Life in Haiti

The 1970s

Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier

According to official records, Jean-Claude Duvalier was born July 3, 1951. He was the only son of Simone Ovide and her husband, the doctor Francois Duvalier.  In February 1971, officials announced that the Haitian people had endorsed the selection of Baby Doc as successor, 2,391,916 to zero. Two months later, on April 21, the 64-year-old Papa Doc died. Jean-Claude Duvalier took control of Haiti.n-Claude Duvalier, by name Baby Doc, French Bébé Doc (born July 3, 1951, Port-au-Prince, Haiti—died October 4, 2014, Port-au-Prince), president of Haiti from 1971 to 1986. The only son  of Papa Doc Duvalier, Jean-Claude succeeded his father as president for life in April 1971, becoming at age 19 the youngest president in the world." Partly because of pressure from the United States to moderate the tyrannical and corrupt practices of his father’s regime, Duvalier instituted budgetary and judicial reforms, replaced a few older cabinet members with younger men, released some political prisoners, and eased press censorship, professing a policy of gradual democratization of institutions."

This explains baby doc and papa doc's life.

Haiti Government and Migration

"He cracked down on human rights, sending potential rivals into exile or throwing them or their children into the gruesome Fort Dimanche prison, where they were often tortured to death. He encouraged his militia to terrorize civilians with abductions, beatings and extortion, and he intentionally dressed as Baron Samedi, the voodoo spirit of death. He designated a torture room in his palace and drilled peepholes into the walls so he could watch the horror.The government was also in need of funds. Although the elder Duvalier had used anti-communist rhetoric to stay in the United States’s graces, his human-rights violations had many years earlier convinced the Kennedy administration to cut foreign aid to Haiti."The Haitian people, however, were becoming ever more desperate for several reasons. "Duvalier and his cronies stole most of that aid money and began a style of embezzlement shocking even by Haitian standards. Peasants and unemployed city-dwellers starved as Duvalier and his friends threw lavish parties; bought houses, sports cars and yachts; and spent millions of dollars on shopping sprees.Illiteracy rose and life expectancy sank. When tens of thousands of desperate, malnourished “boat people” tried to flee Haiti for U.S. shores during the 1970s and ’80s, Duvalier’s response, true to form, was to demand kickbacks from their unscrupulous human smugglers." "Duvalier was invested with near-absolute power by the constitution.

He took some steps to reform the regime, by releasing some political prisoners and easing press censorship. However, there were no substantive changes to the regime's basic character. Opposition was not tolerated, and the legislature remained a rubber stamp.""Two years later, Haitians began to revolt. Protests against the government started in the northern city of Gonaives and spread across the country, with violent demonstrations and raids of food-distribution warehouses. In February 1976, with the Reagan administration pressuring Baby Doc to leave office, and Haitian army officials telling him that he had no choice, Duvalier and his family decided to flee."

This explains why the Haitians migrated to America.

This explains why the Haitians migrated to America in the 1970s.

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