Haiti: Democracy Undone
January 29, 2006
After four postponements, voters in Haiti are once again scheduled to go to the polls. The February 7 vote follows a coup almost two years ago.
In early 2004, when the government of Haiti faced a serious threat from armed
rebels who had crossed the border from the Dominican Republic, the US government
made it clear they supported the elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand
Aristide. "The policy of this Administration is not regime change," Colin Powell,
then US Secretary of State, said in testimony before a Congressional committee.
A fews weeks later Aristide was overthrown.
Haiti: Democracy Undone presents new evidence that the U.S. had one
foreign policy on Haiti but secretly carried out a very different policy -
and that those mixed signals helped tilt the country toward chaos.
The very first time Haitians elected their president was 1990. Their choice:
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a former Roman Catholic priest. But Aristide would
serve less than a year before being overthrown in a military coup. Under international
pressure, including from the US, Aristide returned to power in 1994 and served
out the rest of his term. He was elected president for a second time in 2001.
His opponents had already begun to organize.
As the rebels took more towns and cities in February 2004, Aristide turned to the international community for help. The US sent in the Marines -- to protect the US embassy. By the end of the month Aristide had fled Haiti on an airplane chartered by the US government. An interim government backed by Canada, the US and France took over in Haiti. In the months since, life has been marked by widespread violence, chaos and economic collapse.
Louis Jodel Chamblain
In Haiti: Democracy Undone, Walt Bogdanich, a reporter with The
New York Times,
investigates the 2004 coup and the US role. That coup was led by Louis Jodel
Chamblain, a former death squad leader, and Guy Philippe, a former police chief
accused of drug trafficking by the US. While the US claimed they opposed any
attempt to violently overthrow the Aristide government, Bogdanich finds that
elements of the US government were sending the political opposition a very different
message. The investigation looks at the role of the International Republican
Insitute, based in Washington. In 2004 the IRI, a non-profit organisation, received
$36,000,000 in federal funds to promote democracy abroad.
There have been earlier allegations of US support for the 2004 coup. This documentary presents new and overwhelming evidence that that was the case.
Haiti: Democracy Undone is a co-production by CBC News: Correspondent, The New York Times and Discovery Times Television. The January 29 broadcast will be the world premiere.
Correspondent/Senior Producer: WALT BOGDANICH
Producer/Writer: PETER BULL
Producer/Reporter: JENNY NORDBERG
Editor: PASCAL AKESSON
Principal Photography: ANTHONY FORMA
Additional Photography: PHIL GEYELIN JR., MARK L. CLARK, RODNEY PATTERSON,
Field Audio: NEAL GETTINGER
Additional Audio: TOM CRACA,
Graphics/Animation: DALE ROBBINS
Original Music: BEN DECTER
Archival Research: ROBBIE HELLING, YOLANDA ANDREWS, NANCY WEINSTOCK
New York Times Still Photos: ANGEL FRANCO,
Post Production Editor: BJORN BELLENBAUM
Post Production Audio: DAVID WILSON
Producers for CBC News: Correspondent: Hilary Armstrong, Jet Belgraver
Undone: Mixed US Signals Helped Tilt Haiti Toward Chaos - The New York Times, January
29, 2006. By Walt Bogdanich and Jenny Nordberg.
Haiti: A country in turmoil - CBC News Online | January 9, 2006 (Indepth feature)
Haitian elections, 2006 - Wikipedia
International Republican Institute in Haiti
The International Republican Institute: Promulgating Democracy of Another Variety - COHA, July 15 , 2004
The other regime change:
Did the Bush administration allow a network of right-wing Republicans to foment a violent coup in Haiti?
By Max Blumenthal, Salon, July 16, 2004.
2004 Ousting of Jean-Bertrand Aristide - The Center for Cooperative Research (provides a detailed timeline)
Haiti-Life Since the Coup
By Larry Birns and Jessica Leight, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, June 2005. The Afterword for the book, The Uses of Haiti
Haiti Democracy Project
Haiti Human Rights Investigation -
Center for the Study of Human Rights, November 11-21, 2004 .
The New York Times - Haiti
Discovery Times Television
- In the US, Haiti: Democracy Undone first airs on Monday,
Jan. 30 on the Discovery Times channel. Check their website for broadcast times.
NEWSWORLD BROADCAST TIMES:
Sunday, January 29 at 8:00 PM ET
Monday, January 30 at 3:00 AM ET
Thursday, February 2 at 10:00 PM ET
Friday, February 3 at 1:00 AM ET
Friday, February 3 at 4:00 AM ET