News Release

* Prisoner Aristide? * Back from Central African Republic * Haiti Case Against the U.S.? * National Endowment for Destabilization?

BILL FLETCHER
President of TransAfrica Forum, Fletcher said today: “Like so many people concerned about the situation in Haiti, I am perplexed by the lack of response to the de facto imprisonment of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Though the U.S. claims that President Aristide left Haiti voluntarily, this seems to fly in the face of the difficulty which he has had communicating with the outside world, his not knowing which country he was going to until 20 minutes prior to landing, and the obstacles put in the way of his supporters visiting him in the Central African Republic. It defies credibility to believe that the problems that President and Mrs. Aristide are facing in the Central African Republic are solely the result of the views of that government. One must first ask the question: who made the arrangements for the Aristides to go to the Central African Republic in the first place?”
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KIM IVES
Editor of Haiti-Progres, Ives had a lengthy interview with Aristide while in the Central African Republic. Ives works with Haiti Support Network. He is scheduled to return to the U.S. this morning.
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BRIAN CONCANNON Jr.,
A lawyer for Aristide, Concannon is also just back from the Central African Republic today.
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IRA KURZBAN
Kurzban, a lawyer for the Aristide government, has invoked the Multilateral Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons against the U.S. government. He has served Secretary of State Colin Powell with papers asking that “the U.S. prosecute the people involved in the kidnaping of President Aristide and his wife Mildred, who is a U.S. citizen.” [For the most extensive English-language interview with Aristide as well as an interview with Kurzban, see: www.democracynow.org.]

WILLIAM BLUM
Blum’s book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, contains a chapter titled “Trojan Horse: The National Endowment for Democracy.” While some are calling for the NED to be more involved in Haiti, Blum notes that the group “has already allocated over $100,000 through the National Republican Institute and the Center for International Private Enterprise to activities in Haiti. This is not chickenfeed in a poor country like Haiti. The NED has also given far more to try to oust Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. NED was created by Congress, and virtually every penny of its funding comes from the federal government. It likes to refer to itself as an NGO because this helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad. Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, was quite candid when he said in 1991: ‘A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.’ In a multitude of ways, NED meddles in the internal affairs of foreign countries by supplying funds … to selected political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, other media, etc. NED programs equate free-market economy with democracy, reform, and growth; they also emphasize the merits of foreign investment. The NED, like the CIA before it, calls what it does supporting democracy. The governments and movements that the NED targets call it destabilization.” Blum also authored the book Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167