Military government


Reformers (Aristide)




Haiti main page

Lack of Government


Why do so many search Google for "Haiti wars"? There are none. There have been wars in the past when revolutionary Haitian troops conquered the neighbouring Spanish-ruled colony, now the Dominican Republic. But those wars were in the early 19th century.

There is continual civil unrest due to the lack of any government, other than a military regime which in the past behaved as though it was at war with the people. The ruling group has used death squads, intimidation by thugs (tonton macoutes), random massacres of civilians.

Although there are democratic forms now, the government is so weak that it has little influence over what happens to ordinary people.

In the past the United States government has had an ambiguous relationship with the former ruling family, first "Dr." Francois Duvalier (Papa Doc), then his son, Jean-Claude (Bebe Doc). As they could be designated "anti-Communist", they received weapons whose only use was to suppress the population. Though the Duvaliers left, no democracy replaced them until the election of President Aristide. He however, was chased abroad by the military. Occupation by an American force brought back Aristide, but limited his power. An insurgency in 2004 drove him into exile again.

New elections brought to power Réné Préval, a former ally of Aristide. Few improvements were visible. Is there any hope of improvement? It is hard not to be profoundly pessimistic.

Does this amount to a war? Not really. Merely a sad lack of government.

The earthquake may bring a kind of change.

So far (Dec. 2010) no change has occurred.

If there is any war in Haiti, perhaps it is the hostility of the US to any sign of democracy there.

Last revised 4/10/11


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