Haiti gov’t links to old regime prompt scrutiny-Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

Haiti's President Michel Martelly, center, shakes hands with former Haiti's dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, right, during a meeting in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. At left, Jean-Claude Duvalier's son, Francois Nicolas "Nico" Duvalier. (AP Photo)

By Trenton Daniel

Associated Press / October 13, 2011

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti—Back from exile, former strongman Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier lives in a villa in the hills above Haiti’s capital. His son serves as a consultant to the country’s new president, Michel Martelly, while others with links to Duvalier’s hated and feared regime work for the administration.

Duvalier himself is rumored to be ill and appears too frail to return to power. But for many Haitians who remember the ex-dictator’s brutal rule, the rise of his loyalists to the new president’s inner circle triggers suspicions about where Martelly’s loyalties lie.

Such developments might be shrugged off in many countries, but not in Haiti, where much of the political establishment for the past 15 years has consisted of people associated with the mass uprising that forced “Baby Doc” to flee the country for France in 1986.

Now, a former minister and ambassador under the regime is serving as a close adviser to Martelly. And at least five high-ranking members of the administration, including the new prime minister, are the children of senior dictatorship officials.

Sen. Moise Jean-Charles said he and others who lived through those years are uneasy that Duvalierists are aligned with a president with no previous political experience and a history of supporting right-wing causes.

“They’ve been nostalgic for 25 years,” Jean-Charles said of Duvalier’s supporters. “And now, they’re back in the country and back in power.”

Martelly’s powers will be at least partly held in check because his opponents control both houses of parliament.

Nonetheless, Jean-Charles, an ex-mayor under former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has taken his concerns to radio stations and the senate floor. Human rights advocates have echoed similar warnings, especially after a raucous protest staged by Duvalier supporters last month disrupted a news conference calling for the ex-dictator’s prosecution.

“There’s a lot of worry,” said Haitian economist and sociologist Camille Chalmers. “The political circle is made up of Duvalierists.”

Martelly spokesman Lucien Jura told The Associated Press that the appointments were based on individual qualifications rather than political affiliation.

“As President Martelly said before, he’s not excluding,” Jura said. “If the citizen is competent, honest and has good will … regardless of the political sector he’s in, he’s welcome.”

The new government includes a few veterans from Aristide’s government, including Mario Dupuy, a communications adviser who was chief spokesman during Aristide’s second term.

Martelly met with Aristide and Duvalier on Wednesday in an effort to reconcile differences between the former leaders and their followers. The day before he met with Prosper Avril, an army colonel who overthrew a transitional government in 1988 and resigned two years later amid protests.

“It’s time for us again to be one nation, stand behind one project,” Martelly told the AP outside the plush home where Duvalier is staying.

While running for office, Martelly pitched himself as a populist even if he later imposed taxes on remittances and phone calls from abroad to help pay for the free schooling of 772,000 children. He’s also pledged to build housing and create jobs for some of the half million people still homeless nearly two years after an earthquake devastated the country.

While Martelly hasn’t publicly voiced any support for Duvalier, he’s addressed some of the top priorities of Duvalier’s relatively small political base since taking office in May.

Last month, he proposed to restore the country’s disbanded army in addition to award back pay to former soldiers dismissed by Aristide in 1995. Duvalier relied heavily on the military to crack down on internal dissent.

The proposed force will patrol Haiti’s porous borders and provide relief during natural catastrophes as well as revive an intelligence unit that the CIA created after Duvalier’s ouster to combat cocaine trafficking. That unit, the National Information Service, will assume a new role of fighting terrorism threats, mafia networks and “extremist” organizations.

Critics say it would be better to improve the police force, which is more likely to remain independent. Martelly said he has seen little reform in the police department.

“He can’t control the police so he’s trying to create his own force,” Jean-Charles said.

Adding to the worries, Martelly hasn’t pressed for the prosecution of Duvalier, who has been accused of looting the treasury and torturing and killing political opponents during his 15-year rule. Martelly has said it’s up to the judiciary to handle Duvalier’s case.

What’s sparked the most concern has been the personnel picks of the musician-turned-president.

In his first months in office, Martelly turned to people such as Daniel Supplice, an adviser who served as an ambassador and a former minister of social affairs under Duvalier. Supplice hasn’t been directly tied to the abuses associated with the Duvalier regime.

Martelly’s also tapped the children of Duvalier officials including Prime Minister Garry Conille, a former chief of staff to Bill Clinton in the ex-president’s role as U.N. special envoy to Haiti. Conille’s father, Serge, was a minister of sports and youth for the dictatorship.

Conille declined to discuss his father and the family ties to Duvalier when asked by an AP reporter, responding, “I would expect a much more intelligent question from somebody like you.”

Other picks with Duvalier links include Martelly’s senior advisers Thierry and Gregory Mayard-Paul, whose father Constantin Mayard-Paul was a lawyer for Claude Raymond, a feared army lieutenant general under “Baby Doc.”

Raymond’s son, Claude Jr., recently joined the administration as deputy director general for immigration. Josefa R. Gauthier, whose father Adrien was a diplomat under “Baby Doc’s” regime, is the director general for the government’s Fund for Economic and Social Assistance.

The most prominent tie is Francois Nicolas “Nico,” Duvalier’s 28-year-old son, who is a consultant to Martelly.

To be sure, Haiti’s political ranks have been a revolving door since both Duvaliers exiled thousands of professionals and shrank the talent pool from which governments draw qualified workers. Even Aristide, who helped lead the movement to oust the dictatorship, had a few Duvalierists in his administration.

But Martelly has hired more officials from the former regime than his last two predecessors.

The resurgent Duvalier movement made an assertive public appearance during last month’s news conference organized by Amnesty International to discuss the stalled criminal investigation into the ex-dictator.

