Pressure builds up for US invasion of Haiti

WASHINGTON - A surge in refugees fleeing repression and economic misery in Haiti is forcing the Clinton administration to accelerate its consideration of a military invasion of that country, writes David Usborne. As many as 1,000 are leaving the country by boat every day and being intercepted by the US Coast Guard.

The renewed exodus has apparently been prompted by the US resuming screening of asylum-seekers at sea and at mid-stations in Guantanamo Bay and the Turks and Caicos Islands before sending them back to Haiti. Since then 5,000 Haitians have been picked up - more than in all of last year.

Though military action does not appear imminent, Washington sources have confirmed that renewed attention is being given to the option. President Clinton and his top foreign policy advisers held an emergency meeting to consider the renewed crisis on Friday.

'We're seized by the refugee surge and this has accelerated the discussion of other options,' a senior administration official was quoted as saying yesterday. 'We've not reached that fork in the road where a decision (for military action) would be required.'

The President has consistently said invasion of the country is an option. Opinion polls in the US last week suggested growing public support for such an intervention as the only way of removing the military regime led by Lieutenant- General Raoul Cedras.

The deepening of the crisis coincides with the first anniversary today of the signing of the UN-brokered Governor's Island Accord that was meant to see the reinstatement of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, overthrown in a military coup in September 1991. The agreement collapsed last October.

The sudden wave of refugees forced the US last week to reopen Guantanamo Bay, its military base on the tip of Cuba, to receive Haitians and become a centre for processing them. A tent city was rapidly erected on a concrete airstrip on the base. In the past few days 30 per cent of those interviewed have been given refugee status, officials said.

Guantanamo could receive up to 12,500 refugees but no more. Officials warned that at the current rate, the base could be overflowing before the end of this month. Washington is also stirred by reports of increasing political repression. Up to 30 people are thought to have drowned on Thursday after police opened fire on their vessel as they attempted to set sail.

News
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVBain and Armstrong have presented their unique view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Sport
footballCity manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Sport
Enner Valencia

This time last year, Enner Valencia was playing for his first professional club in Ecuador, in the process of building a career that began in the far northern reaches of the country, near the border with Colombia. In the last 10 months his life has changed beyond recognition, via Mexico, Brazil and now east London, a good story of football’s extraordinary power to propel a young man to great heights.

Arts and Entertainment
A top literary agent has compared online giant Amazon to Isis
arts + entsAndrew Wylie has pulled no punches in criticism of Amazon
Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Sport
Dusan Tadic celebrates his goal with Graziano Pelle during Southampton’s rout of Sunderland

What has impressed me so much about Southampton is that at the heart of the club there is clearly a vision and a structure around which everyone, and everything, works. It dictates who they sign, how they play and how they develop young footballers.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile Developer (.NET / C# / Jason / Jquery / SOA)

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes