An hour south of Miami is the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation, Haiti. In 1991 its citizens elected a former Roman Catholic priest and exponent of liberation theology, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, as president. Popular among Haiti’s poor and disenfranchised, Aristide become a target of Haiti’s business interests (and the political parties that served those interests) because of his daring policies which tried to raise the standard of living for the huge majority of Haitians. During his second term in office, his government came under increasing pressure from many sides and by 2004 political violence had escalated sharply. On February 29, 2004, Aristide and his family left Haiti on a US-dispatched airplane — according to Aristide, against his will; the US claims with his full cooperation.