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General News    H1'ed 1/18/11

Breaking: "Baby Doc" Duvalier in Custody. Preval's Distraction?

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Baby Doc and Veronique Roy (wife)
Baby Doc and Veronique Roy (wife)
(Image by Andre Paultre)
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"Because of the crowd they decided to go with him by the back. So we all run to the back and the white van went by the back gate and they closed it. Even the police has to jump over the gate to go inside."

Jean-Claude Duvalier and his wife were taken to the prosecutor's office in the blue SUV pictured below. Security around the national penitentiary has been reinforced.

Andre Paultre reports, "He waved with his hand twice walking down from the 3rd floor. He did look very happy. He tried to smile. You can see he looks sick. On our way down now on Canape Vert street people are putting stones on the streets to stop the cars."




At approximately 10:15 EST  Haitian Police Commissioner La Croix, government commissioner Aristidas, and Judge Ambroise Gabriel converged on Room 303 of the Karibe Hotel to issue an arrest warrant for former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc'' Duvalier. The US Embassy confirms through sources that Duvalier is about to be arrested. A Reynold Georges, who says he is Duvalier's lawyer has also arrived on the scene.

Duvalier, 59, led a brutal dictatorship from 1971 to 1986. Murder, torture, and looting of the Haiti are part of his history, which many in Haiti are too young to remember.
Andre Paultre, reporting from outside the Karibe Hotel, said they brought Duvalier with no handcuffs. Paultre reports he can hear demonstrations in the distance, but does not know if they are for or against Duvalier.
Duvalier has been staying at the Hotel Karibe since his surprise return to Haiti after 25 years in exile in France.
All in all, this spectacle has been a brilliant distraction form the election morass Haiti is in. President Rene Preval had made it very clear that he is finding it difficult to swallow the OAS report on massive fraud in the November elections, let alone accept the fact that his hand-picked choice, Jude Celestin, will not be in the run-off. That is, if Preval accepts the OAS report and recommendations.
It is very clear that Duvalier could not have entered Haiti without the knowledge of the French (Sarkozy)government, or Preval himself. In fact, the Government of Haiti provided a police escort from the airport to the Karibe Hotel for Duvalier on Sunday night.
It is possible that this seemingly Machiavellian move by Preval could backfire, if the mood of the crowds outside of the Karibe Hotel are any indication.

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill Magazine, the Huffington (more...)

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