[Marxism] US Marines deployed to Haiti

Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Sun Feb 29 15:27:42 MST 2004

Bush sends US Marines into Haiti


[BBC neither mentions Aristide’s demand for reparations from France, nor
that the “opposition” was the sole source of charges that election was
rigged.  International bodies accepted it as legit.  Where did the
invaders get their new uniforms, weapons, ammo, flack jackets, helmets,
cherry military vehicles?  A small number of armed and armored men can
wreak havoc on a large unarmed population in a poor tropical country
where people wear T-shirts, shorts and rubber sandals.  This is not a
popular uprising.  It is a coup d’état.  The powers of capital have
restored their hegemony.  The question for the immediate moment is how
long will be their pause while their proxies “tidy up a bit” before
order is restored?]

 US President George Bush says he has deployed US Marines to be the
“leading element” in an international force to help stabilise Haiti.

Early on Sunday, Haiti’s President Jean-Bertrand Aristide flew out of
the country in an unmarked jet, following a three-week rebellion against

There have been celebrations in some parts, but the capital
Port-au-Prince is in the grip of near-anarchy.

The UN Security Council is expected to meet to approve an international

‘Reject violence’

Mr Bush said the vanguard of marines, expected to arrive later on
Sunday, would help “bring order and stability to Haiti”.

He urged Haitians to “reject violence to give this break from the past a
chance to work”.

Canada denied reports that its special forces were holding the city’s

Members of an informal “Friends of Haiti” group - including the US,
France, Canada and Caribbean states - are reported to be drafting a
resolution authorising a multinational force in Haiti.

The UN Security Council is expected to meet in New York as early as 1800
(2300GMT) to consider the resolution.

Rebel leader Guy Philippe, who had been massing his men for an assault
on the capital, welcomed the foreign intervention, saying the time for
fighting was over.

“We just want peace,” he told the BBC.

He said he was making his way to Port-au-Prince, where his fighters
would help impose security, and he denied that he had any political
ambitions “for now”.

Fury and joy

The head of Haiti’s Supreme Court, Boniface Alexandre, has been sworn in
as caretaker president, as stipulated by the constitution.

Mr Aristide’s destination and current whereabouts are unknown. The US
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice reportedly said he was in a
“third” country - implying he is not in the United States.

Lawlessness continues in the capital, with looting, hijackings, petrol
stations torched and hospitals robbed.

At least three people are thought to have been killed.

Members of Mr Aristide’s government are said to be fleeing to the
Dominican Republic embassy.

The houses of two senior government members have already been targeted
by looters.

The BBC’s Claire Marshall in Port-au-Prince says many people fear the
power vacuum created by Mr Aristide’s fall.

While some gangs continue to say they are loyal to Mr Aristide, other
armed men are now coming out to declare allegiance to Mr Philippe.

In rebel-held Cap Haitien, people danced in the streets on hearing the
news of Mr Aristide’s departure.

In a statement, Mr Aristide said: “The constitution should not drown in
the blood of the Haitian people... If my resignation is to prevent
bloodshed, I accept to leave.”

Blunt words

Both the US and France had called on the president to step down.

It has emerged that some of about 50 US Marines guarding the American
embassy had escorted him to the plane in which he made his dawn escape.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: “At President
Aristide’s request, the United States facilitated his safe departure
from Haiti.”

The White House had been increasingly critical of Mr Aristide, which may
have been the final straw for him, the BBC’s Branwen Jeffreys reports
from Washington.

The escalating violent protests stemmed from disputed elections in 2000,
which the opposition says were rigged in Mr Aristide’s favour.

In the past three weeks rebels have taken control of much of the
country; and recently law and order broke down completely in the

It is the second time Mr Aristide has been forced into exile. He was
ousted in 1991 in a coup within months of becoming Haiti’s first
democratically elected leader

He was restored to power three years later by a US-led military

1990: Haiti’s first democratically elected president
1991: Overthrown in military coup; exiled to US
1994: Reinstated; forbidden from standing for second consecutive term
2000: Wins contested elections
2004 - Jan: Haiti celebrates 200 years of independence, amid growing
political protests
Early Feb: Exiled rebel leaders cross back into Haiti; capture north of
Feb 29: Aristide leaves Haiti

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