- Statement about crisis in Haiti
The U.S. backed coup díetat in Haiti is being followed by the slaughter of Haitian people. Calls to our local Congresspeople, to the President, to Secretary of State Colin Powell are important. Please find some talking points, phone numbers ‚ and information from the Haitian Lawyers Leadership and from Democracy Now interviews with Maxine Waters and Randall Robinson. Every call makes a difference.
Tell your Congresspeople, the White House, Colin Powell :
- democracy lies with the Lavalas Party and its leader, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
- denounce the violent, undemocratic coup and the U.S. role in it.
- demand that Aristide be freed and his safe return secured
- demand that the US withdraw all support for the opposition thugs
- advocate for the protection of democracy supporters in Haiti, who are
being subject to violent retaliation
President Bush, White House 202-456-1414
General Colin Powell, Secretary of State 202-647-4000
Senator Edward Kennedy 202-224-4543; 617-565-3170
Senator John Kerry 202-224-2742; 617-565-8519
Congressperson Mike Capuano 202 225-5111; 617-621-6208; (202) 225-9322 (fax)
Congressperson Barney Frank 202- 225-5931; 617-332-3920
Congressperson Ed Markey 202-225-2836; 781-396-2900
Congressman Jim McGovern 202-225-6101; 508-831-7356
Congressman John Tierney 202-225-8020; 978-531-1669
Congressman William Delahunt 202-225-3111; 508-771-0666
Congressman Martin Meehan 202-225-3411; 978-459-0101
Send email easily via: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/
See www.Haitiaction.org and www.democracynow.org for more information
INFORMATION FROM THE HAITIAN LAWYERS LEADERSHIP
Emergency Action Alert
Mar 1 2004
Urgent Action Needed.
Haitians in Haiti are being slaughtered.
by Marguerite Laurent, Esq. Chair, Haitian Lawyers Leadership
Our Black people in Port-au-Prince Haiti are being slaughtered. The duly elected President kidnapped by U.S. Marines and flown out of the country at gunpoint and is being held hostage in the Central African Republic under U.S and French guard.
Yesterday, it is reported that, under U.S. marine escort the former FRAPH/FAHD thugs rolled into Port-au-Prince.
Aristide's private residence has been trashed.
The Prime Minister's residence has been trashed.
The first order of business for these U.S. supported death squad leaders and (Guy Philip, Jean Tatoune and Louis Jodel Chamblain) harden criminals was to go to the National Penitentiary and forcibly break out all the 2000 prisoners there.
Now these murderers have more murderers to help them terrorize Haiti.
Practically every building Aristide and the Haitian people built these last 10 years are being burned down and destroyed. Meanwhile the U.S. troops, French troops, Canadian troops are protecting their own edifices in Haiti. No one is protecting the more than 850 million investment per year hard working Haitians of the Diaspora have invested in the security, development, shelter and nurturing of their relatives, children and family in Haiti.
Last night these opposition thugs ran through the slums of Belaire, La Saline and Cite Soleil, well known for its support of the elected President, who is now a hostage of the U.S., and indiscriminately fired, killing countless numbers, according to an independent reporter in Port-au-Prince.
The Lavalas Party has been threatened and warned to remain quiet and not denounce the Coup D'etat and abduction of Aristide, his wife, a brother in law and two security people from Haiti. Not to tell the people President Aristide did not resign freely but at U.S. gunpoint and forced on an airplane against his will.
The oppression and REPRESSION of democracy is as follows: Dissenters, specifically Lavalas officials, are being told if Lavalas demonstrates in Haiti and protests or defend their right to free speech and association, or for the return of Aristide and against the opposition and their Jean Tatoune/Guy Philippe/Louis Jodel Chamberlain triumvirate, then presumably the international community, that is, U.S/ France/Canada along with the opposition they broker for, will make sure that the Lavalas party is not allowed to participate in any upcoming elections!
Moreover, Prime Minister, Yvonne Neptune is technically a prisoner in his office. US/Euro soldiers surround the Prime Minister's building. He cannot leave his office and his home has been ransacked.
