Hello, I’m Veronica

The sky is not completely dark at night. Were the sky absolutely dark, one would not be able to see the silhouette of an object against the sky.

  • Grandeur et petitesse humaines

    Je suis parfois petit, mais je n’ai pas honte de l’avouer ici, car mon intention c’est d’écrire des choses véridiques et utiles. Certains vont m’accuser de réfléchir rectilignement pour ma façon très directe d’aborder ce sujet complexe, mais ça ne me dérange pas. Je suis un homme résolu qui ne perd jamais son temps à faire des nuances superflues, inutiles, contre-productives, et stupides. Si cette manière de penser vous gêne, mieux vaut ne pas continuer à lire ce blog.


    Après des réflexions profondes sur l’être humain, j’ai finalement compris que rares sont les personnes véritablement grandes dans ce monde. Nous avons tous des frustrations humaines qui nous contrôlent, et qui nous font adopter des comportements méchants envers nos prochains. Rabaisser et snober les gens deviennent des façons presque légitimes pour prouver notre grandeur à la société. C’en est ainsi parce que nous confondons sans cesse position sociale et grandeur. Pour beaucoup, un homme influent et riche est nécessairement grand, mais c’est faux. La grandeur d’un homme ne se mesure ni dans sa popularité ni dans ses possessions. Elle se mesure de préférence dans sa façon d’encadrer les moins capables. Si une personne utilise sa force pour dominer et détruire les autres, elle fait plutôt preuve de petitesse et de narcissisme mais pas de grandeur. Le grand homme utilise ses talents pour éclairer, inspirer, et motiver les gens. C’est pour cela que je pense qu’il n’est pas facile d’être grand.

    Dans notre société, beaucoup de petits hommes dissimulent leur petitesse et se font passer pour de grands hommes. Ils prétendent aider les autres, mais ils ne font rien pour les inspirer et les motiver. Le pire c’est qu’ils découragent ceux qui sont déjà motivés, car leur objectif est simplement de dominer tout le monde. Vous pouvez les découvrir lorsque vous avez besoin de leur aide. Même un conseil sérieux ils ne vont pas vous donner, mais ils seront prêts à vous payer des tonnes de bières; ils vous redonneront ce que vous avez déjà, mais pas ce que vous cherchez; ils vous diront ce que vous savez déjà, mais ils ne vous apprendront rien de nouveau; ils vont aussi vous décourager en vous recommandant ce que vous ne pourrez jamais faire. En résumé, toute conversation avec eux est une perte de temps. Le mieux c’est de les éviter et de chercher la compagnie d’autres gens qui sont plus généreux et excités à vous voir progresser.

    En conclusion: soyons plus intelligents dans nos fréquentations. Ne perdons jamais notre temps avec des gens petits qui ne veulent pas nous aider à grandir, ou qui sont dérangés par notre succès. Le monde est rempli de gens plus positifs qui seront excités de nous aider et de nous encadrer. Cherchons-les de préférence, au lieu de mourir d’impatience avec des gens mesquins et méchants qui ne vont rien vous donner.


  • Why did the US decide to invade Haiti in 1994?

    On September 19th, 1994, the US started the operation “Uphold Democracy” in Haiti, which aimed to restore Jean Bertrand Aristide back to power. Aristide had been in exile since after the coup staged by the Haitian army on September 30th, 1991. The coup was masterminded by General Cédras whom Aristide had appointed as chief of the army. Since then, Cédras ruled as de-facto dictator, and remained the most influential person in Haiti. His regime was among the most violent in the Americas and repressed Aristide’s partisans; roughly 5,000 citizens were murdered, migration on sailboats toward the US intensified, and hundreds of women were raped by the military (Rey Terry: 74). The American senator Christopher Dodd claimed that: “Human rights abuses are worse than under the days of Papa Doc Duvalier” (Ralph Pezzullo: 252). Haiti’s economy was also looted: The military junta enriched itself through drug dealing and smuggling (Girard, P. R: 129); Cédras and his Generals accumulated $ 79 million (Douglas Jehl) while Haiti’s income per capita decreased by 30% (Elizabeth Gibbons).

    Cedras VS Clinton.jpg

    In response to the regime’s atrocities, the US and the UN in concert with Aristide worked exhaustively to undermine Cédras. Assets of Haitian officials in the US were frozen; foreign aid was prohibited; and an economic embargo was imposed, limiting Haiti in its exports, imports, and oil shipments (Gibbons E. et al: 1).  Furthermore, the UN forced Cédras to sign an agreement at Governors Island, whereby he pledged to peacefully relinquish power by October 30th, 1994. But, Cédras refused to leave when the day came, which prompted the International community to intensify their pressure. Live on TV in 1994, Bill Clinton unsparingly condemned Cédras of human right abuses and left a blunt ultimatum: “your time is up; leave now, or we will force you from power.” Then, Cédras resigned and went to exile in Panama. Shortly after, deposed President Aristide was reinstated on October 15th, and the UN sanctions were lifted.

    Why did Cédras decide to step down and negotiate with the US? And why did the US decide to pressure him? To understand this outcome, a background of the US’s and Cédras’s interests will be presented, and the same outcome will be predicted through a Game Theory model.

    The US’s motives
    The US had two main motives for overthrowing Cédras. The first was to stop the migration waves of Haitians toward their shores. After the coup, Haitians fled repression and poverty by intensively sailing to Florida. The US Coast Guard seized 6,013 migrants by November 1991 and 13053 by May 1992 (Ralph Pezzullo: 246). Bill Clinton was concerned with this influx of refugees. According to Clinton, 300,000 Haitians who were in hiding might also migrate to the US, which could disrupt the American economy. “We must act” announced Bill Clinton.

    The second motive was to uphold democracy. Typically, American leaders believe in Democratic Peace Theory, which states that democratic regimes are less prone to fight with one another. Thus having more democratic countries strengthens America’s peace and security. Aristide was the first president elected democratically since Haiti’s independence, but Cédras established a repressive military dictatorship after ousting him. Therefore, replacing the latter by the former was more attractive to the US. Clinton stated that Cédras was not only responsible for economic decay of Haiti, but also the murder and rape of his own people. “Restoring Haiti’s democratic government will help lead to more stability and prosperity in our region” Clinton stressed.

    Avoiding international blame or war was a concern of the US. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas, and invading it without the UN’s backing could have been interpreted as an “unfriendly act”. Thanks to the UN Security Council Resolution 940 on the 15th July 1994, the US was authorized to use all necessary means, including force, to restore democracy in Haiti. However, the invasion could have caused a massacre in Haiti due to its weak army. Unwilling to be held responsible for that, the US did not want a war with Haiti. The purpose was merely to deter Cédras and force him to negotiate. “They do not have to push this to a confrontation,” said Clinton.

    In sum, the US had good motives to remove Cédras and restore Aristide. However, Clinton’s ultimatum to Cédras was merely to make him surrender, but not to wage a war. Fighting with Haiti would have caused an international outcry.

    Cédras’s motives
    Cédras’s paramount motive was to remain in power. He showed his willingness to fight in his first reaction to Clinton: “We are going to fight. A solution cannot be imposed on this country” (Rohter Larry). So did Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier in 1964 when Kennedy threatened to invade Haiti; he resisted and threatened also to fight (Wien Weibert: 327). Both Papa Doc and Cédras did not really want war; their firm stances were merely to dissuade the invaders and maintained their power. Kennedy defected, but Clinton did not, which prompted Cédras to give up and preserve his life, and his assets.

    Cédras was preoccupied about his survival and his honor. First, the army was divided, and some soldiers threatened to overthrow him. It was until Cédras’s henchman, General Philippe Biamby, convinced them that there would not be any invasion that they gave up (Abbott Elizabeth: 369). Furthermore, in case of war Cédras could have easily been killed: He was more a bureaucrat than a field soldier (Rohter Larry), and he was not popular in Haiti. The coup that prompted him to power was an act of betrayal against Aristide whom the people considered as their savior. Haitians have never forgiven him for that. That is to say, he ran the risk of being killed by Aristide’s partisans. Even if he survived the war, he would have still faced rape, homicide, and corruption charges, which would have hurt his pride. During an interview with CBS, he declared that he would rather die than leave in dishonor (Rohter Larry). His wife Yannick, who many believed to have great authority on him, was also a proud person. Elizabeth Abbott, in her wonderful book, said that Yannick would prefer to have her family dead before yielding to the invaders (Abbott Elzabeth: 369).

