Well… Another small bit of good news on that dictator front around the world…
Kim Jong Il is dead…
Not sure that Mubarak is “out-out”, but there are numerous reports that he has left Cairo, and recent reports that he has resigned… The Military Council made the following statement -
Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday, bowing down after a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. “The people ousted the president,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.
Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo’s central TahrirSquare exploded into joy, waving Egyptian flags, and car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.
Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soliders stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building.
“In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” a grim-looking Suleiman said. “He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”
Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, whose young suporters were among the organizers of the protest movement, told The Associated Press, “This is the greatest day of my life.”
“The country has been liberated after decades of repression,” he said adding that he expects a “beautiful” transition of power.
Bob Barr, former Republican Congressman who led the impeachment charge against President Clinton in 1998 has a new gig…
Schlepping for Genocidal Dictators for money along with other self identified “Republicans”.
The full conference can be found here. The Republicans speak starting at the 9:20 mark.
Bob Barr, a former U.S. congressman, is advising Jean-Claude Duvalier as the Haitian ex-dictator seeks to unlock frozen funds left in Swiss banks after he fled to Paris exile amid a 1986 rebellion.
Duvalier “is very interested in trying to get those funds freed up, not for himself, but so they can be used to help the situation in Haiti,” Barr said by phone from Port-au-Prince yesterday. Barr, 62, was a Republican representative from Georgia in 1995-2003 and ran for president in 2008 on the Libertarian Party ticket.
Barr accompanied Duvalier Jan. 21 as the former dictator made his first public comments since his Jan. 16 return to his homeland from a 25-year exile. Also accompanying Duvalier were two other American lawyers, Ed Marger of Jasper, Georgia, and Mike Puglise of Snellville, Georgia, according to a statement issued by Barr’s office.
The 59-year-old Duvalier, also known as “Baby Doc,” apologized to victims of abuses during his government, vowed to help the quake-ravaged nation rebuild and said he expected to face “persecution” upon his return. Haitian authorities opened a corruption case against him two days after his return.
The former dictator said his desire to help Haiti rebuild from last year’s quake that killed more than 300,000 “far outweighs any harassment I could face,” according to a video of his speech posted on the website of the daily Nouvelliste.
Charges Against Duvalier
Haitian authorities accused Duvalier of criminal conspiracy, embezzlement and corruption, prosecutor Aristidas Auguste told Radio Metropole. Duvalier allegedly stole public funds during his rule and hid them in Swiss bank accounts, Enrico Monfrini, a Switzerland-based lawyer representing the Haitian government, told Metropole.
A new Swiss law set to take effect Feb. 1 may allow authorities to return to Haiti as much as $7.3 million frozen in Duvalier’s accounts, said Jenny Piaget, a spokeswoman for the Swiss foreign affairs department.
Duvalier’s 15-year rule began in 1971 when his father, Francois Duvalier, known as “Papa Doc,” appointed him president for life. The Duvaliers oversaw the killings of 20,000 to 30,000 civilians, many at the hands of the Tonton Macoutes secret police, according to Human Rights Watch.
Amnesty International, which has pressed for Duvalier to be tried for crimes against humanity, said the corruption case is “a positive step, but it is not enough,” according to a Jan. 18 statement.
When asked about the crimes against humanity charges, Barr, who is advising Duvalier and not representing him as a lawyer, said “allegations are the cheapest commodity on the market.”
For those of you who don’t catch the “Brass Ankle” reference... Although in this case, I pre-apologize to the folks in that group for the intimation that Barr could be part of it.
Filed under: Haiti, Stupid Republican Tricks | Tagged: baby doc, Bob Barr, defense, dictator, Frozen Assets, genocide, Haiti, lawyer, mass murder, Republican, Scumbags, Swiss Bank Account | Leave a comment »
“Baby Doc” Arrested by Haitian Police…
Haiti — Haitian police took ex-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier out of his hotel Tuesday without saying whether he was being detained for crimes committed under his brutal regime.
A contingent of police led the former dictator known as “Baby Doc” through the hotel and to a waiting SUV. He was not wearing handcuffs.
Duvalier, 59, was calm and did not say anything. Asked by journalists if he was being arrested, his longtime companion Veronique Roy, laughed but said nothing.
Mona Bernadeau, a senate candidate from the Duvalierist party, said the former dictator was being taken to court but said she does not know why.
Outside the hotel, he was jeered by some people and cheered by others.
His removal from the hotel came after he met in private with senior Haitian judicial officials met inside his hotel room amid calls by human rights groups and other for his arrest.
The country’s top prosecutor and a judge were among those meeting with the former leader in the high-end hotel where he has been ensconced since his surprise return to Haiti on Sunday.
Dozens of Haitian National Police officers were posted inside and around the hotel, some of them in riot gear or guarding the stairwells. A police vehicle for transporting prisoners was parked in front of the hotel’s main door and all non-police traffic was halted at the driveway.
Henry Robert Sterlin, a former ambassador under Duvalier who has said in recent days that he was speaking as a spokesman for the former dictator, told reporters at the scene he was shocked by the developments. “Let’s see if they put him in prison,” he said.
With what appears to be the imminent ouster of Prime Minister Preval, perhaps a last gasp effort to maintain control of the country through the return of one of it’s most infamous dictators, Jean-Claude “”Baby Doc” Duvalier. Baby Doc took over after his father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, who earned the nickname for his efforts to eradicate diseases. Both farher and son maintained power through the use of the feared Tonton Macoutes, a secret police every bit as vicious as the East German STASI, or Russian KGB. “Papa Doc” was largely responsible for the rise of the current “elite” group in Haiti which supports Preval to maintain political and economic power.
The arrival of “Baby Doc” may severely complicate the political picture in Haiti – and may lead to increasing violence.
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier returned to Haiti today after nearly 25 years in exile, a surprising and perplexing move that comes as his country struggles with a political crisis and the stalled effort to recover from last year’s devastating earthquake. Duvalier arrived on an Air France jet to hugs from supporters at the Port-au-Prince airport. He left the airport without making a statement to journalists, but said he would give a news conference tomorrow.
In the fall of 2007, President Rene Preval told reporters that Duvalier could return to Haiti but would face justice for the deaths of thousands of people and the theft of millions of dollars. Haitians danced in the streets to celebrate the overthrow of Duvalier back in 1986 and most hoped he’d left for good, but a handful of loyalists have been campaigning to bring Duvalier home from exile in France, launching a foundation to improve the dictatorship’s image and reviving Baby Doc’s political party in the hopes that one day he can return to power democratically.