Haitian Consortium



In Memory of The War Of Independence of Haiti:

 Novembre 18, 1803

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November 13, 2008

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Haiti 2007 … What a free republic?

By: Dr. Harry-Hans Francois, Ph.D., N.D.

 It has been two hundred and four years today since our forefathers, these old and valiant soldiers of the Indigenous Army, have expelled the Frenchmen from the ancient St Dominguoise colony. As a matter of fact, this primal historical event has certainly inspired and still prompts some ink’s spilling among many worlds’ academic circles. However, Haiti, as a great number of the underdeveloped countries of the world, has lived through and still experiences a series of pathological upheavals which tend to blind its people’s eyes and, at the same time, preclude to even appreciating the flavors of the inheritance being left at their disposal by their ancestors.

And if today we wish to create a dialogue’s box focusing on these significant and marked cultural phenomena, which can objectively define our uniqueness as an ethnic group, we must refer ourselves to the events of that took place between the years 57 – 71, 71 – 86 and certainly to the socio-political dynamics observed between 1986 and 2007.

What really happened in Haiti during the 57 – 71’s era? Certainly, it was the epoch of my own childhood lived in my hometown and also that of my adolescence experienced in the capital. Yet, it was also the reign of the late doctor Francois Duvalier – an epoch where the Haitians of my generation attributed the title of “Reign of Iron Pants”. As a matter of fact, the Macoutisme not only terrorized young and old of this epoch but also the foreign observers who did not behave accordingly. As a result, the first intellectual fleet mainly to Africa, Europe, and the United States coincided with the reign of Duvalier (father).

This small inferno titled “Fort Dimanche” as well as many political kidnappings and fusillades were common practices. Yet, Duvalier was neither sensitive nor shameful to such malfeasances because he, at times, took publicly the command of such operations. Popular history recounts that he meant to demonstrate to the Americans and to the other world’s powers that he was the sole and supreme commander of all the forces of his country.

Enemy of the socialist movement of the time, Duvalier used a fistful of student-macoutes in order to percolate himself among the youths and also to terrorize the adherents of this so-called movement. To the government of the Dominican Republic of his time, he led his own psychological cold war. He meant to refresh their memory about the massacre of Haitians which took effect under the government of Rafael Trujillo y Molina.  It is a pity that we have today become dependent of this old colony; thus, twenty-one (21) years of Haitian occupation imposed by our ancient heroes to the Dominicans.

Duvalier (father) did not tolerate the freedom of expression; be it objective or perverse. Leaning on this particular sophism, he rose up against the musical violence – often times very frumpish – of many artists such as Coupe Cloue, Manman Zo (Meridionale des Cayes) and against every group who would dare testing the cultural conservatism of the time. Some observers today argue that he meant to protect the youth and also the Haitian families against perversity. Having said that, the musical group of Webert Sicot, Nemours Jean Baptiste, and that of the Tourism Bureau devoted themselves with a great deal of pride to the glorification of the natural beauty of Haiti and also of its folklore. Having a clear understanding of the game played by the foreign forces within the Haitian politics during the year 1915-1956, and to better control the multiple popular layers of Haiti, Duvalier has eliminated the two legislative chambers.

On the bright side of the picture, Duvalier (father) has doted Haiti of the Peligre’s electrical project, the airport of Mais Gate (titled Aeroport Dr. Francois Duvalier) today renamed Toussaint Louverture, the school of Nursing Simone O. Duvalier today titled Ecole Nationale des Infirmieres, some lyceums in different parts of the country, the bridge of Duvalier-Ville, etc. He also meant to be sure that the black fanaticized class had a chance to frequent and/or attend the military academy, higher education, and lastly to hold some of the country’s key governmental positions. And during the spring of the year 1971, Duvalier (father) has left this world and imposed his son, Jean Claude Duvalier, as the successor of his throne.

The reign of Duvalier’s son has run from the year 1971 to 1986; a total of fifteen years. Popular history in many Haitian circles today reports that Jean Claude’s reign was more progressive, tolerant, relaxed, and also less cruel than his father.  One could observe the first return of a good number of Haitians from overseas, who, however, have left Haiti in company of their parents during the reign of Duvalier (father). In the meantime, the American policy towards Haiti, through the voice of President Jimmy Carter, required some openness in this island. Observers of this particular epoch argue today that Mr. Jean Claude Duvalier has done a number of concessions in response of President Jimmy Carter.  In return, we have observed the first little openness towards free expression and also the formation of other political parties in Haiti. We must, at the same time, apprehend that the beginning was not a piece of cake.  As a result, the memory of various criminal acts perpetrated against the person of many journalists, innocent families, and towards some political parties still lingers among the witnesses of this epoch.

In administrative policy, we have observed the implementation of the communal elections and also of a constitutional referendum in Haiti. Under the reign of Duvalier (son), the hiring/leasing (embauche) of Haitian peasants towards the Dominican Republic has been institutionalized by the Haitian Ministry of Social Affairs. Corruption and the pillaging of the public treasury were being amplified. The blackish macoutes, who have grown old, were isolated from the actual political scene in order to cede their seats to the “super-ministers” and to the young military academicians of the Haitian army.

