[Marxism] ANSWER: Oppose Bush's coup in Haiti

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Feb 29 23:45:36 MST 2004


The A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) 
Coalition condemns the U.S.-led coup carried out today 
against the elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand 
Aristide, as well as the U.S. occupation of that country. 
U.S. marines have entered Haiti tonight (February 29).

Whether President Aristide was actually kidnapped by U.S. 
forces, as some sources have reported, or was just 
presented with 'an offer he couldn't refuse,' there is no 
question that Washington played the decisive role in this 
regime change. The coup in Haiti is reminiscent of similar 
deadly CIA operations in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Chile 
and numerous other countries in the last half-century.

The removal of President Aristide follows more than a 
century of U.S. intervention in Haiti, and years of 
destabilization designed to bring about the destruction of 
the Aristide government. This negation of Haiti's 
democracy and sovereignty by the U.S. comes as the country 
is marking its 200th anniversary of independence which 
followed the heroic revolt against slavery and the 
creation of the first free Black republic in the Western 

Since the election of Aristide to a second term in late 
2000 with 92% of the vote, Washington has maintained 
economic sanctions against the poorest country in the 
Western Hemisphere. Sanctions have had the intended effect 
of wearing down the people and popular support for the 
Aristide government by denying food, medicine and other 
necessities of life to the population. Haiti's poverty 
today is a direct result of centuries of slavery and 
exploitation for the benefit of corporate interests in 
France and the U.S.

In addition, the U.S. has extended financial and political 
support to the so-called "Democratic Convergence," the 
right-wing opposition. According to a story in today's 
Miami Herald, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher 
said today that the U.S. "facilitated" Aristide's 
departure. Ira Kurzban, an Aristide spokesman in Miami, 
said he believed "U.S. intelligence agencies were involved 
in the ouster. ... This was a major operation by the 
intelligence agencies of the U.S."

Congressperson Charles Rangel, a member of the 
Congressional Black Caucus, said that the U.S. government 
is "just as much as part of this coup d'etat as the 
rebels, looters or anyone else." (ABC's "This Week," Feb. 
29, 2004)

According to Reuters, U.S. civil rights leader Jesse 
Jackson called Aristide's resignation an 
"American-assisted coup," and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a 
California Democrat, demanded to know where the Haitian 
leader was being taken one day after he told her "he would 
rather die than leave." "When I last talked to him 
(Aristide) yesterday, he was not going to leave. He said 
he would rather die than leave. And then I wake up this 
morning and I find out that my government has landed at 
his home with Marines. How did they get him to leave? What 
did they do? And where is he?" Waters said in an interview 
with CNN.

The Bush Administration has arrogantly and illegally 
embarked on a policy of "regime change" in Afghanistan, 
Iraq, Haiti and elsewhere. On March 20, the first 
anniversary of the start of the unprovoked war of 
aggression against Iraq, people around the world will take 
to the streets in massive numbers. We will demand: Bring 
the Troops Home Now and End Occupation from Iraq to 
Palestine and Everywhere. We will also be marching to 
oppose the criminal role of the Bush administration in 
ousting the first democratically elected government in 
Haiti's history.

* * * * * * * * * *

*San Francisco - Monday, March 1, 5 pm, Powell & Market
*New York City - Tuesday, March 2, 4:30 to 6 pm, Times 
Square to the UN

* * * * * * * * * *

To read the background statement on Haiti issued by the 
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition on February 11, go to

On Friday, February 27, a press conference on the U.S. 
role in the Haitian crisis was held in Washington DC. For 
a report, photographs and the UPI article, go to


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