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My country is Haiti :
a summary of Haiti 's history from colonial times to 1994
by Emmanuel W. VEDRINE
Jean Jacques Dessalines par Serge MOLEON BLAISE. Carrie Art Collection
The word Haiti came from the Indian language who were inhabiting the territory in the past. This word means: highlands, and beautiful lands. The Indians1 were the first inhabitants of Haiti.
The Spaniards were the first European who lived in Haiti. They seized that land and claimed it theirs. Christopher Columbus2 was one of the first Europeans who set foot in Haiti. Columbus was born in Italy in a city called Genoa. He landed in Haiti on October 5, 1492. Sometimes when reading the history of Haiti, we are told that it was this man who “discovered” Haiti. Today, there are many clarifications needed to be made in what people are writing, specially on issues related to history.
Esquisse de Cristoforo Colombo (1492/93) Côte septentrionale de l'île. Source
Columbus landed in Haiti by accident in search of the best routes to India. He got lost and ended up there. Haiti soon became a Spanish colony. Columbus and the other Spanish teams that accompanied him, soon claimed that land for Spain.
A colony is a land or a place that a country claims as its own. Very often, this is done by force. Sometimes it can happen after a war between two countries: one of the two lost it and the winning one can claim the territory (territories) of the losing country as its own after a peace treaty is being signed.
Usually when a country colonized a territory or another country, or a place, the colonizers commit many crimes; they kill the native children of that land, rape the women and do many other crimes. The Spaniards had also committed these crimes when Haiti was a colony of Spain.
Carte d'Hispaniola de G.B.Ramusio, Navigazioni e Viaggi, Venezia, 1565. Source
At the beginning, the Indians warmly received the Spaniards. They thought they were a series of people coming from haven. The Indian helped them, fed them, gave them places to sleep and care. The Indians appeared to be not only innocent or naïve to the Spaniards, but also the latter thought they were stupid; they thought they were superior to them; that way, they stared exploit them from “a” to “z”. The Spaniards started fight in them, killing them where they succeeded in destroying almost the whole Indian race in Haiti. Those who were still alive had to go into hiding. They went into hiding far away in the mountains. Kasik Anri3 was on the Indian chiefs who resisted against the Spaniard.
The history of Haiti mentions one of the most beautiful Indian queens. This queen was called Anakawona4. She was the wife of Kasik Kawonabo5. Fox Tree, one of the Native American painters living in Massachusetts, painted a beautiful painting of the history of Indians. One of his masterpiece is a painting of Queen Anakawona.
The Spaniards succeeded in setting an ambush for queen Anakawona. Usually, the Indians would organize a series of cultural festivities for the Spaniards. The Spaniards also took the same ride to organize a festivity of queen Anakawona. It was in that celebration she was betrayed. They arrested her and hanged her. They also killed many other Indian officials who accompanied her.
The Spanish domination in Haiti continued until the 1600's. The French were going to do their part also. The French colonization stared out with two small groups of people who were adventurers. They were not only adventurers, but also they were trying to better their living condition by leaving the European continent. The two small groups were the buccaneers6 and the filibusters7. History reports that the filibusters were pirates, a series of armed thieves who lived on people's wealth. Their task was to wait for boat transporting valuables (such as goals and other valuables and capture them). They knew the in and out of the sea to capture their victims.
The buccaneers used to chase wild animals such as wild pigs. The word ‘buccaneers' is related to ‘boucan' (a big fire bond to smoke meat). After killing the animals, they would light up a boucan to smoke the meat, a way to protect it for a long period to time. They would conserve their skins and made arrangement for them to be sold in Europe.
The Creole saying says: Two bulls don't run in the same prairie8. When two countries establish their colonies on a territory, there will always be quarrels, and hatred. From time to time, there were fights between the Spaniards and the French. The last war between these two colonial powers resulted in the Ryswick Treaty9. It was a treaty signed between them in 1697. According to this treaty, the West part of island of Hispaniola10 had felt under the control of France and the East one under the control of Spain.
