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#5329: Rumors of a Coup in Haiti (fwd)

From: Karioka9@cs.com

People in Port-au-Prince report that the Lavalas regime has gone on high 
alert over the weekend in reaction to rumors of an imminent coup attempt.  
One Lavalas source cites the opposition and the Macoute sector as the forces 
behind this coup.  But opposition members and some independent activists 
dismiss the coup rumor as a Lavalas diversion.
What does Lavalas have to gain by floating a coup rumor? The opposition 
claims Lavalas is trying to create a climate whereby they can bail themselves 
out of the latest round of OAS-sponsored negotiations over the May 21 
elections.  Others see the coup rumor as an obvious manoeuver to discredit 
the democratic opposition, and to frighten people enough so that they will 
come out to vote in the Nov. 26 elections.  But some activists fear that this 
is an excuse to crank up the repression, the way Papa Doc used to manufacture 
coup rumors to flush out his opponents.
On the other hand, it is a known fact the anti-democratic elements have been 
reorganizing themselves of late, with the figure of Baby Doc as leader. The 
prospects for a successful coup look very strong right now, what with the 
isolation of the Lavalas sector from the rest of the country (and from the 
so-called international community), the crisis in the Middle East, and the 
upcoming US elections.  The Clinton government would be in no position to 
intervene against such a coup, and a Republican White House is widely 
expected to be sympathetic to a right-wing, anti-Lavalas initiative along 
those lines.
Whatever the reality behind this rumor, the muted press and the people of 
Haiti seem to have resigned themselves to one of two outcomes: either the 
extreme right will eventually carry out a coup, or Lavalas' hegemonic project 
will lead to a full-blown dictatorship.

Daniel Simidor