Haiti: Life Sentence

Outside the National Palace in Port-au-Prince last week, bands beat out the latest popular rhythm: Papa Doc Forever. Crowds of peasants and workers stood dutifully in the blazing sun as little Haiti's Dictator Francois ("Papa Doc") Duvalier, 54, smiled benignly, then allowed that "forever" was just about what he had in mind. Bowing to overwhelming popular demand, he said, he had consented to rule tiny Haiti as President for life.

For the impoverished Caribbean nation ($70 per capita income, 90% illiteracy), it was a life sentence. Since he took office in 1957, Duvalier has ruthlessly liquidated every real or suspected foe...

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