Tag: Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier
The voice of Haiti’s popular movement at this critical period in the country’s history has never been clearer. For the past several months, since the discredited legislative and presidential elections of last August and October, mass, vibrant protests for the right to a free and fair vote and against foreign intervention have been a relentless force, in the face of heavily-armed and well-financed adversaries and mounting repression.
When Bill and Hillary Clinton married in 1975, a friend gave them a trip to Haiti for their honeymoon. The Washington Post reported: “Since that honeymoon vacation, the Caribbean island nation has held a life-long allure for the couple, a place they found at once desperate and enchanting, pulling at their emotions throughout his presidency and in her maiden year as secretary of state.”
Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, responsible for the death of thousands and the theft of millions, who moved openly in the society of Haitian elites protected by the government, died on Oct. 4 a free man. He reportedly suffered a heart attack at the home of an associate in a wealthy enclave above Port-au-Prince. Baby Doc may be dead, but Duvalierism is embedded in this upside down Haiti of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their presidential puppet, Michel Martelly.
On Aug. 21, Haitian police wearing black masks and carrying heavy arms appeared in front of the home of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as a Haitian judge issued calls to arrest him. Hundreds of people courageously surrounded the house to protect him. One week before, President Aristide was summoned to court on false corruption charges. On Sept. 10, he was placed on house arrest and barred from leaving the country.
An urgent call from Haiti Action Committee - On Aug. 13, the Haitian government summoned former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to court on corruption charges. This summons is part of a chilling pattern of repression aimed at destroying Aristide’s political party, Fanmi Lavalas, as the country approaches new legislative elections. We denounce it in the strongest possible terms.
On Friday, Jan. 17, it was reported by news agencies that a Haitian judge investigating the assassination of Jean Dominique, a crusading Haitian journalist who was killed in 2000, recommended the indictment of former Sen. Myrlande Liberis-Pavert, a founder and former director of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, along with eight others. No legal documents to sustain these charges have been made public.
At great personal risk, Haitians demonstrated massively in cities throughout the country on Sept. 30 and Oct. 17, calling for President Michel Martelly to step down. By choosing historically significant dates marking past coups, the Haitian grassroots majority is clearly saying they want an end to 10 years of military occupation. Martelly’s police force brutally broke up some demonstrations with tear gas and beatings.
On Jan. 9, MASSIVE demonstrations throughout Haiti supported former President Aristide after he was summoned to court on frivolous charges seen as political persecution. People say that putting Aristide on trial is the same as putting the Haitian masses on trial and that the charges are meant to divert attention from the third earthquake anniversary and the theft of billions in aid. Speak out against the Red Cross for building a luxury hotel with aid funds. Rally Friday, Jan. 11, 4:30-5:30 p.m., outside Red Cross headquarters, 3901 Broadway, near MacArthur BART, Oakland.
In what is clearly a continuation of the Feb. 29, 2004, U.S. instigated coup d’etat against Haiti, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has been called before Martelly’s handpicked government prosecutor Lucmane Delile in what is widely believed to be an attempt by Martelly, the U.S. and France to wage a campaign of political persecution against Aristide, Fanmi Lavalas, and the democratic process and progress in Haiti.
Haitian President Michel Martelly has managed to inspire popular opposition to his regime almost since his election in May 2011. Martelly, who came to office in a grossly unrepresentative process which excluded Lavalas, the country’s most popular party, has been closely linked with figures around former dictator Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
On April 4, the Haitian government announced that Michel Martelly won the recent fraudulent “elections” imposed on Haiti by the United States, France and Canada, the so-called “international community,” and sanctioned by the United Nations. Haiti now finds itself at a crossroads.
This “run-off” presidential election, scheduled for March 20, helps to explain the re-emergence of Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, since both candidates, Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly, have links to the Duvalier past. Manigat's husband is said to have advised Duvalier to create the dreaded tonton macoutes. And Martelly, who was himself a tonton macoute in his youth, has pledged to make Duvalier one of his advisers. Join the Haiti Action Committee for “Seven Years after the Coup in Haiti: Democracy at the Crossroads” at Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland, on Tuesday, March 1, 7 p.m.