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Haiti Coup themes

Foreign involvement
The overthrow of Aristide
Economic policy, foreign interference
The opposition/post-Artistide gov't
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The 2004 removal of Jean-Bertrand Aristide

 
  

Project: 2004 Ousting of Jean-Bertrand Aristide

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Showing 1-100 of 123 events (use filters to narrow search):    next 100

1980s

       Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a Roman Catholic priest, preaches Liberation Theology in Haiti. US conservatives spread stories that he could be the next Castro. [Taipei Times, 3/1/2004; Rogozinski, 1992; Observer, 3/2/2004]
People and organizations involved: Fidel Castro, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

September 1988-March 1990

       General Prosper Avril, a former leader of Duvaliers' Presidential Guard, seizes control of Haiti. During his rule, he suspends 27 articles of the constitution, declares a state of siege and is responsible for numerous human rights abuses. A US District Court will later award $41 million in compensation to six Haitians who were tortured under his regime including opposition politicians, union leaders, scholars and “even a doctor trying to practice community medicine.” The US will help Avril evade arrest in December 2003 (see December 2003). [London Review of Books, 4/15/2004; Miami Herald, 5/31/2001]
People and organizations involved: Prosper Avril
          

Early 1990s

       Haitian Guy Philippe is trained by US Special Forces in Ecuador. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; Miami Herald, 2/28/04; Observer, 3/2/2004; One World, 3/2/2004]
People and organizations involved: Guy Philippe
          

December 1990

       Running against 11 other candidates, Jean-Bertrand Aristide wins the presidential elections in Haiti with a two-thirds majority. The election turnout is high and is later described as being “unquestionably the most honest Haiti has known.” [Rogozinski, 1992; London Review of Books, 4/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

October 31, 1991-October 15, 1994

       In Haiti, the Front for the Advancement of Progress of the Haitian People (FRAPH) overthrows the government while Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is on a visit to the UN in New York. The group rules as a repressive military regime until 1994 when a US-led UN intervention puts Aristide back in power (see September 19, 1994-October 15, 1994) [Observer, 3/2/2004; Rogozinski, 1992] The junta is responsible for the massacre of hundreds—or by some estimates, thousands—of dissidents. [Observer, 3/2/2004; The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004] The leader of the group is Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, who later acknowledges he had support from the CIA. “Emmanuel Constant is widely alleged, and himself claims, to have been in the pay of, and under the orders of, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the coup period,” Amnesty International will later report. The amount paid to Constant by the CIA during this period is $500/month. [Amnesty International, 2/7/1996; Observer, 3/7/2004; Center for Constitutional Rights, 2/18/2004; London Review of Books, 4/15/2004] Second in command is Louis-Jodel Chamblain, who had led death squads during the years of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier's dictatorship and who is later convicted and implicated in multiple crimes committed during this period. [Observer, 3/7/2004; The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

September 11, 1993

       Antoine Izmery, financier of Haitian President Jean-Claude Bertrand and a known pro-democracy advocate, is dragged from church during a mass, and executed. Louis-Jodel Chamblain is later convicted in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004 Sources: Amnesty International Letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Antoine Izmery
          

October 14, 1993

       Haitian Justice Minister Guy Malary and his bodyguard are killed in an ambush. According to a CIA memorandum, dated October 28, 1993, which will later be obtained by the Center for Constitutional Rights, “FRAPH members Jodel Chamblain, Emmanuel Constant, and Gabriel Douzable met with an unidentified military officer on the morning of 14 October to discuss plans to kill Malary.” According to the Center, “Constant at the time was a paid CIA informant, earning $500 a month.” [Center for Constitutional Rights, 2/18/2004; Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04]
People and organizations involved: Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, Louis-Jodel Chamblain
          

April 18-22, 1994

       On April 18 and 22, 1994, members of the Haitian Armed Forces and the paramilitary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH) enter the costal slum of Raboteau on the outskirts of the city of Gonaives. They break into “dozens of homes, beating and arresting those they found inside,” the BBC recounts several years later. Several of the victims are “tortured on site” and “forced to lie in open sewers” while others are shot as they try to escape. [The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004; BBC, 10/4/2004; The Center for Justice and Accountability, n.d.] Between two dozen and one hundred deaths are attributed to the Raboteau Massacre. The number will remain undetermined, however, because the attackers kill many who are fleeing in boats and whose bodies fall into the sea. Additionally, the killers toss several bodies of people killed on the land also into the ocean. Days later, mutilated bodies wash back to shore. [The Center for Justice and Accountability, n.d.; St. Petersburg Times, 9/1/2002 Sources: Amnesty International Letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell] Among those who will be convicted for the atrocity are Louis-Jodel Chamblain and Jean Pierre Baptiste. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004; BBC, 10/4/2004; The Center for Justice and Accountability, n.d. Sources: Amnesty International Letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Jean Pierre Baptiste, “Jean Tatoune”
          

August 1994

       Former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide promises donors that he will implement neoliberal reforms if he is returned to power. He agrees to a plan calling for the privatization of some state-owned enterprises, including the country's flour mill, cement factory and electric company. The plan also requires the removal of import controls, reforming of customs and the elimination of limits on interest rates. But due to strong domestic opposition, Aristide will not completely follow through with the Structural Adjustment Program once in office. [Interpress Service, 9/28/1995]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

(September 1994)

       Louis-Jodel Chamblain escapes to the Dominican Republic in 1994 when the US military intervenes in Haiti to return Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain
          

September 19, 1994-October 15, 1994

       US and UN military forces enter Haiti and restore Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the presidency. [Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004] US conservatives, such as Senator Jesse Helms, are against the intervention and criticize President Bill Clinton for engaging in unnecessary “nation building” in Haiti. Helms falsely makes the claim on the Senate floor that Aristide is “Psychotic,” based on a CIA document later revealed to be a forgery. [Newsday, 3/1/2004; Taipei Times, 3/1/2004; Observer, 3/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jesse Helms, William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

October 24, 1994

       Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide informs parliament that he will appoint Smarck Michel as the country's new prime minister. Michel—who served briefly as Aristide's commerce minister in 1991—owns a rice-importing business and retails gasoline. According to sources interviewed by The Washington Post, his selection “was aimed at appeasing the nation's powerful business elite” and is viewed as a prerequisite for “winning support from foreign investors and attaining international development funds.” The Post reports, “At least two US-trained economic experts—former World Bank economist Leslie Delatour and former education minister Leslie Voltaire—had threatened not to participate in key government posts if Michel were not named prime minister.” [The Washington Post, 10/25/1995]
People and organizations involved: Smarck Michel, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Leslie Delatour, Leslie Voltaire
          

(Late October 1994)

       The United States-led Multinational Force (MNF) searches the FRAPH office in Port-au-Prince and removes 60,000 pages of documents, mostly in French, which are given to the US. [Amnesty International, 2/7/1996; FAS, n.d.]
          

