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a177: Guy Phillipe Coup history and U.S. embassy (fwd)

From: Jean Saint-Vil <jafrikayiti@hotmail.com>


Perhaps the answers to Kathy's questions can be found in the attached 
February 2001 article of the Washignton Post. It ends with the following two 

«Called in to explain themselves, Alexis went on, Nau and Philippe denied 
they were contemplating a coup. But within days, they and a half-dozen other 
officers fled to the Dominican Republic.

Two other officers implicated in the reports sought refuge in the Dominican 
Embassy in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities wanted to wait them out. But 
Alexis said they were allowed instead to travel unmolested to the Dominican 

The writing is indeed on the wall ! Ins't it strange that no one in the 
«free press» seems interested to mention these strange connections of the 
Dec 17th events- not even the Washington Post that published this prophetic 
Feb 2, 2001 article?

See full text below...

----Original Message Follows----
From: LAKAT47@aol.com

<< As long as speculation is rampant, let me speculate on why the Dominican 
government will not return Guy Phillipe to Haiti.  They are afraid of 
angering the US or they are following US orders...>>

Kathy Dorce~


Haiti Torn by Hope and Hatred As Aristide Returns to Power Washington Post 
Foreign Service | Friday, February 2, 2001; Page A01

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- The death threat came in a chilling Creole 
expression. Unless the opposition to President-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide 
backed off, righteous crowds would kill 80 of Haiti's establishment 
politicians, journalists and clerics, turning their "blood to ink, their 
skin to parchment and their skulls to inkwells."

Twenty Haitian reporters were summoned to hear the warning read out on Jan. 
9 at St. Jean Bosco, a burned-out church whose shell remains a monument to 
Aristide's days there as a liberation theology priest. Paul Raymond, a 
militant in the slum's "Little Church Community," named the opposition 
figures one by one, as several dozen activists affiliated with Aristide's 
Lavalas political movement shouted, "Long Live Aristide! Long Live 

Realizing the significance of what they had just heard, the reporters rushed 
back to their radio and television stations. By nightfall, Port-au-Prince, 
the Haitian capital, was buzzing with the news.
Opposition politicians demanded Raymond's arrest. Foreign embassies and the 
papal nuncio issued condemnations. People waited for Aristide to emerge from 
his luxurious home to disavow the threat made in his name. But they waited 
in vain.

As Aristide prepares to take office Wednesday for his second five-year term, 
Haiti is again divided over its most charismatic and enigmatic figure. And 
again, the United States -- Aristide's former patron
and perpetual nemesis -- is in the middle of the divide. The sunny but 
desperately poor Caribbean nation that the Clinton administration repeatedly 
cited as a foreign policy success now seems likely to
be one of the Bush administration's earliest headaches.

Bombs go off here regularly these days, more than a dozen in Port-au-Prince 
since Aristide's election in November. One of three blasts Jan. 19 left a 
pigtailed schoolgirl writhing and moaning in the street. A number of 
mysterious political killings remain unsolved as well, making the threats at 
St. Jean Bosco seem all too real.

Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis blames the bombings on extremists in 
the anti-Aristide opposition, although he acknowledges that police have not 
identified the perpetrators. "It's a provocation," he said in an interview. 
"They are trying to get us to take repressive measures. But we will just let 
the police do its work."

The opposition alliance, the Democratic Convergence, regards Aristide's Nov. 
26 election as illegitimate and charges that he is preparing to set up 
another Haitian dictatorship. As a result, it has
refused to deal with Aristide as president-elect, despite U.S. appeals for 
dialogue. Opposition leaders held a convention Saturday -- called "etats 
generaux" to evoke the French Revolution -- and vowed to
form a parallel "provisional government" unless a deal can be worked out 
with Aristide before he takes over.

"The elections were fraudulent, not only irregular but illegal," said Leslie 
Manigat, a former president and current opposition leader who was on the St. 
Jean Bosco list. "Given that, we demand the undoing
of what was done wrong."

The Convergence was formed as a broad group with help from the International 
Republican Institute, an organization that promotes democracy that is 
closely identified with the U.S. Republican Party. It includes former 
Aristide allies -- people who helped him fight Haiti's dictators, then 
soured as they watched him at work. But it also includes former backers of 
the hated Duvalier family dictatorship and of the military officers who 
overthrew Aristide in 1991 and terrorized the country for three years.

