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President Aristide is saying he was kidnapped and forced to leave Haiti. The U.S. government is denying this. Whom shall we believe.

Multiple sources that just spoke with Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide told Democracy Now! that Aristide says he was "kidnapped" and taken by force to the Central African Republic. Congressmember Maxine Waters said she received a call from Aristide at 9am EST. "He's surrounded by military. It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped," said Waters. She said he had been threatened by what he called US diplomats. According to Waters, the diplomats reportedly told the Haitian president that if he did not leave Haiti, paramilitary leader Guy Philippe would storm the palace and Aristide would be killed. According to Waters, Aristide was told by the US that they were withdrawing Aristide's US security.
TransAfrica founder and close Aristide family friend Randall Robinson also received a call from the Haitian president early this morning and confirmed Waters account. Robinson said that Aristide "emphatically" denied that he had resigned. "He did not resign," he said. "He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup." Robinson says he spoke to Aristide on a cell phone that was smuggled to the Haitian president.

There are Negroes who will never fight for freedom. There are Negroes who will seek profit for themselves from the struggle. There are even some Negroes who will cooperate with the oppressors. The hammer blows of discrimination, poverty, and segregation must warp and corrupt some. No one can pretend that because a people may be oppressed, every individual member is virtuous and worthy. Martin Luther King

More to come later! Your Brother Faheem
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RANDALL ROBINSON: The president called me on a cell phone that was slipped to him by someone - he has no land line out to the world and no number at which he can be reached. He is being held in a room with his wife and his sister's husband, who happened to be at the house at the time that the abduction occurred. The soldiers came in to the house and ordered them to use no phones and to come immediately. They were taken at gunpoint to the airport and put on a plane. His own security detachment was taken as well and they were put in a separate compartment of the plane. The president was kept with his wife with the soldiers with the shades of the plane down and when he asked where he was being taken, the soldiers told him they were under orders not to tell him that. He was flown first to Antigua, which he recognized, but then he was told to put the shades down again. They were on the ground like this for two hours before they took off again and landed six hours later at another location again told to keep the shades down. At no time before they left the house and on the plane were they allowed to use a phone. Only when they landed the last time were they told that they were in the central African republic. Then taken to a room with a balcony. They do not know what the room is. Outside they say they are surrounded by soldiers. So that they have no freedom. The president asked me to tell the world that it is a coup, that they have been kidnapped. That they have been abducted. I have put in calls to members of congress asking that they demand that the president be given an opportunity to speak, that he be given a press conference opportunity and that people be given an opportunity to reach him by phone so that they can hear directly from him how he is being treated. But the essential point is clear. He did not resign. He was taken by force from his residence in the middle of the night, forced on to a plane, and taken away without being told where he was going. He was kidnapped. There's no question about it.
AMY GOODMAN: How does he actually know, Randall Robinson, how does president Aristide know that he is in the Central African Republic?

RANDALL ROBINSON: He was told that when he arrived. That there was some official reception of officials of that government at the airport when he arrived. But, you see, he still had and continues to have surrounding him American military.

AMY GOODMAN: You spoke with him and Mildred Aristide up to 10 times a day in the last days before they were removed from Haiti. How did president Aristide sound when you spoke with him today?

RANDALL ROBINSON: They sounded tired and very concerned that the departure has been mistold to the world. They wanted to make certain that I did all that I could to disabuse any misled public that he had not resigned, that he had been abducted. That was very, very important to him and Mrs. Aristide explained to me the strange response to my calls on Saturday night. I had talked to her on Saturday morning and him on Friday. But when I called the house on Saturday night, the phone was answered by an unfamiliar voice who told me that the president was busy, a response that was strange and then when I asked for Mrs. Aristide, I was told that she was busy, too. As she told me then, even that early on, before they were taken away and before the soldiers came, they had been instructed they were not allowed to talk to anyone. So, that is - she said that was the reason she explained this today, a few minutes ago - why she was not able to talk to me and he was not able to talk to me when I called the house object Saturday evening.

