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Reply #3: Amy Goodman Reports: Aristide Lands in Haiti After Seven Years in Exile [View All]

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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 11:15 AM
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3. Amy Goodman Reports: Aristide Lands in Haiti After Seven Years in Exile
Edited on Fri Mar-18-11 11:16 AM by cal04

Im Amy Goodman, we just landed in Port au Prince. The former president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide has landed. We made it through a mad crush of over a thousand journalists, videographers, supporters, dignitaries at the airport. I am now standing on the veranda of the airport where Pres. Aristide is addressing the crowd. He is saying we will not forget the victims of the earthquake. He is addressing what it means for him to be here. This is an historic day, a president who was twice ousted by U.S. backed coups in 1991 and 2004. He has returned both times, the first time after three years in exile he returned as president of Haiti. This time, after being ousted in 2004, he has returned as a resident of Haiti rather than the president. He says his aspirations are to be an educator, or to do what the people of Haiti want him to do.

I interviewed him on the plane, as well as his wife, former first lady Mildred Aristide. They talked about their dreams becoming a reality. President Aristide says he doesnt know what today will bring. If people want to meet to talk about reforming the medical school he is there to do that. He says now he responds to the will of the Haitian people.

This is Amy Goodman broadcasting from Port Au Prince, Haiti, just off the flight that the Aristides have taken from Johannesburg, South Africa to Port Au Prince, Haiti. The jet was provided by the South African government under serious protest by the United States. President Obama personally called South African President Zuma earlier this week to tell him not to do this. But the statement of the South African government was simply, "we will not bow to pressure." They flew the Aristides home, which is where former President Aristide, his wife and his two daughters are today. Pres. Aristide addressing the crowd.

The security is very intense. I am inside the cordon so it is hard to know what is going on outside. It is is mainly journalists, videographers. The crush of the journalists was quite amazing. Aristide expressed concern that security would be used to keep people away, something he did not want. He said he left protocol to the Haitian government. It was Haitian president Preval in his last days in office who has given Aristide the diplomatic passport he needed to come back home.

LIVE BLOG: Democracy Now! Reports On Jean-Bertrand Aristides Historic Return to Haiti
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