Venezuela Won’t Recognize Haiti’s New “illegitimate” Government

"The President of Haiti is called Jean-Bertrand Aristide," said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who argues that Aristide was kidnapped by US forces. Chavez invited Aristide to come to Venezuela

Caracas, March 17 ( Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced yesterday that his government will not recognize Haiti’s new government, which according to him is illegitimate because it is the product of a coup d’etat.

According to Aristide and other sources, he was forced by U.S. military personell to board a U.S. airplane which took him out of the country. The Venezuelan President has said that Aristide had called him shortly before he was flown out of Haiti, but that the conversation was mysteriously cut out, an evidence that he was being kidnapped.

“The President of Haiti is called Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and he was elected by the people,” said Chavez. He argues that had not resigned to the presidency, but was in fact kidnapped by U.S. forces.

Chavez warned U.S. government officials about not trying a similar move in Venezuela; “This is not Haiti, and I’m not Aristide,” said Chavez last week, who has criticized Washington’s financing of groups seeking to oust him. Chavez survived a coup d’etat in 2002, which according to some evidence, was supported by Washington.

Chavez congratulated Jamaican President James Percival Patterson for allowing Aristide into Jamaica in spite of US pressure.

He announced that his government would welcome President Aristide in Venezuela if he chooses to come to the country.

The President asked the Organization of American States to discuss the matter because a democratically-elected President “was kidnapped by troops from a country that preaches democracy around the world; the United States of North America”.

Haiti’s current government suspended diplomatic relations with Jamaica when that country welcomed Aristide, who flew in from the Central African Republic where he was taken by U.S. military personnel.

U.S. government officials criticized Aristide’s decision to seek refuge in Jamaica, and they have denied having anything to do with Aristide’s ouster.

The Caribbean Community regional summit will be held next week, and the fall of Aristide is among the main topics to discuss.