Duvalier claims Hatian democratic process

2011-02-02 13:46

kalahari.com

Port-au-Prince - Former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier credits himself with starting Haiti's democratic process with his 1986 flight into exile and did not inform anyone that he would be coming back last month, the returned leader told Univison in an interview that had been scheduled to air on Tuesday night.

The 59-year-old former "president for life" faces a judge's investigation into allegations of corruption and human rights abuses during his 15-year dictatorship. In his first international interview since his shock return from France, Duvalier defended his rule and said it is up to Haiti's justice system to answer the allegations against him.

"I was the one who started a democratic process. When they talk to me about tyranny it makes me laugh, it gives me the impression that people are suffering from amnesia," Duvalier said. "They have forgotten the condition in which I left Haiti. I left voluntarily ... to avoid a major disaster and facilitate a peaceful exit from the crisis."

Asked how he hopes history will remember him, he says: "I think that is not important."

Duvalier was interviewed in French by Alicia Ortega, a journalist from the neighbouring Dominican Republic with the channel Noticias SIN. An advance transcript translated into Spanish was made available to The Associated Press.

The former exile is often evasive in the interview, frequently telling Ortega to go on to the next question or that he would like her next query to be the last.

He talked around several of the most pressing matters. He said he travelled to Haiti on a renewed diplomatic passport, but declined to explain who gave it to him or when.

That's a thorny question in Haiti as allies of one of Duvalier's chief political nemeses, ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, are trying to get their leader a diplomatic passport to return from exile and alleging that Duvalier got special treatment.

Haitian government ministers agreed last week that Aristide would be eligible for a passport, but said on Monday that he has not applied for one.

Circumspect about political aspirations


Duvalier also told Ortega that he had informed no one of his return but assumed that "information services" - in France, it is implied by the question - would have been aware that he was on his way back. The first reports broke while he was aboard an Air France jet over the Atlantic citing anonymous French officials.

He was also circumspect about his own political aspirations. Duvalier returned in the midst of a political crisis in which President Rene Preval has no clear successor days before the constitution says his term should expire.

"The only motive for my return ... was to participate in the commemoration (of the January 2010 earthquake), that is all. And help the Haitian people face this situation," he said. He also said that despite his slurred speech and shuffling gait, he is in good health.

Amnesty International says that during Duvalier's reign, inherited from his brutal father, Haiti suffered from systematic torture, extrajudicial executions and the disappearances of hundreds of people.

His Tonton Macoute militia carried out widespread crimes and abuses and repressed pro-democracy and human rights activists.

The interview is to air on a difficult day for the ex-leader. Earlier on Tuesday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay offered to assist in his prosecution, saying the human rights violations Duvalier allegedly committed have no statute of limitations and Haiti is obligated to prosecute.

Hours before, a new law went into effect in Switzerland allowing the government to claim dictators' funds deposited in their banks and believed to be of criminal origin.

Duvalier allegedly has up to $7.3m deposited there. The statute is dubbed the "Duvalier law".



- AP

Read more on:    un  |  rene preval  |  jean-claude "baby doc" duvalier  |  jean-bertrand aristide  |  haiti
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Who won? Let the News24 App notify you!

Not only can you stay up to date with the latest elections news, you can also get notification of results during the results phase with our easy-to-use app.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Parow - 16:21 PM
    Road name: N1 Outbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between the N7 Highway and the Durban Road exit
  • Thursday Cape Town - 16:21 PM
    Road name: N1 Outbound
    DELAYS between Marine Drive and the M5 Koeberg Interchange
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3525.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.