WASHINGTON - March 2 - Green Party leaders, concerned about emerging reports that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide did not voluntarily resign but was forcibly escorted by U.S. Marines possibly acting in concert with Haitian rebels, have called for an independent investigation. If the U.S. cooperated with the rebels, say Greens, then the Bush Administration has participated in a coup that ousted a foreign government, in violation of international law and the U.S. Constitution.
According to news reports from Democracy Now! and other sources, Aristide spoke to Congressmember Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and civil rights leader Randall Robinson, telling them of his abduction and transportation to the Central African Republic.
"Aristide must be restored to office immediately and allowed to complete his constitutionally mandated term," said George Martin, co-chair of the Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States. "Despite accusations that he fixed the 2000 elections, poll evidence shows him with majority support in Haiti, with the opposition 'Democratic Convergence' representing a small minority."
Greens also charged that the Bush Administration has apparently allied itself with a rebellion led by former officers of the Tonton Macoute and Le Front pour l'avancement et le progrés d'Haiti (FRAPH), notorious terror and death squads that targeted political dissent during the reigns of the Duvaliers and the Haitian generals, respectively. Both groups had connections with the CIA.
"This is like an alliance between the U.S. and the Gestapo," said Rick Tingling-Clemmons, who serves on the steering committees of the D.C. Statehood Green Party and the national party's Black Caucus. "These men are not liberators. Their intent is to crush Haitian democracy, with help from the Bush Administration, especially ambassador James Foley and U.S. State Department official Roger Noriega. Noriega obviously intends to restore the Helms Doctrine. This would mean brutal suppression of democratic movements, a new reign of terror, sweatshop labor for U.S. corporations, and a beachhead for the U.S. against Castro in Cuba and Hugo Chavez's leftist government in oil-rich Venezuela."
"We need to know the extent to which U.S. intelligence, weapons, and military personnel were involved in the coup," said Ben Manski, co-chair of the national party. "We need to be assured by the Bush Administration that officials of former Haitian terror groups will not be placed in positions of power, that Aristide be allowed to serve out his term, and that democracy and economic sovereignty are restored to Haiti."
"We need a guarantee that rebel thugs will not be allowed kill and maim Aristide's supporters and members of his Lavalas Party, and that all Haitians remain safe regardless of their political allegiances," Manski added. "Our chief concern is the welfare and democratic rights of the Haitian people."