Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

US accused of hampering Haiti aid flights and occupying the country

Former US president and UN special envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton in Port-au-Prince (AP)
Former US president and UN special envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton in Port-au-Prince (AP)
An American Red Cross volunteer carries Estphane Shan towards a first aid post (AP)
One year old Misa Gureline Bestige reacts as she wakes up from sleeping on the street with her family and other displaced people in in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Troops, doctors and aid workers flowed into Haiti on Monday even while hundreds of thousands of Tuesday's quake victims struggled to find water or food. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Bill Clinton, former President and U.N. special envoy for Haiti, right, greets a woman during a visit to the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Clinton promised that his foundation would provide medicine and a generator to the capital's General Hospital in order to doctors there can work through the night. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In a Jan. 18, 2010 photo provided by the American Red Cross, Winnie Romeril, American Red Cross, International Disaster Response Volunteer, carries Estphane Shan towards a First Aid Post in in Croix Desprez, Poort-au-Prince, Haiti. (AP Photo/American Red Cross, Talia Frenkel)
Former president and U.N. special envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton, right, talks to airport workers unloading relief supplies at the airport in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010.
People take goods from buildings collapsed during last week's earthquake in the market area of Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Violence and looting broke up in Port-au-Prince as earthquake survivors scavenged for anything they could find in the ruins. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
A nurse feeds a quake-injured baby at the Israeli Field Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
People fight for goods taken from collapsed stores in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Violence and looting broke up in Port-au-Prince as earthquake survivors scavenged for anything they could find in the ruins. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A man lies on the floor as he grimaces in pain after being injured during scuffles among people taking goods from quake-damaged stores in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Violence and looting broke up in Port-au-Prince as earthquake survivors scavenged for anything they could find in the ruins. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A youth wearing a carnival mask stands in front of quake-damaged buildings in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
People fight for goods taken from collapsed stores in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Violence and looting broke up in Port-au-Prince as earthquake survivors scavenged for anything they could find in the ruins. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
People fight for goods taken from collapsed stores in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Violence and looting broke up in Port-au-Prince as earthquake survivors scavenged for anything they could find in the ruins. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
This photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Search and Rescue Team clearing debris at a collapsed building in downtown Port-au-Prince, Jan. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Justin Stumberg)
A boy injured during last week's earthquake is treated at the Israeli Field Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
A woman gestures in the market area in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Violence and looting broke up in Port-au-Prince as earthquake survivors scavenged for anything they could find in the ruins. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
People begs for food and water outside a supermarket in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Troops, doctors and aid workers flowed into Haiti on Monday even while hundreds of thousands of Tuesday's quake victims struggled to find water or food. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
People fight for goods taken from collapsed stores in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Violence and looting broke up in Port-au-Prince as earthquake survivors scavenged for anything they could find in the ruins. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Men fight for goods taken from quake-damaged stores in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Looting spread to more parts of downtown as hundreds of people clambered up broken walls to break into shops and take whatever they could find. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Avi Berman, of Israel, sits next to a baby that was rescued from the collapsed house where his parents died during last week's earthquake at and Israeli Field Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
This photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Search and Rescue Team clearing debris at a collapsed building in downtown Port-au-Prince, Jan. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Justin Stumberg)
In this Jan. 17, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Air Force, an aerial view of downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti is shown after a major earthquake devastated the area on Jan. 12. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock)
People walk through fire and rubble in the market area in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. On the streets, people are still dying, pregnant women are giving birth and the injured are showing up in wheelbarrows and on people's backs at hurriedly erected field hospitals after Tuesday's earthquake. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In a Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 photo, Red Cross volunteer Jean Baptiste Kostner gives medical attention to Samantha Eskvowitz as part of the Dominican Red Cross response team in Cite Soliel, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (AP Photo/American Red Cross, Talia Frenkel)
US troops with the 82nd Airborne Division take cover as a helicopter takes off after unloading relief supplies for earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People take goods from a quake-collapsed store in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
People run with goods taken from stores that collapsed during last week's earthquake in the market area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Looting spread to more parts of downtown as hundreds of people clambered up broken walls to break into shops and take whatever they can find. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
In a Jan. 17, 2010 photo provided by the American Red Cross, Haitian Red Cross volunteer Miname Glaude holds Michel Laurent, 15 mos. old, at a Red Cross medical center in Croix de Priez, Haiti. (AP Photo/American Red Cross, Talia Frenkel)
In this Jan. 17, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Navy, members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Search and Rescue Team rescue a Haitian woman from a collapsed building in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Justin Stumberg)
In this Jan. 17, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Navy, an air crewman drops humanitarian aid in support of earthquake relief efforts in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Justin Stumberg)
