APRIL 2004


.(LosAngeles Times)
Only someone ignorant of U.S. history and of the administrations of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush would dismiss these questions. The United States has repeatedly sponsored coups and uprisings in Haiti and in neighboring Caribbean countries.Indeed, those who are questioning the administration about Haiti are being smeared as naive and unpatriotic. Aristide himself is being smeared with ludicrous propaganda and, most cynically of all, is being accused of dereliction in the failure to lift his country out of poverty. In point of fact, this U.S. administration froze all multilateral development assistance to Haiti from the day that George W. Bush came into office, squeezing Haiti's economy dry and causing untold suffering for its citizens. U.S. officials surely knew that the aid embargo would mean a balance-of-payments crisis, a rise in inflation and a collapse of living standards, all of which fed the rebellion
Aristide Statement
by Jean Bertrand Aristide
March 06, 2004

Aristide Details Last Moments In Haiti, Calls For Stop To Bloodshed In First Address To Haitian People From Exile

.."In overthrowing me, they have uprooted the trunk of the liberty. It will grow back because its roots are many and deep." In the shadow of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the genius of the race. I declare in overthrowing me they have uprooted the trunk of the tree of peace, but it will grow back because the roots are L'Ouverturian.

Dear compatriots, it is with these first words that I am saluting our brothers and sisters from Africa, while I am standing on the soil of the Central African Republic. Allow me to salute you by repeating that same declaration that is, "In overthrowing me, they have uprooted the trunk of the tree of peace." During the night of the 28th of February 2004, there was a coup d'etat. One could say that it was a geo-political kidnapping. I can clearly say that it was terrorism disguised as diplomacy. To conclude, this coup d'etat and this kidnapping are like two quarters and 50 cents side by side.

I have always denounced the coming of this coup d'etat, but until the 27th of February, the day before, I didn't see that the crime was going to be accompanied by kidnapping as well. The 28th of February, at night, suddenly, American military personnel who were already all over Port-au-Prince descended on my house in Tabarre to tell me first that all the American security agents who have contracts with the Haitian government only have two options. Either they leave immediately to go to the United States, or they fight to die. Secondly, they told me the remaining 25 of the American security agents hired by the Haitian government who were to come in on the 29th of February as reinforcements were under interdiction, prevented from coming. Thirdly, they told me the foreigners and Haitian terrorists alike, loaded with heavy weapons, were already in position to open fire on Port-au-Prince. And right then, the Americans precisely stated that they will kill thousands of people and it will be a bloodbath. That the attack is ready to start, and when the first bullet is fired nothing will stop them and nothing will make them wait until they take over, therefore the mission is to take me dead or alive.

At that time I told the Americans that my first preoccupation was to save the lives of those thousands of people tonight. As far as my own life is concerned, whether I am alive or whether I am dead, that is not what's important. As much as I was trying to use diplomacy, the more the pressure was being intensified for the Americans to start the attack. In spite of that, I took the risk of slowing down the death machine to verify the degree of danger, the degree of bluff or the degree of intimidation.

It was more serious than a bluff. The National Palace was surrounded by white men armed up to their teeth. The Tabarre area -- the residence -- was surrounded by foreigners armed to their teeth. The airport of Port-au-Prince was already under the control of these men. After a last evaluation I made during a meeting with the person in charge of Haitian security in Port-au-Prince, and the person in charge of American security, the truth was clear. There was going to be a bloodbath because we were already under an illegal foreign occupation which was ready to drop bodies on the ground, to spill blood, and then kidnap me dead or alive.

That meeting took place at 3 a.m. Faced with this tragedy, I decided to ask, "What guarantee do I have that there will not be a bloodbath if I decided to leave?"

In reality, all this diplomatic gymnastics did not mean anything because these military men responsible for the kidnapping operation had already assumed the success of their mission. What was said was done. This diplomacy, plus the forced signing of the letter of resignation, was not able to cover the face of the kidnapping.

From my house to the airport, everywhere there were American military men armed with heavy weapons of death. The military plane that came to get me landed while the convoy of vehicles that had come to get me was near the tarmac at the airport. When we were airborne, nobody knew where we were going. When we landed at one place nobody knew where we were. Among us on the plane was a baby of one of my American security agents who has a Haitian wife. They could not get out. We spent four hours without knowing where we were. When we got back in the air again, nobody knew where we were going.

It was not until 20 minutes before we landed in the Central African Republic that I was given the official word that this is where we would be landing. We landed at a French Air Force base but fortunately there were 5 ministers from the government who came to welcome us on behalf of the President there.

We know there are people back home who are suffering, who are being killed, who are in hiding. But we also know that back home there are people who understand the game, but will not give up because if they give up, instead of finding peace, we will find death.

