News / Americas

    Aristide Says He Wants to Return to Haiti

    Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (file photo)
    Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (file photo)

    Deposed former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide says he is ready to return to his homeland from exile in South Africa, days after former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier made an unexpected appearance after 25 years.

    Mr. Aristide said in a statement that he is ready to come back "today, tomorrow, at any  time."  The former president said he hopes the governments of Haiti and South Africa will make that possible.  Mr. Aristide, who fled Haiti in February 2004 during a popular revolt, says his goal is to contribute to "serving my Haitian sisters and brothers as a simple citizen in the field of education."

    U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley responded to the remarks by saying the U.S. does not doubt the former president's desire to help his nation.  But Crowley said Haiti needs to focus on its future, not its past.

    In 1990, Mr. Aristide became Haiti's first democratically elected president, but he was soon ousted in a military coup. He returned to power in 1994 through U.S. military intervention and served until 1996. He was re-elected in 2000.  His political party, Fanmi Lavalas, was not allowed to participate in the presidential elections November 28.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Duvalier has denied a remark by his lawyer, Reynold Georges, that he hopes to run for president.  Mr. Duvalier said in a statement Wednesday that he formally denies all political statements, "vague or otherwise," that are attributed to him.

    Authorities have confiscated Mr. Duvalier's expired passport.  Since arriving in Haiti late Sunday, he has been charged with corruption, embezzlement and other abuses of power from his brutal 15-year rule that ended in 1986.  Mr. Duvalier returned to Haiti from France, where he has been living in exile.

    In addition, a former United Nations spokesman and three other prominent Haitians have filed criminal complaints accusing Mr. Duvalier of crimes against humanity.  It is not clear whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr. Duvalier for atrocities during his rule.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, says Haiti must carry out the recommendations of an international report on Haiti's disputed November election.  At a security council briefing Thursday on Haiti, Rice said sustained support from the international community, including the United States, requires a credible process that represents the will of the Haitian people, as expressed by their votes.

    The Organization of American States has called for the government-backed candidate, Jude Celestin, to be eliminated from the runoff vote.  An OAS report cited irregularities and fraud in the election.  A runoff had been scheduled for January 16, but was postponed.

    The Caribbean nation, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is still struggling to recover a year after an earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and left more than a million others homeless. Hundreds of thousands of people still live in tent cities, and many parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, remain in ruins. The country also is battling a deadly cholera epidemic.

    An updated travel warning issued by the United States makes note of the cholera outbreak, along with crime, violent disturbances in Haiti, lack of adequate medical facilities, and limited police protection.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    More Americas News

    Daily Flights Between US, Cuba Planned for Later this Year

    Agreement to be signed Tuesday in Havana allowing up to 110 flights a day; US law prohibiting travel to Cuba for tourist activities remains in effect

    Cuba's Organic Honey Exports Create Buzz

    Organic honey joins list of country's key agricultural exports, as pesticide use has been linked to declining bee populations elsewhere

    Colombia's ELN Rebels Declare 72-hour Lockdown

    Move, set to begin on Sunday, will restrict transport and commerce amid signs of further delays in their efforts to begin peace talks

    Venezuelan Supreme Court Approves Emergency Powers for President

    President Maduro had asked the court for emergency powers to counteract the country's deep economic crisis

    Photogallery Pope Francis in Mexico After Historic Call for Religious Unity with Russian Patriarch

    Religious leaders sign declaration Friday after historic meeting in Cuba to heal 1,000-year-old rift between Western and Eastern branches of Christianity

    Expert: Focus on Zika's Consequences, Not Disease Itself

    Dr. Ronald Waldman of George Washington University notes that the possible link to microcephaly, not the relatively mild disease itself, is of greatest concern