Saturday, February 6, 2010

US Military Vows Indefinite Stay in Haiti

American soldiers move up a street in Port-au-Prince.
American soldiers move up a street in Port-au-Prince.
Amid allegations that the US is using Haiti's earthquake to occupy the country, Washington says its military forces would stay in the Caribbean nation as long as needed.

"We are in Haiti as long as we are needed," US Army Colonel Gregory Kane, the director of US Joint Task Force Haiti operations, said on Saturday.

This is while Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive had earlier announced that it would take about 10 years to reconstruct the country devastated by the quake.

On January 12, a deadly quake struck the capital city of Port-au-Prince, killing an estimated 212,000 people and leaving more than one million homeless.

The US has deployed 20,000 troops to the impoverished Caribbean nation to take over command of the distribution of humanitarian aid.

The Pentagon has sent one of its biggest aircraft carriers to Haiti, along with other navy and coast guard vessels.

However, the presence of the US military has infuriated some Latin American countries including, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba and Ecuador.

In the latest criticism last week, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa had blasted the aid 'imperialism' arriving in Port-au-Prince.

"In this (aid), there is also much imperialism, donor imperialism, donate first, but recover in military ways through NGOs," according to Correa.

Meanwhile, President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and President Evo Morales of Bolivia also accused the US of seeking to occupy the country.

Washington, in the past, has been accused of interfering in Haitian internal affairs on many occasions. The US military played a role in the departure of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide before his second term was over in early 2004. Aristide described his departure as kidnapping.

Haiti was occupied by US Marines for nearly 20 years from 1915 to 1934. Former US president Bill Clinton sent troops to Haiti in 1994.


Source: PressTV

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