The most determined of these men, with a promise of anonymity, freely 
express their desire to see the U.S. military intervene once again, this 
time to get rid of Aristide and rebuild the disbanded Haitian
army. "That would be the cleanest solution," said one opposition party 
leader. Failing that, they say, the CIA should train and equip Haitian 
officers exiled in the neighboring Dominican Republic so they could
stage a comeback themselves.

With just under 8 million inhabitants, zero natural resources and no 
strategic value except proximity to Cuba, Haiti instead would seem a perfect 
candidate for benign neglect under the Bush administration's
national-interest test. Perfect, that is, except for three things: 
geography, boat people and drug smuggling.

According to Haitian and foreign observers alike, the risk is high that 
cocaine and desperate Haitians will head in ever higher numbers to Florida 
-- where President Bush's younger brother, Jeb, is governor
-- unless a way is found to resolve the political and social confrontation 
swirling around Aristide's person, his tactics and his plans.

"There is a lot of misery here," complained Pierre Blaise.
His village, Sous-Bogne, lies just across the road from the Club 
Mediterranee, a verdant seaside resort near the town of Montrouis, about 35 
miles northwest of Port-au-Prince. "Haiti Magic," reads a sign at the 
hotel's palm-shaded entrance.

European and American tourists by the planeload used to descend on the club 
every week, providing a livelihood for Blaise, 55, and for those of his 15 
children who were old enough to work. Those days are over. Because of 
political turmoil and crime, the resort has closed. Garbage lines its beach. 
Furniture is piled for storage in the rooms. The pool sits forlorn and 
unused, filled with dirty rainwater.

But a rumor has moved recently through the huts of straw matting and cinder 
block. With Aristide back in office, the club will reopen soon, it says. The 
village will get jobs again.

"We're waiting for Aristide," Blaise said. "He's our friend."

Aristide has come a long way since his start as a tightly wired priest 
combating misery and despair in the Port-au-Prince slums. Today he has a 
reputation as a calculating politician, along with a wife, two
children and a suburban home with air conditioning and a swimming pool.

Aristide began his first term in February 1991 after winning 67 percent of 
the vote in the country's first democratic election. A liberation theology 
activist, beloved by the poor for his courage and eloquence, he voiced the 
aspirations of Haiti's downtrodden and hopeless in a sinuous, image-laden 
Creole they readily embraced.

But his presidency was aborted after seven months by a military coup d'etat 
that his supporters say was carried out with U.S. acquiescence. Three years 
later, with the military dictatorship universally condemned and pressure 
mounting from black political leaders in Washington, President Clinton 
dispatched 20,000 troops to restore Aristide to power. That was the 
beginning of a long, heavy injection
of aid money and international political capital, the start of what one 
official involved in the effort called "an unhealthy embrace." Now -- six 
years and some $3 billion later -- the embrace has ended, replaced by 
discouragement and in some cases resentment.

Kofi Annan, the normally circumspect U.N. secretary general, has decided the 
U.N. political mission here should close on Tuesday and has warned of 
"further turmoil" that will further impoverish the
hemisphere's poorest nation. The United States has long since brought home 
its last troops, and it ended a police training program last July; 
Washington also is the driving force behind a freeze on $500
million in international aid for the cash-starved government.

Although the Clinton administration returned Aristide to power, in the end 
it had largely lost faith in his willingness to play by the rules of 
democracy. In that, U.S. officials were joined by most U.N. officials and 
European governments involved in trying to get Haiti on its feet.

Most diplomatic dismay focused on last May's legislative elections, in which 
Aristide's Lavalas movement won 71 of 81 lower house seats and 26 of 27 
Senate seats, setting up an Aristide presidency unfettered by legislative 
obstacles. U.S. and other foreign observers were unanimous in concluding 
that the Provisional Electoral Council unfairly tallied Senate votes in 10 
districts to prevent Lavalas candidates from facing a runoff.

As a result, they declined to recognize the results and refused to validate 
the November presidential vote. International irritation rose further when 
the council declared a turnout of 60 percent and gave
Aristide a 90 percent margin of victory. Reliable estimates from foreign 
groups put the turnout at less than 20 percent, partly because of an 
opposition boycott.

