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Profile: Roger Francisco Noriega

 
  

Positions that Roger Francisco Noriega has held:

  • US permanent representative to the Organization of American States
  • Senior staff member on the House of Representatives' Committee on International Relations (1994-1997)
  • Aide to Senator Jesse Helms in the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations


 

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Roger Francisco Noriega actively participated in the following events:

 
  

After May 21, 2000      Haiti Coup

       Political groups opposed to the party of Jean-Bertrand Aristide form the Democratic Convergence, a coalition made up of roughly 200 groups, which is headed by former Port-au-Prince mayor Evans Paul, a previous Aristide supporter and leader of the Convention for Democratic Unity. [Boston Globe, 2/14/2004; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004] The Convergence is a product of the USAID program, “Democracy Enhancement,” the purpose of which is to “fund those sectors of the Haitian political spectrum where opposition to the Aristide government could be encouraged.” Financial support for the Convergence comes from the International Republican Institute (IRI), which is associated with the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy. The IRI receives about $3 million annually from Congress, as well as millions more from private Haitian and US interests. The organization's board includes a number of “current or former Republican Party officials, Republican officeholders, or members of Republican administrations.” The IRI's activities in Haiti are not completely understood and Roger Noriega, the US permanent representative to the Organization of American States, has always refused to elaborate on the organization's work in Haiti. [Boston Globe, 2/14/2004; Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC), 2/27/2004; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004; Chomsky, n.d.; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Evans Paul, USAID, Democratic Convergence, International Republican Institute, National Endowment for Democracy, US Congress, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

2001-2003      Haiti Coup

       According to Haiti expert Robert Maguire of Trinity College, the permanent US representative to the Organization of American States Roger Noriega and US Special Envoy to Latin America Otto Reich lead a “relatively small group of people” who develop strategies toward Haiti. [Dollars and Sense, 9/2003]
People and organizations involved: Roger Francisco Noriega, Otto Juan Reich
          

August 6, 2001      Haiti Coup

       Roger Noriega, a Kansas native of Mexican descent and fervent critic of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is appointed US Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States. [Newsday, 3/1/2004; Inter-American Development Bank, n.d.]
People and organizations involved: Roger Francisco Noriega, Fidel Castro, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Hugo Chavez Frias
          

November 19, 2002      Haiti Coup

       The Haiti Democracy Project (HDP) is formally established. At its official launching, which takes place at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., speakers warn that the current “crisis” in democracy in Haiti is worsening at an ever increasing pace. “... Luigi Einaudi opened the talks with dire predictions that Haiti was fast approaching a point where diplomatic means would no longer contribute to solve the crisis. According to Einaudi, those concerned about Haiti should at this time be gathering for a ‘wake.’ The rapidly deteriorating economic situation, the inability of the main protagonists to advance the negotiating process and the increasing protest demonstrations throughout the country made for a very bleak future.” US ambassador to the OAS, Roger Noriega also speaks at the ceremony. At one point, Noriega says, referring to the contested 2000 Haitian elections (see May 21, 2000), “We have to get them [The Haitian people] that opportunity as they will not participate in a farce.” [Haiti Democracy Project, 11/20/2004] Attending the event are some questionable figures including Stanley Lucas and Olivier Nadal. Lucas is said to be the point man in Haiti for the USAID-financed International Republican Institute, which is providing training and funds to anti-Aristide Haitian rebels in the Dominican Republic (see (2001-2004)). Nadal is a Miami-based Haitian businessman and the former president of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce. [Haiti Democracy Project, 11/20/2004] Nadal is implicated in a peasant massacre that occurred in the Haitian town of Piatre. In 1990, a group of peasants were killed by Nadal's security after they squatted on unused land that he owned. [National Coalition for Haitian Rights, 4/24/2004; Haitis Progres, 7/21/1999] The prominent businessman Antoine Izmery said shortly before he was murdered that Nadal had been one of the financiers of the 1991 coup d'etat (see October 31, 1991-October 15, 1994) that ousted Aristide from office. And in 1994, the United States government froze Nadal's assets because of his suspected involvement in the coup. [Haitis Progres, 7/21/1999] The Haiti Democracy Project is funded by the wealthy, right-wing Haitian Boulos family, which owns several companies including Pharval Pharmaceuticals, the USAID-funded Radio Vision 2000, the Delimart supermarket, and Le Matin. In February 2002, Rudolph Boulos was under investigation for his possible involvement in the assassination of Haitian journalist Jean Dominique who had been very critical of Pharval after contamination of the company's “Afrebril and Valodon” syrups with diethyl alcohol had resulted in the deaths of 60 children. [Haiti Weekly News, 2/28/02; Haiti Democracy Project, 11/20/2004; Haiti Progres, 7/21/1999; Knight Ridder, 3/11/2004] The project's board of directors includes Rudolph Boulos, CEO of Pharval Laboratories; Vicki Carney of CRInternational; Prof. Henry F. Carey of Georgia State University; Timothy Carney, US ambassador to Haiti (1998-1999); Clotilde Charlot, former vice-president of the Haitian Association of Voluntary Agencies; Lionel Delatour of the Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy (CLED); Ira Lowenthal, an “Anthropologist”; Charles Manus; Orlando Marville, Chief of the OAS electoral mission to Haiti in 2000; James Morrell, the Haiti Democracy Project's executive director; Lawrence Pezzullo, US special envoy for Haiti (1993-1994); and Ernest H. Preeg, US ambassador to Haiti (1981-1983). [Haiti Democracy Project, 3/26/2004]
People and organizations involved: Antoine Izmery, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Olivier Nadal, Haiti Democracy Project, Vicki Carney, Jean Dominique, Henry F. Carey, Rudolph Boulos, Stanley Lucas, Luigi Einaudi, Timothy Carney, Roger Francisco Noriega, Ernest H. Preeg, Lawrence Pezzullo, James Morrell, Orlando Marville, Clotilde Charlot, Lionel Delatour, Ira Lowenthal, Charles Manus
          