>From these reports, it appears any good works towards justice in Haiti that had flickered has been destroyed in one fell, U.S.-Coup D'etat swoop yesterday. Supposedly a Triumvirate has been created, made up of 1). One member of the International Community, 2) One member of the so-called opposition and 3) One member of Lavalas. It is reported, this Triumvirate will, in turn, pick a 9- or so, member council to work towards elections and governance. The Supreme Court Justice has been appointed President of Haiti and it is rumored the former Haitian army head, Herald Abraham is back in office calling all former army soldiers back to their post!
According to some on-the-ground observers, Former Haitian military are right now walking side by side with U.S. Marines and French and Canadian troops in Haiti.
So many laws have been broken; I am not sure where to begin.
l. It is against the U.N. Charter, the OAS, The CARICOM charter to violently overthrow a constitutionally elected President;
2. It is against all these above-mentioned charters and international law and U.S. federal law to kidnap and take hostage, not only a President of a sovereign country but his U.S. citizen wife and the brother and two security guards. If this operation goes up Bush, if he had anything to do with this covert operation and abduction, we are talking about High Crimes and Misdemeanors, not to mention that impeachment resolution should begin to be drafted right now.
3. The 2004 US/French invasion of Haiti. It is against international law to enter a sovereign country without an invitation. All the foreign troops, French, U.S. Canadian, etc. who invaded Haiti on February 29, 2004, to conduct and maintains this crime-against-humanity-debacle are in violation of international law and treaties and Haitian sovereignty.
4. Secretary Colin Powell, Roger Noreiga, U.S. Ambassador Foley and all those directly or indirectly supporting the reign in Haiti of convicted criminals, like Jean Tatoune, Guy Philippe, and Jodel Louis Chamblain and all their other terrorist, and an unelected, platformless opposition, may be charged as accomplices in the killings and slaughter of the Haitian people being murdered right now in Haiti by these ex-soldiers and death squad leaders and possibly now, their new prisoner recruits from the National Penitentiary.
5. The cover-up and/or current dismissal by the major news media and press of President Aristide's abduction and forced resignation is violates all journalistic ethics and code. It appear as a part and parcel of the State Department's psychological warfare to repress free speech against this dastardly deed not only in the U.S. but also in Haiti. For instance the fact that Guy Philippe an accused DEA drug trafficker and accused Coup Detat leader under both Preval and the Aristide administration, is today traveling with his own embedded AP reporter is akin to Bin Ladin traveling around with his own embedded AP reporter. It's evidenced certain mainstream media's outrageous and a depraved indifference to the sufferings of the Black people of Haiti. It is almost as racists and deplorable as that guest yesterday on George Stephanopoulos' ABC news show who said the United States has a stake in Haiti "because we have to control the flow of refugees and disease" into the U.S.
The media's treatment of the vast majority of Haiti's People plight and struggle to live free and establish democracy is unimaginably callous and non-factual, mainly playing into deep racists fears and stereotypes. Another instance of reporting verbatim, without verification, state department positions is what we read today, March 1, 2004, the New York Times about Haiti. The New York Times reports that, for instance, South Africa refused Aristide asylum. Yet, President Aristide talked this morning via telephone to Maxine Waters, Randall Robinson and Charles Rangel. He said he want the Haitian people and the world to know that he did not freely resigned. It was a Coup D'etat. U.S. Marines who came to his house with Morino, a U.S. representative to the U.S. Ambassador Foley and told him they were withdrawing his U.S. security details, that he had to leave or face Guy Phillip who was being escorted into Port-au-Prince by U.S. soldiers. Congresspersons, Waters, and Rangel and Randall Robinson, all three, confirmed that the President and Mrs. Aristide said they were forced on an airplane, at gunpoint, with U.S. and French soldiers guarding, that eventually landed in the French/US defacto protectorate known as the Central Republic of Africa. President Aristide said he was not allowed to call anyone, much less call South Africa, or any nation and ask for asylum. He reiterated he did not resign and that he was being held hostage surrounded by French and U.S. soldiers in a place called the Chateau De Renaissance, in the Central Republic of Africa.
