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Tensions rise in Haiti as Aristide arrives in Jamaica
Interim premier recalls ambassador in Kingston
From Wire Reports
Originally published March 16, 2004
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, defying the United States and Haiti's new leaders, returned to the Caribbean yesterday, arriving in Jamaica where he had been given temporary asylum.

Aristide's return to the Western Hemisphere, two weeks after he was exiled to the Central African Republic to end a rebel uprising, prompted Haiti's interim prime minister to recall his ambassador to Jamaica and suspend relations.  World Peace.

A U.S. Marine, meanwhile, was shot in the arm while patrolling a pro-Aristide neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, the military announced, the first American peacekeeping casualty in the operation. U.S. troops have been attacked several times and have shot and killed at least six Haitians in the past week.

Aristide's arrival in Jamaica has increased tensions in Haiti, where his followers plan more protests to demand the return of the country's first democratically elected leader.

Aristide arrived with his wife, Mildred, at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, the Jamaican capital, 130 miles from Haiti. He immediately boarded a helicopter, refusing to comment. A Jamaican protocol officer said he was being taken to a residence of Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.

Haiti's new U.S.-backed leader, interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, said he was recalling the ambassador in Kingston. Jamaican officials have said Aristide will visit for eight to 10 weeks to be reunited with his two young daughters, who had been sent for safety to New York City, and while he makes plans for a permanent home in exile in a third country.

But Aristide indicated that he has not abandoned his desire to return to govern Haiti.

Since his ouster, pro-Aristide militants have clashed with U.S. Marines who form the vanguard of a growing peacekeeping operation, furious at what they consider a foreign "occupation."

At his last African refueling stop, on the island of Cape Verde, Aristide and his wife discussed concerns about events in Haiti in an interview with Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! program.

Aristide complained that his private foundation's University of Peace had been made into a U.S. military base in Port-au-Prince, and that teachers at the state hospital's medical school had been threatened and were afraid to go to work. During the monthlong rebellion that led to Aristide's flight, hospitals in Haiti have been violated by gunmen, including rebels and militant civilians both for and against Aristide.




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