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|Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by AfroBlue(m): 9:07pm On Oct 04, 2014|
[b]Alleged Looter passes on
Former Haitian dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier dies
Duvalier was charged with human rights abuses, argued statue of limitations had expired
Author: By Mariano Castillo CNN
Published On: Oct 04 2014 01:11:21 PM EDT
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier died of a heart attack in Port-au-Prince at the age of 63, a family member told CNN Saturday.
Known by his nickname "Baby Doc," the so-called "President for life" actually fled Haiti in 1985 and stunned Haiti when he returned 25 years later.
He was charged with human rights crimes within days of his return, but he successfully argued in court that the statute of limitations had expired on charges that included torture, rape and extrajudicial killings.
Human rights groups decried the court ruling that spared Duvalier.
Duvalier inherited the title of "President for life" in 1971 upon the death of his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who had ruled with an iron fist through his paramilitary force, the Tonton Macoute.
Just 19 years old when he came to power, Baby Doc became one of the world's youngest heads of state.
Haitians initially celebrated his ascension, thinking the young man would be less oppressive than his father, but that didn't turn out to be the case.
Duvalier used his father's security apparatus to continue ruling in a totalitarian fashion.
His 15 years of rule were a time of repression in Haiti that included the torture of opponents and the taking of political prisoners.
In addition, there were allegations that "Baby Doc" embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International had documented what they call systematic human rights violations under Duvalier's rule. Both organizations accuse Duvalier of imprisoning and torturing hundreds of Haitians, including journalists, and using violent means to silence voices of opposition.
Amnesty gave the public prosecutor in the Duvalier case 100 documents that it said detailed cases of human rights violations.
Amnesty International's documents told the experiences of cobblers, taxi drivers, filmmakers, mechanics, distillers and even hairdressers, all of whom, they say, were arrested for anti-government activity.[/b]
|Re: Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by panafrican(m): 9:23pm On Oct 04, 2014|
The end of an era.
Will he be given state funerals?
|Re: Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by AfroBlue(m): 9:33pm On Oct 04, 2014|
his first wife ....
THE ICE QUEEN
Michele Bennett is the former wife of Haitian dictator Jean Claude Duvalier and one of the most reviled figures in the country's history. Part Alexis Carrington, part Imelda Marcos, the mere mention of her name often spurs outrage as the memory of her reign in the eighties leaves her in the company of infamous usurpers of power in the heart of the Haitian people
Michele Bennett was born to an affluent and influential family in Port Au Prince. Her father, Ernest Bennett, was a wealthy businessman and so were many of her uncles. One uncle was Francois-Wolff Ligonde, the first Haitian archbishop, who himself would soon be reviled by the people for his involvement in political affairs and encouragement of a military coup against president Jean Bertrand Aristide years later.
Michele attended St-Mary’s School in Peekskill New York and worked in midtown Manhattan as a secretary on Fashion Avenue. Ironically, her first marriage was to Alix Pasquet Jr, whose father Captain Alix Pasquet Sr, had attempted to overthrow Papa Doc in 1958 and was subsequently captured and executed.
A divorcee with two children when she returned to Port Au Prince, she worked at Habitation Leclerc , a posh hotel in Port Au Prince.
In 1980, two years after her return she married Jean Claude Duvalier, who had been since the death of his father in nine years earlier. Her wedding created awe and outrage, a posh affair that can best be described as the Caribbean version of the Charles and Diana royal wedding in lavishness and excess, The wedding cost approximately US$3 million.
Two more children were born out of that union. Shortly after the wedding she took control of the national palace. Many say that Jean Claude was actually scared of her as she was ruthless. Her ruthlessness and cruelty reverberated through the streets of Haiti as well as inside the Palace. She ostracized the Duvaliers and brought her own family into the fold, moving many into the Palace, and exiling Duvaliers. The main target was Baby Doc’s mother Simone who exerted great influence on her dictator son, even more so after the passing of his father Francois.
Michele Bennett then gave her father lucrative business inroads for him to conduct his affairs, sometimes legal, sometimes shady, including rumored drug trafficking. Her own brother was arrested in Porto Rico fror drug trafficking and served a prison sentence.
Her opulent lifestyle turned off the Haitian people but she was able to offset public outcry with acts of largesse, often televised. Her charitable acts even garnered praise from Mother Teresa, who from the outside looking in, was totally unaware of the plundering taking place.
The shopping sprees in New York, London and Paris were the stuff of legends. Millions were being spent on jewelry, artwork, shoes and furs, her favorite, despite the fact she was the first lady of a tropical country.
When the Duvaliers were ousted from power in 1986, Michele looted the country’s coffers and took off for France, the colonizer who imprisons Haitians greats and harbors Haiti’s worst.
