Why they had to crush Aristide

Hey, I hear Baby Doc wants his toys back. I’m afraid I see nothing but bloody massacres now. And thousands of Haitian refugees turning up on Jeb’s doorstep.

Guardian daily comment | Why they had to crush Aristide
Haiti’s elected leader was regarded as a threat by France and the US
Peter Hallward
Tuesday March 2, 2004
The Guardian
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was re-elected president of Haiti in November 2000 with more than 90% of the vote. He was elected by people who approved his courageous dissolution, in 1995, of the armed forces that had long terrorised Haiti and had overthrown his first administration. He was elected by people who supported his tentative efforts, made with virtually no resources or revenue, to invest in education and health. He was elected by people who shared his determination, in the face of crippling US opposition, to improve the conditions of the most poorly paid workers in the western hemisphere.
Aristide was forced from office on Sunday by people who have little in common except their opposition to his progressive policies and their refusal of the democratic process. With the enthusiastic backing of Haiti’s former colonial master, a leader elected with overwhelming popular support has been driven from office by a loose association of convicted human rights abusers, seditious former army officers and pro-American business leaders.

Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole…not like you!

Wow! Can you believe this is an actual headline? Chavez is only speaking the truth, pal!

Chavez Calls Bush ‘Asshole’ as Foes Fight Troops
Published: February 29, 2004
Filed at 8:40 p.m. ET
CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Bush an “asshole” on Sunday for meddling, and vowed never to quit office like his Haitian counterpart as troops battled with opposition protesters demanding a recall referendum against him.
Chavez, who often says the U.S. is backing opposition efforts to topple his leftist government, accused Bush of heeding advice from “imperialist” aides to support a brief 2002 coup against him.
“He was an asshole to believe them,” Chavez roared at a huge rally of supporters in Caracas.
The Venezuelan leader’s comments came as fresh violence broke out on the streets of the capital, where National Guard troops clashed with opposition protesters pressing for a vote to end his five-year rule.

Was Aristide Kidnapped?

Barely a whisper in the news at the moment. Let’s see if we can’t blog it up a little.

President Aristide Says “I was kidnapped”
Multiple 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.

The political blogs are all afire about this. Is Aristide just having “buyer’s remorse”? Wasn’t he a thug anyway, and why should we care? On the other hand, the U.S. clearly wanted him out, and have done for a long time. And it’s not like they haven’t arranged coups before. Allende, anyone? (I don’t know much about Haiti, or whether Aristide was well liked by his people). But when the man himself calls up and says he was kidnapped…maybe he was kidnapped!