Monday, March 01, 2004

Aristide kidnapped 

Aristide Tells U.S. Contacts He Was Abducted

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ousted as Haitian president on Sunday, told U.S. lawmakers and other contacts by telephone on Monday that he was abducted by U.S. soldiers and left his homeland against his will.

Washington immediately denied this, saying Aristide had agreed to step down and leave his country. "It's complete nonsense," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.
Most of us know that the U.S. government isn't nearly stupid enough to do something like that. I mean, if a government abducts the leader of another country, do you think it would hand him a phone so he can tell everyone? Unfortunately, a lot of other people in the world probably believe it's standard procedure for us evil Americans.

UPDATE: The Associated Press saw a videotape of Aristide's arrival in the Central African Republic:

Government ministers greeted Aristide – who arrived appearing exhausted, but with his tie still tightly knotted – as he disembarked with his wife at the main airport in Bangui, the capital of this impoverished, coup-prone nation. The arrival was closed to the public; The Associated Press exclusively viewed an official videotape of it.
No mention of gun-toting American thugs keeping him in line, oddly enough. And he then made a radio address.

"In overthrowing me, they cut down the tree of peace," he said on state radio soon after landing. "But it will grow again, because the roots are well-planted."

Aristide thanked authorities here, and saluted Africa and its people – "because Africa is the father of us, Haitian men and women."
Funny, no mention of being abducted there, either. Together with his several phone calls, he's not doing a very good job of playing hostage. Which, obviously, he is not.

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