Clipped From Lebanon Daily News
Signs That 'Baby Doc' Is Loosening Hold On Haiti By DAVID L. LANGFORD PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti(UPI) - When asked abouthis troubled homeland, Tibo, the taxi driver gives quick, short answers' in English he learned from U.S. Marines before the Americans pulled out. He bullies his way up a assumed that funds flow through indirect means to Palestinian fronts from such wealthy Arab countries as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Libya. Libya, Lebanon and Egypt are also known for having offered territorial favors to the Palestinian guerrillas. The administration is hoping that patient and quiet diplomacy will convince those countries to cooperate. But that is the area which constitutes the weakest link in the American chain of reasoning. United States has poor relations with Libya and has only very limited influence with the other Arab countries, some of which broke diplomatic relations with Washington as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. ' Nevertheless, officials say the United States.is deadly serious. U.S. ..Ambassador George Bush last Sunday delivered the second U.S. veto in history at the U.N. Security' Council, killing a resolution which would have censured Israel for retaliatory strikes against Syria and Lebanon without alluding to the .terrorist acts which provoked them. The United States also canceled talks in Paris this week with a.French airline which was seeking landing rights on the west coast. Reason for the cancellation was what U.S. officials said was an intransigent French position at a 17-nation anti-hijacking conference here. Even if efforts are successful to curb Arab guerrillas, the terrorism problem will not be solved. Stiil remaining will be the questions of how to deal with actions of terrorists in South America and northern Ireland. mountain road toward Petion- ville, sending bundle-laden women and children skittering with blasts of his car horn, and turns past a clump of yellow frame buildings. A few soldiers in poorly-fitting khakis stand in the shade of doorways. ' 'Ton Ton Macoutes?" he was asked. "No, that Regular Army," Tibo said.' 'But we still got Ton Ton." That was all Tibo had to say about the feared secret police of the Duvalier regime. As if to atone for his comment, he added: "Papa Doc. He was good man. He build lot of schools." Tibo was asked the nationality of a submarine moored in the harbor at Port au Prince. "Some big shot," he said, in a manner implying that Haitian taxi drivers have more important things to occupy their minds. It turned out to be a sub from the U.S. Naval Base at GuantanamoBay, Cuba. The tourist in Haiti today thus learns little more about this lush black republic than he was told in the travel folders. But with the death of Dr. Francois Duvalier, the bespectacled country doctor who became Haiti's "president for life" with ruthless use of gunpowder and voodoo threats, more and more tourists are flocking to the island. While "Papa Doc" before he died arranged for his 19-year- old son, Jean Claude, to succeed him, there are signs "Baby Doc" is loosening the Duvalier strangle-hold on Haiti's 5 million inhabitants, whose average income is less than $100 a year. But not much. A street peddler may collect $1 American from a tourist for a pair of gaunt figurines carved by hand from mahogany, but 40 cents of that goes to the government for taxes. Three luxury liners out of Miami are calling weekly in Port au Prince and Cap- Haitien. Several major airlines have daily flights from the United States, and Air France just signed a contract with the Haitian 'government for a direct flight from Paris, with a stop at Guadeloupe. One of the regular callers in Haiti is the MS Starward, ona of the four cruise ships of tha Norwegian Caribbean Line shuttling sightseers from Miami to the islands. The Starward discourages Its passengers from venturing ashore alone in Haiti. Cruise Director Jim Snowden, selling three-hour car tours for $6.75 a ticket, hints that those on foot may suffer dire misadventures. The passengers from the Starward and other cruise ships climb into tour cars waiting at the dock for a mobile mini-tour of Haiti, learning nothing about the native culture. They roll up the windows to fend off the hounding beggars and trinket peddlers and honk their way through the smelly, crowded street markets. They drive past the President's palace, where armed soldiers man an anti-aircraft gun on the lawn and Tibo and other drivers are afraid to stop. At a couple of selected shops they are allowed to get out and purchase souvenirs. The men buy hand-stitched shirts with big wooden buttons for $5 each and the women buy straw bags and hardwood carvings which a man with an aerosol can sprays for bugs and worms when they return to the gangplank. From Petionville they follow a twisting mountain road to Boutilliers, where at 3,500 feet they can look out across Lake Azuey to the frontier of the Dominican Republic. Small boys jump in front of the cars dancing in hopes someone will toss out a coin. The baskets atop the heads of the women grow bigger and bigger. The coup de.grace is a stop at the elegant tasting room of the Jane Barbancourt rum factory, perched on a cliff. Here they may taste, free up to 22 different flavors of rum. A bottle costs |2.