On March 18, Reuters headlined, “Haiti’s Aristide heads home before runoff vote,” saying:
He “headed back to his country on Friday after ignoring US opposition to a homecoming some fear could disrupt Haiti’s presidential election runoff on Sunday.”
For months, State Department officials obstructed him, wanting him permanently excluded, especially during Sunday’s illegitimate elections, featuring two unpopular presidential candidates most Haitians spurn. Most, in fact, won’t participate, knowing either winner represents Washington, not them.
First round November 28 elections and Sunday’s runoff were rigged to defraud. Haitians want democracy, what’s absent in Sunday’s vote.
Earlier, Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked South African President Jacob Zuma to prevent his return. He delayed but didn’t stop him. In fact, Aristide’s charismatic presence runs counter to America’s imperial plans – to solidify colonization, resource theft, and exploitation of poor Haitians, what legitimate democrats oppose, including Aristide.
He’s wanted to return any time, “to contribute to serving my Haitian sisters and brothers as a simple citizen in the field of education.” He has no further political interests. Believe him. It’s true. He wants only to aid Haiti’s recovery, doing what he knows and loves best.
On March 17, AP said “South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was on hand to see (him) off,” accompanied by his wife Mildred and daughters Michaela, aged 12 and Christine, aged 14.
In Zulu, Aristide said, “The great day has arrived! The day to say goodbye before returning home. We are delighted to return home after seven years. In Haiti also they are very happy,” adding that “their dream will be fulfilled,” shared by millions of supporters worldwide.
Anticipatory joy awaits him. Supporters prepared a warm welcome, including Port-au-Prince banners displaying “Titide,” as he’s affectionately known.
According to Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research:
Aristide’s return marks an end to the era when the United States gets to choose the political leaders of other countries. It is a historic victory for democracy and self-determination.
Weisbrot is a distinguished analyst. Perhaps his conclusion is somewhat premature, but others agree that decades of destructive US power left America weaker, not stronger. Its influence is ebbing. One day, world leaders will reject it. Why not! It’s counter to their own self-interest.
On March 18, AP headlined, “En route to Haiti, Aristide plane refuels in Dakar,” saying:
“The plane landed in (Dakar, Senegal) Friday, and is expected to arrive in Haiti” Friday afternoon local time. For millions of Haitians who love him, they’ve awaited this moment for over seven years. A joyous welcome is planned.