Blog post

Jean-Bertrand Aristide's historic return to Haiti - live updates and background

Tamar Shlaim18 March 2011

Jean-Bertrand Aristide has returned to Haiti after seven years of exile in South Africa. Aristide and the remarkable Lavalas movement twice won landslide victories in democratic elections, and twice were ousted in US-backed coups.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! (along with actor Danny Glover) travelled on the plane with Aristide  and is blogging live updates on the Democracy Now site.

However, Aristide's return does not mean that US intervention in Haiti has come to an end—according to the Press Association:

US President Barack Obama had tried to keep the controversial figure away from his country until it holds a presidential election on Sunday, fearing he could destabilise the process.

For the full story of Haiti's recent history see Peter Hallward's Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment. It covers the growth of the Lavalas movement, the US-backed coups, the UN occupation and the 2010 earthquake and contains a lengthy interview with Aristide in exile.  

For incisive analysis of recent events in Haiti see the Guardian articles by Peter Hallward and Mark Weisbrot.

For a very brief overview of the history of Western intervention in Haiti see "How our governments snuffed out a democracy and kidnapped a President" by Johann Hari.

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