Welcome to HMZ!
UN AMALGAME CULTUREL
It has always been our dream to promote the Haitian culture.
Our goal is to dissipate the dark cloud that has been obstructing the public's view of the beauty that is our country.
PWOVEB KREYOL LA
• " Aké pasians, na ouè trip fwoumi. " •
LA RUBRIQUE SANTE
La maladie d'Alzheimer
La maladie d’Alzheimer est une maladie dégénérative qui engendre un déclin progressif des facultés cognitives et de la mémoire. Peu à peu, une destruction des cellules nerveuses se produit dans les régions du cerveau liées à la mémoire et au langage.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti : — (Le Nouvelliste)
Nouveau directeur général/PNH
Combattre le banditisme, démanteler les gangs…les priorités de Frantz Elbé
Il n’y a pas une zone dans l’aire métropolitaine qui ne soit pas contrôlée par un ou plusieurs gangs armés. On n'en connait pas exactement le nombre. Cependant, en 2019, environ 162 groupes armés avaient été répertoriés sur le territoire national dont plus de la moitié opère à Port-au-Prince et dans les zones avoisinantes, selon la Stratégie nationale pour le désarmement, le démantèlement des groupes armés et la réinsertion des individus désarmés (SNDDR). Le directeur général de la Police nationale d’Haïti (PNH), fraîchement installé, se donne comme priorité le démantèlement de ces gangs armés.
SEOUL : — (Reuters)
U.S. envoy urges N.Korea to end 'provocations', accept offer of talks
North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests were "concerning and counterproductive" for efforts to reduce tensions, and Pyongyang should instead engage in talks, the U.S. envoy for North Korea said on Sunday.
HUEHUETAN, Mexico : — (Associated Press)
2,000 migrants continue walk through southern Mexico
A group of about 2,000 mainly Central American migrants continued their mass exodus from the southern Mexico city of Tapachula Sunday, reaching a town about 16 miles (26 kms) away.
WASHINGTON : — (Associated Press)
Hostage families to Biden: 'Bring our fellow Americans home'
In the letter, obtained by The Associated Press, the family members complained that the administration seemed to be getting “bogged down in burdensome processes or policy debates that keep our loved ones from coming home and keep us uninformed of what you can and cannot do to help us.”
About Our RadioOur mission is to promote all things Haitian and to enlighten the Caribbean-American community.
The Haitian culture is a blend of music, art, literature, poetry, history; We are committed to carrying on our heritage for generations to come, in order to help Haiti regain its rightful place in the concert of nations.Our format gives you the freedom to listen to your favorites at any given time. Come to complete relaxation! Listen to your heart and follow your mood.
Whatever your tone, you are in the right zone.HISTORICAL EVENTS
Our program is conceived with our listeners in mind. In whole, it is a mélange of everything: Kompa, Salsa, Merengue, Hip-hop, Reggaeton and Bachata, to name a few.
1492-12-05 - Columbus discovers Hispaniola (El Espanola/Haiti)
1772-06-06 - Haitian explorer Jean Baptiste-Pointe Dusable settles Chicago
1790-10-23 - Slaves revolt in Haiti (later suppressed)
1791-08-22 - Haitian Slave Revolution begins under voodoo priest Boukman
1793-08-29 - Slaves in French colony of St Domingue (Haiti) freed
1793-09-20 - British troops under Major-general Williamson lands on (French) Haiti
1794-05-06 - Haiti, under Toussaint L'Ouverture revolts against France Explorer of the New World Christopher Columbusbr>
1801-07-07 - Toussaint L'Ouverture declares Haitian independence
1802-06-15 - Toussaint L'Ouverture leaves Haiti, prisoner on French ship Héros
1802-08-07 - Napoleon orders re-instatement of slavery on St Domingue (Haiti)
1803-11-18 - Battle of Vertieres, in which Haitians defeat French
1803-11-29 - Dessalines, Christophe declarent St Domingue (Haiti) independent
1804-01-01 - Haiti gains independence from France (National Day)
1804-03-29 - Thousands of Whites massacred in Haiti
1806-10-17 - Former leader of the Haitian Revolution, Emperor Jacques I of Haiti was assassinated after an oppressive rule.
Jacques Roumain, un poète de grand chant pour son peupleread more
Le journaliste, ethnologue, écrivain et homme politique haïtien, Jacques Roumain, n’a pas fini de nous surprendre.
Pensée du jour
" Quand on a choisi un chemin, aussi compliqué soit-il, on le poursuit jusqu'au bout. Sinon, on ne saura jamais ce qu'il nous promet."
Oeuvres d'artAlbert Desmanglesartisanatpeinture à l'huileAlbert Desmangles
Vitamin C: What You Need to Know
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Understand the benefits, how much you need – and whether you can consume too much.Vitamin C provides an array of health benefits, though it doesn't get nearly as much attention as vitamin D. That's probably because far fewer Americans are deficient in it, says Dr. Gail Feinberg, chair of the primary care department at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine. "Most people are getting a daily dose of vitamin C from their routine diets," she says.read more
Did you know?
Your heart beats 101,000 times a day. During your lifetime it will beat about 3 billion times and pump about 400 million litres (800 million pints) of blood.
Fascinating geology should re-earn Pluto planetary status, some scientists maintain.
The definition of planet is still a sore point – especially among Pluto fans Some astronomers disagree with the distant orb's 2006 reclassification For 76 years, Pluto was the beloved ninth planet. No one cared that it was the runt of the solar system, with a moon, Charon, half its size. No one minded that it had a tilted, eccentric orbit. Pluto was a weirdo, but it was our weirdo.
