In 2000, Aristide ran for president again and won, this time with almost 92% of the vote. But again, Aristide was not able to serve out his full term. A rebellion led by many former army officials took control of the northern part of the country in 2004. As they were advancing to Port-au-Prince, Aristide was escorted by U.S. military to a plane and flown to the Central African Republic. Aristide asserts that he was kidnapped by the U.S. government.
Aristide is a controversial figure among many people. Some have tried to link him to drug dealings and opposition killings. Others were unhappy with him because he did not embrace American-style development. But even those who view him negatively would grudgingly admit that he was overwhelmingly elected president of the country twice. Aristide’s elections, ousters, and legacy may embody better than anything the clash in Haiti between the poor who are the majority and the rich who hold the power. It is an old story.
And things have not gotten better in the three years that Aristide’s been gone.