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The Republic of Haiti, which occupies the western third of Hispani-
ola, a near neighbor of the United States strategically located between
the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, has attracted the attention
of foreign powers throughout its turbulent history. Economic and po-
litical conditions in this densely populated country have been of partic-
ular interest to the United States. In the latter half of the nineteenth
century and the early years of the twentieth century, the United States
undertook to prevent intervention in Haiti by European powers; and
between 1915 and 1934 the United States carried out a military occupa-
tion in the course of which projects designed to improve living condi-
tions were introduced. In early 1973 the United States was extending
technical and economic assistance.
This book represents an effort to provide a compact and objective
exposition and analysis of the dominant social, political, and economic
characteristics of Haitian society. Consultants with first-hand knowl-
edge of the country have provided data not available in printed sources.
The authors alone are responsible for the final draft.
English usage follows Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary.
French and Creole words and phrases, used only when adequate Eng-
lish equivalents are lacking, are defined at first appearance. If em-
ployed frequently, they are listed in the Glossary. French is based on
The New Cassell's French Dictionary (revised). Unless otherwise
stated, production and commodity tonnage figures are in metric tons.
civil liberties: 37, 83, 114, 156; arrest pro-
cedures, 108, 115, 157-158; freedom of
expression, 83; preventive detention, 108,
157, 158; student rights, 120
Civil Militia: 116,118
civil rights: 108
civil tribunal: 111
Claude, Breton: 119
climate: vii, 13, 14, 135
clothing: 60-61, 68, 139
coast guard: 153, 155
coffee: viii, 2, 29, 32, 33, 34, 129, 130, 132-
133, 142, 143, 144
Coicou, Massillon: 95
Columbus, Bartolom6: 27
Columbus, Christopher: 1,25,26-27, 133
Columbus, Diego: 28
combites: 49, 65-66, 99, 132
Commercial Bank of Haiti: 78, 148
communications: viii, 3, 81, 114, 128; mili-
tary, 154; newspapers, 3, 82, 100-101, 113,
114; radio, 3, 83, 100, 101-102, 113, 125,
154; telegraph, 34, 142-143, 154; tele-
phone, viii, 34, 36, 142-143; television, 3,
Communist Party (Haiti): 119, 156
constitutions: 106-108, 117, 118
Cooperative for American Relief Every-
where (CARE): 78
copper: 15, 139, 144
Cordillera Central: 10
corn: 133, 134
Cortes, HernAn: 28
cotton: 29,130, 135
counterinsurgency force: 118, 125
Courlander, Harold: 99
Court of Cassation: 110-111
Creole: vii, 1, 2, 39, 40, 46, 48, 54-56, 82. 88,
crime: 101, 111, 157-158
criminal code: 157-158
criminal tribunal: 111
Cuba: 2,5,20, 102, 105, 122, 123, 124,156
Cul-de-Sac: 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Cul-de-Sac Railroad Company: 142
cultural exchange: 102
currency: viii, 147
dairy products: 136-137
dance: 65, 67, 82, 99
death penalty. See capital punishment
death rate: 18, 21
defense: 147, 151, 153; budget, 152
Dejoie, Louis: 114
dental care. See health
departments (administrative): 7
Depestre, Ren6: 96
Dessalines Battalion: 116,119, 152, 154,155
Dessalines, Jean-Jacques: 30-31, 32, 34, 42,
Destined, Jean Leon: 99
Diaquoi, Louis: 96
diet: 58-60, 68
disease (see also malaria; yaws): vii, 70-72,
divorce laws: 143
d'Ogeron, Bertrand: 29
Dominican Republic: vii, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12,
13, 15, 26, 32, 36, 105, 106, 114, 148; rela-
tions with Haiti, 122-123; U.S. interven-
tion (1965), 125
Dominique, Max: 118, 121
Dorsainvil, J.-C.: 95
Dunham, Katherine: 99
Duperier, Odilon: 98
Durand, Oswald: 94
Duvalier, Francois: viii, 1, 3, 38, 45, 105;
and armed forces, 115, 151, 152, 156; and
black nationalism, 96, 112-113; and civil
liberties, 1, 108, 113, 158; and education,
85; election, 114, 117; excommunication,
50, 121; and foreign relations, 122; and
health care, 71, 73; and housing, 63; and
legislature, 109, 110; and literature, 96;
and loyalty oaths, 73; and press, 100; and
Roman Catholicism, 50; and trade unions,
120; and voodoo, 51, 105, 116
Duvalier, Jean-Claude: vii, 3, 105, 106, 118;
and armed forces, 152
Duvalier, Marie-Denise: 118,121
Duvalier, Simone Ovide: 118
economic assistance. See foreign assistance
economy: 127-129; balance of payments,
127; budget, 146-147; gross national prod-
uct, 127, 129; monetary policy, 34
education: vii-viii, 2-3, 21, 23, 34, 35, 47, 81,
83-94, 113: adult, 93-94; agricultural, 90;
budget, 147; business, 90; health, 73, 86,
91; higher, vii, 84, 86, 90-92, 120; illiter-
acy, 2-3, 47, 81, 93, 113; instructors, 92-
93; legal, 91; military, 153, 154; parochial,
54, 83, 84, 85; primary, 84-86; rural, 87-
located to the north of the Chaine de Mateaux, the funnel-shaped Arti-
bonite Plain has an area of about 300 square miles. Drained by the
Artibonite River that crosses the central part of the country after
rising in the Dominican Republic, it is broadest along the coast of the
Gulf of Gonave and narrows progressively to the east as the adjacent
mountains encroach progressively on the river valley. The region is
generally fertile, but near the coast its soils are too alkaline for inten-
sive agriculture. In the early 1970s its rural population remained some-
what less dense than that of the Northern Plain and of the Cul-de-Sac,
and there was promise of expanding its acreage of arable land through
In the far south, the 150 square miles that make up the Cul-de-Sac
lie between the Chaine de Mateaux and the Massif de la Selle. Extend-
ing eastward from Port-au-Prince to the frontier, the Cul-de-Sac
becomes the Neiba Valley in the Dominican Republic. It is a down-
faulted depression once filled by the waters of an ocean channel that
separated the mountain ridges to the south from the mainland. Later,
alluvial fans formed gradually by rivers at both ends blocked off the
waters of the channel, causing them to evaporate and to leave a series
of sedimentary terraces and brackish lakes.
According to the Haitian Statistical Institute, there are sixteen other
plains, valleys, and basins, ranging in extent from seventeen to 115
square miles. These, together with other smaller lowland areas includ-
ing those on the adjacent islands, have a total area of a little more than
300 square miles. In all, the lowlands cover about 22 percent of the
More than 100 rivers and streams form an intricate tracery as they
flow from their mountain headwaters into the Atlantic, into the Gulf
of Gonive. which is formed between the extended arms of the northern
and southern peninsulas, and into the Caribbean Sea. None of any size
flows eastward into the Dominican Republic. In the highlands the flow
is rapid and permanent, but the movement tends to slow and to mean-
der as the watercourses reach the lowlands. The flow becomes subject
to considerable seasonal change, and in many instances it is dissipated
by evaporation before reaching tidewater. None of the rivers is naviga-
ble, but they are important for crop irrigation and for their hydro-
electric power potential.
Much the largest of the streams is the Artibonite River. It is shallow,
as are the other Haitian watercourses; but it is the longest, and its
flow averages ten times that of any of the others. Second in length is
the Trois Rivibres, which spills into the Atlantic at the town of Port-de-
Paix at the gap between the Massif du Nord and the smaller ranges
that cover the tip of the northern peninsula. Next is the Grande Anse,
which reaches tidewater near the town of J6r6mie on the southern
peninsula. The Massacre River (Riviere du Massacre, better known as
ideals and allowed the people to enjoy unprecedented liberty of action.
He confiscated the large French plantations and parceled out small
plots of land to soldiers and officers. P6tion's generosity, however
motivated, changed the entire agricultural base of the society. No
longer willing to cultivate coffee, indigo, and sugar, most of the people
in the south grew garden crops for their own use. Although profits
from export crops declined, the common man, secure on his small plot,
probably considered himself better off than ever before. In terms of
national prosperity, however, the results were calamitous. Customs
and tax revenues declined; paper money without backing was issued;
and a few foreign loans were obtained at excessive interest rates.
Nevertheless, the people in the south enjoyed freedom, while the peo-
ple in Christophe's kingdom lived as serfs. Potion, who died in 1818,
was popular with the people he endeavored to serve.
After the death of Christophe, Jean Pierre Boyer, who had succeeded
Potion in the south in 1818, reunited the north and the south and, in
addition, annexed the eastern part of Hispaniola where, in 1822, the
people of the colony of Santo Domingo had driven out the Spaniards.
Boyer, like P6tion, was a mulatto educated in France, who had served
in the P6tion government. When he took office, he continued the dis-
tribution of small parcels of land and left the people to their own de-
vices. When, in 1825, Boyer's government approved a French ordinance
that recognized Haiti's independence in return for trade privileges and
a large indemnity, Boyer hoped to ward off another invasion by the
French, but black leaders were enraged by the fact that these conces-
sions had been made by a mulatto-dominated government. The blacks
were also angered by Boyer's negotiation of a French loan to pay the
indemnity, a transaction that made it necessary to issue paper money
to meet domestic needs.
When the internal situation continued to deteriorate, Boyer aban-
doned his moderate rule and adopted the stern tactics of Dessalines
and Christophe, forcing the peasants to plow and harvest under armed
guard. His inept rule lasted until 1843, when he was overthrown and
exiled by a conspiracy of members of his own social group-urban
mulattoes. In the ensuing turmoil the people of Santo Domingo threw
off Haitian rule, and the Dominican Republic was established in the
eastern part of Hispaniola. After trying unsuccessfully to establish a
stable government, the mulattoes in Haiti lost their power to unlet-
tered Negro leaders, and for the next seventy-two years Negroes were
in almost complete control of the country.
In the middle of the nineteenth century Haiti reached an economic
impasse. Toussaint Louverture's system of forced labor had generated
a temporary increase in the colony's productivity, but many peasants
had fled to the hills and settled on land that they regarded as their
own. A system of sharecropping had been initiated by white 6migres
whom Toussaint had encouraged to return. Under Dessalines certain
chance. Tickets for the weekly lottery in Port-au-Prince are sold also
in other urban centers. Casino gambling is available to the well-to-do
in Port-au-Prince, and in 1972 plans had been made for a casino in the
new resort complex on Tortue Island. Wagers are made on cockfights,
in bezique and other card games, in dominoes, in a local dice game
called ouapi, and in wari-a kind of draughts game of West African
origin that is played in the capital but unknown in the countryside.
Private clubs play an important part in the recreational life of the
urban working class as well as of the elite. A study in the late 1950s
found that in a single working-class district of Cap-Haitien there were
seven clubs, including two operated by labor unions. For the urban
poor as well as for the peasant in the countryside, a kind of club mem-
bership is provided by access to the voodoo center, which serves as a
clubhouse, music hall, and theater combined.
Music and dancing are outlets of extreme importance to elite and
peasant alike. Endowed with a sure sense of rhythm, even the Haitian
child barely able to walk will spontaneously break into the dance on
hearing the beat of a meringue.
The limited formal theatrical fare available consists principally of
plays performed in French by a Port-au-Prince company, and dances
and drumming performances by the Folklore Troupe of Haiti. Motion
.pictures are principally French films and North American offerings
with dubbed soundtracks. Attendance is limited by the low average
income as well as by the virtually complete absence of theaters in the
countryside where most of the people live. In the mid-1960s the attend-
ance rate was estimated at 0.3 performances per capital annually. Dis-
tribution of radio and television sets is also among the scantiest in
All of this does not mean that the Haitian does not enjoy a relatively
rich variety of recreational activities. A scattering of surveys suggests
that the peasant as well as the urban working man devotes a propor-
tion of his income to recreation that compares very favorably with that
of people of corresponding income level in other Latin American coun-
tries. More important, the very fact of the extreme crowding of the
countryside makes possible for the Haitian peasant a degree of com-
munity intercourse denied to people who live in more dispersed rural
For its recreational value, the combite is of particular communal
value. Essentially, the combite is a working party of neighbors as-
sembled by the small farmer to help in needed tasks, which may in-
volve reaping of a field or the raising of a dwelling. The volunteer
workers are not paid, but they receive liberal amounts of food and
drink while they engage in work that is accompanied by singing or the
beating of drums. Work ends in midafternoon and the entertainment
may include a dance that continues until late in the night. Where com-
bites involve a great many workers, particularly in the north, the work
The third period, beginning with the revolution of 1946, was in part
a reaction to the American occupation. This era brought the most radi-
cal change to the traditional stratification system. The backlash of
antiwhite sentiment that 'followed the American occupation was
accompanied by a rise in black consciousness and an awareness of
Haiti's African heritage among the educated and progressive. The new
wave of black nationalism was strikingly reflected in artistic and
intellectual endeavor (see ch. 6). The revolution was also experienced
at the political and social levels, as educated and experienced blacks
from lower and middle class origins emerged to fill the presidency and
other important government posts. Under the influence of these men
the middle class grew in numbers and strength, their social status
paralleling the growing power of the government.
The Haitian upper class traditionally constituted less than 10 per-
cent of the total population and in 1972 composed from 2 to 5 percent.
In the past it existed as the elite of a closed, caste-like society. Social
position was determined by birth, and class solidarity was reinforced
by traditional values and marriage within the group. This fragment of
the society was cosmopolitan and possessed education, wealth, and
social prestige. It directed the destiny of the country and that of the
peasant mass below. The criteria that distinguished elite status were
economic, social, physical, and geographic.
A prestigious occupation and relative wealth historically character-
ized the elite's economic position. The elite disdained manual labor,
industry, and commerce in favor of the more gentlemanly professions
of law, medicine, and architecture. The elite woman never worked,
devoting all her time to home and family. In sharp contrast to other
Latin American countries, the Republic of Haiti has not had a landed
oligarchy. A few wealthy citizens have owned homes in the country,
but the land itself has belonged to the peasant since the days of Des-
salines. Property ownership has existed, but it was urban land that
brought in the rental income.
Traditional elite status presupposed descent from freed mulattoes
followed by several generations of legal marriage. The highest elite
traced their ancestry to the famous "Two Hundred Families" of revolu-
tionary times. Class solidarity was rooted in a strong family system,
blood relationships, and common heritage. The interlocking family ties
were carried to such an extent that all elite appeared to be related. The
elite adopted the French social institutions and exhibited extreme
franco'phile attitudes, manifesting elegant deportment, fiery pa-
triotism, and European savoir faire.
Light skin was highly prized and was accompanied by the notion of
the superior intelligence of the white race. On the other hand, the prej-
udice lodged against the black peasants was far more cultural than
domestic-science school for girls, all of the institutions in this category
are for males. Graduates of the domestic-science school can qualify for
a primary teaching certificate after a year's advanced study.
Students who have completed the basic cycle of general secondary
schooling may enroll in four-year vocational courses in commercial
subjects, hotel work, or catering leading to certification. In addition, a
two-year course in surveying is open to students who have completed
five years of general secondary school.
The professional schools are all in the public sector. Their teachers
are fairly well trained and compare favorably with those of the general
secondary system. A large percentage of those trained in one craft,
however, are reported to have found jobs only in another, or they have
been unable to find employment because of a lack of available positions
in their field of specializations or because employers prefer to train
their own workers.
Most of the enrollment in commercial courses is in private schools of
varying quality. In many of them the teachers are poorly paid, and the
instruction tends to suffer as a consequence. A large majority of the
students are girls. The instruction consists principally of the teaching
of office skills, and the increasing number of young women seeking to
become bilingual secretaries who go abroad to Jamaica or elsewhere
for their training has been reflected in a generally downward trend in
The rudiments of gardening and agriculture are taught in rural pri-
mary schools, and the Secretariat of State for Agriculture, Natural
Resources and Rural Development offers some agricultural courses at
the lower secondary level. These latter courses are not considered part
of the regular school system, however, and enrollments in them are not
included in the school enrollment statistics.
Two normal schools at the secondary level train urban primary
teachers; two others prepare teachers for rural employment. Their
modest collective enrollment of 222 in 1967 included a small majority
in the urban schools; women constituted a small majority in the urban
units, and males were in a better than two-to-one majority in the
The general rule is that normal-school admission is limited to those
who have successfully completed the general secondary cycle and that
the regular course has a duration of three years leading to a teacher's
certificate. A fourth year of practical teacher training is offered those
who apply for it and carries with it a higher opening salary. Perform-
ance records are few, but in 1961 it was calculated te it about one-third
of the original matriculants obtained their teaching diplomas and
that about one-fifth went on to obtain diplomas after the fourth year.
The University of Haiti (officially, but rarely in practice, denomi-
Financial security has become as attractive a quality in a potential
mate as light skin and family background once were, and members of
the elite have intermarried with wealthy nonelites or foreigners.
Haitian men studying abroad exhibit a distinct preference for white
women of European extraction and often make matches abroad.
Although many norms have been relaxed to broaden the base of
upper class membership, other standards have been maintained and
even reinforced. The value of French culture, language, Roman Catholi-
cism, and education has remained constant. Individuals aspiring to
high status must adopt these standards and emulate the life-styles and
.customs of the traditional elite. Despite the increase in black con-
sciousness in the arts, little genuine affinity with Africa is felt among
the upper class; the psychological and cultural ties remain with France.
Moreover, as French culture is found only in the urban areas, the upper
class has remained concentrated in the cities, thus reinforcing the
There was little room for a middle class in the two-caste system
existing in Haiti before the twentieth century. Anthropologists con-
ducting studies as late as 1940 described the elite and the masses and
make only casual reference to a middle sector. They portrayed it as
being neither elite nor mass and neither distinct nor functional as a
separate class. Individuals of this category were found to be urban,
literate, legally married, and regularly employed, but having little
effect on the national society. They were upwardly mobile and were
considered to be aspirants to elite status who did not reach their goal.
The middle stratum has become more sharply defined since the 1940s
because of changes that occurred during the American occupation and
thereafter. Educational change in the 1920s, the upsurge in black con-
sciousness, and the wave of industrialization and economic prosperity
that followed the wars, resulted in the strengthening of the middle
stratum. It has continued to grow in numbers and political power; the
regime of former President Francois Duvalier reflected his middle
class origins through numerous political appointments.
The middle stratum is still a residual segment caught between the
upper and lower classes and constitutes only 2 to 4 percent of the en-
tire population. It is culturally ambivalent and insecure, a factor that
makes it a suspicious and sensitive group. Class solidarity and iden-
tity are virtually nonexistent, as are common class values and
traditions. It remains an essentially urban catchall category. The
majority of its members is concentrated in the capital, is of provincial
or foreign extraction, and includes Syrian, Lebanese, Corsican, and
some Europeans; yet a great many are also found in the smaller pro-
The chief distinctions between the middle class and the lower class
Throughout its history the social system of Haiti has been marked by
a dual heritage-that of the French colonial and that of the African
slave. The social and racial configuration was introduced during the
colonial period when a small minority of wealthy whites held sway
over the lives of their black slaves. A rigid, color-based stratification
system evolved that enhanced initial cultural differences. As independ-
ence was ushered in, the white elites were ushered out, giving Haiti
the opportunity to develop new values and institutions. The new mu-
latto elite opted for the social model of their predecessors, however,
and kept Roman Catholicism, the French language and culture, and
light skin color as criteria of high social position.
The slave masses that fought alongside the mulattoes gained little
more than emancipation and subsistence plots after independence. The
lifestyles that had evolved during slavery were adapted to their new
peasant status with only minimal changes. They maintained their own
religion (voodoo) and their own language (Creole) and continued to
center their lives on African and slave-based family and market pat-
terns. Little has changed in the peasants' isolated, rural existence
since slave days; they remain outside the national economy and politi-
cal life and are virtually untouched by modern technology or social
The twentieth century has seen the initial erosion of the traditionally
dichotomous society and the emergence of a nebulous middle class.
The rise in black consciousness and nationalism has brought an in-
creased awareness of the African heritage by Haitian intellectuals-as
witnessed by the liberalizing of official attitudes towards voodoo and
the sporadic attempts to bring greater prestige to Creole. Expanding
economic opportunities have caused differentiation within social
strata, and political awareness has given impetus to the incipient mid-
dle sector. Geographic isolation and regionalism are breaking down as
rural inhabitants become more mobile and seek opportunities outside
their ancestral villages. Although members of the elite retain their
exalted position as the last bastion of prestigious French culture, the
group has opened its ranks to wealthy, educated nonelites, forming a
broader based upper class.
In spite of these signals of change, the overall social structure has not
been deeply affected. At the base of the social pyramid the peasants'
mittable diseases as typhoid fever, dysentery, infant diarrhea, and
Haitians are clean people who bathe frequently, although the
streams and ditches often used for this purpose are not always clean,
and no epidemic (louse-borne) typhus is reported. In addition, an infu-
sion made from boiling the bark of the mamey tree serves as a tradi-
tional deterrent to lice and flea infestation. A large number of rats
are sustained by the often uncollected garbage, however, and the size
of the rat population coupled with the fact that murine (flea-borne)
typhus has been reported in the Dominican Republic makes this
disease a potential hazard in Haiti.
Storage plants are lacking, and supervision of the slaughter of ani-
mals is inadequate. The presence of undulant fever and bovine tuber-
culosis in cattle and tapeworm infestation in pigs make thorough
cooking of meat desirable. Pasteurized milk is available in Port-au-
Prince, but even in this city the boiling of milk is recommended. Condi-
tions in the open-air markets are crowded and often unsanitary;
vegetables should be washed in treated water and cooked, and it is
recommended that fruits be washed and peeled.
The Haitian community has traditionally looked after its own wel-
fare considerations. Public assistance has been limited, and the peas-
ant has tended to look with distrust on whatever public help has been
proffered. The attitude of suspicion is slowly changing, and the initial
steps toward establishment of a social security program have been
taken; but welfare has remained in large part a concern of the family,
the community, church and other private groups, and international
In 1972 the only persons receiving public pensions were a few retired
public officials and members of the armed forces who were covered by
special old-age insurance programs. A 1965 decree had established an
old-age program for workers, and in 1970 about 35,000 employed
persons were making payment into the fund. No retirement payment,
however, has as yet been reported. The plan calls for compulsory
coverage of all persons holding paid jobs, with the exception of aliens
with diplomatic status or with special exemptions from taxation and
members of religious communities. Unpaid family workers are ex-
empted, and public officials and military personnel may participate on
a voluntary basis.
Under the old-age pension program, eligible persons must have
reached the age of sixty years and paid contributions over a period of
at least twenty years. Eligibility is severely limited, however, by a
requirement that the government determine the otherwise eligible
person who has reached the age of sixty years to be no longer capable
of performing any occupational activity.
States Civil War and the intervention in 1915 Haiti was affected by the
opposing interests of Great Britain, the United States, Germany, and
France and by strained relations with the Dominican Republic.
Between 1908 and 1915, a period characterized by revolutions, assas-
sinations, and insurrections, Haitian governments raised money
through bond issues and unorthodox financial operations, driving the
republic into political and financial bankruptcy. During this period
seven men served briefly as president, most of them having seized
power with the support of cacos. One was killed when the presidential
palace was blown up; others fled the country; and the last was hacked
to pieces by an infuriated mob. In 1915, when Germany was winning
victories in World War I, there were rumors that Germany sought a
naval base in Haiti, and Germans in Haiti who had lent large sums to
finance caco revolts were asking their government for help. French
owners of Haitian securities were pressing the Haitians for payment,
and United States financial interest controlling Haiti's railroads and
banking were concerned over the danger to their investments. In the
face of these threats to United States interest in the Caribbean and
bearing in mind United States responsibility for the Panama Canal,
President Woodrow Wilson made the decision to intervene in Haiti.
UNITED STATES INTERVENTION, 1915-34
In 1914 there were frequent visits to Haitian ports by United States
naval vessels. Marines from French, British, and German warships
also went ashore to protect their countries' interests. In January 1915
Vilbrun Guillaume Sam marched toward Port-au-Prince at the head
of a caco army and by March had established himself as president. An
American admiral, William Caperton, whose ships were standing by,
had warned Sam against violence but, when a rival caco army was
reported on its way to the capital to overthrow the president, Sam
threw his principal critics into prison and fled to the French Legation.
More than 160 prisoners, including respected members of the elite,
were killed, probably on Sam's orders. A mob then dragged Sam from
the French Legation, tore his body apart, and marched through the
city with the pieces. Admiral Caperton then landed with 300 marines
from his cruisers.
Supported by additional forces the marines spread out over the coun-
try, disarmed the Haitian army, and opened recruiting offices for a
native constabulary. This police force of about 2,400, commanded at
the outset by 100 marine officers, was the nucleus of the future Haitian
Guard (Garde d'Haiti). Roads connecting the principal towns were
built; clinics, hospitals, and telephone systems were established; and
reservoirs and sewerage systems were constructed. Between 1915 and
1930, under presidents installed in office by the occupying forces,
United States officials eliminated graft, collected taxes, introduced
economies, and managed the treasury. The Haitian Guard proved to
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Trust Fund: Tenth Annual Report, 1970. Washington: 1971.
International Labor Organization. International Labor Office. Labour
Force Projections 1965-1985, Latin America. Geneva: 1971.
International Planned Parenthood Federation. Family Planning in
Five Continents. London: 1969.
International Yearbook of Education, 1969, XXXI. Paris: United Na-
tions Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 1970.
James, Preston. Latin America (4th ed.) New York: Odyssey Press,1969.
Kantor, Harry. Patterns of Politics and Political Systems in Latin
America. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1969.
Leyburn, James G. The Haitian People (Rev. ed.) New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1966.
Lobb, John. "Caste and Class in Haiti," American Journal of Sociology,
XLVI, 1940, 23-34.
Logan, Rayford W. Haiti and the Dominican Republic. (Under auspices
life is unchanged. Observations of rural life made in the nineteenth
century were only slightly updated by the social scientists of the
1930s and 1940s; in general, these commentaries are still a fairly
accurate picture of the peasant in 1972. Power and wealth have not
been diffused throughout the society. New groups are developing, but
the balance of power has remained with the 5 to 10 percent of the popu-
lation possessing wealth, education, and social prestige. Finally, there
has been no effective amalgamation or adoption of lower class norms.
Creole and voodoo, despite their pervasiveness, have never been
officially acknowledged by the upper class, who remain culturally
segregated. Traditional class criteria are still employed to designate
status. The middle class is ambivalent about its double heritage and
has developed little class solidarity.
COLOR AND CLASS
Racial and Ethnic Heritage
The evolution of Haitian class structure and ethnic configuration
may be seen in terms of three periods: the colonial and early independ-
ence period; the period of the American occupation (1915-34); and
the revolution of 1946. The racial composition was established during
the first of these periods, and subsequent history served to reinforce
rather than to change the early colonial configuration. Although the
colonial period technically began in 1492 with the Spanish conquest of
the Taino Indians on Hispaniola, little of lasting cultural importance
was to take place on the western half of the island until the arrival of
the first French planters and their African slaves in the middle of the
seventeenth century (see ch. 3).
The French presence in Haiti was of shorter duration than that of
any other colonial power in the New World, yet the cultural trans-
mission was extensive and especially affected the elite. The values of
wealth, light skin color, Roman Catholicism, education, and cultural
refinement were introduced by the French. Haitian society has never
successfully shaken the legacy left by the early planters. Although
the outlines of social values and institutions were drawn by the French,
the details of daily life were often supplied by the black slaves. The
blacks developed lifestyles that incorporated their African background
and their experience as slaves, and they passed on this legacy to their
offspring. The differences between the French and African cultural
backgrounds have never been fully reconciled nor amalgamated, how-
ever; and the result has been the development of parallel institutions,
values, and lifestyles of the mulatto elite and the peasant masses.
The French imposed a stratification system composed of three
classes and based on color and French-derived class criteria. At the
top of the social ladder were the white elite, who were further sub-
divided between those born in France and those born on the island and
are economic and cultural. Criteria for membership include a non-
manual occupation, a moderate income, education, and a mastery of
French. More than half the middle class is dependent upon the govern-
ment for its occupational security. The other half is variously employed
as professionals, businessmen, shopkeepers, and teachers. Regardless
of the amount of income or how it is earned, members of this class
generally live beyond their economic means.
Family heritage and color are of less importance among members
of the middle stratum than among their upper class contemporaries.
Their marriage and family patterns are more flexible, allowing them
to choose spouses from other classes. Middle class Haitians are up-
wardly mobile, as are their children, and they perceive education and
urban residence as two essential keys to achieving higher status. They
attempt to emulate the lifestyles of the elite, while resenting their
social prestige and light skin color.
Urban Lower Class
The urban lower class constitutes about 6 percent of the total popu-
lation and about half the urban population. It is concentrated in Port-
au-Prince and the other coastal towns. (Because towns of the interior
have a much more rural orientation, their residents are classified with
the peasantry.) The urban lower class has grown in the last few years
because of increased migration from the countryside. Realizing that
moving to the city is the only viable means of upward mobility, these
rural individuals have come in search of education for their children
and employment for themselves.
Within the urban lower class there are several strata, all dependent
upon the status criteria of regular employment. Jobs are scarce within
this category because there is little industry to absorb the burgeoning
migration; consequently, there is much unemployment or marginal
employment. The service sector is taken from this group, comprising
domestics, shoe shiners, and day laborers. Others are self-employed as
shopkeepers, artisans, lottery ticket vendors, and market women.
The urban lower class displays social heterogeneity and a lack of
class consciousness. They are a group whose orientation is changing
from a rural to an urban way of life, and they still manifest many of
their peasant characteristics. There are higher percentages of legal
unions, strict Roman Catholics, and French-speakers than in the rural
areas. Most members of this group display a preference for speaking
Creole, and common law marriage and voodoo are still prevalent.
The political nature and strength of the urban lower class is subject
to debate. Both labor and communist movements draw from this
stratum, although the great majority identified with Francois Duva-
lier who recruited his militia from their ranks. Nevertheless, members
within this group are subject to political manipulation by those more
powerful than they. Their degree of political articulateness and their
No comprehensive survey of the industrial history of the country has
ever been made, and industrial data are scattered. A 1960 survey listed
over 400 industrial establishments, but almost 160 of them were
neighborhood bakeries, and 130 were small distilleries. Over half the
industrial labor force in that survey was employed in seventeen sisal
fiber-processing plants. Industrial growth before 1959 had been hin-
dered by the customs tariff, which levied lower duties on imported
manufactured products than on their component parts. This made it
cheaper to import the finished product than to assemble it in Haiti.
A 1959 decree provided for customs duties exemptions on most raw
materials, machinery, and equipment and granted certain fiscal bene-
fits to companies manufacturing for export; lesser benefits were
granted to domestic market manufacturers.
Since the 1959 customs modification, and particularly since 1968,
a large number of small assembly plants have begun operation and
have made the light assembly industry field one of the more prom-
ising economic sectors. Almost all of these new firms, many of which
are Haitian owned, are processing United States components into
finished goods for reexport back to the United States. The products
are those requiring considerable hand labor and include such items as
baseballs, beaded articles, belts, boots, brassieres, cotton gloves, elec-
trical parts, fishing lures, handbags, denim jeans, hairpieces, neckties,
uniforms, ornaments, toys, sandals, screwdrivers, shirts, and wallets.
The exact number of such assembling plants is unknown but was
estimated at 150 in 1972. They are believed to have created at least
10,000 new jobs. Women employees predominate in these assembling
The actual growth of firms manufacturing for the domestic market
has been less rapid than the growth of the assembling plants because
of the narrow consumer market. Although the value of production is
small, there is a fairly large range of products: cigarettes, soap, denti-
frices, shoes, soft drinks, leathergoods, fabrics, clothing, furniture,
carpets, rugs, stoves, cooking utensils, edible oils, lard, flour, textiles,
and plastics products. Three large sugar mills produce sugar, molasses,
and sugar byproducts for both the domestic and export markets. In
addition, there are numerous small sugar mills (whose motive power
is draft animals) producing crude sugar for the local rural areas.
A small dynamic sector since 1968 has been the construction indus-
try, spearheaded by the demand for building of the new processing
plants and by increased government spending on infrastructure proj-
ects. There was only one cement plant in the country in 1972; and it
was operating close to its capacity of 90,000 tons annually. The com-
pany had plans to increase capacity eventually to 300,000 tons. A semi-
autonomous company, Haiti Steel (Acero de Haiti), was created in
The largest share of the operating budget is applied to general gov-
ernment administration. This amounted to 38 percent in 1969/70 but
was down to 32 percent in 1970/71. Defense and security accounted for
17 percent total expenditures in 1969/70 but only 14 percent in 1970/71.
Education claimed 14 percent of the budget in 1969/70 and 12 percent
in 1970/71. Health and sanitation accounted for 11 percent and 10
percent, respectively, in the two fiscal years. All of the other functions
accounted for the balance of expenditures. The Ministry of Interior
and National Defense received 31 percent of the budget in both fiscal
Although the total public debt is unknown, the known foreign com-
ponent was about US$9.5 million in 1969. The equivalent of about 5
percent of the budget was estimated to be needed to amortize the public
debt in 1969/70 and 1970/71. Some of the foreign debt had fallen into
arrears during the 1960s, but an improved economic situation after
1968 helped the government once again to service its debts on schedule.
Taxes bring in the major percentage of government revenue-about
90 percent. Nontax sources, such as profits of the National Bank of
the Republic of Haiti and the forced sale of government savings certifi-
cates to wage earners, bring in the balance. Despite the reliance on
taxation as the major revenue source, the tax burden on the population
is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere; it was about 7 to 8 percent of
the GNP in the late 1960s.
The early leaders of the republic raised revenues by means of a terri-
torial tax of one-fourth in kind on all produce. Henry Christophe added
a tax on the titles of the nobility he created, but P6tion initiated the
first customs duties on both imports and exports, which have remained
the major revenue source. Additional varieties of taxes were added in
the twentieth century. Import duties accounted for 38 percent of total
revenue in 1970/71, and export taxes accounted for an additional 12
percent. Income taxes accounted for only 11 percent, special sugar
taxes made up about 4 percent, and miscellaneous sales taxes ac-
counted for the remainder.
Banking and Currency
The name of the currency is the gourde, believed to have been derived
from the short name for the piastre-gourde, the most common French
coin utilized during the colonial period. Other sources, however, con-
tend that the name of the currency stems from the gourd, or calabash,
which has multiple household uses and is a voodoo symbol for a high
priest or priestess. The symbol for the gourde is G. The gourde is
divided into 100 centimes and comes in banknotes in denominations of
one, two, five, ten, twenty, and fifty.
The United States dollar is also legal tender in Haiti, based upon an
agreement between the two countries made in 1919. The official rate of
exchange in 1972 between the two currencies was 5 gourdes equal US$1,
consciousness of being a black republic in a predominantly white hemi-
sphere. Although the elites still look to France for cultural inspiration
and although Francois Duvalier made a point of establishing relations
with several African countries in order to emphasize his commitment
to nigritude, the only relations that have been a source of constant
preoccupation have been those with the Dominican Republic and with
the United States.
Relations with Cuba might best be seen as an aspect of United
States-Haitian relations, as the presence of a socialist government in
the Caribbean has been used by Haiti as a bargaining chip; Francois
Duvalier alternately charged that the communist menace, emanating
from Cuba, threatened the security of his country and intimated sym-
pathy with the Castro regime in his attempts to secure United States
Haiti's initiatives in international organizations, primarily the
Organization of American States (OAS), have resulted from its clashes
with the Dominican Republic. The country has generally followed the
lead of the United States in casting its votes in the OAS and the United
Nations, but when it has found itself in the position of casting the
decisive vote, as on the expulsion of Cuba from the OAS in 1962 and the
dispatching of an Inter-American Peace Force to the Dominican Re-
public in 1965, it has bargained its vote for economic assistance.
Relations with the Dominican Republic
Tension has generally run high between Haiti and the Dominican
Republic since the Dominicans gained their independence in 1844,
having experienced twenty-two years of Haitian occupation. Legends
growing out of the occupation have kept fears and racial animosity
alive in the Dominican Republic. The most serious incident between
the two countries in the twentieth century was the massacre in 1937
by the Dominican army, under the government of Rafael Le6nidas
Trujillo Molina, ,of an unknown number (Haiti claimed 12,000; the
Dominican Republic claimed 18,000) of Haitians, mostly seasonal agri-
cultural workers, in the Dominican Republic.
Leaders in each country have habitually attempted to influence
internal political struggles in the other, and political exiles and refu-
gees, with or without the complicity of sympathetic governments, have
kept the island seething with plots and rumors of plots. Since World
War II, however, disputes between the two countries have been miti-
gated by the intercession of the OAS. The second application of the
Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (commonly known as
the 1947 Rio Treaty) took place in response to charges of aggression
brought by Haiti against the Dominican Republic, together with
countercharges by the latter against Haiti, Cuba, and Guatemala.
Haiti first appealed to the OAS in 1949, claiming that the activities of
a former Haitian army officer, who had taken asylum in the Domini-
the loa, who are consequently closer to the Haitian peasant. The loa
possess the same desires and weaknesses as do mankind. As neither
man nor loa are entirely good or bad, sin and moral law are not dic-
tated by the gods and are not a part of voodoo. There are hundreds of
these gods, and some are directly linked to Roman Catholic saints
through a similarity in characteristics or physical appearance.
Possession is one of the most vital aspects of voodoo. It occurs at
public religious gatherings when a participant feels himself to be
entered-influenced or controlled-by one of the loa. At such times
the individual personality becomes subverted, and the possessed mani-
fests the characteristics of the deity. Under the influence of the snake
god, for example, a man may seem to glide up a tree in serpentine
fashion in apparent defiance of the laws of gravity. When an individual
is first "mounted" by a loa, be becomes his "horse," or servant and is
baptised to solidify the relationship. Throughout his lifetime, the
individual will pay particular allegiance and homage to that god. Only
at death is the loa removed so that the man's soul may ascend to
God-the Christian God.
Possession is a profound experience because it is believed to be the
revelation of divine will of the loa through the medium of the common
man. Rural Haitians accept it, and those possessed by it, as a normal
part of the community's religious life. Peasants welcome the experi-
ence and express neither surprise nor fear if a fellow dancer suddenly
sheds his own personality for that of a loa. Although possession is a
fairly common occurrence, its frequency does not diminish its prestige
or that of the individual possessed. After an individual is mounted by a
loa, he is treated with deference and respect by other community
The priests and priestesses of voodoo-houngans and mambos,
respectively-receive their training as apprentices. There is no
hierarchy, and each priest informally establishes himself in an area,
his reputation and prestige growing with his proven effectiveness as
curer and diviner. The houngan and mambo more closely resemble
medicine men thar they do Roman Catholic priests. Their duties in-
clude cures and divination, in addition to acting as officiant at voodoo
services. The majority have lives outside their religious calling and
are full, if not prominent, participants in the community affairs. They
are highly respected members of their society and often rise to a posi-
tion of political eminence.
The rites and services are based to a large extent on the Roman
Catholic mass. The ritual encompasses benedictions, genuflections,
and responses. It is conducted within a special building decorated with
images of saints identified with the loa. The service itself is entirely
religious and dedicated to pacifying or gratifying certain gods. The
service is not held on a regular basis but as the need arises. It is attended
by family members and is followed by a dance, which is a community
SECTION III. ECONOMIC
In 1972 Haiti's economy had completed its fourth straight year of
growth after more than two decades of stagnation. The United Nations
had noted that Haiti was the only country in the world experiencing
almost no growth during most of the 1950s and 1960s; and the expand-
ing birth rate had caused the per capital gross national product (GNP)
to fall by an annual average of 2.3 percent between 1961 and 1967. The
prolonged slump was finally broken during fiscal year 1968/69 when
the GNP grew by 3.3 percent, and this was followed by growth rates of
4.7 percent in 1969/70 and 5.7 percent in 1970/71. The improvement
was attributable to a more favorable government fiscal position; re-
newed business confidence; increased private, domestic, and foreign
investment; and a rising flow of tourists. Construction was up, new
banks were being established in the country, and foreign reserves had
increased to record levels.
The total GNP reached G1,900 million (5 gourdes equal US$1) in
1970/71, and per capital GNP grew to G370. The balance-of-payments
situation also improved because of increased exports, tourism, and
remittances from Haitians working abroad. During the five-year
period from 1966 to 1970 there was a small accumulated surplus of
US$2 million in the balance of payments. Despite the improvement
Haiti, in terms of per capital income, was the poorest country in the
Western Hemisphere in 1972.
All economic statements and data concerning Haiti are informal and
based mainly upon estimates and must therefore be treated with cau-
tion. The Haitian Statistical Institute can provide only partial data
on most subjects. Because there has not been an accurate recent popu-
lation count, the accuracy of per capital growth rates and income
figures is open to question. Foreign trade statistics are usually not
true values, and budget figures are arbitrarily made to balance.
Agriculture is the pillar of the economy. Until 1968 it had always
contributed more than half of the gross domestic product (GDP). Sub-
sequently the relative percentage fell slightly but was still more than
48 percent in 1970/71 (see table 2). More than 87 percent of the esti-
mated 1.9 million person labor force was working in agriculture in the
late 1960s. During the first half of the nineteenth century the land
U.S. Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945:
Diplomatic Papers: The American Republics, IX. Washington: GPO,
-. Republic of Haiti: Background Notes. (Publication No. 8287.)
Washington: November 1970.
U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. Haiti: Post Report. Port-au-Prince:
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Economic Research Service. Haiti's
Agriculture and Trade. (ERS-Foreign 283.) Washington: n.d.
U.S. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor Condi-
tions in Haiti. (Labor Digest No. 49.) Washington: 1964.
--. Labor Law and Practice in Haiti. (BLS Report No. 243.) Wash-
ington: GPO, 1963.
U.S. Department of the Army. Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Haiti, Health Publication
No. 4. Washington: 1960.
University of California at Los Angeles. Latin American Center. Sta-
tistical Abstract ofLatin America, 1970. Los Angeles: 1971.
Valdman, Albert. "The Language Situation in Haiti." Pages 61-62 in
Dell Hymes (ed.), Pidginization and Creolization of Languages. Lon-
don: Cambridge University Press, 1971.
--- . "Language Standardization in a Diglossia Situation: Haiti."
Pages 365-379 in Joshua A. Fishman, Charles A. Ferguson, and
Jyotirindra Das Gupta (eds.), Language Problems in the Developing
Nations. New York: Wiley, 1968.
Viau, Alfred. Negros, Mulattos, Blancos. Ciudad Trujillo (Santo Do-
mingo): Editora Montalvo, 1955.
Wechsler, Sally (ed.). Publisher's World, 1968/69. New York: R. R.
Wilgus, A. Curtis. The Development of Hispanic America. New York:
Farrar and Rinehart, 1941.
--. Historical Atlas of Latin America. New York: Cooper Square
Wilgus, A. Curtis (ed.). The Caribbean: Contemporary Trends. (School
of Inter-American Studies, Series I, III.) Gainesville: University of
Florida Press, 1953.
Wilgus, A. Curtis, and D'Eca, Raul. Latin American History: A Sum-
mary of Political, Economic, Social, and Cultural Events from 1492
to the Present. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1967 (5th printing).
Williams, Eric. From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Carib-
bean, 1492-1969. New York: Harper and Row, 1970.
Williams, Mary Wilhelmine; Bartlett, Ruhl J.; and Miller, Russell E.
The People and Politics of Latin America (4th ed.). Boston: Ginn,
Wilson, Ruth Danenhower. Here is Haiti. New York: Philosophical
percent of the total. Adjusted data prepared by the ILO for the same
year showed a figure of 1,942,000, or 57.4 percent. All these rates were
far higher than the Latin American average, estimated by the ILO to
have been about 31 percent in 1970. Other ILO estimates show that in
1960 82.75 percent of the labor force was engaged in agriculture and
related activities, 6.75 percent in industry, and 10.5 percent in personal
and other services.
The elevated rate of participation in the labor force was primarily
a reflection of remarkably heavy participation by females who, accord-
ing to the 1960 ILO estimates, made up nearly 46 percent of the total,
as compared with slightly under 20 percent for Latin America as a
whole. Girls and women made up 44 percent of the number engaged in
agriculture and related activities, 44 percent of those in industry, and
nearly 60 percent of those in personal and other services. This heavy
female participation is explained at least in part by the traditional role
of the Haitian woman as a worker as well as a housewife. This derives
from the origin of the people in Africa, where women shared work
equally with their men, and from a harsh early history where the loss
of many men in combat made it necessary for women to work the
fields. In addition, in primarily agricultural Haiti where much of the
soil is barren and badly eroded, a very high input of manpower is re-
quired. Moreover, it is traditionally the farm wife who-in addition to
working in the fields-performs the task of selling the produce that is
brought to market. Both husband and wife may be considered under-
employed, but both contribute their labor to support of the family.
Estimates by the ILO indicate that the participation rates for the
population as a whole remained at a near maximum between the ages
of twenty and sixty-four. By five-year age groups the specific rates
ranged from 86 to 89 percent of the total population. Participation
varied between 93 and 98 percent for men, and between 78 and 81 per-
cent for women. Among those over sixty-five years of age, participation
of males dropped to about 81 percent and female participation declined
more sharply to 55 percent. Between the ages of fifteen and nineteen,
however, participation was almost equal for the two sexes; nearly 74
percent of the females and slightly more than 75 percent of the males
were economically active. It was in this age grouping that the largest
number of young women migrated from country to town to take jobs
as domestic servants or in other untrained service occupations. Be-
tween the ages of ten and fourteen some 231,000, or a little less than 38
percent, were economically active; boys slightly outnumbered girls. No
employment of children under the age of ten was reported.
According to the 1950 census, some 44 percent of the labor force were
employers and self-employed persons. Twelve percent were wage and
salary earners; 41 percent, unpaid family workers; and 3 percent not
identified by category of employment. Males outnumbered females by
nearly two-to-one among employers and self-employed, and by three-
early 1970s was at a moderate but probably increasing rate.
Between the 1950-55 and 1963-70 periods the birth rate was estimated
by the United Nations to have declined from 45.5 to 43.9 per 1,000, and
death rates from 25.5 to 19.7 per 1,000. Between the two periods cited,
life expectancy at birth was estimated to have risen from 32.6 to 43.9
years. The United Nations life expectancy data did not differentiate
between the sexes, but other estimates indicated an expected lifespan
of 39.4 years in 1950. A lifespan of 38.7 years was estimated for males
and 40.1 years for females; the lifespan was estimated to increase to
forty-seven or forty-nine years during the early 1970s.
Infant mortality was estimated to have been as high as 190 per 1,000
babies in the late 1960s, and the limited data available indicated that
it might have shown a slight rise during the decade. This proportion
was at least double the average for Latin America and, as a conse-
quence, the country's fertility ratio was relatively low. This ratio (the
number of children under the age of five years per 1,000 women be-
tween the childbearing ages of fifteen and forty-nine) was an estimated
732 in 1970-about the average for Latin America. Given the very high
Haitian birth rate, the country's fertility ratio would have been corre-
spondingly high had it not been for the high toll of infant mortality.
Both the 1950 census and 1970 estimates by the ILO show the median
age of the population to have been about nineteen years, the age of
females averaging slightly higher than that of males. Age data collected
in the 1950 census suffered badly from technical deficiencies and from
fears and prejudices of the people counted, and therefore do not point
to reliable conclusions. A 1970 United Nations estimate shows males
in a small majority through the age of twenty-nine years, and females
in a majority in subsequent age groups. A 1970 ILO estimate shows
males in a small majority in all age groups from birth through the age
group of forty-five through fifty-four years and females in a majority
in all older groupings. Both series, in showing males substantially
outnumbering females through the age of twenty-nine, suggest a fairly
high rate of maternal mortality.
The preliminary 1971 census report showed the urban population to
have represented 19.4 percent of the total as compared with the 12.2
percent counted in 1950. The populations of cities and towns grew
much faster than those in rural localities during the twenty-one-year
period, but in 1971 the proportion living in the countryside remained
among the highest in Latin America. Moreover, the proportion over-
looked by the census takers was presumably much higher in the rural
than in the urban sector. In addition, the census definition that cate-
gorizes all administrative centers of communes as urban localities is
a generous one that includes some very small population clusters with
predominantly rural characteristics. The preliminary 1971 census data
did not include detailed tabulations, but in 1950 the smallest locality
classified as urban had a population of seventy-two, and only 8 percent
at both primary and secondary levels, rote learning is the rule. Text-
books from France are used fairly extensively, and the Christian Broth-
ers of Canada have published some texts designed for Haitian use;
but there are few history or geography books written by and for Hai-
tians. Haitian history and literature were not taught extensively before
the regime of President Francois Duvalier, who produced the book
Oeuvres Essentielles (Essential Works), which is used as a text at all
The primary school enrollment was officially estimated at 300,000 in
1970. Incomplete but more detailed data for 1967 quoted a figure of
255,152, including 112,291 girls (see table 1). In 1971 the Inter-American
Table 1. School Enrollment in Haiti, 1967
Male Female Total
Public ................................. .............. 37,585 35,254 72,839
Presbyterial ....................... .............. 17,866 23,736 41,602
Higher Primary ............................... n.a. n.a. n.a.
Private ........................ ..................... 21,061 21450 42511
Subtotal ...................... ............... 76,512 80,440 156,952'
Public .................................. ............. 43,119 21,560 64,679
Private ........................ .................... 23230 10,291 33,521
Subtotal ....................................... 66,349 31,851 98 200
Total .............................. ............... 142,861 112,291 255,1522
Public ................................ ............. 8,912 2,798 11,710
Private ............................................. 4351 4.945 9,296
Subtotal ........................................ 13,263 7,743 21,006
Public ................. .............. 3,753 519 4,272
Private ............................................. 458 1215 1,673
Subtotal ........................................ 4,211 1,734 5,945
U rban ............................................... 64 60 124
Rural ................................................ 72 26 98
Subtotal ....................... ......... . 136 86 222
Total ................................. ............ 17,610 9,563 27,173
Special .............................................. ....... 125 128 253
See footnotes at end of table. Cont'd.
