By Jade Pierre, Digital Media Intern at Haitian Heritage Museum
Growing up, I always heard divided opinions about Jean Claude Duvalier, also known as “Baby Doc”. I was born in the 90s and raised in Haiti. In school, we learned about the government of Jean Claude Duvalier and how it shaped Haiti. The books described his regime as a dictatorship as he inherited his post after his dad’s death. He made the law; there was corruption. The press was censored and poverty reaches its peak in Haiti.
With Duvalier’s recent death, there are a lot of sentiments on his regime that resurfaced and a lot is left unfinished and unsaid with his death. It is and will be an important part of the Haitian History.
My grandparents and my parents had to live through that time. Until this day my grandma still talk about that regime to show how blessed we are, how lucky she was. She never concentrates on the negative. It was during her time, and her life and she decided to focus on the positive. Duvalier’s regime played an important part in shaping contemporary Haiti and we must learn from the past to build a better more sustainable government.
Let’s learn from this history and not linger on it. I firmly believe that Haiti is on the rise; concentrating on the negativities of the regime of one president will not help Haiti advance. Haiti has gone through so much and this stigmatized the country’s image. We need to bring some positivity in Haiti’s history, let’s show the world our beautiful Haiti as we see it.