While all these times, donkeys were working hard for horses to run freely11: negroes were not only working like dogs for the Spaniards (from 1503), but also from time to time the whites colonizers imported more slaves from Africa. The hardships that the Spaniards and the French made Black People went to in Haiti is too much to talk about. But, things would be changed some day.
The colonizers did all that they could to create disaccord between black people; for example, if a group of slaves spoke the same language, they would separate them and send them to BOURIKE in different areas or on different plantations so that they would cut off all possible communication among them. The colonizers noticed the importance of communication among them. They were afraid that they would not plot against them. But, we can't explain how miracles happen. From time to time, the Creole language was developing; it developed till it became a full fledged language. This language was one of the tools that united the slaves to start revolting against their masters.
The Haitian slaves made a lot of efforts to liberate themselves. One of the great meetings they organized was the Bwa Kayiman12 gathering. There are many documents written on this event. One of the people who was leading it was a man named Bookman13. History reports that bookman was a voodoo priest from Jamaica. In that ceremony, Bookman had them bled a pig; each slave drank some blood. This symbolism represents a sort of Aya Bombe14 swearing. This meeting did not bring a total success, but it marked an important step in order to concretize the slaves' dream to make 1804 became a reality.
When they are talking about history of Haiti, there are some heroes mentioned on top of the list. Toussaint Louverture15 is one of them, one of the great Haitian heroes that Haiti could have produced. He fought a lot to liberate the slaves. His BRAVOU made him reached the rank of “governor general”. Many of these V.I.Ps who represented France did not like him; they saw him as danger. Finally, they captured him in an ambush. They put him on a boat and he was sent to prison in France in a prison called Fort-de-Joux in the Jura Mountains. Before Toussaint left Haiti, he said “In overthrowing me, you have cut down in San Domingo only the trunk of the tree of black liberty. It will spring up again by the roots for they are numerous and deep.”16 Things happened as were expected: Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of the old members of the Indigenous Army took the lead. He continued organizing the slaves till they got revolted (against the French) on November 18, 180317. This date is one of the great dates in the history of Haiti. It was the last revolt that took place, which not only liberated all slaves but also the slaves happen to create a homeland.
After Haiti 's first independence, there were many dark moments the country went to. There were many fights to control power, but not to work together for the pride of every Haitian. In that way, there is a record of dictators who controlled power. The last great dictatorships established in Haiti were the Duvaliers' ones. Francois Duvalier (alias “Papa Doc”) was a medical doctor in Haiti. Many people who knew him reported that he had participated in the campaign against PYAN. He made his way to take part in the presidential elections of 1957 where he was elected president (with the help of the army general18 at the time. A few years where his term was over and there supposed to have elections (where he could try to get re-elected for a second term) instead, he was converted into a dictator. That way, the got rid of many people he taught were his enemies. Many Haitian intellectuals have lost their lives. Those who were lucky to be alive went in exile in countries like the United States, France, Canada, some countries in Africa and in many other places.
In order to strengthen the dictatorship, he has created a paramilitary called the tonton macoutes19 or macoutes. These guys did whatever they wanted to during his whole reign. They killed many people and among them, many innocent ones. They raped peoples' wives, stole people's belongings (wealth), stole people's land, etc.
Many uprisings took place, trying to overthrow Papa Doc but in vain. These rebels were called kamoken20. Usually, when a macoute captured a kamoken, he does not let him lives; he would chop his head. The macoutes have killed many of them. The macoutes always gave the impression that the kamoken were not good people, they were communists. All that is negative was attributed to them.
One of the last up rivals against Papa Doc was an attack by colonel Octave Cayard21. Cayard was a high rank military in the Haitian Army who was the commander of the Coast Guard. In 1970, he asked the coast guards who were on duty to go for a stroll in the sea. That's how he started attacking with heavy weapons, firing in the direction of the white house. One of his main targets was the National Palace. The heavy bullets hit many trees near the palace. After spending a full day attacking, he left Haiti and went to the US. Papa Doc survived the attack; he continued ruling Haiti for another year.
