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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

Program gives street kids not only food and safety, but a chance for a better life without crossing US border
More

House Delays Recess to Work on Border Bill

Earlier Thursday, Republican-led chamber abandoned plans to vote on $659 million bill that addresses influx of more than 57,000 unaccompanied Central American children
More

Argentina Defaults Again on Debt

Negotiators failed late Wednesday to reach an agreement with New York investment companies to avert the default
More

Cameroon’s Coffee Farmers Blame Government for Production Drops

Cameroon's growers, dealers and experts mourn declines in a nation that once ranked 12th in the world.
More

Argentina, US Creditors Fail to Reach Deal; Default Imminent

This will mark the second time in 13 years Argentina has defaulted on its debt
More

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Officials grapple with ways to deal with problem, provide shelter for thousands of minors among illegal border crossers
More