Prominent Exile Arrested Upon Return
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ A former Jesuit priest and opponent of Haiti’s Duvalier dynasty was arrested Friday upon his return home from 22 years in exile, and was released hours later, relatives said.
Jean-Claude Bajeux had flown into Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, on the first flight from San Juan since Jean-Claude Duvalier gave up his lifetime presidency and fled Haiti to France Feb. 7, ending a 28-year family dictatorship that began with his father, Francois.
Paul Latortue, a Haitian economist who teaches with Bajeux at the University of Puerto Rico, quoted relatives of Bajeux as saying he was picked up by police and held for five hours, released, picked up a second time a half hour later, then release at night.
His wife, Sylvie, their son, Jacques-Christian Wadestrandt, and Dr. Laennec Hurbon, a Haitian sociologist, who had accompanied Bajeux, were not detained.
Latortue said none of the party had visas but were able to pass easily through immigration and customs at Port-au-Prince’s Francois Duvalier international airport.
Bajeux apparently was picked up when he was recognized, Latortue said.
Bajeux and Hurbon, who has written extensively about the practice of voodoo, are believed to be the first prominent exiles known to return to Haiti since Duvalier’s fall.
Bajeux, who teaches literature, was active in a Haitian guerrilla group that planned an attack from the neighboring Dominican Republic against the late President Francois ″Papa Doc″ Duvalier in the early 1960s. Bajeux came to Puerto Rico in 1964, after several members of his family were killed.
He founded a human rights group eight years ago in the Dominican Republic that worked with Haitians sent there to cut sugarcane under a government-to- government contract.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Feb. 7, Bajeux said he planned to return to Haiti as soon as possible, but predicted there would be no massive return of exiles. He expressed reservations about the governing council that replaced Duvalier.
″Everyone is happy that Duvalier is gone, but that joy will last only a few days,″ he said a week ago. ″These people who have been protesting will have a lot of requests and we will have to see how this council reacts. Will they answer the requests or will they answer in the Duvalier way?″