Editorial Note: South Africa has been the most recent impediment to Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return to Haiti. Cuba has been helping to counter the pressures against his return from the US, France, and Brazil. Today Aristide's lawyer announced that South Africa gave the green light, and he answered "yes" when asked if Aristide would be in Haiti before the 2nd-round (s)elections of March 20th. Lavalas says Titid's* stew is on the fire. People are fixing up his house, organizing airport groups, even cleaning the streets in anticipation! Demonstrations are planned for tomorrow.
Dady Chery, Columnist
Axis of Logic
* "Titid" is name the masses use in Haiti when referring to their only true and indispensible leader.
Former president plans to return before Haiti's second-round election
Supporters beat drums in the slums while workers spruced up his private villa as Haitians prepared yesterday for the possible return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide with feverish anticipation.
"Some people are cleaning the streets, others are getting the residence ready, and we are making preparations for a beautiful party," diehard follower Rene Civil told AFP.
|"There is a real feeling of expectation among the people,"
"There is a real feeling of expectation among the people," Civil said, desperate to see his beloved "Titid" -or little Aristide -walk once again on Haitian soil.
Haiti has cleared the way for Aristide's return from exile in South Africa by issuing him with a new passport despite warnings from the United States that the move would only add to the quake-hit nation's political turmoil.
Aristide's lawyer said yesterday that the former president will return to Port-au-Prince before the second round of presidential elections on March 20.
"Yes, I believe it will happen before the election," lawyer Ira Kurzban told AFP.
|The AFP and other corporate media continue to repeat lies that Aristide was corrupt and that he fled the country when the Haitian people and all who have followed Haiti's recent history know that he was kidnapped by U.S. marines and taken out of the country in a coup executed by then president George E. Bush in 2004 - LMB
The once firebrand man of the cloth, who rode his reputation as a champion of the poor to become Haiti's first democratically elected president, fled in 2004 aboard a U.S. plane, accused of massive corruption and rights abuses.
In his checkered political career, he served as president on three occasions, and was ousted from office twice, in a 1991 military coup and in a popular uprising in 2004.
As masonry workers repaired cracks in the walls of Aristide's once splendid villa, some residents dusted off their portraits of the diminutive, bespectacled former leader.
|The Haitian People do not need to be "recruited" to welcome Aristide home as this AFP report suggests. Their massive support has continued since they first elected him with 67% of the vote in 1991.
Door-to-door canvassing has been organized to recruit the biggest possible turnout whenever Aristide finally makes his return to Toussaint L'Ouverture airport.
Ancyto Felix, another tireless Aristide partisan, said there were plans to hold a massive rally in the Haitian capital on Friday.
Haiti, the poorest country in the region, is in dire circumstances following last year's earthquake, which killed more than 225,000 people.
Fervent Aristide supporters, who include many of the most desperate slum-dwellers, are convinced he is uniquely positioned lead the restoration of their battered country.
(All photos and related comments were
added to this report by Axis of Logic)
Source: The Montreal Gazette (AFP)