    Cédras valued also his assets. He accumulated millions during his reign (Freed, K). But due to the UN sanctions, his money, deposed in American banks, was frozen. His only hope to regain it was to negotiate with the Americans. Cédras also possesses 3 houses in Port-au-Prince (Douglas Jehl), which could have been burnt by mobs during war. That’s a typical Haitian behavior, which Cédras was mindful of.

    In sum, Cédras’s regime was vulnerable. He received pressure both locally and internationally. Plus, he had no chance to win the war because his army was weak and divided. Therefore, he ran the risk of losing everything.

    Collaboration Analysis
    The main actors for the model are Cédras and the US. Each of them had two strategy options: either to go to war (F) or to negotiate (N) for a peaceful solution. For these options, 4 results are possible.

    1. FF : The two states decides to go to war
    2. FN : The US wants war, but Cédras wants negotiation
    3. NF : The US wants to negotiate, but Cédras wants war
    4. NN : Both states want to negotiate

    When the two states decide to fight, there is no cooperation, and this would cause casualties in both sides. If the two states decide to negotiate, this would represent a perfect cooperation. Coordination will follow; both Haiti and the US would work compromisingly toward an outcome equally beneficial for each. But, when only one state decides to negotiate, there will not be war; however, the state that decides to negotiate will lose more in the negotiation, as it will be weaker.

    Preference Order for the US
    The US’s best option is Case 2. This would mean that Cédras is negotiating out of fear for the superpower. The US could easily take advantage of that and set the tone of the negotiation. For instance, it could easily require Cédras to relinquish power, prepare Aristide’s return and go to exile. The second-best option for the US is when both decides to fight. Given the strength superiority of the US, Cédras would easily be crushed. Due to his unpopularity, there would not be too much national or international blame. The third-best option for the US is when both negotiates. This requires a lot of meetings, bureaucracy, and would not be as quick as the second option; Aristide was elected for five years and had only 17 months left. The last option is case 3. This would mean that the US is weaker and deterred by Cédras. So, he would dominate the negotiation, thus influencing it more in its advantage.

    Preference Order for Cédras
    Cédras’s best option is Case 3: only him wants war. Although this scenario is very unlikely, but it would enable him to negotiate with little compromise. For instance, he could reject the demand for reinstating Aristide, and even oblige the UN to lift the sanctions against his regime. Cédras’s second-best option is when both states negotiate (Case 4). In this scenario, Cédras could potentially loose his power, but each state would have to make some compromises benefiting the other. Cédras could thus save his assets and avoid exile. The third best option is Case 2. He would surely loose his power but would avoid imprisonment and death. The last option is Case 1. If both states decide to fight, Cédras would surely loose the war and risk death or imprisonment.

    The preference orders are illustrated below:

    Cedras VS Clinton2
    The US’s best option is to wage war. In this case, Cédras will either front it or capitulate. By fronting, Cédras would be in his worst option while the US in his second; by negotiating, Cédras would be in his third option and the US in his first. Therefore, it would be better for Cédras to negotiate if the US declares war. On the other hand, if the US wants negotiation, it will be in its third or fourth options while Cédras in his first or second option. So, this option is not good for the US. Not knowing how Cédras would respond, the US rather shows its willingness to fight. By doing so, Cédras would surely negotiate. Therefore, the Nash equilibrium is Case 2.

    Outcome Predictions
    According to the model, if the US wants to remove Cédras more effectively, it has to declare war. That is what happened exactly. After the ultimatum in September 15th, the US never defected. At first, Cédras resisted: “We have no desire to kill Americans. We have the duty to defend our country” (Rohter Larry). This was an attempt to move to Case 3, which would have been his best. But the US took a tougher stance; the invasion was launched; US airplanes left their base toward Haiti. In the Nash table, this put Cédras in the first column, which means negotiating is his best choice. Again, that is what happened: As soon as Cédras realized the invasion was not a hoax, he quickly began negotiating (Philippe Girard: 150). On September 17th  Colin Powell and former President Carter arrived in Port-au-Prince to begin the negotiation. Out of fear, Cédras accepted to resign in exchange for immunity. He flew to exile in Panama, and Aristide was restored on October 15th. Thus, the game predicts accurately the outcome.

    The Role of International Organizations
    The Organization of American States (OAS), and the United Nation (UN) endeavored to oust Cédras. Only one month after the coup, the OAS initiated economic sanctions on Haiti. Assets of the military leaders in the US were frozen; foreign aid was cut; and a trade embargo was imposed on Haitian exports. This turn out to hurt only the poorest Haitians; 29780 jobs were lost by February 1992; most schools were closed within 6 months; child vaccination dropped from 40% to 12 % by 1993, which caused a measles epidemic (Gibbons, E. et al.). These prompted the US to partially lift the sanctions in February 1992(Werleigh, Claudette). In sum, the OAS sanctions was a fiasco. The first special OAS envoy to Haiti, Oscar Ramirez-Ocampo, even concluded that the embargo is ineffective to restore Aristide (Werleigh, Claudette).

    However, by 1993, the UN started to impose tougher sanctions on Haiti. In June 1993, the UN Security Council approved Resolution 841, which imposed an oil and arms embargo on Haiti. Quickly, Cédras initiated negotiation. The Governors Island agreement was quickly signed on July 3rd, by which he promised to step down by October 30th and pave the way for Aristide return. Consequently, the UN approved Resolution 861, which lifted the sanctions. However, when the US’s chargé d’affaire went to Haiti to plan the deposed president’s return, she was harassed by Cédras’s partisans in October 11th (Girard, P. R.: 130).  The UN sanctions were restituted shortly after on October 13th, but Cédras remained undeterred. In May 1994, UN Security Council approved Resolution 917 which interdicted Haiti to trade all commodities and products. Later in July, the UN authorized the US to use all necessary means to remove Cédras.

    Without the UN’s tough sanctions, Cédras would have not signed the Governors’ Island agreement, which was a crucial step in his ouster. He violated its terms, which legitimized the UN to take the severe sanction authorizing the US to remove him with lethal force. Without that, Cédras would have never negotiated and stepped down. Therefore, the UN was the key International Organization that toppled Cédras.

    After the coup staged by Cédras, the US had good motives for removing him. First, to stop the migration flood; second, to uphold democracy. Cédras also had some good motives: to preserve his regime, his assets and his honor. In this battle, both the US and Cédras had 2 options: negotiation, or war. The Nash Equilibrium of this battle predicts that if the US declare war to Haiti, it put Cédras in the first column, which means negotiation would be his best option. That’s what happened exactly. Because the US never defect after the ultimatum, Cédras, finally deterred, chose to negotiate. However, without the help of the UN, this mission would not be so easy. International blame was also an American preoccupation, which was handled when the UN authorized the use of force to depose Cédras.

    Abbott, Elizabeth. Haiti: A Shattered Nation. London ; New-York ; Overlook Duckworth, 2011.

    Carl M. Cannon, Clinton gives ultimatum ‘Your time is up,’ president tells Haiti’s leaders Haiti: on the brink of invasion, The Baltimore Sun.   https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1994-09-16-1994259012-story.html

    Douglas Jehl. “Haiti Generals Regain Access to $79 Million.” New York Times (1923-Current File), Oct 14, 1994.

    Freed, K. (1994, Oct 11). Cédras resigns in haiti, ending brutal regime. Los Angeles Times.

    Gibbons, E. and R. Garfield. “The Impact of Economic Sanctions on Health and Human Rights in Haiti, 1991-1994.” American Journal of Public Health 89, no. 10 (1999): 1499-1504.

    Girard Philippe, Paradise Lost : Haiti’s Tumultuous Journey. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

    Girard, P. R. (2002). Credibility, domestic politics and presidential decision-making: William J. clinton’s 1994 invasion of haiti. The Journal of Caribbean History, 36(1), 127-VII.