In the beginning of 1971, Papa Doc felt that he was not going to live long. In one of his speeches, he presented Jean-Claude Duvalier (alias “Baby Doc') as the young leader who would succeed him. In April 1971, Papa Doc died. As the old man has mentioned before, this young son succeeded him. Each of them spent 14 years in power.
With the way the political situation was developing in Haiti at the beginning of the 80's, there were many riots that began to take place against Jean-Claude's dictatorship. One of the drop of oil on the flame was the murder of three schoolboys in the city of Gonaives22. There were protests from time to time against the dictatorship in many parts of the country. Finally, the whole country rose against Jean-Claude, asking him to resign.
From the end of 1985 to the beginning of 1986, Jean-Claude saw that the people were very mad. The macoutes were getting enraged, doing many crimes everywhere. But the people did not give up. Before Jean-Claude left Haiti (on February 7, 1986 ), he paid a last visit to downtown Port-au-Prince with the first lady, Michele Bennet23. The people run after them. In order to try to fool the people (making them believe that they would not leave power), they said: “we are as firm as a monkey tail ”24. The Monkey's tail was so hard that it did not take long to break up; Jean-Claude left the country (aboard a US Air Force plane) and landed in France.
During the whole Duvalier's dynasty (1957-1986), the people were thirsty of justice and there was no one to guarantee them that. In the process of getting rid of the macoutes after Jean-Claude's departure. This dechoukay25 took on different forms: burning the macoutes alive, beating them, burn or ransacking their houses. Many people taught it was the Second Independence of Haiti26. There was a military junta that secured power together with general Henri Namphy27. A new constitution28 was published in 1987. Though that constitution has beautiful articles in it, the sector that vowed against changes did not respect it. Free elections were scheduled to be held on November 29, 1987. A group of corrupted military men, together with the anti-change sector blew it where many people who went voting were killed. Many people felt in Ruelle Vaillant29, lying down in their blood. Though the people started breathing after all those hardships under the dynasty, there was not really a relief in the political situation of Haiti. The military had also created another dictatorship. Many crimes were committed in the county. The zenglendos30 were born. They were stealing, killing people, raping women throughout the country. With the cancellation of the 1987 presidential elections31, it was sent off for a runoff in January 1988 where Leslie F. Manigat32 was elected president (with the help of the army). He remained in power till June of 1988 where a coup made him left the country (he seek refuge in the nearby Dominican Republic ). General Namphy took back the power and after some months, general Prosper Avril33 made his coup also from the end of Summer 1988. On April 1, 1989, some army officers34 were plotting a coup against general Avril. This coup failed. It appeared to be more an April fool that these military men were playing with the general. There were many crimes and political persecutions when general Avril was in power. One of the persecutions was the accusation brought against three people: K-Plim (Evans Paul), Mezye, and Marino Etienne. They were accused of plotting a coup against general Avril. They spent a long period of time in Jail where they were tortured. History talks more of these three figures as prizonye latousen35. Under the people's pressure again, the presidential seat started getting to be very hot; thus, general Avril started packing his bags, getting ready to leave power.
Finally, in the beginning of March 1990, Ms. Ertha Pascal Trouillot36) ascended to power. This is the first woman in the history of Haiti to become president. She was one of the forefront judges (in terms of seniority) to become president in case of presidential vacancy. She was finally chosen for the post temporarily to prepare the presidential elections. In her speech, she made it clear that she was not going to be there for long. She was just going to be there temporarily. Things began to heat up during the summer of 1990; the macoutes sector started to come back in order to participate in these elections. Many well-known candidates such as Marc L. Bazin, Rene Theodore, Sylvio C. Claude… were campaigning. Roger Lafontant37 (representing the macoute sector) suddenly appeared on the scene also as candidate who started campaigning. The popular organizations started discussing the issue. They realized that they should send a bull (someone with muscle) to challenge Lafontant and how they were going to deal with these macoutes. Finally, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was chosen as a candidate for the presidency.