Therefore, I ask that everyone who loves life to come together to protect the lives of others. I ask everyone who does not want to see bloodshed to come together so that it is life that flourishes instead of blood that has been spilled, or bodies falling. I know it's possible that all Haitians who live in the tenth department [Haitians living abroad] understand what tragedy lies hidden under the cover of this coup d'etat, under the cover of this kidnapping. I know and they know if we stand in solidarity we will stop the spread of death and we will help life flourish. The same thing that happened to a President who was democratically elected can happen at any time, in any other country too. That's why the solidarity is indispensable to protect a democracy that works together with life.

The constitution is the source of this life. It's the guarantee of the life. Let's stand together under the constitution in solidarity so that it is life that unfolds, and that it is peace that flourishes and not death as we are seeing it. Courage, courage, courage! From where I am with the First Lady, we have not forgotten what Toussaint L'Ouverture has said, and that's why we saluted all of Africa with his words, and we are saluting all Haitians everywhere with the conviction that the roots of the tree of peace, with the spirit of Toussaint L'Ouverture inside, are alive. They can cut the tree as they have done with the machete of the coup d'etat, but they cannot cut the roots of peace. It will sprout again because it has the spirit of Toussaint L'Ouverture inside.

Thousands of Aristide Supporters Pour Into Streets

Fri Mar 5, 2004 Excerpt:

Thousands of outraged supporters of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide poured out of Haiti's slums and into the streets on Friday, marching on the U.S. Embassy to denounce the "occupation" of their homeland and demand Aristide's return. Hurling slurs at U.S. Marines and calling President Bush a "terrorist," a crowd estimated at more than 10,000 materialized in the capital, seething with anger at Aristide's flight to Africa five days ago after a bloody rebellion and U.S. pressure.

As they passed a contingent of battle-equipped U.S. Marines guarding the embassy, hundreds held up their hands with five fingers extended, shouting "Aristide five years," the rallying cry of his supporters who wanted him to finish his five-year term in office. U.S. troops watched impassively from the rooftop. "The bourgeoisie joined with the international community to occupy Haiti and get rid of President Aristide," one demonstrator screamed. "The bourgeoisie never did anything for us, the masses. Now they took away our president." "If Aristide doesn't come back, life will be hell here."

Five days after Aristide was ousted by a bloody rebellion, a new tripartite council made up of people chosen by the government, Aristide's political foes and foreign nations went to work.

...In the pro-Aristide Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Bellair, where glass and debris litters the streets and the stench of sewage hangs in the air, residents said foreign troops should help protect them from gunmen that raid the area nightly. They say rebels have been conducting reprisal raids.

Haiti rebel army already using weapons in bosses' defense! Campaign for
Labor Rights Alert Friday, March 05, 2004

Ouanaminthe, Haiti--Monday afternoon, (factory manager) Renaud called
all of the union members and, with much pressure, informed them they
were fired. Dominican military (Ouanaminthe is on the border between
Haiti and the Dominican Republic) pointed their weapons at the workers
and seized their badges. Several were roughed up. All in all, 34 were
fired, all union members. The workers resolved to stop working on
Tuesday, in protest.

On Tuesday, March 3rd, all of the workers were mobilized to protest the
firings. All of a sudden, members of the rebel army at Ouanaminthe
arrived, with guns, to rough up the workers. Several workers were
handcuffed. After much mistreatment and threats, they were forced to
resume work. Later, the rebels revealed that they had been contacted the
previous evening by factory management who informed them that the
workers were going to make problems at work the next day. Management
even gave them a list of union members that they were to get rid of.


The Haitian-American Investment Bank
Operational since January 1, 2004, we are now pleased to announce the public launch of PromoCapital, The Haitian-American Investment Bank, and to present you information about its objectives and initiatives.
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PromoCapital HAITI

Dumarsais M. Siméus
PromoCapital USA

About PromoCapital
PromoCapital, The Haitian-American Investment Bank, is headquartered in Petionville, Haiti and has representative offices in Washington D.C. and Aventura, Florida.

PromoCapital is a joint venture between members of the Haitian-American Diaspora, PromoBank Haiti shareholders and Haitian entrepreneurs and professionals. The Firm has 70 partners, and its equity structure is that of a 50/50 joint-venture between the Haiti and the USA shareholders.
PromoCapital consists of two institutions: PromoCapital Haiti, S.A. - incorporated in Haiti as a "Société Financière de Développement" - and PromoCapital USA, Inc, - a corporation registered in the state of Delaware.
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The well-respected Washington law firm of Latham & Watkins was retained to advise PromoBank on the creation of PromoCapital. Starting in July 2003, simultaneous legal efforts were undertaken in Haiti and in the US for the incorporation of PromoCapital Haiti S.A. and its American subsidiary, PromoCapital USA, Inc. Once accomplished in September 2003, the founders started the capital raising phase to capitalize the Bank and integrate the new partners. The initiative was so well-received that PromoCapital's shares were oversubscribed, both in Haiti and in the US. The Bank was launched officially on January 1, 2004.

