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Commentary :: International
BTL:Haitian President Aristide Demands U.S. Investigate...
12 Mar 2004
Modified: 05:02:25 AM
...White House Complicity in Coup Against His Government* Interview with Ira Kurzban, lawyer representing Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Haitian President Aristide Demands U.S. Investigate White House Complicity in Coup Against His Government

Interview with Ira Kurzban, lawyer representing Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, conducted by Scott Harris

Speaking from exile in the Central African Republic, deposed Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide charged that he was the victim of a political kidnapping carried out by members of the United States military in the early morning hours of Feb. 29. In a press conference held on March 8, Aristide urged his supporters to peacefully resist what he described as a coup d'etat driven by the Bush administration.

In Haiti's capital, Port-Au-Prince, both supporters and opponents of Aristide have held demonstrations. During a protest rally organized by opposition groups held on March 7, gunmen opened fire, killing six people and wounding 30. U.S. Marines who have been deployed throughout the country, along with French and Canadian troops, returned fire, killing one person. Amid the violence, an interim president, Boniface Alexandre was sworn into office, while a seven-member council is preparing to appoint a prime minister.

President Aristide, through his counsel, has invoked the international treaty against kidnapping and called upon U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate and prosecute government officials involved in the abduction of the Haitian president and his wife, a U.S. citizen. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Ira Kurzban, an attorney who has represented the government of Haiti and President Aristide since 1991. Kurzban discusses the circumstances under which Aristide was overthrown and his call for an international investigation and prosecution of those responsible.

For more information, contact the Center for Constitutional Rights at (212) 614-6464 or visit their website at

Related links

Council on Hemispheric Affairs at (202) 216-9261

Haiti Progres, Haitian newspaper, in English, French and Creole

"Letter from Ira J. Kurzban, Esq., to Ms. Lydia Polgreen of the New York Times," March 7, 2004

"Haiti Coverage: Mainstream Media Fails Itself," by Peter Phillips, Common, March 4, 2004

"Was Aristide Forced Out?" The Jamaica Gleaner/Kingston, Jamaica, March 4, 2004

"Haitian President Charges U.S. Military Kidnapped Him in Support of White House-Backed Coup", Between The Lines interview with Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights, Week Ending 3/12/04 Background on Haiti

"Year 501: The Tragedy of Haiti, by Noam Chomsky,, 1993

"Background on Haiti: Some Questions and Answers," by Mary Turck, by, Feb. 24, 2004

"Throttled by History," by Gary Younge, The Guardian/UK, Feb. 23, 2004

"U.S. Fails to Act as Death Squads Vow to Overthrow Government of Haitian President Aristide," Between The Lines interview with Larry Birns, executive director of Council on Hemispheric Affairs, conducted by Scott Harris, week ending March 5, 2004

"Armed Rebellion Attempts to Oust Haitian President," Between The Lines interview with Kim Ives, Haiti Progres editor, conducted by Scott Harris, week ending Feb. 20, 2004

"U.S. Hostility Will Be Major Challenge to Returning Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide," Between The Lines interview with Kim Ives, Haiti Progres editor, conducted by Scott Harris, Jan. 5, 2001.

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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©2004 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.

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