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"Baby Doc" Duvalier returns - Just what Haiti needs right now. NOT!

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posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 11:48 AM
I did a quick search on this and was surprised not to find anything. Mods, please let me know if I missed it. Then again...perhaps his timing was perfect, in that, the U.S. was busy talking about the latest nut job massacre.

Throughout their rule, thousands of Haitians were killed or "disappeared" at the hands of their dreaded "voluntary militia," or Tonton Macoutes, the Creole word for bogeyman.

The community literally danced in Montreal streets 25 years ago over the news that Duvalier had fled Haiti for exile in France. Yesterday, they were in shock

A handful of loyalists have been campaigning to bring Duvalier home from exile in France, launching a foundation to improve the dictatorship's image and reviving Duvalier's political party in the hopes that one day he can return to power democratically.

Duvalier and his father, Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier, tortured and killed their political opponents, ruling in an atmosphere of fear and repression ensured by the bloody Tonton Macoute secret police.

The end of his reign was followed by a period known as deshoukaj or "uprooting" in which Haitians carried out reprisals against Macoutes and regime loyalists, tearing their houses to the ground.

In the fall of 2007, President René Préval told reporters that Duvalier could return to Haiti but would face justice for the deaths of thousands of people and the theft of millions of dollars.

1986 - With the Tonton Macoutes unable to repress the mounting social unrest and the military pressing for his resignation, Jean-Claude and his wife accept assistance from the US and flee the country for France on 7 February. The couple take up residence in a villa in Mougins, near Cannes. They will later divorce.

"Right now, people don't know what he's back here for. People don't know if he is just visiting, or if he's here to talk about the earthquake and relief ... or, is he going to make a political move?" said Flaherty. "It's just going to be interesting to hear what he has to say."

Veronique Roy, his longtime companion, spoke briefly to reporters at the hotel and said he will stay in the country for three days. Asked why now, she said '"Why not?"

The news floored Haiti experts and has thrown the country's entire political situation into question. Immediately speculation began about what other exiled leaders might return next.

"I was shocked when I heard the news and I am still wondering what is the next step, what Preval will say and obviously what (exiled former President Jean-Bertrand) Aristide will be doing," said Robert Fatton, a Haitian-born history professor at the University of Virginia and author of "The Roots of Haitian Despotism."

"If Jean-Claude is back in the country I assume Aristide will be trying to get back as quickly as possible."

I also ask the question - Why now? Is he simply broke and wants to reclaim his land and property? Have the "loyalists" been actively recruiting voters? Does Baby Doc have a horse in this political race? I have read some comments from Haitians saying that they hope he can do some good for the country. Have they such short memories??

Author Amy Wilentz, whose book "The Rainy Season" is a definitive account of the aftermath of Duvalier's exile and Aristide's rise, said: "This is not the right moment for such upheaval."

"Let's not forget what Duvalierism was: prison camps, torture, arbitrary arrest, extrajudicial killings, persecution of the opposition," she wrote in an e-mail to AP. And, she added, "If Haitian authorities allow Duvalier to return, can they thwart exiled President Aristide's desire to come back to the country?"

"Haitians need a steady hand to guide them through the earthquake recovery, not the ministrations of a scion of dictatorship."

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 11:54 AM
reply to post by Tasty Canadian

That is not good news for Haiti. His father, "Papa Doc" was at least considered ok by general standards there."Baby Doc" however was a nightmare from all that I heard about him.

edit on 18-1-2011 by manta78 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 12:16 PM
Yes, this blew my mind when I read this the other day..

anyone who doesnt know the true history of Papa needs to read up on it. ANyone who doesnt know how the UN and the world involvement is doing all but destroying Haiti needs to read up on it. It irks me how everyone thinks we are doing so much good over there.. all we have done is take advantage of a crisis. No different than what I figure Baby Doc is going to do.
edit on 18-1-2011 by Advantage because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 12:20 PM
I was stunned to hear that Baby Doc had the nerve to set foot in Haiti. As an added "perk" to this thread, the Duvaliers were purported to use voudou to control the people.

