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25568: (news) Chamberlain: Haiti-U.S. Ambassador (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
By LEONARDO ALDRIDGE
PORT-AU-PRINCE, July 4 (AP) -- The U.S. ambassador to Haiti said
continuing political violence against civilians in the Caribbean country
amounts to "terrorism."
U.S. Ambassador James Foley, in a speech delivered Sunday and
distributed Monday, criticized recent kidnappings, killings and a June 1
attack on a marketplace that left seven dead, but he stopped short of
blaming any particular group.
"Today in Haiti they are burning houses, they are burning stores, they
are attacking means of transportation and communication links. They are
kidnapping people of all social classes. They are assassinating, torturing
and raping," Foley said in the Independence Day speech, delivered at the
U.S. Embassy. "All of this has a name: The use of violence against
civilians for political purposes is the very definition of terrorism."
Foley added that in Haiti, "There are certainly criminal and shadowy
elements who have aligned with the political masterminds and whose
participation only makes the political aims all the more illegitimate. But,
for the most part, we know what is involved and who is involved." He did
Most of the violence in Haiti is blamed on well-armed street gangs loyal
to ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who fled the country amid a
February 2004 revolt. Aristide supporters allege their members have been
the victims of killings and other atrocities at the hands of Haiti's
More than 700 people have been killed since September, when Aristide
supporters stepped up calls for his return from exile in South Africa.
Foley urged Haitians to register for elections in October and November,
that will replace the interim government that took over following
So far, just 200,000 of Haiti's 4.5 million eligible voters -- less than
5 percent -- have registered, with about a month left until registration