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“Dream Vacation” Raffle Entering Second Week, Thoughts on JC Duvalier’s Return to Haiti

January 18, 2011

Your chance to win the Oprah Winfrey/Royal Caribbean Dream Vacation is only $25 and one click away! Please support the Hinche Scholars by purchasing a ticket for the I Have a Dream Foundation’s “Dream Vacation” raffle. Our raffle is now fully underway and tickets are selling fast. We are raffling off two all-expense-paid 7-day cruise packages for two (airfare included), which were donated by Oprah Winfrey. For more information please visit www.ihaveadreamrichmond.org.

For those of you who didn’t hear WCVE-NPR radio last week, you missed a story which featured the Hinche Scholars Project and a discussion of Haiti one year after the earthquake. A special thank you to reporter John Ogle for his continued support and coverage of our efforts. If you’d like to hear this clip, please contact us and we’ll send you the mp3 file. Thanks!

In other news, former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier (Baby-Doc), unexpectedly returned to Port-au-Prince on Sunday evening, January 16, after living the past 25 years in exile in France. This surprise visit has only created confusion, political tension, and an unpleasant media spotlight in a country where the word tragedy has become synonymous with daily life over the past few months. Upon arriving at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Baby Doc announced that “I have come to help.” This statement could not be further from the truth. JC Duvalier’s presence at this critical time of difficult reconstruction and electoral turmoil can only make the situation worse. We hope and pray that this former brutal dictator will return promptly to France.

Hinche Scholar Lude Labieville shared her take on the situation in a text message yesterday “As far as the return of Duvalier is concerned, I think that this is some sort of ruse in order to discredit the elections in our democracy. It is no good.”

As former Canadian Prime Minister and current UN Envoy for Haiti, Michelle Jean stated yesterday, “twenty-five years of comfortable exile in impunity will not be enough to make Haitians forget the horrors, the suffering, the injustice as well as the human and economic cost of decades of Duvalierist dictatorship.” We agree fully with Ms. Jean’s words.

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