Haiti: The Failure of Politics

By Brian Weinstein; Aaron Segal | Go to book overview
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a minimum, and it was they and the U.S. State Department that announced Aristide's victory even before the appropriate Haitian institution did so. Supporters of both Aristide and Silvio Claude proclaimed their unwillingness to accept the victory of anyone else, which hardly reflected a commitment to democracy. Thus, Aristide and the Lavalas movement may be the only force able to fight the Macoutes and Duvalierists because they are prepared to use violence and because they are organizing. However, there is no guarantee they are committed to democracy in terms of the rule of the law, future elections in which they might lose power, and freedom of expression.

It is necessary to add that the Duvalier regime had to be dismantled in order to allow meaningful change. With two-thirds of the popular vote, Aristide is the man the Haitians sincerely want, no matter what others may think of him. Therefore, he won the right to lead Haiti away from Duvalierism and toward a new regime that must improve the quality of life of the second world.

Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Haiti: State against Nation, The Origins and Legacy of Duvalierism ( New York: Monthly Review Press, 1990), pp. 150, 238n.
Mary Battiata, "Romania's Sound and Light Protest Show," Washington Post, 18 May 1990, p. A21.
Amy Wilentz, The Rainy Seavon: Haiti since Duvalier ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989), pp. 324, 340.
OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti ( Washington, DC, 8 May 1990). OEA/Ser. L/V/II-77 Rev. 1, Doc. 18.
Alex Dupuy, Haiti in the World Economy: Class, Race, and Underdevelopment since 1700 ( Boulder: Westview, 1989), p. 182.
Kern Delince, Armée et politique en Haíti ( Paris: Editions L'Harmattan, 1979), pp. 66-70.
"Regime's Candidate Loses in Haiti Vote," New York Times, 17 May 1983, p. 3.
Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor, La administracion publica en Haití ( Guatemala: Editorial Landivar, 1966), pp. 82-83.
Comments made on 9 February 1990 on fn. 11 of Yves-François Pierre, "Rural Politics in Haiti: Toward a Structural Approach" (Paper prepared for the Columbia University, New York University Conference on Haiti, 9 February 1990).
David Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), p. 68.
Yves-François Pierre, "Rural Politics," p. 8.
Pnina Lahav, "The Chef de Section: Structures and Functions of Haiti's Basic Administrative Institution," in Working Papers in Haitian Society and Culture, ed. Sidney W. Mintz ( New Haven: Yale University Antilles Research Program, 1975), pp. 60-61. See also Jean L. Comhaire, "The Haitian 'Chef de Section,'" American Anthropologist 57( 1955): pp. 620-23.
James G. Leyburn, The Haitian People ( 1941; reprinted, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966), p. 247.


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