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Haiti's Coup - March 4, 2004

A Typical American Coup
by John Horvath
Jean Bertrand Aristide has finally fled Haiti -- again. Meanwhile, the mainstream press the world over focuses on the anarchy that has engulfed the tiny Caribbean nation. Yet most reports merely skim the surface. There was talk of rebel advances, people with guns, looting, revenge attacks, etc. What was missing was one simple question: what was the uprising all about? Perhaps the reason why journalists, especially those from the US and other "allied" countries, failed to dig deep into what was going on is because they know what they would find: that the US was behind the ugly overthrow of a democratically elected government, a move akin to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Full Article

Don't Fall For Washington's Spin On Haiti
by Jeffrey Sachs; Financial Times; March 01, 2004
The crisis in Haiti is another case of brazen US manipulation of a small, impoverished country with the truth unexplored by journalists. In the nearly universal media line on the Haitian revolt, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was portrayed as an undemocratic leader who betrayed Haiti's democratic hopes and thereby lost the support of his erstwhile backers. He "stole" elections and intransigently refused to address opposition concerns. As a result he had to leave office, which he did at the insistence of the US and France. Unfortunately, this is a gravely distorted view. Full Article

Haitian Fantasies: Mainstream Media Fails Itself
By Peter Phillips
On February 29, Richard Boucher from the U.S. Department of State released a press release claiming that Jean Bertrand Aristide had resigned as president of Haiti and that the United State facilitated his safe departure. Within hours the major broadcast news stations in the United States including CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, and NPR were reporting that Aristide had fled Haiti. An Associated Press release that evening said "Aristide resigns, flees into exile." The next day headlines in the major newspapers across the country, including the Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times, and Atlanta Journal Constitution, all announced "Aristide Flees Haiti." The Baltimore sun reported, "Haiti's first democratically-elected president was forced to flee his country yesterday like despots before him." Full Article

The Press and Haiti: Assuming the Right to Intervene
By Norman Solomon
It's not just a matter of American boots on the ground and bombs from the sky. Much more common than the range of overt violence from U.S. military actions is the process of deepening poverty from economic intervention. Outside the media glare, Washington's routine policies involve pulling financial levers to penalize nations that have leaders who displease the world's only superpower. Full Article

Democrats Slam Bush Administration over Aristide Ouster
by Jim Lobe
The Bush administration's role in facilitating the ouster of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide came under sharp and sustained attack by Democrats in Congress Wednesday, while leaders of the of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) called for an independent investigation into the circumstances that led to his exile aboard a U.S.-chartered jet Sunday. Full Article

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