Haiti: Developments and U.S. Policy Since 1991 and Current Congressional Concerns [Updated May 4, 2006]   [open pdf - 177KB]

"Following elections that were widely heralded as the first free and fair elections in Haiti's then-186-year history, Jean-Bertrand Aristide first became Haitian President in February 1991. He was overthrown by a military coup in September 1991. For over three years, the military regime resisted international demands that Aristide be restored to office. In September 1994, after a U.S. military intervention had been launched, the military regime agreed to Aristide's return, the immediate, unopposed entry of U.S. troops, and the resignation of its leadership. President Aristide returned to Haiti in October 1994, under the protection of some 20,000 U.S. troops, and soon disbanded the Haitian army. U.S. aid helped train a professional, civilian police force. Critics charged Aristide with politicizing that force and engaging in corrupt practices Elections held under Aristide and his successor, Rene Preval (1996-2000), including the one in which Aristide was reelected in 2000, were marred by alleged irregularities, low voter turnout, and opposition boycotts. Efforts to negotiate a resolution to the electoral dispute frustrated the international community for years. Tension and violence continued throughout Aristide's second term, culminating in his departure from office in February 2004, after the opposition repeatedly refused to negotiate a political solution and armed groups took control of over half the country. Aristide claimed that he was still the elected president and that the United States forced him from office, a charge the Bush Administration denies."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32294
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