Monday, March 01, 2004


According to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Aristide claims that the US essentially kidnapped him and forced him out of the country, and that he never resigned. Now, I have no idea what happened, but when a sitting Congresswoman makes such a claim you'd think it would get a little more coverage.

...Jeffrey Sachs has a few words.

....from CNN:

(CNN) -- U.S. forces abducted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, according to an African-American activist who said he had spoken with Aristide.

Randall Robinson said that Aristide told him he was being held "incommunicado" in the Central African Republic.
"Tell the world that it's a coup," Robinson said he was told by Aristide.
In response, the White House issued a statement denying the claim.
"I'm afraid that version of events is not based on fact," the statement said. "The fact is, he resigned. He signed a letter of resignation."

The claim is "absolutely false," concurred Parfait Mbaye, the communications minister for the Central African Republic, where Aristide and his wife were taken.

The minister told CNN that Aristide had been granted permission to land in the country after Aristide himself -- as well as the U.S. and French governments -- requested it.

But the office of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., told CNN Waters also spoke with Aristide Monday and he told her he had been kidnapped.

Robinson told CNN, "President Aristide called me on a cell phone that had been smuggled into his room. He's being held in a small room in Bangui, Central African Republic, with his wife and sister's husband. The room has no telephone."

Aristide's lawyer, Ira Kurzman, told a similar story at a news conference in Miami. Kurzman said the story originated with the groundskeepers and housekeepers at Aristide's home.


Q: Is the Sec Gen under the impression that Mr Aristide left he country of his own volition.
Eckhard: He chose not to comment on the President's departure. The President resigned. There is a procedure in the Haitian Const for the resignation of the President. And the power passed to the Chief Just as called for in the Const. I think we are now looking forward to see how we could carry out the Const provisions for elections to put in a new government. I think the Xonst says that should happen within three months.

Eckhard: I mean, he resigned, that's a fact