Haiti's former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide during a an election campaign meeting in Port-au-Prince (AP)

He was hailed as a savior, a messiah and a champion of the poor who would deliver Haiti from those who wish to harm her. 

But Jean Bertrand Aristide went from leading a populist movement to being the first democratically elected president in Haiti to now living a life in near anonymity at his home in Tabarre, a Port-au-Prince suburb. 

Friday, September 30th marked the 31st anniversary of the bloody coup d’état that sent the former Catholic priest to exile in the United States. It was a day that was celebrated not only because of Aristide’s popularity but because the world’s attention had turned toward Haiti. Eventually, it would take 20,000 U.S. soldiers  to “restore democracy” in Haiti.

To view the full story, please subscribe to The Haitian Times. You can choose a $60 Annual Subscription or a $5 Weekly Pass.

When you join The Haitian Times family, you’ll get unlimited digital access to high-quality journalism about Haiti and Haitians you won’t get anywhere else. We’ve been at this for 20 years and pride ourselves on representing you, our diaspora experience and a holistic view of Haiti that larger media doesn’t show you. 

Join now or renew to get:
— Instant access to one-of-kind stories and special reports 
— Local news from our communities (especially New York and Florida)
— Profiles of Haitians at the top of their fields
— Downloadable lists and resources about Haitian culture 
— Membership merch, perks and special invitations 

First-time subscribers also receive a special welcome gift handmade in Haiti by expert artisans! Do it for the culture and support Black-owned businesses.

If you’re seeing this message but you’re already a subscriber, you can log in for immediate access to this story.

Garry Pierre-Pierre is a Pulitzer-prize winning, multimedia and entrepreneurial journalist. In 1999, he left the New York Times to launch the Haitian Times, a New York-based English-language publication serving the Haitian Diaspora. He is also the co-founder of the City University Graduate School of Journalism‘s Center for Community and Ethnic Media and a senior producer at CUNY TV.