Ousted Haitian dictator, Jean-Claude Duvalier dies

Jean-Claude Duvalier (also known as Baby Doc) who presided over Haiti for 15 years between 1971 and 1986, has died on Saturday October 4, 2014, from a heart attack at the home of a friend in Port-au-Prince where he had been staying. His administration was widely acknowledged as one of the most brutal and corrupt regime that Haiti has ever had. He used to call himself "president for life" but his lavish lifestyle and tyrannical 15-year rule sparked a massive uprising that overthrown and sent him into exile in France for a quarter century. In 1971, he became the world's youngest president at the age of 19 when his father Francois Duvalier suddenly died of an illness and he inherited power from his father. Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier was a medical doctor who turned into a ruthless dictator, far more than his son who was less violent and less repressive than his father. The senior Duvalier was infamous for 'Noirisme' that advocates total control of the state apparatus by black representatives with African roots. It is one kind of racial redefinition of national identity as opposed to multiculturalism and it dictates to respect the African traditions only.


His son Jean-Claude Duvalier was a lackluster student but managed admission to a prestigious private Catholic school where his teachers gave him passing grades every time to avoid the wrath of his ruling father. His rule was defined by corruption and human rights abuses. A New York-based Human Rights Watch has estimated that around 30,000 Haitians were killed, many by execution under the rule of both father and son. In 2007, Duvalier called on Haitians from his exile to forgive him for "mistakes" committed during his rule and made a surprise return to Haiti with his second wife Veronique Roy in 2011. Once feared dictator 'Baby Doc' spent his final years quietly in the leafy hills above Port-au-Prince and faced trials as Haitian authorities charged Duvalier with human rights abuses and embezzlement. Haitian President Michel Martelly expressed his condolences to the Duvalier's family without mentioning anything about the human rights abuses that occurred during the ex-dictator's era.

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