Jean-Bertand Aristide’s Return to Haiti Is on Hold

Exiled former leader’s lawyer blames international interference for delay.

Posted: 02/28/2011 11:56 AM EST
Jean-Bertand Aristide

Former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s homecoming has been delayed, writes the New York Times.

Though the exiled former leader received a diplomatic passport, security and logistical issues still need to be resolved.

Write the Times:


Determining when or if Mr. Aristide might return from his exile in South Africa continues to be difficult. American officials have clearly stated that they oppose efforts to bring him back before Haiti’s March 20 runoff election, arguing that Mr. Aristide’s presence would create instability—a charge his supporters deny. They see Mr. Aristide, a former Catholic priest, as Haiti’s conscience, a true democratic leader, who could pressure the government and international donors to help the poor.

Nonetheless, international opposition is a concern, according to [Mr. Aristide’s longtime lawyer, Ira Kurzban of Miami], because all commercial flights from South Africa fly through countries allied with the United States.


At this time, it is unclear whether Aristide will make it back to the nation he once ruled before the election.


Image:  Naashon Zalk/Getty Images