PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (SatireWire.com) – Exiled dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier today finally explained the reason for his surprise return to Haiti, saying he wanted to get back to his ravaged homeland before there was no one there left to repress.
Duvalier, who was forced into exile in 1986 after a brutal 15-year reign, arrived on Sunday, but said he originally considered returning after last year’s devastating earthquake.
“When the earthquake happened, I was sad,” Duvalier recalled. “I thought to myself, ‘That is 300,000 people that I will never get to repress.’ Their loss is my loss.”
But the recent cholera outbreak, which has killed a further 3,500, finally made him realize he was running out of time, and potential victims.
“I said to myself, If I do not come home now, who will be left alive for me to torment?” he asked. “So you see, I want the death and destruction to stop as much as anyone.”
Despite the political violence that permeated his regime, Duvalier still has supporters in Haiti, and was greeted by many of them at the Port-Au-Prince airport upon his arrival from France. On Monday evening he stood on a hotel balcony waving to a crowd of well-wishers.
“It was wonderful to see so many people,” he said. “I was wonderful to hear so many screaming.
“My name,” he added.
Human rights groups have called for the Haitian government to arrest the 59-year-old strongman, whose appearance comes in the midst of a political leadership crisis. Duvalier was taken into police custody on Tuesday, but it was unknown at press time if he was being detained. But so far President Rene Preval has insisted prodigal dictator is not a threat. In fact, Duvalier praised the administration during a tour with Preval of the stricken countryside.
“What you did with the earthquake was incredible,” Duvalier told Preval. “I never thought to use one of those.”
“But the earthquake was a tragedy. The suffering has been incomparable,” Preval explained.
“I know I know, don’t rub it in,” Duvalier replied.
Although the former dictator reportedly has a return ticket to Paris for Jan. 20, many suspect he will stay and try to assume power. Following the tour, however, Haitian journalist Michele Ruchon said that was unlikely.
“Duvalier has seen the situation and he must realize it cannot possibly get worse,” Ruchon said. “So really, there’s no incentive for him.”