AMY GOODMAN: Who did they say was the person that you had actually spoken to?

RANDALL ROBINSON: No, but that it was not someone who worked at the house because they know my voice when they hear it and they respond to it because I call so many times. This was something new, a new person, a new voice, with a new kind of tone. That is when we began to be concerned that something was amiss.

AMY GOODMAN: I will ask you the same question I asked Congressmember Waters who also spoke with president Aristide. The issue of whether president Aristide resigned. Did he say he did or he didn't?

RANDALL ROBINSON: Emphatically not.

AMY GOODMAN He said he did not resign?

RANDALL ROBINSON: He did not resign. He did not resign. He was kidnapped and all of the circumstances seem to support his assertion. Had he resigned, we wouldn't need blacked out windows and blocked communications and military taking him away at gunpoint. Had he resigned, he would have been happy to leave the country. He was not. He resisted. Emphatically not. He did not resign. He was abducted by the United States, a democratic, a democratically elected president, abducted by the United States in the commission of an American induced coup. This is a frightening thing to contemplate.

AMY GOODMAN: And again, Randall Robinson, you said you spoke to president Aristide by a cell phone that was smuggled to him?

RANDALL ROBINSON: Yes and I cannot call back because I have no number and the only way they can call out is by cell phone because they have not been provided with any land lines.

AMY GOODMAN: Did they say how long they will be staying in this place that they are, the palace of the Renaissance, they say they believe in the Central African Republic?

RANDALL ROBINSON: I haven't been told anything. I told her that last night I spoke to senator Dodd's foreign policy person Janice O'Connell called me to say that she had learned from the State Department that he was being taken to the Central African Republic and she had also been told by the State Department that they had refused, that the south Africans had refused asylum. I told her that I didn't believe that that was true because the South African foreign minister - [Noise] Hello?

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, Randall, Robinson, we hear you.

RANDALL ROBINSON: Because the South African foreign minister had called me from India Mid-afternoon on Sunday and she asked how I was doing and I thought I was going to be doing much better, and I told her so. And I said because I'm sure that president Aristide has arrived in South Africa. She said no, he hasn't arrived here. We haven't heard anything from him. We don't know where he is and then we became really alarmed. She said there's been no request for asylum. So, you see, the State Department is telling an interested public, including members of the congress, that South Africa refused asylum. The State Department knows better. They know that President Aristide was not allowed to request asylum from South Africa or anybody else because he was not allowed to make any phone calls before they left Haiti, during the flight, and beyond.

AMY GOODMAN: Anything else you would like to add from your conversation with president Aristide on this smuggled phone that he got hold of after many hours incommunicado and now saying he believes he is in the central African republic with the first lady of Haiti, Mildred Aristide?

RANDALL ROBINSON: The phrase that he used several times and asked of me to find a way to tell the Haitian people, he said tell the world it's a coup, it's a coup, it's a coup.
Given Aristide's apparent 'ego' problems, ie, turning a democracy into a dictatorship, using state funds for himself and not for the people, destroying democratic institutions in order to retain power, making deals to enrich himself with drug smugglers, etc, it is possible someone close to him is in fact saying these things now. But it sounds more like a 'face-saving' ploy than anything else. I'm sure its difficult for such a man to accept such utter failure and rejection.

Its also a little odd that given the mess he created in Haiti and the plight they are in today, that this rumour becomes the focus of someone's attention.

It is more than likely that his rescuers were concerned for his life, as well as their own, and he didn't like being told what to do. He's probably upset there were no 'red carpets' waiting for him is likely closer to the truth. No matter what anyone tells you, it is GOOD that he is gone.

So in light of Haiti, and the desperation of Haitians, WHO GIVES A DAMN about Aristide.

