Friday, March 18, 2011

Aristide Returned to Haiti from Exile

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former Haitian President has returned to Haiti after seven years in exile. Aristide arrived in the capital Friday on a jet from South Africa. The ousted former leader waved from a window at journalists, airport workers and dignitaries who had gathered at the entrance to the plane on the runway.

Aristide was ousted the first time in a coup, then restored to power in a U.S. military intervention in 1994. After completing that term in 1996, he was elected again in 2001, only to flee a rebellion in 2004 aboard a U.S. plane. Aristide claimed he was kidnapped. U.S. officials denied that.

Thousands were expected to throng the airport to greet the chartered jet carrying Aristide from South Africa, where the government assisted his departure despite a request from U.S. President Barack Obama that the homecoming be postponed until after Haiti's presidential runoff election Sunday.

Joy filled Jean-Bertrand Aristide's most ardent followers early Friday as they waited the last few hours until the former president considered by many a champion of the poor returned from seven years of exile.

In exile, he has been reclusive, doing university research and polishing his academic credentials with a doctorate awarded by the University of South Africa for a comparative study of Zulu and Haitian Creole.

Source: Huffingtonpost

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