PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, July 5 (UPI) -- U.S. Ambassador to Haiti James Foley said the ongoing violence in the Caribbean nation was akin to terrorism.
"Today in Haiti they are burning houses, they are burning stores, they are attacking means of transportation and communication links .... They are assassinating, torturing and raping," said Foley. "All of this has a name: The use of violence against civilians for political purposes is the very definition of terrorism."
Haiti was plunged into violence in early last year when armed rebels began taking over the country in an effort to force then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power.
Aristide finally left Haiti in February 2004 as the rebels entered the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Since then hundreds of people have died despite efforts by a U.N. peacekeeping force.