Haiti In The 1950’s

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Published on January 28, 2014 by kpakpato

This video is about Haiti In The 1950’s before the ruling of François Duvalier also known as Papa Doc….

François Duvalier (14 April 1907 — 21 April 1971), also known as ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, was the President of Haiti from 1957 until his death in 1971. He opposed a military coup d’état in 1950, and was elected president in 1957 on a populist and black nationalist platform. His rule, based on a purged military, a rural militia known as the Tonton Macoute and the use of a personality cult and voodoo, resulted in the murder of an estimated 30,000 Haitians and the exile of many more. Ruling as President for Life from 1964 until his death in 1971, Duvalier was initially known for successfully fighting diseases, gaining him the nickname ‘Papa Doc’ (“Daddy Doc[tor]” in French). He was succeeded by his son, Jean-Claude, nicknamed “Baby Doc”.

Duvalier was born in Port-au-Prince, the son of Duval Duvalier, a justice of the peace, and Ulyssia Abraham, a baker. He was largely raised by an aunt. He completed a degree in medicine from the University of Haiti in 1934. He served as staff physician at several local hospitals.

He spent a year at the University of Michigan studying public health.[5] In 1943, he became active in a United States-sponsored campaign to control the spread of contagious tropical diseases, helping the poor to fight typhus, yaws, malaria and other tropical diseases that ravaged Haiti for years. His patients affectionately called him “Papa Doc”, a moniker that he used throughout his life.

Lucky enough to be schooled and literate in a country where few were educated, Duvalier witnessed the political turmoil of his country. The United States occupation of Haiti which began in 1915, followed by its incessant violent repressions of political dissent, left a powerful impression on the young Duvalier. He was also aware of the latent political power of the poor black majority and their resentment against the tiny mulatto elite.

Duvalier became involved in the négritude movement of Haitian author Dr. Jean Price-Mars. He began an ethnological study of Vodou that later paid enormous political dividends. In 1938, Duvalier co-founded the journal Les Griots. In 1939, Duvalier married Simone Ovide, with whom he had four children: Marie Denise, Nicole, Simone and Jean-Claude.

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