EDUCATION, CULTURAL LIFE, AND
Haiti's dual culture, which has been a prominent feature of the so-
ciety since the colonial period, has been perpetuated in part by an edu-
cational system geared primarily to the needs of the French-speaking
elite. Few of the approximately 90 percent of the population who speak
Creole (see Glossary) have achieved literacy. The low literacy rate, in
combination with a political climate generally less than conducive to
free expression, has retarded the development of the communications
media. Despite these and other handicaps, however, literature, paint-
ing, and folk music have developed strong traditions.
In the early 1970s the predominantly urban secondary-school enroll-
ment remained small but was growing at a rapid rate. The rate of
growth of primary schools was lower than that of the school-age
population, however, and the number of students in the country's one
university, the University of Haiti, was lower than it had been a decade
earlier. The country's literacy rate was among the lowest in Latin
America; the rate of attrition at all levels of schooling was very high;
most of the schools were located in the cities and towns, where only a
small fraction of the population resided; and children often commenced
school so late that the enrollment of teenagers in kindergarten was
The high value that people place on education is illustrated by the
fact that Port-au-Prince students from homes lacking electricity are
frequently seen studying under street lamps and by the relatively large
number who seek higher education abroad. Improvement of the educa-
tional system is, however, hindered by a variety of factors. Rural and
urban schools are the responsibilities of different secretariats of state;
'the predominantly rural character of the population exacerbates the
problem of providing an adequate number of schools; and the low level
of national income severely limits the amount of money that can be de-
voted to development of the program. Of equal or greater significance,
the curricula are for the most part based on the French cultural pat-
tern, which has little relevance to the needs and interests of most of
the population; and instruction is in the French language, which is
spoken and understood by only a small minority of the people.
The nature of the abundant outpouring of folk expression has not
about 2.2 million acres, or 32 percent, were cropland. About 1.4 million
acres of the cropland were located on steep mountain slopes. Rough
pastures accounted for 18 percent of the total land, or about 1.2 million
acres, of which amount 518,000 acres were located on the Central Pla-
teau. Forests and wooded areas covered about 622,000 acres, and the
large balance of the land was idle or unproductive, mainly because of
the mountainous terrain. About 300,000 acres of the idle land was be-
lieved to be potentially arable, but only if it were intensively irrigated.
Before independence there were over 8,500 plantations in the country
producing sugar, cotton, indigo, and coffee, and they occupied one-half
of the total land area. After independence in 1804 the government first
attempted to maintain the plantation system. Some plantations were
given to government officials, others were leased to private persons,
and the state retained ownership of the majority of them. Former
slaves worked for wages or for a share of the profits. The workers per-
ceived no difference in their status, however, and became recalcitrant.
When the country was divided into northern and southern portions in
1806, Henry Christophe in the north forced the reluctant workers to
work on the plantations until his death in 1819 (see ch. 3). Alexandre
P6tion in the south and his successor, Jean Pierre Boyer, broke up the
plantations, however, and either gave or sold small plots of land to
former slaves and soldiers. Ex-soldiers customarily received their
plots gratis. Squatters appropriated much of the remaining estates in
both north and south after Christophe's death. Under the administra-
tion of President Louis F61icit6 Salomon (1879-88) the squatters could
receive title to their land if they cultivated certain crops. The Law for
Rural Family Welfare of January 1934 provided for government grants
of up to 12V2 acres of state lands for farmers who worked the land
effectively for a five-year period.
The exact number of farms in the country is unknown but was esti-
mated at over 560,000 in the late 1960s. The majority of the farms,
estimated at 70 percent, were operated by their owners and their fami-
lies. Others were operated by sharecroppers and renters, and a few
were operated by managers (called grants) who lived and worked
someone else's land either for a salary or for the usufruct of a portion
of the land. Many of the renters leased state land because the state
retained large holdings, although some of the land was parceled out
over the years. Little of the state-owned land was idle; most was oc-
cupied by renters and squatters.
The owners of most farms have not legally established their titles.
Even those few persons having valid deeds may not know the exact
location of their boundaries. The only title for most farmers is actual
occupation and use of the land and the general recognition of this by
the farmers' neighbors. Even land that is sold often is not accompanied
by a deed. When a son marries, the father usually gives him a portion
of the farm. If the plot is too small for further allotment, then the
Primary teachers are drawn from graduates of the urban and rural
normal schools. Secondary personnel should be graduates of the educa-
tion program of the University of Haiti but may be appointed after
successful completion of competitive examinations if they are gradu-
ates of general secondary schools. Most of the secondary teachers are
reported to meet the requirements, and a few have additional qualifica-
tions, usually acquired abroad. Primary personnel may be less quali-
fied. Comprehensive data are lacking, but in 1961 less than 10 percent
of the rural staff were reported to be qualified, and the number of new
teachers graduated annually from the urban normal schools was
barely sufficient to make up for natural attrition in the urban primary
teachers' corps. More recent data on normal-school graduation are not
available, but between 1961 and 1967 enrollments declined by nearly
In 1967 all but twelve of the 207 persons engaged in teaching at the
University of Haiti were men. The student-teacher ratio was nominally
less than eight to one, but many of the teaching staff were professional
people teaching on a part-time basis. A considerable number held ad-
vanced degrees from European and North American institutions of
higher education. Professors are appointed by the president of Haiti,
and lecturers are appointed by the secretary of state for education;
such appointments must receive presidential approval.
Literacy and Adult Education
In the early 1970s the adult literacy rate (persons fifteen years or
older are considered adult) was estimated at a maximum of 20 per-
cent and a minimum of 10 percent. The 1950 census had found it to be
10.5 percent; it had been estimated at 8 percent in 1914.
The consensus of the estimates for literacy in the late 1960s and early
1970s was closer to 10 than to 20 percent, and, even at the highest esti-
mate, literacy in Haiti was lower than in any other country of Latin
America. The low proportion derived in considerable measure from a
level of national income that made it impossible to devote massive
sums of money to the literacy program and from the fact that Haiti
was among the hemisphere's least urbanized countries. Basically, how-
ever, it was a reflection of the fact that the rural majority spoke Creole
but had access to formal schooling only in French. In the early 1970s
some adult education in Creole had commenced, but an alphabet for
Creole had been approved only during the Francois Duvalier adminis-
tration, and very little reading matter in it was available.
As a consequence of the low rate of literacy, adult education has
largely been a matter of teaching people to read and write. The earliest
phase of the country's adult program took place between the early
1940s and 1951; about 13,000 persons received literacy certificates, and
an additional 40,000 learned to read and write Creole according to the
Laubach method, largely under guidance of Protestant mission
Section I. Social
Adams, Richard N. Plantation Systems of the New World. Washing-
ton: Pan American Union, 1959.
Alexander, Robert J. Organized Labor in Latin America. New York:
Free Press, 1965.
--. Today's Latin America. (2d ed., rev.) Garden City: Doubleday,
Anchor Books, 1968.
Alexis, Stephen. Black Liberator: The Life of Toussaint Louverture.
(Trans., William Stirling.) New York: Macmillan, 1949.
Alleyne, Mervyn C. "Communication Between the Elite and Masses."
Pages 12-19 in F. M. Andic and T. G. Mathews (eds.), The Caribbean
in Transition: Papers on Social, Political, and Economic Develop-
ment. Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: University of Puerto Rico, Instituto
de Estudias del Caribe, 1965.
' . "Panorama de la linguistica y ensefianza de idiomas en el
Caribe," Caribbean Studies [Rio Piedras, Puerto Ricol, XII, No. 1,
Arriaga, Eduardo E. New Life Tables for Latin American Populations
in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. (Population Monograph
Series, No. 3.) Berkeley: University of California, Institute of Inter-
national Studies, 1968.
Bailey, Norman A. Latin America in World Politics. New York: Wal-
Bastien, Remy. "Haitian Rural Family Organization," Social and Eco-
nomic Studies [Kingston, Jamaica], X, 1961, 478-510.
Bellegarde,Dantes.Ecrivains Haitiens. Port-au-Prince: Cheriqnit, 1948.
Bellegarde-Smith, Patrick. "Haiti: Notes on Socio-Cultural Develop-
ment," The American University, 1972 (Unpublished manuscript.).
Blakemore, Harold. Latin America. London: Oxford University Press,
Bourguignon, Erika. "Class Structure and Acculturation in Haiti,"
Ohio Journal of Science, LII, No. 6, 1952, 317-320.
Brand, W. Impressions of Haiti. New York: Humanities Press, 1968.
- . Impressions of Haiti. The Hague: Mouton, 1965.
Butland, Gilbert J. Latin America: A Regional Study. New York: John
Wiley and Sons, 1966.
ability to effect economic reform has not been determined.
One of the outstanding characteristics of this group is their pre-
occupation with educating their children. Despite economic hardships
for their parents, a real effort is made to keep these children in school
for the duration of the official six-year curriculum. A significant and
growing percentage of the urban lower class is Protestant, perhaps
because of the educational facilities provided by the Protestant groups.
Through education and through political participation, some of the
more ambitious individuals in this stratum are achieving mobility into
the middle class.
At the bottom of the social ladder, constituting 88 percent of the
population, are the peasants. Of these only about 5 percent are rela-
tively well off and merit the Creole distinction of gros habitant or
gros neg (expressions for rural persons of wealth and power). The
gros habitant subclass derives its status from its large landholdings
and leadership positions within the community. In spite of greater
wealth, this group is categorized with the peasants for several reasons.
First, the gros habitants identify with the rural masses much more
than they do with the urban classes. Although they may have absolute
political, social, and economic control within their area, their status is
regional, and they wield no power on a national level. In contrast to
urban dwellers, this group does not rely on a cash income to maintain
a certain lifestyle, and it possesses few, if any, modern conveniences.
The status of these individuals is related to their place in the rural
economy and in local politics. In addition to possessing more land, the
gros habitants may bring in more income by renting oxen or by con-
ducting a local business, such as a coffee or corn mill. They are also
in a position to hire day laborers and specialize in certain crops. The
gros habitant manifests his wealth by having a larger home or more
common-law wives than his poorer neighbors. He is careful not to
appear too prosperous, however, for he then may become the target of
black-magic spells cast by jealous peasants. Politically, the gros
habitant controls rural Haiti. Many become the chef de section
(sheriff) of their community and serve as a liaison between the na-
tional and local governments.
Despite their rural orientation gros habitants are not unaware of the
city, and many of its members have urban goals. The degree of adult
education may range from complete illiteracy to a few years of pri-
mary education, yet the children of upper class peasants may be en-
rolled in urban schools. The more ambitious of these children may
remain in the city and thus provide a primary source for the
incipient middle class.
On the national level Haitian peasants are politically impotent,
economically substandard, and socially ostracized; yet the other 17
percent of the Haitian population is dependent upon them. Not only
Thomas E. Weil
Jan Knippers Black
Howard I. Blutstein
Kathryn T. Johnston
David S. McMorris
Frederick P. Munson
Research was completed February 1973
DA PAM 550-164
When Rigaud Benoit first appeared at the center in 1945, for example,
*he was so unsure of the value of his work that he attributed most of it
The most famous of the Haitian primitive painters, the voodoo
houngan (priest) Hector Hyppolite, was discovered when Peters passed
his house and was captivated by the decorative painting on his door. In
1946 Hyppolite brought Wilson Bigaud, then a boy of fifteen, to the
center. Philom6 Obin, whose talent had already been recognized in
Cap-Haitien, continued to work in his hometown, where he later estab-
lished his own school, but he sent many of his paintings to the center.
Selden Rodman, North American poet and anthologist, became as-
sociated with the Art Center in 1946, and in 1948 he directed the Hai-
tian Art Center in New York, through which many Haitian paintings
made their way into United States collections. Meanwhile, in 1947 a
small selection of Haitian paintings, especially those of Hyppolite, had
aroused great excitement at the international exhibit of the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
in Paris. Episcopal Bishop Alfred Voegeli gave the primitive art move-
ment a-boost when he commissioned the center to decorate the walls of
the Holy Trinity Cathedral (Cath6drale Sainte Trinit6) in Port-au-
Prince. Benoit, Obin, Castera Bazile, and several others participated
in-the effort. The most highly acclaimed of the several now-famous
murals is Bigaud's Miracle at Cana, in which the New Testament feast
is. placed in a Haitian setting and embellished with such details as a
policeman chasing a thief.
The voodoo influence has been most notable in the paintings of Hyp-
polite, 'whose creative skills had been devoted for many years to such
ceremonial designs as the veve, which are drawn in the dust and later
stamped out by the dancers (see ch. 4). Although he painted, often with
a house-painting brush, in bold strokes of bright color, the mystic
quality of his personality is evident in his work. He died of a heart
attack in 1948 while painting his own portrait.
Next to Hyppolite, Bigaud is probably the most famous of the Hai-
tian painters. His canvases, among which Earthly Paradise and Cock
Fight are particularly well known, are filled with great detail. The
jungles of Enguerrand Gourgue, like those of Bigaud, are noted for
their baroque lushness. Ren6 Vincent is noted for his psychological
expressiveness; and Toussaint Auguste, for the balanced symmetry of
By 1950 the primitive art movement had grown enough to develop
rival groups, one of which established its own gallery, the Center for
Plastic Arts (Foyer des Arts Plastiques), in Port-au-Prince and had
achieved international fame. Primitive art has continued to flourish,
but in recent years artists have also experimented with modern trends
emanating from Europe and the United States.
Early Haitian sculpture, such as the portrait busts by Louis Edmond
younger sons try to obtain their own land. Some families do not divide
the land but work it together until the father dies.
Most farms are very small. It has been estimated that 90 percent of
the farms are smaller than fifteen acres; 8 percent are between fifteen
and sixty-five acres in size; and 2 percent are larger than sixty-five
acres. Several local surveys during the 1960s in various parts of the
country tend to confirm these estimates. In one section of the country
in the north the largest farm was ninety acres; on the Beaumont pla-
teau on the southern peninsula, the largest farm was fifty acres, and
only twelve farms in six villages located there exceeded twelve acres;
in the commune of Archaie, 60 percent of 900 farms surveyed were
under nine acres in size. Many farms consist of noncontiguous plots
situated far apart. A farmer may own one plot, sharecrop a second, and
rent out a third. The noncontiguity of the plots permits the farmer to
raise diverse crops.
Agricultural practices on small farms are traditional, and modern
methods are practiced only on some of the larger farms. Tools are
basic: machete, hoe, digging stick, pruning knife, ax, and serpette (a
machete-like tool with a wider blade and a crescent-shaped tip). There
were fewer than 100 tractors in the entire country in the early 1960s;
these were, for the most part, found on the few plantations or on the
government experimental farms. Although many farms have livestock,
few farmers use them to pull plows. Occasionally neighbors will pur-
chase a plow jointly.
Most farmers cut the ground cover with a machete and burn it before
planting. Some farmers stack it on hillsides to retard erosion, but
burning is preferred because rats tend to nest in the piled cuttings. The
soil is usually turned with a hoe. If the ground is hard or stony, ma-
chetes and serpettes are used instead of the hoe. Trees on the plot may
or may not be felled. If felled, the wood is sold, made into charcoal, or
used for cooking fuel. Trees are felled with machetes and axes; very
few saws are found in rural areas.
Because most farmers are reluctant to try new varieties, seed selec-
tion is usually poor. Only the sugarcane and rice farmers try new varie-
ties. Planting more than one crop in the same field is common; usually
a long-season crop is planted with a short-season crop. Most farmers
are faced with the problem of insufficient time in which to perform
the various phases of cultivation. If the ground is cleared too early,
weeds return before planting; if cleared too late, rains may prevent
seeding; if rains come early, then planting continues into summer.
After planting, fields may be weeded once, twice, or not at all-de-
pending upon the estimated maturity date of the crop.
Given crops are planted in the same field until the yield falls drasti-
cally; then other crops are planted in their place unless the land is
obviously exhausted, in which case the field is left fallow and used for
pasturage for three to five years. Few farmers restore the fertility
making in the home is imported. Shortly after Alaska received state-
hood, one enterprising United States exporter found in Haiti a ready
market for obsolete forty-eight-star flags as clothing material. Ward-
robes are limited, but both sexes usually have clothing reserved for
special occasions, and garments are usually neat and freshly laundered.
Ordinances requiring the wearing of shoes in the larger urban centers
are survivals of a regulation originated by Henry Christophe.
The dress of the country people who make up most of the population
is similar to that of the urban working class, although older and less
varied. Rural women also are fond of bright colors, and most of the
clothing is made at home from purchased yard goods, which represent
an important cost item in the rural budget (see Patterns of Living and
Leisure, this ch.).
Both men and women customarily wear wide-brimmed straw hats at
work in the fields, and adults as well as children invariably go barefoot
or are shod in sandals fashioned at home of such materials as old auto-
mobile tires. Proper shoes are luxury items, and country folk going to
Port-au-Prince are often seen carrying their footwear to the edge of
The 1950 census counted some 693,000 housing units in the country.
In 1972 this figure remained the most recent statistical figure avail-
able, but the pace of construction during the 1950s and 1960s had been
slow, and in the early 1970s it appeared that housing starts had not
kept pace with population growth. The 1950 census had resulted in a
conclusion that 100,000 of the units in existence did not meet the basic
conditions for habitation. In 1965 the Haitian Statistical Institute
estimated that there was a housing shortage of 392,000 units. The
estimate did not include an explanation of how the word shortage was
defined. Squatter settlements proliferated around Port-au-Prince dur-
ing the late 1960s, however; and the Inter-American Development
Bank reported that early in the 1970s no more than one-fifth of the
population could be considered adequately housed.
Some 80.5 percent of the units counted in 1950 were owner occupied,
and 11 percent were rented. Many of the remainder were occupied by
grants (agents), occupants in both countryside and town who, for any
of several reasons, resided in dwellings without paying rent..Owner
occupancy was more common in country than in town. A 1949 survey
of a Port-au-Prince working-class neighborhood found that 76 percent
of the occupants were tenants. Land titles in Haiti are often not well
established, and many of the owner-occupied dwellings are built on
lands of uncertain title or on state-owned property for which rent is
Some 14.8 percent of the housing units counted in 1950 consisted of
one room, 68.9 percent had two rooms, and only 3.5 percent had as
distinction through intermarriage.
Despite the politically favorable position of the mulatto elites, many
Haitian leaders rose from the disadvantaged and darker lower classes.
The most outstanding of these leaders was Jean-Jacques Dessalines
(see ch. 3). All Haitians revere him as the national hero who established
independence and effectively discouraged the return of white over-
lordship. The folk saying "Dieu, Dessalines, Duvalier" (literally, "God,
Dessalines, Duvalier") expresses the loyalty Haitians feel towards
the country's first president. Historians have described him as an
illiterate man who hated whites and persecuted mulattoes: neverthe-
less, he equated being black with being Haitian and engendered na-
tional pride within the world's first black republic. His rule emphasized
absolutism, authority, and a strong military ethic, and these values
were still evident in 1972. The term "Dessalinian" has evolved to de-
scribe certain personality traits and indicates the respect and admira-
tion accorded the individual manifesting these traits.
For the first hundred years of its independence Haiti remained one of
the most isolated states in the hemisphere. Except for continued con-
tact with France, there was little foreign cultural input, and few for-
eigners intermarried with Haitians. The preexisting fissures between
the peasantry and the elite deepened. The hatred and mistrust that had
characterized relationships between whites and nonwhites came to exist
between mulattoes and blacks as the divergent lifestyles solidified.
The second important period of social history was the American
occupation (1915-34). For the first time in over a hundred years,
Haitians found themselves under the political jurisdiction of a white
foreign power. The nineteen years of occupation had several effects on
the class structure. The United States Marines and the supremacy of
the occupation forces helped to strengthen both the value given mili-
tarism in government and the military ethic initiated under Des-
salines. More importantly, the color stratification system was rein-
forced and the inherent racial prejudices of both countries were
brought to the fore: The white administrators were both envied and
resented for their light skin.
Although the American occupation forces supported the mulatto
elites for government positions, they tended to treat the upper class
as social inferiors. Furthermore, they introduced cultural influences
that clashed with traditional Haitian values and presented alterna-
tive lifestyles. New educational and occupational opportunities opened
up as a consequence of the occupation, and these fostered an incipient
middle class. Finally, appreciable numbers of lighter skinned Haitians
of lower class status were born during the United States occupation,
thus creating a second mulatto group. When they reached maturity,
these lighter skinned individuals found the opportunities for economic
and social betterment more readily available than did their darker
Table 3. Agricultural Production of Haiti, 1966 and 1969-71
(in thousand metric tons)
Item 1966 1969 1970 1971
Corn ............................................... ..................... 233.7 242.0 240.0 252.0
Millet ......................... ..................... 187.3 209.0 210.0 211.0
Plantains ........................................ .................... 222.1 188.8 188.8 190.0
M anioc ............................................ .................... 111.2 121.2 130.0 134.0
R ice.................................................. .................... 76.0 83.0 80.0 81.0
Sugar, refined.................................. .................. 60.01 65.0' 75.0' 70.0
Peas and legumes............................ .................. 41.1 39.5 40.0 42.0
Coffee ............................................... ................... 28.0 24.8 27.8 24.8
M eat2 ...................................................................... 22.0 21.0 22.0 n.a.
Sisal ........................... .... .................. 27.0' 17.0' 17.01 18.0'
Sweet potatoes ................................. ................. 6.4 7.4 n.a n.a
W hite potatoes .................................. ................ 6.4 7.4 6.6 7.0
Cacao ...................... . . ................... 2.2 2.7 2.9 3.1
Tobacco ............................................. ................. 1.0 2.2 2.2 2.2
Commercial production of beef, veal, and pork products.
procedures cause damage to a goodly portion of the crop, although an
increasing number of farmers are bringing their berries to processing
plants rather than doing the processing themselves.
The government issued a coffee code in 1942 detailing the procedures
to be followed for cultivation, transportation, storage, processing, and
marketing of coffee. The code has been ineffectively enforced, and
Haitian coffee does not maintain a high international standard. Many
smaller coffee farmers started to turn to other cash crops during the
late 1960s because of lower export prices. In the early 1970s the govern-
ment announced plans to distribute new seeds and fertilizer to coffee
farmers and to teach modern techniques in hope of stimulating
Sugarcane is the second leading export crop. It was brought to Haiti
by Christopher Colombus on his second voyage and quickly became the
leading crop before independence because of high European prices for
sugar. Large sugarcane plantations existed as early as 1680. Efficiently
managed, they had first priority for water use, were intensively irri-
gated, and were fertilized with manure and ashes. Canefields whose
yields decreased were left fallow or were rotated with another crop.
After the sugar plantations were broken up and the land was distrib-
uted to peasants, production declined and never again reached its
preindependence level. In 1972 sugarcane was raised on four planta-
tions, each having its own mill; it was also raised by several thousand
small growers who either sell their production to the plantation mills
or make crude sugar and alcohol themselves. The total production of
the small growers exceeds that of the plantations.
Wingfield, Roland, and Parenton, Vernon. "Class Structure and Class
Conflict in Haitian Society," Social Forces, XLIII, No. 3, 1965,
Wood, Harold A. Northern Haiti: Land, Land Use, and Settlement.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1963.
The World and its Peoples: The Caribbean Region and Central Amer-
ica. New York: Greystone Press, 1969.
World Health Organization. Third Report on the World Health Situa-
tion, 1961-64. Geneva: 1967.
Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, III: Americas. (Ed., Louis
Barron.) New York: Worldmark Press, Harper and Row, 1967.
World Survey of Education, III: Secondary Education. New York:
Columbia University Press, International Documents Service, 1961.
World Survey of Education, IV: Higher Education. New York: United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Publica-
tions Center, 1966.
World Survey of Education, V: Educational Policy, Legislation, and
Administration. Paris: UNESCO Publications, 1971.
Yearbook of Labour Statistics, 1971. Geneva: International Labor
Organization, International Labor Office, n.d.
Z6ndequi, Guillermo de (ed.). Image of Haiti. Washington: Organiza-
tion of American States, General Secretariat, 1972.
graph service, as well as international telephone service. Postal Service
was provided between eighteen large post offices and 114 small postal
The government views the tourist industry as a promising way of
earning foreign exchange. The number of tourists visiting the country
had fallen off during the 1960s because of an adverse image abroad of
the internal political situation, but since 1968 Haiti has started to be-
come popular once again. Tourists are attracted by the low prices,
interesting folklore, French-style cuisine, and the colorfulness of the
country. In 1971 over 87,000 persons visited Haiti; some came to take
advantage of the country's liberal divorce laws, which have no resi-
Many of the tourists come on cruise ships and stay only a few days,
sleeping on board their ships. More rapid growth of tourism faces the
obstacles of travel away from the capital, the shortage of adequately
trained tourist personnel, and a lack of overseas promotion. The gov-
ernment maintains one tourist office in New York City. A free port
was opened in 1972 on Tortue Island in an effort to stimulate tourism
there, and a French tourist club acquired facilities near the capital to
cater to European tourists. In addition, in 1972 the government offered
to help finance up to 40 percent of the construction cost of new hotel
FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS
In 1972 Haiti's foreign trade policy was designed to increase the
export of processed manufactured goods and to protect the new indus-
tries by means of high import duties, licenses, quotas, and prohibition
of importation of certain items. In most years imports exceeded ex-
ports (see table 4). All exports except coffee require prior authorization
from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in order to ensure an
adequate domestic supply of the product. Exporters of certain agri-
cultural products must also be producers of that product or be a
member of a producers cooperative.
Coffee has been the leading export since 1810 when it surpassed
sugar. In some years it accounted for more than half of all exports.
Haiti is a member of the International Coffee Organization, which
sets annual export quotas for members. In most years Haiti has not
been able to meet its basic quota because of inadequate production
(see Agriculture, this ch.). In addition, because of poorer processing
and lower quality, the price paid for Haitian coffee is lower than for
coffee from other countries.
The category called light manufactures, including all assembly and
Reported cases of leprosy are few-only two new cases were reported
in 1968-but the actual incidence is believed to be much higher. In 1968
there were 177 known active cases; of these, 157 were under control.
Reported cases of syphilis declined from 5,201 in 1962 to 1,455 in 1969.
An apparent sharp rise in incidence during the 1950s was probably the
consequence of the decline in yaws, a disease with symptoms often so
similar that many venereal cases were probably misdiagnosed as yaws.
Whooping cough and measles are common ailments among the
young, and the former is a major cause for child mortality. Diphtheria
and scarlet fever are apparently rare, possibly as a result of under-
reporting. Jaundice and hepatitis are present, but their degree of in-
cidence is unknown.
Neither heart disease nor cancer has been reported as a significant
cause of death. They are of major importance in other Latin American
countries, however, and they are believed to be responsible for many
deaths in Haiti that go undiagnosed or are attributed to other causes,
particularly in rural areas.
Although neither yellow fever nor smallpox has been reported since
the 1930s, a campaign against smallpox has continued. Between 1962
and 1969 some 2.6 million persons were inoculated against smallpox,
partly in conjunction with the activities of the mobile control teams
engaged in the campaign against yaws. In 1970 it was predicted that 80
percent of the population would be inoculated by 1972. Dengue fever
appears frequently, particularly in the vicinity of Cap-Haitien, al-
though eradication of the mosquito vector commenced in the early
1950s. North Americans residing in Haiti are reported to be particu-
larly susceptible to the disease.
Medical Personnel and Facilities
Medical personnel and facilities of all kinds are relatively plentiful
in Port-au-Prince and almost nonexistent in the countryside, where
three-fourths or more of the population resides; their availability in
provincial towns (villes de province) is between these two extremes. In
the country as a whole, however, in all categories of personnel and
facilities, the supply in relation to the size of the population is among
the lowest in Latin America.
In 1969 some 361 physicians were practicing in Haiti, a ratio of about
0.7 per 10,000 of the population. Other data, for 1967, showed that 43
percent were engaged in general practice and that 13 percent were spe-
cialists in gynecology and obstetrics; 13 percent, in pediatrics; 11 per-
cent, in internal medicine; and 7 percent, in surgery. The remainder
specialized in psychiatry, radiology, pathology, and anesthesiology.
In 1969 there were ninety-six practicing dentists, a ratio of about 0.2
per 10,000 population. The figure is considerably lower than ones cited
for earlier years but probably represents only more accurate reporting;
of 144 dentists registered in 1960, for example, some 44 were found to
increasing number of priests are Haitian-born and, as of 1972, the
archbishop was Haitian.
Voodoo is the living religion of the Haitian masses, although it is
not officially recognized and is denigrated by the upper classes. As do
all religions, it encompasses a set of beliefs and practices dealing with
the spiritual forces of the universe and serves as an intermediary be-
tween these forces and mankind. It lacks a formal theology, printed
scriptures, a hierarchical clergy, and a system of catechism. Rather,
it is an informal religion of action, created by and suited to the rural
life of the peasant. It functions as a spiritual release, a vehicle for
socializing and recreation, and a loose form of social control.
The word voodoo comes from the Dahomean term meaning "god,"
but the religion itself cannot be identified with a particular tribe. It
is an amalgam not only of African beliefs but also of certain Roman
Catholic practices. It began to emerge in the years between 1730 and
1790 when the importation of slaves was at its zenith. The traditional
African religious concepts it incorporated included invocation and
placation of numerous spirits or gods, water rites, magic, cults of the
dead, music, and dance. The dance was the most important of the
.early elements, for it served as a nucleus to unify the slaves under the
auspices of entertainment and religion. This seemingly harmless out-
let actually provided an important means of communication for the
discontent that erupted into the slave rebellion. During the revolution
voodoo supplied vital moral support, as well as special charms that
purportedly made the wearer invulnerable to bullets.
Voodoo was suppressed under the first three rulers because of its
potential for sedition. When the mulatto elite presidents rose to
power they did not deign to recognize voodoo. During these years
voodoo became diffused throughout the society, developing to the form
that presently exists. In the years since the mid-nineteenth century
there have been a few efforts by the Roman Catholic clergy and the
elite to expunge voodoo and its influence, but these have been com-
pletely unsuccessful. Until the Francois Duvalier regime, the govern-
ments chose either to ignore it or to disdain it. Duvalier adopted a new
stance and openly favored voodoo. He used it effectively to buttress his
regime among the lower class. As he always wore a dark suit and
talked in a low key, many peasants took him to be the living personifi-
cation of Baron Samedi-a voodoo god characterized as a nineteenth
century undertaker. Francois Duvalier retained many voodoo priests
as advisers and elevated one priest to the position of secretary of state.
Voodoo is based on a belief in the Christian God and lesser Haitian
and African deities, called loa. God is ultimately good and omnipotent
but is conceived to be rather remote and not to be bothered with
the small details of everyday human existence. This is the realm of
Scofield, John. "Haiti: West Africa in the West Indies," National Geo-
graphic, CXIX, No. 2, February 1961, 227-260.
Smith, Bradley. The Guide to the Caribbean. New York: Knopf, 1961.
U.S. Agency for International Development. U.S. Overseas Loans and
Grants and Assistance from International Organizations; Obliga-
tions and Loan Authorizations, July 1, 1945-June 30, 1971. Washing-
ton: GPO, May 24, 1972.
Walton, Richard J. Beyond Diplomacy: A Background Book on Ameri-
can Military Intervention. New York: Parents Magazine Press, 1970.
Williams, Eric. From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Carib-
bean, 1492-1969. New York: Harper and Row, 1970.
Wilson, Larman C. "The Foreign Policies of the Dominican Republic
and Haiti." Chapter 9 in Harold E. Davis and Larman C. Wilson
(eds.), Latin American Foreign Policies: An Analysis. The American
University, School of International Service (Unpublished manu-
script.), 1971 (mimeo.).
(Various issues of the following periodicals were also used in the
preparation of this section: Amdricas [Washington], August 1972-Feb-
ruary 1973; Christian Science Monitor, August 1972-February 1973;
Economist para Amdrica Latina [LondonJ, May 1968; Evening Star
[Washington], April 1971-August 1971; Guardian Weekly ['Manchester,
England], September 1971; Latin America [London], May 1968-Sep-
tember 1972; Miami Herald, September 1972; Newsweek ,[,New Yorkl
May 1972; New York Times, April 1971-August 1972; Quarterly Eco-
nomic Review: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico [London],
July 1969-January 1972; Times of the Americas [Washington], May
1968-March 1972; Wall Street Journal iNew York]', December 1971-
April 1972; Washington Daily News, March 1970-October 1971; Wash-
ington Post, April 1971-August 1972.)
country's most extensive water and electricity services and the only
sewer service. It also has the comfortable modern or ornate Victorian
homes of the elite, but much of its working-class population lives in
jerry-built shacks without public services of any kind.
Rural housing tends to be somewhat better than that found in urban
working-class districts. There is no electricity, however; and a near
absence of sanitary facilities contributes to a general level of health
that is among the lowest in the Americas. Peasants, like urban work-
ers, dress simply in brightly colored cotton garments made at home
from purchased cloth, but garments are few in number and more worn.
The diet of urban workers is fairly adequate, but in the countryside it
is so deficient both in quality and quantity that malnutrition is some-
times cited as the most serious of Haiti's many health problems. In the
early 1970s, however, public and private programs in nutritional edu-
cation were achieving considerable success.
As estimated in 1966 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of
the United Nations, the Haitian daily per capital food consumption
averaged 1,633 calories and forty-seven grams of protein. Higher and
lower figures have been cited for approximately the same period, but
all are well under the daily intake of 2,654 calories and sixty-eight
grams of protein quoted by the Organization of American States (OAS)
as the average for seventeen Latin American countries during the late
1960s. The Haitian diet, however, included a relatively high proportion
of edible oils.
Nutritional deficiency in terms both of the quantity and variety
of foods consumed is of such proportions that malnutrition may repre-
sent the country's most serious health hazard (see Health, this ch.).
During the summer season when few crops are reaching maturity,
country people can often afford no more than a single starchy meal
per day, and some are said to subsist from time to time by eating man-
goes and chewing on-sugarcane.
Relatively little is known about the specific deficiencies. Vitamins,
minerals, and other nutrients have been so seriously inadequate, how-
ever, that the height and weight as well as the health of much of the
population have been adversely affected.
In order to combat this inadequacy, the government in 1962 estab-
lished the Office of Nutrition, charged with responsibility for the study
of nutritional problems and the formulation of solutions. A series of
nutritional surveys was initiated, and by 1969 some fifteen public
centers and an equal number of private units had been established.
The annual cost of each center is no more than G5,000 to G10,000 (5
gourdes equal US$1), depending on the extent of community support.
Their work is primarily educational, and it involves teaching rural
people to upgrade the quality of their diets by such measures as the
with respect to protein content, but the variety of meats available in
urban markets coupled with the much greater urban purchasing power
indicates a still greater balance in favor of the urban family. The pat-
tern for consumption of fats and oils is different. The Haitian peasant
who consumes little in the way of butter and cheese shares with his
urban counterpart the custom of using a relatively large amount of oil
In the countryside, the farmer rises at dawn to breakfast on a cup of
strong, locally grown coffee, which is sometimes accompanied by a disk
of sour bread baked from bitter manioc flour. A light luncheon is
brought to him in the fields, and the principal meal of the day-a plate
of rice and beans or some kind of stew-is eaten late in the afternoon,
soon after his return from work. The poorest farm family is sometimes
able to afford only a single meal a day, but etiquette dictates that food
be served a visitor who arrives near mealtime.
The monotonous peasant diet contrasts with the diet enjoyed by the
urban elite. The Creole cuisine has a variety and elegance unmatched
in the Caribbean area and combines elements of French, African, and
Spanish cookery. Among the Creole specialties are spiced shrimp,
pheasant with orange sauce, green turtle steaks, wild duck, and hearts
of palm salad. One of the most renowned of the many sauces is ti
malice, an onion and herb concoction. Among the better known tradi-
tional Haitian dishes is calalou, a mixture of salt pork, crabmeat,
pepper, onions, spinach, okra, and chili pepper. The ingredients are
simmered for an hour or more and served with rice. Among the other
traditional dishes are a preparation of grilled meat called tassot and a
pudding made of grated sweet potato, figs, bananas, and seasoning.
The clothing of the Haitians, both Negro and mulatto, is perhaps the
most colorful worn in the Caribbean region. The urban mulatto elite
dress with considerable elegance. The accent is on informality,
although men are expected to wear coats and ties for dinner, and
formal dress is worn in the exclusive clubs. Women wear shorts and
slacks in the home and for recreation, but shorts are not seen on the
streets of Port-au-Prince. The tropical-weight garments worn year
around by the men and the brightly colored cottons of the women are
cut according to European style; particularly popular are styles from
France, where many of the elite were educated. There are numerous
dressmakers in Port-au-Prince, and a variety of boutiques offer clothes
designed by personnel purportedly trained in Paris.
Male city dwellers of the working class dress simply in light-weight
shirts and trousers for everyday wear. Women wear simple wide-
necked blouses and full skirts, often gathered at the waist with a sash;
bandanas are standard headgear. There is no home weaving in either
town or countryside, and much of the material purchased for dress-
Section IV. National Security
"Discussions Regarding Military and Naval Cooperation Between the
United States and Haiti." Pages 1090-1106 in Foreign Relations of
the United States, 1945, IX: The American Republic. Washington:
Haiti. Conseil National de D6veloppement et de Planification. Plan
d'Action Economique et Sociale, 1970-1971. Port-au-Prince: 1970.
Haiti. Laws, Statutes, etc.
Code d'Instruction Criminelle. Port-au-Prince: Editions Henri
Code Pinal. Port-au-Prince: Editions Henri Deschamps, 1948.
Haiti. Departement des Finances et des Affaires Economiques. Institute
Haitien de Statistique. Bulletin Trimestriel de Statistique, 1969:
LXXIV. Port-au-Prince: n.d.
"Haiti." In Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada (Europeo-Americana),
XXVII. Barcelona: n.pub., 1925.
Manigat, Leslie F. Haiti of the Sixties, Object ofInternational Concern.
Washington: Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research, 1964.
M6traux, Alfred. Haiti: Black Peasants and Voodoo. (Trans., Peter
Lengyel.) New York: Universe Books, 1960.
The Political and Socio-Economic Role of the Military in Latin Amer-
ica. Appendix, III. Coral Gables: University of Miami, Center for
Advanced International Studies, 1971.
Street, John M. Historical and Economic Geography of the Southwest
Peninsula of Haiti. Berkeley: University of California, Department
of Geography, 1960.
U.S. Department of State. Bureau of Intelligence and Research. World
Strength of the Communist Party Organizations. 23rd Annual Re-
port. (1971 ed.) Washington: 1971.
U.S. United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Bureau of
Economic Affairs. World Military Expenditures, 1970. Washington:
Yearbook on Latin American Communist Affairs, 1971. Stanford:
Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 1971.
The Social Environment and Political Attitudes
Haiti was the first Latin American country to gain independence
and the first state in the world to be established by a revolt of slaves,
but since that upheaval the country has experienced little social change.
A rigid social structure in which the approximately 10 percent of the
population who are mulatto, French-speaking, literate, and Roman
Catholic constitute a self-conscious elite, overlaps cleavages between
city and country and between Port-au-Prince and the provinces. Hai-
tian political competition has always pitted the mulatto elites against
the poverty-stricken, illiterate, Creole-speaking, voodoo-practicing
black masses (see ch. 4).
Except for the period of occupation by the United States Marines
and the decade following their withdrawal, the presidential palace has
generally been occupied by representatives of the black majority.
Nevertheless, most nonelites have had to settle for vicarious rather
than actual political participation, while their economic situation has
worsened and social services have remained virtually nonexistent.
Although the economic status and occupational roles of individual
mulattoes have been no more secure over the last dozen years than
those of blacks, the French-speaking elite as a class has maintained its
grip on the economy and on such social institutions as the schools and
the Roman Catholic Church; the colonizers' mentality they have ex-
hibited toward the black majority has served to inhibit social integra-
tion and exacerbate racial tension.
Although most members of the elite can speak and understand
Creole, and many actually practice voodoo as well as Catholicism, they
cling to French culture as a means of distinguishing themselves from
the masses. Some blacks have been able to attain elite status through
the acquisition of wealth and adherence to French culture, but most
educated blacks constitute a small, insecure, culturally isolated middle
class. The rejection of the colonial past (of which the American occupa-
tion is seen as a more recent chapter) by the masses and the black
middle class, who have served as their spokesmen, is reflected in antip-
athy toward the Haitian elites. Such antielite feelings can be and have
been mobilized by political leaders; they have been, in fact, a major
source of strength for the Duvaliers.
The attempts of Francois Duvalier to identify himself with the
deeply rooted sentiments of nqgritude (glorification of the Afro-Haitian
cultural legacy and rejection of all things European) even included
redesigning the flag. Formerly it consisted of red and blue horizontal
stripes, representing mulatto and black, participating in the state,
which was symbolized by the staff. In 1964 the colors were changed to
red and black and the stripes were placed vertically, so that only the
black was in direct contact with the staff. Duvalier, in fact, contributed
the Rio Dajabon) and the Pedernales River (Riviere Pedernales), both
of which rise in the Dominican Republic, form portions of the Haiti-
Dominican Republic border before they flow into the Atlantic Ocean
and the Caribbean Sea, respectively.
The largest of the lakes, seventy square miles, is the brackish Lake
Saumatre (Etang Saumrtre), which is located in the Cul-de-Sac close
to the frontier and is the habitat of many exotic species of tropical
wildlife. There are also several smaller natural lakes and a reservoir
known as Lake P61igre (Lac de Pl1igre), formed by the damming of the
upper Artibonite River at the point of convergence between the Mon-
tagnes Noires and the Chaine de Mateaux. Initiated in the 1930s as a
flood control project, the project also involves irrigation and hydro-
electric schemes that have progressed slowly. Completion of the dam
in 1956 resulted in the creation of a massive artificial lake and made
possible some control over the flow of the Artibonite River, which had
previously changed seasonally from a raging torrent to an uncertain
trickle. Work on the entire project continued on an off-and-on basis
after 1956, and the hydroelectric operation was finally inaugurated
early in 1971.
Coastal Waters and Islands
Much of the Haitian coastline is rimmed by an underwater sedimen-
tary platform that extends around the island of Hispaniola. There are
many protected anchorages, but waters close to the shoreline tend to
be shallow. These depths range from about four feet at Port-de-Paix on
the Atlantic coast to ten feet or more at Les Cayes on the Caribbean
coast and Gonaives on the Gulf of GonAve. The platform is widest at
Port-au-Prince--the country's principal port-where it spreads across
most of the adjacent bay as far as Gonave Island (Ile de la Gonive).
The platform extends continuously along the Atlantic coast where, off
the port towns of Cap-Haitien and Port-de-Paix, there are also coral
reefs. A reef adjacent to Cap-Haitien is believed to hold the remains of
the flagship of Columbus, the Santa Maria.
The Haitian government classifies six places as maritime ports, four
places as secondary maritime ports, and an additional sixteen as ports
for coastal traffic. About half are located on the Gulf of Gonave, and
the remainder are distributed equally between the Atlantic and Carib-
bean coasts. They tend to be shallow, however, and port improvements,
including dredging, might be of considerable importance to the trans-
portation system in a country where internal transportation is notably
deficient (see ch. 8).
The largest of the islands is Gonave, located in a gulf of the same
name off Port-au-Prince. Its area of approximately eighty square miles
is made up of rugged terrain, and its highest point, Morne la Pierre,
rises to more than 2,500 feet. Second in size is Tortue Island (Ile de la
Tortue), better known by its Spanish name of Tortuga. Having an area
of seventy square miles, it lies in the Atlantic Ocean off Port-de-Paix.
is the country's economy almost entirely dependent upon the export
crops that the peasants produce, but also the world's image of Haitian
folk customs, religion, and language is based on the African slave
heritage. On the other hand, the peasant is not dependent upon the
activities of the rest of the population for his existence. He consumes
little that he does not produce himself and is the most self-sufficient
member of the society.
The lifestyle of the rural Haitian has remained virtually unchanged
throughout the history of the republic. His technology has not evolved
much beyond that of his African ancestors, and the social structure of
his community is reminiscent of the slave society. Customs may vary
from region to region, but generally speaking the peasant's portrait
remains the same: his language is Creole; his religion is voodoo; his
marriages are common law; and his value system and livelihood are
based on the land.
Unlike peasants in most of Latin America, the majority of rural
Haitians have owned their land since independence in the early nine-
teenth century. Throughout the years this pattern has remained fairly
stable despite the increased pressure and excessive fragmentation
accompanying population growth. Land is the most valuable rural
commodity, and the peasant and his family will go to great lengths to
accumulate a few more acres. His family will aid him financially and
give him moral support by participating in voodoo ceremonies to gain
the favor of the local gods and family spirits. The desire for property
is not likely to decrease in the future, as it is propagated within the
family, attached to other positive values, and reinforced by proverbs
Nevertheless, there is some evidence that family units in the north-
west are breaking down because of the difficulties in the struggle for
existence. Elder members of the community express an unwillingness
to part with their land, thus forcing the younger members to seek a
livelihood elsewhere. This in turn is breaking down the static condi-
tion that grew out of an immobile slave society. Some landless indivi-
duals may resort to sharecropping, the lowest status occupation for
a rural resident, whereas others may effect the move to an urban
center in the hope of improving their lot in the city.
Peasants within an average fifty- to 100-member community are a
closely knit group and are often interrelated. In this and other ways
their life styles bear a striking resemblance to African social patterns.
Men may have several common-law wives living in relative proximity
to one another. Although monogamous legal marriage is the ideal,
common-law marriage is the rule and is not censured by the com-
munity. Because of the character of marital unions, the resultant
family is centered on the mother's permanent presence and stability.
The sense of cooperation and togetherness within the community is
reinforced by the prestige of the eldest male family member and by the
described as one who sings and suffers, who toils and laughs, who
dances and resigns himself to his fate. With joy in his heart or tears in
his eyes he sings."
Most Haitian music is of African origin and has its national roots in
voodoo. In the voodoo rituals there are songs to every god or loa. Pos-
session by the loa is induced mainly by the drummers, although the
houngan's female chorus is also important to the ceremony. Some of
the ceremonial songs have been adapted, with little change in rhythm
or melody, for secular usage. Gossip, anecdotes, affection, patriot-
ism, and even political satire are among the secular themes that spice
the work songs of the combite and the party songs of the bamboche (see
Most of the country's dances-and there are dozens of them-were
born of voodoo also. The peasants dance individually rather than in
couples; their uninhibited bodily motions respond to the rhythm of the
drums. One of the dances most commonly seen at a bamboche is
known as the danse pinyique. The dance that the elite has shared with
the urban lower classes, as well as with most of the other Caribbean
countries, is the meringue. The lyrics of the meringue are often full of
innuendo concerning love or politics.
In addition to drums of all sizes and descriptions, Haitian musical
instruments include the bamboo flute, the tambourine, the African
marimba, the conch shell lambi, the papaya-stem piston, and the
Haitian folk m'isic was transmitted orally from generation to gener-
ation with no other means of dissemination for many years; however,
during the 1930s a North American, Harold Courlander, and two
Haitians, Werner Jaegerhuber and Lina Mathon-Blanchet, began col-
lecting, printing, describing, recording, and arranging public perfor-
mances of Haitian songs and dances for folklore enthusiasts beyond
the nation's borders. In 1939 Madame Blanchet organized a group of
young people to perform the traditional songs and dances. Since then
several such groups have performed in Haiti and abroad. Jean Leon
Destiny, after making a name for himself on the New York stage with
his solo interpretations of Haitian dances, has returned periodically to
Port-au-Prince to direct the Folkore Troupe of Haiti, a government
sponsored entity, in its regular seasons at the Verdure Theater
(Th6~tre de Verdure). Emerante de Pradines and Odette Wiener also
organized troupes that have performed at home and abroad; Kather-
ine Dunham, a United States citizen who spent several years in Haiti,
has incorporated Haitian rhythms into her internationally renowned
modern dance routines.
The most successful of the contemporary Haitian composers of
formal music have been those who have looked to the folklore for their
inspiration. Jaegerhuber incorporated folksongs into an impressive
operatic rendition of Romain's novel Masters of the Dew and wrote a
is useful for reducing swellings and tumors; hogwood bark promotes
urination; soursop is used as a sedative; the wild plum leaf reduces
chills; and bastard cedar bark is steeped in boiling water to produce an
astringent useful in the treatment of diarrhea.
In the early 1970s nearly half of the urban population had direct or
easy-access connections with piped water (see Housing, this ch.).
Piped water was available only to a negligible portion of the rural
population, however; even in Port-au-Prince, where water is filtered
and chlorine has been added, it was recommended that tap water be
boiled before drinking. In 1970 the CAMEP completed the first phase
of a program for expanding the water-supply system in metropolitan
Port-au-Prince and commenced a second phase involving drilling of
wells, building new storage facilities, and expanding the distribution
system. It aimed at supplying an average of 160 liters (42.3 gallons) of
water annually to the projected 1980 population of 1 million persons.
The SHRH and COALEP were engaged in the improvement and ex-
tension of the systems of Cap-Haitien, Gonalves, Port-de-Paix, and
several other provincial towns. Plans for another eleven projects in-
cluded improvement of the system in Kenscoff, near Port-au-Prince,
and its extension to neighboring communities.