We have also observed the erection of some lyceums and the installation of some medical community clinics. The sugar-mill of Darbonne, located in Leogane, also makes part of Jean Claude Duvalier’s accomplishment. The asphalting of the road of the friendship (piece Jacmel-Dufort) and that of Tapion’s hillock (Grand-Goave until the entry of the city of Petit-Goave) were built under the administration of Duvalier Jr. All these accomplishments, according to my observation, make part of the heritage’s package left by the reign of Duvalier (son) to Haiti. And on a bland day of February of the year 1986, a giant official American bird has landed on the Haitian soil in order to take away Jean Claude Duvalier from the country. Ironically, these powerful international powerbrokers (France and USA) have not yet delivered any explanations to anybody in support of their actions.

On that day, the term “Second Independence” was heard among some political circles inside and outside of Haiti as a sign of relief. And one year after, a new constitution was already enacted. The Creole, this linguistic jargon so appreciated in Haiti, has at last found its truest pedestal. With the Creole, Ti Komite Legiz (TKL) has also found its true leaders. In return, the protestant denominations - to the exception of the Seven Day Adventist, Jehovah Witnesses, and the Episcopal Church – and a great number of blackmailers disguised under the cover of politicians/defenders of the masses can now cry aloud in order to claim their own share of the harvest; all these made possible because of the linguistic reversal. In return, the protestant churches can now ring aloud its trumpets regardless of the wee hours of the evening, the waking hours of the day, and the neighborhood selected. It does seem to matter much because the neighbors’ rest time takes second place to their own needs.  Up with the Second Independence! Down with the respect of the different!

The new Haitian democracy of the years (1986-2007) has procreated a series of rich people, even many super rich people, among the masses and mainly among the new political class. This being said, we can apprehend that the successive governments of the last twenty (20) years – ephemeral, military or elected – have not accomplished almost any significant/positive projects in Haiti.  However, we have noticed the construction of some new roads in these following areas: Malpasse, Cite Soleil, Leogane, Delmas, Petion-Ville and finally at Tabarre. We can also notice the erection of some very tiny parks around the populous quarters of metropolitan area.

The “dechouquage”, a form of riots manifested by the burning of tires wrapped around the human being’s neck and which, often times targets some possessed families and/or the ancient adherents of Duvalier, has re-appeared in Haiti. Thus, these acts of riots do not spare either the public roads or the electric/telephonic cables; works and accomplishments built with the financial assistance of the international community.  To that regard, one can easily argue that almost all the public, private buildings and/or institutions, which represent the history of Haiti, have been destroyed and/or abandoned in order to be replaced by dumping-grounds of dirt and/or by blankness. And to express their emotions – be it satisfaction, discontent, victory of either the Brazilian or Argentinean football team over anybody – many Haitian citizens, with this sudden spirit of freedom being delivered to them by this new democracy, choose to defy almost all the social norms which would have distinguished them from a primitive man and/or enchained  individual.

Furthermore, the social virtues of yesteryears which would have inspired the young people the ideals of respect towards this entire society seem to have been replaced by this new attitude: “No Faith … No Religion”.  As a matter of fact, “le Sans Foi ni Loi” has become the barometer to justify life in Haiti. Instant carnage, the traffic of faux dollar and that of drugs, targeted assassination and kidnapping can easily explain this new democratic praxis and, at the same time, constitute solid foundations for this great underground economy found in this new Haiti. On top of that, there exists presently in Haiti a very high level of contempt of the law and also of humility.  

Almost a billion of USD dollars have been invested in the last “national electoral selection” – thus, a real business deal which, however, inspires laughter among many observers.  This contemporary Haiti seems to object to the practice of agriculture; a revenue source taken seriously by all the big countries-exporters.  Since the landing of the year 94 which was orchestrated by Mr. William J. Clinton, the physical presence of foreign forces in Haiti has become more imminent every day. It is like we have become a bunch of cock fighters as we can no longer control our own liberty. And today, we must, without hesitation, answer this objective question: “what a free republic and/or who are we”?

The intellectual and also the cultural person in me vividly argues that Haiti remains this small occupied country which is, however, imprisoned itself within the super-ego of some uncivil, corrupted, perverse, careless people who are even insensitive and/or ignorant of their own history as the free men of the new world. In conclusion, I must deduct that the socio-political events which have taken place in Haiti during the era of 57 and 2007 have clearly demonstrated to the outside world that we are today more psychologically enchained than before the year 1804. And I personally add: “a group, who rejects objective collective dialogue, fails to protect its natural resources, correct/upgrade its own institutions, and finally embraces the meanness and the rudeness of the foreign sub-culture, inevitably condemns itself to end up at the mouth of the ocean”. .......  


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Mr. Parnell Gérard Duverger, Président

Centre Louverture pour la Liberté et le Développement

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