Today in Haitian History - April 24, 1966 – Haiti receives Emperor Haile Selassie
In 1966, Haiti welcomed one of the most symbolic black figures of the world. For the occasion, François Duvalier (left) had public settings redecorated in Port-au-Prince to match the national colours of Ethiopia. While Selassie was met with much euphoria in the capital, some historians maintain that François Duvalier attempted to put forward a new foreign policy agenda with such visit. Aware of his illness and of his regime’s unpopularity with foreign leaders, Duvalier was eager to accord diplomatic recognition to newly independent African states and to establish cordial ties with leaders of the continent in hopes of proving some consistency with his Noirist ideology and to demonstrate that his administration did possess some alignment beyond its professed anti-communism.