Brawls spread out at the same time of this news. Aristide's campaign started in October 1990. Upon launching his campaign, it echoed a lot in all the media (national as well as international). Aristide also traveled in the Diaspora where he got an overwhelming support.
The elections were scheduled for December 16, 1990. Aristide was elected president with more than 70% of the votes. He was the first democratically elected president of Haiti. A Month before swearing in as president of the republic (on January 7, 1991 ), Roger Lafontant attempted a coup in order to block Aristide's ascending to power. But under the pressure of the people, this coup failed. Lafontant was arrested and was thrown in jail. On February 7, 1991, Aristide sworn in as president of the Republic of Haiti. Under his administration, many changes began to take place. But unfortunately after only seven month in power, general Raoul Sedras38, together with a small group of military men and some members of the anti-change sector plotted a coup against Aristide. The September 30, 1991 Coup39 was one of the bloodiest ones and one with a lot of terrors in Haiti. The army, together with some gangs of terror killed over 10'000 people. Many people went into hiding; many left the country, including president Aristide under pressure of the repressive army. Despite of Aristide' living in exile, he always remained active for democracy to be able to come back in Haiti. He traveled widely in order to undertake a series of diplomatic missions, trying to find a solution in the crisis that the country was going through. Two years after the coup, there was an accord signed between president Aristide and General Sedras. According to this accord, the president was supposed to go back to power within a fixed date and that the general would have to resign from his post. This accord was called The Governor Island Accord40. It was called so because it was on that island where they signed it in the state of New York. But despite all, the general did not keep his promise. He violated this accord and president Aristide did not return to Haiti on the due date. The exiled president continued his diplomatic efforts where he finally found the support of the American president, Bill Clinton. Few days before president Aristide touched the land of Dessalines again, the American troops had already been landed in the country for more security. Finally, on October 15, 1994, president Aristide returned to Haiti. This date turned out to be a great one in the history of Haiti, not only the people started waking up from the tree years of comma they were in, but also it was the first time in the history of Haiti that a president left the country under pressure of a coup and then went back to power. Despite of Aristide's return to power, he still had many works to do because during the reign of general Sedras, he cut off all the branches of the popular organizations and the problem of insecurity spread out for the worst. The zenglendos and FRAPs still remained armed despite of the multinational forces that were present in the country. Today, we Haitians who are living in Haiti and in the Diaspora, must remain firm, mobilize in order to be able to have a change from which all Haitians can benefit from. Let's not keep on counting on series of foreign countries that are making fun of us, that are making temptation (inaccessible) to us such as they are coming to help us. As the saying says, The person who wears the shoe is the one who knows where it's being ripped off41. We Haitians, who want changes, are the ones who really know what we want and in order to get where we want, we must work together for the honor and respect of Haiti.
- Pre-Columbian Hispaniola - Arawak/Taino Indians
- Christopher Columbus' Voyages And Discovery Of The New World
- “Kasik”: Creole used as title for and Indian chief. “…Cacique Henri led a successful rebellion against the Spaniards (in the Bahoruco mountains presently Anse à Pitres Haiti near Jacmel) and forced the Crown of Spain to negotiate, through General Barrio Nuevo, and to recognize his freedom and that of his followers.” (re: http://www.kwabs.com/haiti.html)
- “…One of the first people murdered on our land was a queen. Her name was Anacaona and she was an Arawak Indian. She was a poet, dancer, and even a painter. She ruled over the western part of an island so lush and green that the Arawaks called it Ayiti land of high. When the Spaniards came from across the sea to look for gold, Anacaona was one of their first victims. She was raped and killed and her village pillaged in a tradition of ongoing cruelty and atrocity. Anacaona's land is now the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, a place of continuous political unrest.”, Edwidge Danticat (http://www.htfhaiti.org/wereugly.html)
- Kawonabo (Caonabo) - “…The 400 years of struggle against slavery and oppression started since the unsuccessful resistance of the Cacique Caonabo against the Spanish invasion”
(re: http://www.kwabs.com/haiti.html) ---.
