Haitian President Aristide Demands U.S. Investigate White House Complicity in Coup Against His Government
Interview with Ira Kurzban, lawyer representing Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, conducted by Scott Harris
Speaking from exile in the Central African Republic, deposed Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide charged that he was the victim of a political kidnapping carried out by members of the United States military in the early morning hours of Feb. 29. In a press conference held on March 8, Aristide urged his supporters to peacefully resist what he described as a coup d'etat driven by the Bush administration.
In Haiti's capital, Port-Au-Prince, both supporters and opponents of Aristide have held demonstrations. During a protest rally organized by opposition groups held on March 7, gunmen opened fire, killing six people and wounding 30. U.S. Marines who have been deployed throughout the country, along with French and Canadian troops, returned fire, killing one person. Amid the violence, an interim president, Boniface Alexandre was sworn into office, while a seven-member council is preparing to appoint a prime minister.
President Aristide, through his counsel, has invoked the international treaty against kidnapping and called upon U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate and prosecute government officials involved in the abduction of the Haitian president and his wife, a U.S. citizen. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Ira Kurzban, an attorney who has represented the government of Haiti and President Aristide since 1991. Kurzban discusses the circumstances under which Aristide was overthrown and his call for an international investigation and prosecution of those responsible.
For more information, contact the Center for Constitutional Rights at (212) 614-6464 or visit their website at www.ccr-ny.org
Council on Hemispheric Affairs at (202) 216-9261 www.coha.org
Haiti Progres, Haitian newspaper, in English, French and Creole www.haitiprogres.com
"Letter from Ira J. Kurzban, Esq., to Ms. Lydia Polgreen of the New York Times," March 7, 2004
"Haiti Coverage: Mainstream Media Fails Itself," by Peter Phillips, Common Dreams.org, March 4, 2004
"Was Aristide Forced Out?" The Jamaica Gleaner/Kingston, Jamaica, March 4, 2004
"Haitian President Charges U.S. Military Kidnapped Him in Support of White House-Backed Coup", Between The Lines interview with Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights, Week Ending 3/12/04 Background on Haiti
"Year 501: The Tragedy of Haiti, by Noam Chomsky, cyberspacei.com, 1993
"Background on Haiti: Some Questions and Answers," by Mary Turck, by Americas.org, Feb. 24, 2004
"Throttled by History," by Gary Younge, The Guardian/UK, Feb. 23, 2004
"U.S. Fails to Act as Death Squads Vow to Overthrow Government of Haitian President Aristide," Between The Lines interview with Larry Birns, executive director of Council on Hemispheric Affairs, conducted by Scott Harris, week ending March 5, 2004
"Armed Rebellion Attempts to Oust Haitian President," Between The Lines interview with Kim Ives, Haiti Progres editor, conducted by Scott Harris, week ending Feb. 20, 2004
"U.S. Hostility Will Be Major Challenge to Returning Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide," Between The Lines interview with Kim Ives, Haiti Progres editor, conducted by Scott Harris, Jan. 5, 2001.
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