People take goods from collapsed stores in the market area in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Violence and looting broke up in Port-au-Prince as earthquake survivors scavenged for anything they could find in the ruins. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In a Jan. 17, 2010 photo provided by the American Red Cross,American Red Cross volunteer Renette Danger examines Kemsia Louis at a Red Cross medical center in Croix de Priez, Haiti. (AP Photo/American Red Cross, Talia Frenkel)
In this Jan. 17, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Air Force, an aerial view of Port-au-Prince, Haiti is shown after a major earthquake devastated the area on Jan. 12. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock)
Displaced Haitians whose homes were either destroyed or too unsafe to return to, wake up on the street in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Survivors live outside for fear of unstable buildings and aftershocks. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
One year old Misa Gureline Bestige reacts as she wakes up from sleeping on the street with her family and other displaced people in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Survivors live outside for fear of unstable buildings and aftershocks after Tuesday's earthquake. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A woman walks through earthquake rubble in the market area in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
People take goods from buildings collapsed during last week's earthquake in the market area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A woman sweeps debris out of the street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. On the streets, people are still dying, pregnant women are giving birth and the injured are showing up in wheelbarrows and on people's backs at hurriedly erected field hospitals. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In this Jan. 17, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. citizens wait to be evacuated from Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti after a major earthquake devastated the area on Jan. 12.
Elliane Garcon cries as she watches the body of her husband, Rene Morancy, being dumped from a front loader into a truck as crews remove bodies from the streets in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince
An injured girl is feed by a hospital volunteer at the general hospital in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
An officer aims at people taking goods from quake-damaged stores in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
A national police officer throws a tear gas grenade during riots in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
Men carrying a stolen pot past a burning body in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
In this photo provided by the U.N., United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon speaks with displaced Haitians during his trip to Port au Prince, Haiti on Sunday Jan. 17, 2010.
In this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Navy, people crowd on to a boat during an evacuation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Survivors of Tuesday's earthquake extend their arms as U.S. troops with the 82nd Airborne Division distribute water in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
Haitians board a bus to leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
Some of the earthquake-devastated areas of Port-au-Prince, Haiti are seen in an aerial photo, Sunday Jan. 17, 2010.
A woman run with stolen items from a collapsed store as a Haitian police officer looks on in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
In this photo provided by MINUSTAH, Bolivian UN peacekeepers distribute water and meals to the residents in Cite Soleil
People, one holding up a knife, fight for goods taken from collapsed stores in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
In this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Navy, Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Jason Harold, of Goldsboro, N.C., transfers a young Haitian earthquake victim from a Seahawk helicopter during a medical evacuation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Men carry water in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
A girl smiles at Park Boyer, which has been turned into a temporary camp for people whose homes have been destroyed, in the Petionville neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Michael Laughlin, Sun-Sentinel)
A United Nations worker, who was just rescued from the collapsed United Nations headquarters building, responds to questions from medical personnel as he is carried to a temporary clinic in Port-au- Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.
People ride with a coffin on top of a car as they arrive at the morgue in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
Earthquake survivors line up for food distributed by the UN near Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
Youths collect empty boxes after a food distribution by the UN near Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, looters fight for a bag of materials in Haitian capital Port-au-Prince on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
A woman prays during Mass held outside of the city's main Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010
A woman pleads with surgeon Dr. Augustine outside at a state-run hospital, to bandage up her daughter's legs as Augustine makes rounds to determine injuries and necessary treatment in Port au Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
People wave towards a helicopter in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. A powerful earthquake struck Haiti Tuesday
A rescue worker from Luxemburg rest with his search dog at the tarmac of the airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. Search-and-rescue, medical and other specialists from different countries continue to arrive in Haiti after the powerful earthquake that hit the country on Tuesday
People look for survivors in the wreckage of the collapsed Catherine Flon school in Carrefour, outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
Bodies of earthquake victims lie in an open mass grave in Sous Pianet, just south of Port-au-Prince
People line up to for gasoline in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
A man, wearing a face mask as a precaution against infections, walks past the collapsed Cathedral of Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
A cemetery worker rests before burying another earthquake victim in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A man looks for a body among hundreds of earthquake victims at the morgue in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
People carry an injured earthquake survivor in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
Displaced people gather in an open area in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
In this photo released by the United Nations, buildings affected by an earthquake lay in ruins in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010.
People carry a coffin containing the remains of an earthquake victim to a home for burial in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2010
In this Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 photo released by the Philippine Mission to the United Nations, police officers from the Philippines and China search for colleagues who may be trapped in the rubble of the United Nations Police Headquarters in Port-au-Prince
A woman lifts a cloth to see the face of an earthquake victim lying in the street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