Port-au-Prince has a small sewer system, but in the early 1970s it
was unable to meet the needs of the population. It was necessary for
residents of some of the better residential areas to rely on septic tanks,
and in the poorer sections of the city sewerage often flowed in the gut-
ters. Garbage and refuse in Port-au-Prince are collected by covered
trucks at varying intervals, but in poorer sections garbage sometimes
litters the streets. In the suburban areas and in the provincial towns
there is usually some public collection; but in outlying areas house-
holders dispose of garbage by burning it or by dumping it in nearby
ravines. In rural areas, people customarily cook and eat out-of-doors,
and trash is usually burned in the open fires.
Latrines are in general use in urban areas not having sewerage con-
nections, but a substantial part of the urban population relies on
public facilities, and the latrines are seldom fly-proofed. In rural Haiti,
facilities for disposal of excreta are few, and soil contamination is
general. To meet this deficiency, the government in the early 1970s
was engaged in installing sanitary latrines in country hamlets. In
1970 an accord was signed with the WHO and the PAHO for installa-
tion of sanitary latrines in the vicinity of Mirebalais in the upper part
of the Artibonite Plain. The program called for installation of 10,000
units in a four-year period, and a similar program was contemplated
for the Health District of Les Cayes. The program was designed spe-
cifically to lower the rate of infant mortality and reduce such trans-
no official reference to Creole until 1957. The constitution of that year
stated that Creole would be recommended over French where there
was insufficient knowledge of the latter. In 1969 a law was passed
acknowledging the existence of Creole and granting it legal status; it
could be used in Congress, law courts, and clubs but not in accredited
SECTION II. POLITICAL
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL DYNAMICS
The political system of Haiti in 1972 was a legacy of the thirteen-and-
one-half-year authoritarian rule of President Francois Duvalier, popu-
larly known at home and abroad as Papa Doc. Upon his death in April
1971, his title of president-for-life had been bestowed upon his nineteen-
year-old son Jean-Claude, who was to be assisted in the responsibilities
of government by a regency composed of his mother, the cabinet, and
the leaders of the country's several military and paramilitary forces.
Formally, the governmental structure is modeled after that of the
United States, with executive, legislative, and judicial branches; but in
practice the executive has generally ruled without effective interfer-
ence from the other branches. Local government, since 1957, has been
under the direct control of the president; previously, effective authority
.had been shared between the army and the houngans, or voodoo priests.
The country's dual culture-generated by a French-oriented mulatto
elite and a black African-oriented majority-is reflected in the broad
outlines of political competition. The black nationalist movement that
came to dominate political life after World War II developed largely as
a reaction against the cooperation of the mulatto elites with the United
States occupation forces. The movement was spearheaded by a small
and insecure black middle class that sought the support of, and claimed
to speak for, the neglected masses.
Francois Duvalier, an early participant in the movement, succeeded
during the first years of his rule in eliminating his rivals and in gaining
control over the army-the only institution that had served as an
autonomous center of political power. Having established a network of
armed bodies, each of which reported directly to him and served as a
check on the others, and having convinced most of the believers in voo-
doo that he possessed supernatural powers, he achieved a measure of
personal control over national life that was probably as extensive as
the country's level of development permitted. Actively opposed
throughout the period of his rule by the elites of his own country and
at one time or another by the Vatican and the governments of Cuba,
the Dominican Republic, and the United States, Duvalier outmaneu-
vered every enemy except death.
The power that was so tightly centralized in the person of Duvalier
racial in nature. Rural dwellers exhibited the characteristics that the
elites found most degrading about their country-illiteracy, poverty,
slave heritage, belief in voodoo, and a lack of cultural refinement, that
is, French culture. It was practically impossible for someone of humble
origin to move up through the society but, providing he could adopt
the other requirements for social acceptance, he was not denied elite
status because of his blackness.
A final determinant of elite status was geographic. From the ear-
liest days of the republic the elite formed an exclusively urban enclave
in the predominantly rural society. There were few wealthy land-
owners among the elite, and the majority of the land was left to the
peasants. The geographic split enhanced the cultural differences be-
tween the elites and the masses, keeping the former in the main-
stream of national and world trends at the expense of rural isolation.
In the past few decades, however, there has been a marked relaxation
of social boundaries as a result of the weakening position of the elites.
In the 1960s and early 1970s the elite was still considered the paragon
of Haitian society, although political persecution and extensive emi-
gration had undermined the significance of the traditional elite. Their
political power was rapidly declining, and their social and economic
position was weakening. As a consequence, this stratum is no longer
recognizable as an elite caste. It has opened into an upper class com-
posed of the elite and nonelite elements sharing a similar standard of
living and prestige but not a common social life.
The criteria for upper class status reflect the change in its compo-
sition. Increased immigration from Europe and intermarriage with
foreigners has brought German, Danish, and Syrian surnames to ros-
ters once exclusively French. Broader opportunities for education and
wealth have introduced individuals of humbler origin into the ranks of
the upper class. The value assigned to commercial activity increased,
and enterprising persons of nonelite status have moved upward
through wealth accrued in industry or the export-import business.
Many members of'the traditional elite, faced with economic ruin, have
been forced into commercial enterprises despite social taboos con-
cerning manual labor. Wealth, always vital in maintaining a high
standard of living, has done much to weaken the color barrier and raise
personal status. A famous Haitian proverb expresses it-"The rich
black is a mulatto; the poor mulatto is a black." Women, foreigners,
and blacks have found more career opportunities than did their fore-
bears. In addition to receiving the vote and certain property rights,
it is now common for upper class women to be employed, especially as
For members of the upper class, the family has remained the focal
point for love and loyalty. Social life revolves around an extended kin-
ship system and interaction through upper class social clubs. Norms
encouraging intraclass marriage have appreciably weakened, however.
year in office. In 1969 he deported the archbishop, Francois Poirier, on
the charge that he had been financing communist activities. That ac-
tion resulted in his excommunication. The excommunication was lifted
in 1966, however, and Duvalier participated in the inauguration of the
country's first native Haitian archbishop and four new Haitian bishops.
Voodoo, the people's religion, has always had some influence on the
country's political life, because not even the most sophisticated leaders
from among the elites have been certain that they were beyond the
reach of its sorcerers. A few past presidents had been practitioners of
voodoo, but none before Duvalier had succeeded in controlling its
priests and using it as a pillar of political strength.
The country's dominant political institution from the end of the
United States occupation until the Duvalier assumption of power was
the army, called the Garde d'Haiti during the occupation; in 1949 it was
renamed the Forces Armies d'Haiti. Trained by the United States
Marines to keep order in the country after their withdrawal, it served
as a praetorian guard, supervising elections, overthrowing presidents
it deemed to be exceeding their proper role, and often providing presi-
dents from its own ranks.
Duvalier used purges and selective promotions to bring the army,
on which his power initially rested, under his control. He removed
career officers, ended professional training, and took away most of
their weapons. But his most effective means of weakening the institu-
tioh as an autonomous center of political power was the creation of
countervailing centers of paramilitary and police power. The army has
reportedly gained in cohesiveness and in influence vis-A-vis the other
security forces since the death of Duvalier. It numbered about 7,000
In 1972 the most significant struggle for power appeared to be within
the realm of palace politics. Marie-Denise Dominique, having served as
private secretary to her father, stayed on initially to assist-and to
influence-her brother. In August 1971, however, she clashed with her
mother and brother as a result of their failure to oppose the arrest, on
Cambronne's orders, of her husband's cousin. Having lost that battle,
she left to join her husband Lieutenant Colonel Max Dominique, in his
ambassadorial exile. In early 1972 Dominique, accused by Cambronne
of having plotted a coup, was removed from his diplomatic post.
Cambronne proceeded in the ensuing months to order several waves
of arrests, but such actions failed to intimidate his enemies. Cam-
bronne's business ventures, particularly the export of blood plasma to
the United States, had generated widespread resentment.
A major recurrent tendency in Haiti's relations with the outside
world has been isolationism, a consequence in large measure of its
experiences with colonialism and foreign occupation and of its
pot covers, and cattlefeed and as protection against rain. The stalks of
the plant are used in house construction. Bananas are grown in most
parts of the country and at altitudes up to 4,000 feet. Careless handling
of the fruit by farmers causes much wastage.
Cacao has been grown since it was introduced into the country in
1666. The chief zone of production is the Grande Anse region of the
southern peninsula. Most cacao farms are poorly managed; the trees
are old, crowded together, and unpruned, and parasites grow on the
branches and fruit. Farmers frequently damage the fruit during pick-
ing and processing. As a result, lower prices prevail for Haitian cacao
than for cacao from other countries.
Cotton was once one of the small peasants' main cash crops, but in
the middle of the 1930s the Mexican boll weevil appeared in the coun-
try, and yields have been small ever since. Imports are required in
some years to meet domestic demand for cotton. Most of the cotton is
grown on the Central Plateau and the Artibonite Plain. In the late
1960s the government was stimulating the adoption of modern produc-
tion techniques by cotton farmers, and some improvement was being
Sorghum and millet, two popular grains because they withstand
drought, are grown mainly on dry plains and on stony slopes, and both
are consumed on a wide scale. Beans are a vital source of protein and
are found everywhere except in the dry areas of the country. Some
bean varieties have a short growing season and permit two or three
plantings annually. The most popular bean is the red kidney bean, but
several other types are also produced.
Coconut seedlings have been distributed to farmers over the years by
the government, and there are several small plantations on the Cayes
Plain in addition to scattered palms on small holdings. Coconut meat
is eaten fresh, dried into copra, and fed to animals, and coconut leaves
and wood are used for thatching and building materials. Peanuts are
a popular food and are consumed in several ways: roasted, as peanut
butter, or boiled and made into little cakes. Almond trees are found
on many farms; the nuts are used to make a type of nut brittle, the
tree is used as shade for livestock, and its wood is used for tool handles.
Several thousand acres of rubber trees growing in the Port Margot
valley in the Department of the North produce a few hundred tons of
Export crops since the late 1930s have been grasses and plants from
which essential oils are obtained for use in making perfumes, soaps,
flavoring extracts, and medicinal products. These include vetiver (moth
repellent extract), lemon-grass, amyris (rose scent), petit-grain (orange
flavoring), neroli (perfumes), sweet basil, and citronella. Exports of
these products are controlled by the government in order to maintain
The climate permits the growth of numerous fruits and vegetables
crushed, and many Indians fled to the mountains.
Isabela, where Columbus' brother Bartolome was serving as Colum-
bus' deputy, was in a virtual state of anarchy, and the prospects for the
colony were gloomy. In June 1496 Columbus, intent on defending him-
self against his detractors, returned to Spain, where he waited two
years before obtaining ships for a third voyage.
When Columbus arrived at the town of Santo Domingo, a new settle-
ment founded by his brother, many Spaniards in the northern part of
the island were openly revolting against Bartolom6. In an effort to
mollify the rebellious colonists, Columbus established a system of
exploitation that was to become a basis for social institutions through-
out the Spanish colonies in America. This was the scheme of reparti-
mientos, under which a settler was granted a large tract of land, along
with the Indians who lived on it, to exploit as he pleased. In order to
rid themselves of a gold tribute that the Spaniards had been demand-
ing, the Indian chieftains turned their subjects over to the colonists.
News of dissension among the colonists, however, had prompted the
Spanish king and queen, Ferdinand and Isabella, to name Francisco
Bobadillo chief justice to investigate conditions in the colony. On his
arrival at Santo Domingo in August 1500 he found a number of colo-
nists, who had revolted against Columbus, swinging from the gallows
and several others about to be hanged. Bobadillo ordered the arrest of
Columbus and his brother Bartolom6 and sent them to Spain in chains.
Columbus was released six weeks after his arrival in Spain and was
received by Ferdinand and Isabella; but, without consulting Columbus,
the monarchs sent Nicolas de Ovando to Hispaniola as governor.
Ovando imported the first blacks into Hispaniola, fought Indians who
had managed to maintain their independence, and built up the city of
Santo Domingo. Columbus, however, persuaded Ferdinand and Isabella
to furnish ships for a fourth voyage, in the course of which he coasted
the shores of Central America, was wrecked on the island of Jamaica,
and was rescued by Ovando. The man who, in the words of Hubert
Herring, had made the Caribbean Sea "a Spanish lake" returned to
Spain and died in 1506.
The repartimiento system failed to improve the lot of the Indians,
and in 1503 the Spanish crown instituted the encomienda system,
under which all the land theoretically became the property of the
crown, but the colonist to whom land was granted was entitled to cer-
tain days of labor from his Indian tenants. He was obliged to look after
their physical well-being, to instruct them in Christianity, and to pay
a tribute to the crown. Although the encomienda did not involve actual
possession of the land, grantees were able in one way or another to
become owners of the tracts assigned to them and to reduce the Indians
to a state of virtual slavery.
Although it was to persist for many years in the Spanish colonies on
the mainland and was not outlawed until the end of the eighteenth
TABLE OF CONTENTS Page
FOREW ORD ......................... ........................ iii
PREFACE ....................................... .. ............. v
COUNTRY SUMMARY ............... ........................ vii
SECTION I. SOCIAL
Chapter 1. General Character of the Society......................... 1
2. Geography and Population ............................. 5
Boundaries and Political Subdivisions-Natural Features-
Settlement Patterns-Population Structure and Dynamics-
Population Problems-Labor Force
3. H historical Setting .................... ............... 25
Discovery and Conquest-Saint-Domingue-Independence-
Years of Turmoil, 1843-1915-United States Intervention,
4. Social System ...................... ... ........... . 39
Color and Class-Religion-Languages
5. Living Conditions ................. ................. 57
Diet-Dress-Housing-Patterns of Living and Leisure-
6. Education, Cultural Life, and Public Information ........... 81
Education-Artistic and Intellectual Expression-Public
SECTION II. POLITICAL
Chapter 7. Government and Political Dynamics...................... 105
Constitutional Framework-Political Dynamics-Foreign
SECTION III. ECONOMIC
Chapter 8. The Economy ....................................... 127
Government Role-Agriculture-Industry-Domestic Trade
and Transportation-Foreign Economic Relations-Finance
SECTION IV. NATIONAL SECURITY
Chapter 9. National Defense and Public Order ....................... 151
National Defense-Public Order
BIBLIOGRAPHY .................... .......................... 159
GLOSSARY ........................ ......................... 181
INDEX ............ ........................................ 183
Iron Market: 140
irrigation. See agriculture
Italy: 102, 145
Jacques, Gracia: 119
Jaegerhuber, Werner: 99
jaundice: 72, 75
J6r6mie: 13, 67
Joanty, Occide: 100
Joseph, Jasmin: 98
Joseph, Raymond: 119
judiciary: 110-111, 114
jury duty: 157
Kennedy, John F.: 124, 125
labor. See labor force
labor force: viii, 6, 21-24, 46, 68, 120, 127,
128; farming, 132; industrial, 138; pen-
Lafontant, Roger: 106
Laforesteris, Louis Edmond: 97-98
Lake Peligre: 12,139
Lake Saumatre: 12
Laleau, Leon: 95
Lamothe, Ludovic: 100
land use: 16, 130-131
language: 39, 48, 54-56, 81,89
Les Cayes: 111
Lescot, Elie: 100
Lherisson, Justin: 95
Libon River: 6
Litaud, Georges: 98
literacy: 2-3, 47, 81, 93-94, 113
literature: 81, 82, 94-96
livestock: 133, 136-137, 141
Louis XIV of France: 28
lower class: 45-46; urban, 46-47
Magloire, Paul E.: 37-38, 63, 100, 114, 119,
120, 129,152, 158
malaria: viii, 70-71, 75, 125
Manes, Theramene: 100
Mangones, Albert: 98
manioc: 133, 134
Marcelin, Pierre: 96
marriage: 48, 50, 143
Massacre River: 11
Massif de la Hotte: 10
Massif de la Selle: 10, 11, 14
Massif du Nord: 10, 11, 15
Mathon-Blanchet, Lina: 99
medical personnel: 72
mental health: 78
middle class: 39, 40, 41, 43, 45-46, 47
migration: 19-20,23, 46
military academy: 153, 154
military assistance. See foreign assistance.
military service: 151, 154
military tribunal: 111
millet: 133, 135
mining: 128, 139
Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources
and Rural Development: 148
Ministry of Public Works: 34
monetary policy. See economy
Montagnes Noires: 10, 12
Morisseau-Leroy, F.: 96
Morne de la Selle: 10
mortality rate: 70
motion pictures: 65, 102
mountains: vii, 5, 7, 10
Movement of National Renovation: 117
mulattoes: 3, 25, 26, 29, 40-41
music: 3, 65, 81-82, 98-100
Napoleon: 30, 106
National Assembly: 109, 110, 115
National Bank of Paris: 148
National Bank of the Republic of Haiti: 119,
National Development and Planning Coun-
National Malaria Eradication Service: 70
National Office for Literacy and Commu-
nity Action: 94
National Palace: 113
National Penitentiary: 157
National Railroad Company: 142
in the street. In some residential neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince the
vendors are so numerous and sell such diverse products that the house-
wife seldom has to travel to the marketplace to shop.
Price quotations are almost meaningless except in the urban spe-
cialty shops. In Port-au-Prince prices vary by type of customer; for
example, higher prices are quoted to a foreigner than to a Haitian. In
smaller towns the same prices usually are quoted to all customers.
There is almost no grading of merchandise, and there is no widely ac-
cepted system of weights and measures. The same commodity may be
quoted on a value basis, by weight, or by unit. Poultry and livestock
are sold on the basis of their appearance rather than on weight, but
butchered meat is sold by weight. Sometimes no scales are used even
when an item is sold by weight; both buyer and seller judge the weight
by lifting the article. Certain commodities are quoted in units of cook-
ing pots, mess tins, or lard cans. The most popular such item is the
marmite, a four- to five-pound cooking pot, which is further divided
into godets (bowls). The volume of the marmites and godets vary by
locality and are not uniform. Some old French measures are still in
use, the most popular being the aune, equivalent to forty-seven inches.
The most common land measure is the carreau, about 3.33 acres. There
are twelve measures for coffee, varying from 2.3 pounds up to 2,133
pounds, and there are seventeen measures in the cacao trade.
Communication and Transportation
The transportation system, inadequate for the needs of the country,
hinders the movement of agricultural produce from rural areas to
urban centers. Many small interior towns are connected to each other
only by foot or animal trails. There were 2,000 miles of roads in the
country in 1969, of which only about 300 miles were paved. The lack of
maintenance slowed travel on the paved sections; for example, the
170-mile road between Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien, the main high-
way in the country, took eight hours to travel in 1972. In that year the
government created a permanent agency to maintain highways, the
financing to come from earmarked gasoline taxes.
Most of the unpaved roads are impassable in rainy weather. There
are almost no bridges, and most of the roads have only fords to cross
rivers and streams; some roads follow the streambed and are com-
pletely submerged when it rains. One main road transversing the
southern peninsula has 100 fords, and heavy rains prevent crossing
until the water subsides. In dry weather the condition of most roads
prevents speeds of more than twenty miles per hour.
As of 1969 there were about 16,500 vehicles in the country, of which
almost 13,000 were automobiles. The remainder was mainly trucks and
jeeps. Most trucks have benches and carry interurban passengers who
wait at truck depots until the driver has a full load of cargo and pas-
sengers. Smaller trucks, or jitneys, carry up to seven passengers and
The legislature has been both bicameral and unicameral. The con-
stitutions of 1950 and 1957 provided that a legislature of two cham-
bers-the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies-would become the
National Assembly when meeting in joint session. The members of
both houses served six-year terms. The twenty-one senators were
elected by an assembly composed of prominent individuals in each
department, and the thirty-seven deputies were elected by popular
vote. In 1961 President Duvalier, believing that the Senate was be-
coming recalcitrant, dissolved the legislature and created a unicameral
body also known as the National Assembly when in session. In 1972
there were fifty-eight legislators, and the number was to remain fixed
until such time as the area and number of electoral districts could be
determined on the basis of the economic and political importance and
the population density of each of the twenth-seven arrondissements
into which the departments were divided. During the regime of Presi-
dent Duvalier, free election of the legislators was superseded by direct
In order to be a member of the legislature, a candidate had to be a
Haitian citizen, at least eighteen years old, in full enjoyment of civil
and political rights, and must have resided at least five years in the
district to be represented. The term of office remained at six years,
and the legislators could be reelected an indefinite number of times.
The attributes of the National Assembly as defined by the constitu-
tion were: to declare war on the recommendation of the executive
power; to approve or disapprove peace treaties and other international
treaties and conventions; to revise the constitution; and to act as a high
court of justice. The meetings were to be public. They could be held in
secret, however, at the request of five members. In case of emergency,
when the legislature was not in session, the executive could call an
extraordinary session. The legislature meets in April of each year, and
the session lasts three'months.
According to the constitution, members of the legislature enjoy im-
munity from the day they take the oath of office until the expiration
of their mandate. They cannot be kept out of the assembly, nor may
they be prosecuted for their opinions and votes in the exercise of their
office. The constitution gives the National Assembly the power to
initiate legislation, which is then sent to the chief executive for ap-
proval and promulgation. During the regime of President Duvalier,
however, this process was reversed, and the handpicked body of legisla-
tors served primarily as a rubber stamp to approve the laws and
decrees submitted to it by the president of the republic.
The highest court is called the Court of Cassation. It is composed of a
DE LA GONAVE
0 10 20 30
Figure 2. Populated Places and Political Subdivisions of Haiti
National Defense Budget
For five years-1964 through 1968-military expenditures in Haiti
averaged the equivalent of US$7.8 million, or about 2.4 percent of the
GNP. Military expenditures (including the allocation for the police as
well as for the armed forces) averaged about 14 percent of the total
budget. Between 1950 and 1963 the country received US$4.5 million in
military aid from the United States, after which the program was
Organization and Control of the Armed Forces
In the late 1950s the chain of command in the armed forces stemmed
from the president of the republic to the secretary of state for interior
and national defense, and from that official to the chief of the general
staff. From the general staff the chain of command went directly to the
operational and support units. President Franqois Duvalier, however,
realized fully the importance and power of the army by observing the
ease with which Colonel Paul Magloire had forced out President Du-
marsais Estim6 in 1950 and, soon after his inauguration, Duvalier set
about emasculating the power of the officer corps.
President Duvalier removed many high-ranking officers from the
active list and periodically reshuffled unit commanders. He dismissed
not only officers whom he suspected had supported his three opponents
in the presidential election, but also those who had supported him. He
weakened the power of the army chief of staff (who also served as chief
of the general staff) by assuming direct operational control over two
elite units stationed in the capital city: the Dessalines Battalion and
the Presidential Guard. He also removed from the army chief of staff
the prerogative of selecting the commanders of key posts in the mili-
tary departments and appointed only trustworthy supporters. He then
utilized the basement of the presidential palace and its surrounding
grounds as an armory for the storage of the principal items of the
army's ordnance materiel. In 1972 there was no indication that the
personal control over the armed forces exercised by former President
Francois Duvalier had been relinquished by his son Jean-Claude.
For the dual purposes of national defense and the maintenance of
public order the country was divided into six military departments
with army units stationed in each (see fig. 4). The headquarters of
these were: Northwest Department, Port-de-Paix; North, Cap-Haitien;
Artibonite, Gonaives; Center, Hinche; West, Port-au-Prince; and
South, Les Cayes. Each military department was divided into military
districts, and these in turn into military subdistricts. Below the sub-
districts were the rural posts-each headed by a chief, an army en-
listed man who was the intermediary between the residents of the
local area and the urban seat of the next higher military authority.
absorb its heavy burden of unemployed labor.
The level of underemployment is also a matter for conjecture. Ac-
cording to one estimate, however, during the early 1970s it was rated
at 50 to 60 percent of the labor force in the countryside and at 30 to 40
percent in Port-au-Prince. In general, the country's economy was still
insufficiently developed for it effectively to utilize the services of its
In 1804 Jean-Jacques Dessalines was appointed ruler of the country
by his military followers, and a constitution promulgated the following
year abolished slavery, forbade ownership of Haitian soil by any white
man, and made the word Negro synonymous with the term Haitian.
After the death of Dessalines in 1806, Henry Christophe became presi-
dent of the northern half of the country and the next year promulgated
a new constitution that made him the first president-for-life. Succeed-
ing presidents revised constitutions to suit their own political aims.
The title of president-for-life was abolished by the liberal Constitu-
tion of 1843, which broadened the restricted franchise by giving the
masses the vote, introduced trial by jury, and required that the mili-
tary be subservient to the civil authorities. The title of president-for-
life was reestablished in 1868 and again abolished in 1870. After this no
chief executive attempted to rule as a constitutional president-for-life
until President Duvalier changed his term to a life presidency in 1964.
One perennial clause in the constitutions provided that the president
appoint virtually all government officials. Article 93 of the amended
Constitution of 1964 states: "The President of the Republic appoints or
can revoke the appointment of secretaries of state, undersecretaries of
state, and government officials and employees." This is a clause that
has regularly been observed and was used by President Duvalier dur-
ing his presidency (1957-71) to maintain tight political and economic
. All constitutions up to the time of United States intervention specifi-
cally prohibited alien landownership. After the intervention in 1915,
United States officials believed it would be difficult to encourage
United States businessmen to invest in agricultural enterprises in
Haiti if they could not own the land on which their money was to be
spent. In 1917, when the Constitution of 1889 was in effect, the Na-
tional Assembly was convened to consider adoption of a constitution
that omitted the prohibition of alien landownership. The assembly
refused to pass the United States-sponsored draft and drew up an
anti-American constitution of its own, but before it could be passed
the assembly was dissolved by the gendarmerie, and the United States-
sponsored constitution was adopted by plebiscite in 1918. The most
important provisions of the 1918 constitution were: the legalization of
alien landownership; indefinite suspension of the elected bicameral
Haitian legislature; temporary suspension of the irremovability of
judges; and a legalization of all acts of the United States military oc-
cupation. The elected legislature was replaced by the Council of State
appointed by the occupation's client president. Subsequent revisions
and amendments to the constitution were promulgated in 1935, 1944,
1946, 1950, 1957, and 1964.
The Constitution of 1964, as amended in 1971, consists of a preamble
and fifteen titles containing 201 articles. The first four titles define
the country's territory, civil and political rights, civic duties, and the
a rate that had been in effect since 1934. The par value for purposes of
the IMF, however, was changed in April 1972 from 5 gourdes equal
US$1 to 4.54 gourdes equal US$1 to compensate for the depreciation of
the dollar in world markets. No black market has ever existed in Haiti,
but it is known that Haitian banknotes have been quoted at a discount
by New York City banks since 1961.
In late 1972 the banking system consisted of three government banks
and credit facilities and seven private banks. The oldest and largest
was the government-owned National Bank of the Republic of Haiti
(Banque Nationale de la R6publique d'Haiti-BNRH). In 1880 a pri-
vate bank, the National Bank of Haiti, was created and made the fiscal
agent of the government and was also permitted to issue money. In
1910, after several years of fiscal scandals, the bank was liquidated and
replaced by the newly formed BNRH. Until 1934, when the government
acquired full control, the BNRH was a private bank.
The BNRH is both a central bank and a commercial bank. In addi-
tion to issuing money and acting as the state's fiscal agent, it also con-
trols the banking system, rediscounts commercial paper for the private
banks, and carries out all regular commercial banking functions plus
some nonbanking services, such as operating the Port-au-Prince wharf.
The BNRH is managed by a five-man board of directors appointed by
the president of the republic; one of the five is named the bank's presi-
dent and general director.
The Institute for Agricultural and Industrial Development (Institut
de Developpement Agricole et Industriel-IDAI) is a government
agency offering long-term credit to agriculture and industry. The in-
stitute was officially created in 1951 as the Haitian Institute for Agri-
cultural and Industrial Credit; its name was changed in 1961 when it
was merged with another government lending agency. The Bureau of
Agricultural Credit-a small credit facility that is part of the Ministry
of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development-finances
loans to small farmers and cooperatives.
The oldest private bank, the Royal Bank of Canada, has operated in
the country since 1919 and is engaged mainly in short-term commercial
transactions and exchange operations. A Colombian bank, the Popular
Bank of Bogota, opened a Haitian branch in 1955 called the Haitian-
Colombian Popular Bank (Banque Popular Colombo-Haitienne), and
the Commercial Bank of Haiti (Banque Commerciale d'Haiti) started
operations in 1961. The improvement in the economy after 1969 induced
several other foreign banks to open branches. The First National City
Bank opened in 1971, and the Haiti Union Bank, partially owned by
Dominican Republic interests, opened in 1972, as did the Bank of Nova
Scotia. The National Bank of Paris was in the process of opening a
branch in late 1972.
There is no securities exchange system in Haiti that would permit
domestic firms to raise capital from local sources. A few companies
appeared to be found in the intrigues of palace politics. Cabinet posts
and other positions of responsibility were constantly reshuffled, and
many of Duvalier's former confidants were imprisoned or executed;
the more fortunate fled into exile. His suspicions that those about him
were plotting his demise extended to his own family. In 1967, just after
the marriage of Duvalier's strong-willed eldest daughter, Marie-
Denise, to Lieutenant Colonel Max Dominique, military commander of
Port-au-Prince, Duvalier personally directed the execution of nineteen
of Dominique's closest colleagues in the army. Dominique was exiled
as titular ambassador to Spain and a month later was dismissed from
the army and ordered to stand trial for treason. The charges against
Dominique were eventually dropped, and he was reinstated in the
army and reassigned as ambassador to France. Marie-Denise served as
her father's private secretary during the year before his death.
In January 1971 Duvalier, in failing health, persuaded the national
assembly to revise the constitution to allow him to name his successor
and to lower the age qualifications for the office from forty to eighteen.
Passing over a number of experienced advisers and the politically
talented Marie-Denise, Duvalier announced that the successor was to
be his son, Jean-Claude. The official results of the referendum on the
amendment conferring legitimacy on the succession were about 2.5
million votes in favor and one vote against.
Three months later the sixty-four-year-old ruler died, and the pre-
ordained succession took place in an atmosphere of order but great
uneasiness. Like his father, the nineteen-year-old Jean-Claude as-
sumed the title of president-for-life. Real power, however, was dis-
persed in what has been described as a collegium or regency, composed
of the elder Duvalier's widow, Simone Ovide, and several individuals
who were among Duvalier's most trusted advisers just before his
First among equals in this informal and rather fluid collective
leadership until November 1972 was reportedly Luckner Cambronne,
formerly a public works minister and a private secretary to Duvalier.
Officially he held the portfolios of interior and national defense (in-
cluding police). Unofficially, he was often referred to as the "minister
of everything," and he signed documents as "Acting Prime Minister."
Upon the elder Duvalier's death, Cambronne removed several leaders
of the Civil Militia-including Rosalie Adolphe-who presided over
the dreaded Fort Dimanche prison and took control of that institution.
With foreign assistance, he also armed and trained a new counter-
insurgency force of about 560 men. The force, known as the Leopards,
was theoretically an elite unit of the army, although it answered
directly to Cambronne rather than to the army chief of staff; it was
reportedly made up largely of tontons macoutes.
Duvalier, just before his death, had released the names of his des-
ignees for a new cabinet; and its members, as well as Antonio Andre,
Living conditions in Haiti form a distinctive pattern, somewhat
different from that found elsewhere in Latin America. In other coun-
tries, the conditions prevailing in urban localities differ sharply from
the simpler ones found in the countryside. In Haiti, the distinction is
between the conditions under which the mulatto elite live and those
experienced by the Negro majority. In other countries the urban
working-class people live more simply than the well-to-do, but their
lives tend to be much more varied than those of country people. In
Haiti the average urban worker's diet is better and his housing is some-
what inferior to that of the subsistence farmer, but low income, his
lack of education, and the fact that in many instances he is a new ar-
rival from the countryside prescribe for him living conditions that are
otherwise not very different from those of the subsistence farmer.
They have their origin in Africa; those of the elite are patterned after
.the way of life in Paris.
Almost all of the elite live in Port-au-Prince. There is no rural land-
holding aristocracy, and the relatively few well-to-do in the other urban
localities do not constitute an identifiable provincial elite. In Port-au-
Prince there are the private clubs, the French boutiques, the well-
stocked markets, most of the limited theatrical fare that the country
has to offer, and the small private hospitals that serve the elite and, to
some extent, an emerging middle class that remains relatively far
smaller than in most other countries of Latin America.
Sports play only a limited part in recreational life, although soccer
is played in Port-au-Prince, and cockfighting is the national pastime.
In very different forms, however, clubs are of unparalleled recreational
importance to the elite and to peasants alike. For the elite, the private
clubs in and around Port-au-Prince offer dances and banquets, as well
as golf, tennis, and swimming. For the peasant, the house of the local
voodoo priest serves a corresponding purpose. It is a kind of community
center, and the voodoo rites have an importance that dwarfs in signifi-
cance all other forms of recreation available to the peasant. Voodoo,
moreover, is practiced in urban as well as rural localities and is scarcely
less significant to the urban worker than to the subsistence farmer.
The concentration of power and wealth in Port-au-Prince results in
a corresponding concentration of amenities and services. Over half of
the medical personnel of all kinds practice in the capital. It has the
may of itself become a contest; the participants divide into two teams
and work in competition to determine which finishes first (see ch. 8).
The atomization of farms through inheritance has resulted in some
decline in the combite. Moreover, the participants have tended in-
creasingly to arrive late for work and to perform their jobs with less
than extreme zeal. Because of the gradual extension into the hinter-
land of the cash as opposed to the barter economy, the cost of liquor
and food involved represents an increasing part of the host's scanty
income, and many farmers have chosen to engage the help of neighbors
on a commercial basis. This change, however, has served to illustrate
the extraordinary peasant ability to derive pleasure where he finds it.
Where combite festivities have been replaced by commercial work
groups, these elements also combine work with amusement. The groups
are often regularly composed of teams that are identified by fanciful
names. They are constituted along military and political lines and have
presidents, officers, and soldiers who work at regularly assigned and
specific tasks. Work is done in an atmosphere of conviviality not too
different from that of the original combite, and the organization re-
sembles a benevolent society in the sense that the farm of a disabled
or ailing member is often cared for by his fellows.
All other forms of social activity are of far less significance than
participation in voodoo rites to virtually all of the rural population and
much of the urban working class. Voodoo is a serious matter-fash-
ioned more in awe and fear than in fun-but the Haitian who is pos-
sessed by a spirit of the voodoo pantheon and who slithers, snakelike,
up a tree is momentarily as completely freed from the immediate con-
cerns of everyday life as are the natives of other American countries
as they engage in cheering the winning goals in soccer. The voodoo
ceremonies with their rituals, sacrifices, chants, libations, and dances
are undeniably the high point in the day-to-day existences of most of
the population of Haiti (see ch. 4).
The influence of voodoo on recreation and other phases of Haitian
life is nowhere better exemplified than in the harvest festival that
occurs, usually over a two-day period, in November. It is called the
manger-yam (literally, "eat-yam"), a name derived from the signifi-
cance of the yam as a dietary staple. Like harvest festivals throughout
the world, it is a recreational high point in the year. Manger-yam is
celebrated with feasting, libations, singing, and dancing. It is also,
however, a voodoo rite, presided over by the voodoo priesthood and
marked by incantations to the dead and to the voodoo spirits.
The nonsacred bamboche (literally, "a spree") is the customary
means of family or community celebration of weddings, birthdays,
and other ceremonial occasions. It is similar to voodoo assemblies but
is not presided over by voodoo priests. Even wakes and funerals are
occasions of social importance in which the departed is entertained by
feasting and drinking of clairin, the performances of storytellers, and
GEOGRAPHY AND POPULATION
The approximately 11,000 square miles that make up the territory
of Haiti occupy the western one-third of Hispaniola, the second-largest
island in the Caribbean; the eastern two-thirds is occupied by the
Dominican Republic. Lying about 600 miles southeast of Florida, the
island is separated from Puerto Rico on the east by the Mona Passage,
and from Cuba on the west by the Windward Passage (see fig. 1). Be-
cause these two seaways are the principal water routes linking North
America and Europe with Central and South America, the histories of
Haiti and the Dominican Republic have been affected by external in-
fluences with unusual frequency.
In the aboriginal language, the word haiti means high land. The
name is appropriate, for although the highest crests do not reach eleva-
tions as great as those of neighboring Dominican Republic, intricately
convoluted mountains and hills cover most of the countryside. Less
than 20 percent of the land lies at elevations below 600 feet, and about
40 percent is at elevations in excess of 1,500 feet. The mountain ranges,
which follow a roughly east-west axis, make internal communication
difficult and have contributed to the development of regionalism.
Once largely covered with tropical rain forest and Caribbean pine,
the country has been subjected to extensive clearing of its woodlands
for farming and for provision of timber and firewood. Erosion has been
severe, and in the early 1970s very little commercial forest remained.
Rodents of various kinds are the only native mammals, but there are
numerous species of birds, reptiles, and fresh-water and salt-water
fish. Mineral resources are limited.
One of the smallest of the American nations, Haiti is also one of the
most densely populated countries in the world. During the 1960s and
early 1970s the annual population growth rate was moderate in com-
parison to that registered in most other Latin American countries, but
the limited amount of arable land coupled with massive erosion had
resulted in severe rural crowding. A migration from country to town
had been in process during the years since World War II, but its volume
had been restricted by the urban economy's inability to develop indus-
tries in sufficient number to provide an increasing number of new
jobs for the migrants. In 1972 four-fifths or more of the population
continued to live in rural localities; a preponderant majority engaged
in subsistence farming.
to-two among wage and salary earners. Among family workers, how-
ever, females were in a slightly greater than two-to-one majority. By
sector of employment, nearly all of the unpaid family workers were
engaged in agriculture and related activities. Among wage and salary
earners the largest numbers were in agriculture and in services.
Among the employers and self-employed a large majority were en-
gaged in agriculture, and most of the remainder were in manufac-
turing and in commerce.
More recent data were not available in 1972, but it appeared likely
that the proportions had changed only to the extent that urban migra-
tion might have brought about some decline in the number of unpaid
family workers. The figure of 213,000 wage and salary earners reported
for 1950 may, however, have been excessive. In the early 1970s esti-
mates with respect to the number of persons earning wages and
salaries ranged downward from 200,000 to as few as 80,000.
The information available in 1972 suggested that few members of
the labor force had acquired any skills other than the father-to-son
communication of traditional ways to farm the land and, correspond-
ingly, traditional ways of creating artisan products. In the educational
system, few secondary students were enrolled in vocational courses,
and-at the university level-most of the students chose to specialize
in medicine and law rather than in disciplines providing skills of imme-
diate value to the economy (see ch. 6). In the absence of specialized
training, the Haitian feels little incentive to familiarize himself with
workaday technology, and an old creole maxim holds that if work were
a good thing, the rich would long ago have taken to it.
The 1950 census indicated that about 1 percent of the entire labor
force was engaged in the professional, technical, executive, adminis-
trative, and clerical activities that in a more developed society could
have been expected to absorb a larger proportion of the working popu-
lation. In 1970 the National Development and Planning Council esti-
mated that there was one trained agricultural technician for each
5,000 rural inhabitants, and public administrators of the program for
development of the P6ligre dam system on the Artibonite River felt it
necessary to establish a special schedule for training of the engineers
and other professional and technical personnel that might be required
for the maintenance and functioning of the hydroelectric and irrigation
aspects of the project.
No fully satisfactory data on the extent of unemployment have been
developed. The 1950 census found it to represent only 2.4 percent of
the labor force, but a survey of working-class families in Cap-Haitien
during the late 1950s revealed that more than one-third of the people
over the age of fifteen who were surveyed considered themselves un-
employed on the date of the canvass. In 1972 an entity of the Haitian
government noted that Port-au-Prince was still a preindustrial city
and that, as a consequence, the city's economy lacked the capacity to
Section III. Economic
"At a Bargain Price: Help for the Underfed," U.S. News & World Re-
port, LXVI, No. 5, February 3, 1969, 84-85.
Balance of Payments Yearbook, 1966-70, XXIII. Washington: Interna-
tional Monetary Fund, 1972.
Chamberlain, Greg. "French Launch 'Invasion of Haiti'," Guardian
Weekly [Manchester, Englandi, CVII, No. 19, November 4, 1972, 10.
Cole, J. P. Latin America: An Economic and Social Geography. London:
Comhaire-Sylvain, S. and Comhaire-Sylvain, J. "A Statistical Note on
the Kenscoff Market System, Haiti," Social and Economic Studies
[Kingston], XIII, No. 3, September, 1964, 397-404.
Conway Research, Inc. Latin America's Industrial Incentives. Atlanta:
Crassweller, Robert D. The Caribbean Community: Changing Societies
and U.S. Policy. New York: Praeger, for the Council on Foreign Rela-
The Europa Yearbook, 1971, II. London: Europa Publications, 1971.
Fagg, John Edwin. Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. (The
Modern Nations in Historical Perspective.) Englewood Cliffs: Pren-
Food and Agriculture Organization. Enqu&tes sur les terres et les eaux
dans la Plaine des Gonafves et le Dipartement du Nord-Ouest: Haiti,
I-V. Rome: FAO, 1969.
Gildea, Ray Y. "Haiti," Focus, XVII, No. 9, May 1967, 1-6.
Haidar, Walter, and Alvarez, Ray. "Basic Data on the Economy of
Haiti," U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of International
Commerce. Overseas Business Reports (OBR 70-13.) Washington:
GPO, April, 1970.
. "Foreign Trade Regulations of Haiti" U.S. Department of
Commerce. Bureau of International Commerce. Overseas Business
Reports. (OBR 70-24). Washington: GPO, June, 1970.
Haiti. Budget de Fonctionnement de l'Exercise 1969-1970: Octobre
1969-Septembre 1970. Port-au-Prince: Le Moniteur, 1969.
Haiti. Administration Generale des Douanes. Rapport Annuel de
l'Administration Gendrale des Douanes pour l'Exercise, Octobre
1969-September 1970. Port-au-Prince: n.d.
Haiti. Commissariat National du Tourisme. Le Tourisme en HaitT
Haiti. Conseil National de D6veloppement et de Planification. Plan
Organizaci6n de los Estados Americanos. Institute Interamericano de
Estadistica. Amdrica en Cifras, 1970: Situacion Social: Hogar, Habi-
tacion, Mejoramiento Urbano, Prevision Social, Asistencia Mddica y
de Salud, y Trabajo, Washington: 1971.
. America en Cifras, 1970: Situacion Social: Hogar, Habitaci6n,
Mejoramiento Urbano, Prevision Social, Asistencia Midica y de
Salud, y Trabajo. Washington: 1971.
. Amdrica en Cifras: Situacion Fisica: Territorio y Clima. Wash-
Organization of American States. Statistical Compendium of the
Americas. Washington: 1971.
Organization of American States. General Secretariat. Haiti. (Ameri-
can Republics Series No. 12.) Washington: 1963 (reprint 1971.).
. 21 Latin American Meals (641.5-#-7488.) Washington: n.d.
Pan American Health Organization. Annual Report of the Director,
1969. Washington: 1970.
- . Annual Report of the Director, 1970. Washington: 1971.
. Facts on Health Progress, 1971. Washington: 1971.
- . Health Conditions in the Americas, 1961-1964. Washington:
. Health Conditions in the Americas, 1965-1968. Washington:
Papers of the Conference on Research and Resources of Haiti. New
York: Research Institute for the Study of Man, 1969.
Porter, Charles 0., and Alexander, Robert J. The Struggle for Democ-
racy in Latin America. New York: Macmillan, 1961.
Pressoir, Charles-Fernand. Dibats sur le Cr4ole et le Folklore. Port-au-
Prince: Imprimerie de l'Etat, 1947.
Publishers' International Directory (3d ed.) Munich-Pullach: Verlag
Ratliff, William E. (ed.) Yearbook of Latin American Communist Af-
fairs, 1971. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1971.
"Report on Haiti," Latin American Report, VI, No. 6, May/June 1967,
Rippy, J. Fred. Latin America: A Modern History. Ann Arbor: Univer-
sity of Michigan Press, 1968.
Robertson, William S. History of the Latin American Nations (Rev.
ed.) New York: D. Appleton, 1930.
Roberts, Thomas D., et al. Area Handbook for the Dominican Republic.
Washington: GPO, for The American University, 1966.
Robinson, Harry. Latin America: A Geographical Survey. New York:
Rodman, Selden. "Artistas de Haiti," Am6ricas, XX, No. 10, October
. Haiti: The Black Republic. New York: Devin-Adair, 1954.
Translations on Latin America [Washington], December 14, 1966-No-
vember 29, 1972; U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. Various reports,
December 1, 1970-January, 1972; U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo.
Various Reports, March 11, 1971-January 1972; Wall Street Journal
[New York], August 1972-February 1973; Washington Post, August
1972-February 1973; Washington Star and Evening News, August
1972-February 1973; World Agricultural Production and Trade: Statis-
tical Report [Washington], July 1972-October 1972.)
that constitute an important part of the diet. Okra, of African origin, is
widely raised and used as an ingredient in soups, stews, and sauces.
Tomatoes are seldom eaten raw because of their strong tangy flavor;
they are cooked for stews and soups. Breadfruit is the chief starchy
food of the humid lowlands. The fruit is baked or boiled and made into
a sticky dough. Mangoes are the most common fruit, followed by avo-
cados. Because of their abundance the fruit of these trees is also fed to
livestock. Another widely distributed fruit tree is the mamey or
mammee. Its fruit is eaten raw, made into preserves, and used for
livestock. There are eight species of citrus fruit; oranges and limes are
the most abundant. Eggplants and cabbages are grown primarily for
sale in urban areas. Pineapples, cherries, and watermelons are also
Tobacco, once an important cash crop and used in lieu of currency
during the early colonial era, is now a minor crop. Guinea grass is a
crop grown by many farmers for animal fodder. It is cut rather than
foraged and taken to where the livestock are tethered. A variety of
herbs and spices are grown for rural home use and for sale in urban
markets. The most common are marjoram, absinthe, anise, thyme,
oregano, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, garlic, horseradish,
and asafetida. Gathering is also done. Many farmers gather wild herbs
and leaves for medicinal use, Spanish moss for mattress stuffing,
mangrove bark for tanning, plant fibers for weaving, and tree saps for
Only a few farmers derive their livelihood exclusively from livestock.
There are very few ranches in the country, and stockraising is a supple-
mental activity for most farmers; farmers view their animals as a type
of savings account because they are convertible into cash when funds
are needed. Many tenant farmers receive young animals from their
landlords to care for ahd share the profits when the stock is sold.
Cattle are mainly breeds derived from Spanish criollo stock of colo-
nial times that over the years have interbred with Holsteins, Jerseys,
Guernseys, Ayrshires, and Brown Swiss. Upgrading has proved diffi-
cult because most cattle are bred at random, and the peasant usually
sells his best animals first. No adequate animal census has been taken,
but there were an estimated 800,000 head of cattle in 1971, all of which
are used for beef, milk, and work. Cows seldom give more than one-
half quart of milk daily. Most cattle are kept tethered until after the
harvest, and then they are free to forage in the harvested fields. When
tethered they are usually kept in the part of the field that is fallow.
Farm children are occupied with bringing water and feed supplies to
the tethered animals.
More goats than cattle are believed to exist on farms, but they are of
less importance because their milk is of poorer quality and their meat
Table 1. School Enrollment in Haiti, 1967-Continued
Male Female Total
A dult ...................... ............................ ......... n.a. n.a. 62,998
Agronomy ........................................ 37 3 40
Arts and Sciences..................................... 97 3 100
Medicine and Pharmacy ................... 317 68 385
Dentistry .................................. ....... 63 1 64
Education and Letters ..................... 190 41 231
Law and Administration .................. 506 43 549
Ethnology ............................................ 68 14 82
Subtotal ........................................ 1,278 173 1,451
School of Higher International Studies ...... 42 13 55
Private Schools of Higher Studies3 ............. 48 0 48
Total ........................ ................... 1368 186 1,554
GRAND TOTAL ........................... n.a. n.a. 347,1304
'Does not include students in night schools.
'Does not include students in higher primary schools and night schools.
'Enrollment in School of Theology. Does not include enrollments in private law schools.
Source: Adapted from Haiti, D6partement des Finances et des Affaires Economiques,
Institute Haitien de Statistique, Bulletin de Statistique, Supplement Annuel,
Nos. I-II-III, Annres 1967, 1968, 1969, Port-au-Prince, n.d., p. 9.
Development Bank cited 23 percent as the most recent estimate of the
proportion of children in the five- to fourteen-year-old age bracket
enrolled in primary classes and noted that the annual increase in num-
bers enrolled was at a rate lower than that of the population growth.
Other data indicate that the rate had been somewhat higher-24.5
percent-in 1961 but that the rate during the census year of 1950 had
been much lower-15.5 percent.
Primary education is compulsory by law, but exemptions may be
granted for a variety of reasons; and the lack of a nearby school pre-
cludes attendance in many rural localities. The regular primary course
consists of six grades, but it is preceded by two years of kindergarten
(enfantin), which is heavily attended. Kindergarten is ordinarily of-
fered in the primary schools and are counted statistically in the pri-
mary enrollment. Primary school proper consists of preparatory,
elementary and intermediate cycles, each of which lasts two years.
Promotion between grades is based on final examination marks com-
bined with class marks recorded in trimesters; and at the end of the
sixth year a graduation certificate certificatet d'dtudes primaires) is
Students receiving this award may take examinations for entry in
International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics: De-
cember 1972. Washington: 1972.
. Twenty-Third Annual Report on Exchange Restrictions, 1972.
Legerman, Caroline J. "Kin Groups in a Haiti Market." Pages 382-390
in Michael M. Horowitz (ed.), Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean.
Garden City: Natural History Press, for the American Museum of
Natural History, 1971.
Leyburn, James G. The Haitian People (Rev. ed.) New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1966.
Manigat, Leslie F. Haiti of the Sixties, Object of International Concern.
Washington: Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research, 1964.
M6traux, Alfred. "Cooperative Labor Groups in Haiti." Pages 318-339
in Michael M. Horowitz (ed.), Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean.
