Jean-Bertrand Aristide Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a Haitian politician and former priest born in 1953. Also, he became the first president ever to be elected democratically in Haiti. The determined Aristide did not let growing up without a father and in poverty prevent him from becoming successful. The psychology graduate from the State University of Haiti also studied philosophy.
In 1982 is when he was ordained as a Salesian priest upon which he became a curate in port-au-prince. The rule of dictatorship in Haiti between 1957 and 1986 led to Aristide becoming a critic of Duvalierism. He ensured dictatorship ended and became a great advocate of democracy. Even though he was exiled several times, he never gave up fighting for the rights of the people of Haiti.
Early Life and Education
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was born on July 15, 1953, in Port Salut, Haiti. Sadly, he was not only born to poverty but also lost his father three months after his birth. They were forced to move along with his mother to Port-au-Prince.
When Aristide turned five, he began his studies under priests of the Salesian order. Thereafter, he joined the Collège Notre-Dame in Cap-Haïtien. By 1974, he was done with his studies and graduated with honors. He then took some classes in La Vega, Dominican Republic.
Additionally, Aristide later attended the State University of Haiti where he studied psychology. At the Grand Séminaire Notre Dame took philosophy classes. In 1979, upon completing his post-graduate studies, he furthered his studies in Italy and Greece. He received his doctorate after learning African languages while in exile from the University of South Africa.
Aristide was deeply saddened by the harassment that the people of Haiti faced under a cruel regime. The cruel leaders did not care that the people were already struggling with poverty. Sad Artiste decided he was going to be the voice of the people of Haiti. Unfortunately, this was something that the regime did not take lightly. They exiled him to Montreal for 3 years.
Here returned later in 1985 upon which he led "ti legliz movement”. In September of the same year, he was ordained. He was to serve at the St. Jean Bosco church located in Port-au-Prince, a poor locality indeed.
Even after being ordained, Aristide continued speaking against dictatorship. This was emphasized in action by organizing and mobilizing youth masses in Haiti to fight for their rights. Again those in power were bothered by his actions. However, their attempt to assassinate him failed four times. The 1988 attempted assassination was popular among them all because it led to the loss of 13 people. 77 others were badly wounded.
Rise to Power
Jean-Bertrand Aristide won the presidential election in 1990 by a landslide. He won with 67% of the votes under the “Front National pour le Changement et la Democratie” (FNCD) party. This was a historical event in Haiti. It was the first time someone was elected to be president. However, his victory was short-lived. After only 8 months in power, a coup d'etat made sure he was removed.
Briefly, after his forceful resignation in 1991, he was sent on exile again. Thankfully, with the help of both the USA and the UN, Aristide returned home to complete his term. In the 2000 presidential elections, he became victorious again.
Briefly after, he was again removed from power by the opposition and sent on exile in 2004. He started with the African Republic first and South Africa thereafter. In 2011, upon his return to Haiti, he continued his campaigns with his party ‘Fanmi Lavalas.’
In 1996, Aristide tied the knot with an American lawyer, Mildred Trouillot. Later, in November that year, they were blessed with a daughter Christine Aristide. Again, in 1998, their second daughter Michaelle Aristide was born.
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