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Context of 'May 15, 2003: Magazine Predicts Coup in Haiti'

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Dominican police arrest five Haitians, including Arcelin Paul, the official Democratic Convergence representative in the Dominican Republic, who they believe are plotting the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s government. Also at this time, there is a US build-up along the Dominican border, where “900 US soldiers patrol jointly with the Dominican army, whom they have armed with 20,000 M16s.” Ben Dupuy, general secretary of the left-wing party PPN, tells the left-wing Haiti Progres, “There is no doubt these guys are true terrorists working with the CIA under Dominican protection.” Documentary filmmaker Kevin Pina, who has been covering Haiti for over a decade, calls this the “US funding of the Haitian ‘Contras.’” A September 2003 article in the magazine, Dollars and Sense, will comment: “Whatever we call them, there is an organized and well-funded armed group with ties to the Convergence, based in the Dominican Republic, which aims to overthrow the Aristide government. The Bush administration’s support for the Convergence and its refusal to denounce this violence, as well as the US military presence along the border, through which the ‘Manman’ army easily travels, clearly implicates the United States in this aim.” [Dollars and Sense, 9/7/2003]

Entity Tags: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Arcelin Paul, Democratic Convergence, Ben Dupuy

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup, US-Haiti (1804-2005)

May 15, 2003: Magazine Predicts Coup in Haiti

The Black Commentator magazine publishes an essay predicting a US-sponsored overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. An unnamed source in Haiti tells the magazine that Bush administration officials “want a subservient client in power when the bicentennial [festivities celebrating Haiti’s 200 years of independence] comes down.” The source adds, “They cannot control Aristide, therefore they must do as they always have in these situations, destroy him and his government by any means necessary.” [Black Commentator, 5/15/2003]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) of the Congressional Black Caucus Haiti Task Force Co-Chair introduces the TRUTH (The Responsibility to Uncover the Truth about Haiti) Act, calling for an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the circumstances of the toppling of Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s government. The bill, H.R. 3919, is co-sponsored by CBC Haiti Task Force Co-Chair John Conyers (D-MI) and 23 other members of the House. “The Bush administration’s efforts in the overthrow of a democratically-elected government must be investigated,” says Lee. “All of the evidence brought forward thus far suggests that the Administration has, in essence, carried out a form of ‘regime change,’ a different variation than it took in Iraq, but still regime change. The American people and the international community deserve to know the truth, and this bill will offer the opportunity to investigate the long term origins of the overthrow of the Haitian government and the impact of our failure to protect democracy.” The bill seeks to answer 6 specific questions. [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004; US Congress, 3/9/2004 pdf file]
bullet “Did the US Government impede democracy and contribute to the overthrow of the Aristide government?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “Under what circumstances did President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resign, and what was the role of the United States Government in bringing about his departure?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “To what extent did the US impede efforts by the international community, particularly the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, to prevent the overthrow of the democratically-elected Government of Haiti?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “What was the role of the United States in influencing decisions regarding Haiti at the United Nations Security Council and in discussions between Haiti and other countries that were willing to assist in the preservation of the democratically-elected Government of Haiti by sending security forces to Haiti?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “Was US assistance provided or were US personnel involved in supporting, directly or indirectly, the forces opposed to the government of President Aristide?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “Was US bilateral assistance channeled through nongovernmental organizations that were directly or indirectly associated with political groups actively involved in fomenting hostilities or violence toward the government of President Aristide?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

Entity Tags: Barbara Lee, John Conyers

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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