    Pezzullo, Ralph. Plunging into Haiti. Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, 2006.

    Rey, Terry. “Junta, Rape, and Religion in Haiti, 1993-1994.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 15, no. 2 (1999): 73-100.

    Rohter, Larry. “Showdown In Haiti: In Haiti; A Cloudy Future for the Military Leaders.” New York Times,1994, Late (East Coast).

    Simons, Geoffrey L. Imposing Economic Sanctions: Legal Remedy Or Genocidal Tool?. London;Jackson;: Pluto Press, 1999.

    Werleigh, Claudette Antoine. “Haiti and the Halfhearted.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 49, no. 9 (1993): 20-23.

    Wien Weibert Arthus. “The Challenge of Democratizing the Caribbean during the Cold War: Kennedy Facing the Duvalier Dilemma” Diplomatic History, Volume 39, Issue 3, 1 June 2015: 504–531.

  • Murs en maçonnerie de briques face aux séismes

    Ce texte est une traduction faite du document Earthquake Tip 12 de IITK. Consulter ce lien pour la version originale (http://www.iitk.ac.in/nicee/EQTips/EQTip12.pdf)

    Les bâtiments en maçonnerie sont des structures fragiles, et ils sont aussi parmi les plus vulnérables face aux fortes solicitations sismiques. Ceci peut être confirmé en constatant les dégâts dans ces constructions au cours des tremblements de terre. Il est donc très important d’améliorer leur comportement. Et pour atteindre cet objectif, un certain nombre de techniques peuvent être utilisées.

    epizòd 84

    Les vibrations du sol lors d’un séisme engendrent des forces d’inertie sur toute la masse du bâtiment. Ces forces traversent le toit et les murs jusqu’à arriver aux fondations. Le but du dimensionnement parasismique c’est de faire en sorte que ces forces atteignent le sol sans causer de grands dommages au bâtiment. À titre de rappel, un bâtiment en maçonnerie a trois composantes: le toit, le mur et la foundation (Figure 1a). Mais les murs en sont les plus vulnérables. Un mur peut être facilement basculé si sa partie supérieure est poussée horizontalement dans une direction perpendiculaire à son plan (faible direction), mais offre beaucoup plus de résistance si cette force se situe dans son plan (direction forte) (Figure 1b).

    epizòd 8

    Lors d’un séisme, le sol se déplace dans la direction verticale et aussi dans deux directions horizontales. Mais les vibrations horizontales sont les plus nuisibles pour les bâtiments en maçonnerie. Les forces d’inertie horizontales développées au toit se transfère sur les murs et agissent soit dans la direction faible soit dans la direction forte. Si tous les murs ne sont pas attachés ensemble comme une boîte, ceux qui sont chargés dans leur faible direction ont tendance à se renverser (figure 2a). Pour assurer une meillleure performance sismique, tous les murs doit être joints correctement aux murs adjacents. Ainsi, les murs chargés dans leur faible direction pourront prendre avantage de la bonne résistance latérale offerte par les murs qui sont chargés dans leur forte direction (Figure 2b). Les murs doivent également être attachés au toit et à la base pour préserver leur intégrité globale.

    epizòd 82

    Comment améliorer la performance des murs en maçonnerie?
    Les murs en maçonnerie sont élancés à cause de leur petite épaisseur par rapport à leur hauteur et leur longueur. Un moyen simple de les empêcher de se renverser pendant un tremblement de terre c’est de les bien lier avec le toit et avec les fondations comme une boîte en carton. Tout d’abord, les connexions entre les murs doivent être bien faites. Cela peut être atteint en (a) assurant une bonne jonction des murs dans les coins, et en (b) employant des bandes horizontales à différents niveaux, particulièrement au dessus des portes et des fenêtres. Deuxièmement, la taille des ouvertures des portes et des fenêtres doivent être petite. Plus les ouvertures sont petites, plus la résistance offerte par le mur est grande. Troisièmement, la tendance d’un mur à se renverser quand il poussé dans la direction faible peut être réduite en limitant ses rapports longueur sur épaisseur et hauteur sur épaisseur (Figure 3). Les codes de conception spécifient les limites pour ces rapports. Un mur trop haut ou trop long par rapport à son épaisseur, est particulièrement vulnérable aux tremblements de terre dans sa direction faible.

    La performance sismique d’un mur en maçonnerie est très sensible aux propriétés de ses constituents. En Inde, les propriétés de ces matériaux varient en raison de la variation des matériaux de base et des méthodes de construction. La maçonnerie peut etre composée par exemple des briques d’argile (brûlés et non brûlés), de blocs de béton (pleins et creux), de blocs de pierre. Les briques d’argile brûlées sont les plus couramment utilisés. Ces briques sont intrinsèquement poreuses, et ainsi ils absorbent de l’eau. La porosité excessive est préjudiciable à un bon comportement de la maçonnerie parce que les briques aspirent l’eau du mortier adjacent, ce qui entraîne une mauvaise liaison entre la brique et le mortier et une difficulté à mettre la maçonnerie en place. Pour cette raison, les briques de faible porosité doivent être utilisées, et ils doivent être trempés dans l’eau avant d’être utilisés pour minimiser la quantité d’eau tirée du mortier.

    Divers mortiers sont aussi utilisés: mortier de boue, mortier de ciment et de sable, ou mortier de ciment, de sable et de chaux. Parmi ceux-ci, le mortier de boue est le plus faible; il s’écrase facilement à sec, coule vers l’extérieur et possède une très faible résistance sismique. Le mortier de ciment et de sable à la chaux est le plus approprié. Ce mélange fournit une excellente ouvrabilité pour la pose des briques, peut s’étirer sans s’effondrer pendant un faible tremblement de terre, et se lie bien avec les briques. La réponse sismique des murs de maçonnerie dépend de la résistance relative des briques et du mortier. Les briques doivent être plus fortes que le mortier. Une trop grande épaisseur du mortier n’est pas souhaitable. Généralement, une couche de mortier de 10 mm d’épaisseur est pratiquement et esthétiquement satisfaisant. Les normes indiennes prescrivent les types préférés de briques et de mortier à utiliser dans les bâtiments pour chaque zone sismique.

  • The Right to Water in Haiti

    Authors: Laguerre Marc-Ansy, Trimmino Marroquin Veronica
    To anyone interested in learning about the evolution of the right to water in Haiti in respect to the Spiral Model, feel free to read our final paper. Be aware that this text is subject to copyright.

    The widespread lack of access to drinking water and proper sanitation systems is one of the most important obstacles in Haiti when it comes to complying with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL). The historical legacy of inequality, the political instability, weak state consolidation and corruption of the government, as well as the persistent levels of extreme poverty, have contributed to the systemic inability of the Haitian government to deliver potable water to its inhabitants. The lack of access to this crucial resource continues to impact all aspects of life for most Haitians, contributing to poor health, food shortages and declining educational opportunities, resulting in a vicious circle of contaminated water consumption, ineffective public hygiene, persistent health crises and, chronic and deeply rooted poverty (Varma M., et al, 2008).

    Haiti became independent in 1804 after 13 years of revolution against France. Although it was a very prosperous colony, once independent, Haiti faced major social, political, environmental, and economic challenges. Two years after independence, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the founding father of the nation was assassinated, causing political instability characterized by authoritarian regimes for over 200 years. In 1915, president Vilbrun Guillaume Sam was killed by the population while trying to escape to the French embassy, which prompted the American Occupation that lasted until 1934. After a period of transition, from 1957 to 1986, Haiti lived under the tyrannical dictatorship of François Duvalier and his dynasty. After which Haiti transitioned into a “unstable” democracy, dominated by recurrent political instability, poor economic performance, chronic inequality and poverty, and environmental deterioration (Diamond, 2005). Haiti is also the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with an annual GDP per capita of 765.7 U.S. dollars (World Bank, 2017).

    This research paper analyses the Right to Water in Haiti since its independence, using the Spiral Model developed by Thomas Risse, Stephen Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, as a framework to explain the process of change, asses the outcomes and make a set of recommendations to push the process forward and advance to the next stage.

