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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights : Globalization & Capitalism : Government & Elections

Bombs Not Food

2 months before the US funded coup that ousted Aristide in Haiti, the humanitarian crisis there had reached a new level of despair, exacerbated by policies of the Bush administration, and Donald Rumsfeld was abroad, offering aid to distant Azerbaijan.

In sharp contrast to the 3 million dollars made available to the Stalinist regime of playboy Ilham Aliyev, $500,000 of humanitarian relief promised to Haiti was delayed for 4 years. Accounts contemporary to the anti-Aristide coup early this year consistently fail to explain why.

Rumsfeld Discusses Tighter Military Ties With Azerbaijan

Washington Post

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 3, 2003
-- Visiting this small, oil-producing country, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld expressed thanks Wednesday for its assistance in the war on terrorism and discussed deeper U.S. involvement, including help in intensifying Azeri patrols of the Caspian Sea and the possible use of Azeri bases for U.S. military operations.
The Pentagon leader dodged questions about October's disputed election of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, who succeeded his ailing father, Heydar, amid evidence of voting irregularities cited by international observers and the U.S. State Department.
The reasons given for withholding aid to Haiti were irregularities in the election of 2000. 10 Lavalas candidiates were granted victories in cases where a run-off election was technically required to insure that they had been approved by a majority. Given the difficulties of holding an election at all in Haiti, the second round of elections was bypassed. When challenged, the Lavalas candidates stepped aside, and this should have been more than adequate to assuage any objections by the US. The Bush administration continued to use this illegitimate excuse to withhold funds already promised to Haiti for emergency relief.

The humanitarian emergency in war torn Haiti worsened with unprecedented storms that exacerbated the humanitarian crisis and haiti continued to be ignored.

Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld visited Azerbaijan to congratulate newly elected Ilham Aliyev, who had succeded his father, a former KGB agent.

The election was disputed by numerous human rights groups, and the February 25th report from our own State department decried it as blatantly fraudulent. It would normally be the role of the Secretary of State to greet a newly elected leader: it would have been a disgrace to do so. Thus Rumsfeld's visit..

While Rumsfeld was smiling and shaking hands with the incompetent son of Stalin's darling of the East, Secretary of State Powell was only a few hundred miles away: celebrating the "spread of Democracy" amongst our allies in the Caspian.

Interesting to see how the Bush administration seeks to spread Democracy by proping up an old style Stalinist with increased military support while neighbors just off the coast of Florida suffer and die for lack of the most minimal humanitarian aid.

David Roknich, Editor



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