Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, a Commencement Speaker at Gonaļves (Haiti) Law School Graduation
|Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, with one of the graduates and future practicing lawyers|
Mr. Mayor and members of the Council of the City of Gonaives
Mr. Dean of the Trial Court of First Instance in Gonaives
Mr. Dean of the School of Law and Economics of Gonaives
Ladies and gentlemen of the faculty,
Ladies and gentlemen of the Dean of the Faculty,
Civil and judicial authorities,
Ladies and gentlemen guests;
My dear comrades,
Dear sons, dear daughters,
I am honored to be here in the glorious city of Gonaives, the city of Independence where our valiant ancestors signed the deed of our independence for us to live in a free and sovereign Haiti that history has chosen as the first black republic in the world.
I am particularly grateful to you, students graduating from law school and economics of Gonaives for choosing me as a sponsor of the graduation of Robert Blanc College who was an early director of your school founded in 1912 by Raymond Cabeche, a former member of Gonaives. I am deeply touched by this courageous and thoughtful gesture. Thank you and thank you again!
|Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" addressing the soon-to-be graduates.|
I present to you dear godson, dear godchildren my warm congratulations on being able to complete your undergraduate university in spite of the vicissitudes, the constraints, the ups and downs, the hardships and difficulties of all kinds that you have overcome the past four years.
I also present my sincere congratulations to Dean Joseph Mecene Jean-Louis and faculty who have put their knowledge at your disposal, to make you men and women of law.
To your parents here who have made huge sacrifices, I share with them this morning happiness, joy and pride that reflects their faces, that their children are being crowned with success as efforts deserved. I congratulate you.
Here I am this morning in Gonaives after twenty-six years, responding to your invitation, I then returned to the memory of memories that are not necessarily pleasant. In fact, I think of Jean-Robert Cius, Daniel Michelson Michel and Israel fallen almost to the threshold of adolescence. Suffer a moment that I ask you to join me in a minute's silence in their memory.
That the sacrifice of their lives continues to remind us of the price we have committed to justice and peace.
My dear godson, dear godchildren, by the fact that you have made choice of me as your sponsor promotion eloquently illustrates this part of the warm and significant estimates that you bring. So, thank you for this comfort. I draw additional reasons to believe in your intelligence and youth, in addition to your quality of questioning and discernment.
This unique opportunity brings me back to almost forty years ago, as you had chosen to study law, which were abruptly interrupted when fate took me to the helm of the state. I took the opportunity to pay tribute to my teachers at that time: the late Hubert de Ronceray, the late Gregory Eugene and our professor emeritus, the distinguished Gerard Gourgue for whom I have a special affection.
My dear godson, dear godchildren,
You have chosen a noble discipline, even the base foundation of the state. The law, mandatory rule of the social game, restrains and channels the selfish instincts and eternal brutality of men. In specific situations, it imposes mandatory solutions.
In your alma mater, you have introduced to the mastery of arcane law to defend widows and orphans as they say so beautifully in the profession for which you have been trained. So many illustrious predecessors and competent, who have thrilled to the sound of their words bright and striking the walls of our courts of the country, show you the way.
Let me recall to your memory the names of: Hugues St-Pierre, Paracas Pelissier, Dr. Clovis Kernizan to name a few. By giving your promotion named after the late Mr. Robert Blanc, lawyers, judges famous and respected, you show that you care to draw on these predecessors. I hope that your commitment is sincere, and the poor and the lower you are in the voice that they did not. It would have been the message of the late Mr. Robert Blanc.
Finally, it is important to emphasize to you that the country has great need of you. It needs men and women capable of self-transcendence to enforce the law and not arbitrary. Your mission from this day and throughout your career, is to implement these universal concepts acquired during your studies: Equality and Justice.
Fortunately for you, Haiti is committed to find his soul, sine qua non for its rebirth. His story would be meaningless if this quest was done only in the name of a new humanism which sucks your generation.
I leave to your meditation thoughts of my late father, Dr. Francois Duvalier:
"There are moments in history and most people slept, the more subdued and that we believe has never helpless, stand up, seize their destiny and conquer what is inalienable for more rights: freedom. "
Be strong, be firm, but be above all, fair. I am proud of you. Let us all proud to be Haitian. Good luck and God bless you.
Gonaives, December 16, 2011.