    1. The Right to Water
    The UN General Comment No. 15, in Paragraph 2, states that “The human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses. An adequate amount of safe water is necessary to prevent death from dehydration, to reduce the risk of water-related disease and to provide for consumption, cooking, personal and domestic hygienic requirements” (UN General Comment No. 15, 2002).

    The Comment calls on the States Parties to “adopt effective measures to realize, without discrimination, the right to water”, based on 3 factors: the derivation of a right to water from Articles 11 and 12 of the ICESCR; the centrality, necessity and ineluctable place of water in the rights to life, liberty, and human dignity contained in the UDHR; and prior recognition of this right in other international legal instruments.

    The Committee used those three elements to conclude that there is a human right to water, because this right is not explicitly provided for in the ICESCR, and because, by its nature, a General Comment does not alter the explicit provisions of the ICESCR, nor does it create new rights beyond the parameters of what is contained in the ICESCR.

    1.1 Legal Background for the Right to Water
    Water is a limited natural resource and a public good fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity, and it is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.

    In the UDHR, the process of implying rights is undertaken by relying on a well-established method of statutory interpretation in the realm of rights. That’s why water was not incorporated in this formulation, because it was considered implicitly included, in Articles 1,3 and 25(1), where the term ‘including’ shows that the component elements listed were not meant to form an all-inclusive list but serve as an indication of certain factors essential for an adequate standard of living. In this sense, satisfying standards of the Declaration cannot be done without water of sufficient quantity and quality to maintain human health and well-being.

    1.2 Formal Recognition of The Right to Water
    In July of 2010, For the first time, the UN General assembly formally recognized the right to water and sanitation in Resolution A/RES/64/292 and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights. The Resolution called upon States and international organizations to provide financial resources, help capacity-building and technology transfer to help countries, in particular developing countries, to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.

    Following the UN General Assembly resolution, in September of the same year, the Human Rights Council with Resolution A/HRC/RES/15/9 affirmed that the rights to water and sanitation are part of existing international law and confirmed that these rights are legally binding upon States. It also called upon States to develop appropriate tools and mechanisms to achieve progressively the full realization of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation, including currently unserved and underserved areas.

     1.3 Substantive Dimensions of The Right to Water
    UN General Comment 15 defines 3 substantive dimensions for the Right of Water:

    Availability: The water supply for each person must be sufficient and continuous for personal and domestic uses. These uses ordinarily include drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, personal and household hygiene. The quantity of water available for each person should correspond to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Some individuals and groups may also require additional water due to health, climate, and work conditions.

    Quality: The water required for each personal or domestic use must be safe, therefore free from micro-organisms, chemical substances and radiological hazards that constitute a threat to a person’s health. Furthermore, water should be of an acceptable color, odor and taste for each personal or domestic use.

    Accessibility: Water, water facilities and services must be accessible to everyone without discrimination, within the jurisdiction of the State party. Accessibility has four overlapping dimensions:

    1. Physical accessibility: water, and adequate water facilities and services, must be within safe physical reach for all sections of the population.
    2. Economic accessibility: Water, and water facilities and services, must be affordable for all. The direct and indirect costs and charges associated with securing water must be affordable and must not compromise or threaten the realization of other Covenant rights.
    3. Non-discrimination: Water and water facilities and services must be accessible to all, including the most vulnerable or marginalized sections of the population, in law and in fact, without discrimination on any of the prohibited grounds.
    4. Information accessibility: accessibility includes the right to seek, receive and impart information concerning water issues.

    1.4 Entitlements and Obligations of the State
    The Right to Water implies certain entitlements and obligations for the state to respect, protect and fulfill the right.

    Respect: The obligation to respect requires States to refrain from interfering directly or indirectly with the enjoyment of the right to water.

    Protect: The obligation to protect requires States to prevent third parties from interfering with the right to water. States should adopt legislation or other measures to ensure that private actors—e.g., industry, water providers or individuals—comply with human rights standards related to the right to water.

    Fulfill: The obligation to fulfill requires States to adopt appropriate legislative, administrative, budgetary, judicial, promotional and other measures to fully realize the right to water. States must, among other things, adopt a national policy on water that: gives priority in water management to essential personal and domestic uses; defines the objectives for the extension of water services, with a focus on disadvantaged and marginalized groups; identifies the resources available to meet these goals; specifies the most cost-effective way of using them; outlines the responsibilities and time frame for implementing the necessary measures; monitors results and outcomes, including ensuring adequate remedies for violations.

    States must also, progressively and to the extent allowed by their available resources, extend water and sanitation services to vulnerable and marginalized groups; make water and sanitation services more affordable; ensure that there is appropriate education about the proper use of water and sanitation, protection of water sources and methods to minimize waste.

    Obligations: Among the most important core obligations the State is required to guarantee the right to water, it needs to ensure access to the minimum essential amount of water, that is sufficient and safe for personal and domestic uses to prevent disease; as well as to ensure the right of access to water and water facilities and services on a non-discriminatory basis, especially for disadvantaged or marginalized groups and to take measures to prevent, treat and control diseases linked to water, in particular ensuring access to adequate sanitation.. To guarantee these, the State should adopt and implement a national water strategy and plan of action addressing the whole population; which needs to be devised, periodically reviewed based on a participatory and transparent process.

    2. Water in Haiti
    Haiti failed to reach the Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation which aimed to reduce the percentage of people accessing to safe drinking water by half by 2015. This meant that access to water should have been greater than 76%, and access to improved sanitation greater than 85% (World Bank, 2007:11). However, as shown in Figures 1 and 2, Haiti performance was lagging as of 2015. In urban areas, less than 1 million people had access to pipe water, while almost 2 million had access to unimproved sources; and more than 3 million persons had access to unimproved sanitation.


    Figure 1. Access to water (World Bank. (2017)


    Figure 2. Access to Sanitation (World Bank. (2017).

    Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. Yet, Haiti is unlikely to meet these goals, and data collected for many indicators can prove it. For instance, the proportion of people practicing open defecation was still 19% in 2015 (Figure 3), and the proportion of people using hand washing facilities on premises was less than 30% in 2015 (Figure 4).


    Figure 3. Proportion of People Practicing Open Defecation (unstats.un.org).


     Figure 4. Proportion of population with basic handwashing facilities on premises (unstats.un.org).

    2.2. Haiti’s known violations of Right to Water and Sanitation

    Sufficiency: Water must be continuous and sufficient with an average consumption ranged between 50 to 100 liters according to WHO.

    Violation: Water supply is not continued in Haiti. In some area, water supply is less than 20 hours a week.

    Safety: Water must be free from micro-organisms or other substances that are a threat to health.

    Violation: Cholera, a waterborne disease, has killed over 9200 Haitians and afflicted over 770,000 (National Geographic).

    Acceptability: Definition: Color, taste, odor of water should be acceptable.

    Violation: Water treatment facilities are not yet widespread in Haiti. 32% of households drink untreated water (VisiEau 2018).

    Accessibility: WHO states that water has to be accessible within 1000 meters and 30 minutes.

    Violation: Only 31% of the population have access to improved sanitation facilities while 64% have access to drinking water sources (VisiEau 2018).

    Affordability: Cost of water should not exceed 5% of household income.

    Violation: Fecal waste removal is unaffordable for the poorest Haitians (World Bank 2017).  Water truck in Port-au-Prince cost over $ 20 us, which is too expensive for many.

    3. The Spiral Model as a Framework to Explain Change
    The Spiral Model seeks to explain the five phases a State may progress through, as it brings about domestic human rights improvements in response to pressures from a network of domestic and international actors. In each of these phases, the model highlights how a network of domestic and international human rights NGOs, UN bodies and states promoting international human rights norms, can influence the human rights practices at a domestic level.

    In an attempt to identify how, where and why international human rights norms matter to states, the Spiral Model depicts “several boomerang throws, with diverging effects on the human rights situation in the target country (and) disconfirms the notion that certain types of political, economic, or social systems cannot be subjected to change and that international human rights are fundamentally alien to particular cultures or regions of the world” (Risse, et al., 2013: 239).