“When Columbus returned to Espanola, he found that the thirty men he had left on the Navidad were all dead, killed by the Indians after they had invaded the kingdom of the Maguana governed by the intrepid Caonabo. Guillermo Coma who had accompanied Columbus wrote that "bad feeling had arisen and had broken out in warfare because of the licentious conduct of our men towards the Indian women, for each Spaniard had five women to minister to his pleasure."Columbus then built a new town, Isabella, forty leagues east of Navidad, near the river where Pinzon had found gold in the Cibao. After Isabella was built, Columbus set out for the gold mines of Cibao with his horsemen and infantry. Several forts were built on the way, especially in the plains of the Yaque River, which he named Vega Real. During their invasion of the interior of the island, thousands of Indians were killed. By the end of 1494 the Taino were in open revolt. Columbus had hoped to put down the resistance by kidnapping Caonabo the chief of the Cibao region and making an exemplary spectacle of him.” (http://www.discoverhaiti.com/history00_4_1.htm)
- “…By 1630, French and British buccaneers had set a foot hold on the island of Tortuga (or ile de la tortue) and by 1644 had established a settlement near Port-de-Paix on the North shore of Haiti (Hispaniola). These pirates would raid Spanish ships returning from the ` New World ' with treasures stolen from the Aztec and Inca empires. The seizure of land by the buccaneers and their constant raiding of Spanish ships eventually led the Crown of Spain to cede the Western third of the island to France through the treaty of Ryswick (1697). This portion of the island was renamed Saint Domingue and later became `La République d'Haiti'.”
- “… The buccaneers and filibusters landed at Tortuga at night to avoid being seen by the Spaniards. They then climbed the mountain where the Spaniards had taken refuge. They attacked the Spaniards just as the latter were about to attack the French. The Spaniards were caught in surprise. It was a complete defeat! Surviving Spaniards fled hearing the shriek of the others. This victory established the French as the owner of the island of Tortuga whence they would conduct their invasion of the western part of Espanola and create St. Domingue … The true buccaneers who roamed the woods were reduced to hardly 100 persons. D'Ogeron did not attempt to suppress or absorb the filibusters in the same way for he designed to employ them to further national policy. He was more successful than the English and he had attracted all the French rovers from Port Royal and had concentrated them in his own stronghold of Tortuga. War was imminent and he was thus provided with a ready-made force of privateers to let loose in his own stronghold of Tortuga.
- Two bulls don't run in the same prairie (translated from Creole: “De towo pa bat nan yon sèl savann)
- “1697… Spanish control over the colony ends with the Treaty of Ryswick, which divided the island into French-controlled St. Domingue and Spanish Santo Domingo.”
(re: http://www.haiti.org/keydate.htm). --- “…By the Treaty of Ryswick, signed in 1697, the western third of Santo-Domingo island was given to France, who made it its most profitable colony within sixty years.” (re: http://www.haiti.org/general_information/farmer.htm)
- Hispaniola http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispaniola.
- donkeys were working hard for horses to run freely (paraphrasing from Haitian Creole: “Bourik t ap travay pou chwal garyonnen”
- Bwa Kayiman (Bois Caiman)“… A man named Boukman, another houngan, organized on August 14, 1791, a meeting with the slaves in the mountains of the North. This meeting took the form of a Voodoo ceremony in the Bois Caiman in the northern mountains of the island. It was raining and the sky was raging with clouds; the slaves then started confessing their resentment of their condition. A woman started dancing languorously in the crowd, taken by the spirits of the loas. With a knife in her hand, she cut the throat of a pig and distributed the blood to all the participants of the meeting who swore to kill all the whites on the island. On August 22, 1791, the blacks of the North entered into a rebellion, killing all the whites they met and setting the plantations of the colony on fire. However, the French quickly captured the leader of the slaves, Boukman, and beheaded him, bringing the rebellion under control. Just like Mackandal, Boukman had managed to instill in the blacks the idea that he was invincible. Thus, the French exposed his head on Cap's square to convince the slaves that their leader was really dead”
- “…In August 1791, a massive slave uprising erupted in the French colony Saint-Domingue, now known as Haiti. The rebellion was ignited by a Vodou service organized by Boukman, a Vodou houngan (High Priest). Historians stamp this revolt as the most celebrated event that launched the 13-year revolution which culminated in the independence of Haiti in 1804.”
