Skip to comments.Haiti's 'Baby Doc' Seeks Forgiveness
Posted on 09/25/2007 7:33:13 PM PDT by blam
Haiti's 'Baby Doc' seeks forgiveness
By Tom Leonard in New York
Last Updated: 2:38am BST 26/09/2007
Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, the exiled former dictator of Haiti, has asked his countrymen to forgive "wrongs" committed by his regime.
His plea is being seen as a bid to soften opposition to him returning there.
In a radio speech recorded in Paris and broadcast across the impoverished Caribbean country, Duvalier urged supporters to rally around his small National Unity Party.
It was his first public address in years. Duvalier, 56, took over as ruler of Haiti from his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, in 1971 when he was just 19.
As "president for life", he continued in the family tradition of torturing and murdering political opponents, and pilfering the state coffers. He fled to France in 1986 following a popular uprising.
Duvalier said he was "broken by 20 years of exile" but "reinvigorated" by what he claimed was growing support, especially among younger Haitians. He did not mention returning, but said he took "historical responsibility" for the events of his tenure.
That’s better than his successor. Or Bill Clinton for that matter.
There is no hope for that poor country. Not for lack of trying. Haitians are very involved in politics but nothing good seems to happen. Why?
Let him prove it, give him a tire and some gasoline.
Papa Doc was a nasty dictator. I thought Baby Doc was a pretty decent guy—which was why he was successfully expelled. Frankly, after he left Haiti things got a lot worse there.
I don’t know what the answer is. That country has NEVER been capable of governing itself.
I don't either. The only person I know who is native to Haiti is a close friend of mine, a vascular surgeon, who speaks 5 languages. Our first meeting was over scotch where he quoted Voltaire in French. Needless to say, I think at least many have the native intelligence! Perhaps there is a brain-drain, but I just don't know either.