Garden City: Natural History Press, for the American Museum of
Natural History, 1971.
Minerals Yearbook, 1968, IV: Area Reports: International. Washington:
GPO, for U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, 1970.
Minerals Yearbook, 1969, IV: Area Reports: International. Washington:
GPO, for U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, 1971.
Moore, 0. Ernest. Haiti: Its Stagnant Society and Shackled Economy.
-(An Exposition-University Book.) New York: Exposition Press, 1972.
Organization of American States. General Secretariat. Haiti. (Ameri-
* can Republic Series No. 12.) Washington: 1963 (reprint 1971.).
Organization of American States. Department of Legal Affairs. Gen-
eral Legal Division. Mining and Petroleum Legislation in Latin
America (2d ed.) Washington: Pan American Union, 1969.
Organization of American States. General Secretariat. Department of
Information and Public Affairs. Seven Basic Export Products. Wash-
Organization of American States. Inter-American Economic and Social
Council. Inter-American Committee on the Alliance for Progress
(CIAP). Domestic Efforts and the Needs for External Financing for
the Development of Haiti. (OEA/SER .H/XIV CIAP/29.) Washing-
ton: Pan American Union, July 26, 1966.
--. Technical Assistance Mission to Haiti, August, 1967. Wash-
ington: Pan American Union, January 18, 1968.
Pan American Coffee Bureau. Annual Coffee Statistics. (No. 35, 1971.)
New York: 1972.
Pan American Union. Cacao: The Chocolate Tree. (Commodity Series.)
Pan American Union. Division of Laws and Treaties. Department of
International Law. A Statement of the Laws of Haiti in Matters
Affecting Business (2d ed.) Washington: 1955.
Petruc, T. C. Rapport au Gouvernement d'Haiti sur Bases pour une
Planification Agricole. (U.N. FAO, Report No. 2957.) Rome: FAO,
products and machinery usually follow in importance. The major
food products imported are wheat, fish, vegetable oils, and lard.
Other important imports are petroleum products, paper, glass, and
Trade is carried on with about seventy countries annually, but sig-
nificant trade relations are maintained with only about ten countries.
The leading trading partner is the United States. Although it took a
steadily increasing share of Haitian exports, from 42.6 percent in
1965/66 to over 58 percent in 1969/70, its share of the Haitian import
market in the same period fell from over 56 percent to about 46 percent.
Japan has been providing a steadily increasing share of the imports
and moved into second place in 1966/67; its share was over 9 percent in
1969/70. France's share of the import market has also been increasing
and was over 5 percent of the total in 1969/70. Other major suppliers
during the 1960s were: the Federal Republic of Germany (West Ger-
many), with about 5 percent annually; Belgium, 2 to 3 percent; Italy,
2 to 5 percent; the Netherlands, 2.5 to 3.5 percent; the United Kingdom,
around 4 percent; Canada, 2.5 to 6 percent; and Curaqao, 3 to 5 percent.
Curacao provides all the fuels and lubricants.
Belgium was the second leading export market for Haitian exports,
with 8 to 12 percent of the total. Most of the coffee exports went to
Belgium. France followed with 7 to 10 percent of the total; Italy, 6 to 11
percent; the Netherlands, 5 to 8 percent; and Japan, 3 to 5 percent.
Foreign Aid and Investment
From available statistics it appeared that Haiti was the recipient
of about US$160 million in foreign aid and assistance from 1946
through late 1972. From 1962 until about 1970 Haiti was almost with-
out any assistance because most foreign governments and interna-
tional institutions were reluctant to grant any. The reluctance stemmed
from conflicting political views and Haiti's history of mismanagement
of funds. Loans have been made only when there seemed to be some
assurance of the funds going for the intended project.
The United States was the largest source of foreign aid, providing
about US$120 million during the 1946-72 period, of which amount
about US$85 million was in the form of grants. The Agency for Inter-
national Development (AID) and its predecessor agencies provided
about US$66 million (US$60 million in grants); the Export-Import
Bank lent about US$28 million; the Food for Peace program provided
about US$18 million; and miscellaneous agencies and projects, includ-
ing military assistance, provided the rest.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) supplied about US$25
million for port facilities, agriculture, industry, and water supplies.
The IDB US$10-million loan for the expansion of the Port-au-Prince
port facilities was the largest single loan the country had ever received.
lived in places with populations in excess of 2,500.
For the most part, the growth of Port-au-Prince and the few other
major urban centers was relatively faster than that of other urban
localities. According to one series of estimates, between 1960 and 1970
the overall population growth rate of 2 percent annually was made up
of a 5.2 percent rate for the capital city; 3.8 percent for all urban local-
ities; 2.7 percent for urban places other than Port-au-Prince; and 1.6
percent for rural Haiti.
The effect of this movement was to cause a relative increase in the
size of the larger centers. The 1950 census had counted Port-au-Prince
as having a population of 134,117. Cap-Haitien, which had a population
of 24,617, was the only other city with more than 20,000. One source
estimated that in the early 1970s the population of Port-au-Prince had
reached 500,000-including the satellite towns of P&tionville and Carre-
four, which had been counted separately in 1950. Cap-Haitien was
estimated to have reached 50,000, and Gonaives, to have reached 29,000.
The towns of Les Cayes, JRremie, and Saint-Marc were estimated to be
next in size, with populations of between 10,000 and 20,000.
The 12.2 percent proportion of the national population defined as
urban in the 1950 census was refined to show that females outnumbered
males. In 1972 no more recent data or estimates were available, but
there was no reason to believe that the proportions had changed.
Essentially, there were relatively few jobs available for girls and
young women in the countryside, and there was a relative abundance
available in untrained domestic and other service activities for young
females migrating from town to town.
The urbanization that has been characteristic of Latin American
countries during the years since World War II has tended to consist of
a push-pull process. The push provided by rural overpopulation and the
lack of amenities in rural life is coupled with the pull that consists of
the promise of better jobs and better lives in urban places, the latter
often underlined by glowing letters received from relatives or friends
who have migrated earlier. The hopes of migrants are seldom fully
realized, but in most countries the people who have migrated do, in
fact, find their new urban lives superior in quality to the old rural
existences that they have abandoned.
This has not been entirely true in Haiti. Migration from country to
town has been predominantly a push movement that has not been
accompanied by a strong urban lure. Urban Haiti in 1972 had yet to
develop an industrial base sufficient to make jobs available to the
migrants from the countryside, and the limited information available
does not indicate that the urban migrants have found their lives im-
proved by the change.
Movement between rural places has been insignificant. For example,
the 1950 census showed that in the Department of the North some 92
percent of the population outside of the department's one large urban
include consumer durables, machinery, food products, chemicals, and
16. ECONOMIC AGREEMENTS AND AID: Some bilateral agree-
ments have been negotiated with a few countries, including France.
Foreign aid provided by United States, international lending agencies,
and foreign governments.
17. ARMED FORCES: Security forces consist of army, small coast
guard, and air force (totaling about 6,000) and a militia estimated at
7,000 to 10,000. Unified command system by which army controls navy,
air force, and police. Army units primarily infantry-type battalions.
The composition of the Haitian demand for goods and services is
strongly influenced by the low average cash income; in the late 1960s
and early 1970s it was probably well under G400 a year. Miners and
skilled factory workers could earn as much as G10 a day, and the mini-
mum legal daily wage was G5. A maximum of 200,000 persons worked
for wages, however, and the average for the self-employed workers in
handicrafts and services activities was probably much lower (see ch. 2).
A large majority of the labor force was made up of subsistence farmers
who lived virtually outside the cash economy.
Specific data are scanty, but according to a government survey the
proportion of disposable per capital income spent on food ranged ir-
regularly, and within narrow margins of variation, between 57.4 per-
cent of the total in 1950 and 56.1 percent in 1960. Scattered surveys,
however, indicate that the poorest families spend nearly all of their
income on food.
The pattern of food expenditure by urban families who are depend-
ent primarily or entirely on their cash incomes is necessarily different
from that of rural people who grow most of their own food and engage
in barter for much of the remainder. Rural cash incomes are extremely
low, however, and the proportion spent on food is not significantly
lower than that spent by city dwellers. Amounts expended in the coun-
tryside on meat, dairy products, and green vegetables are negligible,
but it was estimated by the United States Department of Agriculture
that in the early 1970s the Haitian peasant spent as much as 20 per-
cent of his cash income on soybean oil and other edible oils.
Clothing is the second expense in order of importance for rural fami-
lies. An extensive 1954 survey of expenditure patterns involving rural
families in twenty-four selected areas showed clothing to have repre-
sented 19 percent of all expenditures. It is probably somewhat lower in
urban localities because of the higher average income and greater
variety of goods and services available. The principal clothing item is
yard goods for garments made in the home (see Dress, this ch.).
Housing is next in importance in urban localities, where many of the
dwellings are rented. It is less important in the countryside, where a
large majority of the people are owners of their simple dwellings (see
Housing, this ch.). Cooking and eating utensils represent expenditures
of appreciable importance in both country and town, but furniture is
in large part homemade.
Miscellaneous expenses are few, particularly in the countryside. It
is a measure of the low rural demand for miscellaneous items that
country stores and markets rarely stock generally needed items, such
as hammers and screwdrivers. Despite the low level of income, how-
ever, even the poorest Haitian is able to devote something to recreation.
The expenditure may be only for a bottle of rum or for a contribution to
a voodoo ceremony, but scattered urban and rural surveys conducted
provide a slightly more luxurious means of travel between cities and
outlying areas. There are some interurban buses, but they maintain no
fixed schedules. Within cities the primary means of public transporta-
tion is taxis or jitneys.
The state owns a short-line railroad called the National Railroad
Company, but most of its system was inoperative in 1972 because of a
lack of maintenance of the track and rolling stock. Only portions of its
main line between Port-au-Prince and Verettes were in use. One of
the sugar companies has a railroad subsidiary called the Cul-de-Sac
Railroad Company, but it carries only freight and sugar.
There is one domestic airline, Haitian Air Transport Company
(Compagnie Haitienne de Transports Aeriens-COHATA), organized
in 1943 by the Haitian military to provide service between major towns.
Only Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien have adequate airports; the
Port-au-Prince International Airport can accommodate large jet air-
craft. The other airports in the country have unpaved and unlit run-
ways limiting traffic to daylight hours and good weather. Another
Haitian-owned airline, Air Haiti, began offering international cargo
service in late 1970 between Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Miami but did not
provide domestic service. International passenger service is provided
by several foreign airlines.
There are about fourteen seaports open to international commerce,
only a few of which are important. Port-au-Prince is the principal
seaport, handling about 90 percent of all imports and 60 percent of all
exports by volume. In 1972 the facilities of Port-au-Prince were being
enlarged so that handling capacity could be increased from 235,000
tons annually in 1972 to 510,000 tons by 1977. Most of the balance of the
foreign trade, mainly coffee exports, is handled by Cap-Haitien,
Gonaives, Jacmel, Les Cayes, Petit-GoAve, and Jer6mie. About ten for-
eign shipping companies operated out of Haitian ports in 1972, and
there were five domestically owned merchant vessels totaling 31,250
gross registered tons.'
Coastal shipping is of great importance for many communities. Be-
cause of the inadequate overland transportation system, small sail-
boats and motor vessels provide the only communication between
many towns and the capital. In the late 1960s there were over 300 such
small craft, none of which registered more than sixty tons. The crews
frequently acted as intermediaries for local residents, buying and sell-
ing merchandise in Port-au-Prince on a commission basis. The only
river that can be used for inland transportation is the Grande Anse,
navigable up to about forty miles.
Four firms provided telecommunications services. There were fewer
than 5,000 telephones in the country in 1972. Port-au-Prince had a
small dial system and was connected with Cap-Haitien, J6r6mie, Les
Cayes, Jacmel, Saint-Marc, and Gonaives. About twenty-eight locali-
ties had manual exchanges. There was local and international tele-
Table 2. Haitian Gross Domestic Product, Fiscal Years 1967/71*
Economic Sector 1966/67 1967/68 1968/69 1969/70 1970/71
Agriculture ............................................ 51.1 50.3 50.0 47.9 48.2
M manufacturing ........................................ 9.5 9.7 9.9 11.3 11.3
Com m erce ............................................... 10.1 10.3 9.9 10.0 9.9
Housing (rentals) ................................ 9.9 9.7 9.6 9.6 9.4
Services .................................................... 6.4 6.4 6.0 6.3 6.2
Governm ent ........................................... 4.9 4.2 4.4 4.8 4.6
Construction .......................................... 2.7 2.9 3.1 3.4 3.6
Transportation ....................................... 2.5 3.7 3.5 3.4 3.3
M ining ............................... ............... 1.2 1.4 2.0 1.7 1.9
U utilities .................. ... ...... ........ ... 0.9 0.7 0.9 0.8 0.8
Banking and insurance ...................... 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.8
Total .......................................... 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
*Fiscal year is October 1 through September 30.
Source: Adapted from Haiti, Presses Nationales d'Haiti, Prioritis de la Planification
et Projections Quinquennales, I, Port-au-Prince, 1972, p. 14a.
tenure pattern was transformed from one of large estates producing
export crops to one of basically small holdings producing primarily for
the domestic market and only secondarily for the export market. As of
1972 agriculture was characterized by the existence of a large number
of small subsistence plots worked by traditional methods and suffering
from soil exhaustion and erosion, frequent droughts, and the isolation
of most producers from the market.
Manufacturing, including artisanry, accounted for the next leading
component of GDP-over 11 percent in 1970/71. Commerce, once the
second leading sector, dropped to third place with less than 10 percent
of GDP. These two sectors together accounted for only about 4 percent
of the labor force. House rentals, services, government, construction,
transportation, mining, utilities, and banking and insurance, in that
order, accounted for the balance of GDP. About 2.9 percent of the labor
force was employed in construction; 1.5 percent, in government; and
the balance, in the other sectors.
Haitian government policy is to intervene in the economy only to the
extent necessary to take up any slack left by private investment in cer-
tain sectors, to meet certain unmet needs, and to stimulate the econ-
omy. The maximum effort of the government during the late 1960s
and efforts planned for the 1970s were to be in the fields of energy,
communications, and irrigation. In addition, the government has oc-
casionally helped save domestic companies from failure by becoming
a partner and financing the company's capital needs.
Overall economic planning is carried out by the National Develop-
74 73 72 71 70 69
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74 73 72 71 70 69
Figure 3. Haiti: Relief Features ofHispaniola
A third stage, generally described as one of the most brilliant epochs
of Haitian letters, began toward the end of the nineteenth century and
continued beyond the centennial of national independence in 1904. The
so-called Centennial Generation was distinguished by the dedication of
its members to a rejuvenation of society through literature. It was
composed in part of former pupils of the Lyc6e P6tion, who had studied
under teachers imported from France. They were stimulated by the
need to compete with-and at the same time distinguish themselves
from-their comrades who had studied in Paris. In 1894 they grouped
themselves around the magazine La Jeune Haiti, whose founder, Justin
Lh6risson, was noted for his portrayal of Haitian family life.
Massillon Coicou, poet and playwright of the Centennial Generation,
was one of the first writers to introduce Creole into the national litera-
ture. In 1898 Coicou and other members of the club known as Les Emu-
lateurs (The Emulators) founded the literary journal La Ronde. The
second director of that journal, Dantes Bellegarde (1877-1966), distin-
guished himself as diplomat and educator as well as philosopher and
social historian. Author of some twenty-four books, he was the last
influential figure in a long line of francophile traditionalists.
Another member of that generation, Jean Price-Mars, was a pre-
cursor of the fourth and contemporary stage of Haitian literary devel-
opment. Early in the twentieth century, Price-Mars and his fellow
ethnologist J.-C. Dorsainvil focused attention on Haitian folklore and
paid tribute to its literary values. It was not until the United States
occupation, however, that the nationalism and social consciousness
that have characterized the contemporary period pervaded the intel-
lectual community. The transition in both style and content consti-
tuted the literary expression of ndgritude. This upsurge of pride in
blackness and in the African heritage, reflected since the 1940s in
virtually all aspects of national life, has been viewed as an attempt by
the culturally ambivalent middle and upper classes, especially those of
the intelligentsia who had been educated in Paris, to establish their
identity. The peasants, of course, had no need of it; they knew who
Resentment against foreign occupation was translated into wide-
ranging literary efforts, including novels, poetry, drama, essays,
and scholarly works. The anguish of occupation and the shock of the
rediscovery that mulattoes, long the favored race in Haiti, were still
treated as racially inferior by many whites was perhaps best expressed
by Leon Laleau in his bookLe Choc (The Shock).
Driven by curiosity about voodoo and folkways, educated young peo-
ple, such as those who founded La Revue lndigene (The Indigenous Re-
view) in 1927, left their comfortable homes to live in slums and rural
villages. Their experiences generated social protest as well as literary
nationalism. These trends reach a high point in the poems, novels, and
ethnological studies of Jacques Romain. His Gouverneurs de la Rosde
(Masters of the Dew), a powerful and realistic portrayal in creolized
Persons reaching the age of sixty who have contributed for at least
fifteen years may make a lump-sum payment equal to the amount of
contributions lacking on the basis of the highest wages paid. At any
time, persons who have contributed during fewer than fifteen years
are entitled to the reimbursement of contributions already paid plus
annual interest at the rate of 6 percent.
Provision is made for survivor benefits. One half of the pension that
a pensioner was receiving at the time of his death or the retirement
benefits he might have claimed at that time are payable to the widow
until she remarries, to minor children, or to children up to the age of
twenty-five years who are continuing their educations. In addition to
old-age pensions, the 1965 decree calls for medical care for the insured
person, his spouse, and his minor children. It provides also for short-
term loans, scholarships for children, and funeral expenses as advances
on death benefits payable.
The program is funded by employer and worker contributions. The
employer contribution consists of 1 percent of his total wage bill. The
worker contribution ranges from 2 to 4 percent of wages, depending on
the amount of wages earned. In establishing the scheme, the govern-
ment contributed an initial G500,000 and donated a building to serve
as the medical center for persons insured under the program. The
Commercial Bank of Haiti-named to serve as trustee of the fund-
was also to contribute an initial G500,000 and was to equip the medical
The government operates asylums, where cripples and mental pa-
tients are received, and almshouses for the poor. There are also several
privately operated almshouses. A large proportion of the welfare-type
activity in the country is devoted to the distribution of food. After the
sharp cutback of United States economic assistance in 1963, the pro-
gram was virtually reduced to food distribution and help in malaria
control. In 1970 the bulk of the equivalent of US$8 million entering the
country as foreign aid consisted of funds earmarked for food distribu-
tion; of this total, the United States donated the equivalent of US$1.5
million under Public Law 480 (Food for Peace Program) for foods to be
distributed through private, voluntary welfare agencies. In the late
1960s and early 1970s the Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere
(CARE) was engaged in a community health and development pro-
gram in northwestern Haiti, and UNICEF as well as various domestic
and foreign Roman Catholic and Protestant church organizations were
active in the welfare field.
Mutual help remains of primary importance. Members of the work
societies that hire out for peak work period assignments on the farms
assist one another in time of need. The Congo Society of Cap Rouge in
the 1950s was reported maintaining a health insurance program
funded by small sums deducted from the earnings of members. Elderly
persons of peasant families are cared for unquestioningly by their
numbers of people did not hear radio broadcasts regularly.
In 1972 the three most powerful broadcasting stations (ten kilowatts
each) were Radio Nouveau Monde, Radio Haiti Inter-both in Port-au-
Prince-and Voix Evangelique, in Cap-Haitien, operated by the Ori-
ental Missionary Society, a Protestant-based organization that had a
number of other transmitters in Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince. The
government station was La Voix de la Revolution, with several trans-
mitters-all in Port-au-Prince-the most powerful of which broadcast
on seven kilowatts. Radio Lumiere was operated by the West Indies
Bible Mission, a Protestant organization; it broadcast religious and
cultural programs over transmitters in Aux Cayes, Cap-Haitien, and
Port-au-Prince, the most powerful of which utilized five kilowatts.
Power used by other stations-most of them in Cap-Haitien and Port-
au-Prince-ranged from 1,000 watts down to 100 watts. In order to
present special features or government-sponsored programs local sta-
tions made arrangements to rebroadcast programs emanating from
the more powerful stations.
There was one television station, commercially operated and broad-
casting on two channels in 1972. The two channels were receivable only
in the Port-au-Prince area. One telecast was in French, and one was in
English; both operated only during evening hours.
Motion picture theaters in 1972 numbered thirty, with a total of
17,000 seats. Eight of the theaters had wide screens. The number of ad-
missions in 1972 may have run as high as 1 million. French films pre-
dominated, but a considerable number of films from the United States
and other countries were being shown with French soundtracks.
Foreign Government Activity
In 1972 the French government was engaged in fairly extensive
cultural activities in Haiti. The French Alliance (Alliance Francaise)
conducted academic, language, and other cultural programs and
carried out an exchange program in which French professors and
teachers came to Haiti and Haitian students were sent to France. The
French also distributed films and publications. The United States
Information Agency provided material to the press and to radio and
television stations. It also provided instruction in English in a bi-
national center in Port-au-Prince, and operated a library.
Other countries engaging in cultural activities in Haiti were the
Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), Italy, Spain, Great
Britain, Canada, and a number of Latin American countries.
Communist groups were small and ineffectual, owing to a lack of
strong communist leaders, to a general lack of interest in political
ideology, and to a strong anticommunist position maintained by the
Haitian government. Radio Havana broadcast to Haiti in French and
Creole-fourteen hours per week-endeavoring to incite Haitians to
is tougher. Sheep have difficulty thriving in Haiti because of the semi-
arid conditions of most of the farms. Hogs and pigs are the favorite
kind of peasant livestock because they are easy to feed. Horses and
other equines are used in rural areas mainly for locomotion and sec-
ondarily as draft animals. Donkeys, the most numerous of the equines,
are also used as pack animals to transport merchandise to town. Chick-
ens are raised unpenned by almost every peasant family. Because they
constitute a cash product, they are seldom eaten by the farm family.
There is a significant flow of poultry and eggs to urban areas. In addi-
tion to chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and guinea hens are also raised.
Many farmers also maintain beehives, and honey and beeswax are
minor export products.
Fishing and Forestry
Haitian waters are in the path of major fish migrations, but the
commercial fishing industry is undeveloped. The country has no
trained marine scientists, and no study or exploration of the offshore
waters has ever been made. The Fisheries Section of the Ministry of
Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development attempts to
coordinate fishing activities; it reported annual catches of between
5,000 and 7,000 tons during most of the 1960s. The most valuable catch
is spiny lobsters, which are exported.
About 15,000 persons, largely working independently, are estimated
to' be engaged in fishing. Most fishermen remain close to shore, and
few venture into deeper waters. Nets are commonly used, but some
fishermen rely entirely upon rod and line. Because the supply does not
seem to satisfy demand, there is no difficulty in selling the daily catch,
and it is believed that the industry could be expanded easily.
In addition to ocean fishing, goodly quantities of fresh-water fish are
caught. The government operates a modest fresh-water fish-stocking
project and distributes fingerlings to rivers, ponds, lakes, and flooded
rice paddies. The most popular fresh-water fish is carp, introduced
into Haiti by an Israeli technical assistance mission.
The forestry industry, once important, has declined because of exces-
sive cutting of trees for both commercial use and for fuel by peasants.
The stands of mahogany, once extensive, were heavily depleted, and
since 1944 all exports of mahogany lumber have been prohibited. Only
processed items made of mahogany can be exported. The government
distributes mahogany seedlings, and a partially enforced law requires
ten seedlings to be planted for each mahogany tree cut.
Some lignum vitae logs are exported, but most are used domestically.
Other major varieties exploited are pine, oak, cedar, and rosewood. The
Haitian pine has a particularly high turpentine content, and a minor
industry has developed around this. The logging industry consists of
individual full-time loggers who travel around the country buying and
felling trees and then transporting them to the few sawyards.
Section II. Political
Bailey, Norman A. Latin America in World Politics. New York: Wal-
Ball, Margaret M. The OAS in Transition. Durham: Duke University
Bellegarde-Smith, Patrick. "Haiti: Notes on Socio-Cultural Develop-
ment," The American University, 1972 (Unpublished manuscript.).
Binning, William C. "The Nixon Foreign Aid Policy for Latin America,"
Inter-American Economic Affairs, XXV, No. 1, Summer 1972, 31-46.
Brand, W. Impressions of Haiti. The Hague: Mouton, 1965.
Burnett, Ben G., and Johnson, Kenneth F. Political Forces in Latin
America. Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 1968.
Busey, James L. Latin American Political Guide. Maniton Springs,
California: Juniper Editions, 1972.
Connell-Smith, Gordon. The Inter-American System. London: Oxford
University Press, 1966.
Corkran, Herbert, Jr. Patterns of International Cooperation in the
Caribbean, 1942-69. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press,
Courlarider, Harold, and Bastein, Remy. Religion and Politics in Haiti.
(Institute for Cross-Cultural Research Studies I.) Washington: ICR,
Crassweller, Robert D. The Caribbean Community: Changing Societies
and U.S. Policy. New York: Praeger, for the Council on Foreign Rela-
. "Darkness in Haiti," Foreign Affairs, IL, No. 2, January 1971,
Edelmann, Alexander T. Latin American Government and Politics.
Homewood, Illinois: Dorsey Press, 1969.
Fagg, John Edwin. Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. (The
Modern Nations in Historical Perspective.) Englewood Cliffs: Pren-
Gil, Federico. Latin American-U.S. Relations. New York: Harcourt,
Brace Jovanovich, 1971.
Gingres, Jean-Pierre 0. Duvalier, Caribbean Cyclone: The History of
Haiti and its Present Government. New York: Exposition Press, 1967.
Haiti. Guide Economique de la Rdpublique d'Haiti. Port-au-Prince:
Haiti. Conseil National de D6veloppement et de Planification. Plan
d'Action Economique et Sociale, 1970-1971. Port-au-Prince: 1970.
In mid-1972, however, the perimeters of these departments had yet to
be determined, and the country was still divided internally into the
five departments that had been in existence in 1957. These were the
Department of the Northwest (D6partement du Nord-ouest), Depart-
ment of the North (D6partement du Nord), Department of the West
(Departement de l'Ouest), Department of the South (D6partement du
Sud), and the Artibonite Department (Departement de l'Artibonite).
The last was made up of an area corresponding generally to the lowland
areas in the central part of the country. Curiously, the Department of
the West was located in the southeast, directly to the east of the De-
partment of the South (see fig. 2).
The departments are composed of arrondissements, which are in
turn divided into communes. Both vary substantially in size and in
population. In general, internal administrative boundaries correspond
with natural features. Watersheds are the most common, but the
courses of streams are also frequently used.
Landform and Drainage
The border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic follows an
irregular line extending from north to south, but the relief features of
.Hispaniola follow an east-west axis (see fig. 3). As a consequence, the
principal mountain ranges and intermontane valleys are shared by the
two countries. The laterally extending mountains have made internal
communications difficult and have given rise to regionalism in both
countries. The arrangement of intervening valleys, however, has also
served to furnish easy access from one country to the other and has
led to border incidents and illegal crossings of the troubled frontier
that have played an important part in the histories of the two nations.
The intricate highland pattern that covers more than three-fourths
of Haiti is characterized by narrow-crested east-west ranges and spurs
extending in random directions. Although there are at least five major
systems and numerous spurs, the ranges meet one another to form a
highland conglomerate that is discontinuous only in the south where
the Cul-de-Sac lowland extends eastward from the Gulf of Gonave
(Golfe de la Gonave) at Port-au-Prince to the Dominican frontier. The
slopes of the mountains are often precipitous, but the demand for agri-
cultural land has been so great that the steepest of mountainside plots
have been tilled, and jocular but vivid tales are told of farmers falling
to their deaths off their cornfields. Intensive utilization of these slopes
has in many localities resulted in complete removal of the original for-
est cover, and erosion of the landscape is so extensive that only rem-
nants of the natural topsoil remain.
In the north, the most extensive of the mountain systems is the
PUBLISHED AREA HANDBOOKS
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550-59 Angola 550-85 Libya
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550-20 Brazil 550-45 Malaysia
550-61 Burma 550-161 Mauritania
550-83 Burundi 550-79 Mexico
550-96 Ceylon 550-76 Mongolia
550-159 Chad 550-49 Morocco
550-60 China, People's Rep. of 550-64 Mozambiqu
550-63 China, Republic of 550-35 Nepal, Bhut
550-26 Colombia 550-88 Nicaragua
550-91 Congo (Brazzaville) 550-157 Nigeria
550-67 Congo (Kinshasa) Zaire 550-94 Oceania
550-90 Costa Rica 550-48 Pakistan
550-152 Cuba 550-46 Panama
550-22 Cyprus 550-156 Paraguay
550-158 Czechoslovakia 550-92 Peripheral
550-54 Dominican Republic Arabian I
550-155 East Germany 550-42 Peru
550-52 Ecuador 550-72 Philippines
550-150 El Salvador 550-162 Poland
550-28 Ethiopia 550-160 Romania
550-29 Germany 550-84 Rwanda
550-153 Ghana 550-51 Saudi Arabi
550-87 Greece 550-70 Senegal
550-78 Guatemala 550-86 Somalia
550-82 Guyana 550-93 South Afric
550-164 Haiti 550-95 Soviet Unio
550-165 Hungary 550-27 Sudan
550-151 Honduras 550-47 Syria
550-21 India 550-62 Tanzania
550-154 Indian Ocean Territories 550-53 Thailand
550-39 Indonesia 550-89 Tunisia
550-68 Iran 550-80 Turkey
550-31 Iraq 550-74 Uganda
550-25 Israel 550-43 United Aral
550-30 Japan 550-97 Uruguay
550-34 Jordan 550-71 Venezuela
550-56 Kenya 550-57 Vietnam, N
550-50 Khmer Republic (Cambodia) 550-55 Vietnam, S(
550-81 Korea, North 550-99 Yugoslavia
550-41 Korea, Republic of 550-75 Zambia
* U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1973 0541-134 (P.O. 7)
an and Sikkim
States of the
a, Rep. of
d'Action Economique et Sociale, 1970-1971. Port-au-Prince: 1970.
Haiti. D6partement de l'Agriculture, des Ressources Naturelles et du
D6veloppement Rural. Rapport de la Commission Nationale Pour la
Conservation des Ressources Naturelles Renouvelables. Port-au-
Prince: Imprimerie de l'Etat, 1960.
Haiti. Presses Nationales d'Haiti. Prioritis de la Planification et
Projections Quinquennales, I. Port-au-Prince: 1972.
Haiti. Service de la Population. Les Fluctuations Cycliques de l'Econo-
mie Haftienne (Etudes Demographiques, Economiques et Sociolo-
giques, Publication 2.) Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie de l'Etat, n.d.
Haiti. D6partement des Finances et des Affaires Economiques. Institute
Haitien de Statistique. Bulletin de Statistique Suppldment Annuel
1967-1969. Port-au-Prince: n.d.
. Bulletin Trimestriel de Statistique, 1969, LXXIV. Port-au-
. Guide Economique de la Rdpublique d'Haiti. Port-au-Prince:
"Haiti Continues Marked Recovery from 1960's Slump," Commerce
Today, II, No. 25, September 18, 1972, 47-48.
"Haiti's Steadily Improving Industry Now Provides Over One-Third of
Country's Exports to U.S.," International Commerce, LXXV, No. 41,
October 13, 1969, 27-28.
Haney, Emil B., Jr. The Nature of Shifting Cultivation in Latin Amer-
ica. (Land Tenure Center, No. 45.) Madison: University of Wisconsin,
LTC, May 1968.
Holly, Marc Aurele. Agriculture in Haiti. New York: Vantage Press,
Hurt, Leslie C. "U.S. Sugar Act Extended-New Quotas Established,"
Foreign Agriculture, IX, No. 43, October 25, 1971, 12.
Inter-American Committee for Agricultural Development. Inventory
of Information Basic to the Planning ofAgricultural Development in
Latin America: Haiti. Washington: Pan American Union, 1963.
Inter-American Development Bank. Social Progress Trust Fund: Fifth
Annual Report, 1965. Washington: 1966.
--. Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America. Annual Report,
1971. Washington: 1972.
--. Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America: Social Progress
Trust Fund: Sixth Annual Report, 1966. Washington: 1967.
- . Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America: Social Progress
Trust Fund: Seventh Annual Report, 1967. Washington: 1968.
--. Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America: Social Progress
Trust Fund: Eighth Annual Report, 1968. Washington: 1969.
- . Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America: Social Progress
Trust Fund: Ninth Annual Report, 1969. Washington: 1970.
--- . Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America: Social Progress
Trust Fund: Tenth Annual Report, 1970. Washington: 1971.
S----------- President of the Republic _
Secretary of State
and National Defense
---- Operational control.
Chief of the General Staff -----
-----Direct presidential control.
, National Palace
i Port-au-Prince Presidential
(DessalinCoast Guard Aviation Corps
6 Military Battalion) olce Guard
Transport Signal Corps Military Academy NCO Training Medical Corps Engineers
Figure 4. Organization of the Armed Forces of Haiti, 1973
French of life in a peasant community, has been translated into some
seventeen languages. It was published four months after his untimely
death in 1944.
Three novels of Haitian peasant life, Le Crayon de Dieu (The Pencil
of God), Canapd- Vert (The Green Couch), and La Bete de Musseau (The
Beast of the Haitian Hills), written by the brothers Pierre Marcelin
and Philippe Thoby-Marcelin, also received widespread acclaim at
home and abroad. They were written with greater detachment than
were the works of Romain.
Efforts by Frank Fouch6 and F. Morisseau-Leroy to nationalize the
dramatic arts included the rendering of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and
Antigone into their own version of Creole. Several poets, including Carl
Brouard, Magloire St. Aude, and Emile Roumer, have been noted for
works that, although linguistically French, are Creole in expression
and sentiment. In 1935 Louis Diaquoi, a leading poet and journalist,
fostered a group called The Sorcerers (Les Griots), who derived their
inspiration from voodoo. Francois Duvalier, a member of this group,
later used his intimate knowledge of the religion to great advantage in
concentrating power in the presidency.
One of the most prominent of the younger poets is Ren6 Depestre.
His Minerai Noir (Black Ore) and Traduit du Grand Large (Crossing of
the Open Sea), written in exile, denounce the white world and express
nostalgia for Africa and belief in human brotherhood.
Haitian literary activity more or less coasted on the momentum of
the renaissance of the 1940s until the mid-1960s. As Duvalier had him-
self been a participant in the black nationalist literary movement, he
did not move initially to supress it in systematic fashion. In fact, he
introduced national literature into the schools for the first time. By the
mid-1960s, however, the pervasiveness of political repression was such
that most members of the intelligentsia had been rendered silent or
driven into exile, and national literary development was suspended.
I The Graphic Arts
The renaissance in literature had been underway for about fifteen
years before the rich potential in painting and sculpture flowered into
a national movement. Until the Art Center was opened in Port-au-
Prince in 1944, those who painted for the love of it did so in isolation,
without encouragement, instruction, or recognition. There were no art
schools, museums, or commercial galleries.
The movement was sparked by a United States artist, DeWitt
Peters, who was teaching English in a Haitian government school.
Peters felt frustrated because there was no colony of artists with
whom to spend his leisure hours. He rented a building and spread the
word that artists were invited to meet there, work together, and
exhibit their work; self-taught painters began to appear and timidly
offer their work in exchange for a few dollars and painting materials.
1971, with joint state and private participation, to regulate the produc-
tion of all metallic products for construction and consumer use. It
was not clear in 1972 whether this company would manufacture its
own products or regulate the production of other firms' products.
Small shop and artisan craftwork account for a large percentage of
total manufacturing production. A 1960 study by the United Nations
indicated that nearly half of all manufacturing by value was done in
shops employing fewer than four persons. Many of the individual
artificers and small shops are located in rural areas so peasants need
not travel to towns to obtain their services; these include shoemakers,
tanners, bakers, potters, butchers, and brick and tile makers. Urban
furniture is almost always custom made by craftsmen. Tailors and
dressmakers set up shop on their front porches with handcrank sewing
machines. Traveling tinsmiths make utensils from used containers.
Blacksmiths make most of the simple tools for farmers. The major
occupation of carpenters in rural areas is coffin making. Most rural
persons can build their own homes and implements, but a coffin is a
prestige item and must be properly made by an expert. Basket making
is perhaps the most widespread handicraft and frequently is the most
lucrative craft. In several localities of the country the entire popula-
tion engages in the same artisan activity, and the artisans work in
groups, each one in turn taking the entire day's production as his own.
Some farmers engage in artisan activities as a secondary occupation.
There is a small mining industry, with a total employment of per-
haps 2,000 persons. Petroleum prospecting has been carried out un-
successfully. The most important mineral mined is bauxite, which has
been produced since 1957 by one company, Reynolds Haitian Mines.
The reserves are not large, but the aluminum content is high. The
main deposits are located at the town of Miragodne. Copper from
deposits near Gonaives is also mined, but production was falling dur-
ing the 1960s because of declining copper content of the ore and re-
curring landslides, which continually damaged the facilities. Salt is the
only other mineral produced in any quantity-about 10,000 tons an-
nually. The salt is made by an evaporation process from ponds at
Grande Saline in the Artibonite delta. The process is not very efficient,
and the salt is not pure.
Until 1972 the country suffered from frequent power shortages, and
further industrial growth was threatened. In that year the Peligre
hydroelectric complex at Lake Pl1igre went into operation and brought
the total capacity in the country up to 60,000 kilowatts; an additional
16,000 kilowatts was scheduled for 1973. In 1968 the OAS estimated
Haiti's total hydroelectric potential to be about 140,000 kilowatts.
In 1971 the government took over the privately owned company,
which used to generate almost all of the country's electricity, and
turned the company and the Pl1igre complex over to the state power
board. The power board hopes to be able to bring electricity to small
sewage system: 63, 76
Sierra de Bahoruco: 10
Sierra de Neiba: 10
slavery: 27-28, 29-30, 31-33, 39, 41, 112A
small business: 139
social security: 77
social stratification: 33
social structure: 39-56
Sole Party of Revolutionary and Govern-
mental Action: 119
Soviet Union: 156
St. Aude, Magloire: 96
sugar: viii, 28, 29, 32, 33, 59, 124, 129, 130,
131, 133-134, 138, 142, 144
tariffs: 138, 143
taxation: 117, 129, 146, 147
telegraph. See communications
telephone. See communications
territorial waters: 6
Thoby-Marcelin, Philippe: 96
tobacco: 133, 136, 144
tontons macoutes: 115, 116, 118, 119, 151,
Tortue Island: 12, 13,28,143
totalitarianism: 113,114-115, 120, 156
tourism: 2, 125, 127,129,143
Toussaint Louverture: 30,33,98, 106
trade (see also exports; imports; tariffs):
16,127, 142, 143
trade unions: 114, 120
transportation: viii, 128, 141; airlines, viii,
142, 154; public, 142; railroads, viii, 142;
highways, viii, 29, 36,129, 141
Treaty of Ryswick: 29
Trois Rivieres: 11
Trujillo Molina, Rafael Le6nidas: 26, 122-
typhoid fever: 71, 77
Unified Party of Haitian Communists: 156
United Kingdom: 36,102, 145
United Nations: viii, 122,129; UNICEF, 70,
United States: ix, 36; diplomatic recogni-
tion, 35; Duvalier opposition, 105; eco-
nomic assistance, 145; foreign investment,
146; military assistance, 125, 152; occupa-
tion of Haiti, 2, 25-26, 35, 42-43, 107, 112;
U.S.-Haiti relations, 122, 124-125
universities. See education
University of Haiti: 73, 81, 84, 90-91
upper class: 43-44
Vache Island: 13
Vatican: 34, 105
Vincent, Rend: 97
Vincent, Stenio: 37, 100, 113
vocational training. See education
Voegeli, Alfred: 97
voodoo: vii, 3, 25, 33-34, 39, 40, 44, 48, 49-
50, 51-54, 57, 66, 75, 113, 116, 120, 132;
and art, 82; and dance, 99; and literature,
96; and music, 82,98-99; and painting, 91;
and politics, 105
voting rights: 107, 117
waste disposal: 62-63, 76
water supply: 69,71,76
weights and measures: 141
welfare: 77-79, 129
Wiener, Odette: 99
Wilson, Woodrow: 26
World Bank. See International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development
World Health Organization: 69,70, 76
yaws: viii, 69, 71, 72, 75, 114
youth organizations: 117
president, a vice president, and ten judges. It usually functions in two
chambers with five judges each, but when it hears appeals and pleas of
unconstitutionality of laws and decrees it must function as a whole.
Judges of the Court of Cassation must be at least thirty years old, must
have practiced law for at least ten years, and must have held the posi-
tion of judge or public attorney for at least seven years.
Below the Court of Cassation are four courts of appeal located in
Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Gonaives, and Cap-Haitien. The court at
Port-au-Prince has a president and five judges, whereas the others
have a president and four judges. These courts hear both civil and
criminal cases, and in order to be appointed the judges must have been
either judges of courts of first instance for three years or military
advocates for at least ten years. These courts hear all appeals from
courts of first instance and criminal appeals from justice of the peace
courts when something more than a mere correctional matter is
Courts of first instance are known as civil tribunals and criminal
tribunals. Both are located in the thirteen cities of Port-au-Prince,
Cap-Haitien, Les Cayes, Gonaives, Jacmel, Saint-Marc, Petit-Goave,
Port-de-Paix, Jer6mie, Anse-A-Veau, Aquin, Fort-Libert6, and Hinche.
Each court has one judge and various other officers. They hear first
instance civil cases in which the amount involved is not greater than
G5,000 and all criminal cases other than police matters. Judges must
have practiced law for at least two years.
Justice of the peace courts are located in each of the country's 124
communes and in other places as determined by law. Each court has
one judge and other officials. In order to be appointed an individual
must have a law degree, be at least twenty-five years of age, be in full
enjoyment of civil and political rights, and must have completed a
probationary period of at least one year. These courts hear all cases
where the amount involved does not exceed G500 and first instance
cases where the amount does not exceed G1,000. They also handle land-
lord and tenant cases. Their jurisdiction in criminal matters extends
only to cases where the penalty does not exceed six months in jail.
In addition, there are accounts courts that deal with administrative
contracts, land courts that hear cases involving property rights, juve-
nile courts, military courts, and labor courts. The president of the
republic appoints all judges. Those in the Court of Cassation and courts
of appeal serve ten years, the others, seven years. The country's legal
system stems basically from Roman law, as modified by French civil
law of the Napoleonic period. According to the constitution the presi-
dent may not direct the decisions of the courts, but his influence is very
great since he appoints all the judges. In cases of crises if a state of
emergency is declared, the usual rules of justice are suspended, and the
president can convoke military tribunals responsible solely to him.
the government of President Jean-Claude Duvalier.
Organizations representing economic interest groups have rarely
been effective in influencing policy or the outcome of struggles for
power. The fact that the country was overwhelmingly rural militated
against the early organization of unions, although several had been
established by the late 1940s. The Haitian Workers' Federation (Fed-
6ration Haitienne des Travaillers-FHT), under the leadership of
Daniel Fignole, joined some thirty unaffiliated unions in a general
strike in 1956 that was instrumental in toppling Magloire. Both of the
federations-the National Workers' Union (Union National des Tra-
vaillers-UNT) and the Haitian National Laborers' Union (Union
National Ouvriers d'Haiti-UNOH)-which together absorbed most
of the individual unions after Magloire's departure, had opposed
Francois Duvalier. They were disbanded immediately after he took
office, and the leaders that escaped execution or imprisonment fled
into exile. Strikes have occasionally occurred since, but they have been
quickly suppressed, and labor has virtually ceased to have a political
Businessmen as a group have had no independent role either, as
there has occasionally been something to be gained from supporting
the regime and there has always been much to lose in opposing it. Uni-
versity students have traditionally been active in politics. A student
strike in 1929, for example, was instrumental in forcing the resignation
of President Louis Borno. Students were among the boldest and most
persistent opponents of the Duvalier government in its first few years.
They struck as late as November 1960 because one of the officers of the
National Union of Haitian Students (Union National Etudiants Hai-
tiens) had been imprisoned. But the use of reprisals, including impris-
onment, against parents and other relatives of dissident students has
generally been effective in suppressing student activity.
Haiti severed all ties with the Vatican in 1805, and Roman Catholic
priests were not allowed into the country again until 1860. In the
interim voodoo had become deeply entrenched as the explicator and
organizer of life, especially in the rural areas. Nevertheless, the Roman
Catholic Church, for more than a century, has been an important factor
in political competition. Roman Catholicism has been an integral part
of the heritage of the French-oriented elite, and the church has been
regarded as an enemy of the Haitian masses by the nationalists who
gained prominence after the American occupation. Francois Duvalier
and his supporters resented the church because it attempted to sup-
press voodoo practices, because most of the priests were of French or
French-Canadian derivation, and because it managed to retain more
independence than most institutions in the society. Furthermore, it was
considered capable of serving as a rallying point for urban discontent.
Duvalier began expelling priests and bishops critical of his regime and
filling the vacancies with his supporters before the end of his first
prisons were not available in 1972. There were two penitentiaries, Fort
Dimanche and the National Penitentiary-both in Port-au-Prince-
and prisons in the cities of Les Cayes, Hinche, Gonaives, Cap- Haitien,
and Port-de-Paix. Prison labor was for state use only, and prison-made
goods, such as license tags, furniture, and clothing, were made avail-
able for sale to public agencies.
The Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedures
The Penal Code of Haiti was first promulgated in August 1835 and
was amended nine times between 1846 and 1935. It recognized three
categories of offenses-felonies, misdemeanors, and police contraven-
tions-and defined the penalties imposed for them.
Punishments enumerated are: death; imprisonment for life with
forced labor; imprisonment with forced labor for a specific number of
years; and jail for a specific period. Punishments not requiring deten-
tion are banishment, loss of civil rights, and placement under special
Death sentences are executed by a firing squad, the execution taking
place in a public area designated in the writ of condemnation. Men
condemned to forced labor are employed on public projects; women
are employed inside the penal institutions.
Accomplices receive the same punishment as the culprits. There is no
punishment for offenses committed by persons acting under duress or
under circumstances beyond their control, and mitigating circum-
stances may change punishments. The death penalty or imprisonment
for life with forced labor may be changed to imprisonment for a period
of ten to twenty years.
The death penalty is mandatory for taking up arms against Haiti; for
giving military plans and intelligence to the enemy; for espionage; for
attempts to assassinate the chief of state; and for murder and arson.
Punishments for contraventions of minor police regulations range
from small fines to jail sentences of from one day to six months.
The Code of Criminal Procedures was first promulgated in 1835 and
last amended in February 1958. According to the code, urban and rural
police are responsible for investigating felonies, misdemeanors, and
police violations against persons or property. The justice of the peace
or the judge investigates the act and determines whether or not a trial
is to be held. In the case of a criminal trial, a jury is called for. All
Haitians twenty-five years or older, who enjoy full civil and political
rights and are not incapacitated, are eligible for jury duty.
The code reiterates certain articles in the constitution that guarantee
civil rights and individual freedom. No one may be arrested, detained,
or prosecuted except in those cases set forth in the laws. Arrest and
detention may take place only on warrant from a legally competent
official. No one may be kept in detention for more than forty-eight
hours without being brought before a judge competent to rule on the
Pick's Currency Yearbook, 1971. New York: Pick Publishing, 1971.
Pierre-Charles, G6rard. l'Economie haitienne et sa voie de ddveloppe-
ment. Paris: Editions G. P. Maisonneuve et Larose, 1967.
. "Haiti: Esencia y realidad del desarrollo," Revista Mexicana de
Sociologia [Mexico City], XXXI, No. 3, 1969, 589-608.
"Political Charges, New Power Plant Brightens Haiti's Economic Pros-
pects." Commerce Today, II, No. 1, October 18, 1971, 49-50.
Puga, William B. (ed.) Electrical World: A Directory of Electric Utili-
ties in Latin America, Bermuda and the Caribbean Islands. (1969-70
ed.) New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969.
"Report on Haiti." Latin American Report, VI, No. 6, May/June 1967,
Robinson, Harry. Latin America: A Geographical Survey. New York:
Schaedel, Richard P. An Essay in the Human Resources of Haiti.
Port-au-Prince: U.S. Agency for International Development/Haiti,
Scofield, John. "Haiti: West Africa in the West Indies," National Geo-
graphic Magazine, CXIX, No. 2, February 1961, 227-260.
Smith, Bradley. Escape to the West Indies. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
The South American Handbook, 1970. London: Trade and Travel Pub-
The Statesman's Year-Book, 1972-1973. London: Macmillan, 1972.
Street, John M. Historical and Economic Geography of the Southwest
Peninsula of Haiti. Berkeley: University of California, Department
of Geography, 1960.
Underwood, Frances W. "Land and its Manipulation Among the Hai-
tian Peasantry." Pages 469-482 in Ward H. Goodenough (ed.), Ex-
plorations in Cultural Anthropology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.
United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. World
Economic Survey, 1969-1970: The Developing Countries in the 1960's
and the Problem ofAppraising Progress. New York: 1971.
United Nations. Economic Commission for Latin America. Estudio
Econ6mico de Amdrica Latina, 1969. New York: 1970.
United Nations. Industrial Development Organization. Small-Scale
Industry in Latin America. New York: 1969.
U.S. Agency for International Development. Status of Loan Agree-
ments as of March 31, 1971. Washington: 1971.
U.S. Department of State. Republic of Haiti: Background Notes. (Pub-
lication No. 8287.) Washington: GPO, November 1970.
U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. Haiti: Post Report. Port-au-Prince:
U.S. Export-Import Bank of the United States. Cumulative Record by
Country, February 12, 1954 to June 30, 1970. Washington: 1970.