    The model uses 4 elements to explain the 5 stages (repression, denial, tactical concessions, prescriptive status, rule consistent behavior) of domestic Human Rights and the process of change from one stage to the next: scope conditions, changing scope conditions and “world time”, actors, and causal mechanisms.

    Scope conditions refer to the different types of conditions in a country that affect the ease of compliance or the Human Right socialization. The first condition the model analysis is the regime type which indicates the mobilization potential or mobilization inhibitors the country presents. On the other hand, State Consolidation specifies the institutional capacity to comply with the entitlements to respect, protect, and fulfill a right. Likewise, the State control over the violations is indicated by the centralization of rule implementation for a Human Right issue. Finally, the last scope conditions considered by the model are material vulnerability which explains the control over resources, and social vulnerability, which explains the international or domestic reputation of the country’s compliance with the Human Right.

    Domestic scope conditions may change over time affecting process of Human Rights change, and societal “openness” to socialization processes may vary in different historical periods. In other words, changes in conditions are affected by “world time”, which may speed or slow the process depending on the context and issue, changing robustness of the international Human Rights regime and transnational advocacy networks (TANs) over time.

    Along with the scope conditions and changing conditions over time, the model places especial emphasis on 3 levels of actors involved in the changing process from one stage to the other. In this sense, usually one set of actors dominates each stage, being stronger and possibly able to drive the process forward. The violator State is the first level defined by the model and it includes violations via commission, complicity, and omission. Where State vulnerability is linked to scope conditions, and to domestic and international actor strength. The second level is composed by domestic opposition to the Human Right violation, required to endure change, because the stronger the domestic opposition, the more vulnerable the violator government to internal pressures, even without TANs. Finally, the third level of actors, corresponds to international supporters, who are often “the single most important cause of change toward initial concessions”.

    For actors to drive the process of change from one stage to the other, they may use a variety of different “modes of social action,” aligned with 4 different causal mechanisms: coercion, incentives, persuasion, capacity building. Coercion, under a hierarchical authority is characterized by the use of force and legal enforcement to induce compliance. Under a logic of consequences, incetinves can be either sanctions or rewards. On the other hand, persuasion is characterized by a discursive power mainly manifested by arguing, naming and/or shaming through a logic of arguing or apporpaiatenes. Finally, to create the preconditions so that logic of consequences or of approprateness can apply, capacity building is funamental, and is mainly represented by institution building, education and training.

    4. Spiral Model as Framework to analysis the Right to Water in Haiti
    Using the Spiral Model and the key elements of the framework, the following section presents the analysis of the Right to Water in Haiti, since the country’s independence in 1804 to the present day. Based on historical facts and substantial evidence, the analysis presents a comprehensive attempt to address the failure to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to water in Haiti and aims to explain the process of change of the Right of Water from the first stage of Repression to the fourth stage of Prescriptive Status, where the right is now. By assessing the outcomes of each stage, a set of recommendations for Haiti are presented, to push the process forward and advance to the final stage of the Model: Rule-Consistent Behavior.

    Continual requirements to pay its debilitating debt, which date back to its early days of independence, when Haiti was essentially forced to purchase its freedom from the French for an exorbitant sum, and which has further amassed during two centuries of political turmoil, foreign occupation, and corruption, have left the Haitian government unable to funnel its limited resources into social infrastructure programs like water and sanitation systems, with catastrophic effects on the health and well-being of the Haitian people.

    The lack of clean water ranks high among the most serious of Haiti’s many serious human rights challenges. In 2002, Haiti ranked 101 out of 127 countries according to indicators such as quantity and quality of fresh water; the existence of wastewater treatment facilities; and the presence of legal structures, such as polluting regimes. Problems with Haiti’s water system did not develop in isolation, as the analysis shows, historical legacies and persistent extreme poverty have affected the ability of the government to deliver clean water to its people. The effects of this serious deprivation. reverberate beyond the basic capacity to drink or bathe; the scarcity of clean water impacts different aspects of daily life. Weakened by political violence, interference from external parties, institutional weaknesses and a long history of crushing debts, the Haitian government has been unable to provide reliable water to its urban population or their rural communities. This failure continues to fuel a vicious circle of contaminated water, weak public hygiene, poor health and chronic poverty.


    Figure 5. Spiral Model as Framework to analysis the Right to Water in Haiti

    4.1. Stage 1: Repression
    The Spiral Model states that there is Repression for a Human Right when there is little to no engagement in discussion of wrong-doing by the State regarding the violations of the right, and domestic opposition is too oppressed to present a significant challenge. Based on this definition of Repression, Haiti was in the stage of repression for the Right to Water ever since its independence in 1804 until 1900. Due to the political turmoil, the weak consolidation of the state, the social and economic vulnerabilities that the country was experiencing due to the new-found independence, during this period the wrong-doing regarding water and sanitation was not a preoccupation for the State or the other actors involved.

    Since the revolution started in 1791, the slaves destroyed most of the colonial infrastructure to make its recolonization difficult (Diamond, 2005: 335). Food supplies, clean water, and sanitation facilities were mostly extinguished (Varma et al., 2008:5). While it was a very strategic approach, it reduced the population’s access to water and sanitation considerably. But that was not the greatest challenge. Only 25 years after the independence, in 1825, Haiti was coerced by France to pay an independence debt as compensation for the damage during the revolution. The amount payed to France, is equivalent to $21 billion US dollars in current currency.  Thus, improving the access to water and improving sanitation was impossible. To aggravate the situation, the US and France put an embargo on Haiti, and refused to acknowledge its independence. “Independence is the worst and most dangerous condition they can be in for the United States” said the American President John Adams in 1799 (Pezzullo, 2006:52). Under these conditions, the Haitian society was unable to oppose or pressure the government to resolve the water problem. It was until 1862, that the US finally recognized Haiti’s independence. Even though in 1883, Haiti payed entirely to France the independence debt, it still owed money from loans to French banks. Thus, by the end of the 19th century, Haiti had international relationship with other countries. But, with international relationship comes also international pressure which pushed Haiti to the next stage of the spiral model in 1900.

    4.2. Stage 2: Denial
    The stage of Denial is described as when a state refuses to acknowledge its wrong-doing regarding a right violation. From 1900 to 1942 Haiti denied its wrong-doing in the water and sanitation sector. The actors sparkling the shift to Denial was the international society, and the mechanism used was shaming.  During this stage, the civil society remained weak, and the GOH did not undertake any action for improving the conditions.

    It started with a dysentery outbreak in Petit-Trou de Nippes in 1900, a disease that caused diarrhea to numerous people in the city. Some public health specialists in mission in Haiti blamed the government by reporting that poverty, bad alimentation, the use of impure water where among the causes of the dysentery epidemic (Behrmann, 1900:498).  But, the Government of Haiti did not take any actions to appease the critics. Instead, it was so corrupted that the country fell into political instabilities with multiple short-term presidencies. From 1902 to 1915, 8 presidents rose and fell, and two of them were severely killed by the population. Thus, the international blame was ignored; the validity of the norm regarding water and sanitation was not a preoccupation. Ultimately, all the political turmoil led to the American Occupation of Haiti in 1915.

    During the occupation, the US carried a lot of projects: one thousand miles of road and medical facilities were built; the telephone network was modernized; the first radio station was opened (Abbot, 2011:64); water supply and sanitation projects were also executed (Gelting, 2013:665). This could be interpreted as a shift into the stage of Tactical Concessions, but it was not.  Those sanitations projects were not executed by Haiti itself, and the Tactical Concessions stage, as characterized by the spiral modal, requires the state to take symbolic actions in response to the pressure. Deliberate actions to appease the critics were taken only after the American Occupation, when Elie Lescot came to power. 

    4.3. Stage 3: Tactical Concessions
    This stage is characterized by state doing symbolic actions, not genuinely, to reduce the pressure received for violating a right. This stage started in Haiti in 1942 and ended in 2009. The actors provoking the shift were the Government of Haiti, and the international society. The mechanism used was mostly incentives: the US, the IDB, the IMF gave Haiti a lot of loan in this period.

