Country Listing

Haiti Table of Contents



Some professionalization of the army continued for a few years after the United States occupation, but Haiti's political structure deteriorated rapidly after 1934, weakening civilmilitary relations and ultimately affecting the character of the armed forces. After the coup of 1946 and after Colonel Paul E. Magloire's election to the presidency in 1950, the army again assumed a political role. This development divided the army internally, and it set the stage for François Duvalier's ascent to power in late 1957 (see Politics and the Military, 1934-57 , ch. 6).

During the three decades of despotic Duvalier rule, a parallel security force, the VSN emerged. The Duvaliers maintained control of the country through this brutal force, which was independent of the armed forces. Both Duvaliers lacked military experience; still, they managed to neutralize the army's influence through intimidation, bribery, and political maneuvering. The Duvaliers also managed to stave off a number of low-level opposition plots and invasion attempts, mostly during the 1960s.

Data as of December 1989