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Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Biography

Haitian Government Officials

Date of Birth (DOB): 7/15/53
From: Haiti
Best Known for: The present leader of Haiti

Bio: Jean-Bertrand Aristide was born on July 15, 1953 in the coastal town of Port-Salut, Haiti.
After completing his post graduate studies in psychology at the State University of Haiti in 1979 Aristide traveled to Rome and then to Israel where he spent two years studying biblical theology.
On July 3, 1983 Aristide returned home for his ordination as a parish priest. Aristide shared in the lives and struggles of his parishioners and quickly became their spokesperson. Aristide was an outspoken critic of the Duvalier regime and rose to national prominence through the broadcasts of his sermons on the Catholic station, Radio Soleil.
In 1990 Haiti Aristide was elected president in Haiti's first free and fair election with an overwhelming 67% of the vote. However on September 30, 1991, a military coup forced Aristide into exile. On October 15, 1994, President Aristide triumphantly returned to Haiti where he completed the last sixteen months of his presidential term. His most significant accomplishments as President were dismantling the Haitian military and creating Haiti's first civilian police force. Aristide is the founder of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy. A partial list of awards he has received includes the Oscar Romero Award, the Martin Luther King International Statesman and Ecumenical Award, and the Aix-la-Chappelle Peace Prize.
He is fluent in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, English and in his native Creole and French and he is also an accomplished musician and composer, he playing the guitar, saxophone, organ, drums, clarinet and piano.

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