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Context of 'February 28, 2004: White House Blocks Additional Private Security for Aristide'

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Shortly before his ouster, Aristide contacts the US firm that provides his security, the San Francisco-based Steele Foundation, and asks for additional guards. The company—made up of former US Special Forces soldiers, intelligence officers, and other security experts—has been providing Haiti with its security services since 1998. Haiti’s contract with the firm is approved by the US State Department. But Aristide’s last minute attempt to increase his security is blocked by the White House. According to news reports, the Steele Foundation asks the US embassy in Port-au-Prince if it can rely on American protection in the event that the rebels arrive at the presidential palace. The Steele Foundation is told that no such protection would be provided. The company had earlier helped repel attacks against the presidential palace from paramilitary groups in December 2001. [Miami Herald, 3/1/2004; Democracy Now!, 3/2/2004; Associated Press, 3/2/2004]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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