Official: Aristide to return to Haiti ‘fully recovered’

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was scheduled to arrive Friday in Haiti after spending nearly a month in Cuba for medical treatment, an associate of his told The Associated Press.

Joel Edouard “Pacha” Vorbe, an executive committee member of Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party, said Aristide was expected to arrive by plane.

“He is completely recovered,” Vorbe said, though he said he didn’t have details about Aristide’s condition.

Aristide’s return adds a potentially volatile element to an already tense situation in a country facing a power vacuum following the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Aristide has long been one of Haiti’s most polarizing politicians and is still popular with some groups.

The twice-elected, twice-ousted leader returned to Haiti from exile in 2011 and has largely kept a low profile except for when he campaigned for the presidential candidate of his party in 2016.

It wasn’t clear what health conditions prompted Aristide to fly to Cuba. At the time, Moïse only said that Aristide had to seek treatment abroad and that Haiti’s embassy in Cuba would provide any assistance required.