sages formed under a plan approved by the United States, France and the Organization of American States (see March 5, 2004). Latortue, whose current place of residence is Boca Raton, Florida, has been living outside of Haiti for decades. [Reuters, 3/13/2004; NBC News, 3/11/2004; Agence-France Presse, 3/11/2004] The 69-year-old former foreign minister has worked for the UN Industrial Development Organization in Africa (1972-1994) and most recently has been working as an international business consultant in Miami. [Associated Press, 3/10/2004; NBC News, 3/11/2004; Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004] Hours after the appointment, US members of the international security force are fired upon by gunmen in three separate incidents while on patrol near the prime minister's official residence. [Agence-France Presse, 3/11/2004; Associated Press, 3/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Danielle Magliore, Ariel Henry, Gerard Latortue, Christian Rousseau, Anne-Marie Issa, Paul Emile Simon, Lamartine Clermont, Mac Donald Jean
          

March 10, 2004      Haiti Coup

       Gerard Latortue is flown from Florida to Haiti after being appointed the day before as the country's new prime minister (see March 9, 2004). He is sworn in on March 12 (see March 12, 2004). [CBS News, 3/11/2004; Associated Press, 3/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Latortue
          

March 12, 2004      Haiti Coup

       Gerard Latortue is sworn in as prime minister of Haiti “before a crowd of 200 people under heavy security,” two days after arriving in Haiti from Florida. [Associated Press, 3/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Latortue
          

April 18, 2004      Haiti Coup

       Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue drops a demand that former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide had made to France—that the country's former colonizer pay reparations to Haiti in the amount of $21 billion (see November 2003). “This claim was illegal, ridiculous and was made only for political reasons,” Prime Minister Gerard Latortue claims, adding that Haiti wants to have good relations with France. “This matter is closed. What we need now is increased cooperation with France that could help us build roads, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure.” France, significantly, had called for Aristide's resignation before his ouster (see February 25, 2004), leading many to speculate that its involvement in the intervention had been motivated by its interest in ending the reparations demand. During a visit earlier in the month, Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie denied this allegation, saying that French involvement had been motivated solely by a desire to help Haiti. [Reuters, 4/18/2004]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Latortue, Michele Alliot-Marie
          

Late April 2004      Haiti Coup

       In Haiti, the Lavalas party holds a conference and agrees not to select a member for the provisional electoral council, citing widespread human rights violations against its members. The party agrees that it will not select a representative until interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue signs an agreement stating that his government will protect Lavalas members, halt illegal arrests and disarm paramilitary rebels and thugs. “After the brutal interruption of the democratic process in Haiti, the Lavalas Family party cannot name a representative under such conditions,” Jonas Petit, a spokesman for Lavalas explains. “We won't do so until the government puts an end to the killing, persecutions, illegal arrests, and destruction of personal property of our members and supporters.” Latortue, though saying he agrees in principle to the request, says he will not sign any agreement until Lavalas has selected a representative for the council. [Reuters, 5/3/2004; CNN, 5/4/2004; Zmag, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jonas Petit, Gerard Latortue
          

May 6, 2004      Haiti Coup

       At an OAS meeting in Washington, Haitian interim Prime Minister Gerard LaTortue appeals for reconciliation with the governments of other Caribbean states. “Haiti is a member of CARICOM and proposes to continue being a member,” LaTortue says. “In this key moment of its history, my country needs all of you. May the misunderstandings be left behind.” [Associated Press, 5/6/2004; Associated Press, 5/6/2004] The new government of Haiti had previously announced its temporary withdrawal from CARICOM because of the organization's refusal to recognize the new interim government (see March 15, 2004).
People and organizations involved: Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), Organization of American States (OAS), Gerard Latortue
          

Mid-March 2004      Haiti Coup

       “Following a US-backed plan,” Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue meets with political leaders to begin the process of selecting thirteen ministers for a new interim government. People who had worked in the government since 2000 are automatically disqualified. Additionally, no representatives from any political parties—the Lavalas Family Party or the opposition—are supposed to be included in the interim cabinet. Notably, several of those chosen have held posts in international development organizations, which as the Haiti Support Group notes, “have been very active in Haiti for many decades without making any discernible progress with the country's social or economic development.” Among those chosen are Yvon Simeon as foreign minister; Bernard Gousse, an anti-Aristide lawyer, as justice minister; Henri Bazan, president of the Haitian Association of Economists, UN consultant, as finance minister; former Gen. Herard Abraham as interior minister; Josette Bijoux, World Health Organization, as public health minister; Daniel Saint-Lot, Director of Training for the controversial USAID-funded, community radio development program, RAMAK, as commerce, industry and tourism minister, Pierre Buteau, as education and culture minister; Roland Pierre, agronomist, as planning and environment minister, Smarck Michel, former primer minister, as planning minister. [Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004; CNN, 3/16/2004] Despite Latortue's assurances, several of these people do have ties to political parties. Yvon Simeon, was the Democratic Convergence's representative in Europe and Bernard Gousse is said to be an active member of the Group of 184. [Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004] Interestingly, many of the new cabinet members, lilke Mr. LaTortue himself, are from Boca Raton, Florida, leading some observers to refer to the new government as the “Boca Regime.” [Zmag, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Daniel Saint-Lot, Josette Bijoux, Herard Abraham, Pierre Buteau, Roland Pierreas, Smarck Michel, Henri Bazan, Bernard Gousse, Yvon Simeon, Gerard Latortue, Lamartine Clermont, Anne-Marie Issa, Christian Rousseau, Ariel Henry, Danielle Magliore, Mac Donald Jean, Paul Emile Simon
          

February 8, 2005      Haiti Coup

       Gerard Latortue, Haiti's Interim Prime Minister, defends his government by denying that Haiti is a failed state. In his defense, Prime Minister Gerard Latortue states that he won't “stay one minute in this job if there are flagarant cases of human-rights violations.” Latortue also blames former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide for orchestrating violence from his exile in South Africa. [Globe and Mail, 2/8/2005]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Latortue
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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