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.