- “… Aji aya bombe
The decision to carry the final fight for freedom was sealed through a pact which was ratified at the Ceremony of Bois Caiman on the night of August 21 1791, more than 300 years ago. Led by Boukman Duty, assisted by Jean Francois and Biassou, the slave uprising exploded o n the night of August 22 1791.” (re: http://www.kwabs.com/haiti.html)
- “…One of the most notable leaders of the Haitian Revolution to emerge was Toussaint L'Ouverture, a former slave. Toussaint organized armies of former slaves which defeated the Spanish and British forces. By 1801 he conquered Santo Domingo, present-day Dominican Republic, eradicated slavery, and proclaimed himself as governor-general for life over the whole island.”
- “In 1801, Napoleon Bonaparte dispatched General Leclerc, along with thousands of troops to arrest Toussaint, reinstate slavery, and restore French rule. Toussaint was deceived into capture and sent to France, where he perished in prison in 1803. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of Toussaint's generals and a former slave, led the final battle that defeated Napoleon's forces. On January 1, 1804, Dessalines declared the nation independent, under its indigenous given name of Haiti, thus, making it the first black republic in the world and the first independent nation in Latin America.”
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v26/n08/farm01_.html) --- “
- “The Haitian Revolution was a remarkable phenomenon, which is of great importance for many people concerned with revolutionary class struggles, colonialism, black history, Latin American and the Caribbean, particularly with the country of Haiti. The year 2004 will commemorate the bicentennial celebration of Haiti 's Independence. It is hoped that this pathfinder will be a valuable guide for the anticipated growing number of people who will want to learn about the Haitian Revolution. It is also hoped that it will serve to honor this heroic struggle in world history.”
(re: http://www.albany.edu/~js3980/haitian-revolution.html). --- “…The leadership of Dessalines was consolidated through an alliance with Alexandre Sabès Petion, a mulatto general born in Port-au Prince from a white father and mulatto woman. The alliance, sealed at a meeting prior to the start of the independence war, united the black and the mulatto generals …The last victorious battle against the French expeditionary forces was fought on November 18, 1803 at a place called Verretieres near (present day) Cap Haitien formerly known as Cap Français. After that battle, General Donatien Marie de Vimeure, Marquis de Rochambeau, who replaced General Leclerc, the husband of Pauline Bonaparte, as the leader of the French Colonial Army, surrendered formally to Dessalines. Thus, the African slaves and their descendants, pure or mixed, became, de facto bello, the owners of the land of the former French colony of St.Domingue.” (re: http://www.kwabs.com/haiti.html).
- “… The 1957 election was the first supposedly held with universal suffrage. However, the vote count was falsified by army chief General Antonio Kebreau and other pro-Duvalier army officers (author interview with Franck Laraque, December 1988; Laraque had been in the cavalry unit of the Dessalines Barracks at the time of the election but stated that he had reliable contacts in the army's general headquarters)”, Henry F. Carey. (re: http://www.haitipolicy.org/archives/Archives/1998/carey.htm)
- Tonton Macoutes or Duvalier's secret police. --- “…The "Macoute," of course, were the fearsome thugs of the hated Duvalier dictatorship (19571986), appropriately named after a bogeyman common to Haitian children's stories.”
--- “…A term derived from the mythical Haitian bogeyman who captures children by putting them in his bag. In 1958 it became the common name for the armed militia of dictator Francois Duvalier, which terrorized the population”
(re: “Two Haitian Feminists Speak Out”
- During the Duvaliers' dictatorship… Some groups got together (secretly) to prepare the armed resistance. They were known as ‘Kamoken' (English translation: E. W. Vedrine)
- “…On April 24, 1970, Mr. Octave Cayard, who was at that time a Colonel in the Haitian Armed Forces and a Commander in the Haitian Coast Guard, attempted an unsuccessful up rising against the Haitian Government.