(December 1994)

       Haitian authorities put warrants out for the arrest of FRAPH leaders Emmanuel “Toto” Constant and his deputy, Louis Jodel Chamblain who are wanted for their involvement in human rights violations that occurred during the previous three-year period of military rule. Emmanuel Constant flees to the United States. [Amnesty International, 2/7/1996]
People and organizations involved: Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, Louis-Jodel Chamblain
          

Late 1994-1995

       In Haiti, International development agencies implement short-term, labor-intensive job programs, focused primarily on road construction. According to agronomists interviewed in late summer of 1995, the programs are undermining local agricultural production and long-term sustainable development programs. “In the middle of planting season, a large number of peasant farmers in the northeastern town of Vallieres abandoned their land to begin working in the areas with one of these projects,” agronomist Harry Noel explains. And in Artibonite Valley, revenues from levies on the irrigation pumps dramatically decrease when the job programs siphon off its labor supply. “Efforts over the years to create communally-managed irrigation systems have failed in just one season because of the job programs,” explains Volny Paultre, agronomist and consultant to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). [Inter Press Service, 9/4/1995]
People and organizations involved: Volny Paultre, Harry Noel
          

Mid-October 1995

       Haitian Prime Minister Smarck Michel resigns after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's cabinet refuses to accept the privatization package that the US, IMF, and other international donors have been pushing. He is replaced by Foreign Minister Claudette Werleigh. Michel will return to the Haitian political arena in 2004 when he is appointed as planning minister (see Mid-March 2004) following the February ouster of Aristide. [Inter-Press Service, 10/16/1995; Multinational Monitor, 11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Smarck Michel, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
          

1995

       Guy Philippe joins the new Haitian National Police and is posted at Ouanamithe near Haiti's northern border with the Dominican Republic. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; Miami Herald, 2/28/04]
People and organizations involved: Guy Philippe
          

May 4, 1995

       Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide announces a doubling of the minimum wage effective June 1, 1995 from 18 gourdes to 36 gourdes per day. Articles 1 and 2 of his decree read, “Beginning June 1, 1995, the minimum wage paid in industrial, commercial and agricultural businesses is fixed at 36 gourdes per 8-hour day... Where the employee works per piece or per task, the price paid for a unit of production (per piece, per dozen, per gross, per meter, etc.) must allow the employee who works 8 hours to earn at least the minimum salary.” [National Labor Committee, 1/1996]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

August 1995

       The Haitian government solicits bids from investors for the sale of Haiti's cement factory, flour mill, and its air and seaports. [Inter-Press Service, 9/8/1995; Multinational Monitor, 11/2004]
          

September 8, 1995

       Haitian Prime Minister Smarck Michel announces that Haiti will continue with plans to privatize nine state-owned companies, though he acknowledges that most Haitians are “against the idea of privatization” and that for many, “the word is a demon.” In an effort to sell the plan to the public the government has been euphemistically describing it as the “democratization of assets.” The privatization scheme—to include Haiti's flour mill, a cement factory, its air and seaports, telephone exchanges and electricity—must be implemented in order for Haiti to receive $170 million in structural adjustment loans from the World Bank, the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Union. The loans are part of a five-year, $1.2-billion aid program (see (October 18, 1996)) which Aristide had tacitly agreed to in August 1994 (see August 1994). [Inter-Press Service, 9/8/1995]
People and organizations involved: International Monetary Fund (IMF), Smarck Michel, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
          

September 9, 1995

       Haitian Prime Minister Smarck Michel begins a 10-day trip aimed at “unlocking about [$1 billion] in foreign aid stalled after a political row in Haiti about planned privatization.” He begins in New York where he meets with commercial bankers. Afterwards, in a two-hour press conference with the Haitian press, he explains to his Haitian viewers that the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are holding back $150 million until Haiti can “fulfill the conditions which structural adjustment demands,” and warns that there will be “dire consequences” if the Haitian people continue to resist privatization and other neoliberal reforms. [Haiti Progress, 9/13/1995]
People and organizations involved: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Smarck Michel
          

September 19, 1995

       Demonstrations are held in Haiti, protesting against privatization and the foreign occupation of Haiti. [Interpress Service, 9/28/1995]
          

Early October 1995-October 1996

       Haiti's government and lawyers for Alerte Belance, a Haitian woman who was assaulted by FRAPH forces during the coup period (see October 31, 1991-October 15, 1994), seek the FRAPH documents (see (Late October 1994)) from the United States. But the US Defense Department refuses to provide them, saying the papers are classified and must first be reviewed before being released. The Haitian government wants to use the documents as evidence in the prosecution of FRAPH members and Belance's attorneys have subpoenaed them for use as evidence in a lawsuit against FRAPH member Emmanuel Constant who is living openly in the USA, and who has admitted being a paid CIA asset during the FRAPH's period of military rule in Haiti (see October 14, 1993). Belance's lawyers say the documents could contain important information about FRAPH's financing, their weapons, and the crimes they are accused of having committed. In October 1996, the US sends documents to Port-au-Prince, but the Haitian government refuses them on grounds that they are incomplete. [Amnesty International, 2/7/1996; Amnesty International, 3/2004; UPS, 10/10/1995]
People and organizations involved: Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, Alerte Belance
          

Early October 1995

       During the World Bank's annual meeting, the Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pressure Haiti to sign a letter of intent assuring the US, IMF, and other donors that Haiti would proceed with the Structural Adjustment Program that President Aristide had agreed to in August 1994 (see August 1994) before he was restored to power by a US-led multinational force. Haiti, whose parliament and population are strongly opposed to the neoliberal reforms, refuses to sign the letter. [Multinational Monitor, 11/2004]
People and organizations involved: International Monetary Fund (IMF), Smarck Michel, World Bank, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

October 15, 1995

       US Vice President Al Gore visits Haiti on the one-year anniversary of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return to power. During his visit, he meets with President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and stresses the need for his government to comply with the structural reforms which he had agreed to implement in August 1994 (see August 1994). “We discussed the need for continuing international assistance to meet the developmental requirements of Haiti and the steps the government of Haiti and its people need to take in order to ensure the continued flow of these funds,” Gore recounts during a brief press conference. Earlier in the month, Aristide's government refused to sign a letter of intent assuring the US, IMF and other donors that the country would follow though with the mandated reforms (see Early October 1995). [Inter-Press Service, 10/16/1995; Multinational Monitor, 11/2004]
People and organizations involved: International Monetary Fund (IMF), Al Gore, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

December 17, 1995

       Presidential elections are held and Rene Preval wins in a landslide victory. He succeeds the popular Jean-Bertrand Aristide who is barred from running again because of the Haitian constitution's prohibition on consecutive presidential terms. [CNN, 12/16/1995; CNN, 12/17/1995; Tiscali Encyclopedia, n.d.]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Rene Preval
          

(October 18, 1996)

       Haiti agrees to implement a wide array of neoliberal reforms outlined in the IMF's $1.2 billion Emergency Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) put together by the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Organization of American States (OAS). The recovery package, to be funded and executed over a five-year period, aims to create a capital-friendly macroeconomic environment for the export-manufacturing sector. It calls for suppressing wages, reducing tariffs, and selling off state-owned enterprises. Notably, there is little in the package for the country's rural sector, which represents the activities of about 65 percent of the Haitian population. The small amount that does go to the countryside is designated for improving roads and irrigation systems and promoting export crops such as coffee and mangoes. The Haitian government also agrees to abolish tariffs on US imports, which results in the dumping of cheap US foodstuffs on the Haitian market undermining the country's livestock and agricultural production. The disruption of economic life in the already depressed country further deteriorates the living conditions of the poor. [International Monetary Fund, October 18, 1996; International Report, 4/3/1995; Shamsie, 2002; Dollars and Sense, 9/2003; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Organization of American States (OAS), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), USAID
          

1997-1999

       Guy Philippe serves as police chief in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Delmas. According to Human Rights Watch, “dozens of suspected gang members ... [are] summarily executed, mainly by police under the command of Inspector Berthony Bazile, Philippe's deputy.” Philippe will later deny the allegation in an interview with the Miami Herald. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; Miami Herald, 2/28/04]
People and organizations involved: Berthony Bazile, Guy Philippe
          

January 1999

       Haitian President Rene Preval suspends congress and two-thirds of the senate after a dispute with the opposition party. As a result, more than 7,000 government jobs at the federal and local level become vacant. From this point on, Preval rules by decree. [BBC, 5/9/2003]
People and organizations involved: Rene Preval
          

After May 21, 2000

       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; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004; Chomsky, n.d.]
People and organizations involved: USAID, International Republican Institute (IRI), Roger Francisco Noriega, National Endowment for Democracy, Evans Paul, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Democratic Convergence
          

