Jean-Bertrand Aristide, first democratically elected president of Haiti

Jean Bertrand Aristide was the first democratically elected president of Haiti. Born on July 15th 1953, Aristide grew up in dire poverty. His father died when he was three months and his mother moved to Port-au-Prince for a living.


Started Off As Priest

Seeking a better life he was put into the Salesian order of priest and studied in their colleges. For his studies he traveled to many countries in Europe. Jean Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti for his ordination as priest. He was made curate of Saint Jean Bosco, a small parish in Port-au-Prince.

It was during this time he saw the atrocities perpetrated on the poor by the rich under the dictatorship kind of rule. Aristide wanted to bring some relief to these people and began to preach the liberation theology.

Put Through Moral Trials

This was not well received by the Salesian order of priests or the ruling class of people. Jean Bertrand Aristide was getting youngsters interested in work and ruling class began to see him as a potentially dangerous person.

Not just those, things were hotter for the priests of the Salesian order. They asked Jean Bertrand Aristide to leave Haiti but hundreds of men blocked his way and did not allow him to go. Soon a letter came from Rome accusing him of inciting violence in Haiti.

Win With a Clear Majority

Jean Bertrand Aristide explained his stand but soon quit his role as a clergy and entered into politics completely where he began forming his band of people. He won the general election held in the year 1991 with a clear majority and was made the president of Haiti.

This term did not last long but became president for two terms later on. One was between 1994 and 1996 and the next was between 2001 and 2006. After seven years of exile in Africa he returned to Haiti in 2011.

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