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I returned to the Karibe Hotel late yesterday afternoon to find it transformed from the center of a global news event back into a quiet refuge. Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former Haitian dictator who had taken up residence at the Karibe on his return last Sunday from 25 years of exile, had slipped out discreetly. The journalists in their many-pocketed vests, the luckiest of whom had for several days crowded the hotel lobby and bar, drinking, smoking, interviewing one another, and typing away on their MacBooks, had vanished, as had the less lucky ones, camped outside. The TV sound trucks, the UN armored vehicles and troops, and the police had packed up their guns and satellite dishes and telephoto lenses and decamped. The steel gates that had been drawn across the hotel entrance had been removed, as had the security people manning them in the manner of nightclub bouncers, determining who would be allowed to come in. [click to continue…]

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