Return President Aristide to Haiti

The Haiti Action Committee denounces the United States government for its role in the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Haiti. This government worked to destabilize Haiti since President Aristide's election in 2000. We know US military personnel forcibly removed him from office, after coercing him into signing a "resignation" letter under threat of massive bloodshed against the people of Port-au-Prince. A US plane then flew him to the Central African Republic, where he has been held virtually incommunicado against his will, far from friends, family and supporters.

We condemn this use of force by President Bush, who since the beginning of his term has used coercive means to implement regime change against governments that do not support US policies. What happened in Haiti is unethical and immoral and a clear violation of international and federal laws.

The unconstitutional removal of the elected President of Haiti sets a dangerous precedent for Latin America and for the world. We join with CARICOM in rejecting President Aristide's removal. We agree with the 53 nations of the African Union who have called President Aristide's removal unconstitutional. We support the Barbara Lee/John Conyers TRUTH Act, signed by 24 members of the US Congress, which calls for an immediate investigation into the role of the Bush administration in the coup in Haiti.

We also believe that members of the media must examine the role they have played in paving the way for the Haiti coup. For three years, corporate and some "progressive" media have participated in a campaign of disinformation against President Aristide and the government of Haiti. For the past several months the media relayed unsubstantiated claims by the Haitian opposition, the same groups that called for the violent overthrow of Haiti's elected government - a crime that has just taken place.

Now the corporate media, disregarding information presented by President Aristide himself, continues to report the Bush Administration's claim that the President left Haiti voluntarily, while promoting the legitimacy of Haiti's new puppet government.

Therefore, we condemn:

    * The destabilization campaign waged against the democratically elected government of Haiti since President Aristide took office in 2000

    * The forced departure of President Aristide from Haiti.

    * The illegal foreign occupation of Haiti.

We call for:

    * The immediate return of President Aristide to Haiti so that he can serve out his term until 2006.

    * A US Congressional investigation into the role of the United States government in destabilizing the Haitian government and implementing a coup d'etat in Haiti as called for in the T.R.U.T.H. Act, sponsored by Barbara Lee and John Conyers.

In particular:

    * Did the US summarily deny military protection to Aristide?

    * Did the United States supply weapons to the rebels, who showed up in Haiti in January, 2004, with sophisticated equipment, including M-16's, after the US military delivered 20,000 M-16's to the Dominican border last summer?

    * Did the US military provide training to former Haitian military and death squad leaders as part of "Operation Jaded Task," during which 900 US special forces were stationed along the Dominican border?

    * What was the role of the military, the CIA, and various intelligence services in the 3-year destabilization campaign against Haiti's democracy and their role in the coup that overthrew President Aristide.

These are impeachable offenses under the US Neutrality Act.

    * An end to U.S. government covert and overt assistance for death squads in Haiti. Day after day, members of popular organizations and other Lavalas supporters are being attacked, imprisoned, or assassinated. This repression must end.

    * Support for Haitian refugees. The US must grant refugee status to Haitians fleeing US-sponsored death squad terror.

Contact:

Congressional Switchboard - 800-839-5276 or 202-224-3121
Kerry for President - info@johnkerry.com, 202-712-3000, 202-712-3001 FAX
Nancy Pelosi - (SF) 415-556-4862; (DC) 202-225-4965
Dianne Feinstein - (SF) 415-249-4777; (DC) 202-224-3841
Barbara Boxer - (SF) 415-403-0100; (DC) 202-224-3553
White House Comment line - 202-456-1111
US State Department - 202-647-5291 or 202-647-7098
202-647-2283 or 202-647-5169 FAX
letters@sfchronicle.com
letters@nytimes.com
letters@latimes.com
letters@washpost.com
HeraldEd@herald.com (Miami)

Haiti Action Committee

http://www.haitiaction.net/News/hac3_17_4.html

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