HAITI'S military-backed president declared a state of emergency yesterday, urging Haitians to unite to withstand a world trade embargo and oppose possible foreign military intervention.
``I ask you tonight to mobilize for the defense of the country,'' Emile Jonassaint said in a 2 a.m. broadcast on state television.
The speech followed President Clinton's tightening of sanctions Friday on Haiti's military coup leaders. Mr. Clinton announced an end to most financial transactions between the US and Haiti and banned all US commercial flights after June 25.
Mr. Jonassaint did not specifically mention the new United States action nor detail what measures would be undertaken under the state of emergency. Jonassaint was installed by the Army on May 11 in a ceremony denounced by the US and other nations as illegal.
Haiti has already withstood a United Nations oil embargo and a near-complete ban on trade with Haiti imposed several weeks ago. The Clinton administration has said that it has not ruled out military intervention to restore the elected government.
``There's a giant crushing us because we are weak, and we don't have the atom bomb,'' Jonassaint said. ``If we had the atom bomb, then everyone would respect us.''
Radio reports have indicated the government may close the international airport before the US and Canadian flight bans are to begin.
The American and Canadian embassies have urged their nationals to leave before then.