National/World

Former Haitian president returns from exile

Friday, March 18, 2011
Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, right, looks on with his wife Mildred Aristide, left, during a press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. Exiled former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide said Friday he was ready to return to his quake-devastated country, but it was not clear when or how.

Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, right, looks on with his wife Mildred Aristide, left, during a press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. Exiled former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide said Friday he was ready to return to his quake-devastated country, but it was not clear when or how. (AP Photo)

Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is getting celebrity treatment following his arrival in Haiti after seven years in exile.

A small crowd of journalists, dignitaries, airport workers and former members of his security team mobbed Aristide as soon as he descended the steps of the small plane that carried him from South Africa on Friday. He waved and blew a kiss to the crowd, but made no statement before entering a VIP lounge inside the airport terminal. His wife, Mildred, wept.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the airport waving flags and photos of Aristide.

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