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Joy! Aristide Wants to Return to Haiti

From his tireless fans at the Associated Press:

Aristide Wants to Return to Haiti

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jan. 15, 2010

(AP)  A weeping former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, living in exile in Africa since he was ousted in a rebellion five years ago, said Friday he wants to return to his quake-devastated country and is prepared to leave immediately, but did not indicate any concrete plans to do so.

In a rare public appearance, Aristide told reporters at a hotel next to Johannesburg’s airport that he and his family are ready to return to Haiti to help with the catastrophe. He said friends, whom he did not name, are willing to provide a plane to fly him to Haiti with medical supplies and other emergency equipment.

"As far as we are concerned, we are ready to leave today, tomorrow, at any time to join the people of Haiti, share in their suffering, help rebuild the country, moving from misery to poverty with dignity," said Aristide, his wife Mildred next to him, eyes downcast, twisting a handkerchief.

Aristide spoke in a hotel meeting room reserved by the South African foreign affairs ministry. A ministry official told reporters Aristide would make the statement and not answer questions, and the former president didn’t. He wiped his tears with a white handkerchief as he left the hotel.

Aristide, a former slum preacher, was beloved by many of Haiti’s majority poor but opposition to his rule grew during his second presidential term after he was accused of masterminding assaults on opponents, allowing drug-fueled corruption and breaking promises to help the poor. Still, during riots in Haiti in 2008 over soaring food prices there was a deafening clamor for Aristide’s return, showing that he remains hugely popular.

If Aristide does return, political instability in an impoverished nation struggling to dig itself out from the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake could result. Aristide has previously hinted at returning, saying he merely wants to be a teacher. But his enduring popularity and ability to galvanize Haitians would likely propel him into the political spotlight.

"We feel deeply and profoundly that we should be there, in Haiti, with them, trying our best to prevent death," Aristide told reporters.

He wiped away tears that rolled from underneath his glasses as he spoke of Haitians’ indomitable spirit

Aristide became popular in his homeland as a priest in the Haitian slum of La Saline. He was first elected president in 1990 but was ousted in a military coup the following year. U.S. troops sent by then President Bill Clinton, currently a United Nations special envoy to Haiti, restored Aristide to power in 1994. After stepping down, Aristide was re-elected in 2000 but was ousted again in the bloody 2004 rebellion.

Aristide and his wife live with their two daughters in a government villa in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital, just north of Johannesburg. The couple has embraced an academic life, with Aristide writing on the linguistics of Zulu and Haitian Creole, as well as on the theology of love.

Yes, putting a Communist de-frocked priest and maniac back into control of Haiti will fix everything.

And why wouldn’t Mr. Aristide want to return to Haiti?

He knows there is a lot of international aid that is going to be pouring in now. And he wants to get his share.

That’s only social justice.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 15th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Joy! Aristide Wants to Return to Haiti”

  1. Right of the People says:

    He eyes are lighting up with the amount of graft a la NOLA he will be able to skim off of the relief efforts.

  2. MinnesotaRush says:

    “Yes, putting a Communist de-frocked priest and maniac back into control of Haiti will fix everything.”

    Sounds like a handpicked o-blah-blah boy! Surprised they ain’t enroute to pick ’em up!

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I have to laugh out loud on this because Rush called this either yesterday or the day before. I’ll go check.

    Here’s the quote from Rush on Wednesday’s show.

    That place, Haiti, has been run by dictators and communists, and how long is it going to be before we hear Obama and the left in this country say that what we really need to do is reinstate the communist Aristide to the leadership position down there to coordinate putting the country back together?

    And further down:

    Aristide’s a communist. Now, I do think that part and parcel of helping out down there, it won’t be long before somebody in the Obama administration suggests that we reinstate, reinstall Aristide, because there’s sympathy with these kind of people.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_011310/content/01125106.guest.html

    But as if right on cue, there’s Aristide….taking an opportune moment to speak up….

    Amazing. (or not)

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    “The smell of money”
    Lots of it
    DingleBarrys kinda Thug (MONKEY)

  5. CGardner says:

    Just last month, the Haitian govt. denied permission for the Lavalas party to run in the (then-scheduled) February elections, saying that they came up short on requirements to file. (Aristide had a designated follower trying to file for the party’s inclusion on the ballot.) If Aristede returns, it would basically mean the return of legitimacy to Lavalas.


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