U.S. Rejects Charge that Aristide was Kidnapped, Deposed in Coup

U.S. officials are dismissing allegations that U.S. troops forced Jean-Bertrand Aristide to leave Haiti.

Secretary of State Colin Powell says the claim is absurd. White House spokesman Scott McClellan calls it "nonsense." He says Aristide left on his own free will, and that U.S. troops were there to protect him.

But Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California says she got a phone call today from Aristide and his wife, who are now in the Central African Republic. She tells CNN that the Aristides claim U.S. officials forced them to get on a plane, and that they now feel as if they're being held as prisoners.

African-American activist Randall Robinson says he got a similar call from Aristide, who said he'd been ousted in a coup and abducted by U.S. soldiers.

The government of the Central African Republic today released a video showing Aristide getting off a plane. There were no troops present, and Aristide looked tired, but not scared.

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