'Baby Doc,' Aristide and Haiti's New President Meet to Rebuild Haiti
Presidents Set Aside Differences, Reunite for Haiti
As Haiti continues to recover from a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed thousands, the meeting of two presidents on Wednesday may add to relief efforts the country has continued to seek since 2010.
Haiti’s new president Michel Martelly met with former presidents Jean-Bertrand Aristide and former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier this week as an organized effort to bring their country out of a disastrous slump since the earthquake.
The meeting marked Aristide’s first public speech on national television since he returned from South Africa in March as he faced seven years in exile, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“This visit reinforces all the steps that have been made so that we can put our heads together,” Aristide said in a videotape, which was released to The Associated Press on Wednesday night.
He said that Haiti needed “to speak, to dialogue, to unite so that the country can become more beautiful. ”
Martelly, who was openly critical of Aristide, said the two discussed many topics, including education, reconciliation and security. “We are writing a very special page in the history of Haiti,” he said. “It's time for us to unite. ”
Afterwards, the president met with Duvalier, who made a return to Haiti this year after 25 years of exile in France. The former president was charged with embezzlement and human rights abuses, but efforts to pursue the case have stalled, according to AJC.