NAUSAU–Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier recently (October 4, 2014) died of a reported heart attack in Haiti's capitol Port-au-Prince. He was 63.
Europeans love to talk about “bad” African leaders, but they never tell the full story of how they supported these leaders and how they did whatever it took to suppress freedom for African people all over the world.
They will never tell the full story of how they supported a murderer like Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
“Baby Doc” was only 19-years-old in 1971 when he inherited the title of "president-for-life" from his father, François "Papa Doc" Duvalier.
The Tonton Macoutes reign of terror
Human rights groups have reported that during the repressive regimes of the father and son, tens of thousands of Africans in Haiti were kidnapped, tortured and killed.
Death squads called Tonton Macoutes were firmly established under “Papa Doc” and his son “Baby Doc” later used them. The Tonton Macoutes were trained and armed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
As a matter of fact, the Tonton Macoutes are historically rooted in the process which began in 1934, when the United States, after two decades of occupying Haiti, created the Garde d'Haiti to take over from the Marines, on the model of the Nicaraguan National Guard established the year before to secure the dictatorship of Somoza.
The Duvaliers used the Tonton Macoutes to commit systematic violence against Africans in Haiti to suppress any political opposition. The Macoutes were responsible for thousands of murders and rapes in Haiti.
Many political opponents of “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” often disappeared overnight, or were sometimes attacked in broad daylight. The Macoutes stoned and burned people alive and they would hang their victims’ corpses in trees for everyone to see and take as warnings against opposition.
Analysts have estimated that the Tonton Macoutes have murdered more than 60,000 Africans in Haiti.
Challenges to the Duvalier regime
Anyone who challenged the Duvaliers and the Macoutes risked assassination, including Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Aristide served as a popular democratic leader until he was forced into exile by a U.S.-backed coup d’état carried out by Haitians trained at the School of the Americas.
The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the U.S. Army School of the Americas, is a United States Department of Defense institute located at Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia and it provides military training to government personnel of Latin American countries.
The school was founded in 1946 and from 1961 was assigned the specific goal of teaching "anti-communist counterinsurgency training.”
According to a 2006 report by Haitiaction.net:
“The CIA, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon—various U.S. agencies—have had a hand in creating and training police and military forces in Haiti.
“To fight the War on Drugs in 1986, for instance, the US created the National Intelligence Service (SIN). Staffed by Haitian Army officers, SIN took as its principal task the persecution of the followers of Fr. Aristide—the Lavalas movement—and it wasn't long before Haitian soldiers wielding machetes and guns conducted a savage massacre of voters in Port-au-Prince.
“After Col. Gambetta Hyppolite, a graduate of the School of the Americas, led a parallel attack on polling places in the city of Gonaives, the US Congress determined that the human rights abuses were so egregious, military aid to Haiti should be suspended.
“Congressional aid was stopped, but the CIA picked up SIN's tab, giving the agency a million dollars a year for equipment and training. Washington looked the other way when SIN officers were caught trafficking in cocaine, and Congress raised no objections to the terrorism, including torture, being carried out against Aristide's supporters.”
Despite the treacherous attempts of U.S. imperialism and the Haitian petty bourgeoisie to keep Haiti in eternal oppression, the Africans in Haiti keep fighting back.
Following a popular rebellion in 1986 "Baby Doc" Duvalier was forced to flee Haiti. He lived a life of luxury in France during exile, but returned to Haiti in 2011. He was arrested and charged, but released shortly afterwards.
International newspapers reported that the current president of Haiti, Michel Martelly wrote on Twitter that Duvalier was "an authentic son of Haiti.”
For African people worldwide, Baby Doc’s life and death and Martelly’s comment should symbolize to us that the African working class needs a new philosophy that helps us to better understand who the real enemies of African people are.
That philosophy is African Internationalism. That philosophy believes that the total liberation and unification of Africa under an all-African socialist government must be the primary objective of all African revolutionaries throughout the world.