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#2370: On Dr. Francois Duvalier: Antoine replies to Pierre-Pierre (fwd)

From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>

Garry Pierre-Pierre said: 

So let's not concentrate on the evil of papa, I think baby did more 
harm to the country,

I respond:

Garry, why must we always look for the greater evil?  We can discuss
both Papa Doc, and Baby Doc, and everyone who followed them or
preceded them.  In Haiti, people say: Let's not talk about the father,
the son was worse.  Then some other people say: Let's not talk about
father or son, the junta that followed them was worse, which is followed
by: Let's not talk about the junta, Prosper Avril was worse, which is
followed by: Let's not talk about Prosper Avril, Cedras and his cohorts
were worse, which is followed by: Let's not talk about Cedras, Aristide
was worse, etc, etc, etc.

Another habit is to freely associate leaders of yesteryear with leaders
of today: Papa Doc made an art of that by encouraging in people's
minds the association to Dessalines.  To take this to the extreme would
mean that to criticize Duvalier is to criticize Dessalines, or any other 
leader involved in those freewheeling associations.  And to criticize one
leader would mean lavishing praise on another who perhaps might be
actually worse (or not)?  No, I don't think so.

I agree, the History of Haiti did not start with Papa Doc and it did not
end with Papa Doc.  I would further agree that no leader ever operates
in a vacuum.  There are certain conditions that make all governments
get away with what they do, though this does not imply inevitability and
does not preclude personal responsibility.  Papa Doc could have been
a different sort of leader, he could have been a builder, if he really
wanted to.  He concentrated instead on his presidency for life, and
setting the conditions for his nineteen-year old son to succeed him also
as president for life. In terms of power plays, he was an absolute master.
We should not dismiss him, just so we can talk about the decadent ways
of his son and daughter in law.

Let that be the subject matter of a different exchange.

Guy S. Antoine
Look thru & Imagine!