Boston Haitians Celebrate Collapse of Duvalier Government; Smash Portraits With
Boston Haitians Celebrate Collapse of Duvalier Government; Smash Portraits With AM-Miami-Haiti Bjt
BOSTON (AP) _ A group of Haitians celebrating the collapse of the government of Jean- Claude Duvalier rampaged through Haiti’s consulate Friday, smashing presidential portraits. Two men were arrested, police said.
Nearly 100 Haitians gathered outside the consulate downtown, chanting in French and English and dancing to celebrate Duvalier’s flight from Haiti early Friday.
″We knew this was going to happen. We’ve been waiting for this to happen,″ said Franz Minuty of Washington, D.C., one of the organizers of the protest and celebration.
Consul Wesner Chanoine reported ″a large group gaining entrance to the consul’s office and causing a disturbance,″ said a police spokeswoman.
″The purpose was to tell the Haitian consul that since the Haitian government has been toppled, it no longer represents the Haitian people in Boston,″ Minuty said.
″When we got up there, we asked for the key and started destroying pictures of the president and his ... wife,″ said Minuty, who was not arrested.
Two men, believed to be Haitian nationals, were arrested inside the consulate on charges of willful destruction of property, according to police Sgt. Mary Evans.
″This is the territory of a foreign government, but on the invitation of the government, we have two officers inside,″ Evans said.
On the sidewalk outside, demonstrators burned the flag used by the Duvalier family and waved blue-and-red Haitian flags that predate the family’s 28-year rule.
″Long live Haiti 3/8 Long live Haiti 3/8″ the crowd shouted as a passing taxi driver blew his horn.
Some Haitians said they wanted Duvalier to return his personal fortune to Haiti and wanted to see members of the Tontons Macoutes - Duvalier’s military force - tried for alleged crimes against civilians. Duvalier’s government was widely accused of human rights violations.
Mark Joseph said that on his most recent visit to Haiti last August, it seemed impossible that Duvalier would ever surrender power.
″Right now, I feel like going home,″ he said.