‘Baby Doc’ back in Haiti

Former dictator returns from exile


Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, the former dictator of Haiti who was overthrown in 1986 by a populist uprising, has returned to his native country after a nearly quarter-century-long exile in France. In 1971, ‘Baby Doc’ inherited the presidency from his father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, when he was only 19. Duvalier’s rule was characterized by corruption and authoritarianism, while the Haitian people suffered the brutality of his notorious secret police, the Tontons Macoutes, who tortured and killed his political opponents. While the reason for Duvalier’s return from exile is not known, it comes at a time when Haiti is at a perilous crossroads, struggling to rebuild after last year’s devastating earthquake that killed 250,000 people and a subsequent cholera epidemic that claimed 3,750 lives. Haiti is also in the midst of a political crisis following last November’s election, which ended up in a run-off and provoked violent street protests. It is unclear as to whether Duvalier intends to insert himself into the country’s political process.

BBC News

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‘Baby Doc’ back in Haiti

  1. And yet nary a word from the governments of the US, France, and especially Canada. Aristide wanted to protect Haitian industry, raise the minimum wage and start investing in social infrastructure, but he's the bad guy? Duvalier should be placed under arrest the moment he stepped off the plane!

    It's this sort of blatant hypocrisy that's destroying the west's credibility. Do as we say, not as we do. In the words of George W. Bush 'they hate our values'. What values? I think it more likely that 'they' hate us for the fact we won't live by our own values. The Haitian mess is the west's shame…they voted for change and we denied it. And the media refuses to point out the glaringly obvious. The Haitians were finished the moment the UN appointed Michaelle Jean as its envoy…that's when you knew no one was going to get serious about the situation.

  2. If Michaelle Jean does not speak up against Duvalier being in Haiti, after her family fleeing to Canada as refugees because of him, all credibility will be lost.

    • Leo – To her credit, Ms. Jean has done exactly that: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2011/01/17/haiti-du

      ..former governor general Michaëlle Jean, now the United Nations' special envoy to Haiti, said she was "astounded" by Duvalier's sudden return.

      "Will a quarter-century of comfortable exile in impunity be enough to make Haitians forget the horrors, the suffering, the injustice as well as the human and economic cost of decades of Duvalierist dictatorship?" Jean wrote in a statement.

      • Thanks very much for that. My sincere "hope" is that somehow Jean will be able to act as a force for "good' in Haiti as I have grown to respect her.

  3. When he left he wasn't referred to as "Baby Doc". They called him "Baskethead"

  4. I will always have respect for Michaelle Jean, I know that she will do all isn her power to help the people of Haiti.

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