An injured earthquake survivor receives treatment at a medical clinic set up at MINUSTAH's logistics base in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
A man looks through the collapsed rubble of St. Gerard Church and School in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A group of women react in disbelief as the body of the daughter of a woman, at center, is missing after the earthquake, in Port-au-Prince
Earthquake survivors wave to a helicopter flying over Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
A woman injured during Tuesday's earthquake eats while lying on a street in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
People fight over goods scavenged from the rubble of buildings collapsed during Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Princeac
People wait for medical attention in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
Scavengers look for goods amid the rubble
People, carrying scavenged goods, run away from the police in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
Scavengers look for goods amid the rubble of collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
An injured child waits for medical attention in front of a damaged hospital in Carrefour, in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince
A body is buried in the rubble of a hotel in the aftermath of an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
A victim is carried into the Hospital Universitaire de la Paix in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, members of a Chinese emergency rescue team inspect the collapsed headquarters of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. Desperately needed aid from around the world slowly made its way Thursday into the capital after Tuesday's magnitude-7.0 earthquake.
In this photo release by China's Xinhua News Agency, a doctor of the Chinese emergency rescue team, left, treats an injured child
Bodies of earthquake victims lie on th street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A man sits next to a car after a powerful earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010.
Earthquake survivors gather in a shelter set up in the central public garden of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
Roselyn Joseph mourns over the body of her daughter, Emanuela Aminise, 14, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
A man sits among the rubble of collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
Aerial photo provided by The American Red Cross shows survivors gathered around bodies in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince during a joint Red Cross Red Crescent/ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Organization) aerial assessment mission following Tuesday's devestating earthquake.
The hand from the body of an earthquake victim hangs from a pick-up truck loaded with bodies waiting to be unloaded at a cemetery in Port-au-Prince,Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A woman's name is tagged on her arm to identify her body outside the morgue in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A funeral home has tagged the body of one of the huge amount lying outside the morgue in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
People gather around a gas pump seeking gas, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
A woman looks for a loved one among the bodies on the ground outside the morgue in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
A woman is treated for her wounds on the grounds of the Canape-Vert Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
An boy injured by an earthquake has stitches sewn into his head at a makeshift clinic run by missionaries at a school in Port-au-Prince
A body lies among the rubble of a damaged building in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010.
A young injured earthquake survivor holds a piece of bread in a makeshift shelter in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
People carry a body through the streets on Wednesday Jan. 13, 2010 in Port-au-Prince
People walk past a crushed car and other rubble in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
A man sits by an injured woman waiting for treatment at a makeshift clinic run by missionaries at a school in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.
US citizen Carla Shown is carried by French firefighters after being rescued from the rubble of the collapsed Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Magician David Blaine, left, performs a card trick for Michael Sharpe, of Manhattan, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, in New York. Blaine is performing a 72-hour magic marathon in Times Square to raise money for Haiti earthquake victims. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
People ride with a coffin on top of a car as they arrive at the morgue in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
People line up for gas at a gas station in the aftermath of the Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 13, 2010.
A cross stands intact in front of a church that collapsed during Tuesday's earthquake at the Canape Vert neighborhood
An arm pokes up in the sea of bodies outside the morgue in Port-au-Prince
Bodies fill the frontyard of the morgue in Port-au-Prince
Spanish rescuer carries two-year-old Redjeson Hausteen Claude after he was rescued from a collapsed home
A Spanish rescuer carries two-year-old Redjeson Hausteen after he was rescued
A Spanish rescuer carries two-year-old Redjeson Hausteen after he was rescued
Two year old Redjeson Hausteen Claude reacts to his mother Daphnee Plaisin after he is rescued
A Spanish rescuer carries two-year-old Redjeson Hausteen
A victim of the massive earthquake in Haiti on a street in Port-au-Prince
An injured child sits on the sidewalk in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (AP/Ricardo Arduengo)
People gather outside Haiti's quake-damaged National Palace (AP/Jorge Cruz)
A man carries an injured child outside Hotel Villa Creole in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
Injured people are tended to at Hotel Villa Creole in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2010
In this photo taken from the Web site twitter.com, people gather in the streets in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 after the largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti
A damaged building is seen after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
People carry an injured person after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
This photo provided by Carel Pedre shows people running past rubble of a damaged building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
Anthony Guarino, a seismic analyst at the Caltech Seismological Laboratory, shows the 7.0 earthquake peak from the Haiti earthquake at the laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
This May 20, 2004 provided by the Canadian Department of National Defence shows the Presidential Palace in Port au Prince, Haiti
Damage to the Hotel Villa Creole in Port-au-Prince, Haiti is shown on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2010
This image released by the US Geological Survey shows a shake map of the Haiti Region processed Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
LA County Fire Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2 prepares for possible deployment to Haiti at the California Task Force 2 warehouse in the Pacoima section of Los Angeles, on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2010
A girl waits for medical attention in front of a damage hospital in Carrefour, outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010

