Jean-Bertrand Aristide


Biography of Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Jean-Bertrand Aristide (born 15 July 1953) is a Haitian former Catholic priest of the Salesian order and politician who served as Haiti's first democratically elected president. A proponent of liberation theology, Aristide was appointed to a parish in Port-au-Prince in 1982 after completing his studies. He became a focal point for the pro-democracy movement first under Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier and then under the military transition regime which followed. He won the Haitian general election, 1990-1991 with 67% of the vote and was briefly President of Haiti, until a September 1991 military coup. The coup regime collapsed in 1994 under US pressure and threat of force (Operation Uphold Democracy) after Aristide agreed to roll back several reforms. Aristide was then President again from 1994 to 1996 and from 2001 to 2004.

Aristide was unexpectedly ousted in a 29 February 2004 coup d'état, in which former soldiers participated. He accused the United States of orchestrating the coup d'état against him with support from Jamaican Prime Minister P. J. Patterson and among others. Aristide was forced into exile, being flown directly to the Central African Republic and South Africa. He finally returned to Haiti on 18 March 2011 after seven years in exile.

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