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Diplomatic sanctions catch Haitian leaders off guard | Opinion


In 1991, Haitian Army General Raoul Cédras, Army Chief of Staff Philippe Biamby and Chief of the Haitian National Police Michel François led a bloody coup that toppled the democratically elected president Jean Bertrand Aristide.

After protracted negotiations to return to democratic rule, the international community, led by the United Nations, imposed a crippling embargo on Haiti to force the hands of the junta leaders. At that time, the word embargo was a foreign concept to Haitians and few people knew what it meant. 

I remember the response of a rank-and-file soldier interviewed by local journalists, as he was asked for his thoughts on the embargo.

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