Haiti: U.S. Asks South Africa to Delay Aristide’s Departure

[This move–the latest in many such moves–to prevent the return of Aristide to Haiti is an eloquent clarification of the US’ promotion of democracy in Haiti, and throughout the world. — Frontlines ed.]

By REUTERS, March 14, 2011

The Obama administration said Monday that the former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide should refrain from returning to Haiti before the presidential runoff election on Sunday. A State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said that Mr. Aristide, above, had the right to return, but doing so this week “can only be seen as a conscious choice to impact Haiti’s elections.” A delay, Mr. Toner said, would “permit the Haitian people to cast their ballots in a peaceful atmosphere.” He said the United States was asking South Africa, where Mr. Aristide has lived in exile since 2004, to delay his departure. Mr. Aristide’s lawyer, Ira Kurzban, said the United States “should leave that decision to the democratically elected government instead of seeking to dictate the terms under which a Haitian citizen may return to his country.”

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