Former dictator returns to Haiti

Jean-Claude Duvalier

Jean-Claude Duvalier. Courtesy of CBC News.

Exiled Haitian dictator returns to Haiti amidst skepticism as to his intentions while the country experiences deep social, economic and political crisis.  Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier has been exiled for 25 years.

The former dictator, who became president of Haiti after his father Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier died in 1971, fled after 15 years of violent clashes with anti-government groups.

According to a chronology of Duvalier’s dictatorship provided in the Los Angeles Times, “Baby Doc” fled with US$6.2 million in public funds.  Duvalier provided little explanation for his return other than he had “come to help.”

NY Dominicans feel Haiti’s Pain

Republished with the permission of New American Media

While two-thirds of Haiti’s capital was being destroyed by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, people felt a tremor throughout the Dominican Republic as well and took to the streets in panic, reports El Diario, which spoke to family members in Manhattan’s Dominican community. Amantina Otero said when he learned that the earthquake was felt throughout the island, he immediately called his family in Santo Domingo, who then told him all was well. Now his concern is for those in Haiti. Joseph Mercedes also called his family and was told that everyone was safe but that the cathedral in Haiti had fallen and there were hundreds dead. Others contacted siblings, who claimed Dominican people were screaming in the streets with fear but then everything calmed down.

Estimates of up to 100,000 Dead in Haiti’s 7.0 Earthquake

Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake yesterday, Jan. 12. There has been a worldwide response with nations like the U.S., Iceland, Spain, France, Brazil and China sending aid in the form of search and rescue teams, doctors, medical supplies and troops. Organizations such as the World Food Program, Americare and the United Nation’s World Health Organization have also sent aid. The World Bank has pledged $100 million. The first 72 hours are going to be crucial in the search and rescue for those trapped under the rubble. Haiti must clean up and rebuild their infrastructure; as of yet such necessities as water and electricity are unavailable.


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