The day Canada and France said Jean-Bertrand Aristide "must go"

2014 is not a leap year. So, that means 28 days are all we will have. Still, while the date February 29 will not come around again for another two years, this man-made measurement of time cannot postpone the 10th anniversary of the overthrowing of the Aristide administration.


As chronicled in part 1 of a 3 part series by writer Yves Engler for the newsletter Dissent Voice, the government of Canada's Jean Chrétien, the then Prime Minister, organized an initiative to which French, Canadian and American officials were invited. The object of the "Ottawa Initiative on Haiti" was to have the country's democratically elected President ousted so the army could be reinstated and the country put under a trusteeship by the United Nations, much like that for Kosovo.

While at the time the meeting was reported on, the year and one month that followed, in which Jean-Bertrand Arisitide and many other officials had been the victims of a coup, saw no mention of the meeting in the press and no indication that the matter was even being investigated.

To make the matter increasingly alarming, whispers of subsequent meetings, including one attended by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell have circulated, but requests made to view meeting documents have led to the offering of heavily abridged and redacted files.

Today, the UN presence in Haiti is still alive and well, the need for the troops present seemingly refreshed by the 2010 earthquake. Meanwhile, the country still fights for the democracy, if not the independence it has always sought.

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Read more: jean-bertrand aristide, canada, Coup D'Etat, France, Exile, Politics

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