May 21, 2000

       After being postponed three times during the last seven months, Haitian parliamentary and local elections are finally held with a turnout of about 60 percent. Voters must fill some 7,625 posts in the legislature, mayoral commissions, and local and rural councils that were made vacant in January 1999, when the congress and local offices were disbanded by President Rene Preval (see January 1999). The Lavalas party of Jean-Bertrand Aristide wins the elections by a landslide, winning 15 of the 19 contested Senate seats and some 80 percent of the seats in the House of Assembly. However the results are challenged by the opposition, the US, and the Organization of American States, which say that Haiti's electoral council did not use the proper formula to calculate the votes. As a result of the controversy, the opposition will boycott the June 9 run-off elections (see July 9, 2000) as well as the presidential elections in November (see November 2000). More significantly, aid donors threaten that they will continue to withhold $500 million in aid if the government does not come to an agreement with the opposition. [CBS News, 11/29/2000; Associated Press, 12/7/2000; BBC, 7/8/2000; US Department of State, 2/23/2001; BBC, 5/30/2000; BBC, 5/22/2000; BBC, 5/22/2000; BBC, 7/14/2000; Dollars and Sense, 9/2003; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004; Taipei Times, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Rene Preval
          

July 9, 2000

       Haiti holds run-off elections for candidates who failed to win a majority of the votes in the May 21 elections (see May 21, 2000). However 10 senators from the party of Jean-Bertrand Aristide who won only by plurality, and not by majority, are not required to run, prompting immediate criticism from the US, UN, the OAS, and the opposition parties. Donor nations and organizations threaten to continue withholding $400 million in aid. [BBC, 2/7/2001; BBC, 7/14/2000; BBC, 7/11/2000; Miami Herald, 2/28/04]
People and organizations involved: Organization of American States (OAS), Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

October 18, 2000

       The prime minister of Haiti says that Guy Philippe and others are planning to overthrow the Aristide government. Philippe and the other plotters flee across the Dominican border before they can be arrested. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; Miami Herald, 2/28/04]
People and organizations involved: Guy Philippe, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

November 2000

       Jean-Bertrand Aristide runs unopposed in Haiti's presidential elections and wins with 91.5 percent of the vote. The opposition Democratic Convergence party does not participate in the elections in protest of the May 21, 2000 congressional and municipal elections (see May 21, 2000) which its members claim were rigged. The election turnout is disputed. Though some news agencies report a low turnout of between 5 percent and 10 percent, Aristide's party, as well as five US-based NGOs—Global Exchange, the Quixote Center, Witness for Peace and Pax Christi—estimate the figure at 61 percent, or 3 million of Haiti's voters. [CBS News, 11/29/2000; Global Exchange, 2001; Associated Press, 12/7/2000; Dollars and Sense, 9/2003; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004; BBC, 7/7/2000; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004; Zmag, 5/5/2004] These figures are also supported by USAID-commissioned Gallup polls taken both before and after the elections, but which are suppressed by the US. [Zmag, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Democratic Convergence, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, USAID
          

(2001-2003)

       Observers note a remarkable anti-Aristide bias in the US mainstream media during this period. [Dollars and Sense, 9/2003]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

2001

       Clinton holdover US Ambassador to Haiti Brian Dean Curran complains that Stanley Lucas of the Republican-dominated International Republican Institute (IRI) is “undermining” international efforts to help Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the Democratic Convergence come to a compromise over Haiti's contested 2000 congressional elections (see May 21, 2000). [Newsday, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: International Republican Institute (IRI), Brian Dean Curran, Stanley Lucas, Democratic Convergence, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

2001-2003

       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
          

(Mid-2001)

       The US convinces several European countries to suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in credit and aid and provide the IMF, World Bank and European Union with “vague instructions” to deny other lines of credit to the impoverished Caribbean country. The resumption of aid and credit is made contingent on Aristide coming to an agreement with the opposition party, the Democratic Convergence, which is controlled and financed by Haitian and US right-wing interests. [TransAfrica Forum, 5/16/2003; Taipei Times, 3/1/2004; Dollars and Sense, 9/2003; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004; Observer, 3/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Democratic Convergence  Additional Info 
          

(2001-2003)

       Under the leadership of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Haitian government engages in cooperative projects with Cuba and Venezuela. The Chavez government offers to provide oil at significantly reduced prices, and treaties between Haiti and Cuba result in a presence of more than 800 Cuban medical workers in Haiti. In an explicit challenge to US domination of the regional trade patterns, Haiti works with other island nations to create a regional trading bloc that “may be a bulwark against the FTAA and other [US-led] initiatives.” Haiti and other Latin American countries regularly discuss regional strategies to reduce US hegemony in the region. [Dollars and Sense, 9/2003]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

(2001)

       The Organization of American States (OAS) blocks $400 million in aid to Haiti from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), citing the unresolved status of the contested 2000 Haitian elections (see May 21, 2000). The aid package was to consist of four separate loans for health, education, drinking water and road improvements. Though it is claimed that this decision has been reached by a consensus, critical observers raise questions about the influence of an April 6 letter (see (Mid-2001)) from a US official asking the IDB to suspend the release of these funds. [London Review of Books, 4/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Organization of American States (OAS)
          

(2001-2004)

       The United States Government funds and trains a 600-member paramilitary army of anti-Aristide Haitians in the Dominican Republic with the authorization of the country's president, Hipolito Mejia. The funds—totaling $1.2 milllion—are directed through the International Republican Institute (IRI) on the pretext of encouraging democracy in Haiti. In order to evade attention, the paramilitary soldiers appear at their training sessions dressed in the uniforms of the Dominican Republic national police. The training—provided by some 200 members of the US Special Forces—takes place in the Dominican villages of Neiba, San Cristobal, San Isidro, Hatillo and Haina, and others. Most of the training takes place on property owned by the Dominican Republic Government. Technical training, conducted once a month, takes place in a Santo Domingo hotel through the IRI. Among the Hatians that take part in the program are known human rights violators including Guy Philippe and Louis-Jodel Chamblain. [Democracy Now!, 4/7/2004; Radio Mundo, 4/2/2004; Xinhuanet, 3/29/2004; Newsday, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Guy Philippe, International Republican Institute (IRI)
          

February 7, 2001

       Jean-Bertrand Aristide takes office amid criticisms that his party won the previous year's congressional elections unfairly. [BBC, 2/7/2001]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

April 6, 2001

       Lawrence Harrington, the US representative to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) sends a letter to Enrique Iglesias, the IDB's president, recommending that the bank block already approved loans to Haiti. “At this point disbursements could normally begin, assuming all loans conditions had been met,” Harrington writes. “However, we do not believe that these loans can or should be treated in a routine manner and strongly urge you to not authorize any disbursements at this time.” [London Review of Books, 4/15/2004 Sources: April 4, 2001 letter from Executive Director for the US Lawrence Harrington to IDB President Enrique Iglesias] The loans are for health, education, drinking water and road improvements. The OAS will block these loans 14 days later (see (2001)). [London Review of Books, 4/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Lawrence Harrington, Enrique Iglesias, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Organization of American States (OAS)
          

