The country with the reputation of “the world’s poorest country” is Haiti. Since the independence of the country, Haiti has been ruled by the Duvalier Family and the Duvalierists. The French-speaking elite rule in a system called the oligarchy. In this week’s readings, we have read about the struggles in the change of government from a dictatorship to a democracy. In Robert Fatton’s book, “Haiti’s Predatory Republic”, we focused on three chapters that dealt with the fall of Duvalier leading to the rule of Aristide and his efforts to establish more of an equal government. In Chapter three, of Fatton’s book he discusses the importance of the cultural differences in Haiti and how it contributes to the levels of power. He provides a powerful difference in the way their culture determines color. Fatton supports this in an example that if a black is rich then he is mulatto, but if a mulatto is poor, he is black. Fatton argues that the issue of color (mulatto and black) plays a significant role in politics but blacks didn’t overrule the mulatto. Mulatto bourgeoisie developed power in the private sector while the middle black class took over power in the public sector. This cultural difference that played an important role in politics was under the rule of Francois Duvalier. Francois died in 1971 and his son, Jean-Claude Duvalier took over. Robert Fatton makes the point that the fall of Duvalier starts when Jean-Claude takes over. Jean-Claude ignored his fathers’ policies and married a mulatto woman and had a goal to transform the country through the creation of an export-oriented economy (Fatton 57). As a result of the transformation, political change would have to occur as well. Fatton pointed out that exploitation in Haiti would increase the gap between the rulers and the ruled meaning the political class structure would change. The rulers will be the bourgeoisie and the ruled will be the working class with the rulers having more
Cited: Nairn, Allan. "He 's Our S.O.B." The Nation, Vol. 259, No. 14, October 31, 1994, pp. 481-482. Fatton, Robert. “Haiti’s Predatory Republic” 2002, pp.51-112.