port au prince


July 25 2015 -  Haiti marked the 100th anniversary of the first U.S. invasion of the country with protests in Port-au-Prince under the slogans of “Enough” and “No More Occupations”. 

One hundred years ago, U.S. corporations turned Haiti into a source of cheap labor and 400,000 workers were forced to go to other parts of the Caribbean and work in U.S. enterprises. The anti-imperialist protesters demanded the withdrawal of U.N. forces and reparations for historical losses inflicted on Haiti. 

As one protester said “The goal of this march is to say: Death to the dictatorship. Death to the occupation. Long live Haiti and the Haitian people. The USA are terrorists”. [video]


“Come to Haiti” travel posters by the Pan American World Airways. (Images Credit). 

These posters testify to an important partnership reached between Haitian president Dumarsais Estimé (1946-1950) and the  Pan American World Airways. From December 1949 to April 1950, Estimé lunched one of the most memorable moves of his political career with the lavish “Exposition internationale du bicentenaire de Port-au-Prince” (International Exhibition of Port-au-Prince's bicentenary).

Taking full advantage of the Pan American World Airways expanding its activities in the Caribbean and Latin American region following World War II, Estimé hoped to encourage tourism during (and after) the exhibition.  

While Estimé was ideologically a (more moderate) noirist, and his election in 1946 represented a “second Haitian Revolution” for many black students who had grown particularly dissatisfied with Haitian governments since the American Marine Occupation of 1915, many feared that he had “sold out” Haitian culture as an exotic product for foreign consumership, as the first poster vividly expresses. Whatever it may be, this period, and that of Estimé's successor, Paul Eugène Magloire (1950-1956), is often remembered as the "golden age" of Haitian tourism, where along with Cuba and Puerto Rico, Haiti was a leading site for tourism in the region. (Source, Source)