Is Aristide allowed to return?February 1, 2011
This is an update to my blog post The lesser people
Haiti’s government has said it was ready to issue a new passport to former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, which would allow him to return to his country after almost seven years in exile in South Africa.
The information ministry stated: “The government will give assurances that as soon as it receives such a request, it will be swiftly granted.”
“It is my understanding that the Council of Ministers has agreed to issue a diplomatic passport to Aristide befitting his position as a former president of the republic,” and “I kindly request that the government of the Republic of Haiti initiates a dialogue with the government of the Republic of South Africa to ensure Aristide’s immediate return,” said Aristide’s lawyer.
Aristide’s lack of a valid passport has long been given as a principal technical reason impeding his return. Haitian officials say that he would not need a passport to re-enter Haiti, but could need one to pass through other countries on his way back from his exile in South Africa.
Aristide’s return is opposed by the USA, France and Canada. His Fanmi Lavalas party was banned from taking part in the November elections. Aristide remains very popular at home and his return could galvanize the opposition to the occupation forces led by the USA and Brazil.