Call your local Congressperson. Call the White House. Call Secretary of State Collin Powell and the Haiti Desk at the State Department. Ask that the U.S. withdraw all support for these opposition thugs and secure the safe return of the Constitutionally elected Haitian President and Mrs. Aristide to Haiti.
Marguerite Laurent, Esq. Chair, Haitian Lawyers Leadership
INFORMATION FROM DEMOCRACY NOW
ÝPublished on Monday, March 1, 2004 by Democracy Now!
President Aristide Says 'I Was Kidnapped', 'Tell the World it is a Coup'
ÝMultiple sources that just spoke with Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide told Democracy Now! that Aristide says he was "kidnapped" and taken by force to the Central African Republic. Congressmember Maxine Waters said she received a call from Aristide at 9am EST. "He's surrounded by military. It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped," said Waters. She said he had been threatened by what he called US diplomats. According to Waters, the diplomats reportedly told the Haitian president that if he did not leave Haiti, paramilitary leader Guy Philippe would storm the palace and Aristide would be killed. According to Waters, Aristide was told by the US that they were withdrawing Aristide's US security.
TransAfrica founder and close Aristide family friend Randall Robinson also received a call from the Haitian president early this morning and confirmed Waters account. Robinson said that Aristide "emphatically" denied that he had resigned. "He did not resign," he said. "He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup." Robinson says he spoke to Aristide on a cell phone that was smuggled to the Haitian president.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! Iím Amy Goodman. Congressmember Waters, can you tell us about the conversation you just had with Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide?
MAXINE WATERS: I most certainly can and heís anxious for me to get the message out so people will understand. He is in the Central Republic of Africa at a place called the Palace of the Renaissance, and heís not sure if thatís a house or a hotel or what it is and he is surrounded by military. Itís like in jail, he said. He said that he was kidnapped; he said that he was forced to leave Haiti. He said that the American embassy sent the diplomats; he referred to them as, to his home where they was lead by Mr. Moreno. And I believe that Mr. Moreno is a deputy chief of staff at the embassy in Haiti and other diplomats, and they ordered him to leave. They said you must go NOW. He said that they said that Guy Phillipe and U.S. Marines were coming to Port Au Prince; he will be killed, many Haitians will be killed, that they would not stop until they did what they wanted to do. He was there with his wife Mildred and his brother-in-law and two of his security people, and somebody from the Steel Foundation, and theyíre all, thereís five of them that are there. They took them where-- they did stop in Antigua then they stopped at a military base, then they were in the air for hours and then they arrived at this place and they were met by five ministers of government. Itís a Francophone country, they speak French. And they were then taken to this place called the Palace of the Renaissance where they are being held and they are surrounded by military people. They are not free to do whatever they want to do. Then the phone clicked off after we had talked for about five--we talked maybe fifteen minutes and then the phone clicked off. But he, some of it was muffled in the beginning, at times it was clear. But one thing that was very clear and he said it over and over again, that he was kidnapped, that the coup was completed by the Americans that they forced him out. They had also disabled his American security force that he had around him for months now; they did not allow them to extend their numbers. To begin with they wanted them to bring in more people to provide security they prevented them from doing that and then they finally forced them out of the country. So thatís where his is and I said to him that I would do everything I could to get the word out. Öthat I heard it directly from him I heard it directly from his wife that they were kidnapped, they were forced to leave, they did not want to leave, their lives were threatened and the lives of many Haitians were threatened. And I said that we would be in touch with the State Department, with the President today and if at all possible we would try to get to him. We donít know whether or not he is going to be moved. We will try and find that information out today.
AMY GOODMAN: Did President Aristide say whether or not he resigned?
MAXINE WATERS: He did not resign. He said he was forced out, that the coup was completed.
AMY GOODMAN: So again to summarize, Congressmember Maxine Waters, you have just gotten off the phone with President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who said he believes he is in the Central African Republic.
MAXINE WATERS: Thatís right, with French speaking officers, heís surrounded by them and heís in this place called the Palace of the Renaissance and he was forced to go there. They took him there.
