"The presence of the United States in Haiti is basically a response to a request from Haiti's president (Rene Preval)," Maria Otero, an official in charge of international affairs at the US State Department said in a news conference in Bolivia's capital late Thursday.
Her comments came after Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua -- all three led by anti-US governments -- claimed Washington was using the international relief operation in Haiti as cover for a military takeover.
The United States has sent one of its biggest aircraft carriers to Haiti, along with other navy and coast guard vessels. Some 11,000 US military personnel have been deployed to the region and another 4,000 were due to arrive Saturday. US servicemen have also taken control of Haiti's international airport.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez charged that "the empire is taking hold of Haiti over the bodies and tears of its people."
He added: "They brazenly occupied Haiti without consulting the UN or the OAS (Organization of American States)."
Bolivia's Morales said Wednesday he would request an emergency UN meeting "to repudiate and reject this military occupation of the United States in Haiti."
"It's not right the United States should use this natural disaster to invade and militarily occupy Haiti," he told a press conference.
"If you have all these problems with the injured and the dead from the earthquake, you have to go there to save lives, and you don't do that from a military standpoint," he added.
Source: AFP American Edition