Skip to main content

Jean-Bertrand Aristide Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 5:14 PM EDT, Thu July 18, 2013

(CNN) -- Here's a look at the life of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president of Haiti.

Personal:
Birth date: July 15, 1953

Birthplace: Port Salut, Haiti

Birth name: Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Father: Joseph Aristide, farmer

Mother: Marie (Pierre-Louis) Aristide

Marriage: Mildred (Trouillot) Aristide (January 20, 1996-present)

Children: Michaelle, September 8, 1998; Christine, November 8, 1996

Education: Grand Seminaire Notre Dame, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Universite d'Etat d'Haiti B.A.; University of Montreal, Canada, M.A.; Jerusalem, Israel, Ph.D.

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts:
Elected president of Haiti twice. Both administrations were overthrown.

Former Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Society of St. Francis de Sales.

His wife, Mildred Aristide, is a Haitian-American lawyer from New York.

Timeline:
1974 - Enters the priesthood with the Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians) in the Dominican Republic.

1983 - Is ordained and assigned to St. Jean-Bosco, a poor parish in a Port-au-Prince, Haiti, slum neighborhood.

1986 - Is held hostage by Salesian followers for two weeks for condoning and supporting the opposition to the new post-Duvalier regime.

September 11, 1988 - The St. Jean-Bosco parish church is attacked during morning mass, with 13 dead and more than 70 injured.

December 15, 1988 - Aristide is expelled from the Society of St. Francis de Sales for his "incitement to hate and violence."

December 16, 1990 - Is elected president of Haiti with more than 67% of the vote.

February 7, 1991 - Takes the oath of office as the 40th president of Haiti.

October 1, 1991 - Flees Haiti for Venezuela, after a coup led by Brigadier General Raoul Cedras overthrows the government.

October 15, 1994 - Is reinstated as president of Haiti, after a United States-brokered agreement. Cedras and his staff resign and are exiled.

October 17, 1994 - Under pressure from the Vatican, submits a letter formally requesting to leave the priesthood.

February 7, 1996 - First smooth transition from one president to another in Haiti's history as Rene Preval is sworn in as the 41st president of Haiti.

November 1996 - Forms and leads the Fanmi Lavalas political party.

November 26, 2000 - Aristide is re-elected as president with 91.69% of the vote.

February 7, 2001 - Is sworn in as the 42nd president of Haiti.

December 17, 2001 - The presidential palace is stormed during an attempted coup believed to be led by Guy Philippe. Seven people are killed.

January 13, 2004 - Announces new legislative elections after his administration comes under fire for rigging previous elections.

February 25, 2004 - Guy Philippe and rebel forces surround Port-au-Prince and announce plans to arrest Aristide.

February 29, 2004 - Resigns as president and leaves Haiti with his wife on board a U.S. military plane to the Central African Republic.

November 26, 2009 - Haiti's electoral council bans Aristide's party from participating in the next legislative elections.

January 12, 2010 - A 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes 14 miles west of Haiti, destroying most of the capital of Port-au-Prince.

January 15, 2010 - From Pretoria, South Africa, exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide announces his wish to return home to help Haitian earthquake survivors.

January 20, 2011 - In the wake of Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier's return to Haiti, Aristide release a statement saying, "Once again I express my readiness to leave today, tomorrow, at any time. Since my forced arrival in the Mother Continent six and a half years ago, the people of Haiti have never stopped calling for my return to Haiti."

February 9, 2011 - Aristide is issued a new diplomatic passport which could allow him to return to Haiti at a later date barring any actions taken by the US or South Africa.

March 18, 2011 - Aristide returns to Haiti after seven years in exile.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT