Marine battle group closes in on Haiti
Wednesday 06 July 1994
Senior US officials say they want to see if tougher sanctions work before landing troops on the island. But President Bill Clinton may find his hand is being forced by the flood of Haitians now trying to reach Florida by boat.
'We're not announcing an invasion today,' a senior member of the administration said at the White House yesterday. A naval spokesman said the fleet would set sail today. The US is trying to find safe havens for fleeing Haitians in parts of the Caribbean other than the US.
The US Coast Guard vessels, which ring Haiti, say they picked up 3,247 Haitians in 70 boats on Monday, twice as high as on any previous day. The current surge in the numbers fleeing started on 16 June when Mr Clinton, under pressure from black leaders at home, made it easier for Haitians to obtain political asylum in the US.
The increased number of Haitians starting the 600-mile journey to Florida on board flimsy wooden boats - 10,000 have been picked up in the past 11 days - has led to some serious accidents. On Monday 150 people drowned when their boat overturned off the Haitian coast.
The US has persuaded Panama, Dominica and Antigua to open refugee camps where Haitians will be allowed to stay. The administration said yesterday that none of the refugees now setting sail - as many as 100,000 according to diplomats - will ever be allowed to enter the US. The danger for Mr Clinton is that this will be denounced as racist by black politicians, who point out that white Cubans sailing for the US are automatically given political asylum. A hunger strike in April by the black activist Randall Robinson led to Haitians being given a hearing by immigration officials.
The amphibious force led by the Inchon could form the advance guard of an invasion fleet. A Pentagon spokesman said yesterday it will 'provide the capability to evacuate American citizens and designated foreign individuals as necessary'. In addition to the 2,000 marines, the force has a tank-landing ship. Before the crisis there were some 6,000 Americans living in Haiti.
The prime aim of sending a battle group now is probably to increase the psychological pressure on Lieutenant-General Raoul Cedras, the Haitian army commander. Although he may feel compelled to order an intervention Mr Clinton would prefer to see the military leaders depart peacefully. In contrast to last year, when the Pentagon and CIA opposed military action in support of Fr Aristide, Washington is now much more united on getting rid of the Haitian junta.
MIAMI - A federal judge has awarded dollars 41m ( pounds 27m) in damages to six political activists who sued the former Haitian dictator, General Prosper Avril, for torturing them and other opponents in the late Eighties, Reuter reports.
The US District Judge, Wilkie Ferguson, issued the award in the lawsuit filed in 1991 by the mayor of Port-au- Prince, Evans Paul, and former opponents of General Avril. The general returned to Haiti from the US after losing the first phase of the lawsuit.
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Black Friday UK: The shops hit by chaos and violence as shopping frenzy sweeps country
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Russell Brand: 'Katy Perry? I don’t know who that is'
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...
£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...
£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...
£60k - 80k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...