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Military

Haiti Minister of Defense Jean Rodolphe Joazile: Haiti will soon form armed forces

Minister Jean Rodolphe Joazile to form armed forces soon

In a declaration, Defense Minister for Haiti stated that Haiti will soon have her own armed forces. He gave indications that the armed forces will be formed before the end of Presidential term of Michel Martelly. The Minister stated that it was one of the promises made by the President during the election campaigns and the President intends to keep the promise.

Defense Minister, Jean Rodolphe Joazile stated that Haiti currently has the support from other countries which include Ecuador, Uruguay, Brazil and France. He mentioned that the first recruits for the Haitian armed forces will originate in the countries supporting the decision. The minister also explained that the individuals who are hopeful to be recruited to the Haitian armed forces are from different backgrounds and that they will be arriving in Haiti by the end of this year.

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Joseph Michel Francois, Haitian army Colonel, Chief of National Police

Michel Francois Was A Member Of Francois Duvalier And Jean-Claude Duvalier Government

Many people played a hand in the 1991 coup that saw the elected president of the Republic of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, removed from office, few with as much importance as army colonel and the then Haitian police chief, Joseph-Michel François. He was born on May 8, 1957 and went to military school at Fort Bragg in the United States.

The skills he acquired there would serve him well as part of the oppressive government, which ruled for over three years under Raoul Cédras. During this time, Michel Francois headed up the secret police and oversaw, or facilitated, many human rights violations, murders and other heinous, counter-judiciary acts.

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Elie Lescot Ruled by Force and Intimidation

Louis Elie Lescot, born in Saint-Louis du Nord

Elie Lescot became Haiti's 31st president in 1941. Born into the mulatto elite class, Lescot began his political career after the death of his wife. He served in the Chamber of Deputies, Parliament's lower house, later becoming a political appointee under presidents Borno and Vincent.

His position as Ambassador to the Dominican Republic (DR) led him to become an ally of DR President Trujillo. Trujillo's political capital helped Lescot win the presidency, despite the Chamber of Deputies opposition of him.

Elie Lescot immediately wielded power by installing himself as Commander of the Military Guard and populating government posts with Caucasian and mulatto elites. Haiti's majority black populace detested him for his prejudice.

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Fabre Geffrard allowed African-Americans to settle in Haiti

Guillaume Fabre Nocolas Geffrard or simply Fabre Geffrard was the 10th President of Haiti who sworn in as the head of the Republic in 1859 and stayed in power till 1867. Few of his important achievements include placating peasants through revival of state-owned land selling practice and he also ended the differences with Roman Catholic Church. As the schism was erased, the Roman Catholic Church eventually played a very crucial role in improving the education system in Haiti.

The first thing Fabre Geffrard did after coming to power was that he reduced the army size from 30,000 to its half at 15,000 and at the same time created presidential guards who were trained by Fabre Geffrard himself. In 1859, the National Law School was founded by him and the Medical School started by Boyer was reinstituted. Several lycea were established and modernized by his two ministers François Elie-Dubois and Jean Simon Elie-Dubois. In 1863, the colonial rule of building and maintaining roads were reintroduced. In 1861 African-Americans were allowed to settle in Haiti.

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The Leopard Corps in Haiti During Jean Claude Duvalier Reign

Jean Claude Duvalier and Michele Bennett - Leopard Uniform

During the Government of Jean-Claude Duvalier, he attempted to balance the power between the existing Armed forces and created as a result created a new military force, the Leopards Corps. The Haitian Armed Forces, also known as Forces Armees d'Haïti, (FAD'H) and the Tontons Macoutes, Volontaires de la Securite Nationale (VSN) were the two main military powers in the country before that. The VSN was an informal force and accused for many cases of abuse. The government of Jean Claude Duvalier was under pressure from the international community to decrease the level of abuse. The creation of the new force, the Leopard Corps, was designated to take care of the problem.

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Paul Magloire, Haiti's 35th president

Paul Magloire, Haiti's 35th president, was born in 1907, heir of a military father. He followed his father's career path, enlisting in the army and rising to Chief of Police in Port-au-Prince.

Paul Magloire played a pivotal role in overthrowing two Haitian presidents, Élie Lescot and his successor, Dumarsais Estimé. President Estimé, in a fruitless effort to draw out his time in office, attempted to amend the Constitution. The mulatto elite aided Magloire in deposing Estimé. Magloire then took the reins of power as President of Haiti.

During his term, Paul Magloire poured money into tourism, Haiti becoming known as a desirable vacation destination for foreign travelers. Imposing a tax on coffee-bean exports, he used the monies for development projects, raising living standards of the impoverished, as well as improving city services. Most notably, he gave the right-to-vote to women. In foreign policy, he forged stronger relations with the Dominican Republic, reversing the violent and unstable history they had shared in the past.

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Colonel Octave Cayard, Commandant of the Haitian Coast

Colonel Octave Cayard, on the morning of April 24, 1970, led a section of the Haitian Coast Guard into a rebellion against the Duvalier government and a naval attack on Port-au-Prince. In a United States memorandum sent to Washington, the event was chronicled by Viron P. Vaky, who wrote that the revolting guards had acted in desperation after those plotting a coup against the then president, Cayard included, had gotten wind that the controversial leader was in pursuit of them.

At 9am Colonel Octave Cayard declared in a telephone call that he would capture the Coast Guard's largest vessels. By sixteen minutes to twelve a round was fired, but landed short of the Palace. Though a subsequent ten rounds were fired, Vaky reported that things were 'reasonably calm' and that there was no sign of additional forces joining the erstwhile rebellion as ground troops appeared patriotic to the government.

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Prosper Avril, Confidante of Jean Claude Duvalier

Prosper Avril rose to power through his close association with the most powerful family in Haiti.

In 1969 he joined the Presidential Guard. In 1971 he became the personal body guard and close confidante of Jean Claude Duvalier. Prosper Avril was born on December 12th, 1937.

Favorite of the Duvaliers

Avril was in charge of the overseas management. It is said that he was the only other person who had signature authority other than the Duvaliers. This authority was given to handle their foreign accounts. He was called the "bagman" by the Duvaliers.

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Raoul Cedras - the effective de facto leader of Haiti

Raoul Cedras was the de facto leader of Haiti for three years, from 1991 to 1994. He was born on July 9th, 1949 and got into the military in the US early in life. He was educated in the US and later joined the Leopard Corps which was trained by the US forces. Yanick Prosper was the spouse of Cedras.

Important CIA Agent

As the Lieutenant General of the Haitian army Raoul Cedras was chiefly responsible for ousting the president Jean Bertrand Aristide. He was a crucial CIA agent who reported on the president. He went on to become the Commander-in-Chief of the army.

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President of Haiti - Henri Namphy

Born on November 2nd 1932 at Cap- Haitien, Henri Namphy was another military leader who became the president of Haiti. In the army he rose to the post of a general. His first stint in the political area was as the President of Haiti during a period where the interim body ruled.

Interim Council

The interim body was the National Council of Government and they ruled from February 1986 to February 1988. This interim council consisted of six civilians and six military personnel. This interim body assured elections and reforms that would be people friendly.

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