DemocracyNow.org – A new exposé on Haiti reveals how the United States led a vast international campaign to prevent former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from returning to his country while he was exiled in South Africa. It’s part of a series of reports by The Nation magazine and the Haitian weekly Haïti Liberté that draw from almost 2,000 U.S. diplomatic cables on Haiti released by WikiLeaks. The cables show that high-level U.S. and U.N. officials coordinated a politically motivated prosecution of Aristide to prevent him from “gaining more traction with the Haitian population and returning to Haiti.” The United States and its allies allegedly poured tens of millions of dollars into unsuccessful efforts to slander Aristide as a drug trafficker, human rights violator, and heretical practitioner of voodoo. Another recent exposé based on the cables details how Haiti’s unelected de facto authorities worked alongside foreign officials to integrate at least 400 ex-army paramilitaries into the country’s police force throughout 2004 and 2005. The WikiLeaks cables reveal just how closely Washington and the United Nations oversaw the formation of Haiti’s new police force and signed off on the integration of paramilitaries who had previously targeted Haiti’s poor majority and democratically elected governments. Democracy Now! interviews Haïti Liberté editor Kim Ives, whose latest article for TheNation.com is “WikiLeaks Haiti: The Aristide Files.”
For the complete transcript, to download the podcast, or for Democracy Now!’s special report on the return of Aristide to Haiti, visit http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/11/haiti_wikileaks_cables_expose_how_us
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