There has been a lot of inquiries regarding the article published last week about the historical relationship between Cuba and Haiti and the role of the Tonton Macoutes in the expulsion of Cuba from the OAS after they sold Haiti’s vote to the United States in 1961. See: Fifty years later: Haitians should celebrate as Cuba returns to the OAS. Many readers sent this pertinent inquiry: Who was Chalmers? Few people knew of René Chalmers, François Duvalier’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who remained in this job until 1971. Chalmers was an infamously zealous Creole fascist who saw rouge in every opposition movement to the sadistic regime—then—in ascendance.
From 1960 to 1970, Duvalier and his cronies imposed a regime of terror that seemed to have transformed ordinary citizens in Haiti into submissive ghosts. It required revolutionary fever with boundless romanticisms to fight Papa Doc head on. Some folks did. Students, union workers, and Marxists were not afraid to counter with all their might what they believed to be a regime on a dangerous quest to morph Haiti into the land of the living zombies. In this picture, you can see that Chalmers is the second from the left. He is followed by Defense Minister Luc François, Minister of Information or Misinformation Georges J. Figaro, Finance Minister Hervé Boyer and Minister of Communication Luckner Cambronne.
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