When the rebellion failed, Colonel Cayard, his family and 118 other military men who had taken part in the uprising were forced to leave the country.
The Government of Haiti seized the property owned in Haiti by Colonel Cayard, his wife, his daughter and some of the 118 other soldiers. On April 24, 1970, according to the complaint, the Tontons macoutes, the State Political Police, ransacked Mr. Cayard's home and a printing works belonging to a commercial company, the "Imprimerie Serge Bissainthe", in which Mr. Cayard was a share-holder. All the equipment, which was estimated to be worth about US$150,000, was taken away and the machines transferred to the State Printers…”
- “…On November 28, in the provincial capital of Gonaïves, soldiers chased demonstrators into a schoolyard and shot and killed three schoolboys (Jean-Robert Cius, Daniel Israel, and Mackenson Michel) who were not involved in the protest”
- Michele Bennet: Jean-Claude Duvalier's wife whom he married in 1980.
- we are as firm as a monkey tail (from Creole: “Nou la pi rèd pase yon ke makak”.
- “…a violent movement where people rose up and killed the makout” (re: “Two Haitian Feminists Speak Out” http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti-archive/msg01461.html)
- “ Second Independence of Haiti ”. Many Haitian believe that Haiti need a ‘second independence' to function as a ‘real independent country'.
- “1986… Widespread protests against "Baby Doc" lead the U.S. to arrange for Duvalier and his family to be exiled to France. Army leader General Henri Namphy heads a new National Governing Council.” (http://www.haiti.org/keydate.htm)
- The Haitian Constitution of 1987 http://www.haitiguide.com/facts/con1987.php
- “…Under the military regimes of Henri Namphy and Prosper Avril, men who found it politically expedient to massacre voters in 1987 on Ruelle Vaillant at Port-au-Prince, and then again in 1988 at the Cathedral St. Jean-Bosco while Aristide, then a practicing Catholic priest, was celebrating Mass.”
. --- “It was hardly surprising that the post-Duvalier era was marked by bloody power struggles. Elections scheduled for November 29, 1987, were marred by terrorist attacks, uninhibited by the FADH. Election day was an orgy of violence, leading to the suspension of the process after only three hours.”
- “…According to the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women in January 2'000, “the phenomenon of ‘zenglendos,' or thugs, breaking into houses at any time, raping and beating the women, started during the Cedras regime as a form of political pressure but has now become a common practice of criminal gangs, terrorizing the entire population.”
- “1987 …A new Constitution is overwhelmingly approved by the population in March. General elections in November are aborted hours after they begin with dozens of people shot by soldiers and the Tonton Makout in the capital and scores more around the country.”
(re: Key Dates in Haiti 's History)
- “1988 … Military controlled elections - widely abstained from - result in the installation of Leslie Manigat as President in January. Manigat is ousted by General Namphy four months later and in November General Prosper Avril unseats Namphy.”
(re: Key Dates in Haiti 's History ). --- “…The four principal candidates boycotted this farce and the United States characterized the process as "rigged," but beyond suspending aid did nothing. The military declared that over a million votes had been cast and that their candidate, Dr. Leslie Manigat, had won. Sworn in on February 7, 1988, he would hold office for less than five months. Caught in an internal military feud over power and drug money, he was unceremoniously exiled on June 20. With Manigat's own claim to office flawed and each side of the dispute accusing the other of being involved in narcotics trafficking, Washington could only deplore the continuing violence.”
