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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

US State Dept Official: Cuba Aims to Ramp Up Internet Access

Cuba, a few decades late to the Internet era, is committed to getting the web into 50 percent of its households by 2020, a senior official said on Monday
More

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

World's largest gamma ray observatory will be situated high in Sierra Negra Mountain to discover secrets about black holes and supernovas
More

Drownings of Migrants Along Rio Grande Increase

Increased patrols are pushing immigrants, desperate to avoid detection, to choose more dangerous and remote crossings into South Texas, leading to surge in drownings
More

US, Cuba Teams Discuss Telecommunications Issues

US delegation visited Cuba this week as the two nations continued efforts to restore diplomatic relations broken over 50 years ago
More

Egyptian Court Adjourns Trial of Al Jazeera Journalists to April 22

Two journalists are charged with aiding a terrorist organization, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt banned following 2013 army takeover
More

Rio Exhibition Dramatizes Olympian Bay Cleanup Task

Display highlights problem of trash in Guanabara Bay, where sailing, windsurfing events are to take place in next Summer Games
More