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General News    H2'ed 1/17/11

Is Baby Doc Duvalier's Return To Haiti a Distraction or Scare Tactic?

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Haiti's former dictator and many would say "thief," Jean Claude Duvalier, arrived in Haiti yesterday on an Air France jet--an arrival that seemed almost surreal. Haitian society is still reeling from an earthquake that killed 300,000, left 1.5 million homeless, and fractured the country's ability to fight a cholera epidemic that has killed over 3,700 and sickened more than 180,000. The questions no one can answer, and may not be able to answer even though Duvalier has scheduled a press conference today, are "why" now, and "who" is behind this spectacle. The January 12 anniversary of the earthquake coincided with still more bodies pulled from the rubble, protests that international media did not cover, a disputed election, and an intransient President Rene Preval who was "unhappy" with a recount of an election process which invalidated the second place finish of his hand-picked protà gà , Jude Celestin.

The shocking arrival of Duvalier is yet another body from the bloody past, pulled from the ruins of a manipulated society.

Voice of America (VOA) ran a piece of revisionist history shortly after Duvalier's spectacular return. Was the person who wrote the release ignorant of history, or was the story sending a subtle message of US approval of Duvalier's return? The wording has changed since last night and the original statement of "self imposed exile" has been scrubbed and changed to "living in exile." I sure wish I had kept a screenshot. The use of the word "homeland" remains. Decide for yourselves whether describing the country in which Duvalier looted, tortured and murdered, as his "homeland" is the proper term to use.

This is the relevant portion of the original text.

The elections were followed by a cholera epidemic in the Caribbean island nation, which is still recovering from a devastating earthquake a year ago that killed more than 300,000 people. Duvalier was living in France in a self-imposed exile.

Here is the text from the same link this morning.

The elections were followed by a cholera epidemic in the Caribbean island nation, which is still recovering from a devastating earthquake a year ago that killed more than 300,000 people. Duvalier was living in exile in France.

A corrected press release requires that the original stand, along with the corrections. This did not happen. Honest mistake, or subtle message? Reader, be aware.

The reality is that "Baby Doc" Duvalier, son of Franà ois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, is part of a bloody familial reign of dictatorship that resulted in over 100,000 brutal murders and uncounted tortures by the Tontons Macoutes from 1957 to 1986, when the Reagan administration assisted in his ouster by "popular revolt" and put him on a plane to France.

Ezili Danto of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network presents a fierce analysis of the possible reasons for US and French interests in the spectacle of the resurrection of Duvalier.

Well, their pillage of poor Haiti is butt-naked right now. At the one-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, even the conservative media is talking about the failure of US aid, the UN and the NGO poverty pimping business in Haiti. Thus, the UN, as US proxy, needs to justify its job in Haiti. These folks think of us-Haitians as simplistic animals, so why not set up what's worked for them in other parts of the world?


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The Dispossessed of Camp Canaan

Why is the State Department silent? Given the recent events in Tunisia, DOS immediately issued statements on the unrest there. 

Now, Haiti is facing an election crisis that parallel investigations by the Organization of American States (OAS) and an independent think tank, The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) have declared fraudulent at best and "fatally flawed" at worst.   CEPR went one step further and said that the more forgiving OAS analysis   "can't salvage an election that was illegitimate, where nearly three-quarters of the electorate didn't vote, and where the vote count of the minority that did vote was severely compromised." 

Haitilibre reported last week that Preval was "very annoyed" with the election review.

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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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