Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, a once feared and reviled dictator who was ousted in a popular uprising nearly 25 years ago, has made a stunning return to Haiti, raising concerns he could complicate efforts to solve a political crisis, a cholera outbreak and the stalled reconstruction from last year's devastating earthquake.
Mr. Duvalier's arrival at the airport on Sunday was as mysterious as it was unexpected. He greeted a crowd of several hundred cheering supporters but did not say why he chose this tumultuous period to suddenly reappear from his exile in France — or what he intended to do while back in Haiti.
“I'm not here for politics,” Mr. Duvalier told Radio Caraibes. “I'm here for the reconstruction of Haiti.”
His long-time companion, Veronique Roy, told reporters at one point that he planned to stay three days, but gave no further details. He planned to hold a news conference Monday.
The 59-year-old Mr. Duvalier apparently faces no criminal charges from the period of his rule. He took power at age 19 as part of a father-and-son dynasty that presided over one of the darkest chapters in Haitian history.