Mural of Jean-Bertrand Aristide after 2010 earthquake. Photo credit: Kelli Dunham

“If you ask someone in the elite class or the non-nationalist middle class questions about (Aristide) they will sell you him as the root of all our problems. During his presidency, things were better.”

Former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide waves as he deboards a private jet at the Port au Prince international airport March 18, 2011. The former president returned to Haiti after 7 years of exile in South Africa.
Photo Logan Abassi UN/MINUSTAH

By Sam Bojarski In 2004, as Haiti was celebrating its 200-year anniversary as a free republic, a band of rag-tag soldiers from the disbanded army approached Port-au-Prince with a mission to topple President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The president would be whisked away by American officials on a private plane, first to the Central African Republic and eventually to South Africa right before the coup forces arrived in the capital. It would be the second time that the former Catholic priest and proponent of liberation theology-turned politician got ousted from power. He was also forced into exile in 1991 after a bloody military coup eight months into his first term. “Aristide had not managed to attack the real economic problems of the country,” said Enomy Germain, an economist who works as a professor at the Center for Planning and Applied Economics in Port-au-Prince. TO READ FULL STORY Sign in to your account. Haitian Times’ Subscription, Billed Monthly Haitian Times’ Subscription, Billed Yearly One month access

Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America fellow. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and...