Friday, March 7, 2014

Montreal mayor Coderre refuses to answer questions about Haiti coup

After 10 years of enthusiastic support for ouster of democratic government, former Liberal MP isn't talking

Upon his visit to Montreal last week, prominent Haitian lawyer Mario Joseph accused Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre of lying to the Canadian people. Coderre has denied the accusations, dismissed Joseph's request for an apology, and refused to answer questions about his role in Haiti.

In a Canadian Press article which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Sun, and various other newspapers across the country, Joseph was quoted as saying: "We can't discuss Canada's harmful role without explaining to you the just-as-harmful role of Mr. Denis Coderre and his lies to the Canadian people."

Joseph was referring to the fact that in February of 2004, Coderre had told the press that Canada's position was to keep elected President Aristide in office as an armed rebellion attacked government offices and moved toward Port-au-Prince, the capital. "We think Aristide must remain in place," Coderre told journalists on February 19th.

However, the Canadian position changed dramatically on February 29, when Canadian armed forces assisted the US military in kidnapping President Aristide, flying him out of the country, at which point he was exiled for several years. Contrary to his claims on the 19th, the Canadian government had begun planning the invasion at least nine days prior to Coderre's statement.

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