This smacks of political wrangling against the administration once again, something which is getting old now. I'd take Colin Powell's word, and his knowledge, over Ms Water's any day of the week.

Ms Water's is still trying to cover up the fact that she endorsed this creep in the first place. She'd probably have him back in office tomorrow re-abusing his people, if she could! Its Ridiculous.
Why outsiders and insiders who are well aware of Bush's policy on Haiti hate Aristide? Because Aristide's government, while economically aligned on certain point with US global agenda, does not represent the full aspiration of a US installed puppet regime varnished by a democratic process of facade. Aristide's government is not palatable to Washington for several reasons. Haiti has relations with Cuba. Aristide has refused to abandon certain social projects. His government has stalled certain privatization projects. But first and foremost, Aristide is popularly elected and does not owe its power to Washington's benediction and financial support. Aristide's first election has already sparked a wave of leftist take over through elections: Peru, Venezuela, Brazil etc. These developments are at odds with US plans to install puppet regimes with democratic facades to replace cold war era strong man and military regimes!!! Let's condemn the well-detailed plan the US has for Haiti. It is not fair to put all the blame on Aristide.
Whether the President stay in power or not, the bloodshed and chaos will continue. Lavalasyens will continue to fight with the rebels MORE lives will be lost. We haven't seen anything yet. Wait until next week. This is the beginning of the end. If the rebels take over, they will start fighting each other for power, I know that for sure...We are miserably failing our true ancestors Boukman and Toussaint-L'Ouverture who won us physical freedom 200 years ago. Most Haitians and Black people worldwide don't really look into the fact that mental slavery plays a big part in our problems. As long as we deny our archaic tradition (Vodou), we will continuously be fighting and Haiti and the Black race will go nowhere. God bless the people who are committed to "democracy". God bless Haiti!


[This message was edited by Afroman on March 01, 2004 at 01:08 PM.]
I just saw Colin Powell give a press conference where he emphatically denied the abduction allegations. He said that Aristide called the U.S. asking for help in extricating him. Powell said that the U.S. made arrangements to have Aristide flown out with his family and security detail.

Too funny - this will be interesting to see how it plays out. What is the truth???
Originally posted by DeltaJ:
How will it play out? Democrats will use this to bash Bush once again, despite there being nothing to it at all, and by this time next month it will be totally forgotten as another round of BS, and those out for bush blood will have moved on to the next 'rumor'.

So you believe it is a major conspiracy involving members of Congress, Randall Robinson and others? Wouldn't that be a rather stupid thing to do since 1) they are friends with Aristide, and 2) all it takes is a 1 minute press conference where Aristide dispels the "kidnapping" charges to dispute their claims? On the other hand, we have a history of the Bush administration taking liberty with the truth. Is it so far-fetched to conceive of them lying to the American public?
It is rather unusual that Aristide appears to have spoken to the press in CAR but apparently did not mention the "kidnapping" at the hands of the Americans.

March 1, 2004
Ousted Aristide Arrives in Africa, but Final Stop Is in Doubt

OHANNESBURG, March 1 "” Newly arrived in the impoverished Central African Republic, Haiti's ex-president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, today assailed the rebels who ousted him from power on Sunday, saying that "in overthrowing me, they have chopped down the tree of peace, but it will grow again."

The government radio in Bangui, the republic's capital, said Mr. Aristide was being accommodated only for a few days, probably until he receives permanent asylum in South Africa.

But South African officials gave mixed signals as to their willingness to take in Mr. Aristide. And domestic critics of President Thabo Mbeki, one of Mr. Aristide's few international supporters, excoriated the government for even considering it.

Mr. Aristide's aircraft landed shortly after dawn in Bangui after a 13-hour overnight trip from Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital and largest city.

In a brief radio statement after his arrival, Mr. Aristide portrayed himself as a victim of power struggles in his homeland, and predicted the return of popular rule in the tradition of Toussaint Louverture, the father of Haiti's independence movement two centuries ago.

