Haiti coup : what did really happen
This much is undeniable. After doing
absolutely nothing to prevent the coup in Haiti, both France
and the United States called on Aristide to resign.
Soon after, well armed U.S. personal flew him
to....the Central African Republic. Aristide called it a
modern kidnapping, part and parcel of the modern coup against
the only democratically elected President Haiti has ever had.
Why CAR? Why not Trinidad or Jamaica, or Venezuela or any
number of nearby countries? If Aristide was as free a man
as Colin Powell and a half dozen other senior Bush administration
officials insist, why the hell would he have wanted to go to CAR?
There's no answer to that question.
Instead, why would the United States and France,
whose leaders have cooed over their newfound spirit of "successful"
cooperation, want to force Aristide to go to CAR? For starters,
there's nothing like a 20 hour plane flight surrounded by heavily
armed guards to keep a deposed President kinda quiet for a while.
But Aristide wouldn't shut up once he got to
CAR. He told CNN he'd been kidnapped by the United States
and that France had been out to get him ever since he demanded
that France repay the 21 billion it extorted from Haiti following
Haiti was impoverished by that debt when it was
"only" 150 million francs. They were still paying it off
over 100 years later when the United States invaded in 1915. I'm
hard pressed to think of a more cut and dried case for historical
reparations. Unlike crimes of war and slavery, it's easy
to set a dollar figure on the damages. France could well
afford to pay it. But the last thing France, or any of the
colonial powers want is to set an example for paying reparations
to a former colony.