Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti - by Stephen Lendman
With more troubles than Job, Haitians now have another after former dictator Jean-Claude Baby Doc's arrival. On January 16, Air France flew him back, New York Times writer Randal Archibold headlining, "A Former Dictator Reappears in Haiti," saying:
"Haitian television and radio stations reported that Mr. Duvalier....landed shortly after 6PM in Port-au-Prince," telling reporters he was there "to help Haiti."
He's most unwelcome. As Haitian dictator from April 21, 1971 - February 7, 1986, he ruled brutally after succeeding his father, Francois Papa Doc, another infamous thug in charge from October 22, 1957 until his April 21,1971 death.
For nearly 30 years, they reigned terror, using Tonton Macoute killers to murder up to 100,000 Haitians, yet America backed their rule. When military strongman Paul Magloire was deposed, rigged elections brought Papa Doc to power. More on his rule and son Baby Doc below.
A previous article explained Haiti's long colonial history, repeated below through Baby Doc's 1986 ouster.
Besides oppressive centuries under Spanish and French rule, colonialism cursed Haiti after revolutionary leader's Jean-Jacques Dessalines' 1806 assassination. Presidents drafted and abolished constitutions at will. From 1949 - 1859, "Emperor" Faustin I suspended Haiti's republic. Debt to France hamstrung the country. Governments controlled agricultural lands. Elites held power directly or through puppet presidents, serving them.
Coups and assassinations were commonplace. Once the presidential palace was blown up, killing the incumbent. An angry mob hacked another to death. A third was poisoned. Relative stability was rare. America withheld recognition until 1862, during the Civil War under Lincoln.