As a representative of the human rights group tried to speak, Duvalier supporters yelled into the microphones of journalists and shouted him down.

“You’re trying to create a civil war in this country,” Reynold Georges, a lawyer for Duvalier, told an Amnesty representative at the news conference. “If he needs to be tried, he will be tried.”



First of all, Duvalier’s son Francois Nicola does not serve in any capacity with the Martelly group. In fact, until yesterday, he had only met Martelly once, and that was at a music concert in Miami some 11 years ago.

Sen. Moise Jean-Charles is a wonderful guy who did not win his election. He was appointed to his position by another wonderful guy, Rene Preval. Charles is a much feared person, in the Cap Haitien area who once cut the fingers from a woman’s hand when she irritated him. He is responsible for many acts of violence in his community and is one of Preval’s well-know cocaine dealers.


Aristide was the son of a Macoute, one of Francois Duvaliers men. His college was paid for by Simone Duvalier, Jean-Claude’s mother.


Trenton Daniel, the author of this article, knows, or should know that Prosper Avril was a   Lieutenant General and Commander in Chief of the Forces Armees d’Haiti. Perhaps Daniel doesn’t like Avril, or his knowledge of Haiti is not that good.  In either case, biased reporting is not good, and lack of knowledge, about the subject, is even worse.


I don’t think Claude Raymond was a Lieutenant General. He was top of the army as a Brigadier and he wasn’t feared, except in the words of writers who revise history.


Where is the balance to this guy’s writing?


If he wants to pursue Duvalier, for imaginary, statute barred crimes, why doesn’t Trenton Daniel demand action against Aristide and Preval for their crimes, many crimes including murder, kidnap, rape, theft of funds, cocaine trafficking and more?


There isn’t a Haitian who has not some trail of involvement with the Duvalier governments so let’s get off of that tune and let Martelly get on with governing Haiti.


And it is truly “bitchy” to refer to Duvalier’s residence as a “plush” one. It is nice  but is nothing special.  He lives a much more modest existence than those of Aristide and Preval, who – collectively – stole billions from Haiti’s meager treasury.


In spite of stories, to the contrary, Duvalier left with something like $23,000,000.


Efforts, by the likes of Ira Kurzban, Aristide’s highly paid attorney, who took over $12,000,000 from Haiti’s treasury, in fees and expenses, could not find any assets other than a condo in New York, a speedboat in Florida (which he took for himself) and $6,100,000 in Duvalier’s mother’s charity account. Kurzban then tried to gain publicity in his pursuit of these millions, but refused Duvalier’s effort to see the funds used for earthquake victims. 


Time for the world to forget Duvalier, as a non-runner in the corruption/violence game and look to the real experts – ARISTIDE and PREVAL. Amnesty International looks foolish by not pursuing these two criminals.


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5 thoughts on “Haiti gov’t links to old regime prompt scrutiny-Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

  1. If Haiti is indeed a Democracy then no one should be afraid of a different, or Duvalierist ideology; the people will choose. the better idea will win. Instead the so-called “human rights” are pushing to crush an opposing political view in a way that they are acussing the Duvalierist regime of during to their political opponents: Imprisonment or execution. It is Politicide wraped in a U.N/ imperial west, poisonist, sugar-coated cover.

  2. QUOTE FROM ARTICLE: “Conille declined to discuss his father and the family ties to Duvalier when asked by an AP reporter, responding, “I would expect a much more intelligent question from somebody like you.”…UNQUOTE He was referring to Trenton Daniel and should not be surprised at low quality, “gotcha” questions from this badly biased AP representative.

  3. I’m amazed how bias and baseless is your comment. I agree that Preval and Aristide were corrupt, they were involved in illegal drug trafficking, they prived their opposition from basic human rights, either by torturing or by killing them. However how can you suggest to forget Duvalier’s criminal actions, when he has probably done worse than Preval and Aristide combined. To make myself clear, I want to emphasize that I’m not a pro-Lavalas and far from it, but you must be careful how you accuse people, otherwise you will lose credibility. Thus before a local or a international judicial system prosecutes Aristide or Preval, they must prosecute Duvaliet first. Do you truthfully think that a human rights organization would invest it’s time, energy and money to prosecute Aristide and not Duvalier.
    I have noticed that your comments are very anti-Lavalas and pro Duvalier. My suggestion is to make comments on subjects that are going to be essential factors for the futur of Haiti. Let’s forget about Ariatide, Preval and Duvalier. They are the past, we must move on, none of them was able to stimulate the country forward. I’m not fully convinced by president Martelly, however he is our president, so let’s support him and give him the chance to prove himself.

  4. Jonathan
    You are either very young – and did not live during the Duvalier era…or an idiot.

    There was law and order, investment, tourism, good schools, not media claims, and work.

    None of these existed in the Preval/Aristide period.
    See Duvalier mobbed by people who want to see and touch him
    See Aristide pay $500,000 for a September 29 demonstration on the anniversary of his original departure September 29, 1991 and only have 200 attend
    There is a message here to the simple effect that the people love Duvalier and don’t like Aristide. I won’t mention Preval because the public despises him.
    You really don’t know what you are talking about when you suggest that Duvalier = Preval + Aristide for crimes.

    Collins comment is right on point.

    He has the credibility and you simply show your lack of knowledge.

  5. Chalmers, you are correct. To compare the time of Duvalier with those of Aristide and Preval shows a very strong and blind bias or a complete lack of knowledge. This type of thoughts are a danger to our nation. If you do not like Duvalier – ok. But to ignore the truth is a danger to the one thinking.
    The man is a young boy, born since Duvalier left Haiti or one of little brain.

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