A French minister has called on the United Nations to investigate the dominant US role in Haiti saying aid efforts should be about helping Haiti, not "occupying" it.

US forces turned back a French aid plane carrying a field hospital from the damaged, congested airport in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince last week, prompting a complaint from French co-operation minister Alain Joyandet. The plane landed safely the following day.

Mr Joyandet, in Brussels for an EU meeting on Haiti, persisted: "This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti."

Geneva-based charity Medecins Sans Frontieres backed Mr Joyandet's calls to clarify their role saying lives are being put at risk as planes carrying medical supplies are being turned away by US air traffic controllers.

In another weekend incident, 250 Americans were flown to New Jersey's McGuire Air Force Base on three military planes from Haiti.

US forces initially blocked French and Canadian nationals from boarding the planes, but the cordon was lifted after protests from French and Canadian officials.

The US military controls the Port-au-Prince airport, where only one runway is functioning and has been effectively running aid operations.

Last week Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that six out of seven charter flights bringing supplies and staff had been turned away, and a British search and rescue team was forced to return to the Dominican Republic. "We'd got to Haiti and were circling and circling over the airport but they wouldn't let us land," said Simon Cording, a rescue expert who was on the government-sponsored flight.

"If you ask me what I think of the Americans controlling airspace in Haiti, I want to kick their butt. The longer it takes us to land and start working, the more people will die. It's that simple."

The Red Cross has also complained about diverted flights.

Meanwhile Brazil has lodged an official protest with Washington after US military flights were given priority - forcing non-US flights to divert to Dominican Republic. Brazil also warned the US that it would not ­relinquish command of UN forces.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was also criticised by MSF when her visit delayed an aid flight, said on Saturday that the US government had no intention of taking power from Haitian officials, adding: "We are working to back them up, but not to supplant them."

The United Nations is taking the lead in the critical task of co-ordinating aid and Mr Joyandet said he expects a UN decision on how governments should work together in Haiti and he hopes "things will be clarified concerning the role of the United States".

The US state department rejected suggestions that US military needs have priority over the needs of quake survivors.

A spokesman said: "The democratically-elected government of Haiti is in charge. The US is not in charge here, the government of Haiti is in charge, the UN is in charge - we're supporting them."

Meanwhile Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused the US of 'occupying Haiti undercover'.

"They have 3,000 US soldiers arriving, Marines armed as if they were going to war. There is not a shortage of guns there, my God. Doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals, that’s what the United States should send," Chavez said. "They are occupying Haiti undercover."

US military commanders have repeatedly stressed that they are not entering the country as an occupying force.

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