|Jean Bertrand Aristide, former Haitian President en route to Port-au-Prince|
Reuters reports that former President Aristide and his family have arrived back in Port-au-Prince at 9:10 AM (1410 GMT). Aristide, 57, was Haiti’s first democratically elected president in 1990 but never finished either of his two terms in office. He was first ousted by a coup in 1994 and restored to power in a U.S. military intervention. Once he completed that term in 1996, he was elected again in 2001, only to be forced out of office and put on a plane out of the country by the occupying U.S. troops in 2004.
|U.S. occupation of Haiti in 1994|
U.S. President Barrak Obama, manoeuvring to delay his return from South Africa, called President Jacob Zuma to exercise the usual pressure, but found firm opposition from the South African government. President Zuma said that his country could not and would not prevent Aristide from exercising his right to return to his homeland whenever he (Aristide) deemed convenient to do so. The U.S. has consistently opposed his return for fears that, once they have manipulated the election results (once more), the endorsement of either candidate by the highly popular former president may influence in some way the outcome of Sunday’s presidential election.
|Aristide's supporters in Port-au-Prince on March 18, 2011|
Actor Danny Glover, who had arrived in Johannesburg Wednesday to escort the exiled former President home, was accompanying Aristide today in Port-au-Prince.