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LIVE BLOG: Democracy Now! Reports On Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Historic Return to Haiti

NewsMarch 18, 2011

Amy Goodman and Sharif Abdel Kouddous are on the ground in Haiti covering former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s return after seven years in exile. We will be posting updates here over the coming days.

Saturday, 1:50 p.m. EDT Democracy Now! crew in Haiti heads to internally displaced persons camp where hundreds of families face imminent eviction. Click to see photo.

Friday, 6:49 p.m. EDT Amy Goodman calls Democracy Now! producers in New York to file a report recapping Aristide’s first day back in Haiti. She describes the plane ride, his press conference, the long caravan ride where thousands of people ran aside the car carrying the Aristides back to their home in Tabarre—where he spoke to the celebrating crowd. Click here to listen to the MP3 audio file and read the complete transcript.

Friday, 6:20 p.m. EDT Sharif tweets a video update, “jubilant crowds cheer outside the home of Aristide.” Click here to watch video.

Friday 5:10 p.m. EDT Amy and TV producer, Hany, leave Aristide’s house, watching Port-au-Prince go by while they ride in the back of a truck. Click to see photo.

Friday 5:10 p.m. EDT Amy and TV producer, Hany, leave Aristide’s house, watching Port-au-Prince go by while they ride in the back of a truck. Click to see photo.

Friday 4:42 p.m. EDT Sharif tweets that Aristide tells him, “I am happy to see democracy flourish in the Arab world. Still a ways to go but what a big step it was in.”

Friday 4:22 p.m. EDT Amy Goodman and Sharif Abdel Kouddous interview former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide late Friday afternoon in Port-au-Prince. Click to see photo.

Friday 2:29 p.m. EDT Just updated photos of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family as they enter their home in Tabarre. Click here to see photos of them inside, and crowds outside their house.

Friday 12:40 p.m. EDT Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family have arrived outside their home in Tabarre—a home they have not seen in seven years. Click here to see photos of crowds outside their house

Friday 11:47 a.m. EDT Thousands of Haitians are celebrating at the airport as Aristide returns home. Amy’s latest report. Click here to listen to the MP3 audio file

Friday 11:38 a.m. EDT Just updated our slideshow with photos of Aristide, Danny Glover and more.
Click here to view photos

Friday 11:00 a.m. EDT Amy Goodman files audio report (3:50) describing the scene in Port-Au-Prince as Aristide arrives. Click here to listen to MP3

Friday 10:40 a.m. EDT Amy Goodman files brief audio report on Jean-Bertrand Aristide return to Haiti.
Click here to listen to MP3

Friday 10:35 a.m. EDT Photos from inside the plane as Jean-Bertrant Aristide looks out at Haiti. Click here to view photos

Friday 2:44 a.m. EDT EXCLUSIVE: Jean-Bertrand Aristide speaks out about his return to Haiti. During a refueling stop in Senegal, Aristide tells Amy Goodman: “I think that the Haitian people are very happy, happy to know that we are on our way heading to Haiti, happy to know that finally their dream will be fulfilled by things on the ground because they fought hard for democracy. They always wanted the return to happen and now it is happening. I share their happiness, I share their hope and I renew my commitment to serve them in the field of education, once we move together towards [such a goal]. And I also thank so many of our other friends of the Haitian people that share the same goal. I thank them on behalf of the Haitian people.” Click here to listen to MP3 of Amy Goodman’s interview with President Aristide

Friday 2:40 a.m. EDT Former Haitian First Lady Mildred Aristide speaks Amy Goodman: “It was a great tragedy that took us from home,” said Mildred Aristide aboard the flight from South Africa to Haiti. “It’s been a long time that we needed to be at home. We are very pleased and anxious.”
Click here to listen to MP3 of full interview

Friday 2:31 a.m. EDT The plane carrying Aristide is refueling in Dakar, Senegal. Amy Goodman has just sent us a number of new photos taken aboard the flight of the former Haitian President, his family and the delegation.
Click here to view photo slideshow

Thursday 5:58 p.m. EDT Latest tweets from Sharif Abdel Kouddous in Haiti: “Aristide is returning to a country still broken by the earthquake. A different landscape. 15% of population remains homeless in #Haiti … Heading to a tent camp where 325 families have been facing eviction since last April… Every open space in Port au Prince is filled with quake refugees. Hard to call them tent cities. It’s corrugated metal, tarps, sheets.” Click here to follow Sharif’s tweets here.

Thursday 5:36 p.m. EDT Just posted: Democracy Now’s exclusive photos of Jean-Bertrand Aristide aboard plane heading back to Haiti.

Thursday 5:28 p.m. EDT Minutes ago Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s plane took off from South Africa. AP reports it will stop first in Senegal.

Thursday 4:40 p.m. EDT Amy Goodman has just filed a report as she prepares to board the South African government plane that will take Aristide back to Haiti. “He is extremely excited about returning home,” says Amy. Moments ago, Aristide held a press conference to thank the people of South Africa and its leaders including Nelson Mandela.
Listen to MP3 of Amy’s report
Read transcript of Amy’s report

Thursday, 4:10 p.m. EDT The White House has acknowledged President Obama tried to personally intervene to prevent Aristide from returning to Haiti. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said, “The United States, along with others in the international community, has deep concerns that president Aristide’s return to Haiti in the closing days of the election could be destabilising. President Obama reiterated that view in a call with President Zuma the other day … along with his belief that the Haitian people deserve the chance to choose their government through peaceful, free, and fair elections March 20.”

Thursday, 3:58 p.m. EDT Recent tweets from Sharif Abdel Kouddous in Haiti: “Just arrived in Port au Prince. Was here 14 months ago days after quake. Little has changed in terms of rebuilding. Tents everywhere… Sitting with @vincewarren of CCR on fact-finding mission in Haiti. says 220,000 ppl living in tent camps imminently facing eviction” Follow Sharif’s tweets here.

Thursday, 2:30 p.m. EDT Amy Goodman speaks with actor Danny Glover, Aristide’s attorney Ira Kurzban and James Early on their way to the airport. Download MP3 (8 min.)

Thursday, 1:20 p.m. EDT View slideshow of photos of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in South Africa prior to his depature.

Thursday, 1:00 p.m. EDT Video posted: “Danny Glover in South Africa: “I’m Here To Accompany My Friend, President Aristide, Back to Haiti” Watch here


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