U.S. National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Develop-
Both officers and enlisted men take pride in the military tradition of
the republic. Each year on Army Day (November 18) the defeat of Gen-
eral Leclerc's forces is widely celebrated (see ch. 3). For commissioned
personnel a military career offers both social and political mobility,
since several of their number have attained the position of president
of the republic.
Uniforms and Insignia
All three branches of the armed forces-the army, the air force, and
the coast guard-have fatigue and garrison uniforms. Full dress white
uniforms for officers are optional. Army officers on some occasions
wear green blouses and beige slacks or riding britches and boots. Cer-
tain army units, especially the Dessalines Battalion and the Presi-
dential Guard, have dress and parade uniforms of dark blue. The
Port-au-Prince police wore army uniforms until 1972, when they were
provided with light-blue uniforms to distinguish them from army
Army and aviation corps rank insignia are indicated on shoulder
boards: one, two, or three chevrons for company grade officers; one,
two, or three small gold stars for field grade officers; and one, two, or
three larger silver stars for general officer rank. Coast guard rank
insignia on dress uniforms consist of gold bands worn on the sleeve.
Awards and Decorations
The Haitian government has nine decorations, some of which are
awarded only to military personnel and some to both military and
civilian personnel, native and foreign. Two of these, the Military Medal
and the -Distinguished Service Medal, are awarded only to military
personnel for heroism and exceptional courage during military or
police action. Both officers and enlisted men receive awards for com-
pleting a specified number of years of active duty service with excel-
lent records. The decorations are awarded only once, a silver star
being worn on the ribbon for additional awards.
The Order of Potion and Bolivar is awarded to the president, to for-
eign chiefs of state, and to foreign diplomatic personnel for service in
the field of Pan Americanism. Other awards are made to civilian
nationals for outstanding public services. The nine decorations were
authorized by the Haitian government between the years of 1922 and
National Security Volunteers
The National Security Volunteers (Volontaires de la Securit6 Na-
tionale-VSN) was organized by President Francois Duvalier as a
counterpoise to the army. The members received the equivalent of
military basic training and, although they were not officially paid
salaries, some remuneration was received from the budgets of the
communities in which the men served. The members were usually
inhabitants of the outlying districts who went about their regular daily
work unless called upon in case of an emergency, when they served as
The general staff consisted of four sections: personnel, intelligence,
operations, and logistics. An army major general served as both chief
of the general staff and commander of the armed forces. The two elite
army units were the Dessalines Battalion, which consisted of about
500 men, and the Presidential Guard, which numbered about 700. The
enlisted members of the Presidential Guard were housed on the ground
floor and basement of the presidential palace, and those of the Des-
salines Battalion were in the Caserne Dessalines, situated on the
grounds in back of the palace.
Despite its name, the Port-au-Prince Police Force, with a total
strength of about 400 men, was an army unit. There was a small coast
guard of about 250 men whose main function was to prevent smug-
gling. The aviation corps, operating about twenty-five aircraft-both
military and civilian-and having approximately 250 officers and
men, operated the civilian airline. The airfield at Port-au-Prince could
accommodate jet aircraft, and ten other cities had fields capable of
accommodating C-47 type transport aircraft.
The military academy was established in 1941. It offered a three-
year course for about sixty cadets. The Camp d'Application was a
training school for noncommissioned officers. Within the army organi-
zation there were transportation, communications, medical, and engi-
neer units. The communications section was of great importance to the
government since it had voice radio and telegraph communication
with the headquarters of the six military departments, and these in
turn had at least telephone communication with the military districts,
subdistricts, and rural sections. In many rural areas the only telephone
was that controlled by the military, and orders could be transmitted
immediately from the headquarters in Port-au-Prince to any outlying
district. This made the police-army combination the most powerful
unit in the governmental system.
Recruitment and Conditions of Service
Conditions of service in the armed forces are such that there has
never been any need for conscription. A retirement and pension law
has been in effect since 1935. Commissioned officers who have served
twenty-five years may retire with a pension equal to one-half of their
monthly pay at the time of retirement. The same provision applies to
enlisted men with twenty-five years of service.
Officers and enlisted men who were disabled in the line of duty are
obligated to appear before a board of medical officers. The board can
decide to grant them one-half of their active duty pay at the time of
retirement, regardless of the number of years they have served. The
mandatory retirement age for officers is sixty, and that for enlisted
men is fifty. One percent of the monthly salary for all members of the
armed forces is withheld to create a pension fund. If a retired officer is
a widower with legitimate minor children, at his death one-half of his
pension goes to them until they are legally adults.
Linguists have identified several factors influencing the users and
usages of Creole and French. Approximately 7 percent of the popula-
tion is bilingual, and the rest are monolingual in Creole. For this 7
percent, the two languages are used side by side and are frequently
interchangeable within a sentence. French is always used in formal
public occasions and is preferred in formal private situations as well.
In informal situations, both public and private, Creole predominates.
In addition to these social contexts, personality differences and
change of style or mood will determine which language the speaker
employs. A more relaxed and progressive bilingual indicates his identi-
fication with the black consciousness and the native culture through
the usage of Creole, whereas a more conservative individual or a mem-
ber of the rising middle class may insist on French in all situations.
The legendary stories attached to the origins of Creole reflect the
deprecatory attitude manifested by most Haitians. Until recently, it
was felt that Creole arose as a corrupted, Africanized version of French
during the early years of the slave trade in Haiti. Settlers supposedly
simplified their language to facilitate comprehension by slaves, who
in turn supplied West African grammar. The result was the pidgin
French of the lower class, which was considered a patois without the
rights or status of a separate language.
Although this theory has some basis in fact, most linguists now
consider Creole a full-fledged language arising from the French mari-
* time trade dialect existing prior to colonization but characterized by
the syntax of West African tribal languages. The striking similarities
of the Caribbean Creole dialects would indicate that Creole did not
develop in an insular fashion in each colony. It was an amalgam of the
dialects of several French provinces, and it served as the lingua
franca for whites and blacks in the slave collecting centers in Africa
and in the French colonies alike.
The use of French and Creole during the colonial and independence
period set speech patterns and attitudes for the next century. French
was established as the language of culture and refinement, and it was
spoken only by whites and educated mulatto freedmen. When the
slaves became free, the greatest barrier between the various classes of
colored peoples was broken down, and all Haitians became legally
equal. Thus, the maintenance of the French language and life-style
became a vital distinction between the two groups and a necessary
means of ensuring the mulattoes' superior status over the former
Traditional attitudes towards Creole began to change during the
twentieth century. The first attempt at a Creole text appeared in 1925
and the first Creole newspaper, in 1943. The black consciousness and
nationalistic movements have always been tied to the desire to extend
Creole usage, and social protest literature has used the peasant's lan-
guage for both practical and ideological reasons. There was, however,
tieth century, there was very little urbanization. The colonial capital
of Cap-Haitien stagnated, while Port-au-Prince grew moderately. In
general, however, the breakdown of the colonial system had been
accompanied by a disintegration of the beginnings of urban life in the
interior. Coastal fishing communities survived better, and in the early
1970s all Haitian urban localities with populations in excess of 10,000
were located at tidewater. Even at the few internal crossroads, market
or communications centers of importance had not developed.
POPULATION STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS
Preliminary results of a census conducted in 1971 showed the popu-
lation of the country to have been 4,243,926. The figure, however, was
so much lower than had been anticipated that a considerable under-
enumeration appeared to have occurred. Population estimates pre-
viously released by the government for 1969 and 1970 had been 4,768,010
and 4,876,200 respectively, and an increase to 5,399,400 by 1975 had
been projected. Other estimates for 1970 had ranged as high as 5.5
million, and the consensus was a little over 5 million.
Censuses have been few. A largely forgotten survey taken during
1918 and 1919 indicated that there were about 1.9 million people in the
country, and the first formal census-taken in 1950-showed the popu-
lation to have reached 3,097,000. The 1950 census, however, suffered
from a variety of deficiencies, some of which may also have affected
the 1971 tabulation. The participating officials lacked training and
experience, and many of the persons enumerated lacked fixed places of
residence. Women, in particular, tended to disguise their ages in the
belief that certain ages were luckier than others, and some men were
believed to have avoided enumeration in order to escape military
service. Perhaps more important, there was a general suspicion of
visiting strangers asking questions. The total number reported in
1950 was later calculated by United Nations demographers to have
represented an underenumeration of 8.3 percent; other estimates of
the magnitude of the shortfall reached as high as 30 percent.
Before the preliminary results of the 1971 census were announced,
demographers of the Haitian government, the United Nations, and the
International Labor Organization (ILO) had estimated the rate of
population growth during the 1960s to have averaged about 2 percent
annually, considerably lower than the 2.9 percent average for all Latin
American countries. The actual census figures for 1950 and 1971 indi-
cated a population increase during the twenty-one intercensal years of
1,146,000 or about 37 percent of the 1950 total, and an annual average
of substantially less than the previously estimated 2 percent. A mid-
1972 publication of the Haitian government, however, estimated the
growth rate during 1972 as 2.5 percent. The various data available are
speculative to a degree that limits their usefulness, but they lead to
the general conclusion that population growth during the 1960s and
can Republic, endangered the peace, but the OAS Council determined
that the circumstances did not warrant recourse to the collective se-
curity treaty. Haiti then turned to the Inter-American Peace Com-
mittee, which was able to smooth over the immediate crisis.
Within a year, however, the situation had deteriorated again, and
the charges and countercharges indicated to the OAS Council a clear
threat to the peace. An investigating committee, dispatched by the
council, discovered the complicity of the Dominican government
in a plot against Haiti, as well as of the governments of Cuba and
Guatemala in plots against the Dominican Republic. Because of the
complexity of the situation a continuing special committee was ap-
pointed to try to defuse crises as they arose. It was assumed that the
exposure of extralegal activities on the part of several governments
had the effect of deflating the whole movement of political subversion.
Trujillo, who had governed the Dominican Republic since 1930, had
generally attempted to eliminate Haitian presidents who were neither
fearful of him nor dependent on him, and during Duvalier's first year
as Haitian president the two men were bitter rivals. They soon real-
ized, however, that antiauthoritarian forces throughout the Caribbean
were seeking to overthrow both of them, so in 1958 they signed a
mutual assistance pact, the Agreement of Malpasse.
Relations became tense again after the assassination of Trujillo in
1961, and especially after the election of Juan Bosch to the presidency
of the Dominican Republic in 1962. In 1963 Bosch's government ap-
pealed to the OAS alleging the forcible entrance and occupation of the
Dominican Embassy in Port-au-Prince as one of many acts by the
Haitian government that endangered the peace. The machinery of the
Rio Treaty was set into motion, and a committee authorized to carry
out conciliatory, as well as investigative, functions was sent to the
island. Charges and countercharges mounted, and the Haitian govern-
ment rejected the recommendations of the committee. Although no
clashes took place between the armed forces of the two countries, dis-
turbing incidents continued, and the OAS Council left the case open
until August 1966.
Haiti resumed diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic
after the election of Joaquin Balaguer to the Dominican presidency in
1966. Since that time relations between the two countries have gen-
erally been correct, although disparaging or threatening remarks have
occasionally been exchanged and the border between the two countries
has been closed part of the time.
Agreements signed in 1972 with the Dominican Republic were ex-
pected to result in a significant expansion of trade between the two
countries. They provided for the establishment of a joint free zone,
for tariff reductions on foreign products, and for simplified trade
transactions and also called for improvements in transportation.
The dance serves both a social and religious purpose (see ch. 5).
Friends come to exchange gossip and to enjoy dancing. Nevertheless,
there is a religious undercurrent throughout, and the eventual out-
come is a religious experience. Both the dancing and singing have
sacred themes, and the drum itself is a sacred object. Inspired by the
drumbeat, a believer may become possessed by one of the loa.
The Roman Catholic Church has had a greater influence on the cult
of the dead than on any other element of voodoo. In the preparation
of the corpse, the wake that follows, the burial in consecrated ground,
and the concern for the spiritual peace of the deceased the practices
closely resemble those of Roman Catholicism. Contrary to Christian
beliefs, however, it is thought that the spirit retains worldly powers
after death and continues to play an important role in the ongoing
lives of his family. Should they be neglectful or disrespectful, he may
possess and persecute the offender, often to the point of death. Conse-
quently, peasants take utmost precaution in revering and attending
Certain magical beliefs and practices are closely intertwined with
voodoo. A houngan may prepare a cure for a sick follower, but he will
not participate in black magic-the practice that may bring harm to
another. This is the realm of the bocor, or sorcerer. Like the priests,
the reputation of the bocor rests on the exhibition of his powers. Occa-
sionally he is engaged by a jealous peasant to cast a spell on a more
prosperous neighbor; but more typically his magic is in the form of
charms. These are worn for good luck or protection against the evil
eye or other evils-such as flying bullets-or as an amulet to ward
Voodoo is still one of the strongest influences in rural Haiti. It serves
to enhance family solidarity on the one hand, whereas on the other it
enhances the mistrust of those outside the kin group. It exercises a
form of local social control and organization through common belief
and participation in voodoo rites. On the national level the low status
of voodoo and its exclusive nature-as opposed to the international
character of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism-have served to
reinforce the isolation of the peasant believers. Because of its magic
and dancing, it is effective for releasing aggression and frustration,
as well as for providing entertainment and recreation. Finally, it
provides the peasant with a workable explanation of his universe and
gives him meaning and direction.
Protestantism is the third religion in Haiti and estimates of its
strength vary from 10 to 30 percent of the total population. It was
introduced in the mid-1800s by American missionaries who concen-
trated their efforts mainly among the lower class. A few peasants
were converted to the evangelical and fundamentalist denominations
production of professionals in such needed fields of specialization as
engineering and agronomy. Incomplete data available indicate that
between 1945 and 1967 the proportion of students engaged in legal
studies had not changed materially but that the already small propor-
tion studying engineering and agronomy had undergone a sharp
The Teaching Profession
Data with respect to the teachers are fragmentary, but in 1967 about
70 percent of the instructional staffs in the urban primary schools
(other than higher primary and night classes) were women. In rural
primary schools a little more than half of the public school teachers
were men. Data were not available for rural private primary teachers.
In secondary-level general classes nearly 90 percent of the public and
about 70 percent of the private school teachers were men. In the voca-
tional system, men were slightly in the majority in both public and
A large proportion of the teachers at both primary and secondary
levels are members of Roman Catholic orders or Protestant denomina-
tions. Lay teachers, both public and private, tend to come from work-
ing-class backgrounds, particularly at the primary level. Upper-class
men are reluctant to accept employment in rural areas, and upper
class women seldom are employed in any gainful capacity. Teaching is
a respected occupation, however, and represents at least a limited
access to upward social mobility in a socioeconomic environment where
few such opportunities are available. The lack of other employment
opportunities for educated persons-some with university back-
grounds-has resulted in a proliferation of small private schools of
various kinds in Port-au-Prince. Teacher attrition, however, is severe.
Salaries are low, and personnel, on the primary level in particular,
find it stultifying to attempt to impart elements of a classical educa-
tion in the French language that some of the urban and most of the
rural students can neither speak nor read.
During the early 1960s general secondary-level teachers in the public
schools received an average of about G1,500 annually. The primary-
level teacher received 10 to 20 percent less, and vocational school per-
sonnel received pay varying between the other two amounts. Private
school personnel pay rates varied widely, both above and below the
public school average: Secondary-level teachers in public schools fre-
quently supplement their salaries by part-time employment in private
establishments. Public school teachers receive small seniority wage in-
creases at five-year intervals, and rural primary-level personnel re-
ceive wages slightly lower than those paid urban teaching personnel.
Instructors in the adult education program are part-time personnel
paid hourly at a rate equivalent to the national minimum wage of G5
significantly to the enlargement of the black middle class, as he ex-
panded the bureaucracy and moved in blacks at the expense of mulat-
toes. He also promoted blacks and demoted mulattoes in the military,
the church, and other institutions.
Although racial and class antipathy, typically nourished by black
heads-of-state, runs high among both elites and nonelites, the most
notable characteristic of nonelite attitudes toward public affairs is
apathy, bred on the one hand out of ignorance, on the other of experi-
ence. Even for the educated urbanites, the rumor mill has generally
been the most reliable source of information. During the few brief
periods in the country's history when the communications media have
been relatively uncontrolled, illiteracy has shielded some 90 percent of
the population from disruptive or unsettling ideas in print, and the
country has only about one radio receiver per 6,000 persons, the lowest
ratio in the hemisphere.
The experience of the Haitian peasant from earliest childhood
teaches him that obedience and subservience, first to parents, and later
to political and religious leaders, is a requisite of survival. Peasants in
even the most isolated villages have witnessed or heard about the fate
of individuals who failed to demonstrate the expected subservience to
functionaries of the government. Most observers of Haitian society
believe that the peasant generally fears the wrath of the voodoo gods
even more than that of secular rulers. More than a dozen attempts to
topple the Duvalier government, made by exiles from among the mu-
latto elites, were aborted in part as a result of the social distance be-
tween the insurgents and the peasants they had hoped to mobilize
and, in part, because of the empirically well-founded pessimism of the
Violence and its corollaries, generalized fear and suspicion, have
been enduring characteristics of the Haitian political culture. The
country has had thirty-six chiefs-of-state since independence. Twenty-
four were forced to resign; seven were killed in office. St6nio Vincent
(1930-41), the last president installed during the United States occupa-
tion, was the only president in the twentieth century who finished his
term of office peacefully and handed power over to an elected successor.
The present National Palace is the fourth of its kind. All three of its
predecessors were blown up by explosions of the munitions stored in
The tenor of the Duvalier era has not been totally out of keeping with
the nation's past. But the calculated official use of violence and the
degree of autocracy achieved by Duvalier reached an extreme that has
been equaled in few countries in recent decades. The system became as
nearly totalitarian as the technologically and economically under-
developed conditions of the state permitted.
Unable to influence public affairs or to find personal security in their
own country, a great many Haitians have gone into exile. It has been
estimated that by the mid-1960s, 80 percent of the country's most
pended diplomatic relations for a month in protest. Military assistance
was suspended as well, as the mission chief was declared persona non
grata, and United States missions were withdrawn.
Duvalier escalated his verbal attacks on the United States and
claimed that he did not need or want its assistance. For about two
years relations were exceedingly cool, and the only forms of United
States assistance Haiti received were participation in a malaria eradi-
cation program and the Food for Peace program. With the advent of
the Dominican crisis in April 1965, however, the United States once
again found Haiti's vote in the OAS to be crucial; aid was renewed at
that time and was increased in 1966. Radio jamming equipment was
provided, for example, to counter the broadcasts of anti-Duvalier
exiles. Governor Nelson Rockefeller, as special envoy of President
Richard Nixon was well received in 1969.
Nevertheless, Duvalier, in his later years, generally stressed his
indifference to, and lack of dependence on, the United States and his
country's orientation toward Africa. He arranged an extravagant
reception for Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and in 1969, during the
Nigerian civil war, he recognized Biafra. On the occasion of the last
OAS vote during his lifetime, on measures for dealing with diplomatic
kidnapping and other forms of terrorism, Haiti joined the other
"hardliners" -Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Guate-
mala-in staging a walkout. Whereas the majority adopted a resolu-
tion providing that persons accused of kidnapping or otherwise
assaulting diplomats must be extradited or brought to trial by the
country in which they were apprehended, the hardliners had demanded
multilateral action against all forms of political terrorism.
The government of Jean-Claude Duvalier and the regency that as-
sumed power after the death of Francois Duvalier in April 1971 placed
a high priority on improving the country's image abroad and its rela-
tions with the United States in order to attract tourists and foreign
investors and to increase Haiti's share of United States assistance. In
all of these endeavors it appeared to be having considerable success.
It was reported that 83,000 tourists visited the country in 1971, some
drawn by the bargain prices, others by the liberal divorce laws. United
States private investment increased sharply in 1971, as did economic
assistance, which was up to US$4.3 million as opposed to US$3.8 mil-
lion in 1970. The Nixon administration late in 1970 had lifted the ban
imposed by President Kennedy on the sale of arms to Haiti, and the
Department of State had authorized more than US$1 million in private
arms sales in 1971. One company, based in Miami, had also been en-
gaged to train the Leopards, Haiti's new counterinsurgency force. In
March of 1972 a Haitian delegation was cordially received in Washing-
ton, D.C., and in July a seven-man United States survey team spent a
week in Haiti assessing that country's request for military assistance.
household gods, as well as through the combite. The combite is an
agricultural mutual aid society whose basic purpose is the communal
cultivation of crops (see ch. 8). It encompasses all adult males and
combines the practical and utilitarian aspects of a communal work
society with the recreational and ceremonial aspects of a social club.
The peasant woman also plays a prominent role in the economic
activities of rural Haiti. Her work and social life are combined in the
market system in which she-not the male-is the key figure. Any
profit or accumulation of capital will be used in a number of ways. If
it is not used to buy more land, it may be invested in sweets or soft
drinks to be resold at a public function. If the peasant family is up-
wardly mobile, the extra income may be used to educate children.
Because of her status as a link between the rural community and the
urban market, the peasant woman is an important instrument in po-
A popular Haitian folk expression claims that "Haiti is 90 percent
Catholic and 100 percent voodoo." Although Roman Catholicism has
been the official religion, it has never been a prominent influence
outside the urban areas. Only about one-third of the 90 percent is
practicing and active. The other two-thirds are peasants who practice
their own brand of folk Catholicism heavily laced with voodooism.
Catholicism did not penetrate French colonial Haiti to the same
degree it did the Spanish colonies, largely because of the attitude of
the colonials. The buccaneers and planters were chiefly interested in
enriching themselves and were unconcerned with making converts
among their slaves. They were indifferent and insolent towards the
church and regarded the priests working among the slave masses as a
potentially subversive force. The Vatican became disillusioned, first
with the attitude of the French colonials and later with that of the
new republic. (The Constitution of 1805 had separated church and
state and had declared marriage to be a civil rather than a religious
contract.) For fifty-five years after independence no priest entered
Nevertheless, for the newly installed mulatto elite, Catholicism was
an integral part of the French culture that they adopted. They offi-
cially reinstated Catholicism as the national religion with the Con-
cordat of 1860 and welcomed the French and Belgian priests whose
life-style and values were so similar to their own. It was too late for
the Roman Catholic Church to develop into a powerful or wealthy
institution, however. The land-often a source of church revenue in
Latin America-had already been apportioned to the peasants. The
elite themselves retained the nonchalant attitudes of the colonial
1. COUNTRY: Republic of Haiti (Republique d'Haiti).
2. SIZE, TOPOGRAPHY, AND CLIMATE: Land area of about 11,000
square miles. Occupies western one-third of Hispaniola, second largest
island in Caribbean; Dominican Republic occupies eastern two-thirds.
Mountainous country in which only 20 percent of territory lies below
600 feet; topography dominated by five ranges with generally east-
west axis. Generally well watered, but rivers have uneven flow. Pre-
vailing temperatures vary with elevation, and sea breezes temper
tropical heat in coastal lowlands; little seasonal change. Rainfall
limited by fact that most of country lies in rain shadow. Precipitation
generally heaviest in north, and heavier in highlands than in lowlands,
but considerable local variation. Seasonal incidence also varies by
3. POPULATION: One of most densely populated countries in the
world. Population exceeded 4.2 million in 1971 census. Estimated
growth rate averaged about 2 percent during 1960s. Urbanization pro-
ceeding slowly, and in early 1970s some 75 to 85 percent of population
remained rural. Port-au-Prince, with at least half of urban population,
was only large city.
4. ETHNIC GROUPS AND LANGUAGES: Great majority of the
people are of African descent. Remainder are principally mulattoes-
,of mixed African-Caucasian ancestry-who, as a group, have occupied
an elite position in the society. A small number of Haitian citizens are
of Levantine or European origin. French is the official language but is
spoken by less than 10 percent of the people. Creole, spoken by virtu-
ally all the people, is a combination of French dialects and certain
African forms. The two languages are not mutually intelligible.
5. RELIGION: State religion is Roman Catholicism. All religious faiths
tolerated. Protestant missionaries active throughout the country. Most
of the people profess Roman Catholicism, but voodooism, based largely
on West African religious practices, exerts profound influence on lives
of the people.
6. EDUCATION: Enrollment of about 300,000 at all levels in 1970s; 90
percent of total in primary system. Most of primary and virtually all
secondary and higher schools in urban localities. Only university is
public institution in Port-au-Prince. Moderate increase in primary and
secondary enrollments during 1960s; university enrollment declined.
School instruction conducted in French, but most of rural population
center of Cap-Haitien resided in the commune in which they had been
born. In addition to the fact that there is no remaining rural frontier
offering new lands, countryfolk continue to be strongly influenced by
the local voodoo pantheon. A departure from the place of birth may be
resented by these spirits.
The irregularity of land tenure also plays a part in discouraging
mobility. No comprehensive cadastral survey has ever been executed,
and those country people who hold deeds to their farms seldom have
legal means for establishing the boundaries of their properties. These
are occupied largely on the basis of general recognition by neighbors of
property claims. Titles cannot readily be transferred, and they can best
be confirmed by continuous occupancy.
External migration appears to have been large enough to have had
some effect on the population level. Immigration since World War II
has been negligible, but emigration may have resulted in a net popula-
tion loss through external migration of as many as 20,000 people
annually during the 1960s.
Historically, the principal outflow has followed the bottoms of the
east-west valleys leading into the Dominican Republic. Haiti's smaller
territory, larger population, and lower standard of living have resulted
in a continuing flow of jobseekers across the border. For the most part
they have migrated seasonally in order to serve as field hands in the
sugar harvest, but an undetermined number have remained. In 1968
Dominican immigration authorities were quoted as reporting that
fewer than 25,000 Haitians had received alien registration documents,
but that as many as 200,000 were living in the country. Although the
actual number is a matter for conjecture, the presence of cheap Haitian
labor in the Dominican Republic has been a cause for continuing fric-
tion between the two countries, and in December of 1971 the Dominican
State Sugar Council announced that it would no longer employ Haitian
workers in the sugar harvest.
Many Haitians have emigrated by legal or other means to the United
States, a considerable number reportedly having entered informally
through Puerto Rico. Estimates of the number during the early 1970s
ranged from 80,000 to 200,000, most of them apparently living in New
Between 1915 and 1930 as many as 300,000 may have migrated to
Cuba. During the onset of the world depression in the 1930s most of
this number returned to Haiti, but a 1953 Cuban census counted nearly
28,000 remaining in that country. In addition, in the early 1970s as
many as 50,000 were estimated to be residing in the Bahamas, and a
sizable Haitian colony was reported in Venezuela.
The substantial emigration has been useful in the sense that it has
had a moderating effect on population growth in the already crowded
country. Qualitatively, however, it has resulted in a relatively heavy
loss of professional and skilled personnel. According to a report by the
88; secondary, 84, 85, 88-90; urban, 87-88;
vocational, 23, 83, 89-90
elections: 116-117, 118
electricity: 12, 63, 139-140
Elie, Justin: 100
Estim6, Dumarsais: 37-38,100, 152
exiles: 113,114,115,118,119, 121,151
Export-Import Bank: 37, 145
exports: viii, 2, 33, 48, 127, 140, 142-145;
agricultural, 135; industrial, 138; seafood,
family: 44,48,49,53, 113, 130
family planning: 21
Fignole, Daniel: 120
First National City Bank (New York): 148
fiscal year: 146
flood control: 12
Food for Peace program: 78, 125, 145
foreign assistance: 35, 145-146; economic,
122, 124, 125; military, 124-125, 152
foreign investment. See investment
foreign relations: 121-125; with African
nations, 125; with Cuba, 105, 122; with
Dominican Republic, 36, 105-106, 122-
123; with Latin American nations, 125;
with U.S., 36,105, 124-125
forests: 10, 14, 130, 137
Fort Dimanche: 118, 157
SFouch6, Frank: 96
France: ix, 1,35-36, 105, 106, 145, 146
French Alliance: 102
French colonials: 16
French Press Agency: 101
French West India Company: 29
fruit: 14, 134-136, 144; bananas, 134-135,
Geffrard, Fabre Nicolas: 34
Germany, Federal Republic of: 36, 102, 145
GonAve Island: 12
Gourgue, Enguerrand: 97
grains: 133, 135
Grande Anse: 135, 142
Grande Saline: 139
Great Britain. See United Kingdom
gros habitants: 47, 50
gross national product. See economy
Guatemala: 122, 123,125
Gulf of GonAve: 7,10,11, 12,13,14
Haiti Steel: 138-139
Haiti Union Bank: 148
Haitian Air Transport Company: 142
Haitian-American Community Help Orga-
Haitian-American Sugar Company: 134
Haitian Coalition: 119
Haitian-Colombian Popular Bank: 148
Haitian Democratic Alliance: 114
Haitian Guard: 36-37,121
Haitian National Laborers' Union: 120
Haitian Red Cross: 69
Haitian Resistance: 119
Haitian Statistical Institute: 11
Haitian Workers' Federation: 120
harbors. See seaports
health (see also disease): viii, 37, 58, 69-77;
dental, 72-73; education, 86,91; mental, 78
Herring, Hubert: 27
Hispaniola: vii, 1, 5, 13
Hoover, Herbert: 37
housing: 61-63, 68, 128, 139, 143
hydroelectric power: 11, 12, 23, 139
Hyppolite, Florvil: 34-35
Hyppolite, Hector: 82,97
illiteracy. See education
imports: 138, 140, 144, 145; quotas, 143
indigo: 29, 32, 33, 150
industry: viii, 128,138-140
infant mortality: 18, 70, 76
Institute for Agricultural and Industrial
Inter-American Development Bank: viii,
Inter-American Peace Committee: 123
Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal As-
sistance: vii, 122
interest groups: 120
internal security: 108, 115, 116, 118, 119,
International Bank for Reconstruction and
International Coffee Organization: 143
International Monetary Fund: 146
International Route: 6
investment: 2, 127, 145; foreign, 2, 125, 127,
145, 146; private, 127-128
results in a supply that appears sufficient to meet the effective demand
for them in that city. Even in Port-au-Prince, however, hospital beds
and equipment are in short supply, and sanitary conditions tend to be
poor. Elsewhere, except in urban centers where district hospitals are
located, there are few personnel and facilities available. Medical care
in the countryside consists principally of services provided in connec-
tion with the generally effective preventive programs, such as those
directed against malaria and yaws. Services available at the mission
and commercial-firm dispensaries in the countryside are generally
among the best in the country, and peasants are fairly receptive to
modern medical attention. They tend to seek it only when in acute
need, however, and tend to regard it as a supplement to folk remedies
administered by family members or by the voodoo priest.
The need for more and better medical personnel and facilities is
acute, but it is of secondary importance. The most significant health
needs are for better nutrition and environmental sanitation combined
with better education in these needs and in health practices sufficient
to make possible a more effective utilization of the personnel and
Folk Medical Beliefs
Although there is little positive resistance to the limited amount of
modern medical assistance available in the countryside, sickness and
death are seldom attributed to natural causes. Amulets provide good
preventive medicine, souls can be stolen and bottled, and illnesses of
all kinds are believed to be transmitted by psychic rather than by
Both superstitious beliefs and herbal medicine are part of voodoo-
ism. The ministrations of the voodoo priesthood have at once been con-
demned as perpetuating the generally low level of peasant health and
commended as of practical value.
Some writers contend that voodoo and disease have an interacting
effect in the sense that the high incidence of ill health leads to a climate
of anxiety in which voodoo flourishes most readily. Practitioners of the
cult are said to prey on the anxiety of their clients, to the extent of
deliberately prolonging their illnesses. For example, the general failure
of people suffering from jaundice to appear at hospitals and outpatient
facilities is attributed to the belief that the disease cannot be cured
by modern medicine. In addition, it is believed that cow's milk is too
strong for infants, that goat's milk is bad for all young children, and
that meat of all kinds is bad for the young. The extent to which these
beliefs can be attributed to voodoo is problematical, but in Haiti super-
stition and the cult are close to synonymous.
At the same time, the recreational value that is present in voodoo
rites is important to the health of the peasants, and the pharmaco-
poeia available to its practitioners is formidable. The camomile flower
baccalaur4at-Certificate of completion of four-year upper cycle in
bamboche-Secular celebration or spree.
cacoism-Involvement of peasant guerrillas in revolutionary activities.
CAMEP-Centrale Autonome Metropolitaine d'Eau Potable (Autono-
mous Metropolitan Potable Water Center). Responsible for water
supply in Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.
COALEP-Coop6rative pour l'Alimentation en Eau Potable Pour les
Comunit6s du Arrier-Pays (Cooperative for Potable Water Supply
to Communities of the Interior). Provides water-supply installations
for areas not able to finance the resulting services.
combite(s)-A working party of rural neighbors summoned by farm-
ers for tasks such as working in fields during peak periods or con-
structing a house. Work is followed by feasting and dancing.
Creole-Language that arose as a pidginized form of French maritime
and West African dialects during the colonial period; is spoken by
all Haitians and is the only language of the peasant masses.
creolized French-French influenced by Creole.
cult of the dead-Complex of voodoo beliefs and practices honoring the
gourde-Monetary unit. Symbol is G. Official rate in 1972 was 5
gourdes equal US$1. This rate had been in effect for more than thirty
gros habitant(s)-Haitian term for wealthy and powerful peasant.
loa (pl., loa)-Anthropomorphic spirits or gods in voodoo; of Haitian or
African origin and subordinate to Christian God.
mdringue-A popular dance.
ndgritude-Glorification of Afro-Haitian heritage.
rara-A band of musicians that performs during latter part of Lent.
SHRH-Service Hydraulique du Republique d'Haiti (Hydraulic Serv-
ice of the Republic of Haiti). An agency of the Secretariat of State
for Public Works, Transportation and Communications, which is
generally responsible for public water supply.
ville(s) de province-Provincial town. Any urban center other than
SECTION I. SOCIAL
GENERAL CHARACTER OF THE SOCIETY
In early 1973 the people of Haiti lived in a transitional period follow-
ing the death of President Francois Duvalier, whose authoritarian
regime had lasted for thirteen and a half years. Repressive measures
were somewhat less in evidence; there were signs of an upturn in the
economy after years of quiescence; and foreign relations were improv-
ing. After the death of Duvalier in 1971 conditions in the country had
been relatively tranquil, but rivalry for political power continued
among Duvalier's former followers.
Ever since the discovery in 1492 of the island of Hispaniola-the
western third of which is occupied by the Republic of Haiti-the peo-
ple of this territory have felt the effects of foreign intervention in one
form or another. When Christopher Columbus, searching for a route
to Asia, landed on Hispaniola and claimed it for the Spanish crown,
what is now Haiti became part of a Spanish colony; and during the
early years of Spanish occupation the indigenous peoples-Arawak
Indians-were virtually destroyed by the cruel treatment inflicted by
the colonists. As a result the population of modern Haiti, unlike those
of most Latin American countries, shows virtually no trace of its indig-
More than 90 percent of the people of modern Haiti are descended
from African slaves, most of whom were brought in by French colo-
nists to work on plantations. Ceded to France by Spain in 1697, the
territory became one of the richest colonies in the French Empire, and
the use of the French language and admiration for French culture
shown by educated Haitians today had their origin in the French
colony. Likewise Creole, the language spoken by virtually all Haitians,
although characterized by the syntax of West African languages, is
based largely on French dialects.
Present-day Haitians take pride in the fact that they gained their
independence in 1804 after defeating French forces sent by Napoleon
to put down a slave rebellion; and they are proud of the fact that in
1820 the country became the first Negro republic in the world. Al-
though the economy of the country suffered badly after the departure
of the French, the modern-day Haitian peasant, despite his poverty,
cherishes his self-reliance and economic independence.
weekly that in the late 1780s had about 1,500 subscribers. The monthly
Journal de Saint-Domingue ran to sixty-four pages of articles on belles
lettres and such subjects as commerce, agriculture, health, natural
history, and science; but, for lack of subscribers, it lasted less than two
years. An official newspaper, the Gazette Politique et Commerciale
d'Haiti, appeared in 1804-the year in which the republic was founded.
It was followed by hundreds of short-lived journals published during
the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.
In 1972 the principal daily newspapers, all published in Port-au-
Prince, were Le Nouveau Monde, Le Matin, Le Nouvelliste, Panorama,
and Le Jour. Le Nouveau Monde, a semiofficial daily, had an estimated
circulation of 5,000 or more. Le Matin, founded in 1907, had an esti-
mated circulation of 3,000 or more. Le Nouvelliste, established in 1896,
was the oldest newspaper being published in 1972; its circulation was
an estimated 5,000 or more. LeJour, founded in 1950, had a circulation
estimated at about 1,000. All of these dailies had general appeal. A
newspaper that tended to take a relatively independent position was
Panorama, founded in 1956. Its circulation was estimated at 1,500 or
The size of the dailies in 1972 ranged from four to eight pages; all of
the newspapers carried advertising. Coverage of international news
was small, and the only foreign news agency providing service to
Haitian publications was the French Press Agency (Agence France
'In addition to official statements and foreign news items considered
to be of outstanding importance, the contents of the daily newspapers
consisted largely of gossip, reports of cultural events, sports news, and
articles on home economics. Little space was given to crime news, and
political news was usually confined to official releases.
Periodicals played only a limited role in the field of public informa-
tion. Several weeklies were published regularly, and a number of
periodicals appeared sporadically. A scholarly journal, Revue de la
Socidtd Haitienne d'Histoire et de Gdographie, was published quarterly.
There were several printing firms in Port-au-Prince in 1972 but no
publishing houses. A substantial proportion of Haitian writers had
their works published outside of the country, and the latest statistics
available in 1972 indicated that in 1965 a total of twenty-five books
were printed in Haiti.
Radio, Television and Motion Pictures
Because newspaper circulation and television broadcasting are
limited to the Port-au-Prince area, the nation's primary information
and advertising medium is radio. In 1972 there were sixteen active
broadcasting stations, most of which were privately operated and li-
censed to advertise. They broadcast in both French and Creole. The
number of receivers in the country was estimated at 300,000. Large
revolt, as did Radio Peace and Progress in Moscow, which broadcast
thirty-minute programs daily.
Repetition rates are high in both urban and rural sectors; compara-
tive data were not available in 1972, but in 1960 some 48.3 percent of all
primary students were repeating grades, 26.2 percent were new en-
trants, and 25.5 percent had been promoted. In addition, many do not
begin school until relatively advanced ages. In 1967 approximately 283
beginning pupils, or more than 3 percent of the urban public enroll-
ment in the first year of kindergarten, were ten years of age, and four
individuals had reached the age of nineteen.
The rural system is criticized because the schools are often poorly
located in relation to the population to be served, a circumstance con-
tributing to low attendance. In addition, the absence of local school
districts and of parent organizations leave little opportunity for rural
parents to learn that school is important. Probably the most significant
deterrent to attendance, however, is language. An experiment in teach-
ing in Creole, the rural language, was undertaken in the Mirebalais
region of the Artibonite Plain, but it was discontinued; and in the early
1970s the rural as well as the urban classes were conducted in French, a
language little understood in the countryside. As a consequence, school
for many children was a bewildering and frustrating experience. The
only institution not using French as the language of instruction in
1972 was the English-speaking Union School in Port-au-Prince.
It is the stated position of Haitian educational authorities that
full educational opportunities must be extended as quickly as possible
to the rural population, but there is probably a conscious or uncon-
scious reluctance on the part of many to create too great an increase in
rural schooling too quickly; it could result in a corresponding increase
in migration by an articulate peasantry to urban localities unable to
absorb the flow. It appears to be the consensus of informed observers
that the relatively slow pace of urbanization in Haiti is at least in part
attributable to the low level of rural education. Moreover, so few chil-
dren remain in primary school for a period long enough for them to
learn and retain much of value that some educators believe that, in
town as well as in the country, the limited available resources should
be focused on ways to extend primary retention rates rather than on
In 1967 about 27,173 students were enrolled in schools of all kinds at
the secondary level, an increase of about one-third over 1960. About 78
percent were in schools offering general or academic studies leading to
university entrance. Over 21 percent were in vocational classes, and
less than 1 percent were in normal schools. About 35 percent were girls,
and 40 percent were in private schools. Secondary schooling is almost
entirely urban; in 1965 only two of 105 secondary units in Haiti were
located in the countryside. Students who have completed rural primary
courses and wish to matriculate at the secondary level must find
NATIONAL DEFENSE AND PUBLIC ORDER
In 1972 Haiti's security forces consisted of the armed services, which
numbered about 6,000 officers and men, and a militia organization
called the National Security Volunteers (Volontaires de la S6curit6
Nationale-VSN), estimated to number from 7,000 to 10,000. The
armed forces had a unified system in which operational command over
the small coast guard and aviation corps was exercised by an army
officer who was also chief bf the general staff.
Military service was on a volunteer basis, and there were usually
more volunteers than vacancies. The small strength of the armed forces
had. no detrimental impact on the labor force, and military spending
averaged only about 2 percent of the gross national product (GNP).
Military service was a respected career, and both officers and men
were proud of Haiti's military heritage. During the wars for independ-
ence the Haitian army was at first outclassed by the French forces in
every respect except in spirit and leadership. Although the Haitians
lost thousands of men they never relinquished pressure against the
French, who eventually withdrew.
President Francois Duvalier, shortly after his inauguration, created
an additional armed force known as the tontons macoutes. The name
was derived from Haitian mythology, in which the tontons macoutes
were bogeymen who placed little children in bags and kidnapped them.
The tontons macoutes served President Duvalier as a semisecret police.
The security forces had the capability of maintaining internal se-
curity and public order. The centralized control of both the armed
forces and the police provided the government with a countrywide
intelligence net and an ability to dispatch units of the armed forces to
any area in the interior. Although the Haitian peasant is vitally con-
cerned about matters that affect him or his family, he is usually un-
informed about political conditions and has shown no interest in
joining or even providing support for the armed bands of exiles who
have landed clandestinely on Haitian shores in abortive attempts to
topple the government.
voodoo (voodooism)-Native religion of the Haitian masses; it encom-
passes elements of Roman Catholicism and West African tribal
Ever since pirates, operating from what is now Haitian territory,
preyed on Spanish galleons carrying treasure from the American main-
land to Spain, foreign powers have recognized the importance of the
Windward Passage, which separates Haiti from Cuba and serves as
an important link connecting Central America and South America
with North America and Europe. Through the years Haitians have
witnessed shows of force by foreign powers anxious to protect their
interests in the country; and between 1915 and 1934 the United States
intervened militarily to protect the lives of its citizens and their prop-
erty and to prevent intervention by European powers. In 1973 Haitians
were receiving economic, technical and military assistance from
Haitians inhabit one of the most densely populated countries in the
world. A large proportion of the population lives virtually outside the
money economy; and agriculture, typically practiced on small, individ-
ual, family subsistence plots, is the mainstay of the country's econ-
omy. The proportion of the population that is economically active is
substantially larger than the average in Latin American countries;
and the participation rate of women is almost as high as that of men.
Women play an important part in the rural economy-particularly in
their role of vending or bartering produce in the village markets. At
least 80 percent of the people live in rural areas, and most of the people
working in urban localities are engaged in service occupations.
The people face the problem of extracting their living from plots of
land, which are not only small but which have been overcultivated.
Roughly two-thirds of the country is mountainous and unsuitable for
cultivation. The rough terrain not only limits the amount of arable
land but also renders internal communications difficult.
By 1973, although Haiti continued to be one of the poorest countries
in the Western Hemisphere, the government had attained a more
favorable fiscal position; foreign investment was increasing, along
with growing confidence among businessmen; and the tourist trade
was reviving. Exports-principally coffee, sugar, handicrafts, bauxite,
and manufactured goods-contributed to unusually high reserves of
foreign exchange. A promising development was the increasing number
of small factories in and around Port-au-Prince, the national capital,
in which imported raw or partially finished materials were processed
for export-largely to the United States. Light industries were pro-
ducing, among other things, baseballs, athletic goods, and electric
In a country with one of the lowest literacy rates in Latin America,
the number of pupils attending secondary schools in 1972-primarily
in urban areas-was increasing rapidly. In most parts of the nation,
however, educational facilities were extremely limited; and the fact
that instruction was given in French, in a country in which the great
majority of the people understood only Creole, inhibited the effective-
Relations with the United States
Attitudes in both countries about race have always been a factor in
Haitian-United States relations. The United States did not recognize
the government of Haiti until its own slaves had been emancipated.
The fact that the United States occupation forces (1915-34) returned
power to the mulatto minority also influenced subsequent relations,
especially after the black nationalist revolution of 1946 (see ch. 3).
All Haitian presidents since World War II have sought United States
assistance, although those who have sought the support of the black
masses as well often exploited resentment against the former occupy-
ing power by being strongly critical of the United States and attempt-
ing to display their independence from it. From 1946 through 1971
Haiti received a total of US$126.5 million in economic and military
assistance. Haiti also received a portion of what had been the Cuban
sugar quota in the United States market when it was abolished and
redistributed. Despite aid and the country's proximity to the United
States, however, the United States has had little influence, since the
withdrawal of its troops, on internal affairs in Haiti; and relations
have not always been cordial.
Relations were close during World War II, when the United States
had access to Haitian bases, but began to deteriorate in the immediate
postwar years as the black nationalist movement gained strength. The
restoration in Haiti of the traditional ban on foreign ownership of
property, which had been removed during the United States occupa-
tion, was a particular source of friction. Nevertheless, the United
States continued to supply economic aid in various forms and, in 1955,
entered into a bilaterial military assistance agreement.
Francois Duvalier had been the candidate favored by the United
States in 1957, and when, in 1958, he requested a Marine mission to
undertake the training of the Haitian army, his request was favorably
received. The mission arrived in early 1959. Its director soon found,
however, that Duvalier was not interested in a well-trained army but
rather in using the United States mission as evidence of that country's
support for his regime.
After the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy there was a
change in United States policy toward extraconstitutional regimes in
Latin America. The United States threatened to cut off aid when
Duvalier staged his ingenious reelection in 1961 but changed its posi-
tion in January 1962 when Haiti held the swing vote in the OAS on the
expulsion of Cuba. Most aid was suspended in July 1962, but during
the Cuban missile crisis in October of that year the United States
needed access to Haitian airfields and ports, and some aid was re-
newed. In particular, the United States assisted in the construction of
a jet airport, one of Duvalier's pet projects. When Duvalier resisted
United States pressure to step down at the end of his original six-year
term in May 1963, the United States cut off economic aid and sus-
of Royal Institute of International Affairs.) New York: Oxford Uni-
versity Press, 1968.
Lubin, Maurice A. "Five Haitian Poets." Pages 70-80 in Young Poetry
of the Americas (Cultural Themes, I.) Washington: General Secre-
tariat of the Organization of American States, 1964.
Manigat, Leslie F. Haiti of the Sixties, Object of International Concern.
Washington: Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research, 1964.
Matthews, Herbert L. A World in Revolution: A Newspaperman's
Memoir. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1971.
Mecham, John Lloyd. A Survey of United States-Latin American Rela-
tions. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.
Mercado Villar, Olga, and de la Puente Lafoy, Patricio. Caracteristicas
del Proceso Migratorio en America Latina, Estudios Preliminares.
Santiago: Centro Para el Desarrollo Ec6nomico y Social de Am6rica
Latina-DESAL, 1968 (mimeo.).
Metraux, Alfred. Haiti: Black Peasants and Voodoo. (Trans., Peter
Lengyel.) New York: Universe Books, 1960.
. Voodoo in Haiti. New York: Schocken Books, 1972.
Michel, Emilio Cordero. La Revoluci6n Haitiana y Santo Domingo.
Santo Domingo: Editora Nacional, 1968.
Milne, Jean. Fiesta Time in Latin America. Los Angeles: Ward Ritchie
Minerals Yearbook, 1969, IV: Area Reports: International. Washington:
GPO, for U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, 1971.
Mintz, Sidney W. "Pratik: Haitian Personal Economic Relationships."
Pages 54-63 in Proceedings of the Annual Spring Meetings of the
American Ethnological Society. New York: American Ethnological
Mintz, Sidney W., and Wolf, Eric. "An Analysis of Ritual Coparent-
hood," Southwestern Journal ofAnthropology, VI, 1950, 341-368.
Moore, 0. Ernest. Haiti: Its Stagnant Society and Shackled Economy.
(An Exposition-University Book.) New York: Exposition Press, 1972.
Morison, Samuel Eliot. Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Chris-
topher Columbus. Boston: Little, Brown, 1942.
Needler, Martin C. Political Systems of Latin America. New York: Van
Nostrand Reinhold, 1970.
Okezie, Joyce A. "Social Factors Influencing Choice of Language and
Linguistic Form in Haiti," The American University, Department of
Languages and Foreign Studies, 1972 (Unpublished manuscript.).
"Old-Age Insurance in Haiti," International Labour Review [Geneva],
XCIII, No. 4, April 1966, 443-444.
Organizaci6n de los Estados Americanos. Institute Interamericano de
Estadistica. Amdrica en Cifras, 1965. Situacion Cultural: Educacion
y Otros Aspectos Culturales. Washington: 1967.
. Amdrica en Cifras, 1970. Situacion Cultural: Educacidn y Otros
Aspectos Culturales. Washington: 1971.
changed much since the colonial period. What has changed, and in the
process has introduced Haitian culture to the international community
of patrons of the arts, has been the attitudes and interests of the coun-
try's intellectual elite.
Despite a national market severely limited by poverty and illiter-
acy and a political climate that has fluctuated between anarchy and
tyranny, Haiti has always had a distinguished intelligentsia-one that
has included many prolific writers. In fact, it has been estimated that
on a per capital basis the country's writers are accredited with more
book titles (many of them published in France) than any other country
in the Western Hemisphere except the United States.
