Last week, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, the former ruler of Haiti, unexpectedly returned to the country after a 25-year exile in France. Duvalier’s return has many concerned that his presence will once again stir up the animosity and violence that existed during his 15-year dictatorship. Duvalier’s rein saw the disappearance and torture of hundreds of Haitians and brutal crackdowns on democracy and human rights advocates (it should be noted that much of this was possible thanks to the international assistance of France and the United States).
Now, with Duvalier once again seeking to become a public figure in Haiti, he is working to rebuild his public image in the eyes of both Haitians and the international community. In order to do this, he has enlisted the help of numerous U.S. attorneys, including none other than former Libertarian Party presidential candidate and Clinton impeachment champion former Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA). Barr will serve as the former dictator’s “voice to the world,” and he told CNN that he plans to bring Duvalier’s “message of hope to the world”:
A former U.S. congressman was among a group of American attorneys accompanying former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier as he spoke in the country’s capital Friday. Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr said he is not serving as Duvalier’s attorney, but is in Port-au-Prince to consult, assist and be Duvalier’s voice to the international community. […]
Barr “will be representing” Duvalier “in bringing his message of hope to the world,” the former Republican congressman’s website says. “I also am reminded of others who have risen from the ashes,” Barr told reporters Friday. “The city of Atlanta is the Phoenix city. The people of Haiti, likewise, will rise from the problems created by last year’s earthquake and emerge stronger and better than before. That I know is Mr. Duvalier’s deep wish and something that he knows in his heart.”
One has to wonder how Barr — who ran for president in 2008 to “deliver a refreshing message of liberty” — can reconcile his supposed right-libertarian beliefs with being on the payroll of a notorious autocrat who shut down elections and the free press and tortured nonviolent dissidents. (h/t Mike Elk)
[featuredcomment]lance peeples writes, “What? Lanny Davis wasn’t available?”[/featuredcomment]