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The mission of this financial institution is to bring together a team of experienced, competent, Haitian and Haitian-American leaders with the practical skills, know-how, and resources to create an investment infrastructure with global horizons and limitless potential to contribute to the future welfare of our community in Haiti and in America, while at the same time providing socially responsive investors with equitable returns and benefits... An institution which promotes financial independence, autonomy and security for Haitians and Haitian-Americans.
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An American lawyer, Brian Concannon, said in Paris that Mr Aristide had instructed him to make "preparations for a kidnap case against the American authorities". Mr Concannon also said French and US authorities threatened Mr Aristide before he signed a letter of resignation and fled. "The ambassadors of France and the US told him he would be killed, his family would be killed and his supporters would be killed if he did not leave right away," Mr Concannon said. Ira Kurzban, another American lawyer for Mr Aristide, has written to Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demanding an investigation of Mr Aristide's departure.
"The failure or refusal to do that would result in our going to the International Court of Justice" in the Netherlands, Mr Kurzban said.
A French lawyer, Gilbert Collard, said he was preparing a case for "abduction and sequestration" against the French government. M. Collard said legal actions for "complicity" in kidnapping would also be brought against the French ambassador in Haiti, Thierry Burkared, and his predecessor, Yves Gaudel.
The former president has also accused the Bush administration of preventing his privately contracted security team from sending reinforcements to Haiti.
© 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

world socialist website: BillV.Auken and B.Gray report
The distinction being drawn by the US between the right-wing political opposition and the former Haitian army killers, police officials and death squad leaders who dominate the "rebels" is largely fictitious. The Haitian financial elite had supported the Duvalier dictatorship and subsequent military regimes as a necessary means of defending its wealth and privilege against the impoverished masses.

The anti-Aristide "political opposition" worked in the closest collaboration with the "rebels" to organize this week's coup. They formed a common front, and on Monday, after the US had spirited Aristide out of the country, leaders of the Democratic Platform met with "rebel" leaders in Port-au-Prince. Evans Paul, a former mayor of the capital city and prominent oppo
sition spokesman, praised the "rebels," particularly their principal commander, Guy Philippe.

The Bush administration gave Philippe's killers a free hand for several days to occupy the city and terrorize the slum communities that form the main base of support for the deposed president. An unknown number of Aristide partisans were hunted down and killed by Philippe's thugs, while US Marines who had been sent into Port-au-Prince stood by.

The Haiti Press Network reported Wednesday that "foreign journalists who were allowed access to the [Port-au-Prince] morgue's chambers said there were hundreds of bodies piled on top of each other. Many of the dead appeared to be victims of the violent unrest that has rocked the

As a former priest and liberation theologist, Jean Bertrand Aristide stood for grassroots democracy, alleviation of poverty, and God's love for all human beings. He challenged the neo-liberal globalization efforts of the Haitian upper class and their US partners. For this he was targeted by the Bush administration. That the US waited until the day after Aristide was gone to send in troops to stabilize the country proves intent to remove him from office.

Mainstream media had every reason to question the State Department's version of the coup in Haiti, but choose instead to report a highly doubtful cover story. We deserve more from our media than their being stenographers for the government. Weapons of mass destruction aside, we need a media that looks for the truth and exposes the contradictions in the fabrications of the powerful.

health system devastated over last three years

During the past three years, Haiti... has been deprived of all access to international humanitarian assistance... the US administration was responsible for the suspension of aid to Haiti."
The crisis in Haiti has had a "devastating effect" on the country's precarious health system, a leading aid expert says.
"I am very concerned," Paul Farmer - a Harvard academic who also runs a clinic in Haiti - told the BBC.
The country has been in turmoil for five weeks, following a rebellion that has forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide into exile.
The UN has appealed for $35m for Haiti, to avert a humanitarian crisis.
"During the past three years, Haiti... has been deprived of all access to international humanitarian assistance," Mr Farmer told the World Today programme.
He said the US administration was responsible for the suspension of aid to Haiti after the disputed 2000 election. "We have all the paper trail on that," he said.
Mr Farmer added that the situation had been "particularly devastating" in the past month.
Haiti's only medical school has been shut down and there have been threats to health care workers in hospitals, he said.
Mr Farmer is a professor at the Harvard Medical School who for 20 years has run a clinic in a slum in central Haiti.
"My own staff are frightened to go to work and also patients are frightened of seeking care," he said.
Last Friday, he went on, rebel soldiers stole two of the clinic's vehicles. They returned on Wednesday, asking for more supplies.
"What we said in response was - don't ask us for things, give us our vehicle back," he said.
Earlier in the week UN emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland said health and food are the two most immediate priorities in Haiti.
He said the main problems were lack of resources, insecurity and lack of access to parts of the country.
France and the US have sent 2,500 troops to restore order.
On Wednesday the country's new prime minister, Gerard Latortue, called for national reconciliation and an end to the dictatorships of the past.
He was speaking after arriving back from exile.
Mr Latortue, a former foreign minister and UN official, was appointed to form a transition government and organise fresh elections.