The Duvalier legacy, its effect on Haiti

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Dr Roger Malebranche

The Duvalier legacy, its effect on Haiti

Post by Dr Roger Malebranche » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:54 pm

I don't know if any of the AnnPaleers had a chance to read an article on the Nouvelliste concerning the brutal assassination 50 years ago of the Jumelle brothers, under the Duvalier regime. I started thinking about not only the Jumelles but also of all the young, black intellectuals of my youth, scions of black Haitian intelligentsia going back to the wars of independence, who were assassinated in broad daylight, disappeared in the middle of the night never to be seen again, young poets, writers, young liberal intellectuals etc... The Serge Alfred, Anthony Hervilus etc... Duvalier is DIRECTLY responsible for our struggles today. He was bent and determined (and I don't know why) to purge Haiti of her best minds.

Many families which would have contributed to the advancement and stability of the country, many people of talents and brains got caught in the Duvalier's paranoid killings and had to flee the homeland never to return. It was either leave Haiti or die. What a shame! What a tragedy! The sick monster eviscerated Haiti and today we are struggling with the devastation and inane policies instituted by the worst Haitian who ever lived. And to think that some of our new Haitian generation who never were exposed to his barbaric blood lust are looking at his iron fisted years with nostalgia. Go figure ! If Duvalier had not taken power in Haiti, my life and the lives of many good Haitians now living unhappily on foreign soils would have been very different. Haiti would have been different.

One AnnPaleer recently on one of the posts said: "Just one politician cannot change things in Haiti". This one could and did and for the worst.


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Post by Serge » Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:40 pm

Woje, kouman ye?

I think that unfortunately, too many of our compatriots tend to forget how we got there and your post is a useful reminder of this.

I for one, touched upon this issue more than once on this forum, to say that a great many of the problems we face today is a direct result of the Duvalier dictatorship. Let me mention among others: the complete neglect of agriculture, the overpopulation of Port-au-Prince, the loss of our cadres (at least two generations of young , capable Haitians and their sons and daughters), the loss of our teachers and doctors, the rapid descent of the quality of education, the basic lack of respect for human life (remember how he had young school kids attend the firing of Numa), the complete institutionalization of corruption, the introduction of drug trafficking in Haiti and I could go on and on.

As you say, it is mindboggling when you hear some Haitians today long for the Duvalier days. And this is repeated by the foreign press. I am sure that those who speak this way were the most privileged ones who never had to worry about the downtrodden claiming for their rights. They anonymously disappeared when they dared to do so.

Let me remind our readers that the number of people who disappeared under the Duvalier regime is estimated at 30 000. I saw some figures indicating that this number is closer to 50 000, which is probably right.

Kenbe fèm,


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