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Mon, 02.23.2004

American Marines Land in Haiti

*On this date in 2004, Fifty U.S. Marines were headed to Haiti to protect their American Embassy and diplomats.

This occurred at Cap-Haitien, Haiti, after rebels overran Haiti's second-largest city and began detaining supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Western diplomats said the Marines were requested after rebels threatened to attack the capital, Port-au-Prince. Two police stations outside Port-au-Prince were attacked the day before (shown), and Aristide supporters began building barricades to protect the city.

The Marines sent an Anti-Terrorist Security Team of troops trained in anti-terrorism techniques. The team is used to secure embassies and other facilities or ships. In Cap-Haitien, the rebels celebrated their most significant victory as supposed Aristide militants were seized. America blames Aristide for the crisis and has not sent troops to restore order. The Haitian opposition coalition Democratic Platform insisted any plan must include Aristide's resignation.

Aristide accepted the plan but indicated he would not negotiate with the soldiers who had ousted him in 1991.

Reference:

NPR.org

CBC.ca

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