Jean-Bertrand Aristide

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Jean-Bertrand Aristide (born 15 July 1953) is a Haitian politician and former priest who served as Haiti's first democratically elected president.[1][2] An exponent of liberation theology,[3][4] he 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 ousted in a February 2004 rebellion, in which former soldiers participated. He said the US had orchestrated a coup d'état against him, and received support from, among others, several members of the US Congress and Jamaican Prime Minister P. J. Patterson.[5] Aristide was forced into exile, being flown directly out of Haiti to the Central African Republic,[5] eventually settling in South Africa.


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