Papa Doc blood

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6 Responses to Papa Doc blood

    1. Claire Palmer has done an artful and compelling, overview of the Dictator .
      My Aunt was a Time Magazine correspondent in the early sixties. She interviewed and wrote numerous articles about Duvalier, including the July ’63- Living Dead in which she wrote- “…it was like a choice between a scorpion and a tarantula, what would you do with a killer who delivered the country a homicidal maniac?” She also reported on the “Kill all the Black Dogs” order.

      Comment by Edward P Johnston on 26 June, 2020 at 5:16 pm
    2. Thanks Edward!
      Interesting story too.

      Comment by Claire on 26 June, 2020 at 6:39 pm
    3. Thank you, also, Claire for the reply. I was so inspired by “Papa Doc blood”, I gathered a few of my Aunt Evelyn’s Time Magazine stories (that she wrote about Duvalier) and wrote the following. I will send to whatever family members still alive who remember Evelyn. Is it possible to re-print the picture you created at the top of story? Giving you credit. I think there are only a few in my family I would send to.

      The Living Dead

      The Voodoo Dictator
      As the 1960’s began my Aunt Evelyn continued as Time Magazine correspondent. Like back in her Miami Herald days she often wrote about Haiti’s Dictator Francois Duvalier and evoked the whispers that Papa Doc’s hold to power was because of ouangas that he planted about Port-au-Prince. Ouangas being Voodoo (Vodou) charms. On July 26, 1963 there appeared, in Time– The Living Dead, an intriguing story of Clémont Barot who had organized the Tonton Macoute or secret police (Haitian Creole meaning – Bogeymen), Papa Doc’s regime of torture and execution. But Barot became too ambitious for Papa Doc so he was imprisoned for 18 months. Upon his release he began a campaign of terror.

      “Kill All the Black Dogs”

      Between a Scorpion and A Tarantula
      Aunt Evelyn’s article described the physical and psychological aspects of the Barot Revolt. Small revolutions were not uncommon in Haiti and clearly Duvalier had his share of death threats and near assassinations but the ouangas remained his protectors. Barot was more an enigma and was thought by many Haitians to be a “shape-shifter” who could turn himself in to a black dog and “escape at will”. Papa Doc ordered all black dogs to be shot on sight, just to be safe. Days later Duvalier’s morning coffee was mysteriously poisoned but before drinking it a phone call from Barot himself warned him of eminent death. Then 4 of Duvalier’s bodyguards were shot dead escorting his children to school. A second phone call from Barot explaining- “Just target practice”. Duvalier gave orders to his Militia- “…explain to Haitians just what would happen … if anyone should try to topple Papa Doc”. Thus began the “Month of National Gratefulness to Duvalier” and warned in the opening speech—

      “Blood will flow like never before. The land will burn from the north to the south, from the east to the west. There will be no sunrise nor sunset, just one big flame licking the sky. It will be the greatest slaughter in history. There will be a Himalaya of corpses”.

      A tip-off lead Duvalier troops to trap Barot and his closest allies in a straw hut by a sugarcane field. They set the field on fire and a hail of bullets finished off the Barot affair. Evelyn’s Time magazine story featured a before and after photo of Barot, caption- “Barot as Cop and Corpse”.

      Haitians reflected on who would have been a better leader, Barot or Duvalier? My Aunt Evelyn wrote “…it was like a choice between a scorpion and a tarantula, what would you do with a killer who delivered the country a homicidal maniac?”

      Comment by Edward P Johnston on 14 July, 2020 at 5:29 pm
    4. Hi Edward
      Yes feel free to use it. Perhaps we could re-run it on IT with your aunt’s words?
      Best wishes
      PS it was done as part of a blood money series on murderous despots and dictators

      Comment by Claire on 17 July, 2020 at 10:40 pm
    5. Thanks again Claire, it would be an honor and great in my Aunt’s memory .
      I can rework and send in PDF to internationaltimesmag email address? Attention-you, Is that best?
      My Aunt was a woman of immigrant parents who accompliched much in the 50’s and early 60’s
      working for Miami Herald and Time.

      Comment by Edward P Johnston on 18 July, 2020 at 6:32 pm
    6. Great, and yes send to that address.

      Comment by Claire on 19 July, 2020 at 7:27 pm

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