April 20-22, 2001

       With the exception of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, 34 heads of state attending the OAS summit, pledge to direct their “Ministers to ensure that negotiations of the FTAA [Free Trade Area of Americas] Agreement are concluded no later than January 2005 and to seek its entry into force as soon as possible thereafter, but in any case, no later than December 2005.” [Haitian Times, 4/18/2001; Haiti Weekly News, 5/2/2001 Sources: Declaration of Quebec City] According to an unnamed senior offical at the US State Department, the declaration also lays the groundwork for creating a legal pretext for blocking aid to countries. [US Congress, 7/15/2003; London Review of Books, 4/15/2004] The section of the declaration discussing the OAS's commitment to democracy reads: “... any unconstitutional alteration or interruption of the democratic order in a state of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the participation of that state's government in the Summit of the Americas process....To enhance our ability to respond to these threats, we instruct our Foreign Ministers to prepare, in the framework of the next General Assembly of the OAS, an Inter-American Democratic Charter to reinforce OAS instruments for the active defense of representative democracy.” [Haiti Progres, 4/25/2001 Sources: Declaration of Quebec City] During the summit, before the final declaration is made, Haiti is singled out as the region's problem democracy. “Democracy in certain countries is still fragile,” Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chr�tien says, “We are particularly concerned about the case of Haiti. We note the problems which continue to limit the democratic, political, economic and social development of this country.” [Haiti Progres, 4/25/2001] Press reports note the ant-Aristide atmosphere. The BBC reports, “Correspondents say the presence of Mr. Aristide at the summit has been an embarrassment to some of the leaders, who agreed that only democratic countries would be included in the Free Trade Zone of the Americas.” [BBC, 4/22/2001] The New York Post similarly reccounts, “Diplomats said the expressions of concern about Haiti were to make sure that Aristide can't use his presence at the summit... to claim he has international support.” [New York Post, 4/23/2001] And according to Reuters, “the Summit decided to comment on Haiti because leaders did not want Aristide to return home in triumph.” [New York Post, 4/23/2001; Haiti Progres, 4/25/2001]
People and organizations involved: Jean Chretien, Hugo Chavez Frias, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Organization of American States (OAS)  Additional Info 
          

June 8, 2001

       Seven of the eight Haitian senators, whose elections are still being disputed by the Democratic Convergence (see May 21, 2000), resign after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide tells the General Assembly of the Organization of American States that he will hold new elections for the contested Senate seats within six months. But the Democratic Convergence is not satisfied with the concession and maintains its insistence that he resign and that it be put in charge of a non-elected “transition” government. [BBC, 6/8/2001; Dollars and Sense, 9/2003; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Democratic Convergence, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

August 6, 2001

       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: Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez Frias, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

January 11, 2002

       The White House appoints Otto Juan Reich as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. [US Department of State, 1/11/2002] His nomination will never be approved by the Senate. [Knight Ridder, 1/9/2003]
People and organizations involved: Otto Juan Reich
          

(Late January 2002)

       Lavalas Family (LF) deputy Nahoum Marcellus exposes a scandal involving the duty-free import of 70,000 metric tons of rice by Lavalas senators and representatives. They used the cover of a fake cooperative reportedly founded by FL Senator Mirlande Lib�rus (an Aristide Foundation director), Paul Preslet (a former Aristide Foundation director, current head of the National Bank of Credit), and Jonas Petit, the FL's official spokesman. Charles Souffrant, head of the peasant organization Kozepe, denounces the scheme which undermines the production of local rice and hurts Haiti's rice growers. The Haitian treasury lost some 117 million gourdes in customs duties and tax revenues as a result of the ploy. [Haiti-Progres, 2/6/2002]
People and organizations involved: Paul Preslet, Mirlande Lib←rus, Charles Souffrant, Nahoum Marcellus, Jonas Petit
          

February 6, 2002

       Haiti-Progres, a Haitian newspaper published in the United States, reports that President Aristide's Lavalas party is engulfed in financial scandals which are wreaking havoc on the economy. The most serious scandal so far is the duty-free import of 70,000 metric tons of rice by Lavalas senators and representatives, who used the cover of a fake cooperative (see (Late January 2002)). [Haiti-Progres, 2/6/2002]
          

March 2002

       A USAID-commissioned Gallup poll indicates that 61.6 percent of the survey's participants sympathize or are members of Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas party, while only 13 percent say they support the Democratic Convergence or any of its associated parties. Sixty percent of the respondents indicate that the Haitian leader they trust most is Aristide, though several say they trust no one. Democratic Convergence leader Gerard Gourgue, with only 3.7 percent, is the next most trusted politician. [Zmag, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Gourgue, USAID, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

October 2002

       The US ships 20,000 M-16s to the Dominican Republic. Though some US officials will later claim that the weapons transfer had only been agreed to at this time—not completed—there will be much evidence to the contrary. [Newsday, 3/16/2004; Washington Times, 3/4/2004; Web Ready Corporation, 3/26/04; Fox News, 3/2/2004] According to the Florida-based website, fuerzasmildom.com, which provides a detailed history and description of the Dominican military forces, the Dominican military receives a “donation of 20,000 surplus M16 rifles from the US Military Assistance Program” in October 2002. [Web Ready Corporation, 3/26/04] Additionally, according to one of the staff aides of US Senator Christopher Dodd, several Defense Department letters written in 2002 and 2003 appear to show that the weapons transfer had been completed. [Newsday, 3/16/2004] After Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is ousted a year and a half later, his attorney, Ira Kurzman, will tell Fox News that the guns had been provided to the Dominican by the US “in an operation called Jade Project where they [sic] secretly trained Dominican army people.” [Fox News, 3/2/2004]
People and organizations involved: Christopher Dodd, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Ira Kurzman
          

November 19, 2002

       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; Knight Ridder, 3/11/2004; Haiti Progres, 7/21/1999] 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: Jean Dominique, Roger Francisco Noriega, Rudolph Boulos, Olivier Nadal, Charles Manus, Ira Lowenthal, Orlando Marville, James Morrell, Lawrence Pezzullo, Lionel Delatour, Clotilde Charlot, Timothy Carney, Henry F. Carey, Vicki Carney, Haiti Democracy Project, Ernest H. Preeg, Luigi Einaudi, Stanley Lucas, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Antoine Izmery
          

November 25, 2002

       Otto Juan Reich is named US Special Envoy to the Western Hemisphere for the Secretary of State. He had previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (see January 11, 2002), but never received a confirmation from the Senate. [US Department of State, 1/9/2003; US Embassy in Israel, 11/25/2002]
People and organizations involved: Otto Juan Reich
          

December 2002

       The Haiti Democracy Project creates the “Coalition of 184 Civic Institutions,” which is comprised of Haitian NGOs funded by USAID and/or the International Republican Institute (IRI ), the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce, as well as several other groups. [Dollars and Sense, 9/7/2003] The coalition's leader is Andre Apaid, a US citizen born to Haitian parents who is the head of Alpha Industries,“one of the oldest and largest assembly factories in Haiti.” His factories—located in Haiti's free trade zones—produce textiles and assemble electronic products for several US companies, including Sperry/Unisys, IBM, Remington and Honeywell, some of which are used in US Government computers and US Defense Department sonar and radar equipment. According to a report by the National Labor Committee, Apaid's businesses are known to have forced their employees to work 78-hour work-weeks at wages below the minimum rate. [Haiti Progres, 11/12/2003; National Labor Committee for Worker and Human Rights, 1/1996; London Review of Books, 4/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: USAID, International Republican Institute (IRI), Andre Apaid, Haiti Democracy Project
          

January 9, 2003

       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. [US Department of State, 1/09/03; The White House, 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). [US Department of State, 1/09/03; Knight Ridder, 1/9/2003]
People and organizations involved: Otto Juan Reich, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

February 2003

       Stanley Lucas, who is the point man in Haiti for the Republican-dominated International Republican Institute (IRI) based in the Dominican Republic, meets with Haitian rebel Guy Philippe and his men. Three months later the group will cross into Haiti and attack a hydroelectric power plant. Lucas has long ties to the Haitian military (see Early May 2003). After the toppling of Aristide's government 12 months later, it will be learned that the group had been funded and trained through the IRI (see (2001-2004)). [The Black Commentator, 5/15/2003; Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC), 2/27/2004]
People and organizations involved: International Republican Institute (IRI), Stanley Lucas, Guy Philippe
          