- “… 1988 Sep 17, Haitian President Henri Hamphy was ousted in a coup; Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril declared himself president the following day. (AP, 9/17/98)
(http://timelines.ws/20thcent/1988.HTML). --- “… Prosper Avril (born December 12, 1937) is a former president of Haiti. He was born in Thomezeau village, near Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince . He served as President from September 17 , 1988 to March 10 , 1990 . He was arrested in 2001, shortly after Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected President, for plotting against the state, but was freed when Aristide was ousted in February 2004.” (re: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosper_Avril)
- “… On April 1-2, 1989 the Avril government experienced its second coup attempt. At the end of March the Army High Command had discharged four high-ranking officers reportedly for drug-trafficking. In addition, in connection with the discharges, a number of other officers were transferred to other military departments. Once Gen. Avril regained control he attempted to expel Leopard Corps commander Col. Himmler Rebu and also Col. Philippe Biamby, the former commander of the Presidential Guard, who were the alleged instigators of the attempted coup, but a group of some 300 antigovernment demonstrators set up flaming barricades all along the Delmas Road, and soldiers occupied the international airport to prevent Col. Rebu, their popular commander, from being expelled. Tanks and armored vehicles from the Dessalines Barracks appeared at Delmas and there was an exchange of heavy gunfire.
The Leopards took over the government television and radio stations and made three demands over the independent radio station Haiti-Inter. They said that they wanted Lt. Col. Himmler Rebu released, a civilian government to replace Avril and the complete restoration of the 1987 Constitution. Cols. Rebu and Biamby and also Lt. Col. Leonce Qualo of the general garrison, however, were expelled by land to the Dominican Republic on Monday night, April 3, 1989. From the Dominican Republic they were sent to New York, via Miami, and in New York they were arrested by INS agents and held in detention for several months, allegedly without charges, until they were permitted to leave for Venezuela.”
(re: Annual Report Of The Inter-American Commission On Human Rights 1988-1989)
- “1989 - President Avril, on a trade mission to Taiwan, returns empty-handed after grassroots-based democratic sectors inform Taiwanese authorities that the Haitian nation will not be responsible for any contracts agreed to by Avril. Avril orders massive repression against political parties, unions, students and democratic organizations.” (Key Dates in Haiti's History)
- “…In 1989, the United States persuaded the incumbent military ruler, General Prosper Avril, to step down and allow Supreme Court Justice Ertha Pascale Trouillot to serve as interim president. With the support of the military's new commander, General Herard Abraham, she arranged relatively free elections for December 16. To the dismay of the military and Haiti's elite families, Father Aristide was elected president with two-thirds of the total vote.”
- (re: http://www.rand.org/publications/CF/CF129/CF-129.chapter9.html); --- Profil d'Ertha Pascal-Trouillot
- General Raoul Sedras, head of the Haitian Ary at the time of the September 30, 1991 coup that ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. – Read more on the this coup
- “1991 - In September President Aristide addresses the UN General Assembly. Three days after his return military personnel with financial backing from neo-Duvalierist sectors and their international allies unleash a coup d'état, ousting President Aristide. Over 1,000 people are killed in the first days of the coup.” (re: Key Dates in Haiti's History)
- “… In July 1993, Aristide was made to sign the Governor's Island Accord, a US-backed "peace accord" with the illegal military junta that terrorized Haiti for three years. The Accord forbade Aristide from running for re-election once he was restored to power, and gave amnesty to the death-squad terrorists of the junta. The junta then refused to abide by the accord, prompting President Clinton to send in troops in September 1994.”
(re: U.S.-Sponsored Regime Change in Haiti)
“…FRAPH… Emmanuel 'Toto' Constant, its leader, is now living as a free man in Queens, New York.) Among the FRAPH's victims was Guy Malary, the justice minister, ambushed and machine-gunned with his bodyguard and a driver. In September 1995, Chamblain was one of seven senior military and FRAPH leaders convicted in absentia and sentenced to forced labour for life for their involvement in the September 1993 execution of Antoine Izméry, a well-known pro-democracy activist. In late 1994 or early 1995, he went into voluntary exile in the Dominican Republic…” (re: Paul Farmer reports from Haiti)
- The person who wears the shoe is the one who knows where it's being ripped off (from the Creole proverb: “Moun ki met soulye, se li ki konn kote chosèt chire”).
(© E W. Védrine)
Peyi m rele Ayiti (Yon rezime istwa Ayiti soti epòk kolonyal rive an 1994)