During the post-Duvalier period, other developments in
media, party organization, labor unions, and professional
associations took place. Understanding these changes is
to understanding Haiti's political environment.
The Tonton Makout Network
The Duvalier dynasty held power longer than any other
in Haitian history. The duration of the dynasty enabled
thorough entrenchment of Duvalierist institutions and the
development of a patronage system. One of the more
these institutions was the VSN. After the VSN's
former tonton makout leaders remained at large, and
were politically active throughout the post-Duvalier
old makout networks also continued to function
army. As of 1989, they were the main obstacle to free,
popular elections in Haiti, and thet were the most
threat to domestic security
(see Public Order
, ch. 10).
Through the VSN, the Duvalier regime had politicized
Haiti. The VSN had expanded the president's influence to
areas, and it had incorporated rural Haiti into a
system once limited almost exclusively to Port-au-Prince.
had assured political control of the hinterlands, but it
given peasants no new voice in the political process. It
created a rural awareness of Port-au-Prince and events
however, a consciousness of the national political system,
new political aspirations. The VSN had engendered a
disrespect for political institutions, and it had
expectations of profit from the political system.
Data as of December 1989