Reclusive former Haitian ruler Jean-Claude Duvalier has lived in France since he fled his homeland nearly a quarter-century ago. But Duvalier, famously known as “Baby Doc,” emerged from the shadows via email late Friday night. In an exclusive email to The Daily Beast’s Eric Pape, Duvalier offered comforting words in the aftermath of the earthquake that leveled the country he once led, lauding the international “wave of solidarity,” and asking Swiss authorities to direct $8 million to emergency relief efforts.
In “these hours of great national distress,” the 59-year-old Jean-Claude Duvalier promised his “complete solidarity” with those who are suffering. He called on Swiss authorities to transfer all of the money from the foundation named for his late mother, Simone Ovide Duvalier, to the American Red Cross for the Haitian relief effort. (It is unlikely that Duvalier has control over the funds he’s pledging; more likely, he’s hoping to persuade the Swiss government to do a good deed with money his family once controlled.)