Carolyn Fick: Ousted Haitian dictator’s return spices up history class

Source: Montreal Gazette, 1-19-11

Concordia professor can’t picture Duvalier in jail -they have all been destroyed

When Concordia history professor Carolyn Fick walked into her class at about 1:15 p.m. yesterday -a course entitled History of Haiti: From Independence to Present -ousted Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier was still sitting in a luxury suite of the Hotel Karibe in Port-au-Prince, fielding questions from a chief prosecutor and judge while Haitian national police erected a security perimeter around the building where the conversation was taking place.

By the time Fick had finished an hour and 15 minutes later, Duvalier, 59, and still the centre of speculation over why he had returned to a nation that had forced him into exile 25 years earlier, had been arrested and taken by police to the capital’s courthouse for questioning.

It was a fateful visit, one that led to Duvalier’s being charged with government corruption and embezzlement of funds, and one that could see him eventually face justice for his role leading a regime that has been described as the darkest chapter in Haitian history.

But it’s also one that may also have just added to Fick’s course material.

Because yesterday’s events showed not only how quickly the story of Duvalier’s return has twisted and turned, but how history can be made…READ MORE

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