This piece was reprinted by OpEd News with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
Let Aristide Return! - by Stephen Lendman
On February 29, 2004, US marines abducted him at gunpoint, airlifting him forcibly to the Central Africa Republic. It was one of Haiti's darkest moments, losing its beloved leader, reelected President in 2000 with 92% of the vote. For over six years, he's been exiled in South Africa, wants to return, and on January 19, wrote an open letter, thanking his host country and their people for welcoming him hospitably, saying:
Since forcibly abducted, "the people of Haiti have never stopped calling for my return....Despite the enormous (post-quake) challenges that they face....their determination to make the return happen has increased."
"As far as I am concerned, I am ready....today, tomorrow, at any time. The purpose is very clear: To contribute to serving my Haitian sisters and brothers as a simple citizen in the field of education."
Returning is also vital "for medical reasons: It is strongly recommended that I not spend the coming winter in South Africa because in 6 years I have undergone 6 eye surgeries. The surgeons are excellent and very well skilled, but the unbearable pain experienced in the winter must be avoided in order to reduce any risk of further complications and blindness."
Aristide is ready to come any time, and hopes Haitian and South African officials let him. Of course, Washington controls all Haitian affairs. The Bush administration ousted him in 2004, militarily occupied the country with proxy Blue Helmet paramilitaries, banished him abroad, and thus far Obama won't let him back. One word from him changes everything. So far it's not forthcoming.
He's been treated maliciously, victimized by Washington's intolerance to democracy, abroad and at home. It's time public outrage demanded better, including in Haiti, the region's poorest, most oppressed nation, the rights of their people entirely denied, including having their beloved leader back home with them.
New York Times Coverage of Haiti under Aristide
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).