    The first signs of tactical concessions were when President Elie Lescot requested $ 350,000 US dollars for sanitation projects (Department of State, 1945); after that, in 1948, President Estimé solicited a group of experts from the United Nation to investigate the cause of water problems. Later in 1957, with Duvalier’s dictatorship, Haiti plunged into doing concessions merely to receive foreign aid. In 1964, Duvalier created the Centrale Autonome Metropolitaine d’Eau Potable (CAMEP), an institution managing the water supply in the metropolitan area; in 1977, the Service National d’Eau Potable was created to provide water outside the capital. As a result, these attracted a lot of foreign aid. Haiti received $4.3 million in 1971, $9.3 million in 1974, and $35.5 million in 1975 from the US (Pezzullo, 2006:108). By 1986, Haiti was among the top 3 regional recipients of loans from the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) for water supply and sewerage (Gelting, 2013:666).

    Unfortunately, Duvalier did not endeavor to put Haiti toward a more sustainable path regarding water and sanitation. Instead, the aid money was generally embezzled by the officials. In 1975 for instance, a project aiming to build 500 public latrines in Port-au-Prince was not executed because the aid money was siphoned off while millions of Haitians were living without latrine (Abbot, 2011:182). In addition, when Haiti was granted $22 million in 1980 by the IMF, Duvalier embezzled $16 million for his personal use while $4 million went in the hands of his corrupted militia (Ferguson, 1988:70). If Duvalier’s concessions were genuine, he could have reformed and regulated the water and sanitation sector in Haiti because his regime had absolute power. After Duvalier’s downfall in 1986, political instabilities made it hard to shift to the stage of Prescriptive Status; government after government Haiti continued with the tactical concessions. In 1996, with the support of the IDB, the Ministry of Transportation and Public Work (MTPTC) created the unit URSEP aiming to reform the water sector (US Army Corps of Engineers, 1999:5).

    Meanwhile, the civil society gained strength. By the 2000s, numerous NGOs started working in the sector which enabled Haiti to move in the next level. The laws reforming the water and sanitation sector was drafted in 2006. It was then voted unanimously in the Haitian Parliament and was published on March 25th in 2009.  Haiti thus shifted from Tactical Concessions to Prescriptive Status.

    4.4. Stage 4: Prescriptive Status
    This stage is characterized by a genuine commitment of the state to respect a given right. Unlike the third stage, the actions undertaken in Prescriptive Status are not merely symbolic, but the state is genuinely committed to reduce the right violations. Since 2009, Haiti’s water and sanitation sector is in this stage. The reform of the water and sanitation sector created the “Direction Nationale de l’Eau Potable et de l’Assainissement (DINEPA)”, an institution aiming to develop the sector, to regulate it and to monitor the actors. This was a genuine commitment: It is the first time the water sector has been explicitly regulated. Before, the right to water was just defined implicitly in the Constitution (Varma et al., 2008:41).

    The actors triggering this turn were the civil society, which strengthened during the third stage, in conjunction with international donors that focused on capacity building through education. For instance, Haiti Outreach focuses on increasing access to clean water, and hygiene education; Hope for Haiti has had a program of installing water purification systems and hygiene education since 2007; Haiti Water has had a program providing safe water in the West department since 2005. A consortium of NGOs, called the “Plateforme des ONGs en Eau Potable et Assainissement (PEPA)”, was created. Both international and domestic NGOs comprise PEPA. Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies and engineers allied with some NGOs to produce chemical treatment for water (Varma et al., 2008:17). That’s how the civil society strengthened. In parallel, international actors continued to support. For the first 3 years of DINEPA operation for instance, Haiti received $300 million from IDB and the Spanish Agency (Varma et al., 2008:17). Without that, the transition to the fourth stage might have been very unlikely.

    With this effort comes also positive results. From 2000 to 2015 the proportion of people practicing open defecation decreased from 38% to 19% (SDG Indicators Global Database, 2017); access to water and sanitation has increased at a higher rate in urban areas (World Bank, 2017:12). However, this did not prevent Haiti to score only 61.4 out of 100 for the 6th goal of the SDGs in 2018. Therefore, the transition to the stage of Rule Consistent Behavior is not yet forthcoming.

    4.5. Stage 5: Rule Consistent Behavior
    This stage requires the state to consistently prevent or respond to violations systematically. The compliance to the right should not merely be prescribed in the laws, but it must be reflected in the society’s behavior. Unfortunately, the enjoyment of the right to water and sanitation in Haiti is not consistent to this day, there have still been various violations. For instance, less than 30% of the population still don’t have access basic hand washing facilities (SDG Indicators Global Database, 2017); only 54.1% of the population had access to improved sources of water within 30 minutes in 2012 (World Bank, 2017:17).

    International and domestic actors are continuing their advocacy in the water and sanitation sector. However, many events counterbalanced those efforts. Yet, 8 months after the creation of DINEPA, an earthquake severely struck Haiti in 2010 causing more than 300,000 casualties (Figaro, 2011:27). This changed DINEPA’s focus from long-term goals to emergency. DINEPA helped in providing water to more than 1 million of displaced persons, and close to $100 million U.S. dollars evaporated in water, sanitation and hygiene (Gelting, 2013: 667). The same year, in October 2010, the cholera epidemic started. More than 6,900 people died while 500,000 caught the disease (Figaro, 2011:27). By 2012, $50 million U.S. dollar was already spent in response to the cholera outbreak. Haiti faces many other challenges such recurrent hurricanes, economic problems, political instabilities, and corruption which prevent it to move to the fifth stage.

    5. Recommendations
    As the analysis of each stage has shown, while the Government of Haiti is primarily responsible for ensuring the Right to Water, other key actors, such as international financial institutions, foreign States, nongovernmental organizations, and private companies, also have a role in solving Haiti’s water crisis. In addition to a diverse set of scope conditions and root causes that along with a weak state consolidation, a poor economy and chronic and persistent inequality and poverty are undermining the full compliance of the Right to Water in Haiti. In this sense, to ensure a sustainable solution, and the change from Prescriptive Status to Rule-Consistent Behavior, we recommend a comprehensive rights-based approach to the development and implementation of water projects.

    In other words, we urge the government and all the non-state actors involved, to integrate norms, standards and principles of international human rights law into the plans, policies and processes of development, guaranteeing accountability not only to Haitians but also to the international community. Strengthening local entities, fostering economic growth through capacity building and development of human resources, is also fundamental for Haiti in order to achieve independence from humanitarian and foreign aid. Such an approach would enhance the Haitian government’s ability to deliver these services and the Haitian population’s right to access safe and sufficient water.

    To consolidate the Rule-Consistent Behavior, is fundamental to empower people to change their own lives. A participatory approach where population can be routinely consulted on development matter, both in providing input on project design and in ensuring necessary modifications to the projects to maximize the realization of human rights, is fundamental to continue driving the process of change to the next stage. Community members must be involved in all efforts to improve the water situation; snd should be consulted during the development of water projects, especially concerning issues such as location of water sources, availability of water, sanitation precautions, timeframes for implementation, cost of water, and quality of water. This participation would help to ensure that water projects are empowering the Haitian people as rights-holders, and that the projects are adequately and accurately meeting their needs.

    On the other hand, transparency of all entities involved in the development and implementation of water projects is essential to guarantee the compliance of the Right to Water, to deter corruption and target the elimination of inequalities on the provision of the right. Planning and institutional coordination for the long-term realization of the rights to water and sanitation is very important as well as publicly available information about water policies and programs, status of project implementation and detail how funds allocated for water sector projects are being spent should be publicly available. In this sense, since the government of Haiti does not yet have the capacity to effectively regulate the private sector, all groups responsible for water distribution or sale should be responsible for checking the safety of sources used for drinking water on a regular basis.

    It is not only important to push forward the change into Rule-Consistent Behavior, but also to guarantee sustainability in the long run, to make sure there is no setback in the process. Tackling the underlying causes of the inability of the Haitian government to provide not only water, but basic needs to the people, is fundamental to advance in the process of consistently addressing and preventing violations of the Right to Water, guaranteeing sufficiency, safety, acceptability, accessibility and affordability for all, without discrimination, through participation, inclusion, transparency and accountability.