The cultural products of the elite of the nineteenth century were
often of high quality, but they were essentially an extension of French
culture. The recognition and cultivation by artists and scholars among
the elites and the incipient middle class of a culture distinctively
Haitian was catalyzed, ironically, by the humiliation of the United
States occupation (1915-34). The experience gave rise not only to a
search for a new national identity based on pride in the Negro race and
the African heritage but also to the first powerful literary expressions
of social consciousness and protest. The new trends in content were
accompanied by increasing use of Creole and creolized French (see
Glossary), although there is no standardized written version of the
language and it has rarely been taught in Haitian schools.
The renaissance in literature that gathered momentum in the 1920s
and 1930s was followed in the mid-1940s by the initiation of the primi-
tive art movement, which in less than a decade had won international
acclaim. Self-taught painters such as Hector Hyppolite and Wilson
Bigaud-inspired by the voodoo religion's fusion of the natural and the
supernatural and uninhibited by the academician's emphasis on linear
perspective and other rules of naturalistic representation-introduced
a truly innovative form of graphic storytelling. The noted critic of
Latin American art, Leopoldo Castedo, commented: "The Haitian
primitive painter is above all a narrator, less concerned with reproduc-
ing his vision of the,world than with evoking an event by means of
concrete symbols." Although the style of each painter has been highly
individualistic, the movement as a whole has been characterized by
inventive use of brilliant color and intriguing detail.
Music is the most nearly universal expression of the character and
temperament-the pleasures, pains, and preoccupations-of the Hai-
tian people. For the most part Haitian music is African in origin, and
even secular and formal compositions are often adapted from, or
inspired by, voodoo ritual music. Drums are the basic instrument, and
dances tend to be uninhibited. The meringue, shared by all classes in
the urban areas, is a typical musical form throughout the Caribbean
region, but there are dozens of folk dances, popular in the rural areas,
that are uniquely Haitian.
Because circulation of the principal newspapers is confined almost
later, he died while leading his troops to punish the rebellious Jac-
During a period of almost three-quarters of a century after the Boyer
regime, only three of the twenty-two presidents were mulattoes. The
mulatto elite of necessity adjusted to existing conditions-controlling
the business sector, indulging in cultural pursuits and, because of
their superior education, serving in certain government positions.
Political consciousness and activity were confined almost entirely to
the army, the townspeople, the elite, and those who aspired to elite
status. The great mass of the peasants were little affected by reform
movements, revolutions, counterrevolutions, financial disasters, or
foreign relations. During this period Haiti evolved into a country of
peasants cultivating small plots of land, which, when divided among
heirs, became increasingly smaller.
At the end of the nineteenth century Haiti lacked a significant edu-
cational system. No president had seen fit to introduce universal
education, and some powerful members of the elite expressed doubts
regarding the educability of the black masses. Lacking education, the
people had no opportunity to compare Haiti with other countries or to
participate in political discussion, and they were easily swayed by
agitators who opposed the incumbent president. A politician planning
a revolution could raise an army and take the field against the govern-
ment after borrowing money from a merchant at approximately 100
percent interest, to be paid when the revolution succeeded.
During the latter half of the nineteenth century and the early years
of the twentieth century an important factor in the political life of the
country was the use of mercenary guerrillas by revolutionary politi-
cians aspiring to the presidency. Certain peasants, who found fighting
and rapine an occupation more profitable than any other, were known
as cacos in the north and as piquets in the south. Known as "king-
makers," the cacos would make an agreement with a presidential
aspirant under which, for a certain sum to be paid after a successful
revolution and an opportunity to loot towns on the way to the capital,
they would move down from the mountains and place a revolutionary
leader in power. During the American intervention, initiated in 1915,
caco leaders organized an uprising, which was suppressed by United
States Marines after several years of guerrilla warfare. The marines'
success was generally regarded as a death blow to the cacos.
Between 1843 and 1915 Haiti received little aid from foreign coun-
tries in solving its domestic problems, and for many years after inde-
pendence it had been virtually isolated in the field of foreign relations.
The first nation to recognize the country's independence was France-
in 1825. At about the same time a British consul general was appointed,
but the United States did not extend recognition until 1862, after which
a coaling station for the United States West Indian Squadron was
established at Cap-Haitien. Between the termination of the United
has become dispersed, since his death, among certain members of the
regency. The most influential member of that informal body for the
first nineteen months after Duvalier's death was reportedly Luckner
Cambronne, minister of interior and national defense, who commanded
the loyalty of several armed groups and had acquired control of some
of the most important sectors of the economy. On November 15, 1972,
President Jean-Claude Duvalier announced that Cambronne had been
dismissed from the cabinet and had taken asylum in the Colombian
Embassy. His replacement as minister of interior and national defense
was Roger Lafontant, formerly Haitian consul general in New York.
The country has never aspired to playing an active role in interna-
tional affairs. Culturally, the elites have looked to France, whereas
those who have sought to speak for the masses have made symbolic
gestures of unity with Africa. But only the intermittently tense rela-
tions with the Dominican Republic and the client relationship with the
United States have been matters of more than ceremonial significance
in the twentieth century. For the most part, Haiti has wanted only to
be left alone.
With the exception of the nineteen years (1915-34) of United States
intervention, chief executives of Haiti have usually ruled with virtually
absolute authority. The provisions of the carefully drafted constitu-
tions have sometimes been ignored because they reflected aspirations
rather than political realities and were not in accord with the aims of
the chief executive. In 1972 the Constitution of 1964, as amended on
January 14, 1971, was in effect. The most significant changes in the
amended constitution were the revision of Article 91, reducing the
minimum age requirement for the office of the presidency from forty
to eighteen, and the insertion of a new Article 100 giving President
Duvalier the power to designate his successor. This legitimized the
announcement made by President Duvalier that his son Jean-Claude
was to succeed him as'president-for-life.
The country has had more than twenty constitutions, sixteen of
which were promulgated before the United States intervention. The
first constitution, drawn up in 1801 by direction of Toussaint Louver-
ture after the successful slave rebellion, made Toussaint governor of
what was then a French colony and made the colony essentially self-
governing (see ch. 3). Laws were to be made by a central assembly and
promulgated by the governor without referring them to the French
government. This constitution was not accepted by Napoleon, who
stated that it contained provisions contrary to the dignity of the French
people and to the sovereignty of the French Empire, of which Haiti
(than Saint-Domingue) was only a part. Toussaint refused to accept
French domination, whereupon Napoleon dispatched a military expedi-
tion that failed in its attempt to reestablish French control.
Public Works, Transportation and Communication. Within the SHRH,
an agency called the Cooperative for Potable Water Supply to Com-
munities of the Interior (Cooperative pour l'Alimentation en Eau
Potable Pour les Comunit6s du Arrier-Pays-COALEP) provides
installations for areas not able to finance the services. It depends on
contributions from various public and private entities for its funds
and for cooperation in the form of personnel and services.
Health Hazards and Preventive Medicine
Diagnosed cases of disease are reported from hospitals and out-
patient facilities, but the records are not complete, and no exact listing
on causes of morbidity and mortality are available. The Annual Report
of the Public Health Service-a series later discontinued because of
lack of funds-cited statistics deriving primarily from 1954. Analysis
of these data led to the conclusion that less than half of the hospital
and outpatient cases cited could be specifically identified with respect
to the causes of the deaths and diseases involved. Another government
publication, however, listed as the most important health hazards (in
order of incidence) malaria, dermatosis, respiratory ailments, parasitic
worms, and ulcers.
With the exception of malaria, the most serious health hazards do
not correspond to those most frequently encountered in tropical cli-
mates. Rather, they are directly or indirectly conditioned by poor nutri-
tion and poor personal hygiene. The death toll is particularly high
among infants as well as among small children. During the 1960s infant
mortality was estimated to be as high as 20 percent of live births, and
mortality among the young between the ages of one and four years was
thought to be as high as 25 percent.
As many as 15 percent of all infant deaths during the first eight
weeks of life result from umbilical tetanus contracted as a consequence
of the mother's ignorance of hygienic practices; kwashiorkor (a protein-
deficiency disease) is widespread among young children. Children who
survive infancy and" early childhood suffer nutritional and hygienic
deficiencies so weakening the constitution that as adults they have
relatively little resistance to disease in general.
Malaria is the cause of few cases of hospitalization and death, but its
debilitating effect on the population has been enormous. It is con-
jectured that malaria has been suffered at one time or another by
nearly all of the three-quarters of the population living in malarial
areas, which originally included all of the territory below elevations
of 1,650 feet.
Malaria eradication is the responsibility of the National Malaria
Eradication Service, which was founded by an agreement between the
Haitian government, the WHO, and the PAHO with financial help
from the United States aid program and the United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF). A limited number of control measures were initiated
ness of education in public schools. Nevertheless, Haitians have de-
veloped a literary tradition; and among the people, folk music and
painting play an important part in their lives. Artists and writers
have created a consciousness of a distinctively Haitian culture, and
emphasis has, in the twentieth century, been on aspects of Haitian
life rather than on French models used in the past.
Freedom of expression, although guaranteed by successive constitu-
tions, has often suffered under tyrannical governments. In 1973 news-
papers and broadcasting stations avoided publishing or transmitting
material that might be offensive to the government, but official
censorship was not apparent. Because very few people were able to
read, radio was the most influential mass medium in the country.
The small percentage of the population who enjoy the advantages of
education and who are mainly responsible for intellectual activity are,
for the most part, successors to the wealthy whites who constituted the
elite in colonial times. When the whites were expelled at the end of the
eighteenth century, the mulattoes-descendants of Africans and
whites-became the elite. They preserved their position through gen-
erations of changing governments, whether the government was con-
trolled by mulattoes or Negroes. In 1973 they continued to revere
French culture and to support the Roman Catholic Church, but a society
that had been sharply divided between the elite and the masses was
changing. The beginnings of a middle class were apparent; and edu-
cated, wealthy nonelites were joining the old elite to form an upper
'class with a broader base. At the same time the masses in the country-
side lived much as they had a hundred years earlier. Although the
great majority were Roman Catholics, their lives were profoundly
affected by voodooism-the Haitian religion based on West African
religions-whose priests exercised a significant influence throughout
In 1973 the people lived under a highly centralized government.
Although the constitution provided for a system of checks and
balances-with executive, legislative, and judicial branches-the
president, supported by the armed forces, exercised strong executive
power. In late 1972 legislative elections, which had not been held since
1967, were scheduled for February 1973. Various factions were jockey-
ing for positions, as were individuals close to President Jean-Claude
Duvalier, who had been designated president-for-life by his father,
President Francois Duvalier. Meanwhile, in the countryside the people
continued, for the most part, to live under conditions that had existed
since the beginning of the nineteenth century.
entirely to the Port-au-Prince area and because the country's single
television station is received only in that area, the mass medium that
reaches more people than any other is radio broadcasting. The govern-
ment operates one station with several transmitters; a number of
stations are operated by Protestant missionary groups; and the balance
are commercially operated. Broadcasts are made in both French and
Creole, and programs feature music and official releases.
Although the constitution guarantees freedom of expression and there
is no precensorship, the press, radio, and television usually avoid pub-
lishing or broadcasting any material that might offend the government.
Freedom of expression is thus limited by self-imposed censorship.
Education in Haiti had a late start. During the colonial regime,
schooling had been limited to the French elite to such an extent that
the first chiefs of state in the independent country were illiterate. In
the second decade of the nineteenth century, the country's first high
school was established by President Alexandre Petion; in the early
1970s it still existed as the Lyc6e P6tion in Port-au-Prince. A compre-
hensive system failed to develop, however, and the emerging elite who
could afford the cost sent their children to school in Paris.
Educational development passed a milestone in 1860 when the sign-
ing of a concordat with the Vatican resulted in the assignment of addi-
tional teaching clergy to the young country. Education had already
been largely an ecclesiastical function, but the arrival of additional
priests further emphasized the influence of the Roman Catholic
Church. The new priests were, for the most part, French, and they
were motivated to further a rapprochement between Haiti and France.
In this atmosphere, the clerical teachers concentrated their efforts
on the developing urban elite, particularly in the excellent new second-
ary schools, where Haitian students were made fully aware of the
greatness of France, the backwardness of their own country, and its
lack of capacity for self-rule. Virtually no schools of any sort were
established in the countryside.
The effort to draw Haiti into the French sphere of influence was
abandoned shortly before 1900, but it left a heritage in which education
remained in large measure a system in which the clergy taught mem-
bers of the upper class. Only a few went into the interior to teach the
During the 1920s, under the occupation by United States Marines, a
considerable number of farm schools were established in which peas-
ants could learn to read and write and could receive practical instruc-
tion in agriculture. These units were later absorbed into the regular
primary system. The occupation authorities also were instrumental in
establishing schools for vocational training in the larger urban areas,
but the program was unpopular and collapsed even before the with-
drawal of the marines in 1934.
Laforesteris and the monument to Toussaint Louverture by Norman
Ulysse Charles, was stylistically French. The movement launched by
the Art Center, however, gave rise to innovation in sculpture and wood-
carving and called attention to the African artistic heritage. The sculp-
ture of Valentin bears striking resemblance to that of West Africa,
although he was not known to have been familiar with it. Odilon
Duperier, once a carpenter's assistant, gained fame for the excellence
of his carved masks. Jasmin Joseph is noted for his imaginative terra
cotta sculptures; and Georges Liataud, for his work in sheet iron.
Haitian architecture, scarcely affected by the renaissance in painting
and sculpture, reflects the country's colonial past and its dual culture.
The thatched huts (cailles), modeled by the first Negro slaves after
those they had known in Africa, are still the characteristic dwellings in
the rural areas, although many have been embellished with brightly
painted doors, shutters and woodwork. Architecture resembling that
of French chateaus predominates in the urban areas. Some of the more
outstanding examples of French-inspired architecture are the eight-
eenth-century cathedral at Port-au-Prince, the Sans-Souci palace (built
for King Henry I in the early nineteenth century), the Iron Market, the
National Palace, and several elegant mansions in the French style of
the late nineteenth century. The country's most impressive architec-
tural monument is the Citadelle near Cap-Haitien, begun in 1804 under
the direction of Henri Besse, a Haitian engineer. According to legend,
the construction of this massive mountaintop fortress cost the lives of
some 20,000 to 25,000 slaves.
In recent decades there has been a transition from gingerbread de-
tail and high-peaked structures inspired by French architecture toward
the simpler lines and functionalism of modern international archi-
tecture; several Haitian architects, especially Robert Baussan and
Albert Mangones, are noted for their contributions to this development.
The transfer of political control over the past few decades from the
French-oriented mulatto elite to the black middle class is reflected in
the capital in a more general way by the abandonment of uniformity or
style coordination in architecture and in the trend toward greater use
of bright colors rather than white.
Music and Dance
Music is an integral part of the lives of all Haitians. Playing the
piano is a common pastime for the women of the elite, and drawing
room recitals featuring local or visiting performers are often arranged.
Music and dance have served as emotional catharses since the days of
slavery. The street vendor chants the merits of her wares, and the
farmer sings in the fields. Voodoo dances are performed by peasants of
all ages, from toddlers to the old and infirm, and fathers teach the art
of drumming to their young sons. In Ainsi Parla l'Oncle (Thus Spoke
the Uncle), Price-Mars writes that, "A Haitian could accurately be
be the best constabulary in the history of the country, and United
States engineers oversaw the construction of much-needed public
works. The Americans organized a public health program and opened
a school for farm leaders. The American presence was, however, re-
sented by Haitians, who were angered by the affront to Haitian
sovereignty, by Haitian army officers and politicians whose usual
sources of income had dried up, and by cacos who, resenting the draft-
ing of peasants for roadbuilding, staged an insurrection that was said
to have cost the lives of 2,000 Haitians.
Haitians were angered by the terms of a treaty with the United
States, reluctantly accepted by the Haitian government in 1915, which
gave the United States control over the customs and over the gendar-
merie. Most Haitians were unhappy over the fact that the occupying
forces seemed to favor the mulattoes and to discriminate against
blacks. In 1930 a commission appointed by President Herbert Hoover
recommended that the incumbent Haitian president step down in favor
of an interim government that would supervise a free election. The
election brought Stenio Vincent to the presidency in 1930. The United
States minister appointed by President Hoover was given the respon-
sibility for bringing to an end the American occupation as rapidly as
possible. When Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in 1933, the
process was well underway. In 1934 President Roosevelt ordered with-
drawal of the marines, and in 1941 a financial commission that had
remained to protect United States investments was finally withdrawn.
The United States occupying forces had shifted political responsi-
bility from the blacks to relatively enlightened mulatto leaders, who
ruled until 1946. The black masses, however, worked for a return to
black leadership. Backed by the Haitian Guard, which had been organ-
ized by the United States occupying forces, black leaders ousted a
mulatto president and installed Dumarsais Estim6, who purged the
government of mulatto officials and replaced them with blacks and
who initiated reforms designed to benefit urban workers and to im-
prove agriculture. He discharged the American debt and signed an
agreement with the United States Export-Import Bank to finance a
US$6 million irrigation and land-reclamation project in the Artibonite
Valley. When, in 1950, he attempted to have the constitution amended
to allow him to succeed himself, the army removed him from office
and sent him out of the country.
Estime's successor was Colonel Paul E. Magloire, a black leader and
a powerful figure in the army, who seemed to enjoy the tacit approval
of the elite along with the enthusiastic support of the black masses.
In his inaugural address of December 6, 1950, President Magloire
promised to safeguard rights guaranteed by the constitution, to give
priority to irrigation projects, soil conservation, cooperatives, and
ment and Planning Council (Conseil National de D6veloppement et de
Planification-CONADEP), which was created in 1963 as a result of
tripartite assistance from the Organization of American States (OAS),
the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, and the
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Before the establishment
of CONADEP, the only guidance was a five-year plan announced by
the government of President Paul Magloire, which called for a total
expenditure of G200 million in several fields. Not having any priorities,
the plan was merely a list of projects, and there never was a final ac-
counting of the few projects started.
CONADEP is headed by the president of the republic and is com-
posed of the secretaries of state for finance and economic affairs; public
works, transportation, and communication; commerce and industry;
agriculture, natural resources, and rural development; and the presi-
dent of the National Bank of the Republic of Haiti (Banque Nationale
de la R6publique d'Haiti-BNRH). The council decides upon general
economic policy and priorities, and a technical secretariat is charged
with carrying out the policy as well as overseeing the execution of the
development budget. The personnel of the technical secretariat are
reported to be highly competent, but their activities are not well co-
ordinated with the various ministries. Also, technical personnel in the
ministries are unevenly distributed so that activities of some depart-
ments are not carried out as well as those of others. In addition, the lack
of adequate data restricts the planning activities of the technicians.
CONADEP's first project was a short-range plan covering the
1963-65 period and calling for total investment of G978 million. This
figure proved highly unrealistic, and less than G40 million was invested
during the period of the plan. CONADEP then issued only general
annual plans until it released a medium-range five-year plan to cover
the 1972-76 period. This plan, called Priorities of National Planning
and Five-Year Projections, was more realistic and adequately pre-
pared. It projected an average annual GDP growth of 7.7 percent and
per capital income of G475 by 1976. It anticipated total public invest-
ment of about G730 million, of which about half would have to come
from external financing. Some of the priorities in the plan were for
the expansion of coffee and sugar exports; increased government in-
vestment in roads, harbors, and irrigation; the expansion of tourism;
an expansion of social services; and improvement of the taxation
Land Use, Tenure, and Practices
Because no cadastral survey had ever been made as of 1972 and be-
cause most farmers planted more than one crop in the same plot, land
use statistics were difficult to assess. The latest statistics available in
1972 indicated that of the 6.8 million acres of total land in the country,
in the 1950s indicated that 4 to 5 percent of income was expended on
Few working-class families are able to amass savings, and many are
forced to borrow periodically at very high rates of interest. In the rare
instances where savings in any quantity are amassed, the money is
seldom invested in a business enterprise. The Haitian peasant or
worker tends to have a mistrust of mercantilism and prefers to devote
his limited funds to the purchase of land or to the education of his
Administration of the Public Health Program
The public health program is a responsibility of the Secretariat of
State for Public Health and Population. Administratively, the country
is divided into a series of health districts, but in practice the adminis-
tration tends to be centralized in Port-au-Prince. A health administra-
tor in each of the districts is charged with medical supervision of the
area, but most of these officials are physicians attached to the district
hospitals who are for the most part concerned with medical practice
and have little or no public health or administrative training. The
facilities include the supervisory district hospitals, hospital-dispen-
saries, health centers, and rural clinics.
Public health costs are relatively high. Budget expenditures for
public health as a proportion of all government expenditures rose ir-
regularly from 11.2 percent for the total in 1964 to 13 percent in 1968.
During the latter year, the proportion expended by Haiti ranked fourth
among twenty countries counted in a PAHO survey. The estimated
amount per capital expended for health (calculated at the equivalent of
US$0.53) was the lowest among twenty-one Latin American countries
surveyed by the PAHO.
Nearly all health work is at least in part government financed or
sponsored. Even the Haitian Red Cross requires public financial as-
sistance. Foreign assistance has also been important, particularly in
the field of preventative medicine. The United States aid program has
provided material help in the field of malaria eradication, and the
World Health Organization (WHO) engaged in a successful joint pro-
gram with the Haitian government in yaws eradication.
The Secretariat of State for Public Health and Population is respon-
sible for a corps of sanitary engineers, who numbered fifty-six in 1968,
but environmental sanitation construction projects are under other
controls. Water supply for the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area is a
responsibility of the Autonomous Metropolitan Potable Water Center
(Centrale Autonome M6tropolitaine d'Eau Potable-CAMEP). Else-
where in the country, water supply responsibility rests with the Hy-
draulic Service of the Republic of Haiti (Service Hydraulique du
R1publique D'Haiti-SHRH), an agency of the Secretariat of State for
because of similarities to the emotional form of worship and the pos-
session of voodoo. Protestantism did not flourish in rural areas, how-
ever, because it could not coexist with voodoo. The Protestant clergy
encouraged education and economic development. They viewed voodoo
and its beliefs as a temporary opiate that served to reinforce the peas-
ants' low status.
Although Roman Catholicism has always been the religion of the
elite, the Protestant Episcopal Church has also held appeal for the
upper stratum. It was introduced in 1861 by black slaves emigrating
from the United States. Some of the elite traditionally resented the
Roman Catholic Church, partially because the services were not held in
French, and they regarded Episcopalianism simply as Roman Catholi-
cism practiced in their language. Through its foothold among the elite
and through the efforts of missionaries in the rural areas, the Protes-
tant Episcopal Church rose to be the most powerful Protestant denomi-
nation in Haiti. Leadership emphasis has been transferred from the
United States, and today most of the clergy are native Haitians. Many
organizations and facilities have stemmed from the Protestant Epis-
copal Church, among them the Boy Scouts and educational programs.
Numerous Protestant denominations, including Seventh Day Adven-
tists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists, have sent missionaries
to the country. They tend to take on a uniquely Haitian character with
the passage of years. Some Protestant sects have been backed by
small groups or by individuals.
In the last few years there has been a rapid growth of Protestantism,
stemming from the efforts of the clergy and the changing attitudes
among the lower classes. As of the early 1970s, few rural towns were
without their own Protestant church. The clergy have made practical
and much needed improvements through schools, clinics, and coop-
eratives. Their focus is on Creole rather than French. Their schools
are free, and the programs are adapted to the lives of the lower class.
They compete with the Roman Catholic clergy by performing mar-
riages and baptisms gratis, and they live in the rural areas that may be
visited by a Catholic priest only twice a year. Many Protestant denomi-
nations are particularly well entrenched in some of the lower class
slums around Port-au-Prince. The converts are zealous and upwardly
mobile, and many are strongly antivoodoo.
Haiti has two national languages. Creole is the language of the com-
mon people but is understood and spoken throughout the society.
French is the official national language and is understood and spoken
only by upper and middle class urbanites. The differences in prestige,
usage, and governmental policy surrounding the two languages high-
light the polarity of the society and offer a partial explanation for
the continuing isolation of 90 percent of the population.
head of the national bank, were generally considered to be members of
the regency. Adrien Raymond, minister of foreign relations and brother
of the army chief of staff, was said to be the most influential civilian
in this group. But the regents with the greatest influence were those
who commanded the loyalty of armed bodies. In addition to Cam-
bronne, these included: General Claude Raymond, army chief of staff;
General Gracia Jacques, head of the Presidential Guard and, at least
on some occasions, personal bodyguard to Jean-Claude; General Breton
Claude, commander of the Dessalines Battalion and Frank Roman,
head of the Port-au-Prince police force.
Patterns of Political Competition
In the broad sociological sense, political competition in Haiti has
always been between the mulatto elites and the black masses; but in
the more narrow and immediate sense of the active quest for decision-
making roles and for influence over policy, competition has generally
been among individuals and their personal followings rather than
among groups defined by interest or ideology. With the exception of
the communist party, which has never been strong, the country has
never had full-fledged political parties with organizational structures
and continuity independent of their leaders.
Duvalier had his own party, which he dubbed the Sole Party of Revo-
lutionary and Governmental Action (Parti Unique de l'Action R6volu-
tibnaire et Gouvernementale), but it had none of the usual functions of
a party, since holders of both "elective" and appointive office were
handpicked by Duvalier. His base of power, which passed to his son
and the regency upon his death, was the nonorganized body of activ-
ists-encompassing all of the security forces, as well as many cabinet
members, chauffeur-guides, and other persons scattered throughout
the critical public and private entities-known as the tontons
Several individuals who were active in the political arena at the time
of the 1957 elections had attached party labels to their followings, but
such groups were among the first casualties of Duvalier's campaign to
eliminate opposition. Many of the political personalities and their loyal
supporters who managed to escape into exile have organized "libera-
tion" groups. Some of these groups have staged invasions, dropped
bombs on Port-au-Prince, beamed in radio programs in Creole, and in
other ways attempted to spark a rebellion, but the consequences of
such initiatives have always been new waves of arrests and a tighten-
ing of autocratic control. The most effective exile group in the mid-
1960s was the Haitian Coalition, led by Paul Magloire and Raymond
Joseph, but by 1972 it was moribund. The Haitian Resistance, a New
York-based coalition of about a dozen organizations, emerged after the
death of Duvalier in 1971. Its spokesman, former Army Lieutenant
Franqois Benoit, urged the United States to withdraw support from
This volume is one of a series of handbooks prepared by Foreign Area
Studies (FAS) of The American University, designed to be useful to
military and other personnel who need a convenient compilation of
basic facts about the social, economic, political, and military institu-
tions and practices of various countries. The emphasis is on objective
description of the nation's present society and the kinds of possible or
probable changes that might be expected in the future. The handbook
seeks to present as full and as balanced an integrated exposition as
limitations on space and research time permit. It was compiled from
information available in openly published material. An extensive bib-
, liography is provided to permit recourse to other published sources for
' more detailed information. There has been no attempt to express any
5 specific point of view or to make policy recommendations. The contents
f of the handbook represent the work of the authors and FAS and do not
9 represent the official view of the United States government.
An effort has been made to make the handbook as comprehensive as
possible. It can be expected, however, that the material, interpreta-
tions, and conclusions are subject to modification in the light of new
information and developments. Such corrections, additions, and sug-
. gestions for factual, interpretive, or other change as readers may have
\ will be welcomed for use in future revisions. Comments may be ad-
' dressed to:
O Foreign Area Studies
&o The American University
5010 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016
have ceased practice or to have left the country. The 415 graduate
nurses and 806 nursing auxiliaries reported in 1967 represented 0.9
and 1.7, respectively, per 1,000 population.
In the mid-1960s nearly two-thirds of the physicians and one-third of
the dentists were employed by the public health service. Because of low
public pay schedules, however, all or most worked in the public serv-
ice only part time in order to reserve a portion of their time for private
practice. Because a majority of the large hospitals and outpatient fa-
cilities were operated by the government, it is probable that a high
proportion of both graduate and auxiliary nurses were also publicly
In 1968 about 60 percent of the country's physicians practiced in
Port-au-Prince and in nearby P6tionville, and most of the remainder
were in the larger provincial towns. A majority of the dentists and
nurses also practiced in the capital city.
Physicians are trained in a six-year course at the Faculty of Medi-
cine and Pharmacy of the University of Haiti. The sixth year consists
of an internship, and graduates are required to spend two years in
rural practice or in residency in a hospital. In addition, many of the
leading physicians and surgeons have received graduate training in
France, the United States, or Canada. Dentists are also trained at the
University of Haiti in the Faculty of Dentistry, which had operated as
part of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy before its establishment
as a separate entity in 1950. Graduate nurses are trained in a three-
year school maintained by the Secretariat of State for Public Health
and Population in the Central Hospital of Port-au-Prince and in hospi-
tals in Cap-Haitien and Les Cayes. Nursing auxiliaries attend the
National School of Nursing Auxiliaries, which was established by the
secretariat in 1967.
The flight of trained medical personnel from Haiti had reached epi-
demic proportions in 1968, when a decree was issued prohibiting
medical personnel from emigrating. The movement was motivated in
considerable measure by the prospect of far better working conditions
and salaries offered abroad. There was also a political motivation,
which at least in part involved resentment over President Duvalier's
imposition of an oath of loyalty to his government as a condition for
obtaining a license to practice medicine.
During the 1950s it was estimated that the 200-plus graduates of the
University of Haiti's medical faculty had been equaled by the number
departing the country to practice in the United States, Canada, France,
and the African nations. In the late 1960s it was estimated that as
many as 500 Haitian doctors were living abroad, about 200 of them in
the United States, and that there were more Haitian nurses in Canada
than in Port-au-Prince. A 1960 survey had found that the 100 dentists
practicing in Haiti were offset by twenty-three who had gone to other
maximum hurricane frequency pass to the north and to the south of
Hispaniola. The surrounding mountains leave Port-au-Prince rela-
tively free of hurricane effects, but in 1963 the eye of hurricane Flora
passed over Haiti, causing heavy rains and widespread damage.
Particularly in the southern part of the country, a high rate of solar
evaporation occurs when temperatures exceeding 80�F result in arid or
semiarid conditions in many localities that have moderate amounts of
rainfall. As a consequence, much of the Cul-de-Sac and much of the
Artibonite Plain support only natural desert growth, and irrigation
is needed for farming.
Vegetation and Wildlife
In few countries of the world has the destruction of the natural
woodland cover been so nearly complete. In the mountain areas there is
still the occasional stand of mahogany, lignum vitae, pine, or other
commercially valuable woods. Where forests remain, Caribbean pine
tends to be the principal tree species, along with various hardwoods.
Only in the higher levels of the Massif de la Selle in the south, however,
is there a situation in which the pine forest and its undergrowth con-
stitute the prevailing mountain cover.
Aside from pine forests of the south, little of the Haitian countryside
remains where the forest has not been cut over. Remaining scatterings
of the original cover include rosewood and sapin, such fruit trees as
avocado, orange, lime, and cherry. In some places, there are still giant
tree ferns, and the native forest includes some twenty species of trees
and plants useful for nutritional or medical purposes. Mangroves fringe
the Gulf of Gonave and the north coast to the east of Cap-Haitien, and
guava thickets everywhere figure prominently among the second-
The natural vegetation closely reflects conditions of climate. Wetter
areas were originally covered with dense rain forest, but drier slopes
supported only scrub woodland. In the southern lowlands, the moderate
rainfall and high atmospheric humidity are insufficient to counter
the effects of a high rate of evaporation. The soils of the Cul-de-Sac
support only a scrub woodland natural cover, and for the most part the
naturally rich soils can fully be exploited only under irrigation.
The Northern Plain supports scattered patches of desert-type growth
and wide stretches where trees grow only along the margins of water-
courses between which lie stretches of open grassland. A similar pat-
tern obtains in the northwestern part of the Central Plateau where the
grassland is dotted with scattered semideciduous trees and conifers;
toward the southeast, there is scrub woodland and cacti. In the Arti-
bonite Plain thorny scrub woodland near the coast gives way to grass-
land savanna and mixed woodland toward the east.
The island of Hispaniola has no indigenous land mammals other
than rodents. There are, however, several species of reptiles, including
Cabon, P. Adolphe. Mgr. Alexis-Jean-Marie Guillox. Port-au-Prince:
Grand Seminaire d'Haiti Saint-Jacques and Archeveche de Port-au-
Casimir, Jean. "Apercu sur la structure social d'Haiti," America
Latina [Rio de Janeiro], VIII, No. 3, 1965, 40-61.
--- . La Repiiblica de Haiti: Ensayo de interpretation socioldgica.
Castedo, Leopoldo. A History of Latin American Art and Architecture
from Pre-Colombian Times to the Present. (Trans. and ed., Phyllis
Freeman.) New York: Praeger, 1969.
Cave, Hugh B. Haiti: Highroad to Adventure. New York: Henry Holt,
Comhaire, Jean. "The Haitian 'Chef de Section'," American Anthro-
pologist, LVII, 1955, 620-624.
Comhaire-Sylvain, Jean. "Urban Stratification in Haiti," Social and
Economic Studies [Kingston, Jamaica], VIII, No. 2, 1959, 179-189.
Comhaire-Sylvain, Suzanne. "Courtship, Marriage, and Plasaj at Kens-
coff, Haiti," Social and Economic Studies [Kingston, Jamaical, VII,
. "The Household at Kenscoff, Haiti," Social and Economic
Studies IKingston, Jamaical, X, 1961, 192-222.
Condi, Maryse. "Literature of the French Caribbean." Pages 786-788
in Claudio V6liz (ed.), Latin America and the Caribbean: A Hand-
book. New York: Praeger, 1968.
Cook, Mercer (ed.). An Introduction to Haiti. Washington: Pan Ameri-
can Union, 1951.
Coulthard, G. R. "Parallelisms and Divergencies Between 'Negritude'
and 'Indigenismo'," Caribbean Studies [Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico],
VIII, 1968, 31-55.
Courlander, Harold. The Drum and the Hoe: Life and Lore of the Hai-
tian People. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960.
. Haiti Singing. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
Courlander, Harold, and Bastien, R1my. Religion and Politics in Haiti
(Institute for Cross-Cultural Research Studies, I.) Washington: ICR,
Crassweller, Robert D. The Caribbean Community: Changing Societies
and U.S. Policy. New York: Praeger, for the Council on Foreign Rela-
Dale, George A. Education in Haiti. (Bulletin 1959, No. 20.) Washing-
ton: GPO, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1959.
Dame, Hartley F. Latin America, 1970. Washington: Stryker-Post
Davis, Harold E. History of Latin America. New York: Ronald Press,
Davis, H. P. Black Democracy: The Story of Haiti. (Rev. ed.) New
York: Biblo and Tannen, 1967.
increased use of dishes made from beans, corn, and other high-protein
vegetables. The program is regarded as an effective one and has been
praised as offering better long-run prospects than much more expen-
sive food distribution undertakings.
According to the Haitian Statistical Institute, in 1960 some 71.2
percent of the estimated market value of all comestibles consumed con-
sisted of fruit and vegetable produce. Stockraising represented 8 per-
cent; poultry raising and apiculture, 1.4 percent; and fishing, a scanty
0.5 percent. Domestically processed food products represented 11 per-
cent of the total cost, and the remaining 7.9 percent was in the form of
The food crops most in demand are high in starch content. Of the
eight principal crops, the tonnages produced in 1969 were highest for
corn, followed in order by millet, manioc, rice, and bananas. Bread
made from imported wheat is seldom eaten outside urban localities.
Green vegetables grow well in Haiti, and a wide variety is available
seasonally in Port-au-Prince. The acceptance of green vegetables in the
countryside is limited, however, and even onions and tomatoes appear
less frequently on rural tables than do the wild greens that are gath-
ered. In addition, citrus fruits, avocados, breadfruit, and mangoes are
eaten extensively. Mangoes are of particular importance because of
their richness in vitamin A but are available only seasonally.
Because of their relatively high cost, beef and lamb are usually
beyond the reach of most of the population; most of the meat con-
sumed is in the form of locally slaughtered goat and pork. Many farm-
ers keep a few chickens, but eggs and poultry are usually reserved for
the- urban market; during the late 1960s the annual per capital con-
sumption of milk was less than ten quarts annually. Fish and shellfish
abound, but are not popular outside Port-au-Prince. Canadian salt
cod is probably the most widely accepted form of seafood.
Sugar is consumed in great quantities, much of it in the form of
rapadou, a syrup produced in the refining process. It is also the base
for clairin, the raw Haitian rum that is the most popular alcoholic
beverage of the countryside. In addition, an undetermined but prob-
ably very large amount is consumed by chewing cane stalks taken from
the field. For the Port-au-Prince elite, sweets and pastries are as im-
portant to the well-stocked buffet table as are ham and turkey.
The urban well-to-do have diets that are satisfactory both in quan-
tity and variety. Even the working class, however, fares much better
in urban than in rural localities. In a 1951 survey, the Haitain Statisti-
cal Institute found the daily caloric intake of a representative group of
city workers to have averaged 2,450 calories daily; at the same time,
the diet in the countryside was reported to average a daily intake of
1,471 calories. A similar survey conducted in 1966 by an unidentified
organization found urban and rural caloric intakes to have been 2,100
and 1,600 calories, respectively. Urban-rural data are not available
election for the presidency was being held. Armed military and para-
military personnel rounded up the voters. Although it was estimated
that only about 100,000 voted, few were surprised to hear that 1,320,748
ballots had been cast and that all of the deputies nominated by Duval-
ier had been elected by overwhelming margins; but no one expected to
hear Duvalier express his pleasure at having been elected to another
In 1964 Duvalier devised a means of dispensing once and for all with
the electoral charades. Responding to "popular demand," he allowed
the legislature, in May, to adopt a new constitution declaring him to
be president-for-life. The new constitution was ratified by a plebiscite
the following month. The official tally showed 3,234 votes against and
2,800,000 for; voters had been encouraged to cast as many ballots-
already marked "oui"-as they wished.
By 1964 it had become apparent that neither social reform nor eco-
nomic development was to be seriously pursued. The need for cash
remained a problem throughout the 1960s, however, and citizens and
foreigners alike were required to purchase "economic liberation" bonds,
participate in the national lottery and various insurance programs, and
contribute to such extrabudgetary organizations as the Movement of
National Renovation (Mouvement de Renovation Nationale). Contribu-
tions were collected frequently from businessmen, and funds were
deducted from the salaries of government employees, who during some
months simply were not paid. An additional source of revenue was a
maze of toll booths erected throughout the urban areas and on rural
roads and bridges.
Ostensibly the revenue was to be used for building schools, hospitals,
roads, and the like, but few new public facilities came into being. At
least 65 percent of the budget was generally diverted to the upkeep of
the various security forces. Many of the government projects that were
actually carried out were designed to perpetuate the personality cult.
Among them were Duvalierville, a new town partially constructed on
the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, and a series of enormous neon signs
scattered about Port-au-Prince containing messages from Duvalier,
such as "I am the Haitian flag, one and indivisible," and "I have no
enemies save the enemies of the country."
There was no lack of opposition to Duvalier during his last half-
dozen years in office, but by the mid-1960s the consolidation of power
in his person was such that none of his enemies, internal or external,
was able to mount a credible threat. Nevertheless, even minor chal-
lenges to his rule generally resulted in a further tightening of personal
control. After the execution of six teenagers who had painted a "Down
with Duvalier" sign on a Port-au-Prince wall, he ordered that all youth
organizations-even the Boy Scouts-be disbanded.
In the late 1960s, despite the occasional bombings, mutinies, abortive
invasions, and the like, the most serious threat to Duvalier's control
many as four rooms. As defined in the census, hallways and utility
areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and storage areas, were excluded.
The houses were small by North American standards, but the propor-
tion of one-room units was far smaller and the proportion of two-room
units was much greater than the Latin American average. The one-
room dwellings were found principally in urban localities where the
housing unit was defined only as living space occupied by a family
group. In urban Haiti, housing consists frequently of rooms in tene-
ments or of squatter shacks.
The residences of the elite, for the most part located in Port-au-
Prince and its more affluent suburbs, represent a mixture of the old
and the new. The older dwellings are often frame or of limestone and
have ornate gingerbread wood embellishments and ironwork filagree.
The newer houses, suburban for the most part, are usually of stone or
concrete construction and modernistic or European in style.
No quantitative data are available with respect to the materials used
in housing construction, but a scattering of surveys indicates that in
both the countryside and in working-class urban communities the
most frequently encountered is clissage wattlee), which is usually-
but not invariably-covered with a layer of mud or plaster and some-
times whitewashed. Limestone abounds in the country, and rural
people often dig their own material for use in plastering the walls.
Floors are usually of pounded earth, although cement or wood flooring
is fairly common in urban localities. The roofs, usually gabled, are
customarily either of thatched material or of sheet iron. The adobe
walls and roofs of oval tile common to most of the Latin American
countries are seldom encountered.
The stream of country people coming to Port-au-Prince during the
years since World War II resulted in an occupany rate in dwelling
units rising from 4.05 persons in 1950 to an estimated 6.1 in 1961.
Makeshift homes, largely in squatter settlements, are fashioned of
scrap materials selected at random. In some parts of the central city,
the crowding in tho early 1970s had grown so severe that the shanties
were literally piled on top of one another.
Working-class furnishings are simple to an extreme. They consist
of a few tables and chairs, which are often homemade, a cupboard, and
one or two beds. In larger households, some of the younger members
sleep on mats on the floor. Furnishings tend to be fewer in number in
urban than in rural homes, possibly because of more effective tax col-
lections in urban localities and the fact that there was at one time a
tax levied on each piece of furniture.
Few dwellings are served by public utilities. According to a series
of 1969 estimates by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO),
some 6.5 percent had access to piped water. This total included 44.9
percent of all houses in urban areas and 2.9 percent of all those in rural
localities. About one in five had direct connections; the remainder were
to 1934. The occupation forces brought many benefits to the people in
the form of public works, health programs, and public utilities, but
after the departure of the United States forces these were allowed to
During the early years of the republic, powerful leaders undertook
to direct economic and political life along definite lines, but it soon
became obvious that planned social structures would not remain intact.
Subsequent developments in the political and economic life of the
country were largely unplanned, and in the twentieth century stan-
dards of living, compared with those of many other countries, were low.
Turbulence has played a prominent role in the history of Haiti,
beginning with the annihilation of the Tainos by the Spaniards and the
establishment of the first permanent settlement by French and
English pirates. The slave rebellion that drove out the French at the
end of the eighteenth century, invasions of the Dominican Republic,
revolutions supported by mercenary Haitian guerrillas, and rulers
who have exercised dictatorial powers ruthlessly-all have contributed
to instability and uncertainty in the lives of the people. After the rise
to power of Rafael Le6nidas Trujillo Molina in 1957, the peasant con-
tinued to cling to his small plot of land; the mulatto elite maintained
its prestigious position; and black leaders remained politically
DISCOVERY AND CONQUEST
It was in Hispaniola that Columbus conceived a colonial policy for
Spain that left a lasting imprint on the life in the New World. Finding
friendly Taino Indians who wore golden ornaments, Columbus pre-
dicted that Europeans would gain "profitable things without number,"
and he speculated on the great opportunity for spreading Christianity
that would result from his discovery.
After founding the town and fortress of Navidad on the northern
coast, Columbus returned to Spain, leaving about forty men with in-
structions to avoid trouble with the Indians, to seek gold, and to explore
the island. After an enthusiastic reception in Spain, Columbus sailed
with seventeen ships; 1,500 settlers; soldiers and missionaries; and
supplies of agricultural implements, cattle, and seeds. He found
Navidad deserted. The settlers, who had treated the Indians ruthlessly,
had been killed.
Columbus then founded Isabela on the northern coast of what is now
the Dominican Republic. The settlers suffered from disease and fought
off attacks by Indians, thousands of whom were killed. In an effort to
build a handsome city, Columbus ordered his followers to perform
manual labor-a command deeply resented by men who considered
themselves gentlemen. These malcontents plotted against Columbus
and denounced him to the authorities in Spain. The Spaniards' cruel
treatment of the Indians generated revolts that were mercilessly
independent planters, and to grant assistance to education. He took a
stand against communism, persuaded the United States to expedite
aid programs, and encouraged foreign investment. Total foreign trade
increased in 1951 and 1952, largely as a result of high prices for exports
stimulated by the Korean War. Magloire was accused of despotic rule
and corruption, however, and in December 1956 he was overthrown.
For nine months thereafter there were seven shaky governments, and
in September 1957 Francois Duvalier, a former follower of Estim6 who
had refused to accept Magloire in 1950, was elected president (see ch. 7).
issue bonds and stocks but have them traded on the over-the-counter
market in New York City. About thirty-five insurance firms operate in
Haiti, but only two or three are Haitian owned.
As of 1972 private banks could not make loans for longer than one
year, but in that year the government expressed its desire to remove
this restriction shortly. At the end of 1971 total outstanding credit was
only about G95 million. Most persons, particularly small farmers, do
not have access to institutionalized credit because tangible property is
usually required as collateral. Such persons obtain their credit needs
from moneylenders, middlemen, or exporters. Repayment of such
loans need not be in cash but may be in kind. Interest is high, but in
some cases a social relationship exists between the lender and the
borrower, and little or no interest is charged.
Adolphe, Rosalie: 118
Agency for International Development:
Agreement of Malpasse: 123
agriculture: viii, 2, 16, 22, 23, 49, 59, 60, 66,
127, 149; dairy farming, 136-137; financ-
ing, 148; irrigation, 11-12, 14, 23, 29, 37,
128, 129, 130, 134; labor, 127-128, 129-136;
production, 133; soil erosion, 7; tools, 131;
transport, 141; and voodoo, 132
air force: ix, 153, 154, 155
Air Haiti: 142
airlines. See transportation
Albert Schweitzer Hospital: 74
Andre, Antonio: 118-119
Antoine, Jacques C.: 94
apiculture: 59, 137
armed forces: ix, 105, 106, 115,116, 117, 119,
121, 124, 151-156; budget, 147; organiza-
tion, 152-153; recruitment, 154
army: ix, 114, 115, 121,155
arrest procedures. See civil liberties
art: 43, 45, 81, 82, 96-99, 102; architecture,
98; painting, 96-97; sculpture, 97-98
Artibonite Department: 7, 15
Artibonite Plain: 10, 11, 14, 134, 135
Artibonite River: 10, 11, 12, 23
Artibonite Valley: 37
Auguste, Toussaint: 97
Autonomous Metropolitan Potable Water
Balaguer, Joaquin: 123
balance of payments. See economy
bananas. See fruit
Bank of Nova Scotia: 148
banks: 148, 149
Barbot, Clement: 115
Baussan, Robert: 98
bauxite: viii, 2, 15, 139, 144
Bazile, Castera: 97
beans: 133, 135
Benoit, Franqois: 119
Benoit, Rigaud: 97
Besse, Henri: 98
Bigaud, Wilson: 82, 97
birth rate: 18, 21
birth control: 21
black nationalism: 42-43, 45, 50, 55, 105,
112-113, 122, 124, 125; art, 82; literature,
94, 95, 96
Bobadillo, Francisco: 27
Borno, Louis: 120
Bosch, Juan: 123
Boyer, Jean Pierre: 32-33, 35, 94, 130
Boy Scouts: 117
Brouard, Carl: 96
budget. See economy
Bureau of Agricultural Credit: 148
cabinet: 109, 114, 118, 119
cacao: viii, 29, 133, 135, 144
Cambronne, Luckner: 106, 118, 119, 121
Canada: 102, 114, 145
Caperton, William: 36
Cap-Haitien: 10, 14, 15, 29,111,140
capital punishment: 157
Castedo, Leopoldo: 82
Castro, Fidel: 156
Cayemites (Les Cayemites): 13
censorship: 83, 100
Center for Plastic Arts: 97
Central Plateau: 10, 130, 145
Chaine de Mateaux: 10, 11, 12
Chamber of Deputies: 110,114
Charles, Norman Ulysse: 98
Christian Service: 94
Christophe, Henry: 31-32, 107, 130, 147
Cibao Valley: 10
lodging in urban places. The government, however, offers a con-
siderable number of scholarships (180 in 1961) to assist promising rural
children in this respect, and some vocational schools have boarding
facilities. Most of the rural students who do go to cities and towns to
continue their educations remain there and swell the urban popula-
tion; an undated study of the backgrounds of graduates of one Port-au-
Prince vocational school revealed that although these students had
originally come from various parts of the country, nearly all had re-
mained in the capital city.
The course of study in general secondary schools lasts seven years,
divided into a three-year basic cycle and a four-year upper cycle
leading to a baccalaureate (baccalaurdat) and possible university
matriculation. The upper cycle is divided into tracks: Latin-Greek;
Latin-Science; and Science-Modern Languages. At the last level, the
study of English is required.
Although the curriculum has been broadened somewhat, it continues
to place such emphasis on classics and the arts that the course of study
in medicine at the University of Haiti includes a preparatory year
consisting of courses in such subjects as physics, chemistry, and biol-
ogy, which may have been omitted or insufficiently covered at the
secondary level. Within the limits of its curriculum, however, the
general secondary education offered in many of the schools is of good
quality. Students who graduate usually are able to qualify for admis-
sion to the University of Haiti or to institutions of higher learning
*abroad. Graduates seeking to continue their studies in the United
States, if their command of English permits, sometimes qualify for
admission as university sophomores.
Enrollment tends to be concentrated in the lower grades, although
not so heavily as at the primary level. Attrition is most drastic in the
last two years, when highly demanding final examinations exact heavy
tolls. In 1967 at the end of the sixth or rhetoric year (rhdtorique), 2,742
took the examinations and 786 passed. At the end of the seventh or
philosophy year philosophice), 532 of the 625 students who took the
graduation examinations were successful. The size of the class in the
philosophy grade was about one-tenth that of the entering class in the
The largest part of the enrollment in the vocational institutions is in
the professional schools (dcoles professionelles), which teach industrial
skills. They admit students who have completed the primary cycle and
offer three-year courses leading to an industrial skills certificate
certificatet d'aptitude professionelle). The courses can be described as
corresponding either to the three-year basic cycle of general secondary
education or to the three years of higher primary school. They there-
fore are sometimes considered part of the primary system.
