Home > MEMORIES OF HAITI > U.S. Occupation of Haiti (1915).

U.S. Occupation of Haiti (1915).

Pictorial Preparation & Narration by Frankie Morone.
Some of these pictures were taken by a U.S. Marine named: Raymond. Apparently he was a freelance photographer and he developed his own films.One can notice his name on the negative of his pictures.

Following the instability and the brutal murder of President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, the U.S. intervened in Haiti in 1915, with a huge armed force to restore order. Many American officials then believed that the U.S. was going to help in the peaceful governance of the country because Haitians were unable to govern themselves. One more reason was to protect the lives and properties of Americans and foreigners living there. The U.S. was also concerned by the possible involvement of Germany, France or England over Haiti.

By 1916, Haiti was a protectorate of the U.S. Once there, the Americans changed the Constitution that forbade foreigners to own land in Haiti. With this clause, much of the land were either sold or given to Americans. Furthermore, elections now became fraudulent. Dartignave was litterally hand picked by Caperton over Dr. R. Bobo and J.N. Leger. The Haitian Senate was dissolved, treaties were passed by force, martial law was declared and the press was censored. Once there, the Americans controlled everything except education and the judicial system.

The Marines came to Haiti in 1915 with preconceived ideas about the country’s capacity for self-government. In addition, there were many racial misconceptions towards Haiti. Once there, Admiral Caperton ruled by coercion and physical intimidation. Haitians were barred from the higher offices in the administration, which were taken by Americans.

Haitians were determined to keep their independence. They were very protective over their sovereignty. Rebels called “Cacaos” by the Americans vehemently tried to resist American control of Haiti. Some sources suggest that close to 3000 Haitians were killed defending their nation against the occupants.

However by 1934, Stenio Vincent had one dream in mind: the inoccupation of Haiti. He succeeded in achieving that goal. The U.S. left thinking they had implemented peace and security in the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Beneath the surface lied resentment against the American occupation. As Dantes Bellgarde puts it, “Haiti does not have peace. Peace, real peace is not material order imposed by the force of bayonets.”
Haiti’s subsequent governments (Lescot, Estimé) fell under protest by the masses .Then the army intervened and put a new president. That culminated into the Duvalier’s lengthy dictatorship. After his reign, the following leaders were quite unsuccessful, for they were violently overthrown, resigned or forced into exile. Today, Haiti is in total chaos.

This presidential parade Haiti is witnessing is clear evidence that the occupation failed to teach and give Haiti the tools to maintain a democracy. Instead it championed military might, formed dictators and ultimately reinforced the idea that power comes from the hand holding a gun.

Slideshow
Use '←' and '→' keys to go next and previous