Haitian Military Implicated in Drug Trade
American diplomats and other officials say that Haiti's military rulers have been working with Colombian cocaine traffickers for the past four years to help move hundreds of pounds of the drug each month from South and Central America to the United States. (Howard W. French, "U.S. Says Haitian Military is Involved in Drug Traffic", New York Times, 6/8/94 A7).
American officials say that Haitian military officers are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars each month for allowing drug cartels to use Haiti as a transhipment center and for providing them with protected landing strips and ports.
For several months in 1994, U.S. officials had discounted such reports, and some see the sudden turn around as an attempt to lay the ground work for an invasion to restore Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power.
Recently, Haitian military rulers have consulted with lawyers who represented former Panamanian ruler, General Manuel Antonio Noriega, who is serving a 40-year sentence in a U.S. federal prison for international narcotics trafficking. Noriega was captured in a U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989. The lawyers, Frank Rubino and John May have refused to discuss the nature of the talks or their involvement in the matter.
[Editor's Note -- The Haitian military's involvement in the cocaine trade has been alleged for at least a decade. Recent promotion of this connection appears to be part of the U.S. government effort to marshall public hostility against the Haitian junta to support actions against Haiti that could include an invasion a la Panama. Once again narcotics intelligence is being manipulated for public relations and other foreign policy purposes.]