In 1967 the fourteen specialized skills taught included such fields as
masonry, ceramics, and general mechanics. With the exception of a
Haiti. Embassy in Washington. News About Haiti, I, No. 2, June 1972,
"1Haiti: Guns Make Friends," The Economist [London], CCXLIV, No.
6730, April 19, 1962, 40.
"Haiti: Rhapsody in Jet." Pages 249-274 in Eugene Fodor (ed.), Fodor's
Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda. New York: David McKay, 1971.
Heini, Robert Debs, Jr. "Haiti: A Case Study in Freedom," New Repub-
lic, CL, May 16, 1964, 15-21.
. "Haiti: Next Mess in the Caribbean?" Atlantic Monthly, CCXX,
November 1967, 83-89.
Herring, Hubert. A History of Latin America. (3d ed.) New York:
Herskovits, Melville J. Life in a Haitian Valley. New York: Doubleday,
Anchor Books, 1971.
Horowitz, Michael M. (ed.) Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean.
Garden City: Natural History Press, for the American Museum of
Natural History, 1971.
Kantor, Harry. Patterns of Politics and Political Systems in Latin
America. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1969.
Law and Judicial Systems of Nations. Washington: World Peace
Through Law Center, 1968.
Logan, Rayford W. Haiti and the Dominican Republic. (Under auspices
of Royal Institute of International Affairs.) New York: Oxford
University Press, 1968.
Mecham, John Lloyd. The United States and Inter-American Security:
1889-1960. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961.
Munro, Dana. "The American Withdrawal from Haiti, 1929-1934,"
Hispanic American Historical Review, XLIX, No. 1, February 1969,
Needler, Martin C. Political Systems of Latin America. New York:
Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1970.
Organization of American States. Annual Report of the Secretary
General, Fiscal Year, 1966-67. (OAS Official Records, Ser. D/111.18.)
Washington: Pan American Union, 1967.
--. Image of Haiti. Washington: General Secretariat, March 1972.
Peaslee, Amos J. Constitutions of Nations, II. The Hague: Martinus
The Political and Socio-Economic Role of the Military in Latin Amer-
ica, Appendix, III. Coral Gables: University of Miami, Center for
Advanced International Studies, 1971.
"Report on Haiti," Latin American Report, VI, No. 6, May/June 1967,
Rotberg, Robert I., and Clague, Christopher K. Haiti: The Politics of
Squalor. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971.
Schmidt, Hans. The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934.
New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1971.
complete mass in which he used African rhythms. Justin Elie, Thera-
mene Manes, Occide Joanty, and Ludovic Lamothe are also noted for
their use of folk rhythms, melodies, and legends in their formal
In 1972 freedom of the press was guaranteed by the constitution, and
formal censorship was not in effect, but most editors and publishers
were careful not to print material that might be offensive to the gov-
ernment. Throughout the history of the country there have been many
instances of rigorous press censorship and suppression of publications,
and editorial immunity has rarely been a reality. Even during the
United States occupation (1915-34), through which the United States
government hoped to introduce democratic practices, the occupying
forces considered it necessary to alter provisions of the American-
sponsored Constitution of 1918 guaranteeing freedom of the press. This
action was taken to bring under control the opposition press, which had
persisted in publishing propaganda against the governments of Haiti
and the United States. The press was censored, and editors were jailed.
President St6nio Vincent (1930-41) imprisoned editors without trial
and suppressed their publications. President Elie Lescot (1941-46)
arrested and jailed critical journalists. President Dumarsais Estim6
(1946-50) closed a number of newspapers. President Paul Magloire
(1950-56) arrested editors and banned partisan radio broadcasts; in
1953 the presses of Haiti Ddmocratique, an opposition newspaper, were
President Francois Duvalier's control of mass media was virtually
complete. Shortly after Duvalier took office in 1957 the publisher and
the leading columnist of the Haiti-Miroir were arrested; the editor of
the Independance was detained; and the plants of these opposition
papers and Le Matin were destroyed. Another opposition paper-Le
Patriote-ceased publication after its offices were bombed and mem-
bers of its staff were ifijured. In 1961 Duvalier closed La Phalange, a
Roman Catholic daily that, as of 1972, had not resumed publication.
Duvalier forced surviving newspapers to do his bidding by granting
subsidies, by compelling newspapers to publish-as their own-previ-
ously prepared progovernment editorials, and by assigning to regular
editorial staffs writers directly controlled by the government. These
controls were in effect at the time of his death in 1971.
Newspapers, Periodicals, and Books
During the third quarter of the eighteenth century the colony of
Saint-Domingue supported an estimated fifty newspapers and other
journals. Because of the high cost of production subscriptions to these
publications were limited almost entirely to members of the upper
class. The first newspaper was the Gazette de Saint-Domingue, a
classified as having easy access to a public fountain. The PAHO also
estimated that 18.5 percent of the urban homes had sewer connections.
Few of the urban and almost none of the rural housing units have
electricity. International statistical summaries published in the early
1970s were able to quote only a 1949 survey that found 27.1 percent of
the dwellings in Port-au-Prince to have electrical connections. In prac-
tice, however, a much larger proportion of the urban homes have
gained uncertain access to electric current for many years. After dusk,
in unlighted neighborhoods, bamboo poles with wires attached are
hoisted by householders to powerlines in order to make an electrical
contact and provide light. The number of dwellings is so considerable
that in 1968 the loss of power in Port-au-Prince during peak consump-
tion periods was estimated at more than 40 percent. To compensate for
this attrition, each residential sector of the city was allotted a one-
hour nightly blackout.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s a majority of the population relied
for lighting on kerosine lamps, which were either homemade or of
domestic manufacture. Water was obtained from streams or wells in
the countryside. In the case of domestic households, some continued to
rely on water vendors. A large proportion of the dwellings in Port-au-
Prince had sewer connections or latrines, although many of the latter
were simple pit privies. In other urban centers, however, there was
probably considerable dependence on public toilets. Current statistics
.were not available, but in the late 1950s some 86 percent of the dwell-
ings in a working-class neighborhood of Cap-Haitien used public facili-
ties. In rural localities, a few of the more substantial homes had
,outhouses, but probably a majority were without facilities of any sort.
Housing construction, an area of investment traditionally reserved
to the small private sector of the economy, has been discouraged by a
progressively rising cost in building materials coupled with a continu-
ing shortage in both private saving and public investment directed
toward new construction. In the early 1950s the regime of President
Paul Magloire undertook several Port-au-Prince housing develop-
ments; they were initially conspicuously attractive but after a few
years had suffered severe deterioration. Under President Francois
Duvalier, the National Housing Office (Office National de Logement-
ONL) was established in 1966, but the record of public housing during
the 1960s was not impressive. The showcase project had been the
Simone Duvalier project, which had involved the construction of some
1,000 units in 1964.
PATTERNS OF LIVING AND LEISURE
Holidays and Business Hours
Sunday is a day of rest, but Saturday is a regular business day. The
Constitution of 1964 as amended in 1971 lists as national holidays:
The largest sugarcane producer since 1918 has been the Haitian-
American Sugar Company, which operates about 20,000 acres of owned
and leased land, all of which is irrigated. Total land in sugarcane in the
country was estimated at over 217,000 acres in the late 1960s. In 1972
the government created the National Sugar Institute to help sugarcane
producers introduce higher yielding varieties, modernize their equip-
ment, and increase the use of fertilizer.
Sisal, a relatively new crop first planted in 1927, is another impor-
tant cash crop. Sisal grows well on poor, arid soil and does not require
irrigation. Its fiber is extracted from the leaves of the plant, which can
be cut twice yearly. The fibers are exported in crude form or in the
form of binder twine and rope. Sisal is used domestically to make hats,
shoes, handbags, curtains, and carpets. Sisal was once grown both by
large estates and by smaller producers, but since 1970 all production
has been in the hands of the small growers-the larger farms shifted
to sugarcane during the 1960s in reaction to lower world demand for
sisal. Despite its importance as a cash crop to many small farmers, the
government does not provide any type of technical assistance, fiscal
incentive, or price support to sisal producers.
Rice is the most important domestic food crop grown. Consumption
is higher in the moneyed urban areas than in the rural areas. The rice
grown is principally paddy varieties, but some dry rice is also raised.
The main growing zones are the Estere Valley and the areas around
Liancourt, Dessalines, Desdunes, and Verrettes, all on the Artibonite
Plain. There is sufficient production to meet domestic needs and oc-
casionally export some of it.
Corn occupies a sizable percentage of the cropland but is almost
always interplanted with other crops. It is grown from sea level up to
high mountain slopes. Many varieties are raised, and there is enough
production to satisfy local demand and also permit small exports. Corn
is boiled, roasted, mashed into meal, or used to make a syrupy drink
Several types of tubers are produced. The most prolific is manioc,
also called cassava, which can yield between three and four tons per
acre in Haitian soil. It cannot be cultivated for many successive years
in the same plot as it depletes the soil. Cassava flour is used to make
bread and starch. Sweet potatoes are another of the food staples. Many
varieties are grown; all are rich in starch. Sweet potatoes are usually
planted in ridge-shaped rows on flat lands with another crop planted
between rows. Taro, a tropical Pacific plant, also is grown in Haiti,
where it is called malangci.
A great many varieties of bananas and plantains are found in Haiti.
Plantains, which are starchy cooking bananas originally brought from
Africa with the slaves, are an important part of the rural diet. The
plant matures in one year and bears fruit for five years before requir-
ing replanting. Its leaves are used for sleeping mats, food wrappings,
The Civil Militia (Milice Civile) was one of the first of the paramili-
tary groups created as a counterforce to the military. Since 1962 it has
been known as the National Security Volunteers (Volontaries de la
S6curit6 Nationale). Its units, found in virtually every village, are
highly visible in their blue denim uniforms. About half of its approxi-
mately 15,000 members, mostly rural peasants, are armed.
The Presidential Guard (Garde Pr6sidentiel), an elite unit of several
hundred members, was removed from the control of the General Staff
in 1959 and ordered to report directly to Duvalier. In 1972 its members
continued to be barracked on the grounds of the National Palace and to
have access to the basement arsenal. Their power is in turn countered
by the Dessalines Battalion, of about equal numbers, also barracked
near the palace; it likewise reports directly to the president.
In addition to these very tangible sources of power, Duvalier derived
immeasurable strength from an intangible one. Like most middle class
blacks striving to acquire elite status, Duvalier professed Catholicism
and, although he carried on a running battle with the church through-
out most of his presidency, he did not hesitate to use its trappings
whenever he deemed it appropriate to confer legitimacy on his govern-
ment in the eyes of Haitian elites and the outside world. But Duvalier
had devoted many years to the study of the voodoo religion. His somber
dress-black suits, hats, ties, and horn-rimmed glasses-and unsmil-
ing countenance gave him a striking resemblance to the usual render-
ings of the Baron Samedi, in voodoo iconology the keeper of the tombs.
It has been estimated that a large percentage, probably the majority,
of the Haitian people believed that he was the earthly manifestation of
this most feared of all the voodoo gods.
Sources differ as to whether Duvalier was a true believer in voodoo,
but he kept at least one bocor, or sorcerer, with him at all times and
often personally assumed the role of houngan. Furthermore, he took
advantage of the political potential in the organizational structure of
the religion in a manner that none of his predecessors had attempted.
The very loose countrywide network of voodoo priests was brought
under the direct centralized control of the president. Through a com-
bination of cooption and intimidation all houngans and bocors after
1958, were forced to acknowledge the existence of a superior authority
within their own sphere of influence. The powers that they continued
to exercise over their communities were delegated to them by the state.
Despite such safeguards, Duvalier took no chances with the elector-
ate. Several previous heads of state had been overthrown when it be-
came apparent, as the end of their constitutional term approached,
that they did not intend to relinquish power. So Duvalier did not wait
for the end of his six-year term in 1963 to make his move. On the occa-
sion of elections for the legislature in 1961, ballots were printed in the
usual manner. At the top of each one were the words "Franqois Duval-
ier, President de la R6publique," but there was no indication that an
In the early 1970s more than half of the population was economically
active, as compared with a proportion of less than one-third in Latin
America as a whole. The participation rate for women, which was only
slightly less than that for men, was the highest in the region. Most of
the small urban labor force was engaged in service occupations, and -
in the country as a whole-the number working for wages and salaries
was far smaller than the number of employers and self-employed per-
sons or the number of unpaid family workers.
BOUNDARIES AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS
The 193-mile border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the
island country's only international frontier, was agreed upon in a
treaty signed in 1929. Some 80 percent of its demarcation was com-
pleted by 1930, and five remaining disputed border sections were set-
tled by a 1936 protocol. For the most part, the frontier follows mountain
ridges and courses of streams. There are also several short distances
that follow straight lines, and in a portion of the interior highlands it
is defined by the International Route (Route Internationale), a high-
way that parallels the course of the Libon River (Riviere Libon), a
stream that had served as the border before the road was built.
Because of the dense rural population in Haiti and the relative emp-
tiness of the frontier zone in the Dominican Republic, there has been
considerable pressure on the border. During the nineteenth century the
line in some places shifted substantially to the east, a circumstance
that explains the occurrence of Spanish names such as Los Palos and
Los Pozos for places on the Haitian Central Plateau (Plateau Central).
Haitian farmers occupying miniature farms close to the border have
looked enviously at the relatively empty lands on the Dominican side,
and the Dominican government has established a string of frontier-
zone agricultural colonies in order to make the border secure. The
Haitian government, on its part, has endeavored to minimize friction
by forbidding the construction of homes within one kilometer (0.62
miles) of the border in certain localities. Illegal migration of Haitians
seeking employment in the neighboring country has continued, how-
ever, and the border had been closed for most of a five-year period
when it was reopened at the beginning of 1972. At the middle of the
year. however, it was reported to. be closed again.
On the eve of a conference on the law of the sea held in Santo Domingo
early in 1972 and attended by fifteen states with Caribbean interests,
Haiti issued a decree fixing the limits of its territorial waters at twelve
nautical miles, plus a contiguous three-mile zone in which fishing
rights were reserved. It also asserted the right to control the explora-
tion of natural resources of its continental shelf, a principle later ad-
hered to by the states attending the Santo Domingo conference.
The Constitution of 1957 and subsequent legislation call for the in-
ternal division of the country into nine departments (departements).
It was a major pirate stronghold during the colonial era.
Among the remaining islands, the largest are Vache Island (Ile A
Vache) located off the town of Les Cayes in the Caribbean, and the
Cayemites (Les Cayemites) in the Gulf of GonAve west of the town of
J6remie. Both are surrounded by dangerous coral reefs. In 1972 all of
these islands were inhabited, but only Tortue Island was of particular
economic importance. A large part of it was being developed as a
multimillion-dollar tourist resort complex and free port.
Prevailing temperatures vary with elevation, and sea breezes temper
the tropical heat in sea-level localities near the coast. The annual aver-
age temperature of about 810F in the lowlands drops to 76�F in the
elevated interior. In some intermontane basins, however, protecting
mountain walls coupled with the direct heating effects of the sun pro-
duce what are sometimes the country's highest temperatures. Nowhere
is the mean annual temperature range greater than 10�F. Within the
limits of this range, the highest temperatures are recorded from June
through September and the lowest in February through April.
Port-au-Prince, at the western terminus of the Cul-de-Sac, is shel-
tered both to the north and to the south by mountain walls; the result
is that average temperatures are among the highest recorded in cities
of the Antilles. Temperatures in the mountain vacation resort of
Kenscoff, some fifteen miles from Port-au-Prince, may be 150F cooler
than in the capital city. Eastward in the mountain-girded Cul-de-Sac,
however, there is a hothouse climate with little air movement and
stifling humidity exceeding that of Port-au-Prince.
Rainfall is produced primarily by the moist north and east trade
winds slanting across the mountainous eastern part of Hispaniola.
As a consequence, most of the country lies in a rain shadow that makes
it drier than the Dominican Republic. For the most part, highlands
receive more precipitation than plains, and the north- and east-facing
slopes receive generous precipitation. The heaviest rainfall tends to
occur in the north of the country, but local variations are such that the
annual total varies from twenty inches to more than 100 inches.
The seasonal incidence of rain varies by locality. Near the north
coast there is more rain in winter than in summer, but farther south
the winter is a relatively dry season, and Port-au-Prince has its heavi-
est rains in two seasons-April through June, and August through
November. In the capital city, rain occurs most frequently at dusk and
during the night, and even in the rainy months the days tend to be
clear and sunny.
Thunderstorms account for much of the country's summer precipita-
tion, and hurricanes contribute considerable but irregular amounts of
rainfall during the summer and fall. Haiti lies in the hurricane belt but
is less exposed than the Dominican Republic, and the two paths of
West. Next in order were the Department of the North, the Depart-
ment of the South, the Department of the Artibonite, and the Depart-
ment of the Northwest.
The pattern was one of rural villages strung out along a road, nuclear
villages clustered haphazardly in a mountain basin or on a coastal
indentation, or of isolated farms located wherever a patch of tillable
soil could be found. This pattern had evolved after the destruction of
the French plantation economy that had supplied half of Europe with
sugar and cocoa, as well as with cotton, indigo, and coffee. The revolu-
tion that expelled the French colonials destroyed both the symbols and
the substance of their rule. Manor houses and cane fields were put to
the torch; the highways and irrigation systems were sabotaged and
fell gradually into disuse.
A different and simpler kind of life emerged in an atmosphere where
agriculture was pursued on a basis of subsistence rather than for large-
scale commerce. Land resources diminished rather than increased, and
in the early 1970s no more than 10 percent of the cultivated lands were
in plantations. The rural population clusters characteristic of the plan-
tations had been replaced by the patchwork gardens of the subsistence
The little farms were established first on the easily accessible low-
lands where the plantations had been located. Later, the subsistence
farmers moved progressively higher into the uplands-wherever land
capable of producing food crops could be found. The villages that
developed were relatively few. Central market towns were fewer still,
and few roads were constructed to bring produce to central markets
and to ports. Trade was too limited to encourage urban growth. Towns
were not needed as population nuclei for defense purposes, and the
voodoo priests who provided religious and civic leadership had no need
of any regional central organization of their own.
With the passage of time, the already small farms were subdivided
because of inheritance, and by the time of the 1950 census some 23
percent of the farm holdings consisted of multiple parcels of land
located at some distance from the farmer's residence. This circum-
stance entailed spending some time in travel to and from the fields, but
the possession of noncontiguous plots of land sometimes had the
advantage of making it possible to produce different crops at different
times of the year.
The movement of people during the twentieth century has taken the
form of unplanned expansion, which has reached in every available
direction in order to fill up the remaining empty places. A discernible,
change in the rural settlement pattern has evolved only to the extent
that during the late 1930s several agricultural colonies near the frontier
were established for the benefit of returned illegal emigrants to the
Throughout the nineteenth century, and during much of the twen-
speak only Creole; as consequence, rural enrollments low, dropout
rates high. National rate of literacy estimated at 20 percent or less in
7. HEALTH: Medical personnel and facilities concentrated in Port-au-
Prince and a few urban centers. Demand for modern medical care in
rural areas limited by survival of traditional health attitudes and prac-
tices. Principal health hazards aggravated by poor nutrition and in-
adequate sanitation. These include malaria, tuberculosis, dermatosis,
diseases of early infancy, parasite worms, and respiratory ailments.
Yaws, formerly a major hazard, virtually eliminated; intensive anti-
malaria campaign resulted in sharp decline in its incidence during
8. GOVERNMENT: Constitutional democracy, but power is centered
in hands of president. Executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
Constitution changed in 1964 to make President Francois Duvalier
president for life. Upon his death his son Jean-Claude became presi-
dent for life. Unicameral legislature with fifty-eight members.
9. INTERNATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS: The country is a party to the
Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance and a member of the
Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development
Bank, and the United Nations and many of its specialized agencies.
10. CURRENCY: Gourde; symbol is G. Rate of exchange is 5 gourdes
equal US$1. Currency stable.
11. AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY: Agriculture is basis of econ-
omy. Coffee is major export crop, but many other crops grown for
both domestic and export markets. Industry, second leading sector
of economy; small plants assembling imported components for re-
export have been fastest growing segment.
12. LABOR: In 1970 estimated at 2.78 million, or a little over half of
population in labor force. Proportion among highest in Latin America
and nearly twice that in some Latin American countries. Over 80
percent believed engaged in agriculture and most of remainder in
service activities. Women and girls made up nearly half of total. Or-
ganized sector of labor force small and of limited significance; confined
largely to Port-au-Prince.
13. TRANSPORTATION: Inadequate for needs of country. Roads in
poor condition, and many towns connected only by animal trails.
Domestic aviation fills a small part of gap, but larger role is played by
hundreds of small craft engaged in coastal trade. One nonfunctioning
government-owned railroad of three-feet-six-inch-gauge track.
14. COMMUNICATIONS: About 5,000 telephones in country in 1972.
Some domestic telegraph service as well as international telephone
and telegraphic service.
15. IMPORTS AND EXPORTS: Exports consist mainly of coffee,
cacao, sugar, light manufactures, and bauxite. Imports are varied and
Dessalines, an exslave who assumed the title of governor general
for life, had no followers with experience in government. On his orders,
most of the few whites who were left were killed. The fighting in 1802
and 1803 had virtually ruined agricultural projects and plantations.
The population of the country had dropped to about 380,000; and women
outnumbered men by almost three to two. Dessalines established an
economic organization that was, in effect, based on serfdom. All people
except soldiers were "attached as cultivators to a plantation," a system
which gave the people no opporutnity to become familiar with occupa-
tions other than tilling the soil. Dessalines' system, sternly adminis-
tered, furnished the roots for the peasantry that would soon become a
typical form of Haitian life.
Dessalines used his troops to enforce discipline among the workers
on the land and forbade individual enterprise. He tried to gain control
of most of the land in the country, but when he died many of the mu-
latto landowners who had held estates in colonial times retained their
properties. Dissatisfaction with his callous, autocratic rule burgeoned,
and in October 1806 he was ambushed and killed near Port-au-Prince.
Utilizing a display of force, which created fear among the people,
Dessalines had succeeded in establishing a state.
After the death of Dessalines, the country was split under separate
rulers. In the north Henry Christophe, the last of the revolutionary
generals, ruled from 1808 to 1820. Born a black slave in the English
Caribbean island of St. Christopher, he had settled in Haiti and was
one of 800 Haitians who had volunteered for service under the Marquis
de Lafayette in the American revolutionary war. An admirer of things
English, he spelled his first name in the English manner rather than
the French. He invited English scientists to visit his kingdom and
tried, without success, to introduce English agricultural methods.
In 1811 he had himself crowned King Henry I and established a royal
court filled with barons, counts, and knights. He built the magnificent
royal palace of Sans Souci and, on a mountaintop, the imposing citadel
of La Ferriere.
Christophe saw to it that everyone worked, and men assigned to the
fields performed their tasks under military discipline. As a result of
his energetic measures, profitable agriculture and commerce were
revived, and the people probably enjoyed greater security than they
had ever known before. Christophe's rule combined military despotism
with certain paternalistic elements and territorial feudalism based
upon the noble class that he had created. Christophe's stern discipline
generated dissatisfaction, however, and, eventually, rebellion. In 1820,
according to legend, Christophe, a benevolent despot, killed himself
with a silver bullet.
The rival regime in the south was headed by Alexandre P6tion, a
mullato, who served with the title of president from 1808 to 1818.
Educated in France, Petion had a certain admiration for democratic
of the soil by the application of fertilizer. Because fallowing is so widely
practiced as a soil conservation method, a farmer may have as little
as 50 percent of his farmland under cultivation.
Many farmers plant hedges around their fields in an attempt to
exclude thieves and livestock that get loose from their tethers. The
hedges are usually fruit trees or plants having medicinal use. Small
boys of the family ward off birds with the use of slingshots. Further-
more, to protect the crops from thieves, the farmer may dig pitfalls
with cacti in the bottom, or he may hire a bocor (sorcerer) to place
curses on uninvited guests entering the fields. He may then post white
flags or painted calabashes, which indicate that the property is pro-
tected by spirits (see ch. 4).
When a farmer requires help, he may hire other farmers as day wage
laborers if his economic circumstances permit. For major projects that
require several persons, the farmer is more likely to obtain the services
of one of several types of mutual work associations. These associations
may range from three to five persons to much larger groups and may
vary in the time the members work and the form of compensation re-
quired by them. From fifteen to thirty neighbors usually form associa-
tions, which help one another on a reciprocal basis. The measure of
reciprocity is the amount of work performed in a half-day; this is called
a ronde. Depending upon the section of the country, these work groups
are called either corvies or combites and are considered to be a form of
rural recreation because of the food and drink expected to be served by
the farmer at the end of the work period (see ch. 5; ch. 4).
Despite the small size of the majority of the farms, most farmers
plant more than three crops; at least one is destined for cash sales, and
the others are used by the family. A very wide range of crops is grown
throughout the country. Most are consumed domestically, although
some are raised primarily for export (see table 3).
Coffee is the major money crop and is produced on farms as small
as one to two acres in size. The largest coffee plantation is about 175
acres. Coffee was first introduced in 1726 from Martinique; the fact
that the colonial plantations were of modest size in contrast to the
large sugar plantations and at the same time could be profitable in-
fluenced the ex-slaves to plant coffee trees on their small plots. Coffee
is widely cultivated at altitudes between 900 feet and 5,000 feet on
mountain slopes, and the center of production is located in the southern
peninsula. The total area planted in coffee trees is estimated at 345,000
Annual coffee production during the twentieth century generally has
been less than that of the nineteenth century. Trees are planted too
closely together, and little attention is given them. Unripe berries are
harvested indiscriminately together with ripe berries, and processing
under the control of the French West India Company and appointed a
former pirate, Bertrand d'Ogeron, as governor.
To build up the country the governor encouraged agriculture and
brought young women from France to marry the men. Among a num-
ber of small towns founded in western Hispaniola, called Saint-
Domingue by the French, was Cap Francais (now Cap-Haitien), laid
out in 1670. In 1697, under the Treaty of Ryswick, Spain ceded Saint-
Domingue to France; and a governor general, who served as the
principal royal authority, and an intendant, the chief judicial and
financial officer, established their authority over the inhabitants.
The population of Saint-Domingue at the end of the seventeenth
century included about 6,000 adult white and mulatto males and ap-
proximately 50,000 black slaves. Although mulattoes were, strictly
speaking, the first generation offspring of Negroes and whites, the
term was applied to their descendants. By 1775 the slave population
was estimated at approximately 250,000; and the resident white popu-
lation, at more than 30,000. Under a decree issued by Louis XIV in
1685, certain mulattoes (gens de couleur) achieved their freedom and
French citizenship; and at the end of the eighteenth century these
mulattoes, also known as freemen (affranchis), numbered about 28,000.
During the eighteenth century Saint-Domingue became one of the
richest colonies in the French Empire. The colonists raised sugar,
coffee, cacao, cotton and indigo-products that were exported to
France and eventually to the United States. Roads were built; hand-
some houses were constructed; and irrigation was developed. The
planters lived in luxury, and many spent much of their time in Paris.
Many freemen acquired great wealth and aroused the jealousy of the
petits blancs, the whites who had failed to become grands blancs-
whites who held high office, owned large plantations, or were wealthy
In the last quarter of the eighteenth century freemen owned planta-
tions in all parts of the colony, and one fertile parish in the south
(Jer6mie) was almost entirely in their hands. They owned large num-
bers of slaves, sent their children to France for their education, and in
many cases were accepted in the society of the grands blancs.Even-
tually the rising tide of color prejudice influenced grands blancs, and
discriminatory laws were passed by the colonial authorities prohibit-
ing most freemen from carrying firearms and imposing other restric-
tions. The freeman was not allowed to hold any office superior to those
held by a white person and was barred from certain occupations. He
was required to wear clothing different from that worn by white people
and was segregated when he attended church or the theater.
When news of the French Revolution (1789) reached Saint-Domingue,
the freemen hoped to win back their rights as French citizens. The
whites, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to gain independence
for the colony under white rule. Early in 1791 a young mulatto, Vincent
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
1 Haiti: Hispaniola and Its Position in the Antilles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv
2 Populated Places and Political Subdivisions of Haiti ................... 8
3 Haiti: Relief Features of Hispaniola . .............................. 9
4 Organization of the Armed Forces of Haiti, 1973 ...................... 153
LIST OF TABLES
1 School Enrollment in Haiti, 1967 . . .................. ............... 85
2 Haitian Gross Domestic Product, Fiscal Years 1967-71 ................. 128
3 Agricultural Production of Haiti, 1966 and 1969-71 .................. . 133
4 Foreign Trade of Haiti, Fiscal Years 1966-70 ....................... . 144
This volume was donated to LLMC
to enrich its on-line offerings and
for purposes of long-term preservation by
University of Michigan Law Library
teachers. The Creole students did not receive certificates because the
government did not wish to encourage the Laubach method, which
was not conducive to the learning of French.
During the remainder of the 1950s an estimated 14,000 persons were
made literate as a result of several small government programs. An
orthography that would aid Creole speakers in learning and becoming
literate in French was accepted by the government, and in 1961 the
National Office for Literacy and Community Action (Office National
d'Alphabetisation et d'Action Communitaire-ONAAC) was estab-
lished as the principal public adult education agency, operated jointly
by the secretariats of state for education and for agriculture but
funded by the former. It received about 3 percent of the secretariat's
budgetary allocations for the 1961/62 fiscal year. Early in 1972 it had
an enrollment estimated at 120,000.
The ONAAC receives assistance from voluntary associations, such as
the Christian Service and the Haitian-American Community Help
Organization. The continued low level of literacy makes it necessary
that ONAAC devote most of its efforts to teaching people to read and
write. ONAAC also, however, provides guidance in rural home im-
provement, in nutrition, and in the training of community leaders to
give instruction in modern agricultural practices.
ARTISTIC AND INTELLECTUAL EXPRESSION
Critics have generally discerned four stages in the evolution of Hai-
tian literature. The first, spanning the period from independence in
1804 to about 1820, was characterized by chauvinism and the pioneer-
ing spirit. The second, influenced by romanticism, began slowly and
reached full maturity only after the fall of President Jean-Pierre Boyer
in 1860 led to greater freedom of expression. Although the histories
and biographies that predominated during the first period and the
poetry and fiction that gained popularity during the second often dealt
with Haitian subject hatter, they were indistinguishable in style from
the French works of corresponding time periods. Many of the Haitian
literary figures were educated in France, had their books published
there, and received recognition from the French Academy (l'Acad6mie
Jacques C. Antoine, founder of two literary journals in the 1930s and
1940s, maintains that Haitian literature was born of anger directed
against the white masters of the colonial period. He suggests that the
obsession, throughout much of the nineteenth century, to prove that
the Negro was not intellectually inferior resulted in a "servile imita-
tion of French models"-French not only in style but in mode of think-
ing as well. Antoine concedes, however, that there were exceptions,
such as Oswald Durand, whose lyric poetry in both French and Creole
conveyed something of the national mystique.
During more recent years, the principal benchmark in educational
progress has been the establishment in 1944 of the University of Haiti,
which was formed from several preexisting academic faculties. A
characteristic of the educational system during the years after World
War II has been the plurality of its direction. No single government
agency has had full charge of the public program, and at both primary
and secondary levels religious and secular private schools have played
an important role.
Most of the urban public educational program is under the direction
of the Secretariat of State for National Education, but rural primary
and secondary schools are functions of the Secretariat of State for
Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, and other
secretariats have responsibility for certain specialized forms of school-
ing. The country is divided into twenty-four school districts, but the
geographical-if not the functional-centralization of the program is
underlined by the fact that laws and regulations concerning national
education make no reference to local boards.
Private education in the late 1960s and early 1970s continued to play
an important role, but the extent to which the central government sub-
sidized privately operated schools blurred the line of division between
public and private education. At the primary level, for example, in 1967
a little less than half of the primary enrollment was in schools operated
by the government and referred to as lay public institutions (publiques
laiques). Most of the remainder was divided between church-operated
but state-supported presbyterial schools and private institutions that
were supported by tuition charges and contributions. The presbyterial
schools, and some of the private ones, were operated by Roman Catho-
lic orders and Protestant denominations. The Protestant groups were
particularly important in rural areas where they maintained the
mission primary schools, which in 1963 had an enrollment of an esti-
mated 10,000 children. During the same year nearly 40 percent of the
secondary students were in private institutions.
The small secondary school enrollment (about 10 percent of the
primary school enrollment during the 1960s) does not include students
in church-operated but publicly financed institutions in the public
school sector comparable to the presbyterial primary units. During the
1960s, however, private education received public subsidies equivalent
to about 10 percent of the funds allocated to public schools.
Some of the best private institutions are parts of conglomerates that
offer a complete range of education from kindergarten through the
secondary level; these schools draw their student bodies from the chil-
dren of the elite. Others operate for profit, are of inferior quality, and
function in rundown urban properties under the direction of teachers
who are themselves barely literate.
Public schooling is free at all levels, but textbooks must usually be
purchased. So few are available and they are so lacking in variety that,
secondary school or may continue for three years of higher primary
school leading to an elementary certificate (brevet dldmentaire).
Accordingly, it is possible for the student to take two years of kinder-
garten, six years of primary school, and three years of higher primary
studies for a total of eleven primary years.
The rate of attrition is severe. In 1967 almost half of the primary
students were enrolled in the two kindergarten grades, 18 percent were
in the first grade of primary studies, and approximately 2 percent were
in the sixth and final grade. The official statistics from which these
percentages were derived did not include enrollment in the higher
primary grades, but data for 1963 show about 1 percent of the primary
students to have been in the higher cycle. Accordingly, it appears that
a considerable proportion of those completing the regular primary
school choose to enter upper primary grades rather than to go on to
The school year commences in October and continues into July, with
two-week vacations during the Christmas and Easter seasons. Slightly
less than half of the days of the year are attendance days. In rural
areas the school hours are from 9:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. and from 1:00
P.M. to 4:00 P.M. The urban school hours are from 8:00 A.M. to 11:00
A.M. and from 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Urban schools are modeled on the French pattern and provide the
groundwork for classical studies at the secondary level. In theory, the
1-ural system reflects the influence of the United States and endeavors
to adapt schooling to the needs of rural life. In practice, however, its
curriculum is similar to that of the urban schools, except that practical
courses in agriculture and home economics are included.
Enrollment is growing at a much faster rate in urban than in rural
establishments. In 1950 the number of children attending rural schools
somewhat exceeded the number in urban ones, but in 1967 the urban
enrollment exceeded the rural by a proportion of more than three to
two. In addition, urban expenditures per student have been higher;
during the 1963-67 period they averaged G86 (5 gourdes equal US$1)
as compared with G59 in rural localities. Although during the 1960s
girls slightly outnumbered boys in the urban classrooms, in the coun-
tryside boys were in a majority of more than two to one.
Dropout rates, excessive throughout the system, tend to be much
higher in the country than in town. In 1967 about 31 percent of the
urban and 60 percent of the rural students were in kindergarten, and a
little less than 5 percent of the urban and slightly more than 1 percent
of the rural students were in the sixth grade. Many of the rural pri-
mary units, however, did not offer the full primary course. In addition,
attendance is better in town than in the country. Recent data were not
available in 1972, but in 1956 it was calculated that about 88 percent of
the urban children enrolled regularly attended classes; in rural schools
the regular attendance rate was about 76 percent.
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Squalor. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971.
Schaedel, Richard P. An Essay on the Human Resources of Haiti. Port-
au-Prince: U.S. Agency for International Development/Haiti, 1962.
Scofield, John. "Haiti: West Africa in the West Indies," National Geo-
graphic Magazine, CXIX, No. 2, February 1961, 227-260.
Simpson, George. "Haiti's Social Structure," American Sociological
Review, VI, 1941, 640-649.
--. "Sexual and Familial Institutions in Northern Haiti," Ameri-
can Anthropologist, XLIV, 1942, 655-674.
Stebbins, Richard P., and Amoia, Alba (eds.) Political Handbook and
Atlas of the World, 1970. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970.
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in Frank A. Rice (ed.), Study of the Role of Second Languages in
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--. "Functional Distribution of Creole and French in Haiti." Pages
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Haitian society reflects, for the most part, the historic impact of
French colonization in the eighteenth century and the importation of
slaves from Africa. There are virtually no traces of Spanish culture or
of the culture of the Taino (Arawak) Indians. The official language is
French, and the language spoken throughout the country is Creole, a
dialect based on French. French influence is apparent in the educa-
tional system, and the elite mulattoes-descendants of black and
French progenitors-traditionally regard Paris as the world's cultural
capital. The agricultural economy is based mainly on small plots carved
out of the French plantations that flourished in the eighteenth century.
The transition from a prosperous plantation economy to a nation of
peasants, proud of their landownership, began early in the nineteenth
century, when rulers of the newly independent country cut up large
estates and parceled the land out to people who had recently freed
themselves from slavery.
West African influences are apparent in the religion of the majority
of the people who, despite nominal adherence to Roman Catholicism,
believe in voodooism, the Haitian version of West African religious
beliefs. Throughout the countryside the voodoo priests are community
leaders who exercise significant power over the people.
Haiti was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 when, in the
course of his first voyage in search of a route to Asia, he landed on the
northern shore of the island, which he named La Isla Espaiiola, later
known as Hispaniola. This island became the first permanent Euro-
pean colony in the Americas (Santo Domingo). The western part of
the colony of Santo Domingo was to become a French colony (Saint-
Domingue), which in 1804 became the Republic of Haiti, while the
eastern part eventually became the Dominican Republic.
Unions of French and blacks in colonial times produced a mulatto
element that became an elite class. Throughout the history of the re-
public the rivalry of mulattoes and blacks has resulted in struggles
for power and prestige involving assassinations, insurrections, and
civil wars. Interest in Haiti's strategic position on the Windward
Passage has brought foreign warships into Haitian waters. The United
States concern for the territorial integrity of Haiti during World
War I and its desire to protect investments in a country that was in a
state of chaos triggered the military occupation that lasted from 1915
highly qualified professionals-several thousand-had fled to the
United States, Canada, or Africa and that about 30 percent of the Hai-
tian people were living outside the country. The number of Haitian
exiles in the Dominican Republic alone has been estimated to be as
high as 300,000; and there were more Haitians in New York City, some
40,000 to 50,000, than in any Haitian city except Port-au-Prince (see
The Duvalier Era
The presidential election of September 1957, following a chaotic
six-month period in which five governments rose and fell, took place
under army supervision. More than 900,000 of the 1.6 million registered
voters (which included women for the first time) cast their ballots. The
official tally gave Duvalier 679,884 votes, and Senator Louis Dejoie,
the only opponent who was able to remain in the race to the finish,
received 266,993. Twenty-three of Duvalier's thirty-seven followers
seeking seats in the Chamber of Deputies were elected.
Duvalier, a soft-spoken physician, had studied at the University of
Michigan, participated in the national campaign for the eradication of
yaws, and written extensively on the country's Afro-Haitian cultural
heritage. His election was in keeping with the wishes of the army, but
it was seen also as a victory for the incipient black middle class and,
indirectly, for the black masses over the mulatto elites. Like his prede-
cessor, President Paul Magloire, whose authoritarian rule he had
vigorously opposed, Duvalier rode into office on a platform calling for
political liberty and social reform.
Duvalier's first step toward the consolidation of his grip on the gov-
ernment was a systematic purge of Dejoie's political party, the Haitian
Democratic Alliance (L'Alliance D6mocratique d'Haiti) and of the
personalist parties of other political figures. It was followed in short
order by the banning of strikes and by other measures to incapacitate
the struggling trade union movement and the intimidation of the com-
munications media. The latter was accomplished through imprison-
ment and coercion of editors; bombing and raiding of offices; and
control of access to electricity, labor, and other essentials.
The elimination of rivals and the suppression of nuclei of discontent
and criticism were clearly within the national tradition, but Duvalier's
innovations stemmed in part from his belief that supporters were
potentially even more dangerous than antagonists. Thus, he insisted
that not even his most loyal followers be allowed to develop or retain
independent sources of political or economic strength. He even insisted
on dealing individually with members of his own cabinet for fear that
if they became accustomed to exchanging ideas among themselves,
they might plot to overthrow him; and judges, upon their appointment
by Duvalier himself, were required to sign an undated letter of
children. The family elder without sons is looked after by other mem-
bers of the community, both because of a sense of moral obligation and
because of superstitious apprehension that failure to provide care
might later cause the spirit of the deceased elder to curse those who
had neglected him.
Table 4. Foreign Trade of Haiti, Fiscal Years 1966-70*
(in million U.S. dollars)
Commodity 1965/66 1966/67 1967/68 1968/69 1969/70
M manufactures .................................. 10.1 10.9 12.1 11.8 14.9
transportation equipment ........ 5.1 5.3 4.6 6.2 10.4
Food products .................................. 7.4 7.4 5.7 8.1 5.8
Chem icals ........................................ 3.9 4.3 4.2 4.4 5.6
Fats and oils .................................... 2.7 2.5 2.3 2.7 3.5
Combustibles ............................... 2.2 2.0 2.3 3.6 2.9
Wood and tobacco......................... 1.0 1.4 1.1 1.4 1.4
Raw m aterials.................................. 0.5 0.8 0.6 0.8 0.9
Miscellaneous ............................... 3.1 3.4 3.5 4.7 6.3
Total .......................................... 36.0 38.0 36.4 43.7 51.7
Coffee........................................... 20.7 13.7 14.6 13.7 15.2
Light manufactures..................... 1.2 2.5 4.9 4.4 7.0
Bauxite........................... .............. 3.6 3.3 4.1 6.5 5.6
Sugar ........................... ............... 2.8 3.8 3.1 2.1 2.8
Essential oils.................................... 2.0 2.7 2.7 3.1 2.7
Sisal ......................... .............. 2.8 1.4 1.6 2.5 1.8
Copper .......................... ............... 1.9 1.8 1.2 1.5 1.2
Cacao .......................... ................ 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.5 1.1
M miscellaneous ............................... 3.3 3.0 3.3 2.8 3.1
Total .......................................... 38.4 32.3 35.7 37.1 40.5
*Fiscal year is October 1 through September 30.
Source: Adapted from Haiti, Administration G6nerale des Douanes, Rapport Annuel de
l'Administration Gindrale des Douanes pour l'Exercise, Octobre 1969-Sep-
tembre 1970, Port-au-Prince, n.d., tables 14, 15.
transformation products, became the second leading export component
during the 1967/68 fiscal year. Almost all of the production and exports
go to the United States. Haiti has become the world's largest exporter
of baseballs. Until it was surpassed by the category of light manufac-
tures, bauxite was the second leading export. Sugar exports fol-
low bauxite. Haiti has a small quota of 31,000 short tons under the
United States Sugar Import Act of 1971, the same amount it had held
Essential oils, sisal, copper, cacao, and miscellaneous products fol-
low, in that order. Sisal exports have been declining because of lower
world prices and increased domestic use of sisal for twine and bags.
One important export before the 1960s was bananas, but mismanage-
ment of the banana export trade and the failure to abide by contract
terms caused buyers to turn to other suppliers. Haitian banana exports
therefore fell to minimal amounts.
The percentage composition of imports has been fairly stable. The
leading component has been manufactured consumer durables. Food
in 1954, but full-scale activity did not commence until 1961. Initial
activities, confined to house spraying, were supplemented during the
late 1960s by distribution of antimalarial tablets throughout the ma-
larial area. About 90 percent of the rural population appears to have
taken the pills, a remarkably high acceptance ratio, and the govern-
ment reported that the incidence of malaria had declined from 14 per-
cent of the population in the affected areas in 1961 to 0.5 percent in
Tuberculosis ranks with malaria and malnutrition as the most seri-
ous of the health hazards. In the mid-1960s it was estimated that be-
tween 300 and 350 people per 100,000 of the population died annually
as a consequence of the disease. Crowded and unsanitary housing
combined with malnutrition and inadequate medical care have con-
tributed to the severity of its effect. Between 1964 and 1969 the number
of cases reported rose irregularly from 89.6 to 102.8 per 100,000 of the
population. The apparent increase, however, probably reflected a more
complete diagnosis and reporting of new cases. A vaccination program
was initiated in 1951 for newborn babies in hospitals and for school-
children in major urban centers. The 1972 target for children aged five
and under called for 250,000 vaccinations.
Yaws once rivaled or exceeded malaria in its severity as a health
hazard, but it has virtually been eliminated. A conspicuous role in
control of the disease was played by the late President Duvalier during
his service in charge of the country's public health program immedi-
ately before his assumption of the presidency. The eradication pro-
gram, which resulted in a decline in incidence from 1.7 million cases of
yaws in 1950 to fewer than 100 reported in 1969, involved a house-to-
house search for cases and the administration of penicillin to those
found to be infected. It was estimated that 97 percent of the population
was reached, and in 1970 it was possible for the government to report
that some 100,000 disabled farmers had been able to return to their
Parasitic infections plague children and adults alike. Roundworms
and pinworms are common. Roundworm infection reaches a peak
during the mango season when country people frequently eat un-
washed fruit that has fallen to the ground. Hookworm is extremely
widespread in the countryside where people walk barefoot over ground
polluted by human excreta.
Typhoid fever is endemic, and epidemics occur frequently during
the dry months. Between 1961 and 1968 the incidence of typhoid per
100,000 of the population increased from 6.2 to 33.1. The government,
however, reported its hopes that improvement of the water supply,
scheduled for the early 1970s, would reduce the death toll of typhoid by
60 percent and the toll of diarrhetic ailments by 40 percent.
Influenza-like infections occur in epidemic form, and bronchopneu-
monia, lobar pneumonia, and bronchitis cases are frequent and severe.
About five months after taking office Duvalier moved to gain com-
plete control over the military. Although the loyalty of the army's
commanding general was unquestioned, his closest allies were removed
to remote rural posts, and he was subsequently replaced. The officers'
ranks were purged of those whose loyalty to Duvalier was unproved or
who demonstrated leadership potential. The function of nominating
the rural administrators (chefs de section), formerly exercised by the
army chief-of-staff, was assumed by Duvalier personally. The chief of
the Dessalines Batallion, the central garrison of the capital, was in-
structed to report to the president rather than to the chief-of-staff;
and the practice of concentrating the national arsenal in the basement
of the presidential palace was revived.
By mid-1958, nighttime raids, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and
mysterious disappearance and death had become commonplace, and
the National Assembly had been rendered sufficiently subservient to
declare a state of seige and vote the president extraordinary powers.
After the first of several invasion attempts by exiles, which punctuated
Duvalier's rule, it was decreed that anyone found to be spreading
rumors would be shot, and the application of the decree was made
retroactive to mid-1957. Like most other decrees, it was enforced in-
efficiently, but the arbitrariness and capriciousness of the enforcement
of such repressive measures contributed to the general climate of
* The elaborate so-called security apparatus that made such repres-
sion possible was drawn from Duvalier's fervent supporters among
the black middle class and among the urban and rural masses. The
term tonton macoute (Creole for bagmen or bogeymen) actually applies
to all of the activists of the Duvalier regime, a nationwide network
that has been described as a resurrection of the early twentieth-century
phenomenon known as cacoism (see ch. 3). The term is more commonly
used, however, by foreign observers to refer to the loosely organized
gangs of men drawn largely from the slums of Port-au-Prince, who
were licensed to snuff out opposition to the regime by whatever means
they saw fit and to support themselves through extortion. They were
generally identifiable by their costume-blue serge suits, open-neck
shirts, dark glasses, and sidearms-and their obtrusive manner in a
population characteristically subservient. Clement Barbot, Duvalier's
closest adviser during the 1958-59 period, claimed to have 25,000 such
men under arms. The hardcore element of these gangs, located in the
capital, has been estimated to number about 2,000. All were enrolled
directly by the president, and many reported directly to him. Although
all of the tontons macoutes from the simple licensed thugs to those who
occupied high positions in government and private enterprise, served
as semisecret police, Duvalier also established the Secret Police Force
(Police Secrete), which was engaged more systematically in intelligence
and undercover work.
distrubances. Between 1844 and 1859 the Negro army, determined to
reduce the power of mulattoes in government, placed four Negro presi-
dents in office. One of these was Soulouque (1847-59), who, assuming
the title of Emperor Faustin I, made two unsuccessful attempts to re-
conquer Santo Domingo, killed many Haitian mulatto leaders, and
assigned illiterate blacks to public positions. He practiced voodoo openly
and devoted hours to elaborate court ceremonies daily. Opposed by
forces led by General Fabre Nicolas Geffrard, Soulouque fled the coun-
try in 1859.
Fabre Geffrard, described as "neither black nor mulatto" (the son of
a black father and a mulatto mother), served as president from 1858 to
1867. He encouraged the cultivation of cotton; established an agricul-
tural credit corporation; promoted public works such as reservoirs and
gaslight companies; and opened schools of architecture, painting, and
law. He favored the Concordat of 1860, under which the breach with
the Vatican, created by Dessalines at the beginning of the century,
was mended; and educational and charitable orders such as the Sisters
of St. Joseph de Cluny (Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny) and the
Brothers of Christian Instruction (Freres de l'Instruction Chretienne)
were allowed to establish themselves in Haiti. Geffrard's efforts to
improve the lot of the people failed to prevent an insurrection, however,
as he was driven into exile in 1867.
