Haiti 1969

Dictatorship in Haiti Decrees Death for “Communists”

Published: May 19, 1969;
Source: Intercontinental Press, Vol. 7, No. 19 p.480;
Transcribed: by Amaury Rodriguez, 2016.

Transcriber’s note: This article appeared in Intercontinental Press (IP), a weekly magazine published in New York on behalf on the Fourth International from 1963 to 1986. I thank Pathfinder Press for granting me permission to post this article. In addition, this issue of Intercontinental Press features a piece on neighboring Dominican Republic titled “New Social Unrest in the Dominican Republic” which highlights the mounting opposition against the repressive right wing Balaguer regime, a close ally of the Duvalier regime.

The rubber-stamp legislature of Haitian dictator François Duvalier [1] voted unanimously April 28 to make “communist activities” a “crime against the security of the state” punishable by the death penalty. This “crime” is to include the “promotion of Marxist or anarchist doctrines.”

Anyone accused of spreading Marxist ideas, or of aiding or harboring anyone so accused, is liable to be tried by a military tribunal and executed.

Only a few days after this head hunting warrant had been issued, the Duvalier regime gave a demonstration of the enforcement of its new policy. Dispensing with the part about a military trial, it proceeded directly to the executions. The May 3 issue of Le Nouveau Monde, a semiofficial government organ published in Port-au-Prince, reported that police had surrounded a house in the Haitian capital and killed thirty-five “communists.”

Police opened fire on the house, then demolished it when the occupants would not surrender. The people inside were buried in the rubble. Four survivors were taken prisoner.


1. François “Papa Doc” Duvalier (1907-1971) ruled Haiti from 1957 to 1971. After Papa Doc’s death in 1971, his son Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier (1951-2014) succeeded him. In 1986, a popular revolt put an end to the reign of the Duvalier family