Aristide and his Democrat Friends

Clarice Feldman
Did well connected Democrats conspire with Haitian dictator Aristide to rip off Haiti? Mary Anastasia O'Grady has an intriguing report in the Wall Street Journal:
It took eight years, but on Oct. 8 I finally secured a copy of Fusion Telecommunications' 1999 contract with the Haitian telephone monopoly Teleco. By law the agreement is a public document but Fusion wouldn't give it to me until the FCC required them to do so. Now I think I know why.

Fusion is run by former Democratic Party Finance Chairman Marvin Rosen. It no longer does business in Haiti. But when it did, former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, a staunch supporter of former Haitian strongman Jean Bertrand Aristide, was on the board. So too was President Bill Clinton's former aide, Thomas "Mack" McLarty, and former Mississippi Democratic Gov. Ray Mabus. In other words, the Fusion name was synonymous with the Who's Who of the Democratic Party.

Democrats were important to Aristide. President Clinton used the U.S. military to restore him to power in 1994 after he had been deposed in a coup, in part because he was fond of inciting violence against his political opponents. Upon his return in 1994, Aristide resumed his despotic ways. Haitians begged for U.S. help but their pleas fell on deaf ears. In February 2004, Aristide was finally run out of the country.

The reaction of some Democrats, including Senator Kerry, to the Administration's assistance to Aristide's opponents always seemed to me to be hiding some back story.

"I would have been prepared to send troops immediately, period," Mr. Kerry said on Friday, expressing astonishment that President Bush, who talks of supporting democratically elected leaders, withheld any aid and then helped spirit Mr. Aristide into exile after saying the United States could not protect him

Did well connected Democrats conspire with Haitian dictator Aristide to rip off Haiti? Mary Anastasia O'Grady has an intriguing report in the Wall Street Journal:
It took eight years, but on Oct. 8 I finally secured a copy of Fusion Telecommunications' 1999 contract with the Haitian telephone monopoly Teleco. By law the agreement is a public document but Fusion wouldn't give it to me until the FCC required them to do so. Now I think I know why.

Fusion is run by former Democratic Party Finance Chairman Marvin Rosen. It no longer does business in Haiti. But when it did, former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, a staunch supporter of former Haitian strongman Jean Bertrand Aristide, was on the board. So too was President Bill Clinton's former aide, Thomas "Mack" McLarty, and former Mississippi Democratic Gov. Ray Mabus. In other words, the Fusion name was synonymous with the Who's Who of the Democratic Party.

Democrats were important to Aristide. President Clinton used the U.S. military to restore him to power in 1994 after he had been deposed in a coup, in part because he was fond of inciting violence against his political opponents. Upon his return in 1994, Aristide resumed his despotic ways. Haitians begged for U.S. help but their pleas fell on deaf ears. In February 2004, Aristide was finally run out of the country.

The reaction of some Democrats, including Senator Kerry, to the Administration's assistance to Aristide's opponents always seemed to me to be hiding some back story.

"I would have been prepared to send troops immediately, period," Mr. Kerry said on Friday, expressing astonishment that President Bush, who talks of supporting democratically elected leaders, withheld any aid and then helped spirit Mr. Aristide into exile after saying the United States could not protect him