January 9, 2003      Haiti Coup

       The White House announces the nomination of Roger F. Noriega, the current US Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, to the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. [The White House, 1/09/03; US Department of State, 1/09/03] Otto Reich, who was originally named to the position, but whose nomination was never confirmed by the Senate, is instead appointed by Bush to the White House position of Special Envoy for Western Hemisphere Initiatives, which does not have to be approved by the Senate (see January 11, 2002) (see November 25, 2002). [Knight Ridder, 1/9/2003; US Department of State, 1/09/03]
People and organizations involved: Roger Francisco Noriega, Otto Juan Reich
          

April 28, 2003      Haiti Coup, US-Haiti (1959-2005)

       The Haitian Press Agency (AHP) reports that diplomats at the Organization of American States are openly circulating demands for the removal of Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. “One document's author suggested that it would be best if the situation kept deteriorating, saying that any aid should be blocked until 2005 in order to eliminate the party in power, Fanmi Lavalas [Lavalas Family], which will be of no help to the population, according to him.” [The Black Commentator, 5/15/2003] Though the news report does not provide any names, one possible source for the remarks is Roger Noriega, the US permanent representative to the Organization of American States. Noriega is a known critic of Aristide.
People and organizations involved: Roger Francisco Noriega, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

July 29, 2003      Haiti Coup

       Roger F. Noriega's nomination for Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs is unanimously confirmed by the US Senate. [US Department of State, 7/30/03] John F. Maisto takes over Noriega's previous post as US Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States.(see September 24, 2002) [US Department of State, 7/31/03]
People and organizations involved: John F. Maisto, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

February 4, 2004      Haiti Coup, US-Haiti (1959-2005)

       Rebels take over cities in northern Haiti and move towards Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, overrunning Aristide's local police forces and vowing to overthrow President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. [New York Times, 2/29/2004] The rebels include various factions. The leading groups are led by Louis-Jodel Chamblain, a convicted murderer and former death squad leader under “Baby Doc” Duvalier, and Guy Philippe, also a known human rights violator (see October 31, 1991-October 15, 1994) (see 1997-1999). [Associated Press, 3/3/2004; Counter Punch, 3/1/2004; Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Claude Duvalier, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

Late February 2004      Haiti Coup

       Guy Philippe tells the Miami Herald during an interview conducted in Cap Haitein, Haiti, that the man he admires most is former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. “Pinochet made Chile what it is,” the 35-year-old rebel says. Philippe adds that US President Ronald Reagan is his next favorite. [Jamaican Observer, 3/7/2004; Miami Herald, 2/28/04; One World, 3/2/2004]
People and organizations involved: Roger Francisco Noriega, Augusto Pinochet, Ronald Reagan
          

April 14, 2004      Haiti Coup

       In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger F. Noriega speaks about Haiti. On the issue of democracy, he says that under Aristide the people of Haiti had “lost their democracy,” explaining, “Leaders can undermine a republic and their own legitimacy by their actions and that is how a people can lose their democracy.” He contends that Aristide had willfully refused to “give any quarter to or compromise with political adversaries.” [US State Department, 4/14/2004] In the section of his speech titled, “Principles of US Engagement in Haiti,” Noriega says the US will help Haiti adopt neoliberal reforms: “We will provide technical and legal aid to update Haiti's Commercial Code, which dates from the 19th century, in order to help create the right environment for growth and wealth creation. We will also encourage the Government of Haiti to move forward, at the appropriate time, with restructuring and privatization of some public sector enterprises through a transparent process.” [US State Department, 4/14/2004]
People and organizations involved: Roger Francisco Noriega, American Enterprise Institute
          

February 8, 2005      US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

       Roger Noriega, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, says the US is concerned that an arms trade deal struck between Venezuela and Russia could destabilize the region. Venezuela has agreed to purchase about 40 Russian military helicopters and 100,000 rifles. CNN reports that Noriega told its Spanish-language service “that Washington [is] worried the arms may end up with groups such as Columbia's Marxist FaRC rebels.” [CNN, 2/8/2005; Al Jazeera, 2/13/2005] Observers interpret this latest move by the Chavez government as another step in a strategy apparently aimed at decreasing Venezuela's dependence on the US economy by strengthening ties with states such as China, Russia and Iran. [Al Jazeera, 2/13/2005] Venezuela's Vice President Jose Vincente Rangel defends the weapons trade deal with Russia. Rangel says that the deal is of no relevance to the US and that the deal is “a concern only for the Venezuelan people and the nation's institutions.” [Reuters, 2/8/2005]
People and organizations involved: Roger Francisco Noriega
          

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