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Militaires d'Haiti. (ca.1795 to 1995).
Prepared & maintained by Emmanuel Ardouin & Frankie Morone.
The historic pictures were obtained by Frankie Morone on various websites. The others are courtesy of Professor Ernst & his son Bob Danache, Grégoire Dadompré, Francky Jn. Baptiste, Edouard Boucicaut & Jean-Pierre Cloutier. Anyone who wants to contribute to this album can send pictures jpeg format to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Prepared and maintained by Manny Ardouin: email@example.com
Narration by Frankie Morone.
The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) is the most successful slave rebellions in the Western Hemisphere. It established Haiti as a free country ruled by blacks and mulattoes. At the time of the revolution, Haiti was known as Saint-Domingue the most prosperous colony of France. That is why it was called " La perle des antilles". Through the revolution, people of African ancestry (mostly) freed themselves from French colonization and from slavery. Although several rebellions took place during that era, only the revolt at Saint-Domingue, beginning in Aug.1791, succeeded in permanently liberating an entire island. Twenty years earlier Vincent Ogé and Jn Baptiste Chavannes tried to fight for certain rights for the slaves; they failed and paid a hefty price.
The Battle of Vertières, took place on November 18, 1803. It was fought between the Haitian army led by Jean - Jacques Dessalines and the French colonial army under the command of Rochambeau. The new nation of Haiti had an army in the real sense of the word.
It was until the American Occupation (1915-1934) that the Marines under the order of the US Government created a different type of Haitian Army. That "Haitian army" was probably one of the surest and staunchest allies of the United States in Haiti . At the beginning it did some police work. The Haitian army was always able to deliver a coup d’état with the tacit and sometimes overt or covert approval of the US. Presidents Lescot & Estime were overthrown by the army.
Almost everyone would agree that the army has had a difficult history in Haiti and sometimes a negative impact on the country’s political process.
François Duvalier himself was afraid of that army. He knew that he could easily be forced into exile by that same army who ten years earlier forced Estime out. This is unquestionably why he created the VSN and the Tontons Macoutes a paramilitary force that would be able to face that army in an eventual coup d' etat attempt. He also had executed many officers in the army in the early 1960’s. He believed that they were potential coup d’état organizers. Several of these officers were of courses innocent. He acted irrationally and hastily. One also has to remember the position of Juan Bosh (the Dominican president vis a vis him.) They were bitter enemies.
Then later Prosper Avril, Henry Namphy left their marks on the army. No need to elaborate on that.
In 1991, Aristide was forced out. The army under General Raoul Cédras overthrew him in coup d' etat. Few years later,under pressure from the US (President Clinton), General Raoul Cedras and his acolytes had to leave Haiti in order for the duly elected president Aristide to return. It was then that Aristide gave the "coup de grace" to the army by dismantling it. (Again not the devil advocate that is understandable)
The role of an army is to protect the territorial integrity of a country, its people as well as its economy.
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Officer Léon Cantave, 1957 crise politique.