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est. 2005
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Jean-Claude Duvalier


Until the ascension of Kim Jong-un in 2011, Haiti's Jean-Claude Duvalier held the world title of Accidental Dictator with Bloodiest Hands. He was a spoiled, diffident teenager when his ailing father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, appointed him president-for-life and sealed the vote in a comically rigged election, making the 19-year-old the world's youngest head of state. After his father's death, "Baby Doc" largely left the running of the state, such as it was, to his mother and sister while he partied and raced sports cars; it was rumored that he'd attempted, more than once, to flee the presidential palace and the country and leave the presidency to his sister. He did make enough public noise against communism and in favor of the free market to briefly turn Haiti into a haven for U.S. manufacturing, and dissenting voices were allowed greater freedom of expression than in the Papa Doc years.

All that changed after Jean-Claude married Michele Bennett in 1980. The lavish wedding was widely criticized for its excess, in contrast to the country's dire poverty, and many of Papa Doc's supporters scorned Duvalier fils for apparently turning his back on his father's negrisme philosophy by marrying a daughter of the light-skinned aristocracy. Whichever Duvalier wore the pants in the palace—Jean-Claude or Michele—the state's response to the criticism was rapid and brutal. The Tontons Macoutes, Haiti's dreaded secret police, were reactivated, like the zombies they styled themselves after, and state-backed torture squads roamed the island, attacking and killing dissidents.

Throughout the early '80s, Haiti descended into near-anarchy. The U.S., which had pretty much single-handedly been keeping the country afloat, withdrew its support, and what little NGO money made it into Haiti was siphoned off by the Duvaliers and their cronies. (The worse things got, went the Duvalier logic, the more foreign aid came in, the more money they could rake in.) While many Haitians lived on donations from their exiled relatives, the Duvaliers profited from cadaver selling and the international drug trade. Finally, in 1986, riots in the provinces escalated into full-scale civil war, and the U.S. engineered the Duvaliers' escape to France, along with a planeload of hard cash and expensive jewelry.

For most of his last two decades, Jean-Claude lived the life of an international exile, moving from European luxury hotel to European luxury hotel. By the late '90s, Michele had divorced him, profitably, and he was living in a shed in France, almost broke. A new Haitian companion and a friendlier government engineered his return to his homeland, where he was tried on charges of crimes against humanity, but he died before he could be convicted. In an interview shortly before his death, when asked if he had any regrets about his presidency, he replied: "Perhaps I was too tolerant."

Jean-Claude Duvalier died on October 4. He was 63. Lurker3791, whose deadpool list includes only the scum of the earth, gets 16 points (11 for hit + 5 for solo).


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