February 7, 2003

       During a rally celebrating the anniversary of his first inauguration in 1990, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide announces that his government is doubling the minimum wage from 36 to 70 gourdes (or about $1.60) a day, despite the strong disapproval of Haiti's business elites. [US Immigration, 7/30/2003; Waters, 2/18/2004] This marks the second time since his return to office in 1994 that he has doubled the minimum wage (see May 4, 1995).
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

April 23, 2003

       John Ashcroft states that US authorities have “noticed an increase in third country nations (Pakistanis, Palestinians, etc.) using Haiti as a staging point for attempted migration to the United States. This increases the national security interest in curing use of this migration route.” Commenting on the remarks, State Department spokesman Stuart Patt says, “'We all are scratching our heads. We are asking each other, ‘Where did they get that?’ ” No evidence is ever offered by Ashcroft or anyone else in the Justice Department to support the accusation. Miami Immigration attorney Ira Kurzban, who will later represent Jean-Bertrand Aristide after his removal, says the statements are “part of a concerted plan involving the destruction of the Haitian people by creating the chaotic economic conditions in Haiti while forcing people to go back there.” Kurzban adds: “There is no basis of fact for the attorney general's claims. No information of this nature has been presented to the Haitian government. It's a false claim. It's used to perpetuate a discriminatory policy against Haitians.” [Miami Herald, 4/25/2003]
People and organizations involved: John Ashcroft, Ira Kurzman, Stuart Patt
          

April 28, 2003

       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: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

Early May 2003

       A group of at least 20 paramilitary soldiers—trained and funded by the US (see (2001-2004)) —cross into Haiti from the neighboring Dominican Republic and attack a hydroelectric power plant on Haiti's central plateau. Shortly after the attack, Dominican authorities, at the behest of the Haitian government, arrest five men, including Guy Philippe, in connection with the paramilitary operation. But they are quickly released by the Dominicans who say there is no evidence of their involvement in the attack. Philippe is interviewed by the Associated Press afterwards and asked what he is doing in the Dominican. Philippe, who mentions to the reporter that he would support a coup against Aristide, refuses to “say how he makes a living or what he does to spend his time in the Dominican Republic.” Less than one year later, Philippe will participate in the overthrow of the Aristide government. [The Black Commentator, 5/15/2003] On the same day the five men are detained, Haitian authorities raid the Port-au-Prince residence of mayoral candidate Judith Roy of the Democratic Convergence opposition. The Haitians claim to find “assault weapons, ammunitions, and plans to attack the National Palace and Aristide's suburban residence.” The Haitian government contends that Roy is close to Philippe. [The Black Commentator, 5/15/2003]
People and organizations involved: Guy Philippe, Democratic Convergence, Judith Roy
          

May 6, 2003

       Dominican police arrest five Haitians, including Arcelin Paul, the official Democratic Convergence representative in the Dominican Republic, who they believe are plotting the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government. Also at this time, there is a US build-up along the Dominican border, where “900 US soldiers patrol jointly with the Dominican army, whom they have armed with 20,000 M16s.” Ben Dupuy, general secretary of the left-wing party PPN, tells the left-wing Haiti Progres, “There is no doubt these guys are true terrorists working with the CIA under Dominican protection.” Documentary filmmaker Kevin Pina, who has been covering Haiti for over a decade, calls this the “US funding of the Haitian ‘Contras.’ ” A September 2003 article in the magazine, Dollars and Sense, will comment: “Whatever we call them, there is an organized and well-funded armed group with ties to the Convergence, based in the Dominican Republic, which aims to overthrow the Aristide government. The Bush administration's support for the Convergence and its refusal to denounce this violence, as well as the US military presence along the border, through which the ‘Manman’ army easily travels, clearly implicates the United States in this aim.” [Dollars and Sense, 9/2003]
People and organizations involved: Democratic Convergence, Arcelin Paul, Ben Dupuy, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

May 15, 2003

       The Black Commentator magazine publishes an essay predicting a US-sponsored overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. An unnamed source in Haiti tells the magazine that Bush administration officials “want a subservient client in power when the bicentennial [festivities celebrating Haiti's 200 years of independence] comes down. ” The source adds, “They cannot control Aristide, therefore they must do as they always have in these situations, destroy him and his government by any means necessary.” [The Black Commentator, 5/15/2003]
          

May 16, 2003

       The TransAfrica Forum publishes the report, “Withheld International Aid: The US Weapon of Mass Disruption,” which describes the deteriorating social and economic conditions in Haiti that have been accelerated as a result of the US-instigated suspension of aid and credit to Haiti. The report concludes: “the United States and the international community must immediately end its economic sanctions and release the $500 million in approved foreign aid. With this assistance the people of Haiti can move toward breaking the cycle of poverty.” [TransAfrica Forum, 5/16/2003]
          

July 2003

       Haiti uses more than 90 percent of its foreign reserves to pay $32 million in debt service to its international creditors, requiring Aristide's government to end fuel subsidies and slash spending on health and education programs. Haiti's debt is of dubious legality, however, as the London-based Haiti Support Group explains: “Haiti's debt to international financial institutions and foreign governments has grown from $302 million in 1980 to $1.134 billion today. About 40 per cent of this debt stems from loans to the brutal Duvalier dictators, who invested precious little of it in the country. This is known as ‘odious debt’ because it was used to oppress the people, and, according to international law, this debt need not be repaid.” The debt payment increases public dissatisfaction with Aristide's administration. [Dollars and Sense, 9/2003; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004; London Review of Books, 4/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

July 29, 2003

       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
          

July 31, 2003

       US Ambassador to Haiti Brian Dean Curran, a Clinton holdover, says in a farewell address to the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce (HAMCHAM), “The United States accepts President Aristide as the constitutional president of Haiti for his term of office ending in 2006.” [New York Times, 2/29/2004; Haiti Papers, 11/2003] Curran is sent to Naples, Italy and succeeded by career diplomat James Foley. [Associated Press, 8/1/2003; New York Times, 2/29/2004]
People and organizations involved: Brian Dean Curran, James Foley
          

November 2003

       Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide demands that France return the money Haiti had paid to its former colonizer in service of a dubious debt agreement the country had been forced to accept—under threat of recolonization—in 1825 (see 1825). The exact amount, with interest added and adjusted for inflation, is $21,685,135,571.48. [Miami Herald, 12/18/2003; Boston Globe, 12/3/2003; Haiti Action website, n.d.; London Review of Books, 4/15/2004] France will later back the removal of Aristide in February 2004 (see February 25, 2004). [New York Times, 2/26/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

December 2003

       Former dictator Prosper Avril (see September 1988-March 1990) evades arrest by Haitian police after US troops intervene. When the police enter his residence, they find military uniforms, illegal police radios and a cache of weapons. [London Review of Books, 4/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Prosper Avril
          

January 2004

       The terms of all Haitian legislators elected in 2000 expire. The Democratic Convergence refuses to allow new congressional elections, so Haiti at this time no longer has a legislature. [Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Democratic Convergence
          

Mid-March 2004

       “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. [CNN, 3/16/2004; Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004] 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: Herard Abraham, Yvon Simeon, Gerard Latortue, Christian Rousseau, Danielle Magliore, Paul Emile Simon, Bernard Gousse, Mac Donald Jean, Henri Bazan, Daniel Saint-Lot, Smarck Michel, Roland Pierreas, Pierre Buteau, Josette Bijoux, Anne-Marie Issa, Ariel Henry, Lamartine Clermont
          