Louis F6licit6 Lysius Salomon, president between 1879 and 1888,
who had served as Soulouque's minister of finance, introduced mone-
tary reforms, but these were offset by the issuance of quantities of
paper money that led to inflation. His efforts to effect agricultural
reforms were unsuccessful. Among constructive projects inaugurated
during his term of office were improvement of communications with
the outside world, effected by the laying of a submarine cable. Never-
theless he was bitterly opposed by the mulattoes, who mounted an
insurrection in 1883. In reprisal, Salomon executed so many mulattoes
in Port-au-Prince that business came to a virtual standstill. Then, in
1889, when he attempted to extend his tenure of office beyond the
constitutional limit, he was faced with another civil war and was
forced into exile.
Another president during the 1843-1915 period who is remembered
for efforts to improve conditions is Florvil Hyppolite, in office from
1889 to 1896. A dark-skinned member of the elite, he established the
Ministry of Public Works, which built bridges, introduced telegraph
and telephone systems, and constructed new marketplaces in Port-au-
Prince and other cities. As a result of an increase in the price of coffee,
the country enjoyed a short period of relative prosperity, which
prompted the government and merchants to indulge in extravagant
expenditures. This led to a deteriorating financial situation and grow-
ing dissatisfaction among Hyppolite's rivals. In 1891 Hyppolite merci-
lessly suppressed an uprising in Jacmel, in the south; but five years
Independence Day (January 1), Heroes' Day (January 2), Agriculture
and Labor Day (May 1), Flag Day (May 18), National Sovereignty and
Recognition Day (May 22), Birthday of the President for Life (June 22),
Anniversary of the Battle of Vertieres and Armed Forces Day (Novem-
ber 18), and Discovery of Haiti Day (December 5). Religious holidays
are: the moveable dates of Corpus Christi and the Ascension; and the
Assumption (August 15), All Saints' Day (November 1), and Christmas
(December 25). Pan American Day (April 14) and the Death of Des-
salines (October 17) are holidays set by law.
Even in Port-au-Prince there is a wide variation in business times.
Stores and offices open and close at varying hours, some occasionally
remaining open until late in the evening. There is no regularly observed
siesta at midday, but some establishments close for several hours
during this period. In provincial towns, the irregularity of hours is
more pronounced. In the smallest towns and in hamlets there are few
business enterprises; the most important are the weekly open-air mar-
kets, which open soon after dawn and terminate when the wares have
been sold or the flow of purchasers has ceased.
The manner in which leisure time is enjoyed in Haiti differs sharply
from that encountered in most of the other countries of Latin America.
The difference results from such factors as the predominantly rural
character of the population, the breadth of the socioeconomic gulf
between the mulatto elite and the remainder of the population, the
extreme poverty of most of the people, and the pervasive influence of
voodoo on all important aspects of the national life.
Sports do not have the recreational importance found elsewhere.
Soccer games are scheduled regularly at the Sylvio Cator stadium in
Port-au-Prince and are played in a few of the larger towns, but the
progress of the teams is not followed with the fervor encountered in
many other countries, and soccer is seldom played in the countryside.
There are no other team sports of importance. There is no regular
horseracing, and water sports have only limited popularity, although
two fairly good artificial private beaches have been constructed within
an hour's drive of Port-au-Prince. Tennis is available only at private
clubs, and golf can be played only on a nine-hole course in the Port-au-
Prince suburb of P6tionville.
The closest approach to a national sport is cockfighting. The en-
counters are staged informally throughout the country, but the best
are those held regularly in Port-au-Prince at the Gaguere arena. At-
tended by people of all classes, the bouts evoke from spectators the
frenzied enthusiasm that in other American countries is lavished on
soccer or baseball.
Gambling plays an important part in the recreational life. Even the
subsistence farmer occasionally makes a tiny wager on some game of
freemen who were allowed to possess plantations had continued the
system of sharecropping instituted by Toussaint. Thus for many years
forced labor, squatting, and sharecropping had persisted as the bases
of agricultural production. P6tion's large-scale distribution of land,
continued by Boyer, had contributed to the deterioration of the coun-
try's agricultural economy. Most individual holdings were too small
for sugar and indigo cultivation, and sugar had all but disappeared
from the country's list of exports. The major export was coffee, a crop
that was more easily cultivated on small farms.
The lives of the people were profoundly influenced by voodooism
vodunn), the religion based largely on West African beliefs and prac-
tices, including ancestor worship, performance of propitiatory rites,
and belief in communication by trance with deities. Although the
Catholic missionaries brought to Hispaniola by the Spaniards and to
Saint-Domingue by the French had made nominal converts of many
of the slaves, voodooism's hold on the blacks was usually stronger than
the influence of the church and was to continue into the twentieth
century as a major element in Haitian life.
By the middle of the nineteenth century the stratification of society
that was to last into the twentieth century had clearly evolved. The
elite were, for the most part, the descendants of the freemen, or gens
de couleur, of the colonial era. When the French colonial aristocracy
was destroyed, they had acquired much of the wealth of the colonial
.elite and under P6tion and Boyer had enjoyed social and political
dominance. When the Negroes came to power in 1843, the elite were
compelled to console themselves with a belief in their social superiority.
A deep chasm separated the elite from the masses, who now consti-
tuted a peasant society largely illiterate and poor.
At the end of the Boyer regime it was apparent that the mulatto
effort to rule the country as an elite class while making economically
damaging concessions to the predominantly black population had
ended in failure. Not only had organized cultivation of cacao, cotton,
and sugarcane for export ceased, but irrigation works had fallen into
disrepair, tidy coastal towns had become villages of wooden houses,
and the countryside was dotted with African-type huts of mud and
wattles. The elite mulattoes had abandoned their plantations and,
lacking any direct involvement in agriculture, had shown little inter-
est in maintaining irrigation systems and roads or in promoting rural
education. Crowding into the cities, they turned their backs on the
peasants. Color prejudice grew and became a permanent feature of
YEARS OF TURMOIL, 1843-1915
The seventy-two years following the exile of Boyer were marked
by the rise and fall of twenty-two dictators and recurring civil
exercise of national sovereignty. In its description of the national terri-
tory, the constitution includes the island of Navassa, thirty-five miles
west of the southern Haitian peninsula, that has been claimed by the
United States since the 1860s.
According to the constitution, the country is divided into nine de-
partments: Northeast, North, Northwest, Artibonite, Center, West,
South, Southeast, and Grande Anse. The boundaries were to be deter-
mined by law, but by 1972 this had not been accomplished and the
whole country was divided into five departments: Northwest, North,
Artibonite, West, and South. Each was divided into arrondissements
(divisions), communes, and rural sections. Article 16 states that all
Haitians are equal before the law, except for certain advantages re-
served for Haitian-born citizens, who were defined as those born of a
father who was himself Haitian-born, or any person born in Haiti of a
foreign father and a Haitian-born mother. Advantages of being Hai-
tian-born included eligibility for the offices of the presidency and cer-
tain other governmental positions. Members of the legislature had to
be Haitian citizens but not necessarily Haitian-born.
Individual freedom is guaranteed by the constitution, and no one
may be arrested, detained, or prosecuted except in cases expressly set
forth in law; and no one may be kept in detention for more than forty-
eight hours without being brought before a judge competent to rule on
the legality of his arrest, unless the judge approves the detention based
on properly presented evidence. During President Duvalier's incum-
bency, however, these provisions were hardly sacrosanct; instances of
arrest and detention for lengthy periods without trial, presumably for
commission of acts contrary to the policies of the president, were
Title IV is concerned with national sovereignty, which is delegated
to the executive, legislative, and judicial powers. The president and
members of the legislature are elected directly by the people, but in
1972 there had been ro presidential elections since 1961 when Duvalier
had been reelected (see Political Dynamics, this ch.). The Constitution
of 1964 proclaimed him president-for-life, and an amendment in 1971
authorized him to select his successor. Title IV also contains the eligi-
bility requirements and duties of the executive, the members of the
legislature, the secretaries of state (as cabinet members are called),
and the members of the judiciary. Provisions in the amended Constitu-
tion of 1964 have reduced to eighteen years the minimum required age
for the president, for members of the legislature, and for the secre-
taries of state.
Titles V, VI, VII, and VIII deal with the administration of the depart-
ments, public finances, and the economic system; whereas the social
system, education, and health and welfare are discussed in Titles IX,
X, and XI. The remaining four titles outline the duties and responsi-
bilities of the armed forces, the methods of revising the constitution,
planters and, although anxious to set a good example, exerted no social
pressure to attend mass. For the elite, and later the upwardly mobile
middle class, the church was a symbol of their link with the outside
world and a bulwark against the voodoo of the black masses.
Voodoo flourished during the period of isolation (1805-60), and be-
came inextricably fused to Catholicism. The Haitian peasant came to
regard the two as interwoven and inseparable and considered himself
a member of both religions. The Concordat of 1860 provided for paro-
chial organization and an annual government subsidy, but it made no
mention of the complications voodoo presented for the incoming clergy.
The majority of priests have been French-speaking Europeans who
confronted a profound cultural gap between themselves and their
rural parishioners. Roman Catholic values were respected by the
peasants, but actual compliance with these norms-such as legal
monogamous marriage-was sporadic. The expense of dressing one-
self for mass or preparing for a church wedding or other rite was often
prohibitive for the average peasant. Consequently, Catholicism and
the priests came to be associated with the elite and the gros habitants
who could afford to participate fully in church activities. Finally, and
most importantly, the peasants felt that for all practical purposes they
were already Roman Catholic. They possessed neither the value
orientation nor the religious sophistication to comprehend the theologi-
cal arguments against voodoo.
Whereas the church has been openly favored by the elite and taken
for granted by the peasants, it has been opposed or deemphasized by
black nationalists. They associated the European-born priests with
exploitation and cultural imperialism, fearing the ultimate aim of the
clergy was reunification with France and sublimation of Haitian
values and culture, particularly voodoo. The conservative and pater-
nalistic attitude of many priests towards poorer Haitians discouraged
the more progressive and educated nationalists. The hierarchical,
centralized organization of the church was thought to lend itself to
political organization and was consequently feared by those in power.
President Francois Duvalier exemplified this negative attitude, and
during much of his time in office he kept a running battle going with
the Roman Catholic clergy. His opposition culminated in the expulsion
of several provincial bishops and the archbishop of Port-au-Prince and
eventually in his own excommunication by the Vatican.
Owing to the controversial position of the church in some sectors of
the Haitian society, many priests are striving to reorient and redirect
the church and its values. They have begun to take a more practical
attitude toward voodoo and its believers and the position of the church
in a poor community. More priests are becoming interested in the
peasant and are moving from the domain of the urban upper class to
the countryside. More Roman Catholic vocational training centers,
hospitals, and rural schools have been the result of their efforts. An
nated the State University of Haiti) was founded in 1944 by the merger
of several faculties that had functioned previously as independent
entities. Its oldest component is the Faculty of Medicine and Phar-
macy, founded in 1830 as the National School of Medicine. The univer-
sity was originally autonomous, but in the 1960s it was made the
responsibility of the Secretariat of State for National Education. A
baccalaureate from a secondary school is required for admission, and
some of the faculties require the successful completion of entrance
University enrollments have declined in recent years, from 1,904 in
1956 to 1,227 in 1969. During the 1960s some 10 to 15 percent of the
students were women. Dropout rates are high. The 140 students who
took graduation examinations in 1967 (120 passed) represented about
9 percent of the enrollment.
The university is made up of seven faculties in addition to the School
of Higher International Studies. In 1967 more than 36 percent of the
students were engaged in the study of law and business administra-
tion, 26 percent studied medicine and pharmacy, and nearly 17 percent
studied education and letters. The remaining faculties had far smaller
enrollments; less than 3 percent, for example, were engaged in the
study of agronomy. Social sciences, engineering, and architecture are
studied in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Faculty of Education
and Letters (previously called the Higher Normal School) provides
.both teacher training and courses of study in the fields of philosophy,
modern languages, mathematics, and natural sciences.
Curricula vary in length from six years in medicine (including one
preparatory year and one year of internship) to five years in dentistry,
four years in humanities and engineering, and three years in education,
in pharmacy and in international studies. The several degrees offered
in law require three years of study or longer. There is no university
graduate studies program.
The University of Haiti is the country's only postsecondary institu-
tion having university status. At the postsecondary level there are also
several small private institutions, including a school of theology and
law schools at Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Les Cayes, and JRr6mie. Degrees
conferred by the law schools are recognized by the University of Haiti.
The education offered at the postsecondary level is generally con-
sidered to be inferior in quality to that offered by the best secondary
schools. As a consequence, children of the elite tend to seek under-
graduate as well as graduate-level higher education in the United
States, France, Canada, or Belgium. Educational authorities believe
the principal problems of higher education that have been reflected in
declining enrollments during the 1960s consist of a shortage of ade-
quate facilities and a lack of qualified teachers. In terms of the interest
of the economy, a still more important factor may be the continued
overemphasis on the production of lawyers and the insufficient
Figure 1. Haiti: Hispaniola and Its Position in the Antilles
between government officials, planters, and the poor whites. The
bottom rung was occupied by the black slave masses who had been
taken from more than 100 African tribes. They, too, were differentiated
between those born in Africa and those born on the island and between
house servants and field hands. Finally, due to the extensive miscegena-
tion between the slaves and their masters, a third group arose to
occupy the middle stratum. Referred to as freedmen, people of color,
or mulattoes, many of these individuals held a relatively advantageous
position in the society. Some prospered financially, owning slaves
and land; others attained a high level of education in France. This
group effectively reinforced the French culture throughout the colony
by emphasizing the positive values of wealth, education, and light
The issues of race and ancestry were an integral part of the white-
oriented class system, further fragmenting the colonial society.
Numerous terms were employed to categorize mulattoes according to
their parentage. Even the courts of Saint-Domingue came to recognize
as many as ten major, and 200 minor, blood combinations. Racial prej-
udice increased as whites began to fear the power, wealth, and rising
numbers of the free, colored people. Not a solidified class under any
other circumstances, the white population united in their efforts to
draw and maintain the color line. Mulattoes were deprived of their
civil rights as stated in the Code Noir of 1685 and were barred from
positions in the court and the militia. Every effort was made to keep
mulattoes from gaining authority over white men. Mulattoes were
eventually barred from the more profitable occupations as well as
from the professions and public service. Finally, in an effort to main-
tain social distance, the whites enforced segregation in churches and
theaters and ostracized any white who married a person of color (see
By the end of the eighteenth century, racial and class strife affected
all classes of Haitian society. Virtually no group felt secure in its sta-
tus. Hatred, fear, and envy dominated social relations and eventually
erupted into a slave revolt that led to the expulsion of the whites and
to the independence of the Haitian republic in 1804.
The stratification system shaped during the colonial period settled
into two caste-like strata in the years following independence. The
vacuum created by the exodus of the white elite was rapidly filled by
the educated, wealthy, and powerful mulattoes. The black slaves
gained both freedom and land, yet the majority continued to live out-
side the realm of national affairs as they had under the French. Con-
sequently, Haitian values and institutions remained much the same as
before independence. French language and culture were still emulated
by the urban upper class, whereas the black peasant masses remained
poor, rural, and powerless. Lighter skin was still an indicator of upper
class status, and elite families were careful to preserve the color
ment. Marine Science Activities of the Nations of Latin America.
Washington: GPO, 1968.
U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. Research
Division. "Rural Haiti." Washington: 1943 (mimeo.).
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Economic Research Service. The
Agricultural Situation in the Western Hemisphere-Review of 1970
and Outlook for 1971. (ERS-Foreign 312.) Washington: GPO, 1971.
---. Haiti's Agriculture and Trade. (ERS-Foreign 283.) Washington:
U.S. Agency for International Development. Bureau for Program and
Policy Coordination. Office of Statistics and Reports. AID Economic
Data Book: Latin America. Washington: July 1971.
--. U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants and Assistance from Interna-
tional Organizations. Washington: 1970.
Valles, M.T. Les Ideologies Coopdrativistes et Leurs Applicabilitis en
Haiti. Paris: G. P. Maisonneuve et Larose, 1967.
Westbrook, John T. "Socio-economic Factors Related to Success and
Failure in Agrarian Reform: the 'Caracul' Project, Repuiblica Domi-
nicana." Pages 293-325 in F. M. Andic and T. G. Mathews (eds.), The
Caribbean in Transition: Papers on Social, Political and Economic
* Development. Rio Piedras: University of Puerto Rico, 1965.
Wilson, Ruth Danenhower. Here is Haiti. New York: Philosophical
. Library, 1957.
Wood, Harold A. Northern Haiti: Land, Land Use, and Settlement.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1963.
The World and Its Peoples: The Caribbean Region and Central Amer-
ica. New York: Greystone Press, 1969.
Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, III: Americas. (Ed., Louis
Barron.) New York: Worldmark Press, Harper and Row, 1967.
(Various issues of the following periodicals were also used in the
preparation of this section: Alliance for Progress Weekly Newsletter
[Washington], March 15, 1971-October 23, 1972; Amdricas (Washing-
ton), August 1972-February 1973; Business Latin America (New York),
February 20, 1969-October 26, 1972; Christian Science Monitor, August
1972-February 1973; Economist [London], August 1972-February
1973; Guardian Weekly [Manchester, England], August 1972-February
1973; IMF Survey, August 14, 1972-November 27, 1972; Inter-American
Center of Tax Administrators Newsletter [Panama], December 1968-
August, 1972; Latin America [London], January 9, 1970-November 2,
1972; Monthly Bulletin ofAgricultural Economics and Statistics (FAO)
[Rome], June 1972-October 1972; News About Haiti [Washington],
June 1972-August 1972; New York Times, August 1972-February 1973;
NOTICIAS: Weekly Digest of Hemisphere Reports [New York], April 9,
1969-October 25, 1972; Quarterly Economic Review: Cuba, Dominican
Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico [London], July 3, 1969-July 1972; Times of
the Americas [Washington], May 29, 1972-November 15, 1972;
Og6, encouraged by members of an organization in France called the
Friends of the Blacks (Les Amis des Noirs), led a demonstration against
the colonial governor and was put to death. Before long, the colony was
torn with riots involving all groups. Slaves deserted their masters and
organized bands that burned and pillaged throughout the colony. The
insurrection that started in August 1791 resulted in the massacre of
every white man, woman, and child on whom the slaves could lay their
hands. All whites who escaped this fate fled the colony.
One of the leaders of the slave rebellion was Toussaint Louverture,
an exslave whose French master had allowed him leisure for self-
education and for the acquisition of a private fortune. He had consider-
able knowledge of military tactics and possessed significant qualities
of leadership and political acumen. In the course of the slave rebellion
Toussaint crossed the border from Saint-Domingue into Santo Do-
mingo and joined Spanish troops in their battles with French forces-
a consequence of the French revolutionary wars in Europe. He rose
to high command in the Spanish forces; when France announced the
emancipation of slaves in Saint-Domingue in 1793, however, he re-
turned to that colony and joined the French units fighting British
and Spanish forces, which had attacked Saint-Domingue by land and
by sea. With the support of Negro forces led by Toussaint, the French
drove out the Spanish and British invaders.
In 1795 Spain ceded Santo Domingo to France, and Toussaint had
himself appointed commander-in-chief of all French forces in the
colony. He assumed dictatorial powers and in 1801 promulgated a
constitution that in theory emancipated all slaves in Hispaniola but in
fact provided for further importation of African slaves. The constitu-
tion also provided that the Roman Catholic Church, which had been
established in Santo Domingo by the Spanish and in Saint-Domingue
by the French, would be the official church and that whites and blacks
would be equal before the law. Toussaint declared the whole island of
Hispaniola an independent nation and was made president for life.
Napoleon Bonaparte, who had become first consul of France in 1799,
refused to recognize Toussaint's rule in the colony; he dispatched an
expeditionary force of 23,000 men that, after meeting strong resistance
from Toussaint's armies and suffering from the ravages of yellow fever,
brought about Toussaint's defeat. Toussaint died in a French prison
in 1803, but in November of that year the French forces remaining in
the colony surrendered to General Jean-Jacques Dessalines; on
January 1, 1804, Dessalines proclaimed the independence of Haiti-the
first colony in Latin America to sever its political ties with the Old
World. Virtually all the whites had left, and the blacks were in power.
A struggle for position was about to begin between the mulattoes and
the ruling blacks.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD,
known as the World Bank) lent about US$3 million, the United Nations
provided about US$10 million under various programs, and European
countries and Israel provided the balance. The International Monetary
Fund (IMF) negotiated twelve agreements, called standby arrange-
ments, with Haiti from 1958 through 1972 in order to protect the coun-
try's low foreign exchange reserves. These agreements made available
a stipulated amount of foreign exchange if needed. Haiti was an ex-
tensive user of the standby arrangements.
The exact amount of foreign investment in Haiti was unknown in
1972 but had been variously estimated at between US$50 million and
US$60 million during the mid-1960s and between US$70 million and
US$80 million in the late 1960s. Because of the large number of new
assembling firms establishing themselves since 1968 this figure should
be considerably higher. There were indications that two-thirds of all
investments in industry during the 1960s came from foreign sources,
mainly from the United States and France. In mid-1972 the govern-
ment issued a decree prohibiting the granting of any further conces-
sions for foreign exploitation of natural resources, including subsoil
rights, and tourism.
Government Revenue and Expenditures
A draft budget for the central government is submitted by the fi-
nance minister to the cabinet in January and forwarded to the legisla-
ture in April for its approval for the next fiscal year, which begins on
October 1 and terminates September 30. Because of the timelag be-
tween submission of the budget and beginning of the fiscal year, many
items are frequently overlooked or underestimated, and a supple-
mental budget may have to be approved after the start of the fiscal
year. The budget is not a true measure of public-sector finances be-
cause numerous accounts are not included. These are the accounts of
many of the autonomous agencies, tax revenues that have been ear-
marked for a specific purpose, and the service on the public debt. None
of these accounts are ever published.
The published budget of the central government is composed of two
parts-the operating and development budgets. The 1969/70 operating
budget was G138 million, and the development budget was G61 mil-
lion. The 1970/71 operating budget dropped slightly to G137 million,
whereas the development budget rose to G104 million. In 1971/72 the
operating budget jumped to G148 million, but the development budget
rose only to G107 million. The development budget relies heavily on
foreign financing and presupposes that a certain percentage will come
from abroad; it is seldom met as sufficient external financing is rarely
an additional defense force. Since 1971 the importance of the organiza-
tion as a security organ has declined significantly. It now more nearly
resembles a political party than a military force.
The Tontons Macoutes
The tontons macoutes wore civilian clothes but carried side arms.
They were integrated into government organizations as well as in im-
portant private enterprises. During the regime of President Francois
Duvalier their strength was estimated to be between 1,500 and 5,000.
The tontons macoutes were effective in providing the president with
sufficient information on individuals and on government agencies to
allow him to exercise autocratic control over the entire governmental
structure, but their lack of restraint resulted in many atrocities. The
president relieved several tonton macoute leaders of their positions
and took measures to restrain their operations.
In 1972 there was no substantial threat to the government of Haiti
from either internal or external sources. Thousands of Haitians were
living abroad, mostly emigres from the regime of President Francois
Duvalier. These groups were scattered throughout the Caribbean
islands, the eastern United States, Canada, and West Africa. These
emigre groups had no central organization, and frequently their leaders
disagreed among themselves. Refugee Haitians were urged to return
to their native land, but hesitated, realizing that control of both the
government and the armed forces still rested with the Duvalier clan.
During the regime of Francois Duvalier five invasion attempts had
been made by small bands of armed men, including former military
officers. The objectives in each case had been to recruit followers in
numbers sufficient to challenge the armed forces and eventually to
topple the government. In none of these incidents did the Haitian
peasants rally to the invader cause, however, and in each case the in-
vaders were killed or captured by army units.
The Haitian Communist Party was founded in 1930 and disinte-
grated the next year when its leaders were forced to flee the country.
It has reappeared from time to time, and in 1969 a pro-Castro party
and a pro-Soviet party merged to form the Unified Party of Haitian
Communists (Parti Unifi6 des Communistes Haitiens-PUCH). In
1970 the party was estimated to have only about 500 members. The
party advocates the overthrow of the Duvalier-controlled government
by armed struggle to be fought by an "army of liberation," but these
sentiments are usually broadcast from abroad.
The Penal System
Data on the number of inmates in the country's penitentiaries and
Davis, Kingsley. World Urbanization, 1950-1970, I: Basic Data for
Cities, Countries and Regions. (Population Monograph Series, No. 4.)
Berkeley: University of California, Institute of International Studies,
Demographic Yearbook, 1960. New York: United Nations, 1961.
Demographic Yearbook, 1970. New York: United Nations, 1971.
de Young, Maurice. "Class Parameters in Haitian Society," Journal of
Interamerican Studies, I, No. 4, October 1959, 449-458.
Dorsainvil, J.-C. (Avec la collaboration des Freres de l'Instruction
Chr6tienne.) Manuel d'Histoire d'Haiti. Port-au-Prince: Procure des
Freres de l'Instruction Chretienne, 1926.
Editor and Publisher International Year Book. New York: Editor and
Engber, Marjorie. Caribbean Fiction and Poetry. New York: Center for
Inter-American Relations, 1970.
Fagg, John Edwin. Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. (The
Modern Nations in Historical Perspective.) Englewood Cliffs: Pren-
Foreign Broadcast Information Service. Broadcasting Stations of the
World, Part I: Amplitude Modulation Broadcasting Stations Accord-
ing to Country and City. Washington: GPO, January 1971.
. Broadcasting Stations of the World, Part IV: Television Sta-
tions. Washington: GPO, January 1971.
Gerassi, John. The Great Fear in Latin America. (Rev. ed.) New York:
Collier Books, 1968.
Gingres, Jean-Pierre 0. Duvalier, Caribbean Cyclone: The History of
Haiti.and its Present Government. New York: Exposition Press, 1967.
Gold, Herbert. "Progress in Haiti: Leopards in Sneakers Instead of
Tontons Macoutes," New York Times Magazine, March 12, 1972,
Gonzalez, Gustavo R. "The Migration of High-Level Manpower," Inter-
national Labour Review [Geneva], XCVIII, No. 6, December 1968,
Haidar, Walter, and Alvarez, Ray. U.S. Department of Commerce:
Bureau of International Commerce. "Basic Data on the Economy of
Haiti," Overseas Business Reports (OBR 70-13.) Washington: GPO,
Haiti. Conseil National de Developpement et de Planification. Plan
d'Action Economique et Sociale, 1970-1971. Port-au-Prince: 1970.
Haiti. D6partement des Finances et des Affaires Economiques. Re-
censement de la Rdpublique d'Haiti, 1971. Port-au-Prince: 1972.
Haiti. Embassy in Washington. News About Haiti, I, No. 2, June 1972,
-- . News About Haiti, I, No. 3, July 1972, entire issue.
Haiti. Service de la Population. Enquete sur la Population de la Fos-
sette (Cap-Haitien). Etudes D6mographiques, Economiques, et
Sociologiques, Publication No. 3.) Port-au-Prince: 1961.
legality of his arrest and unless the judge approves the detention in a
decision based on the study of all the available evidence.
Although the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedures were
designed to ensure that justice was administered and that individual
rights were fully protected, this has not been the case. For example,
during the twenty-one years of the presidential regimes of Paul Ma-
gloire and Francois Duvalier, many individuals were summarily ar-
rested and detained for months or years without benefit of trial. At
the expense of the legislative and judicial branches, the executive
branch has for many years controlled all aspects of governmental
structure, and at the end of 1972 this was still the case.
Incidence of Crime
In 1972 official statistics on the incidence of crime were not available,
but instances of urban and rural crime were reported in the Port-au-
Prince newspapers. These usually concerned offenses such as robbery,
assault, mugging, and street fighting. The continued annual increase
in population, overcrowded and inadequate housing, and unemploy-
ment contributed to the growth of the crime rate in the capital city.
Crimes in rural areas, however, represented only a small percentage
of the total, perhaps because the lack of variation in the economic
status of the members of a small rural community minimizes tempta-
tion and because the Haitian peasant allegedly does not resort to vio-
lence unless he feels severely threatened. The fact that rural property
owners tend to keep zealous guard over their possessions may also
account for the relative absence of crime in rural areas. Anyone enter-
ing another's property at night without a light or without calling out to
identify himself is liable to be shot. Also, the members of a rural com-
munity are continually under the watchful eye of the chief of the
military rural post in their community.
Official government statistics published in 1969 indicate that 138,593
individuals were arrested for various offenses during the years 1966,
1967, and 1968. The leading categories of crime were: those against
property; disturbing the peace; and those against persons. Of the total
number of persons arrested in the three years mentioned, only 30,000
were proved guilty and sentenced. Over 600 juveniles were arrested
during the same period, most for vagrancy, but seven juveniles averag-
ing twelve years of age were arrested for murder.
National Security Volunteers: 116, 151,
National Sugar Institute: 134
National Union of Haitian Students: 120
National Workers' Union: 120
Neiba Valley: 11
New York City: 114
newspapers. See communications
Nixon, Richard: 125
Northern Plain: 10, 11
nutrition: 58-60, 70, 71, 75
Obin, Philom6: 97
Og6, Vincent: 29-30
Order of Potion and Bolivar: 155
Organization of American States:
Ovando, Nicolas de: 27
par value gourdee): 148
peasants: 39-40, 47
Pedernales River: 12
P1ligre dam system: 23
penal system: 156-158
pensions. See labor force
Peters, DeWitt: 96
Potion, Alexandre: 31-33, 83, 130, 147
Poirier, Francois: 121
police: ix, 115, 118, 119, 151, 153, 154, 156,
political parties: 114, 119, 120, 156
politics: 105-108; peasant participation, 47
population: vii, 2, 6,15, 17, 18-21,127
Port-au-Prince: vii, viii, 2, 7, 12, 13, 14, 46,
57-58, 111, 140, 141, 142; settlement, 17,
Port-de-Paix: 10, 11
postal service: 143
potatoes: 133, 134
poultry: 59, 137, 141
Pradines, Emerante de: 99
Presidential Guard: 116, 119, 152, 153-154,
presidential power: 108-109
preventive detention. See civil liberties
Price-Mars, Jean: 95, 98
private investment. See investment
Protestantism: 47, 53-54
public assistance. See welfare
public debt: 147
public information. See communications
Puerto Rico: 5
race relations: 40-43, 45, 113, 119, 124
radio. See communications
Radio Havana: 102
railroads. See transportation
rainfall: vii, 13-14, 131
Raymond, Adrien: 119
Raymond, Claude: 119
recreation: 57, 64-66, 68-69, 75
religion (see also Protestantism; Roman
Catholicism; voodoo): 39, 49-54
rice: 133, 134
Rio Dajabon: 12
rivers: vii, 11
roads. See transportation
Rockefeller, Nelson: 125
Rodman, Selden: 97
Romain, Jacques: 95
Roman Catholicism: vii, 3, 25, 30, 33, 34, 39,
40, 49-51, 53, 54, 83, 112, 120; holidays, 67
Roman, Frank: 119
Roosevelt, Franklin D.: 37
Roumer, Emile: 96
Royal Bank of Canada: 148
Salomon, Louis Fl1icite Lysius: 34, 130
Sam, Vilbrun Guillaume: 36
San Juan Valley: 10
sanitation: 75, 76-77
Santo Domingo: 27
seaports: 12, 129, 142, 145
Secret Police Force: 115
Secretariat of State for Interior and Na-
tional Defense: 153
Secretariat of State for National Education:
84, 91, 93,94
Secretariat of State for Public Health and
Population: 69, 73
Selassie, Haile: 125
three varieties of crocodile, the rhino-horned iguana, many small
lizards, and several species of nonpoisonous snakes. There are many
insects, arachnids such as spiders and scorpions, and centipedes. All
of these are poisonous, but their stings are rarely fatal. Among the
forms of birdlife are parrots, four kinds of wild pigeon, guinea hens,
ducks, and weaverbirds. Egrets and flamingos are found in the
brackish lakes of the Cul-de-Sac.
The country's known mineral wealth is limited both in scope and
extent, and the degree to which man has traversed all parts of Haiti
leaves little hope that there is much mineral wealth yet undiscovered.
Bauxite, the most important, has been mined since 1957 from a locality
at about the midpoint in the southern peninsula. Copper ore-
sedimentary and in veins-has been mined from the Massif du Nord
since the early 1960s. The ores have yielded some gold and silver. Some
copper is known to exist in the vicinity of Cap-Haitien, and copper ex-
plorations have been carried out in the Terre-Neuve district of the
Artibonite Department. In various parts of the country moderate
quantities of limestone, sand, gravel, clay, building stone, and salt are
intermittently produced for local consumption.
There are undeveloped manganese deposits in the Morne Macaque
region of the Massif du Norde, and lignite deposits are extensive in the
Central Plateau. Other minerals known or believed to exist in some
quantity include iron, antimony, lead, zinc, nickel, coal, sulfur, marble,
porphyry, and gypsum. Unsuccessful petroleum drillings have been
undertaken in the Central Plateau, the Cul-de-Sac, and off Gonive
Island. In general, mineral resources appear far scantier in Haiti than
in the Dominican portion of Hispaniola.
The prevailing settlement pattern is one in which every acre of usable
land is used; there are no frontier lands awaiting the machetes and
plows of adventurous frontiersmen, and in the early 1970s the acreage
not already under cultivation was left idle, not because of its remote-
ness from markets, but because it did not appear to be worth culti-
vating. The population density averaged nearly 500 per square mile, as
compared with less than thirty-six per square mile for the Latin
American region as a whole. Farms were estimated to average no more
than 2.5 acres in size, and many comprised less than one acre. Signifi-
cantly, the myriad little plots from which the operators battled for
subsistence living were referred to not as farms but as "gardens".
A few large plantations remained, primarily in the northern plains
and in the Cul-de-Sac, but the characteristic pattern was one of small
holdings. By department-the principal political subdivision-the
heaviest concentration was in the Cul-de-Sac in the Department of the
PAHO statistics indicate that in 1967 there were forty-four hospitals
in the country. Some thirty-six of these were general hospitals; three
were institutions for the care of those with tuberculosis; two were for
mental cases; and two were for other special purposes. There were
3,329 beds in all, averaging about 0.7 per 1,000 of the population-
the lowest rate among the nations of the Western Hemisphere. The
ratio was 4.7 in Port-au-Prince and 0.5 in the remainder of the country.
Only about half of the hospitals were state owned, but these included
most of the larger institutions and had nearly three-fourths of the
beds. In addition, a number of church-operated units receive public
The General Hospital of Port-au-Prince is the country's largest,
having 500 beds and 100 bassinets. There is also a 200-bed tuberculosis
sanitarium in Port-au-Prince, and there are general hospitals with
100 or more beds in Cap-Haitien, Jacmel, Les Cayes, Gonalves, and
Jfrtmie. Many of the smaller units are hospital-dispensaries with ten
to twenty beds. Church-owned facilities, most with fifty or fewer beds,
are operated by Roman Catholic orders and by several Protestant
denominations. The largest and most prestigious of the private insti-
tutions is the seventy-bed Albert Schweitzer Hospital at Deschappeles
on the Artibonite Plain. The remainder, referred to as clinics, are small
establishments with fifty or fewer beds.
In addition, in 1968 some thirty-six health centers and 217 outpatient
clinics and dispensaries attended about 400,000 outpatients, who paid
an average of a little less than two visits per patient. These units
ranged in size from centers and some dispensaries with regular staffs
to rural units occasionally visited by a physician. Reporting on the
number and status of these units is confused by irregular Haitian and
international nomenclature identifying clinics and dispensaries that
may or may not include some hospital beds and may be either per-
manent or mobile facilities.
Supplementing the public health system, there are various dispen-
saries operated by Roman Catholic orders and Protestant denomina-
tions and a scattering of dispensaries with a few hospital beds that are
maintained by plantations and other commercial organizations. Busi-
ness firms employing more than 100 workers are required to maintain
a dispensary headed by a Haitian physician. In addition, during 1968
dental clinics treated 63,000 patients. The clinics were staffed by visit-
ing dentists whose work was largely confined to extractions.
Public hospital and outpatient care is free, but bed patients must
provide their own meals, and a shortage of drugs often makes it nec-
essary for patients to supply their own. In practice, some payment
for services is often made in money or in kind. The peasant seeking
treatment may, for example, bring some vegetables or a chicken to the
public or mission dispensary.
The concentration of medical personnel of all kinds in Port-au-Prince
the playing of cards and other games.
Several annual occasions directly or indirectly related to the Chris-
tian religion are also festivals of importance. In the larger urban cen-
ters, Christmas is marked by stringing elaborate displays of lights, by
singing and the music of orchestras, and by street dances. Prepara-
tions start early in December, and the festivities continue through the
beginning of the New Year. Carnival brings work to a near halt during
the three days preceding Ash Wednesday and is celebrated with pa-
rades, floats, ceremonial kings and queens, dances, and prizes. The
concept of Carnival as a final celebration before the onset of the Lenten
season of penance has been lost. Festivities continue to erupt on Lenten
weekend evenings and reach their highest point during the final days
of Holy Week. Special orchestral groups called rara bands (there are
several ways of spelling the word), which have danced across the coun-
tryside throughout the season, converge on the larger urban centers,
particularly the town of LUogdne, a few miles west of Port-au-Prince.
The rara tradition derives from fifteenth- and sixteenth-century cere-
monies in Europe that have long since been abandoned in their coun-
tries of origin.
Rara band leaders are accomplished dancers who wear elegant and
sometimes costly costumes topped by towering headdresses of West
African origin. When two bands meet, their leaders sometimes chal-
lenge one another to competitive dances. Near the town of Jeremie,
rara festivities are associated with exhibitions by wrestlers, who some-
times are accompanied by their own musicians. Traditional personali-
ties that appear as part of the functions include the juggler, the strong
man, and the baton twirler. The most important of these is Monsieur
Judas, an effigy of Judas Iscariot that is carried about from place to
place during Holy Week. On Good Friday, the effigy is hidden and the
community makes merry as it hurries about in search of the hiding
place of the villain in order that the effigy be destroyed.
Haiti differs from the other Latin American states in the sense that
local days of patron saints are seldom causes for celebration, although
Saint Joseph's Day and Saint Anne's Day are noted in Port-au-Prince,
Saint Pierre's Day is observed in P6tionville, and a few others are
celebrated in major centers. The occasional Roman Catholic day of
observation, however, is likely to have become obscured by festivities
that have become inextricably mixed with those more concerned with
the voodoo gods. Perhaps the best example of this mixing occurs in
July at the village of Ville-Bonheur, where a celebration called the
saut d'eau (waterfall) is observed. This celebration appears originally
to have been set aside for Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16. In
practice, it has become a celebration recalling the purported appear-
ance of a miraculous virgin in a tree close to a waterfall. It is one of the
major festivities in Haiti, one to which people come from great dis-
tances. It is, however, one in which Christianity is honored indiscrimi-
nately with the voodoo patheon.
towns and rural areas, as less than 1 percent of the rural population
had access to electricity in 1972. In some towns small privately owned
and operated generators supply power to the owner and his neighbors.
Other small towns may operate a generator only to illuminate the
town square, and the townspeople resort to oil lamps for their own
DOMESTIC TRADE AND TRANSPORTATION
Commerce and Marketing
Port-au-Prince is the commercial center of the country, followed by
Cap-Haitien. There are some supermarkets in the capital but no de-
partment stores. Most shops are speciality stores retailing a few re-
lated articles, mainly imported. Some of the coffee export houses are
also importers and wholesalers of manufactured articles. In the smaller
towns and villages most retail stores sell general merchandise and are
operated by the owner and his family, who usually live above the store.
Some of the smalltown merchants are also middlemen who buy produce
from peasants and pass it on to larger centers. Most of the smalltown
merchants are mulattoes. Merchants in the capital city are generally
white and of German, Syrian, or Lebanese extraction. Many of the
importers and exporters are foreign nationals.
Most commercial transactions, however, do not occur in stores but
in the urban, smalltown, and rural markets. A large central market in
the capital called the Iron Market has indoor and outdoor stalls where
food, miscellaneous articles, and even such services as sewing and
dressmaking can be obtained. In smaller urban areas and in towns and
villages the marketplace may have no permanent fixtures except, per-
haps, stone platforms or rough tables where merchandise can be dis-
played. Only a few markets outside the capital are roofed.
Almost every town has a market at least once weekly; some markets
are held daily. A few are centers of interregional trade, but most are
of a local nature. From 1936 to 1952 a law prohibited rural markets;
all markets had to be located in urban areas. Although many rural
markets closed during that period, the law was not fully enforced, and
many markets could be found at road crossings where no towns existed.
Most of the sellers in the markets are women. Some farm wives may
travel up to 100 days yearly to nearby markets; they may carry up to
sixty pounds of merchandise on their shoulders. In the larger markets
commodities are separated by variety, but in smaller markets the
wares are mixed together and present a confused appearance to out-
siders. Many retailers of the same commodity are friends or relatives
and tend to cooperate with one another by exchanging merchandise or
tending one another's stand.
In addition to the markets, housewives in the capital and other urban
areas have the services of ambulatory vendors who hawk their wares
Organization of American States, between 1959 and 1967 an average of
288 professional and skilled workers emigrated each year. Of these,
a little more than one-third was reported to have had a university edu-
cation, the second-highest proportion among emigrants from seventeen
Latin American countries surveyed.
Many Latin American countries during the early 1970s faced poten-
tial or emerging problems of overpopulation, but in Haiti the problem
had already materialized. Its 2 percent annual population growth rate
during the 1960s was very moderate by Latin American standards, and
the twenty-nine years estimated in 1969 as required for doubling of the
population was considerably longer than the Latin American average.
Its birth rate was not among the highest, and despite remarkable gains
in longevity during recent years, the death rate remained among the
highest in the hemisphere. The rural population density of some 350
persons per square mile in 1970 was the highest among the independ-
ent countries in the hemisphere, however, and had reached the quali-
tative and quantitative limits that were viable in terms of the available
amount of arable land.
To meet the problem entailed by these circumstances, a small private
Family Planning Association was formed in 1962 but ceased activities
in 1964 when the Haitian government installed a department for fam-
ily planning in what was then the Ministry for Social Affairs. The
president of the country in 1968 requested technical assistance in
family planning as well as in other health matters from the Pan
American Health Organization. During the same year, a new private
planning body was formed, which received assistance from the West-
ern Hemisphere office of the Planned Parenthood Federation, even
though it did not become a formal participant in that organization's
External assistance for the public and private programs has come
from several sources. Among these have been the Pathfinder Fund,
the Church World Service, the Unitarian Universalist Service Commit-
tee, the Mennonite Central Committee, and World Neighbors. In gen-
eral, family planning was being presented less as an independent
program than as a part of larger programs for advancement of family
welfare. For the most part, it had been made available only in urban
localities, and its potential effectiveness depended largely on an
increase in the general level of education.
The labor force in 1970 was estimated by the ILO to consist of
2,780,000 workers, or 53 percent of the total population. An increase to
3,468,000 by 1980 was projected. The only statistics available in 1972
came from the 1950 census, which counted 1,747,000 workers, or 56.7
and general provisions, including a description of the country's national
colors, coat of arms, motto, national anthem, and a list of national
Until 1950 the legislature elected the president. Subsequently he was
chosen by the electorate at large. According to Article 46 of the Con-
stitution of 1964, as amended, the Haitian people exercise the preroga-
tives of sovereignty by electing the president of the republic (see
Political Dynamics, this ch.).
In order to qualify for the office of president, a candidate must be a
native-born Haitian citizen, at least eighteen years old, a resident of
Haiti, and in full enjoyment of civil and political rights. The president
appoints the members of his cabinet, the prefects who govern the
arrondissements, the members of the judiciary, and several other
categories of public officials. He must approve and promulgate new
laws and is responsible for ensuring the execution of the articles in the
constitution and the acts and decrees of the National Assembly. Article
62 of the constitution states that in case of grave conflict between the
legislative and executive powers, the president has the power to dis-
solve the legislature. In 1972 the members of the National Assembly
were adherents of former President Duvalier, and there was no clear
evidence of any friction between the executive and legislative branches
The president is assisted by a cabinet made up of secretaries of state.
The number of members cannot be fewer than five, and additional
members may be added if the president deems necessary. In 1972
eleven secretaries of state headed the ministries of interior and na-
tional defense (including police); foreign affairs; finance and economic
affairs; coordination and information; commerce and industry; social
affairs; national education; public health and population; public works,
transportation and communications; justice; and agriculture, natural
resources and rural development.
In order to qualify as secretary or undersecretary of state, an in-
dividual must be nativeborn and must never have renounced citizen-
ship; he must be at least eighteen years of age and in full enjoyment of
civil and political rights. The secretaries of state are permitted to ap-
pear before the National Assembly to defend administration bills or to
voice the objections of the executive branch to bills proposed by the
assembly. They are responsible, each in his own field, both for acts of
their own departments and acts of the president, which they counter-
sign. They receive a monthly salary of G3,000 (5 gourdes equal US$1).
All appointments to the position of secretary or undersecretary of state
are made personally by the president.
century, the encomienda system in Hispaniola did not last long. By
the middle of the sixteenth century the Taino population, estimated at
about 1 million in 1492, had been reduced to about 500. The need for a
new labor force led to the importation of increasing numbers of Negro
slaves, principally for the cultivation of sugarcane, and by 1520 Negro
labor was used almost exclusively in Hispaniola.
Throughout the island each landowner exercised virtually complete
authority over his estate, and there was little contact between the
hinterland and Santo Domingo, the capital city. Santo Domingo was
principally concerned with its relations with Spain, which furnished
supplies, administrators, and settlers for the colonies, and with the
continent, which provided treasure for the crown. It was a way station
for traffic between Spain and continental America, and a jumping-off
point from which the Spaniards explored the New World.
In 1509 Columbus' son, Diego, was appointed governor of the colony.
With a view to curbing the power of the governor, the crown in 1511
established a new political institution called the audiencia-a tribunal
consisting originally of three judges with jurisdiction over all the West
Indian Islands, where it became the highest court of appeals. During
the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries audiencias, estab-
lished in many parts of the Spanish Empire, became the continuing
core of royal authority; but the failure of some to carry out administra-
tive and disciplinary duties assigned to them led to the appointment
of viceroys, who personified the power and the prestige of the king. In
1535 Hispaniola became part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, which
included Central America and much of North America.
After the conquest of Mexico by Hernan Cort6s in 1521 and the dis-
covery in Mexico and Peru of great wealth in gold and silver, the pres-
tige of Santo Domingo began to decline. Alluvial deposits of gold were
depleted, and the Indian labor force was dying off. Large numbers of
colonists left for Mexico and Peru, and the population of Hispaniola
declined sharply. Agriculture was neglected, and Spain became pre-
occupied with the larger and richer colonies on the mainland. Accord-
ing to the Haitian historian, J.-C. Dorsainvil, the population of the
colony in 1545 amounted to no more than 1,100 persons.
The Spaniards neglected Hispaniola, but French and English pirates,
intent on attacking Spanish shipping, established a base on Tortue
Island (Ile de la Tortue), better known as Tortuga, in or around 1625.
In 1641 they founded Port Margot on the western end of Hispaniola
and before long had gained a foothold in the surrounding territory.
The French then drove out the English and, along with piratical opera-
tions, occupied themselves with hunting wild cattle and hogs and with
farming. The settlement prospered in spite of Spanish efforts to de-
stroy it, and in 1664 Louis XIV, king of France, placed the territory
Massif du Nord, which slants southeastward from the Atlantic Ocean
near Port-de-Paix across the Dominican border to become the Cordil-
lera Central. This range forms part of the Caribbean Antillean system
that extends from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands westward across
Hispaniola to Cuba. Nowhere in Haiti does it reach 4,000 feet in eleva-
tion, but it is rugged and intricately dissected. Its complex geology
includes sedimentary, magmatic, and plutonic rock, and limestone
cliffs scar its slopes. To its west at the extremity of the island, satellite
ranges extend to M6le-St.-Nicolas. To the southwest, the range called
the Montagnes Noires has altitudes up to 2,000 feet and extends
laterally across the country to a point where its approaches are sep-
arated by the Artibonite River (Rivibre de l'Artibonite) from the
Chaine de Mateaux, a range with a southwesterly axis that extends
from the Gulf of Gonive to the frontier and into the Dominican Repub-
lic as the Sierra de Neiba.
The Chaine de Mateaux is separated by the Cul-de-Sac from a moun-
tain system in the far south that extends the full length of the long
southern peninsula of Haiti to the frontier and into the Dominican
Republic as the Sierra de Bahoruco. In the west it is the Massif de la
Hotte, and in the east it is the Massif de la Selle. The latter range has
several peaks with elevations of over 7,000 feet, and the Morne de la
Selle at 8,793 feet is the country's highest peak. Extensive pine forests
on the higher slopes of this range constitute the country's principal
remaining timber reserve.
The most important of the lowland regions of the country are the
Northern Plain (Plaine du Nord), the Central Plateau, Artibonite Plain
(Plaine de l'Artibonite), and the Cul-de-Sac. There are also scattered
stretches of narrow coastal plain and small coastal basins, as well as
pockets of level land tucked into the mountains where small groups of
people practice subsistence agriculture in virtually complete isolation.
The Northern Plain, which has an area of about 150 square miles
located between tho Atlantic Ocean and the Massif du Nord, extends
eastward from near Cap-Haitien to the Dominican border. Its rich
soils are formed in part by abrasion and in part by alluvial deposition.
The heartland of the plantation economy of the French colonial era,
the plain is a geographical extension of the Cibao Valley in the Domini-
Southward from the Massif du Nord, the Central Plateau extends
eastward from the Montagnes Noires to the Dominican frontier, where
it joins the San Juan Valley. Its more than 840 miles of rolling terrain
make it the largest of the country's flatlands. Slightly dissected and
composed of consolidated and unconsolidated sediments, the plateau
has an average elevation of about 1,000 feet, and its relatively thin
soils are useful principally for pasturage.
Separated from the Central Plateau by the Montagnes Noires and
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 73-600155
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