Ex-GOP Rep Helping Baby Doc Get His Cash

Duvalier says he wants Swiss funds to help Haiti
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 24, 2011 10:14 AM CST
A supporter of Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier holds up an image of Duvalier outside at the rented guest house where Duvalier is staying in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday Jan. 21, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
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(Newser) – Ex-congressman Bob Barr is helping “Baby Doc” Duvalier gain access to frozen funds left in Swiss banks. The former dictator “is very interested in trying to get those funds freed up, not for himself, but so they can be used to help the situation in Haiti,” Barr, who was a Georgia Republican representative from 1995 to 2003, told Business Week.

Meanwhile, Duvalier has spoken to the press for the first time since his return (with Barr by his side), saying he’d come back to “commemorate” the anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake and expected to be persecuted. “The desire to participate with you in this collaboration for national reconstruction far exceeds the annoyances that I could be facing,” he said. Barr and other American advisers are “rebranding” Duvalier, Time notes, for instance, telling him to "make sure to smile" at the end of his speech.

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