17 January 2010
Guess where Baby Doc can stick his offer of aid.
Telegraph reports that erstwhile dictator of Haiti (a human rights abuser and greedy kleptocrat.. or is the latter a tautology?) Jean-Claude “Baby Doc ”Duvalier has indicated that he wishes to donate £8m to the American Red Cross to support their relief work in Haiti.
Duvalier apparently sent an e-mail to a Daily Beast reporter Martin Papes (here is the link to the relevant Daily Beast article).
He said that he would officially ask the Foundation set up in the name of his late mother, Simone Ovide Duvalier, to transfer the $8 million (£5 million) to the American Red Cross. He said:
“It is with great horror and a profound emotion, but also with a very great concern, that I have monitored the murderous and devastating consequences of the terrible earthquake that has so piteously struck our country.
“In these hours of great national distress, my thoughts go out to the wounded, the victims, particularly the children and the youth, and their families and loved ones.”
“In spite of the gravity of the situation, I wish to tell you of my hope and my conviction that Haiti will once again find its way, thanks to an exceptional mobilisation of the life forces of our country [and] with the assistance of the international community, the path toward a true reconstruction,” he wrote.
“Haitian People, I know your extraordinary courage, selflessness, and the sacrifices that you are all capable of to save our country.”
Baby Doc became president for life of Haiti in 1971 when he was aged just 19.He inherited the title from his father, “Papa Doc”. He was deposed in 1986 after a 15-year rule plagued by brutality, corruption and a crumbling economy. He has lived in Paris ever since.
Between them Duvalier pere et fils were responsible for the deaths of around 40,000 political opponents .
Although the promised donation almost certainly came from money the venal little brute stole from the people of Haiti, some things are just too dirty to touch, regardless of the need for aid. I hope the American Red Cross tells his where to stick his donation.
Alternatively he could release every single penny he and his family still has access to then return to the country to face trial. A donation in such circumstances would be acceptable.