CARICOM Calls for Investigation of Aristide's Removal

March 9, 2004

On March 3, the heads of Government of CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) called for an international investigation of the facts surrounding the removal from power of the constitutional President of Haiti, Jean Betrand Aristide.

The CARICOM statement said, in part: "the circumstances under which the President demitted office set a dangerous precedent for democratically elected governments everywhere as it promotes the unconstitutional removal of duly elected persons from office. . . . These concerns were heightened by public assertions made by President Aristide that he had not demitted office voluntarily. Heads of Government called for an investigation under the auspices of the United Nations to clarify the circumstances leading to his relinquishing his Presidency."

A U.S. State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, responded to CARICOM's call for an investigation by claiming that there was nothing to investigate.