A commitment obtained late last year by Anthony Lake, the Clinton 
administration's special Haiti envoy, required Aristide to resolve the 
Senate dispute and reach out to opposition leaders to form an
inclusive government, among other things. The incentive: recognition and 
renewed aid. During his confirmation hearings to become secretary of state, 
Colin L. Powell said Lake's accords seemed to be a basis for breaking the 

Some steps have been taken, but behind the specifics negotiated by Lake, 
Haiti's old background music of class hatred and mistrust plays on. Aristide 
and his followers seem convinced that the country's
former ruling class is still determined, with U.S. help, to prevent him from 
making the deep changes they believe are necessary to improve the lives of 
Haiti's poor. Talk of another coup only reinforces their convictions.

"How to move forward with the emancipation of the Haitian people without 
getting stopped by the bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie, that is the 
big challenge for him," said Leslie Voltaire, an adviser
on the staff of outgoing President Rene Preval. Alexis, who has hung a large 
painting of poor people looting the rich in his office vestibule, agreed, 
saying the "real problem" in Haiti is Aristide's stand in favor of the poor.

The shelves are nearly empty in the little grocery store run by Jacqueline 
Toussaint, 50, and her husband Winny Fils-Aime, 54, on the main street of 
Montrouis. Thieves in the little town have hit twice,
and the couple no longer dares to exhibit their wares.

"You can get robbed any time," Toussaint said. "God knows what will happen."

In any case, she added, prices have risen so fast recently that people 
cannot afford to buy food. The drop in sales has meant that her son, who 
became the pride of his family by finishing high school, could
not continue to the university. "So he just sits at home," she said.

But help is on the way, Fils-Aime predicted, because Aristide is soon to 
take power again. "The voice of the people is the voice of God," he said, 
"and if the people want something, nobody can stop it."

As soon as Aristide returned from exile with the U.S. troops in 1994, the 
disgraced army was disbanded and the Clinton administration set out to train 
and equip a 6,000-member police force with
help from the United Nations, France and others. The idea was to give 
Haitians their first taste of justice and professional policing. Things have 
not worked out as planned. Politics, U.S. intervention and
corruption still play a large role in the Haitian justice system. So much so 
that U.S. diplomats were forced three months ago to denounce talk of a coup 
among disaffected police officers around whom swirled reports of drug 

Many police officers have left in a cloud over such allegations. And they 
are not without foundation; the House International Relations Committee 
charged in December that traffickers "have largely
succeeded in consolidating a narco-state in Haiti."

Other officers have left for better salaries in legitimate work. As a 
result, the force stands today at fewer than 4,500. Haitians call them "the 
philosophers," mocking a requirement that recruits have a
high school diploma in a nation of 90 percent illiteracy.

The problems with Haiti's National Police came to a head last October when 
Aristide showed up at Provisional Electoral Council headquarters to register 
officially as a candidate for election, joined by a
crowd of cheering supporters.

The local police commissioner, Jean-Jacques "Jackie" Nau, had his men go 
through the crowd looking for weapons. A street leader known to be an 
Aristide supporter, nicknamed Ronald Cadaver in tribute to his reputation 
for violence, refused to relinquish his gun. In the confrontation that 
ensued, Cadaver and his gang disarmed Nau and other officers and put tires 
around their necks in apparent preparation
for one of the gruesome burnings known as "necklacing."

The standoff was resolved without anyone being killed. But Cadaver was never 
called to account, and the infuriated Nau began meeting with another police 
commissioner, Guy Philippe, and other officers to
discuss what should be done.

By the middle of November, in an account confirmed by a senior U.S. 
official, Prime Minister Alexis said he was visited by Don Steinberg, a Lake 
aide then on temporary duty in Port-au-Prince. Steinberg
relayed intelligence that Nau, Philippe and the others were discussing what 
could be the beginnings of a coup. Several days later, Alexis said, 
Steinberg went to see Aristide at his home with the information,
warning that Aristide and Preval could be assassination targets.

Called in to explain themselves, Alexis went on, Nau and Philippe denied 
they were contemplating a coup. But within days, they and a half-dozen other 
officers fled to the Dominican Republic.

Two other officers implicated in the reports sought refuge in the Dominican 
Embassy in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities wanted to wait them out. But 
Alexis said they were allowed instead to travel unmolested to the Dominican 
Republic -- at the request of the U.S. Embassy.

«Haiti can always count on her friends!»

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