PDA

View Full Version : Baby Doc Is Back In Haiti!!!


Dirty Knowledge
01-17-2011, 11:45 PM
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/fl-haiti-duvalier-protest-20110117,0,6075430.story

From all around South Florida, Haitian (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/intl/haiti/port-au-prince-%28haiti%29-PLGEO000001951608.topic)-Americans reacted with shock and even outrage Monday after long-exiled former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/arts-culture/jean-claude-duvalier-PEHST000600.topic) returned unexpectedly to Haiti at one of the most tumultuous times in the nation's history.

As Haiti reels from a devastating earthquake (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/disasters-accidents/earthquakes/haiti-earthquake-%282010%29-EVHST0000230.topic), a cholera (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/health/diseases-illnesses/cholera-111.topic) epidemic and an election crisis, some expressed fear that Duvalier, known as "Baby Doc" and infamous for his despotic 15-year rule, would offer himself as the answer to the nation's woes.

"People are looking for leadership. So they might turn to him even knowing that he's not good for the country," said Miramar (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/us/florida/broward-county/miramar-PLGEO100100403170000.topic) resident Carline Guercin, 43, a medical technologist.



A day after his surprise arrival in Port-au-Prince aboard an Air France (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/economy-business-finance/air-france-klm-ORCRP000412.topic) jet, Duvalier's intentions were still not clear. He was reportedly meeting with advisers at the luxurious Karibe hotel on Monday.

Duvalier, accompanied by his girlfriend Veronique Roy, was expected to speak publicly on Monday. But those plans apparently were canceled.

As he stepped off the plane Sunday, Duvalier said, "I came to put myself at the service of my country," according to the Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste.

Radio Caraibes quoted him as saying, "I'm not here for politics, I'm here for the reconstruction of Haiti."

State Department (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/politics/government/u.s.-department-of-state-ORGOV000000150.topic) spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a Twitter (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/arts-culture/internet/social-media/twitter-inc.-ORCRP00010280.topic) post that the U.S. was surprised by the timing of Duvalier's visit. "It adds unpredictability at an uncertain time in Haiti's election process," wrote Crowley, according to The Associated Press.

At a rally Monday afternoon in Miami's Little Haiti, several Haitian-Americans called for prosecution of the man who, for the past 25 years, has lived the life of a pampered exile in France (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/intl/france-PLGEO000002.topic). Before fleeing Haiti aboard a U.S. military (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/unrest-conflicts-war/defense/u.s.-military-ORGOV000021106.topic) jet in 1986, he reportedly scooped up millions in national funds to take with him.

"What we are asking is that former dictator Duvalier be held accountable for all the human rights abuses and violations, all the murders that were committed," said activist Marleine Bastien at a news conference.

Larry Pierre, director of the Center for Haitian Studies in Miami, said of Duvalier's return: "This is clearly a slap in the face of the Haitian judicial system. This is overwhelming, a big surprise to me."

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/social-issues/human-rights/human-rights-watch-ORNPR00003940.topic) accused Duvalier, 59, of "grave violations of human rights'' and called for his arrest. Amnesty International (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/politics/human-rights/amnesty-international-ORCIG000065.topic) also called for Duvalier's prosecution.

But some South Florida Haitians expressed willingness to give the former strongman a chance to aid the impoverished nation, and defended his right to return to his homeland.

"If he has returned to help the country, we don't have any problem with that," said Luc Loriston, pastor of Delray Beach (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/us/florida/palm-beach-county/delray-beach-PLGEO100100412050000.topic)'s Haitian Church of God-Prophecy. "We need unity. The country has suffered too much."

The Rev. Robes Charles, of St. Clement Church in Fort Lauderdale (http://wutang-corp.com/topic/us/florida/broward-county/fort-lauderdale-PLGEO100100403070000.topic), said he had "mixed feelings" about Duvalier's return.

"Maybe he came to see the [earthquake] destruction. He is Haitian," Charles said. "But if he has come to add to all this turmoil, to make trouble, then we don't need that."

Many were suspicious of Duvalier's motives and timing.

"This is a distraction," said Dessalines Ferdinand, 45, a Miramar resident and publisher of Le Floridien, a Creole-language community newspaper.

Ferdinand wondered aloud whether Haitian President Rene Preval "could have opened the door" for Duvalier's return from exile as a way of shifting the spotlight from the confusion left by November's presidential election.

"Maybe this is to prevent Preval from having to go into exile," Ferdinand said.

Constitutionally barred from another term, Preval was to leave office next month. But a run-off election scheduled for Sunday was indefinitely postponed amid reports that the November election was tainted by violence and polling-place irregularities.

"I don't know what to make of this," Pierre said. "But if Preval is behind an effort to create chaos, it clearly takes the focus off him."

In 2007 Preval said if Duvalier returned to Haiti, he could face charges connected to the looting of the treasury and the deaths and torture of political opponents.

Jean-Claude Duvalier was just 19 years old when he succeeded his father, François "Papa Doc" Duvalier, in 1971. In the 1950s and 1960s, Papa Doc was a much-feared dictator, ruling with the help of a powerful and secretive police force, the Tontons Macoutes.

During his reign, Baby Doc earned a reputation for brutality and wanton excess, crushing opponents while spending lavishly to maintain a playboy lifestyle.

But as Haiti fell deeper into poverty, unrest grew. Under rising international pressure, the Reagan administration facilitated Duvalier's exit.

During his years of exile, Haiti has held several democratic elections, but that has not ended the nation's troubles. Along with political unrest, Haiti has also been plagued by disease and natural disasters.

A cholera outbreak that began last year is blamed for more than 3,700 deaths, according to government figures.

The Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake killed more than 230,000 people, and has left more than 1.3 million homeless. Many of those survivors are still living in tent encampments.