Baby Doc no! Aristide yes!
Published Jan 19, 2011 4:57 PM
In the midst of unspeakable suffering of the Haitian people and just days after
the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake, one of the figures most reviled by the
Haitian masses has returned to the country.
Tens of thousands were jailed, tortured and killed under the successive regimes
of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude
“Baby Doc” Duvalier, mostly by the paramilitary Tonton Macoutes.
When the people of Haiti were able to force out Jean-Claude Duvalier through a
mass struggle in 1986 (the father had died in office), he fled on a U.S. plane
accompanied by a U.S. guard.
Duvalier had been in exile in France until he boarded a plane and arrived back
in Haiti on Jan. 16.
After many Haitians demanded that Duvalier be indicted for human rights
violations, he was brought to a court on Jan. 18, questioned and then returned
to his luxury hotel. It is up to a judge to decide whether he’ll be
formally charged with “corruption, theft, misappropriation of funds and
other alleged crimes.” (Guardian, Jan. 18)
In addition to torture and killings, Duvalier’s monetary schemes are
directly related to the impoverishment of Haiti. In the last six years before
he fled the country, he rerouted $500 million in U.S. loans into his own bank
accounts. It was the Haitian people, and not Duvalier, who were forced to repay
Whatever brought about the outrageous return of this mass murderer to Haiti, it
raises another even more important question about another exiled president:
Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Isn’t it long past time Aristide was allowed to
After years of repressive military regimes, the people of Haiti elected
preacher and mass leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1990 in a landslide, and
re-elected him in 2000 with 92 percent of the vote. Washington organized a coup
in 2004, kidnapping Aristide on Feb. 29 and flying him out of the country in
the custody of both private security forces and the U.S. military. Some of the
same Haitian military leaders who participated in the 2004 coup had previously
been leaders of the Tonton Macoutes.
Aristide had the support of most Haitians when this U.S.-backed coup deposed
him. And yet, in this time of need for Haitians, he is prevented from returning
from Haiti. His political party, Fanmi Lavalas, is even prevented from running
in the elections.
Jean-Claude Duvalier, to jail!
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to Haiti!
Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: [email protected]
Subscribe [email protected]
Support independent news DONATE