The Anniversary Celebration

On September 30, the third anniversary of the military coup that overthrew the elected government of Haiti in 1991, jubilant crowds marched peacefully to celebrate the restoration of democracy, encouraged by the official U.S. declaration that the right of peaceful demonstration would be protected by the 20,000 troops who had entered Haiti on September 19 under an agreement between former President Jimmy Carter and General Raoul Cedras. That was, in fact, one of the major goals of the U.S. intervention to restore democracy, the press reported. The demonstrators were attacked, beaten bloody, and scattered by armed gunmen. "The bodies of dead Haitians keep piling up," one Western diplomat said, just as they had the day before when a grenade exploded at a celebration of the return of the elected mayor of Port-au-Prince. U.S. officials complained "that Haitian police could no longer be trusted to enforce law and order," the press reported, "but would not say if US forces would assume responsibility." "It would be very difficult to rely on the police to provide security given the fact they haven't provided any security so far," U.S. Embassy spokesman Stanley Schrager said, apparently surprised that the U.S.-trained police are acting as they have always done in the past
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