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Home Publications Blogs Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch Calls for Artistide's Return

Calls for Artistide's Return

Thursday, 11 February 2010 11:38
While Haiti continues to dig itself out of the rubble, and various individuals and groups lay out their ideas for reconstruction, there is a notable absence in Haiti. Ousted in 2004, the overwhelmingly popular Jean Bertrand Aristide is still in Pretoria, South Africa.  Yesterday, actor and activist Danny Glover, recently back from Pretoria, appeared on Democracy NOW! He was asked why Aristide has not yet returned:
Well, he’s mystified by that. You know, there’s been several calls for him to return. His party still—the Lavalas is still the largest party, that’s not participating, that’s not active in the electoral process. And yet, he’s dismayed by that, the fact that both—it seems as if the South African government and the United States are complicit in his not returning to the hemisphere.

At least in Cite Soleil, the return of Aristide would be celebrated. On February 7 in front of the monument to the constitution, residents of Cite Soleil held a press conference with a simple request:
President Preval, we are asking you to follow Obama's example of unity when he asked Clinton and Bush to work together to help rebuild Haiti. President Preval we ask you to follow his example and call Aristide and invite him to come back and participate in the reconstruction of Haiti. President Preval, this is what we are waiting for. This is what we are asking for.

NPR reported a few weeks ago that many Haitians are fed up with current President Preval and would welcome Aristide's return:
Ms. DADOL: (Through translator) I'd like for Preval to take care of the country, but the country doesnt want him. They'd rather have Aristide to come and help him out, because Aristide would do a better job.


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