No return of the Army, no coup makers in the government
Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:29 pm
Haiti - no return of the Army, no coup makers in the government
Haiti Support Group
According to the AFP, opposition leader, Evans Paul, said the Democratic Platform is meeting with the armed opposition of Guy Philippe, Jean Tatoune and Louis Jodel Chamblain today, Monday morning, in Port-au-Prince. Opposition leader, Micha Gaillard, said there have already been contacts through intermediaries. Opposition leader, André Apaid, said, "The insurgents must be part of the solution because, after all, they are Haitians"
Interviewed by the BBC World Service yesterday, 29 February, Guy Philippe was asked if he expected his armed force to be part of the new government. He replied: "I don't 'expect' it. I know that we will be part of it."
Interviewed by The Miami Herald on Saturday 28 February, Philippe said that the man he most admi
res is former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet. "Pinochet made Chile what it is,'' gushed Phillipe. Number 2 on his list is former US President Ronald Reagan.
On many occasions, the armed opposition's spokespeople have made it clear they want to re-instate the Haitian Army. Some of them say it already exists - de facto. André Apaid has on several occasions intimated that he favours the return of the Army.
Jean Tatoune and Louis Jodel Chamblain are convicted killers, leaders of the FRAPH death-squad of 1993-94.
Guy Philippe, a former Army officer, was trained by the US in Ecuador and given a top post in the new Haitian Police Force. According to Human Rights Watch, between 1997 to 1999, he served as police chief for Delmas, on the north side of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. During his tenure there, the UN/OAS International Civilian Mission learned that dozens of suspected gang members were summarily executed, mainly by police under the command of Inspector Berthony B
azile, Philippe's deputy.
Ever since its creation during the US occupation (1915-34), the Haitian Army's primary roles have been to defend the country's tiny and reactionary economic elite and to repress movements for progressive political change. We fully expect a reborn Haitian Army to play exactly the same role.
For this reason, the Haiti Support Group - a solidarity organisation that has supported the Haitian people's struggle for justice, human rights, equitable development and participatory democracy since 1992 - cannot accept that a reborn Haitian Army will serve the best interests of the Haitian majority.
See the Haiti Support Group web site:
Solidarity with the Haitian people's struggle for justice, participatory democracy and equitable development, since 1992.