Clipped From Valley News

zperez5 Member Photo

Clipped by zperez5

 - Jack Anderson with Les Whitten 'Baby Doc' gets...
Jack Anderson with Les Whitten 'Baby Doc' gets rich; people die and at biography session of the burden the rise in have years since the same therefore, unless but, unless we we may be and the in needs are cut ping- owners, suggestions as the fat exactly eliminate the owners to livt in, malpractice change doctor* "opera- WASHINGTON -- Like the moon, Haiti presents its bright side to the world. But it also has dark, unseen side which it tries to hide from the world. The government discourages newsmen from visiting the most bleak areas, where the peasants starving while their rulers feast. Foreign reporters, who have ventured too far, have been hustled out the country on the next available plane. One bold young Haitian reporter named Gassner Raymond dared to write a story criticizing the government. Two weeks later, his body was discovered in a roadside ditch. ( , We sent our roving reporter, Hal Bernton, to tiny, mountainous Caribbean nation to seek out the stories the government would like to suppress. Posing as an itinerant student, he traveled with a knapsack on his back into the forbidding area. Bernton began his investigation in Port-Au- Prince, the bright side of Haiti, where tourists loll elegant hotels, drink cool glasses of tropical rum punch and dance after dark in sleek discotheques. But if Haiti is a tropical paradise for the foreign tourists, it is a land of luxury for the ruling class. They are dominated by the amazing Duvalier family, who have amassed a pirate's fortune since the late "Papa Doc" Duvalier seized power in 1958. His place has now been taken by his 24-year-old son, Jean-Claude Duvalier, more affectionately known as "Baby Doc," who governs under the watchful, maternal eye of his mother, "Mamon Simone" Duvalier. * They impose a special tax on nearly all the principal goods the impoverished nation produces. The money goes into the royal treasury for the Dua- valiers to spend as they please. Sources who have kept tabs on the family estimate the Duvaliers have stashed over $200 million in Swiss banks. "We are painfully aware," a U.S. official told Bern ton, "that it's the little farmers who have provided the funds to pave the streets of Port-Au- Prince." The opprosssed pasants also have paid for a fleet of 10 sleek automobiles, which "Baby Doc" rides over the paved streets. Sometimes, he scatters money to the appreciative crowds. From the bright lights and plush hotels of Port- Au-Prince, Bernton headed with his knapsack into the northwest section of Haiti. Along side the dusty road were clusters of walled houses, with roofs of palm fronds. Young children, with the thin arms and swollen bellies betray malnutrition, stood naked in the dust. Some stared sullenly; others shouted greetings. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. Bernton made his way into its poorest region. He hiked the last 10 miles to an isolated village. Without vegetation to stop the erosion, rain torrents had carved deep gullies into the barren terrain. The swirling water had washed away the soil, leaving only exposed cracks. The land had also been baked by two summers drought. Yet the Haitian government had refused first to acknowledge the drought and had later barred U.S. voluntary agencies from bringing in free clothing. This might have competed with the thriving used-clothing busines Duvalier's favored friends operate in Port-Au-Prince. Bernton was exhausted when he reached the village. The dirt-poor villagers brought him ripe mangoes to eat. He was taken in by a farm family, who lived in a small thatched hut atop a barren The fanner tried to scratch a living from a plot watered by a tiny creek, "This year, the rain has not come," the fanner said, shaking his head wearily, "We work-so hard. And all for nothing. Many of the children are weak. Each month, we replant our land. But there is rain. Nothing grows." "To escape starvation, many people already have left the region. Some set out dangerously in flimsy little sailboats, hoping to reach the Bahamas. Others made the hard trek to Port-Au-Prince with the faint hope of finding work. The village leader took Bernton on a tour of area. "The people's situation is critical," he said. mango harvest is nearly finished and there will be nothing left to eat." Bernton saw how dependent the people were the sweet mangoes. They sucked up every last of the Juke, then threw away the skint to be dogajrig*, donkey* and gotta. The children, their hair turned to a ru* color malnutrition, usually aquatted In front of their huts. They w*rt too wwk to run and play. 4 I

Clipped from
  1. Valley News,
  2. 03 Aug 1976, Tue,
  3. Page 10

zperez5 Member Photo
  • Clipped by zperez5 – 28 Feb 2013

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in