Within four years, her and Baby Doc were divorced and at each other’s throats for the remainder of the fortunes that were stolen from the Haitian people. Michele had since relocated and cohabitated with another man,one of the grounds for divorce according to Jean Claude. A raid on their French estate caught Michele attempting to flush a notebook, containing a listing of her expenses. They were in the millions.
Today, Bennett lives in France, still enjoying a life of comfort with her divorce settlement, never having had to face justice for her kleptomania.
|Re: Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by AfroBlue(m): 9:42pm On Oct 04, 2014|
half caste Haitian Creoles (kreyòls) are still ruling the country so maybe yes.
The people are clamoring for the return of former President Aristide to power.
Haiti: The US Supports the Curtailing of Democracy – Stop the Political Persecution of Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas
Aristide must be allowed to participate in politics without fear and intimidation
By Danny Glover
Global Research, October 01, 2014
The World Post 19 September 2014
In March of 2011 I accompanied Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on his trip home to Haiti following years of forced exile in South Africa. I did so in support of Haitian democracy and Aristide’s civil rights, and in protest against my country’s role in illegally removing him from power in 2004 and then preventing him from returning to his native land for seven long years. Today, Haitian democracy and the rights of Aristide are again under threat and the U.S. government appears to be turning a blind eye.
Since returning to Haiti, Aristide has focused his energy on rebuilding and reactivating a medical university that he founded in 2001 and that had been closed down during his time in exile. Though he hasn’t been directly involved in politics, he remains a popular figure and is the leader of Fanmi Lavalas (FL) – a political party that has won the majority of votes in every election in which it has participated. However, FL has been kept off the ballot by Haiti’s authorities ever since the 2004 coup that led to Aristide’s forced exile.
Haiti’s parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for 2011, are now three years overdue and the UN and other foreign entities have repeatedly called for them to take place before the end of the year. With Aristide back in Haiti it would appear to be more difficult this time around for the government to prevent FL from participating. This is perhaps why the deposed president is once again under attack.
Last month, a Haitian judge reportedly issued an arrest warrant for Aristide. The case being mounted against him reeks of political persecution directly tied to efforts to suppress a popular alternative to the current administration of Michel Martelly, who is supported by conservative Haitian elites and the U.S.
The charges against Aristide stem from an investigation conducted by the illegal government established by the 2004 U.S.-backed coup. Under that government, human rights researchers found that some 4,000 people were killed for political reasons, while many others were imprisoned on bogus charges. Despite his powerful enemies’ best efforts, and a grand jury investigation in the U.S., no evidence has been produced that could support criminal charges against Aristide. In the meantime, the persecution of Lavalas and human rights defenders continues. On August 20, Lavalas activist Clifford Charles was killed following a protest demanding the release of fellow activist Louima Louis Juste.
The judge who issued the warrant for Aristide’s arrest has been disbarred from practicing law for 10 years – as soon as he steps down from his position as judge – for his role in the arrest last year of Andre Michel, an attorney investigating corruption within the Martelly administration. Lawyers for Aristide contend that they never received the initial summons from the judge and that when they did go to the court at the required time, the judge himself was a no-show. Now, in an apparent attempt at saving-face, the judge has ordered house arrest for Aristide, something that is not even legal in Haiti. The National Network for the Defense of Human Rights, Haiti’s most prominent human rights organization, has pointed out that these are not the actions of a neutral third-party.
On the night of September 11th, Haitian authorities went a step further, removing the security detail that had been with Aristide since his return from exile, a move that put him, his family, and his supporters at risk. Haitian press reports indicate that the command came not from the National Police, who have been reluctant to act against Aristide, but straight from the National Palace. The message was chilling and clear: the government can and will stop offering protection to the former president whenever it chooses to do so.
Is the government scared of facing Fanmi Lavalas in a free and fair election? President Martelly was elected in 2011, but only after intervention by the U.S. and its key partners, who arbitrarily overturned the results of the first round, thereby putting Martelly into the run-off election. Voter participation barely reached 20 percent.
The U.S. government was one of the main funders of those flawed elections and a major funder of the elections of 2006 and 2009, all of which excluded Fanmi Lavalas. The U.S. is also expected to provide key funding for the next elections, if and when they end up taking place. If elections aren’t held by the end of the year, terms will expire for the majority of the senate and the entire chamber of deputies, effectively letting the president rule by decree. My country’s government is a de facto, if not active supporter of this rampant curtailing of democracy.
It’s time to end the campaign of attacks against Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas once and for all. Aristide, like all Haitian citizens, must be allowed to participate in politics without fear and intimidation being the norm. My government has been complicit in undermining Haitian democracy for many years now – from the 1991 CIA-backed coup against the first Lavalas administration to the U.S. Administration’s last-ditch effort to prevent Aristide from returning to Haiti in 2011.
