Former Haitian president Aristide leaves for Haiti 2011 News
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Declaring that the great day has arrived Jean-Bertrand Aristide bade farewell to South Africa on Thursday evening then boarded a plane for Haiti where he can expect both adoring crowds and probing questions about his intentions. US President Barack Obama had tried to keep the hugely popular but controversial figure away from his country until after it held a presidential election this weekend a vote many fear will be destabilised by the presence of the former Haitian president. Speaking in several different languages Aristide addressed about 50 reporters from South Africa and elsewhere at a small airport in northern Johannesburg that often handles charter flights. South Africa s foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane accompanied him his wife Mildred and two daughters to see them off. Michaela 12 and Christine 14 have spent half their lives and their most formative years in exile. American actor Danny Glover the chairman of the TransAfrica Forum came to South Africa to accompany Aristide home and was also at the news conference. The great day has arrived. The day to say goodbye before returning home Aristide said in Zulu a language he studied in South Africa. We are delighted to return home after seven years. In Haiti also they are very happy .... Their dream will be fulfilled he added. Together we will continue to share this endless love. Aristide took no questions before heading to his chartered plane. His lawyer Ira Kurzban has said Aristide will be back in Haiti by noon on Friday. Thousands are expected to welcome him home. Aristide a former slum priest was twice elected president of Haiti and remains wildly popular among the Caribbean nation s majority poor. Aristide never completed either of his terms. He was ousted the first time in a coup and restored to power in a US military intervention in 1994. After completing his term he was re-elected years later only to flee a rebellion in 2004 aboard a US plane. Aristide claimed he was kidnapped. He has been reclusive in exile doing university research and polishing his academic credentials with a doctorate awarded by the University of South Africa for a comparative study on Zulu and Haitian Creole.
Added on Oct 10, 2014 by HAITIANMOTION
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