January 1, 2004

       Seventy wealthy Haitians and Haitian-Americans officially launch Haiti's first investment bank, PromoCapital. The bank, a 50/50 joint-venture between Haitian and US shareholders, consists of two institutions: PromoCapital Haiti, SA—incorporated in Haiti as a “Soci�t� Financi�re de D�veloppement” —and PromoCapital USA, Inc,—a corporation registered in the state of Delaware. [PromoCapital Press Release, 4/2/2004; USA Today, 4/29/2004] The bank's headquarters are in Petionville, Haiti with representative offices in Washington DC and Aventura, Florida. [PromoCapital Press Release, 4/2/2004; USA Today, 4/29/2004] Its founder, Dumarsais Sim�us, who owns a large food-processing business in Texas, says the bank's investors hope to see annual returns on their investment in the mid- or high teens. He is also the chair of PromoCapital USA. Henri Deschamps, a prominent Port-au-Prince printing and media executive, is the chairman of PromoCapital Haiti. [PromoCapital Press Release, 4/2/2004; USA Today, 4/29/2004] Of the 70 names included on the list of PromoCapital shareholders, nine—Frederic Madsen, Gilbert Bigio, Gregory Brandt, Marc-Antoine Acra, Monique Bigio, Olivier Acra, Ronald Georges, Reuven Bigi, and Sebastien Acra—appear on a US Treasury Department list of people and organizations whose assets had been blocked by the US Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control under the Clinton Administration, until 1994. [Sources: Office of Foreign Assets Control Listing of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Entities since December 7, 1993] And one of them, Hans Tippenhauer, had told The Washington Post on February 23 that the Haitians had enthusiastically greeted the paramilitary rebel forces as “freedom fighters.” [The Washington Post, 2/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Laurent Pierre-Philippe, Magdalah Silva, Marc-Antoine Acra, May Parisien, Michael Gay Sr., Monique Bigio, Laurence Bigio, Kimberly Simeus, Josseline Colimon-F←thi│re, Nadege Tippenhauer, Jean-Marie Wolff, Jean-Pierre Saint-Victor, Jean-Robert Vertus, Jerry Tardieu, Joelle Coupaud, Julio Bateau, Joseph Baptiste, Jon Robertson, Olivier Acra, Patrice Backer, Patrick Delatour, Steeve Handal, The Simeus Foundation, Serge Pinard, Vanessa Dickey, Yves Joseph, Yael Bigio-Garoute, Serge Parisien, Sebastien Acra, Reuven Bigio, Patrick Moynihan, Patrick Tardieu, Reginald Villard, R←gynald Heurtelou, Ronald Georges, Jean-Henry C←ant, Rudolph Moise, Rudolph Berrou→t, Jacques Deschamps Fils, Herve Francois, Henry Paul, Albert Levy, Axan Abellard, PromoCapital, Carlet Auguste, Daniel Rouzier, Daniel Silva, Caroline Racine, Daniele Jean-Pierre, Esq., Dimy Doresca, Elda James, Esq., Gerd Pasquet, Gilbert Bigio, Georges J. Casimir, Hans Tippenhauer, Hendrik Verwaay, Henri Deschamps, Harriet Michel, Gary Jean-Baptiste, Gabrielle Alexis, Esq., Fritz Fougy, Elisabeth Delatour, Emile Corneille, Emmanuel Francois, Florence Bellande Robertson, Frantz Bourget, Dumarsais M. Sim←us, Fred Tony, Frederic Madsen, Gregory Brandt  Additional Info 
          

January 30, 2004

       In Washington, there is an anti-Aristide demonstration sponsored by the Haiti Democracy Project. Several hundred protesters, including many Haitian Americans and recent exiles, attend the event. Many of the demonstrators arrive in buses from New York and Boston. [Miami Herald, 1/30/04]
People and organizations involved: Democratic Convergence, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

February 2004

       Comite des Avocats pour le Respect des Libertes Individuelles (CARLI), a Haitian “human rights” organization, compiles a list with the names of about 85 alleged human rights violators, all of which belong to either the Lavalas party or to the Haitian National Police. The names come from phone calls made to their “hotline” and possibly from other leads as well. CARLI issues leaflets containing the names to the public, calling for their arrest. The leaflets—published only in French, not Creole—are also given to the US embassy and USAID, which sponsors the hotline program. It is unclear whether or not CARLI—whose staff consists of only two volunteer lawyers—investigates and confirms the allegations before it publicizes the names of the condemned (see February 29, 2004). The accused are never contacted to respond to the charges. People named on the list flee their homes and go into hiding, fearing that the rebel paramilitary groups will come after them. They later tell a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation that they were not guilty of the charges and that the list had been used as a political ploy by the opposition to instill fear. The delegation also interviews CARLI's two lawyers and uncovers strong evidence suggesting that the organization is a tool of the opposition (see February 29, 2004). [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Tom Griffin, National Committee for Haitian Rights (NCHR), USAID, Judy DaCruz, March 2004 National Lawyers Guild Human Rights Delegation to Haiti, Edward Carlson
          

February 4, 2004

       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). [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004; Associated Press, 3/3/2004; Counter Punch, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Roger Francisco Noriega, Jean-Claude Duvalier
          

February 11, 2004

       US Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) writes in a letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell: “Our failure to support the democratic process and help restore order looks like a covert effort to overthrow a government. There is a violent coup d'etat in the making, and it appears that the United States is aiding and abetting the attempt to violently topple the Aristide Government. With all due respect, this looks like ‘regime change.’ How can we call for democracy in Iraq and not say very clearly that we support democratic elections as the only option in Haiti?” [Lee, 2/11/2004; Alternet, 3/1/2004 Sources: February 11, 2004 Letter from US Rep. Barbara Lee to Colin Powell]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, Barbara Lee
          

February 13, 2004

       US Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) writes a letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell accusing the State of intentionally subverting democracy in Haiti. “It has been clear to me for some time that the state department has been trying to undermine President Aristide... I am convinced that this effort to force President Aristide out of office by any means is a power-grab by the same forces that staged a coup d'etat and forced him out of office in 1991. The opposition that claims to be peaceful is not peaceful and they are responsible for the violence in Gonaives and other parts of Haiti. Should these actions by Andre Apaid and his Committee of 184, thugs and violent protestors receive support or encouragement from the United States, thereby increasing the risk of a coup d'etat, there may well be a bloodbath on the streets of Haiti.” [Lee, 2/11/2004; Alternet, 3/1/2004 Sources: February 14, 2004 Letter from US Rep. Barbara Lee to Colin Powell]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, Barbara Lee
          

February 18, 2004

       US Secretary of State Colin Powell states the US has “no enthusiasm” for sending troops to protect Haiti's government from the approaching rebel forces. [BBC, 2/18/04]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell
          

February 25, 2004

       French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin outlines a proposal he will submit to the UN on February 26, which calls for Aristide's resignation and recommends that an international security force be dispatched to Haiti to help stabilize the country. According to the minister, President Aristide “bears heavy responsibility for the current situation” and it is his responsibility “to accept the consequences while respecting the rule of law.” Villepin adds: “Everyone sees quite well that a new page must be opened in Haiti's history.” [New York Times, 2/26/04] Notably, a few months before, Aristide's government had called on France to pay some $21 billion in reparations to Haiti (see November 2003). [London Review of Books, 4/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Dominique de Villepin
          

February 28, 2004

       Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide informs Jamaican Prime Minister P J Patterson and Foreign Minister K D Knight that he does not plan to resign, despite demands from armed rebels who are quickly closing in on the capital. [Associated Press 3/2/2004]
People and organizations involved: K D Knight, P J Patterson
          

February 28, 2004

       US Secretary of State Colin Powell calls former US Congressman Ron Dellums, who is working for Aristide as a Washington lobbyist, and warns him that the United States will not protect Aristide from the rebels. [Associated Press 3/2/2004]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, Ron Dellums
          

February 28, 2004

       In the evening, Aristide family friend Randal Robinson calls Aristide's residence in Port-au-Prince. An unfamiliar voice answers the phone and says that both the president and his wife are busy and cannot take the call. [Democracy Now! 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Mildred Aristide, Randal Robinson, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

Late February 2004

       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. [Miami Herald, 2/28/04; One World, 3/2/2004; Jamaican Observer, 3/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan, Augusto Pinochet, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