This needs to change. The U.S. government should stand by its professed support for democracy and development and stop standing in the way of the popular will of the Haitian people.
Danny Glover is an actor, producer and humanitarian activist.
|Re: Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by AfroBlue(m): 11:01pm On Oct 04, 2014|
Former Haitian President Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier dies
By Jacqueline Charles and Christina Veiga
10/04/2014 1:02 PM
10/04/2014 5:27 PM
Jean Claude Duvalier during an interview in Laboule, outside Port au Prince, Haiti, on April 16, 2011.
Former Haitian President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who returned to Haiti after 25 years in exile, has died, President Michel Matelly announced Saturday.
“On behalf of the entire government and the Haitian people, I want to seize this sad opportunity to transfer my sincere sympathies to the family, his close friends and supporters around the country,” Martelly said in a statement.
Several of Duvalier’s friends told the Miami Herald that they learned Saturday of the former dictator’s death.
Richard Sassine, a longtime friend of Duvalier, said he received a call Saturday morning informing him that Duvalier had died after suffering a heart attack at home in the Port-au-Prince mountaintop suburb community of Thomassin.
Duvalier, 63, had just recently been discharged from a hospital after being bitten on the leg by a tarantula, Sassine said.
A nurse at Canapé Vert Hospital said Duvalier checked in on Sept. 22 and checked out Sept. 25. He was also a diabetic, according to a friend, and was hospitalized several times since his return to Haiti.
“He was a gentle giant,” Sassine said, “not this tyrant, people say, who ruled Haiti during the Cold War. He wasn’t my friend the president; he was my friend Jean-Claude.”
Duvalier was the subject of an ongoing trial into human rights abuses during his reign.
Sassine said Duvalier’s death is a huge loss to Haiti. Duvalier had been working on a book in which he planned to make several revelations, helping people to better understand him and his controversial rule.
“He had so much he could have told people about Haiti in the 1970s and ’80s. People would have understood certain things,” Sassine said. “He knew so much about so many things. I wish he had finished his book. Either way, it should be partly published.”
On Feb. 7, 1986, Duvalier was driven from Haiti in disgrace. He returned in 2011, to much shock from the global community; he would later be indicted on human rights abuses and corruption after victims of his regime brought charges against him.
In the wake of Duvalier’s return, there had been speculation about whether he would again participate in politics, fueled further when his political party opened a headquarters in the southern part of Haiti.
But Sassine, who saw Duvalier regularly, said he had grown disillusioned with Haiti’s politics.
“He said his time had passed, and what Haiti required to fix it, he could not do,” Sassine said. “He practically gave up political life, and was enjoying life. He loved Haiti.”
In Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, the phone rang at Libreri Mapou bookstore. Owner Jan Mapou listened to the caller’s news: Duvalier is dead.
He had already heard the same from someone who had popped into the small store.
News of Duvalier’s death seemed to pour in slowly, through word of mouth and Haitian radio.
Mapou was still reflecting on the news early Saturday afternoon.
“It’s too early. I don’t know the consequences,” he said. “The son, I don’t know, because I left Haiti in 1971.”
But other community leaders say they know enough of Duvalier to form an opinion. Some held a news conference Saturday after, where they called for a trial even after Duvalier’s death. And they took the opportunity to criticize the current Haitian government and U.S. policy toward the country, including immigration laws.
“The sad part is Duvalier passed without facing a trial, without being in front of a judge,” said Tony Jeanthenor, vice chair of Veye Yo, a Haitian activist organization. “We expect to at least have a postmortem trial. We don’t expect this from the regime in Haiti right now. This regime is trying to emulate Duvalier.”
Jack Lieberman, a refugee advocate, said the Martelly government has refused to hold elections, banned political opposition parties and imprisoned dissidents, “all with US support.”
“So I’m sad to say history repeats itself. And until there’s an accounting for the crimes that were done, history will continue to repeat itself. We need to change U.S. policy toward Haiti. We need respect, first of all, for human rights and democracy, and an end to the legacy of Duvalierism, which is being continued by this government,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman and Jeanthenor stressed the harshness of Duvalier’s dictatorship.
“Any time you take a chance to criticize the Duvalier regime, you are either put in jail or you are either killed, or you are either exiled. If you were lucky, you were exiled,” Jeanthenor said. “You are a nonhuman under the Duvalier regime.”
Back in Haiti, Michele Montas, a former Haitian journalist and a victim of Duvalier’s regime, told the Miami Herald, “it’s unfortunate he died in his bed, and we were unable to try him. For the people who fought against him, it’s not over yet. It isn’t just a fight against Jean-Claude, but the people who supported his administration,” she added. “To us, the fight isn’t over.”
