JEAN-CLAUDE DUVALIER, the former dictator of Haiti, returned to his country last week after decades in exile. Even though he will face criminal charges, The Economist’s readers still think Haiti would be better off if he had stayed abroad: 78% of them said his return represented a threat to the country’s democracy.
If you’ve read our briefing on Canada’s tar sands in the current issue, you probably have an opinion as to whether exploiting this valuable but dirty oil is worth the environmental costs. Share it with us in this week’s poll.
As a lifelong reader of THE ECONOMIST, I am saddened to realize it is also biased by past myths and rumors.
The media effectively creates an outsider’s view of any country they have not visited. These myths can be damaging to the nation’s population.
First of all, Duvalier does not face criminal charges in Haiti.
Some people, interested in getting the world media’s attention, and gain column inches, have said they would file criminal charges. This does not correlate with the facts, or the Haitian legal system.
Without exception, those making the noises are more guilty than those they accuse.
No one in Haiti is entirely innocent, that is just the nature of the beast.
Duvalier maintains widespread support and affection among the peasant majority. He was actually forced from power by Haiti’s business community and the international community. No one ever asked the peasant majority for their opinion….and still don’t.