February 28, 2004-March 1, 2004

       Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is escorted on a US-charted jet to the Central African Republic. The details of this event are disputed.
US' version of events - Aristide contacts US ambassador James Foley on the night of January 28 and asks him three questions: “What did he think would be best for Haiti? Would the United States guarantee his protection? And could he choose his destination for exile?” At 11pm, Ambassador Foley informs Aristide that the United States can ensure his safe departure if he decides to resign and adds that this is what the Bush administration feels he should do. [Independent, 3/2/2004; Associated Press 3/2/2004; Washington Post, 3/3/2004]
Aristide and his American wife decide that they will accept the American offer. [Washington Post, 3/3/2004] Later in the night, Foley attempts to email the president but Aristide's computer has already been packed. [Washington Post, 3/3/2004] Some time after midnight, Ambassador Foley telephones the US Embassy's second-ranking officer in Port-au-Prince, Luis Moreno, and asks that he escort Aristide and his wife to the airport. [Washington Post, 3/3/2004] Shortly after 4 am, US Diplomat Luis Moreno arrives at the gates of Aristide's residence in the suburb of Tabarre with a fellow US diplomat and six State Department security officers. Inside Aristide's house the lights are on. Aristide meets Moreno at the door with his suitcases packed. “You know why I'm here,” Moreno says in Spanish. “Yes, of course,” Aristide is quoted as saying in response. Moreno asks Aristide for a resignation letter and Aristide promises to give one to him before he leaves the island. “You have my word and you know my word is good,” Aristide is quoted as saying. They then travel to the airport in separate vehicles, without any further conversation. They arrive at the airport and about 20 minutes before the plane arrives, Moreno again asks for the letter. Aristide provides the letter and then the two converse for the next few minutes. “I expressed sadness that I was here to watch him leave,” Moreno later tells The Washington Post. “Sometimes life is like that,” Aristide responds. “Then I shook his hand and he went away.” [Washington Post, 3/3/2004; Reuters, 3/1/2004 Sources: Aristide's alleged letter of resignation] A US-charted commercial plane arrives in Port-au-Prince at approximately 4:30am. [Associated Press 3/2/2004 Sources: Aristide's alleged letter of resignation] US authorities do not force Aristide onto the leased plane. He goes willingly. [BBC, 3/1/2004; Associated Press, 3/1/2004] At 6:15am, the plane departs. [Miami Herald, 2/29/2004] “He was not kidnapped. We did not force him on to the airplane. He went onto the airplane willingly, and that's the truth,” Secretary of State Colin Powell claims. [BBC, 3/1/2004; Associated Press, 3/1/2004] “The allegations that somehow we kidnapped former President Aristide are absolutely baseless, absurd.” [Reuters, 3/2/2004]
Aristide's version of events - US soldiers arrive at Aristide's residence and order the president not to use any phones and to come with them immediately. Aristide, his wife Mildred and his brother-in-law are taken at gunpoint to the airport. Aristide is warned by US diplomat Luis Moreno that if he does not leave Haiti, thousands of Haitians would likely die and rebel leader Guy Philippe would probably attack the palace and kill him. Moreover, the US warns Aristide that they are withdrawing his US-provided security. [Democracy Now! 3/1/2004; BBC, 3/1/2004; Associated Press, 3/1/2004]
Aristide composes and signs a letter explaining his departure. [Democracy Now! 3/1/2004; Associated Press, 3/1/2004] The president, his wife and his brother-in-law board a commercial jet charted by the US government. His own security forces are also taken and directed to a separate section of the plane. During the flight, Aristide and his wife remain in the company of soldiers. The shades on the windows of the plane are kept down. Soldiers tell him they are under orders not to tell him where he is going. [Democracy Now! 3/1/2004] The plane stops first in Antigua, where it stays on the ground for two hours, and then flies for six hours across the Atlantic to the Central African Republic. Aristide is unable to communicate with anyone on the ground during the entire 20-hour period he is on the plane because it is presumably not equipped with a telephone. Shortly before touchdown, Aristide is informed that the destination is the Central African Republic. Upon arrival, Aristide is escorted to the “Palace of the Renaissance,” where he makes one phone call to his mother in Florida and her brother. He is provided a room with a balcony, but is not permitted to move around, and he remains in the company of soldiers. [Democracy Now! 3/1/2004; Associated Press 3/2/2004] His phone is taken away by African authorities and [Miami Herald, 3/3/2004] he is not provided a replacement or a landline. On the morning of March 1, he contacts US Congresswomen Maxine Waters and family friend Randall Robinson with a cell phone that is smuggled to him.(see March 1, 2004) [Democracy Now! 3/1/2004] In an interview with CNN, he says he considers the events a “coup d'etat” and a “modern” version of kidnapping. [Interpress Service, 3/2/2004]
Joseph Pierre's version of events - According to Joseph Pierre, a concierge at Aristide's residence, whose account is reported in the French newspaper Lib�ration, Aristide is taken away early Sunday morning by US soldiers. “White Americans came by helicopter to get him. They also took his bodyguards. It was around two o'clock in the morning. He didn't want to leave. The American soldiers forced him to. Because they were pointing guns at him, he had to follow them. The Americans are second only to God in terms of strength.” [Independent, 3/2/2004]

People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Randal Robinson, Mildred Aristide, Maxine Waters, Luis Moreno, Joseph Pierre, Roger Francisco Noriega, Colin Powell, James Foley  Additional Info 
          

February 28, 2004

       Shortly before his ouster, Aristide contacts the US firm that provides his security, the San Francisco-based Steele Foundation, and asks for additional guards. The company—made up of former US Special Forces soldiers, intelligence officers and other security experts—has been providing Haiti with its security services since 1998. Haiti's contract with the firm is approved by the US State Department. But Aristide's last minute attempt to increase his security is blocked by the White House. According to news reports, the Steele Foundation asks the US embassy in Port-au-Prince if it can rely on American protection in the event that the rebels arrive at the presidential palace. The Steele Foundation is told that no such protection would be provided. The company had earlier helped repel attacks against the presidential palace from paramilitary groups in December 2001. [Democracy Now! 3/2/2004; Associated Press 3/2/2004; Miami Herald, 3/1/2004]
          

February 28, 2004

       US officials delay a small group of additional bodyguards from the Steele Foundation on their way to Haiti. [Democracy Now! 3/2/2004]
          

February 29, 2004

       With the removal of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Boniface Alexandre, chief justice of the Supreme Court, is sworn in as president at the home of Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, in conformance with Haiti's constitutional rite of succession. The ceremony is attended by US Ambassador James Foley. However without a parliament (see January 2004), his appointment cannot be approved as required by Haiti's 1987 Constitution. [Reuters, 2/29/2004; Associated Press, 3/1/2004; New York Times, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Boniface Alexandre, James Foley, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

February 29, 2004-April 2004

       In the Haitian town of Petit Goave, “Ti Kenley” and his followers burn the homes of Aristide supporters, including the homes of the national congress deputy, local elected political and civic leaders, student leaders, and family members of Aristide supporters. The burned homes are later photographed by a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation (see March 29, 2004-April 5, 2004). [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004 Sources: Unnamed witnesses interviewed by a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation]
People and organizations involved: March 2004 National Lawyers Guild Human Rights Delegation to Haiti, Ti Kenley, Edward Carlson, Judy DaCruz, Tom Griffin
          

February 29, 2004

       Haitian police abandon their posts in Le Cayes, Haiti, and flee approaching paramilitary rebel forces. 30-year-old “Ti Gary” steps in to fill the power vacuum, making himself the town's law enforcer. He will order at least 5 public extra-judiciary executions. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ti Gary
          

March 1, 2004

       US President George Bush announces that the US is sending US forces to Haiti to help stabilize the country. [Reuters, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

