Aristide’s so-called "Resignation" Letter

By Peter Hallward, author, Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment, 2008.
(See also "Did he Jump or was he Pushed?" and "CIDA-funded 'NGOs' Herald Aristide’s 'Departure'.")


The U.S. needed an official letter of resignation from Aristide so that they could claim legal cover for what ever action they might then find themselves ‘obliged’ to take, in keeping with a super-power’s occasional ‘responsibility to protect’ the leaders and populations of its less powerful neighbours. Without such a letter, they stood little chance of gaining rapid, i.e., automatic, UN approval for further imperial intervention.

Sometime in the early hours of February 29, Aristide put his name to a resignation letter of sorts. In early March, Aristide told journalist Kim Ives that U.S. and French embassy staff "drafted a resignation for him, which he refused to sign.... In the end, he drafted his own letter, which had a conditional clause" and which remained deliberately ambiguous.1 After trying to translate the key passage as "tonight I am resigning in order to avoid a bloodbath," the State Department was obliged to hire Kreyol expert professor Bryant Freeman to provide a more accurate translation. Freeman pointed out that Aristide’s letter never said, "I am resigning," and that its actual meaning was more evasive: "Thus, if this evening it is my resignation which can prevent a bloodbath, I agree to leave..."2

When dealing with so "momentous an event as the resignation of a President," notes lawyer Brian Concannon,

"common sense would require a clear statement that demonstrates an unequivocal and freely-made decision to resign. Instead, this letter seems closer to something written by someone who did not intend to resign, but was not free to express that intention."3


1. Amy Goodman and Kim Ives, "The Full Story of Aristide’s Kidnapping," Democracy Now! March 11, 2004.

2. Jennifer Byrd, ‘KU Prof Asked to Translate Aristide’s Statement,’ Lawrence Journal-World March 11, 2004.

3. Letter from Brian Concannon, March 27, 2007. (Byrd, Ibid.)

Source: Excerpt, "Did he jump or was he pushed?" Haiti Liberté, Oct.-Nov. 2007.

Taken for a Ride

In 2004, U.S. "soldiers and diplomats armed and provisioned a criminal aggregation of rapists, mass murderers and putschists to go into Haiti to finish what all the American NGOs and enhancers of democracy had not been able to do: to subvert the lawfully and overwhelmingly elected President of Haiti.  When the mercenaries proved unable to do that job, the U.S. itself stepped in with its Ambassador and its Marines making a predawn call on the President to inform him that if he didn’t leave the country his life was worthless. They put him on a cargo plane and rendered him to Africa. It was not only Aristide and his family who were taken for a ride. The world was conned by official propaganda, and journalistic pimps, which managed to paint a picture of the mild-mannered slum priest as a violent, corrupt demonic oppressor of his people."

Source: John Maxwell, "A Basket to Carry Water," February 26, 2006.

The above article is from Press for Conversion! magazine, Issue #63 (November 2008)
Lies without Borders:
How CIDA-funded 'NGOs' waged a propaganda war to justify Haiti’s 2004 coup"

Previous issues of this Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade publication include:
#62 "Putting the Aid in Aiding and Abetting:
CIDA's Agents of Regime Change in Haiti's 2004 Coup"

#61 "CIDA's Key Role in Haiti's 2004 Coup d’état:
Funding Regime Change, Dictatorship and Human Rights Atrocities, one Haitian 'NGO' at a Time"

#60 "A Very Canadian Coup d’état in Haiti:
The Top 10 Ways that Canada’s Government helped the 2004 Coup and its Reign of Terror"

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