by Sonia Verma
Globe and Mail, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011
Jean-Claude Duvalier spent his first full day in his homeland holed up in the Karibe, a luxury hotel with a swim-up bar, day spa and room service. He met with supporters before cancelling a news conference, leaving long-time Haiti observers absolutely bewildered as to the motives behind the deposed despot’s return after nearly 25 years spent in exile.
Speculation over 59-year-old “Baby Doc’s” return ran the gamut from a secret plot by Haitian President René Préval to divert attention away from a fraud-filled election to an international conspiracy to destabilize Mr. Préval himself. Virtually the only thing analysts seem to agree on is that Mr. Duvalier’s apparent reasons for returning are false: “I’m not here for politics,” he told Radio Caraibes. “I’m here for the reconstruction of Haiti.”