Sat, May 14, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Aristide surprises by staying quiet

AP, PORT-AU-PRINCE

Aristide’s US lawyer, Ira Kurzban, said the former president is meeting with old friends, deciding his course of action.

“I think he’s trying to listen to people and find out what’s going on in education and in the country in general,” Kurzban said. “I think it would be odd if he came back and started making statements, instead of listening to the people of Haiti about what’s happened the past seven years.”

Aristide made few public statements during his exile in South Africa, though he repeatedly said he wanted to come back to work as an educator through his foundation. After Baby Doc showed up in January, Aristide made his desire known again and he was issued a diplomatic passport that enabled his return.

So far, university students and foundation staff say he has not come by the complex, a short drive from the compound.

If Aristide, whom many know by his Creole diminutive “Titid,” did emerge from his seclusion, Patrick Elie, a friend and former minister in his government, said he would do so quietly.

“He would have to be very discreet,” Elie said. “The minute people spot him they’re going to scream ‘Titid’ and you’re going to have a bona fide demonstration.”

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