Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
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Mar 19, 2011

Aristide not on Haiti ballot but on voters’ minds

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – It looked just like a revved-up final election campaign rally, with crowds of fanatical supporters mobbing their candidate, chanting his praises and waving his portrait and Haitian flags.

But the object of their adulation, Haiti’s former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is not on the ballot for Sunday’s two-horse run-off to elect a leader for one of the world’s poorest states, struggling to recover from a 2010 earthquake.

Mar 18, 2011

Aristide back in Haiti before presidential vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti on Friday, ending seven years of exile in South Africa despite U.S. objections and just two days before a crucial presidential election.

Supporters whooped and cheered at Port-au-Prince airport as a smiling, clearly delighted Aristide, accompanied by his family and U.S. actor and black rights activist Danny Glover, emerged from the charter plane that brought him home.

Mar 18, 2011

Haiti’s Aristide heads home before runoff vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Exiled former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide headed back to his country on Friday after ignoring U.S. opposition to a homecoming some fear could disrupt Haiti’s presidential election runoff on Sunday.

Aristide, 57, who lived in South Africa after his 2004 ouster that he says Washington helped engineer, was flying home to Port-au-Prince in a charter plane with his family and was expected to arrive by noon (1 p.m. EDT) on Friday.

Mar 17, 2011

Aristide’s expected return looms over Haiti election

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haitian voters will choose on Sunday between a brash entertainer and a scholarly law professor for the unenviable job of trying to lead reconstruction of one of the world’s poorest and most battered countries.

But even before it takes place, the presidential run-off vote is being overshadowed by the expected return from exile of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, whose 2004 ouster in an armed rebellion harks back to a turbulent past many Haitians would like to leave behind.

Mar 16, 2011

Singer Martelly woos Haiti voters with popular touch

THOMONDE, Haiti, March 16 (Reuters) – Like the seasoned
entertainer that he is, Haitian carnival music star and
presidential contender Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly is
working the crowd.

Gesticulating with one hand, cracking jokes in Creole, the
50-year-old, shaven-headed singer draws cheers and hoots of
laughter from his audience, showing the powerful communication
skills and popular touch he hopes will propel him into his
country’s top job in a run-off vote on Sunday.

Mar 11, 2011

No Doomsday seen in recent quakes, just “bad luck”

MIAMI (Reuters) – Haiti, Chile, New Zealand, and now Japan.

Powerful killer earthquakes have rocked one corner of the globe to another in just over a year but scientists warn against looking for a Doomsday scenario in this recurring ripple of big earthshaking natural disasters.

“There’s nothing going on out of the ordinary,” Dr. Daniel McNamara, a research seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told Reuters.

Feb 15, 2011

U.S. aims Latam trade accords to Congress by mid-year

MIAMI (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s administration aims to send stalled free trade pacts with Colombia and Panama to Congress by the middle of this year after fresh analysis of the situation in both countries, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

The administration is coming under increasing pressure from lawmakers, especially leading Republicans, and from U.S. farm and business groups to lay out a fast timetable for winning congressional approval of the free trade agreements (FTAs)with the two Latin American states.

Feb 7, 2011

Republican foreign policy “wolf” shows her teeth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For years, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has been busy lecturing world leaders over human rights abuses.

Now that she is the new Republican chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she has a chance to try to back up her muscular rhetoric with action.

Jan 23, 2011

Haiti’s “Baby Doc” is back: but for love or money?

MIAMI, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Haiti’s ex-dictator Jean-Claude
“Baby Doc” Duvalier says “solidarity” led him to return to his
Caribbean homeland where his name is still reviled by many and
where he faces claims for retribution from alleged victims.

But some lawyers who track the world’s most egregious human
rights offenders think there may be more cold calculation than
homesickness in his Jan. 16 return to the poor, disaster-prone
nation from which he fled to gilded exile in France in 1986.

Jan 19, 2011

Trying “Baby Doc” can bolster Haiti state

MIAMI (Reuters) – Haiti must try former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier to uphold the rule of law and strengthen the government in the unstable, earthquake-battered Caribbean nation, said an international human rights lawyer who has pursued ex-despots.

Human Rights Watch counsel Reed Brody, who helped prosecute former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and has represented victims of Chad’s exiled ex-ruler Hissene Habre, said the chance to bring Duvalier to justice should be seized by Haiti’s government as an important confidence-building measure.

    • About Pascal

      "I am based in Miami, heading the editorial reporting team covering the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. This includes Cuba and Haiti and we are also in charge of covering the annual Atlantic hurricane season and Space missions from Cape Canaveral. Previously, I was Chief Correspondent for West and Central Africa, and chief correspondent, Venezuela, following earlier postings in Cuba, Brazil, southern Africa, Portugal and Spain."
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