AMY GOODMAN: What are you going to do right now?
MAXINE WATERS: Iím going to get to the State Dept to find out what do they plan on doing with him. Do they plan on leaving him there or are they planning on taking him to another country? We are going to tell them we would like to see him. We are prepared to go where he is NOW and that we are demanding that we are able to see him and go where he is. And to negotiate what will be done with him.
AMY GOODMAN: Did he describe how he was taken out? We had heard reports in Haiti that he was taken out in handcuffs. Did heÖ
MAXINE WATERS: No he did not say he was taken out in handcuffs. He simply said that they came led by Mr. Moreno followed by the marines and they said simply ìyou have to go!î You have no choice, you must go and if you donít you will be killed and many Haitians will be killed. We are planning with Mr. De filliped to come into Puerto Rico. He will not be alone he will come with American military and you will not survive, you will be killed. Youíve got to go now!
AMY GOODMAN: How did President Aristide sound? What was the quality of his voice?
MAXINE WATERS: The quality of his voice was anxious, angry, disturbed, wanting people to know the truth.
AMY GOODMAN: Did he say why he had not made any calls since early on Sunday morning; that people had not been in touch with him for more than 36 hours. Certainly this plane was equipped with a telephone?
MAXINE WATERS: OH, I donít think they were able to make any calls from the plane. They were only allowed to make calls once they landed. And I think the only call that they had made was to her mother who is in Florida and her brother. But they were not allowedÖthey had no access to telephone callsÖ to a telephone on the plane.
AMY GOODMAN: What is the next stepÖwhat are you going to do? What do you think the people in this country should being doing about this situation in Haiti?
MAXINE WATERS: First of all I think the people in this country should be outraged that our government led a coup deítat against a democratically elected President. They should call, write. Fax with their outrage, not only to the State Dept. but to all of their elected officials and to the press. We have to keep the information flying in the air so people will get it and understand what is taking place. And for those of us who are elected officials we must not only get to the President, we must demand that he is returned to claim his presidency if that is what he wants. If you can recall what happened in Venezuela when Mr. Chavez wasÖthey tried to force him out and they had someone step into the presidency and he had not resigned his presidency and he got it back. I did not have that conversation with President Aristide but we must meet with him and we must talk with him and be prepared to protect him.
AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Maxine Waters I want to thank you for being with us again. Congress member Waters has just spoken with President Aristide who she says said he was kidnapped and is now with his wife and surrounded by security in the Central African Republic.
* * *
RANDALL ROBINSON: The president called me on a cell phone that was slipped to him by someone - he has no land line out to the world and no number at which he can be reached. He is being held in a room with his wife and his sister's husband, who happened to be at the house at the time that the abduction occurred. The soldiers came in to the house and ordered them to use no phones and to come immediately. They were taken at gunpoint to the airport and put on a plane. His own security detachment was taken as well and they were put in a separate compartment of the plane. The president was kept with his wife with the soldiers with the shades of the plane down and when he asked where he was being taken, the soldiers told him they were under orders not to tell him that. He was flown first to Antigua, which he recognized, but then he was told to put the shades down again. They were on the ground like this for two hours before they took off again and landed six hours later at another location again told to keep the shades down. At no time before they left the house and on the plane were they allowed to use a phone. Only when they landed the last time were they told that they were in the central African republic. Then taken to a room with a balcony. They do not know what the room is. Outside they say they are surrounded by soldiers. So that they have no freedom. The president asked me to tell the world that it is a coup, that they have been kidnapped. That they have been abducted. I have put in calls to members of congress asking that they demand that the president be given an opportunity to speak, that he be given a press conference opportunity and that people be given an opportunity to reach him by phone so that they can hear directly from him how he is being treated. But the essential point is clear. He did not resign. He was taken by force from his residence in the middle of the night, forced on to a plane, and taken away without being told where he was going. He was kidnapped. There's no question about it.
AMY GOODMAN: How does he actually know, Randall Robinson, how does president Aristide know that he is in the Central African Republic?
