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Context of 'March 5, 2004: Council of Sages Chosen in Haiti'

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Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide informs parliament that he will appoint Smarck Michel as the country’s new prime minister. Michel—who served briefly as Aristide’s commerce minister in 1991—owns a rice-importing business and retails gasoline. According to sources interviewed by the Washington Post, his selection “was aimed at appeasing the nation’s powerful business elite” and is viewed as a prerequisite for “winning support from foreign investors and attaining international development funds.” The Post reports, “At least two US-trained economic experts—former World Bank economist Leslie Delatour and former education minister Leslie Voltaire—had threatened not to participate in key government posts if Michel were not named prime minister.” [Washington Post, 10/25/1995]

Entity Tags: Smarck Michel, Leslie Voltaire, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Leslie Delatour

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

A Tripartite Council is formed in accordance with Organization of American States resolutions CP/Res. 861 (February 19, 2004), CP/Res. 862 (February 26, 2004) and UN resolution S/1529 (February 29, 2004). Selected to serve on the council are Leslie Voltaire, Minister of Haitians Living Abroad; Paul Denis, Democratic Convergence spokesman; and Adamo Guino, UN Resident Coordinator in Haiti. The council is charged with the task of selecting a seven-member Council of Sages (see March 4, 2004). [Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, 3/4/2004; Haiti Info, 4/6/2004]

Entity Tags: Paul Denis, Adamo Guino, Leslie Voltaire

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

A Tripartite Council (see March 4, 2004) meets and selects a seven-member Council of Sages. It chooses Lamartine Clermont, Catholic Church; Ariel Henry, Democratic Convergence; Anne-Marie Issa, director-general of Signal FM Radio; Mac Donald Jean, Anglican Church; Danielle Magliore, director of ENFOFANM; Christian Rousseau, University administrator (previously involved in opposition student protests); and Paul Emile Simon, Fanmil Lavalas (party of Aristide government). [Fire, 1999; Agence France-Presse, 1/7/2004; Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, 3/4/2004; US Department of State, 3/19/2004; Haiti Info, 4/6/2004]

Entity Tags: Mac Donald Jean, Leslie Voltaire, Paul Denis, Paul Emile Simon, Danielle Magliore, Lamartine Clermont, Christian Rousseau, Adamo Guino, Ariel Henry, Anne-Marie Issa

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Haitian Gerard Latortue is appointed Prime Minister by the seven-member Council of Sages formed under a plan approved by the United States, France and the Organization of American States (see March 5, 2004). Latortue, whose current place of residence is Boca Raton, Florida, has been living outside of Haiti for decades. [Agence France-Presse, 3/11/2004; NBC 6 (Miami), 3/11/2004; Reuters, 3/13/2004] The 69-year-old former foreign minister has worked for the UN Industrial Development Organization in Africa (1972-1994) and most recently has been working as an international business consultant in Miami. [Associated Press, 3/10/2004; NBC 6 (Miami), 3/11/2004; Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004] Hours after the appointment, US members of the international security force are fired upon by gunmen in three separate incidents while on patrol near the prime minister’s official residence. [Agence France-Presse, 3/11/2004; Associated Press, 3/11/2004]

Entity Tags: Mac Donald Jean, Danielle Magliore, Paul Emile Simon, Lamartine Clermont, Christian Rousseau, Gerard Latortue, Anne-Marie Issa, Ariel Henry

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Gerard Latortue is flown from Florida to Haiti after being appointed the day before as the country’s new prime minister (see March 9, 2004). He is sworn in on March 12 (see March 12, 2004). [Associated Press, 3/11/2004; CBS News, 3/11/2004]

Entity Tags: Gerard Latortue

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Gerard Latortue is sworn in as prime minister of Haiti “before a crowd of 200 people under heavy security,” two days after arriving in Haiti from Florida. [Associated Press, 3/13/2004]

Entity Tags: Gerard Latortue

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup


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