But in Port-au-Prince, news reports said thousands of people clogged the streets to cheer triumphant rebels entering the city.

Mr. Aristide's future was unclear. In Bangui, Agence France-Presse quoted government officials as saying that he had been given temporary refuge as a humanitarian gesture in recognition of Haiti's status as the world's first black-ruled republic. But they did not say how long Mr. Aristide would be permitted to stay, or where he would go next.

It was widely reported that Mr. Aristide had already sought refuge in South Africa, but had been rebuffed for fear of the political consequences.

Today South African officials said Mr. Aristide had made no formal request for asylum in South Africa, and gave no clear signal of whether such a request would be granted were it to be made.

At a midday news conference. South Africa's deputy foreign minister, Aziz Pahad, said that the foreign minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was discussing asylum, and that "in principle, we would have no problem" in granting Mr. Aristide refuge.

But a foreign ministry spokesman, Ronnie Mamoepa, later insisted that no preliminary decision on granting asylum to Mr. Aristide had been made, and that any final decision would turn on discussions among President Mbeki's cabinet, Haiti's neighbors and key Western powers like France and the United States.

In fact, domestic politics may play a key role in South Africa's decision to admit Mr. Aristide.

A nationwide election to Parliament and local government seats is barely 45 days away, and a quick decision to grant refuge to Mr. Aristide could bolster opposition politicians' charges that Mr. Mbeki has a soft spot for internationally shunned dictators.

Mr. Mbeki is already under sustained attack for his friendship with Robert Mugabe, the autocratic Zimbabwean leader who is accused of plunging his nation into privation and repressive rule. Reports last week, relying on Iraqi newspapers' publication of documents recovered from state archives, tied Mr. Mbeki's ruling African National Congress to potentially illicit oil deals with Iraq in 2001.

African National Congress officials have denied wrongdoing, but have yet to rebut the accusations or to deny that they traveled to Baghdad at the time the oil deals were struck.

Today opposition political parties seized on rumors that Mr. Aristide might end up in South Africa to accuse the government of debasing the nation's human rights record.

"Mr. Mbeki's best friends are people like Mugabe and Tariq Aziz and Saddam Hussein," said William Gibson, the chief parliamentary whip for the Democratic Alliance, South Africa's second-ranking party.

"For God's sake "” can't we find some friends who will do some foreign investment in South Africa so we can create jobs for the eight million people who are unemployed?"

Mr. Gibson said that France, the United States or Canada should be willing to give Mr. Aristide refuge "” and that if they were not willing, South Africa had no more compelling reason to grant him asylum.

The Democratic Alliance, a new political party that portrays itself as battling a corrupt and entrenched government, said that Mr. Mbeki's friendships with autocrats were devaluing South Africa's international standing.

Almost alone among global leaders, Mr. Mbeki has been close to Mr. Aristide, donating roughly $1.5 million in South African currency to underwrite Haiti's bicentennial celebration during two months ago.

Mr. Mbeki later attended the festivities in Port-au-Price, accompanied by a security contingent that included a helicopter, a South African warship and a squadron of guards.

The visit turned into an embarrassment when anti-Aristide forces rioted and a gun battle broke out during the celebrations, forcing Mr. Mbeki to leave.

Another visit in rural haiti was canceled when a South African helicopter was fired on during a security sweep in advance of the South African president's arrival.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
MBM, "history or truth" is the propaganda of the victors! The western Media has been printing fallacious and negative articles about each and every Haitian president since 1804 due to racism and Haiti' stance on Independence. In the US 95% of the articles concerning Haiti & Haitians are sided and bias. This is the reality of this gigantic and powerful medium of information called " Western Media". So, let's put our emotion aside and act rational: the democratically elected president was kidnapped by U.S marines!!! Check out for the facts! Aristide was kidnapped at least he wasnt killed...

