"It is a national day of thanksgiving," said Emmanuel Isidor, 23, a taxi driver who sat on a street corner listening to [Jean-Bertrand Aristide]'s speech on the radio. "Thanks to God and thanks to the United States for making this day possible. It is a day I will never forget. This is a big day for Haiti."
Perhaps nowwhere else was the joy greater than in Cite Soleil, the sprawling, seaside slum where the vast majority of residents support Aristide because they view him as the champion of the poor. Aristide, many believe, is the only Haitian leader who cares about the plight of those who live in Cite Soleil.
Throughout Cite Soleil, small crowds gathered around speakers that blared the news of Aristide's triumphant return. The revelers sang in support of lavalas, the Creole word meaning "avalanche," or "great flood," and the name of Aristide's political movement.