RANDALL ROBINSON: He was told that when he arrived. That there was some official reception of officials of that government at the airport when he arrived. But, you see, he still had and continues to have surrounding him American military.
AMY GOODMAN: You spoke with him and Mildred Aristide up to 10 times a day in the last days before they were removed from Haiti. How did president Aristide sound when you spoke with him today?
RANDALL ROBINSON: They sounded tired and very concerned that the departure has been mistold to the world. They wanted to make certain that I did all that I could to disabuse any misled public that he had not resigned, that he had been abducted. That was very, very important to him and Mrs. Aristide explained to me the strange response to my calls on Saturday night. I had talked to her on Saturday morning and him on Friday. But when I called the house on Saturday night, the phone was answered by an unfamiliar voice who told me that the president was busy, a response that was strange and then when I asked for Mrs. Aristide, I was told that she was busy, too. As she told me then, even that early on, before they were taken away and before the soldiers came, they had been instructed they were not allowed to talk to anyone. So, that is - she said that was the reason she explained this today, a few minutes ago - why she was not able to talk to me and he was not able to talk to me when I called the house object Saturday evening.
AMY GOODMAN: Who did they say was the person that you had actually spoken to?
RANDALL ROBINSON: No, but that it was not someone who worked at the house because they know my voice when they hear it and they respond to it because I call so many times. This was something new, a new person, a new voice, with a new kind of tone. That is when we began to be concerned that something was amiss.
AMY GOODMAN: I will ask you the same question I asked Congressmember Waters who also spoke with president Aristide. The issue of whether president Aristide resigned. Did he say he did or he didn't?
RANDALL ROBINSON: Emphatically not.
AMY GOODMAN He said he did not resign?
RANDALL ROBINSON: He did not resign. He did not resign. He was kidnapped and all of the circumstances seem to support his assertion. Had he resigned, we wouldn't need blacked out windows and blocked communications and military taking him away at gunpoint. Had he resigned, he would have been happy to leave the country. He was not. He resisted. Emphatically not. He did not resign. He was abducted by the United States, a democratic, a democratically elected president, abducted by the United States in the commission of an American induced coup. This is a frightening thing to contemplate.
AMY GOODMAN: And again, Randall Robinson, you said you spoke to president Aristide by a cell phone that was smuggled to him?
RANDALL ROBINSON: Yes and I cannot call back because I have no number and the only way they can call out is by cell phone because they have not been provided with any land lines.
AMY GOODMAN: Did they say how long they will be staying in this place that they are, the palace of the Renaissance, they say they believe in the Central African Republic?
RANDALL ROBINSON: I haven't been told anything. I told her that last night I spoke to senator Dodd's foreign policy person Janice O'Connell called me to say that she had learned from the State Department that he was being taken to the Central African Republic and she had also been told by the State Department that they had refused, that the south Africans had refused asylum. I told her that I didn't believe that that was true because the South African foreign minister - [Noise] Hello?
AMY GOODMAN: Yes, Randall, Robinson, we hear you.
RANDALL ROBINSON: Because the South African foreign minister had called me from India Mid-afternoon on Sunday and she asked how I was doing and I thought I was going to be doing much better, and I told her so. And I said because I'm sure that president Aristide has arrived in South Africa. She said no, he hasn't arrived here. We haven't heard anything from him. We don't know where he is and then we became really alarmed. She said there's been no request for asylum. So, you see, the State Department is telling an interested public, including members of the congress, that South Africa refused asylum. The State Department knows better. They know that President Aristide was not allowed to request asylum from South Africa or anybody else because he was not allowed to make any phone calls before they left Haiti, during the flight, and beyond.
AMY GOODMAN: Anything else you would like to add from your conversation with president Aristide on this smuggled phone that he got hold of after many hours incommunicado and now saying he believes he is in the central African republic with the first lady of Haiti, Mildred Aristide?
RANDALL ROBINSON: The phrase that he used several times and asked of me to find a way to tell the Haitian people, he said tell the world it's a coup, it's a coup, it's a coup. Ý
© 2004 Democracy Now!