and human-rights climate deteriorates as the military and the de facto
government sanction repression, assassination, torture, and rape’
time, the Americans need our help, if not to save lives, at least to save
face and we are glad to do you a good turn for a change Uncle Sam’
October 13 1983: The Army, under the direction of the former Deputy Prime
Minister Bernard Coard, deposes of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and
establishes military rule of the smallest independent country in the
The US Administration cites the current state of martial law in Grenada
(anyone out on the streets was to be shot) and possible danger to American
students there as its reason to send some 1,900 marines to the island.
dawn on October 25, those marines, other US troops, and a small force
provided by other Caribbean nations invade the island. President Reagan
tells reporters that the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States asked
the United States to invade Grenada and restore peace and security in the
Manuel Noriega (who has ruled Panama since 1983 when he seized control of
the military as head of the National Guard manipulating elections, turning
successive presidents into his puppets) is declared President by the
Panamanian legislature on December 15, 1989.
uses his power as President to imprison and kill those who oppose him.
Corruption is widespread during Noriega’s rule and in 1987 a former
officer of the Panamanian defense force publicly accuses Noriega of
co-operating with Columbian drug producers. The US and Panama declare war.
The US administration imposes strict sanctions that take a toll on the
country. A US Marine is shot dead.
On December 20, 1989 the US administration contravenes international law
and its own government policies by invading Panama “to bring its
President Manuel Noriega to justice for drug trafficking.”
George Bush orders “Operation Just Cause”, an invasion consisting of
over 25,000 soldiers. The mission results in the loss of hundreds of
Panamanian lives and heavy damage to Panama City and El Chorillo.
US military is able to quickly achieve its goals. Noriega surrenders on
January 3, 1990 and is taken to the US.
President Aristide and General Raoul Cedras, head of the Haitian armed
forces, sign the UN-brokered Governors Island Agreement establishing a
10-step process for the restoration of constitutional government and the
return of President Aristide by October 30, 1993.
Malval is sworn in as Prime Minister on August 30, 1993. The military
derails the process. The UN re-imposes sanctions. Marvel resigns on
December 15, 1993, but continues to act as Prime Minister for 11 more
political and human-rights climate deteriorates as the military and the de
facto government sanction repression, assassination, torture, and rape in
open defiance of the international community’s condemnation. In May
1994, the military selects Supreme Court Justice Emile Jonassaint as
provisional president of its third de facto regime. Jonassaint controls
the government apparatus in Haiti, forcing President Aristide in exile and
blocking Acting Prime Minister Malval from carrying out his duties.
In August 1994 the United States takes the lead in forming a multinational
force (MNF) to carry out the UN’s mandate (authorising member states to
use all necessary means to restore constitutional rule) with military
intervention. In September, with US troops prepared to enter Haiti in a
matter of hours, President Clinton dispatches a negotiating team, led by
former President Jimmy Carter, to discuss with the de facto Haitian
leadership the terms of their departure. As a result, the MNF deploys
peacefully. Cedras and other top military leaders leave Haiti, and
restoration of the legitimate government begins, leading to Aristide’s
return on October 15.
States of America, November 7, 2000 Elections: By 2 am, the impact was
similar to that of a sharp cutlass splitting a pomegranate of many states
in exactly two parts and then again, in four. Bizarre, that in a country
of 205 million eligible voters, only about half - 98.9 million people
voted, and between them, split their votes between their two presidential
candidates, George Bush and Al Gore so almost evenly, there were demands
for a constitutional recount.
the proverbial slime hit the fan. All the electoral defects in the “big
brother” of democracy came under the world’s microscope and what a
mess! George Bush’s sliver of a win is thrown into the law courts. There
are discrepancies - ballots are counted differently in every county, the
ballots, normally a very simple piece of paper, confuse voters; expensive
computers make errors - 150,000 votes are invalidated. Five counties ask
for a recount.
in the world’s most powerful democracy, the Secretary of State of
Florida, Katherine Harris, a Republican, who openly supports George Bush,
and who upholds a state law in Florida asking for the impossible. That is
that! All hand recounts should be finished by a certain date. The one
complete recount puts George Bush ahead of Al Gore. The Democrats appeal
and say law or no law, mistakes mean the American people are being
disenfranchised. Today, Sunday, you may or may not know who the new
president is, but it’s been a long embarrassing few weeks for democracy
Call in the Election Commissioners from democracies worldwide to advise
the US on how to hold elections - led jointly by India as the largest
democracy in the world, and T&T, the most complex.
Election commissioners order an immediate re-polling. No law suits,
no Republican secretary of state, no democratic courts, uniform counting
throughout the states. This time, the Americans need our help, if not to
save lives, at least to save face and we are glad to do you a good turn
for a change Uncle Sam - after all, as we know from experience, the
American Presidency is too serious a business to be left to Americans