    Abbott, Elizabeth. Haiti: A Shattered Nation. (2011). London; New York; Overlook Duckworth.

    Behrmann, T., Paul Salomon, and Lelio Hudicourt. (1900). HAITI. Dysentery Prevalent in Nippes. Public Health Reports (1896-1970) 15, no. 9 (1900): 497-99. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41453121.

    Department of State. (1945). Agreement between the United States of America and Haiti. https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/ext/dw/101627534/PDF/101627534.pdf

    Diamond, Jared M. (2005). Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking.

    Farmer P, Almazor CP, Bahnsen ET, Barry D, Bazile J, Bloom BR, et al. (2011). Meeting Cholera’s Challenge to Haiti and the World: A Joint Statement on Cholera Prevention and Care. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 5(5): e1145. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0001145

    Ferguson, James. (1988). Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier. Oxford, UK; New York, NY, USA: Basil Blackwell.

    Figaro, Joseph. (2011). In need of a better WASH: Water, sanitation, and hygiene policy issues in post-earthquake Haiti, Oxfam. Available: https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/wash-policy-issues-post-earthquake-haiti.pdf

    Gelting, Richard et Al. (2013). Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Haiti: Past, Present and Future. The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Volume 89, Issue 4: 665-670. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.13-0217

    Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. (2015). Development Cooperation and The Rights to Water and Sanitation in Haiti. Submission to the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation.   https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Water/ContributionsDevelopmentCooperation/Institute_for_Justice_and_Democracy_in_Haiti.pdf

    Mary C. Smith Fawzi, Mary C. (2013). The Right to Water in Haiti. Harvard Medical School/Partners in Health.   https://globalstudiesoutreach.harvard.edu/files/globalstudiesoutreach/files/fawzi_compressed_harvard_aug72013.pdf

    Pezzullo, Ralph. (2006). Plunging into Haiti. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

    Sidder, Aaron. (2016). “How Cholera Spread So Quickly Through Haiti.” National Geographic, August 18. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/haiti-cholera-crisis-united-nations-admission/

    US Army Corps of Engineers. (1999). Water resources Assessment of Haiti. https://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/CE59D505-D565-6FFC-FF0D167C69F76EFC/acoe_water_resources_of_haiti.pdf

    UN Statistics Division. “SDG Indicators Global Database.” United Nations. Web. Nov. 2017.

    UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. (November 2002) General Comment No. 15. The right to water. https://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/water/docs/CESCR_GC_15.pdf

    Varma M, Satterthwaite M, Klasing A, Shoranik T, Jean J, et al. (2008). Wòch nan soley: the denial of the right to water in Haiti. Francois-Bagnoud Center for Public Health. Available: http://www.pih.org/page/-/reports/Haiti_Report_FINAL.pdf.

    Widmer JM, Sergile F, Cheremond Y, Morris JG. 2018. “VisiEAU 2018—a vision for water in Haiti”, 2018. Emerging infectious diseases, Volume 24, No 10. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2410.180693

    Webster, Paul Christopher. (2011). Lack of clean water exacerbates cholera outbreak in Haiti. Canadian Medical Association. Journal 183, (2) (Feb 08): E83-4. https://search-proquest-com.pitt.idm.oclc.org/docview/851208500?accountid=14709

    World Bank. (2014). Haiti – Rural Water and Sanitation Project (English). Washington, DC: World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/812661468033349316/Haiti-Rural-Water-and-Sanitation-Project

    World Bank. (2017). Looking Beyond Government-Led Delivery of Water Supply and Sanitation Services (English). Washington, DC: World Bank Group.   https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/28997

    Right to Water in Haiti .jpg

  • A Short Explanation on Baby Doc’s Downfall

    After ruling for 14 years, Francois Duvalier, the tyrannical dictator of Haiti, was succeeded by his son Jean-Claude Duvalier. The latter continued with the same authoritarian politics, but his regime fell in 1986. Many people argue that this breakdown was due to the US’s lower preoccupation about Communism at the end of the Cold War; thus, the American government forced him to resign by freezing his aid in 1986. This argument cannot solely explain Baby Doc’s downfall. Papa Doc’s aid was also frozen under Kennedy; however, he succeeded in sustaining his regime. How can this difference be explained then? In fact, foreign aid conditionalities played a crucial role in personalist dictatorship survival. When it is contingent on democratization, it provides an incentive for liberalization, which in turn can impede the dictator’s survival. That’s what happened to Baby Doc: Aid was contingent on his domestic policies, which turned out to weaken his repressive capacity. Whereas under Papa Doc, foreign aid conditionality was, to a great extent, an incentive for remaining anti-communist. Thus, he was able to use it to strengthen his coercive apparatus.

    Foreign aid can also have different results on autocrats’ legitimacy due to corruption generally associated with it. For charismatic dictators, which gain legitimacy through ideology and personality cult, corruption might have no, or little effect on their reputation. However, for uncharismatic autocrats which seek legitimacy on economic performance, corrupt management of aid might be an impediment. The Duvaliers were no exception to this rule. The popular Papa Doc maintained his legitimacy even though his regime was a kleptocracy. Whereas Baby Doc’s economic failure undermined his.

    In sum, Baby Doc had poor legitimacy in addition to his weaker repressive apparatus. The confluence of those two made his personalist dictatorship uncontrollably vulnerable. That’s why the US easily ousted him by cutting his aid in 1986.


    Repression under Papa Doc (1957-1971)
    Foreign aid, which represented 70% of Haiti’s income[1], had different impact on the Duvaliers’ repressive capacity. Under Papa Doc, the aid was not contingent on democratization. The autocrat received military and financial assistance by simply pretending to be anti-communist. This lack of restrictive conditionalities enabled him to use the assistance for his own interests. He embezzled 80% of it; $10 million was taken from the national treasury per year[2]. He was thus able to strengthen his repressive apparatus by building a large patronage network with his militia also known as the “Tontons Macoutes”. The army, which had previously staged many coups, was counterbalanced by Papa Doc’s militia. By 1971, it represented 5% of the population while the army was only 7000[3]. The “Tontons Macoutes” were spread throughout the entire country and executed whatever Duvalier ordered them, thus enabling him to track dissidents.

    Papa Doc killed or repressed his opponents. On November 14th, 1964, two leaders of the group “Jeune Haiti”, which had attempted to overthrow Duvalier, were executed publicly. It was a strategy to deter any potential rebellion. The press and the clergy were also harassed. The leader of the magazine L’Escale, Yvonne Hakime-Rimpel, was arrested and tortured by the “Tontons Macoutes”; several priests were expelled while many religious institutions were closed[4]. The elite was neither exempt from Papa Doc’s brutality. The former army general, Francois Benoit, was wrongly suspected of masterminding a coup. In response, his entire family was decimated while he escaped through the Dominican embassy. 19 officers were also executed in 1967 after attempting to bomb the National Palace. In total, 30,000 to 60,000 people were killed while many others were forced to exile or brutalized[5]. With all these atrocities, Papa Doc weakened the opposition, which allowed him to establish a robust dictatorship.

    When Kennedy froze his aid in 1963, Papa Doc was thus able to come up with new taxes, and to reduce salaries of government officials and the military[6]. This enabled him to find money for his patronage network, thus sustaining his regime. If his foreign aid was contingent upon liberalization, his regime might have had a different fate. He would certainly not have that strong apparatus to usurp money for feeding his patronage network. Thus, he would more likely resign when the aid was cut.

    Repression under Baby Doc (1971-1986)
    Unlike Papa Doc, Baby Doc’s aid was contingent on democratization. Under Jimmy Carter, human rights became a precondition for the young dictator to receive American aid. Given his regime reliance on it, Baby Doc was forced to move toward liberalization. 104 political prisoners were released in 1977; legislative election was held in 1979; legal sanctions were also taken against Tonton Macoute for abuse[7]; the military academy, which Papa Doc had closed since 1961, was reopened in 1972[8]. Furthermore, the US pushed him to recognize other political parties constitutionally in 1985; the post of prime minister was established; and election was forthcoming in 1987[9]. Thus, Baby Doc’s regime was markedly less repressive than his father’s. These gave Baby Doc a friendlier façade, which attracted a lot of benefits. Foreign aid increased from $4.3 million in 1971, $9.3 million in 1974, to $35.5 million in 1975; thousands of exiles headed back to Haiti; 167,260 tourists visited the country by 1977[10]; Haiti’s relationship with the Vatican was also restored in 1983, which was honored by a papal visit.

