To me this is as eerie as allowing 'Baby Hitler' to return to Germany.
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Haiti's former dictator, returned unexpectedly Sunday to the country after some 25 years in exile, adding uncertainty into an already turbulent situation.
He arrived in the Haitian capital as the nation is grappling with a political crisis, sparked by fraud allegations in a presidential election. It was not immediately clear why the former leader returned.
Duvalier, wearing a dark suit and tie, greeted supporters at the busy Port-au-Prince airport. He was traveling with his wife.
The Duvalier family ruled Haiti for three decades starting in 1957, when Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier was elected president. He later declared himself president for life. When he died in 1971, he was succeeded by his 19-year-old son, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.
The younger Duvalier held onto power for 15 years before a revolt forced him to flee the country. Widely accused of corruption, Duvalier has been living in France.
No one knows why Baby Doc is back in Haiti. He's scheduled to hold a press conference on Monday.
Last week, Haiti marked the first anniversary of a devastating earthquake that left more than 200,000 people dead.
The January 12 anniversary of the catastrophe, as Haitians call it, comes as the Caribbean nation faces new crises: a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 3,700 people and a political impasse sparked by allegations of election fraud in the nation's presidential balloting.
Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council released preliminary election results in early December that gave former first lady Mirlande Manigat a win with 31.4% of the vote. Jude Celestin, President Rene Preval's handpicked successor, came in second with 22.3% while popular musician Michel Martelly was third with 21.8%.
However, a review of the results, conducted by an Organization of American States monitoring team, said Martelly actually had won 22.2% of the vote to Celestin's 21.9%, affording Martelly a spot in a runoff election with Manigat.
A runoff, originally scheduled for Sunday, was postponed. Haiti's constitution mandates a new presidential term starting on February 7, but it is unclear whether that will happen.
Photo of Baby Doc
Here is a brief chronology of milestones in the life of ex-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 US$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 US$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.
Wow...And from the news reports he was well recieved. WTF. The people there are
blinded by misery and grief, perhaps the 'GENERATION' there now really don't know
what to do. I am sure they know what was done by him and his dad...Papa Doc.
That 4.6 million can go a long way...
I agree, Joseph. It's a HOT dayum shame.
The people of Haiti have endured so many terrifying and life-threatening events for so long, I would think most are now at the "fruck it" stage of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I don't think Baby Doc's arrival, now, just prior to the general election is a coincidence. The results of Haiti's December primary election were proven faulty...to put it nicely.
There's no telling who cut this deal, but most likely he bought and bribed himself back into Haiti. His arrival adds a huge insult to her injuries. It's a moral outrage when citizens are sold out this way.
What kind of world is this? It's a shame that Baby Doc, a murderous, 2nd generation dictator, gets to return to Haiti while His Holiness the Dali Lama, a man of peace, remains exiled from his beloved Tibet. SMDH.
MzCee, I'm sitting here SMDH, having just watched NBC Nightly News.
Most Haitians have suffered from abject poverty because Baby Doc robbed the country's treasury, taking scores of millions of dollars with him when he fled to Switzerland.
I am utterly appalled that many young Haitians who don't remember all the brutality this man waged on his own people. are saying shyt like:
"I like DuValier's back. He will bring jobs to Haiti. I know he will."
Another young man said.
"I believe in Duvalier. He has changed. People do change."
HOW THE FRUCK CAN ANYONE THINK DUVALIER WILL EVER CHANGE???
He's not even a person, he's a snake. Must a snake bite you TWICE, once on your azz, once in your heart, for you to realize it will ALWAYS be a snake?
That's because now that world's focus is on the next news event, these people are desperate. He is being presented as a glimmer of hope to these people and they are saying this because nothing else is being done & they have nothing. I believe the U.S. gave their okay to bring him back to let themselves off the hook for any responsibility.