Jean-Claude Duvalier’s return after 25 years in exile creates more uncertainty in a country where international observers called the recent elections fraudulent.
An exiled Haitian dictator remains holed up in a posh Port-au-Prince hotel after making a surprise return to the country Sunday evening. Jean-Claude Duvalier’s return after 25 years in exile creates more uncertainty in a country where international observers called the recent elections fraudulent.
Also known as “Baby Doc” — several of his friends have come to visit Duvalier throughout the day at the Karibe hotel in Petionville, a more affluent suburb of Port-au-Prince.
Henry Robert Sterlin, Duvalier supporter and Haiti’s former ambassador to France, spoke to reporters at the hotel. Sterlin said Duvalier gave no reason for returning. And he says he doesn’t know when, or if, he will leave.
“He don’t say how long he will stay in Haiti,” said Sterlin.
Asked how he was allowed to enter the country, Sterlin insisted that as a former Haitian President he is entitled to a diplomatic passport.
Sterlin says Duvalier has not spoken to current President Rene Preval, whose term ends in several weeks.
Jean Claude Duvalier was just 19 years old when he took control of Haiti after the death of his father in 1971. He was known as a playboy, and maintained his power in part through the use of armed gangs known as the Tonton Macous. He was overthrown by a coup in 1986. Duvalier plans to speak at a press conference on Tuesday.