Goodbye Barry - Welcome Home AMERICA!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier Returns to Haiti... Who Do Voodoo?

Yes, he returned to Haiti recently. Where had he been? Who is he? How/Why did he leave Haiti? It's an interesting but deeply disturbing story, and very few people even know who the Duvalier's were. Let's begin with who "Baby Doc" is...

The son of the despot, Fran├žois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who died in 1971 , "Baby Doc" came to power upon his father's death, and carried on the family tradition of pillaging, rape and murder. He also directed the infamous and bloodthirsty Tonton Macoutes (Creole for "bogeymen") - the Haitian secret police - whose primary function was to eliminate dissenters and critics of the Duvalier regime, and was formed under "Papa Doc". He ruled Haiti from 1971-1986 continuing his father's legacy of terror on the small island nation. The Duvalier's lived like royalty, while their subjects lived in abject squalor and poverty. The elder Duvalier was a practitioner of voodoo, which should be no surprise since Haiti is the birthplace of voodoo, and voodoo is the de facto religion of the majority of Haitians. Who is "Baby Doc"? In a nutshell, he is the Haitian equivalent of the "Black Death" plague, which killed roughly 30% of Europe's population in the mid-14th century.

How/Why did Duvalier leave Haiti? He was eventually run out of the country by the people, and he departed on an aircraft provided by the U.S. Air Force. Wasn't that nice of us... to assist a thieving, murdering dictator in making his escape to France, where he has lived in luxurious exile for 25 years? How can we Americans reconcile such despicable behavior from our own government? And those - and similar behaviors - continue today! Are the requirements of international politics such that governments cavalierly ignore such things as morality, character, justice and that which is simply "right"?

Haiti has forever been an economic sinkhole, and has suffered a series of tragedies that seem to be virtually endless. Since its establishment as a French-owned slave colony, it has never flourished economically, and the average per capita income today is USD $75. We Americans could not provide for a family of four on $75 a week even, but the Haitians manage to do it because they are used to nothing more. They do not "live" (by our standards), but they do survive.

The only good news to come from Haiti recently is that Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has been arrested. Accused of ordering thousands of killings, the question now is will he be properly tried in a court of law?

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