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'Baby Doc' Duvalier missed Haiti. That's why he came back.

He said he should have made better use of the media to present a more positive image at home and abroad. He didn't consider himself a dictator and thought he should not have been viewed as one.

On our way to dinner one night, I asked why he never sought to rehabilitate his reputation while in exile. Why didn't he get a job, or write a book, or go on the lecture circuit, or do something, anything, to earn money?

"All I know is politics," he said. "Really, politics takes up most of my time; it's nonstop."

I asked him what he did for fun.

"I like to take walks. . . . Sometimes I go to museums, especially when there are Haitian art exhibits. You know, I had a collection of 400 works of art in Haiti," he said wistfully. "I left them all behind."

Then I asked if he had ever considered the possibility that he might never return to Haiti.

"No. I never let that thought enter my mind," he said, a bit irritated. "Haiti is my country before and above all."

Marjorie Valbrun is a journalist in Washington. Read more of Valbrun's reporting on Duvalier at The Root.


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