March 2004-May 2004

       Throughout Haiti, supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and leaders of popular organizations (“OPs”) are hunted down, arrested, and sometimes beaten and killed by the new government's police and by remnants of the paramilitary rebel forces. In order to avoid this persecution, many Aristide supporters go into hiding, either in Port-au-Prince, or in the mountains, taking their spouses and children with them. In many cases, their homes, left vacant, are burned to the ground by opposition forces. Leaders of popular organizations who seek asylum at the embassies of the United States, Mexico, Canada, France and Venezuela, are turned away. The multinational coalition's forces—consisting of some 3,600 US, Canadian, French and Chilean troops—reportedly limit their patrolling to Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, thus providing no security in other cities or the outlying areas. [The Jamaica Observer, 3/28/2004; Democracy Now! 4/12/2004; National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004; Battleboro Reformer, 4/30/2004; CNN, 4/9/2004]
          

March 2004

       The new Haitian government halts funding and other support to Haiti's popular organizations (“OPs”) which oversee literacy programs, food and shelter programs and orphanages. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]
          

March 1, 2004

       In the Central African Republic, Haitian President-in-exile Jean-Bertrand Aristide, uses a smuggled phone to contact US Congresswoman Maxine Waters and family friend Randall Robinson and “emphatically” denies that he had resigned (see February 28, 2004-March 1, 2004). Robinson tells Democracy Now that he had an early morning phone conversation with Aristide. “He did not resign. He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup,” Randall tells Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Maxine Waters speaks with the president at about 9am. “He's surrounded by military.” Waters will explain to Goodman. “It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped.” She provides an account of Aristide's exit that differs dramatically from the description of events that had been provided by the Bush administration the day before. [Democracy Now! 3/1/2004] Later in the day, Aristide is permitted access to the press. When read a copy of his resignation letter, Aristide claims it's a fraud.“That's not right. They took out the sentence where I said, ‘If I am obliged to leave in order to avoid bloodshed.’ They took that off the document. That's why they are lying to you by giving to you a false document,” Aristide says. [Reuters, 3/1/2004; Reuters, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Randal Robinson, Maxine Waters  Additional Info 
          

March 3, 2004

       Amnesty International releases a statement calling on the US-led force in Haiti to prevent the paramilitary leaders from taking power. The organization makes the following demands: [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]
“The MIF must take urgent steps to guarantee that notorious human rights offenders with pending sentences for human rights convictions, and those facing indictments on human rights grounds, are taken into custody and brought before the Haitian justice system. Escapees must be returned to prison; those perpetrators convicted in absentia have the opportunity for a retrial, under Haitian law, and should be held in custody until the retrial occurs.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“The MIF must take immediate steps to disarm the rebel groups, and armed pro-government gangs, to minimize the risks of ongoing human rights abuses.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“The international community must as a matter of priority ensure that under no circumstances are those convicted of or implicated in serious human rights abuses given any position of authority, whether in a transitional government or among the security forces, where they might commit further violations.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“The Multinational Interim Force (MIF) must take urgent steps to ensure that the safety of all police and justice officials, witnesses and human rights defenders involved in bringing the individuals named in this report to justice is guaranteed.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“The MIF must take steps to protect police and judicial records relating to past human rights abuses.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“No amnesty for past or recent human rights abuses can be permitted.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“In the longer term, the international community must assist the Haitian justice system so that it can bring to justice all of those accused of involvement in human rights violations.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

          

March 4, 2004

       A Tripartite Council is formed in accordance with Organization of American States resolutions CP/Res. 861 (February 19, 2004), CP/Res. 862 (February 26, 2004) and UN resolution S/1529 (February 29, 2004). Selected to serve on the council are Leslie Voltaire, Minister of Haitians Living Abroad; Paul Denis, Democratic Convergence spokesman; and Adamo Guino, UN Resident Coordinator in Haiti. The council is charged with the task of selecting a seven-member Council of Sages (see March 4, 2004). [Haiti Info, 4/6/2004; Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, 3/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Paul Denis, Adamo Guino, Leslie Voltaire
          

March 4, 2004

       Haitian President Boniface Alexandre appoints Leon Charles, former commander of the Haitian Coast Guard, as Director General of the Haitian National Police. [US State Department, 3/19/2004]
People and organizations involved: Boniface Alexandre, Leon Charles
          

March 5, 2004

       A Tripartite Council (see March 4, 2004) meets and selects a seven-member Council of Sages. It chooses Lamartine Clermont, Catholic Church; Ariel Henry, Democratic Convergence; Anne-Marie Issa, director-general of Signal FM Radio; Mac Donald Jean, Anglican Church; Danielle Magliore, director of ENFOFANM; Christian Rousseau, University administrator (previously involved in opposition student protests); and Paul Emile Simon, Fanmil Lavalas (party of Aristide government). [Haiti Info, 3/6/2004; Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, 3/4/2003; US State Department, 3/19/2004; Agence-France Presse, 1/7/2004; Fire, 1999]
People and organizations involved: Paul Emile Simon, Danielle Magliore, Ariel Henry, Mac Donald Jean, Anne-Marie Issa, Christian Rousseau, Adamo Guino, Lamartine Clermont, Paul Denis, Leslie Voltaire
          

March 7, 2004

       The bodies of 800 Haitians are “dumped and buried” by the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince, which typically buries only about 100 bodies per month. The corpses are buried in a mass grave 200 miles north of the capital in Titanye. On March 28, the morgue buries another 200 bodies (see March 28, 2004). Many of the “bodies ... had their hands tied behind their backs and had black bags over their heads, and had been shot.” This continues in April (see Early April 2004). [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004; Democracy Now! 4/12/2004 Sources: Director of the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince]
          

March 9, 2004

       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. [Agence-France Presse, 3/11/2004; Reuters, 3/13/2004; NBC News, 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: Ariel Henry, Christian Rousseau, Danielle Magliore, Anne-Marie Issa, Mac Donald Jean, Lamartine Clermont, Gerard Latortue, Paul Emile Simon
          

March 9, 2004

       Congresswoman Barbara Lee of the Congressional Black Caucus Haiti Task Force Co-Chair introduces the TRUTH (The Responsibility to Uncover the Truth about Haiti) Act, calling for an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the circumstances of the toppling of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government. The bill, H.R. 3919, is co-sponsored by CBC Haiti Task Force Co-Chair John Conyers and 23 other members of the House. “The Bush administration's efforts in the overthrow of a democratically-elected government must be investigated,” says Lee. “All of the evidence brought forward thus far suggests that the Administration has, in essence, carried out a form of ‘regime change,’ a different variation than it took in Iraq, but still regime change. The American people and the international community deserve to know the truth, and this bill will offer the opportunity to investigate the long-term origins of the overthrow of the Haitian government and the impact of our failure to protect democracy.” The bill seeks to answer 6 specific questions. [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004 Sources: H.R. 3919]
“Did the US Government impede democracy and contribute to the overthrow of the Aristide government?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“Under what circumstances did President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resign, and what was the role of the United States Government in bringing about his departure?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“To what extent did the US impede efforts by the international community, particularly the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, to prevent the overthrow of the democratically-elected Government of Haiti?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“What was the role of the United States in influencing decisions regarding Haiti at the United Nations Security Council and in discussions between Haiti and other countries that were willing to assist in the preservation of the democratically-elected Government of Haiti by sending security forces to Haiti?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“Was US assistance provided or were US personnel involved in supporting, directly or indirectly, the forces opposed to the government of President Aristide?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“Was US bilateral assistance channeled through nongovernmental organizations that were directly or indirectly associated with political groups actively involved in fomenting hostilities or violence toward the government of President Aristide?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

People and organizations involved: John Conyers, Barbara Lee  Additional Info 
          

March 10, 2004

       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). [Associated Press, 3/11/2004; CBS News, 3/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Latortue
          
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