I agree with you Afroman. Let's look at the facts of this situation. A few days ago it was reported that Aristide had signed an agreement to share power with the opposition, then he is said to have signed his resignation, as of yesterday he has left Haiti. He came out with a statement just before he all of this kicked off saying that he would not concede to the demands of thugs. So what has happened in the last few days? Now Randall Robinson gets on CNN and says that Aristide has been kidnapped. Just before this, Colin Powell a West Indian himself, alledgely sends a message to Aristide saying that the opposition is going to take over his palace and the U.S. wasn't going to do anything to stop it. I must say when I heard that he was gone from Haiti, I thought for sure that he had been 'liquidated' like Lumumba. So I ask the question, what in the world is going on in Haiti and what do the French and U.S. have up their sleeves? Is this the way for the U.S. to make nice to France because Haitians were trying to get back the billions of dollars paid in restitution to France and French citizens 200 years after the overthrow of French rule in Haiti?
Time will tell.....
Yes Ysyss, The KEY thing that shows that the US was behind the coup is that the state department allows the rebels who are well know killers to roam the street of Haiti while the freely elected president is out of the country. You cannot take one out because of your business interest while you allow the other to reign freely on the soil that they have damped with bloods. Powel, the house nigger said that the US went to action when he thought it was necessary. Bullshit!! The US could not negotiate with Aristide because his government is "corrupted" but is willing to negotiate with known killers. This is scandal!

MBM, it may seem unusual at first but once we consider he was still not clear as to where they were taking him or where his final destination would be it is easier to understand why he never mention the kidnapping in the first news conference, he had no idea who was who. Both sides could be telling the truth here, Aristide may have asked for help, but when help arrived it did not announce itself as the help he asked for but just ordered him and his family to get up and prepare to be moved out of Haiti.
Faheem, the sad thing is that the people who believe that they have UN forces backing are always STUPID because in the end, the UN forces (led by the US) ALWAYS stabs them in the back when they're no longer useful. Amerikkkans run the world. They install and remove presidents as they see fit everywhere they go! I'm hoping that one day, even if it's 1000 years from now, Black leaders will be alert to their own stupidity and personal goals before they act!

A few questions to ponder about this current situation in Haiti.

1. How was the opposition funded after the Duvalier Death Squad leaders were put out of Haiti? They seem to have an abundant supply of guns and other weaponry even after the military had been disbanded for the last 8 years.
2.Who has something to gain from the dissolvement of Haiti? Could it be the upper class Haitians, their French relatives, GWB or all of the above.
3. Why if the U.S. was trying to aid Haiti did they a) place an embargo on Haiti since the reinstatement of Aristide b) restrict Haitians from coming to the U.S. since the time of Aristide's reinstatement c) flatly refuse to admit any Haitians into the U.S. in light of the current situation there? President Bush said he would not allow any more Haitians into the U.S. One must ponder why this is the case also.
Hell, lets get to the REAL question for pondering. Why does voodoo seek to invoke dead bodies into walking around?

So, gw sold guns to 'someone' in Haiti, kidnapped Aristide to help French relatives, and tries to discourage thousands of people from tying together little rafts from scraps of wood and taking their chances crossing shark infested waters, or worse yet, paying some 'coyotes' to smuggle them by packing them like sardines into tiny recesses beneath ships, and hoping they dont' get crushed or murdered along the way.

And all this means what again? Oh of course, the whole thing is GWB fault. Naturally, how silly to think otherwise.
GW made a comment the other day I found interesting. "He was disappointed at what Aristide had not accomplished".
How can we give aid to someone and not have a clue to progress being made? For me GW and the UN acted mighty quick to pass a resolution; the UN to try to save some face and GW to garner more votes as a man for all people.
I don't think he was kidnapped but urge rather strongly to get on the plane and keep his mouth shut.
Why is it when a leader resigns or is overthrown we never offer political asylum here ???


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