Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril arrived in the United States this morning, two days after the military ruler was driven from power by widespread unrest.
The deposed leader and his family left Haiti aboard a U.S. Air Force transport plane and arrived at Homestead Air Force Base, 25 miles south of Miami, the State Department said.
The U.S. Atlantic Command in Norfolk, Va., said Avril and his party were to be driven to Boca Raton, Fla., where Avril is believed to own property, but the many protesters at the Homestead gates delayed the move.
White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater refused comment on whether the United States had granted Avril asylum but said: "We are hopeful for a smooth transition to democracy in Haiti and are encouraging that effort."
In Port-au-Prince, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Susan Clyde said the ousted dictator was accompanied by his wife, Marie-Ange, his daughter Carine, his son Philippe and a servant.
She said "there was a request made" for U.S. help in taking Avril out of the country but she would not say who made the request.
After Avril left, opposition leaders in Haiti announced that Ertha Pascal-Trouillot, a Supreme Court justice, had been chosen interim president of the island nation, but she went into hiding amid fears of a possible coup attempt.
Radio reports from Haiti said Pascal-Trouillot agreed Sunday night to be the country's interim president under a plan calling for her to organize elections in Haiti, one of the poorest nations of the Western Hemisphere. She immediately went into hiding "because of a security problem," said opposition leader Jean-Claude Bajeux.