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News :: DNC
Aristide and Maxine Waters Confirm that Aristide Was Kidnapped
01 Mar 2004
Rumors regarding the kidnap of Aristide are true. I suggest we begin protesting.

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.

Audio and Transcripts will be posted shortly.

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More evidence that the US staged a kidnapping.
01 Mar 2004
"He said Aristide reported that he had received a warning from U.S. officials that ``we're not going to do anything to stop these guys, and they are going to kill you.''"
Aristide's Lawyer Claims He Has Word President Was Forcefully Removed
01 Mar 2004
Another update:

MIAMI -- Two different stories are being told today about how Jean-Bertrand Aristide left Haiti.

On the one side is Rep. Maxine Waters of California, a strong supporter of Aristide and Haitian democracy, who, according to Aristide's attorney Ira Kurzban, had a cell-phone conversation with Aristide about how he left office. On the other side is the administration of George W. Bush, which reports that Aristide resigned and left of his own will.

"What the president has told Maxine Waters is that the officials from the U.S. Embassy and others came into his house, told him he that was going to be executed, told him that his wife was going to be executed and his followers were going to be executed, and he had to leave the country immediately. And that when he resisted during that, they brought in the Marines to forcibly take him out," said Aristide's lawyer, Ira Kurzban.

Local 10 has contacted Rep. Maxine Waters office and they did confirm that Waters told had such a conversation with Aristide. Kurzban also said that Aristide told Waters that he was flown around on a military plane for 20 or so hours and taken to the Central African Republic, where he is under house arrest.

Kurzban is now asking the State Department to make Aristide available in form of a news conference or press release so he can tell his story and assure supporters that he is alive.

Those in the Bush administration have said that Aristide willingly resigned.

Aristide had initially vowed to fight until his death, but apparently reconsidered his that decision after learning over the weekend that the United States would not protect him, an administration official said on condition of anonymity.

Guards from Aristide's security team, employed by the San Francisco-based Steele Foundation, asked the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince on Saturday whether they could count on American protection in the event of rebel hostilities at the presidential palace, the official said. Aristide's guards were told that no such protection would be provided, the official said.

Powell called former Rep. Ron Dellums, D-Calif., whom Aristide hired as a Washington lobbyist, the official said, and told him that the United States had no plans to protect Aristide.

At 1:30 a.m. EST Sunday, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice called President Bush to inform him that Aristide was resigning, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. Bush then called Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to authorize the deployment of the Marines.

The first group of Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., arrived Sunday night aboard an Air Force C-17 transport plane. A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Monday that the total number of Marines to be sent to Haiti had not yet been determined, but could approach 1,000.