Jean-Bertrand Aristide – Rightful Leader of Haiti
Before I went on my trip to Haiti, I wanted to find a book to learn more about the country. I went to the Hamilton Public Library online catalog, but couldn’t find much. The best that I could find was a travel guide to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. I requested it, but then found something better. The book was An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a Presidentby Randall Robinson. As I found out, it talks about the history
of Haiti, but focuses, on the 2004 US-led coup-d’etat of Haitian President Jean-Bertand Aristide. President Aristide’s proposed social changes to Haiti would negatively effect the American business interests in the country and the then US government could not let that happen. The US trained rebel forces to distrupt the country, while the US orchestrated removing Aristide from office and sending him to Africa in exile.
The reason that I bring this up right in the middle of my diary entries, is that Jean-Bertrand Aristide has returned to Haiti. During the coup, the US government painted Aristide as a corrupt politician. In an artilce titled U.S. should welcome Haiti’s Aristide by Maria Michalos of the NYU News, Michalos talks about Haiti’s need for a leader like Aristide and the love he has for his country and people. I think that the world needs more leaders like Aristide. When reading An Unbroken Agony, I ran across a quote by Aristide from a conversation he had with the author’s wife, Hazel Robinson. When Hazel asked Aristide what God was, he replied,
“First of all, God is love. That means that wherever there is love, true love, with kindness and compassion, and humour and respect, God will be there. And God’s goodness and mercy will be there. At the same time, God is all around us, and more importantly, within us. And so, each time you observe an act of kindness, an act of compassion and consideration, an act of mercy or justice, no matter how large, no matter how small, that is a manifestation of God. These are all manifestations of the God within us all. And acts of kindness and mercy all around the world combine to create the Goodness and Mercy that is God – on a much larger and more dramatic scale.”
After reading this quote, I had a very hard time believing that the former priest, Jean-Bertand Aristide could be a corrupt politician. Unfortunately, I did not read this part of the book until I was back on the plane leaving Haiti. I wish that I had read it before I landed in Aristide’s homeland. It has really touched my heart and I believe that the world could be a better place if everyone looked for the God within them.