Aristide's Flight: A Disputed Departure

The irony did not escape Luis Moreno. In the blackness before dawn on Feb. 29, the U.S. official waited with Jean-Bertrand Aristide on the tarmac of the Port-au-Prince airport for the Haitian President's getaway plane. Moreno recalled that he had escorted Aristide on his triumphant, U.S.-backed return to Haiti 10 years earlier. When Moreno expressed regret at the turn of events, he says, the soon-to-be exiled leader replied, "Sometimes life is like that."

By the time Aristide's plane touched down in the Central African Republic, however, he was not sounding philosophical. He accused the Americans of carrying out a "geopolitical kidnapping,"...

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