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 12:22 PM
This is just a slap in the face to the good citizens of Haiti who have endured more than enough throughout the past year. I'm sure its the money and the corruption that has once again brought him back to Haiti. Plenty of "relief" funds being placed into the wrong hands since last years tragedy and sure old Baby Doc wants to get his share from his old cronies.

Sad Day!!

The man never saw a jail cell for what he did and he'll probably end up back in power rather than handcuffs.

a little bit on Baby Doc's history

A practicing physician, he abandoned Hippocratic Oath do no harm principles as dictator. Quickly solidifying power, he disappeared opponents, dispatching many to Fort Dimanche to be tortured to death. Others were arrested on spurious charges, including journalists, editors, radio station owners, and allies to prevent challenges to his iron grip. In 1961, he won a sham election, discarded Haiti's bicameral parliament for a unicameral one, and in 1964 declared himself president for life.

He ran the military by discarding commanders for others he controlled. He established the Presidential Guard and Volunteers for National Security (the Tonton Macoutes Palace Guard) to solidify power and reign terror through murder, torture and intimidation.

He stole government funds and extorted rake-offs from Haitian and foreign businessmen alike, enriching himself and close supporters. He rewrote the Constitution to assure Baby Doc succeeded him. Haitian elites approved to continue Duvalierism under a 19-year old when he took over in 1971.

During his rule, Papa Doc increased poverty, making Haiti the region's poorest, its present status. As president, Baby Doc continued his father's ways after initially deferring to his mother. He waged war on Haiti's poor, ruled brutally with dictatorial harshness, and amassed wealth the old-fashioned way like his father - he stole and extorted it, including massive amounts of US and international aid, notably from the World Bank, IMF, International Development Bank (IDB), and USAID.

When forced out, the Reagan administration airlifted him to a lavish French villa where he remained until returning. Why he left and why Washington let him back remain unanswered questions.

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 12:26 PM
CNN reporting that Baby Doc just got taken into custody.
Will report more as I hear it.
-Clark "beezzer" Kent

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 12:32 PM
Baby doc has been taken by authorities and is being held in an undisclosed location and is being questioned by authorities.

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 12:35 PM
reply to post by beezzer

Something stinks with this story. Why would he leave the comforts of his French villa only to return to an awaiting arrest? He's probably being escorted back to what's left of the presidential palace to look at the progress of its reconstruction.

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by jibeho

The thought had crossed my mind as well.

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 01:06 PM
Thank you for your replies and the heads-up on his arrest.

PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Haitian police took ex-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier to a courthouse in downtown Port-au-Prince early Tuesday afternoon after he was taken into custody -- though the charges remain unknown.

The former despot known as ``Baby Doc'' was picked up by heavily-armed police at the posh Karibe Hotel in Petionville. He did not say anything as he was escorted through the back of the hotel but his companion laughed when asked if Duvalier was being arrested.

On Monday, Duvalier was receiving visits from the secret police that once terrorized the country and fueling fears that his return will deepen a political crisis from disputed presidential elections.

The visit caused foreign governments to scramble. Canada and the United States denounced his return, with Canada releasing a terse statement referring to Duvalier as a ``dictator.''

*...and yet the U.S. helped him to escape the country in the first place.

The Obama administration expressed concern and worry that Duvalier's sudden appearance could have ``an unpredictable impact'' on Haiti's delicate political state.

Human rights groups in Haiti and the U.S. demanded Duvalier's arrest as victims, such as United Nations official Michele Montas, relived trauma from the Duvalier's reign of terror.

``What bothers me the most is the fact that so many people seem to have forgotten what happened,'' she said. ``When I talk about Nov. 28, 1980, when our radio station was ransacked, destroyed, when all of the journalists present at the station were arrested -- young people have no notion that something like this could have happened.

``I tell them that the price that we paid for freedom of the press they are enjoying right now was a price paid in blood. Journalists died, they were killed.''

Read more:

* my words

edit on 18-1-2011 by Tasty Canadian because: to add asterisk

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