Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baby Doc Duvalier

Jean-Claude Duvalier, nicknamed "Bébé Doc" or "Baby Doc" (born July 3, 1951) was the President of Haiti from 1971 until his overthrow by a popular uprising in 1986. He succeeded his father, François "Papa Doc" Duvalier, as the ruler of Haiti upon his father's death in 1971. After assuming power, he introduced cosmetic changes to his father's regime and delegated much authority to his advisors, though thousands of Haitians were killed or tortured, and hundreds of thousands fled the country. He maintained a notoriously lavish lifestyle (including a state-sponsored US$3 million wedding in 1980), and made millions from involvement in the drug trade and from selling body parts from dead Haitians while poverty among his people remained the most widespread for any country in the Americas.
Relations with the United States improved after Duvalier's ascension to the presidency, and later deteriorated under the Carter administration, only to again improve under Ronald Reagan due to the strong anti-communist stance of the Duvaliers. Duvalier unexpectedly returned to Haiti on 16 January 2011 after two decades in self-imposed exile in France. The following day, he was arrested by Haitian police, facing possible charges for embezzlement. On 18 January, Duvalier was charged with corruption, and is expected to be held before a judge in Port-au-Prince for trial.

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