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imperialism & war

US congresswoman claims US is backing coup in haiti

is US at it again? having just lauched one coup in Iraq, it now covertly backs another. it acnt claim Aristide is a terrorist, hence the covert action
MARK DAVIS: Congresswoman Waters, thanks very much for your time. The US is proclaiming its neutrality in Haiti, but you've been making some very powerful accusations against your own government. Is their neutrality plausible to you?
MAXINE WATERS, DEMOCRAT, CALIFORNIA: Well, I have been concerned about the State Department's position on Haiti for quite some time. And I've been very worried about Mr Noriega who is a former chief of staff to Mr Jesse Helms, the senator who was very, very tough and harsh on Haiti. So I've not liked what I've heard in the past but I am today a bit more optimistic. Once I got in touch with Secretary Colin Powell it appears that the statements coming out of the State Department are much more directed toward ensuring that there is no support for a coup d'etat.

MARK DAVIS: Well, the claims you made against Roger Noriega, a senior US official, were incredibly serious. You are saying that he'll be held responsible for the bloodshed that's now unfolding. It's a very serious charge, what was that charge based upon?

MAXINE WATERS: Well, the history of the senator that he worked for and the connections that he has to some of the opposition leaders in Haiti. I believe that not only is he close to some of the opposition leaders, I think that he has supported their position and what they're doing. What I was trying to do, and I continue to try to do, is to say to the State Department, "Don't make the mistake of supporting an opposition whose hands are not clean." You have to take a look at Mr Andy Apaid, the opposition leader, the one that's the head of the group 184 and understand his background and his history.

MARK DAVIS: What sort of support are you implying though? Are you suggesting that this official was supporting what you say is a coup or was given financial support from the US Government?

MAXINE WATERS: Yes, I do. As a matter of fact, when you spend time in Haiti and you understand that many of the opposition leaders, and Mr Andy Apaid, is connected to Mr Noriega and to some of the members, the conservative members of Congress, and you understand that even some of our agencies, non-government agencies, that are funded through USAID are supporting the opposition, you can't help but be concerned.

MARK DAVIS: You seem to have a very dim view of the opposition who are being painted by some people as freedom fighters. I don't think you quite see them that way. Are they interested in democracy, or is this a coup, as you are suggesting and what is the end game?

MAXINE WATERS: Well, let me suggest to you that this is a power grab. I have examined as much as I possibly could, some of the accusations that were made about President Aristide. I do not find those accusations to be true. I have not found any real support for some of the accusations that are being made. I find that, when I look at the history of Mr Andy Apaid, a man that essentially is behind this so-called opposition, I find that he's been involved in the past in supporting the coup d'etat.

MARK DAVIS: Well, in your opinion, why are there elements of the US Government covertly supporting them?

MAXINE WATERS: You have to understand the history of my own government. As you know, we occupied Haiti for many years and we have had people, members of the CIA and others, who have had their hands in Haiti business for a long time. I really do believe that some of the people who are interested in control of Haiti have made profits in Haiti. As you know, there are only a few families, the rich, rich families that are in control of all of the economics of Haiti. And these families are well connected with people who will keep them in power, both in the United States and in France.

MARK DAVIS: In the past, Aristide was broadly seen around the world as a heroic figure, but now he's just as often seen as a failed ideologue. Has he changed and is he worthy of international support?

MAXINE WATERS: Oh, by all means. President Aristide is still the same person today that was elected when he first came into office. This is a man who cares deeply about poor people. This is a man who is desirous of doing a job that will open up the opportunities and change the status quo. There's an embargo against Haiti that my own government has participated in. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are not participating there. I don't know how he's expected to be able to manage without the kind of support that those people deserve to have.

MARK DAVIS: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thanks again for joining us.

MAXINE WATERS: Well, you're very welcome.
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