Haiti has been a tragic and afflicted country for its entire history so good news out of there is exceedingly rare. Baby Doc Duvalier returned to the country this week for obscure reasons: hubris? delusion? stupidity? He arrived broke, hoping to arose sympathy and/or support, which in some quarters he has.Here’s the good news: he was dragged off to court earlier today and is facing corruption charges.
The Duvalier family regime in Haiti was one of the most oppressive, brutal and crooked governments imaginable. The were racketeers, not rulers. The Duvaliers relied on terror both physical, in the form of the tonton macoutes, and psychological, via Papa Doc’s use of voodoo imagery, to keep the Haitian people scared shitless. I hope Baby Doc will also be charged with murder and crimes against humanity. He’s an odious little toad of a man who should pay for the crimes his family committed over decades of bloody misrule.
Finally, a plug for what I think is the best book written about Haiti in Papa Doc’s time:The Comedians by Graham Greene. If you’ve never read it, rush out and get a copy. You won’t be sorry and if you are, blame me. I can take it.