    However, those steps toward liberalization weakened the young tyrant’s apparatus. Radio stations and newspaper began to criticize the regime[11]; his control over the military was lost[12]; the speech of the pope, which indirectly rebuked the government, sparked political protests[13]. By the end of 1985, mass uprisings for Baby Doc’s departure started. At this stage, the regime was unable to use repression to control the mass. One his last resorts was the American aid, which he could use as incentive to decrease the tension. But, the situation was exacerbated because the US cut the aid in 1986. Baby Doc had thus any other choices than to resign.

    In sum, foreign aid, due to its conditionalities, rendered Baby Doc’s regime weak. If the conditions were not so restrictive, he would be able to keep the level of repression as it was under his father. He would then be able to raise taxes and find money for continuously feeding his corrupted regime.

    Papa Doc’s Legitimacy
    Papa Doc was a charismatic leader who did not based his legitimacy on economic performance. He gained it through his strong ideology and personality cult. The name Papa Doc by itself is a term of appreciation which he obtained after he wiped out yaws with penicillin. Furthermore, his ideology of “noirisme”, whereby he promoted the reaffirmation of black pride, enabled him to gain the appreciation of the black majority. He also built his personality cult by claiming to be the incarnation of “Baron Samedi”, which is known as the guardian of the graveyard in Haitian voodoo. These gave him a supernatural image.

    In spite of his mismanagement of aid, which contributed to Haiti’s economic failure, Papa Doc maintained his legitimacy. When Kennedy was pressurizing him, he was able to mobilize people for him, which deterred the US from invading Haiti[14].  If Papa Doc did not have this strong legitimacy, his economic failure might have had more impact on his reputation. Thus, his regime would have become vulnerable after Kennedy froze the aid.

    Baby Doc’s Legitimacy
    Unlike his father, Baby Doc was not charismatic. His legitimacy was a matter of economic performance. “My father did the political revolution, I will do the economic revolution”, said Baby Doc. His effort toward political liberalization attracted more aid and many American corporations. 70,000 Haitians were employed in 240 offshore factories by 1985[15]. However, Baby Doc’s kleptocracy counterweighted those achievements, thus preventing him from having a good reputation. In 1980, he married Michèle Bennett in a lavish wedding which costed 3 to 7 million USD[16]. Later that year, Haiti was granted $22 million from the IMF, but $16 million went for Duvalier personal use while $4 million was at the disposition of the “Tontons Macoutes”[17]. By 1983, 44% of Haiti’s income was earned by 1% of the population, and the average income per capita was $200 per year (World Bank). Baby Doc’s economic failure was obvious. The IMF even reported that Haiti’s economical crisis is due to excessive undeclared spending.

    Thus, the uncharismatic Baby Doc remained with his weak legitimacy. His corrupt management of the aid prevented Haiti from growing economically, which exacerbated his regime vulnerability. If he had stronger legitimacy, cutting his aid would have had less impact on his survival. He might have had mass mobilization for him like his father did 1963, which could lead to the restoration of the aid.

    Foreign aid plays a significant role in autocrats’ survival by influencing their repressive capacity and legitimacy. When the aid is not contingent upon liberalization, charismatic autocrats with ideological legitimacy can use it to strengthen their apparatus. That’s why Papa Doc maintained his regime until he died. The lack of restrictive conditionalities enabled him to use the aid for patronizing his militia, thus consolidating his ruthless dictatorship. At this stage he became terribly resistant. Added to his strong apparatus, his strong personality cult allowed him to resist when Kennedy cut his aid in 1963. He had mass mobilization for him, which deterred the US from invading Haiti. The confluence of his strong repressive capacity and strong legitimacy made it hard to oust him.

    On the other hand, when aid is contingent upon liberalization, it can easily weaken uncharismatic autocrats. First, liberalization counterweighs their repressive ability. Second, corruption associated with aid may lead to economic failure, which in turn can prevent them from earning legitimacy on economic performance. That’s why Baby Doc was so vulnerable. The US pressured him to liberalize his regime: A lot of political prisoners were released; the press was allowed to criticize; sanctions were taken against abuse of the “Tontons Macoutes”; and the army regained its strength. All these contributed to weaken Baby Doc’s repressiveness. Furthermore, corrupt management of foreign aid led to economic failure, which tarnished his reputation. The annual income per capita was $200; the IMF even reported that the regime’s undeclared spending was the major cause of the economic crisis. Baby Doc had thus a weak legitimacy in addition to his weak repressive apparatus. The confluence of those two was incompatible with a personalist dictatorship type. That’s why the young autocrat resigned in 1986.

    In conclusion, when aid is not contingent on liberalization, it consolidates autocracies that already had strong personality cult. Whereas, aid which is contingent on democratization has great chance to breakdown autocracies with weak legitimacy.

    Works Cited
    Ferguson, James. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier. Oxford, UK; New York, NY, USA: Basil Blackwell, 1988.

    Hebert, Gold. “The downfall of furniture-face Haiti: the Duvalier and their legacy.” Los Angeles Time, October 16, 1988.

    Pezzullo, Ralph. Plunging into Haiti. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2006.

    Snyder, Richard. “Explaining Transitions from Neopatrimonial Dictatorships.” Comparative Politics 24, no. 4 (1992): 379-99, https://www-jstor-org.pitt.idm.oclc.org/stable/422151

    Wien Weibert Arthus. “The Challenge of Democratizing the Caribbean during the Cold War: Kennedy Facing the Duvalier Dilemma” Diplomatic History, Volume 39, Issue 3, 1 June 2015: 504–531, https://doi-org.pitt.idm.oclc.org/10.1093/dh/dhu001

    [1] Gold Hebert, “The downfall of furniture-face Haiti: the Duvalier and their legacy,” Los Angeles Time, October 16, 1988.

    [2] James Ferguson. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier (Oxford; New-York: B. Blackwell, 1988), 58

    [3] Richard Snyder. “Explaining Transitions from Neopatrimonial Dictatorships.” Comparative Politics 24, no. 4 (1992): 388.

    [4] James Ferguson. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier (Oxford; New York: B. Blackwell, 1988), 50.

    [5] James Ferguson. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier (Oxford; New York: B. Blackwell, 1988), 57.

    [6] Wien Weibert Arthus. “The Challenge of Democratizing the Caribbean during the Cold War: Kennedy Facing the Duvalier Dilemma”, Diplomatic History, Volume 39, Issue 3, 1 June 2015: page 522,

    [7] James Ferguson. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier (Oxford; New-York: B. Blackwell, 1988), 67.

    [8] Ralph Pezzullo. Plunging into Haiti (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2006), 108.

    [9] James Ferguson. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier (Oxford; New-York: B. Blackwell, 1988), 83

    [10] Ralph Pezzullo. Plunging into Haiti (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2006), 108.

    [11] James Ferguson. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier (Oxford; New-York: B. Blackwell, 1988), 68.

    [12] Richard Snyder. “Explaining Transitions from Neopatrimonial Dictatorships.” Comparative Politics 24, no. 4 (1992): 389.

    [13] James Ferguson. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier (Oxford; New-York: B. Blackwell, 1988), 76.

    [14] Wien Weibert Arthus. “The Challenge of Democratizing the Caribbean during the Cold War: Kennedy Facing the Duvalier Dilemma”, Diplomatic History, Volume 39, Issue 3, 1 June 2015: page 526

    [15] James Ferguson. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier (Oxford; New-York: B. Blackwell, 1988), 82.

    [16] Ralph Pezzullo. Plunging into Haiti (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2006), 110.

    [17] James Ferguson. Papa Doc, Baby Doc: Haiti and the Duvalier (Oxford; New-York: B. Blackwell, 1988), 70.

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