The commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti says comments
by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry may have helped trigger a
recent wave of violence in the country.
Brazilian General Augusto Heleno said Mr. Kerry’s comments may have raised hopes among supporters of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide that the ousted leader would return to power.
General Heleno was referring to remarks Mr. Kerry made to The New York Times some 7 months ago.
Mr. Kerry said if he were president, he would have sent U.S. troops to protect Mr. Aristide.
He also criticized the Bush administration’s policy in Haiti as “shortsighted.”
There was no immediate response to the general’s charges from Mr. Kerry.
Mr. Aristide left the country under international pressure in February as rebels descended on Port-au-Prince. Much of the violence since his departure has been blamed on his loyalists.