Montas said Martelly, who has shown an affinity for the former president and his rule, may decide to give him a national funeral. That would be a shame, she said.
“Someone who was indicted of human rights violations and crimes against humanity be honored in a national funeral,” she said.
Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch, which has been supporting Duvalier's victims with their trial, said Duvalier’s victims would have wanted to see him on trial.
“Duvalier's rule was marked by systematic human rights violations. Hundreds of political prisoners held in a network of prisons died from mistreatment or were victims of extrajudicial killings. Duvalier's government repeatedly closed independent newspapers and radio stations. Journalists were beaten, in some cases tortured, jailed and forced to leave the country,” Brody said. “Duvalier’s death deprives Haitians of what could have been the most important human rights trial in the country’s history.”
Sandra Honoré , the United Nations special representative in Haiti, said Duvalier’s death should not end efforts toward accountability.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti. The return of the former President to Haiti in 2011 presented an opportunity for the country to comprehensively address the painful memories of its recent past through the required processes of accountability and of reconciliation, the pursuit of which should continue,” she said.
Charles reported from Cap-Haitien and Veiga from Miami.
Here is a brief chronology of milestones in the life of former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier:
▪ April 1971: Haitian dictator Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier dies and his teenage son, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, becomes the country's president for life under a constitutional amendment that allowed "Papa Doc" to name his replacement. "Baby Doc" is just 19.
▪ April 1985: After protests by religious groups against Duvalier's leadership, bloody confrontations are sparked between anti-government demonstrators and Duvalier's private militia, called Tonton Macoutes.
▪ Nov. 27, 1985: Three students are slain by security forces in Gonaives in the first of several bloody confrontations with anti-government demonstrators.
▪ December 1985: Protests broaden across the impoverished country. Duvalier orders significant reshuffle of his Cabinet.
▪ January 1986: Duvalier's administration closes schools and universities and forbids radio stations to report on the turmoil engulfing the country. More than 50 people are killed in disturbances, most by Tonton Macoutes. Duvalier declares 30-day state of siege.
▪ Jan. 31, 1986: Following weeks of unrest, White House spokesman Larry Speakes announces the collapse of the Duvalier government, a report that is later denied by Haitian and U.S. officials.
▪ Feb. 7, 1986: Duvalier and relatives fly to France aboard U.S. military jet. National Council of Government, consisting of three military men and two civilians, led by Duvalier's army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, takes power. The country is destitute.
▪ Feb. 10, 1986: Provisional government, headed by Namphy, names 19-member Cabinet. It dissolves Assembly and Tonton Macoutes, reopens schools, frees political prisoners, and seeks to recover Duvaliers' assets. U.S. aid resumes, after being halted because of Duvalier abuses.
▪ March 29, 1987: Constitution bars Duvalierists from candidacy for 10 years.
▪ May 2007: A Geneva court temporarily blocks the release of some of the $6.2 million stashed in Switzerland by Duvalier. Many in Haiti considered the money to have been stolen from public funds before Duvalier was ousted.
▪ August 2007: Swiss government extends a freeze on Duvalier's funds for a year.
▪ February 2010: In a reversal, Switzerland's top court says at least $4.6 million in Swiss bank accounts previously awarded to charities must be returned to the family of Duvalier.
▪ Jan. 16, 2011: Duvalier returns to Haiti after nearly 25 years in exile as Haiti struggles to recover from a devastating earthquake, deadly cholera outbreak, and an electoral crisis. Two days later, he is charged with corruption and theft. He is released, but ordered to remain in Haiti.
▪ Feb. 28, 2013: Appearing frail, Duvalier appears in court and defends himself against accusations of human rights abuses. It is his only court appearance before his death in 2014.
'Baby Doc' finds new life, freedom in his homeland (Miami Herald Archives)
Former Haitian President Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier dies
American Airlines adds Cap-Haïtien flights from Miami
Haitian film series screens in South Florida
Caribbean leaders ask U.N. for help in reducing poverty
|Re: Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by Sagamite(m): 3:09pm On Oct 05, 2014|
The kind of leaders Pendusky deserves, worships and prays for.
And trust black fuuktards like him, I am sure some Haitians would be wailing this arsehole is dead.
|Re: Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by cap28: 6:10pm On Oct 05, 2014|
Good riddance to a piece of shi.t who was aided and abetted by the US govt.
|Re: Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by Sagamite(m): 10:27am On Oct 06, 2014|
But if it was Ghaddafi, you would cry like a baby because of the heartbreak?
|Re: Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by cap28: 7:59pm On Oct 06, 2014|
Sagamite:Thunder fire you there idiat!!!
|Re: Former Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Dies by Sagamite(m): 8:07pm On Oct 06, 2014|
You are a cretin.
Would you not cry like a baby for Ghaddafi because of the heartbreak?
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