September 4, 2016
Sept. 30 marks the 25th anniversary of the coup that overthrew Haiti’s first democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide was the candidate of Haiti’s popular movement Lavalas in the 1990 presidential election; he won with 67 percent of the vote. Aristide’s Feb. 7, 1991, inauguration marked a huge victory for Haiti’s poor majority after decades living under the Duvalier family dictatorship and military rule.
August 2, 2010
A United Nations army still occupies Haiti six years after the coup. Their unstated mission is to prevent the return to power of Aristide’s Lavalas Party. Fanmi Lavalas has already been banned from the next round of elections, so enter Wyclef Jean. The Miami Herald reported, “Secret polling by foreign powers in search of a new face to lead Haiti’s reconstruction” might favor Jean’s candidacy, as someone with sufficient name recognition who could draw enough votes to overcome another Lavalas electoral boycott.