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).