“Children identify with its smallness,” wrote science writer Dava Sobel in her 2005 book The Planets. “Adults relate to its inadequacy, its marginal existence as a misfit.”
When Pluto was excluded from the planetary display in 2000 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, children sent hate mail to Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the museum’s planetarium. Likewise, there was a popular uproar when 15 years ago, in August 2006, the International Astronomical Union, or IAU, wrote a new definition of “planet” that left Pluto out. The new definition required that a body 1) orbit the sun, 2) have enough mass to be spherical (or close) and 3) have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit of other bodies. Objects that meet the first two criteria but not the third, like Pluto, were designated “dwarf planets.” Science is not sentimental. It doesn’t care what you’re fond of, or what mnemonic you learned in elementary school. Science appeared to have won the day. Scientists learned more about the solar system and revised their views accordingly.
“I believe that the decision taken was the correct one,” says astronomer Catherine Cesarsky of CEA Saclay in France, who was president of the IAU in 2006. “Pluto is very different from the eight solar system planets, and it would have been very difficult to keep changing the number of solar system planets as more massive [objects beyond Neptune] were being discovered. The intention was not at all to demote Pluto, but on the contrary to promote it as [a] prototype of a new class of solar system objects, of great importance and interest.”
For a long time, I shared this view. I’ve been writing about Pluto since my very first newspaper gig at the Cornell Daily Sun, when I was a junior in college in 2006. I interviewed some of my professors about the IAU’s decision. One, planetary scientist Jean-Luc Margot, who is now at UCLA, called it “a triumph of science over emotion. Science is all about recognizing that earlier ideas may have been wrong,” he said at the time. “Pluto is finally where it belongs.”
But another, planetary scientist Jim Bell, now at Arizona State University in Tempe, thought the decision was a travesty. He still does. The idea that planets have to clear their orbits is particularly irksome, he says. The ability to collect or cast out all that debris doesn’t just depend on the body itself.
Everything with interesting geology should be a planet, Bell told me recently. “I’m a lumper, not a splitter,” he says. “It doesn’t matter where you are, it matters what you are.” Not everyone agrees with him. “Fifteen years ago we finally got it right,” says planetary scientist Mike Brown of Caltech, who uses the Twitter handle @plutokiller because his research helped knock Pluto out of the planetary pantheon. “Pluto had been wrong all along.”
But since 2006, we’ve learned that Pluto has an atmosphere and maybe even clouds. It has mountains made of water ice, fields of frozen nitrogen, methane snow–capped peaks, and dunes and volcanoes. “It’s a dynamic, complex world unlike any other orbiting the sun,” journalist Christopher Crockett wrote in Science News in 2015 when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto. The New Horizons mission showed that Pluto has fascinating and active geology to rival that of any rocky world in the inner solar system. And that solidified planetary scientist Philip Metzger’s view that the IAU definition missed the mark.
“There was an immediate reaction against the dumb definition” when it was proposed, says Metzger, of the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Since then, he and colleagues have been refining their views: “Why do we have this intuition that says that it’s dumb?”
Retelling the tale
It turns out that the “we just learned more” narrative isn’t really true, Metzger says. Though the official story is that Pluto was reclassified because new data came in, it’s not that simple. Teaching that narrative is bad for science, and for science education, he says.
The truth is, there’s no single definition of a planet — and I’m beginning to believe that’s a good thing. ”
Lisa Grossman; Science News
Haiti's Agonies and Exaltations
The history of Haiti will break your heart. Knowing it, the weak will despair, but the caring will strive to break the chains of tragedy.
When Columbus landed on the island in December 1492, he found a native Arawak, or Taino, population of three million people or more, well fed, with cultivated fields, lots of children, living in peace. It had by far the largest population of any island in the Caribbean. Twenty-two years later, there were fewer than 27,000 who had not fallen victim to the sword, the ravages of forced labor, and diseases heretofore unknown to them.
The Spaniards called the island La Ysla Española, which in use became Hispaniola. The native people called the island Haiti, a word that three hundred years after the Europeans arrived would strike fear throughout the empires of the hemisphere built on slave labor and societies that accepted its practice, but bring hope to slaves as they heard of it.
Only a few who came with the Conquistadors dared, or cared, to speak out against the genocide. The historic exception was the priest and later Bishop of Chiapas, Bartolome de Las Casas. For his only briefly successful efforts to persuade Charles V and the Pope to protect the peoples of "India" from slavery and abuse, Las Casas became "the most hated man in the Americas" among the violent, rich rulers of New Spain. In a census Las Casas conducted in 1542, only 200 Taino were found. The soil of Haiti was already red with human blood.
Slowly the population of Hispaniola was replenished, the slaughtered Indians replaced primarily by the importation of Africans in chains who rarely knew, but never forgot, those who perished first at the hands of their masters. Few Spaniards settled in far western Hispaniola. By the mid-17th century, French buccaneers gained footholds on its coast. In 1697, France was recognized as sovereign over the western third of the island in a minor concession from Spain by the treaty of Ryswick, which ended the war of the Grand Alliance and resettled the map of western Europe. France called its new colony St. Domingue.
By the 1750s, St. Domingue was France's richest colony, rich from the sweat of slave labor's brow.
Hispaniola declined in importance as Spanish colonies in Mexico, Peru and the Caribbean spread through South, Central and North America. On the eve of the revolution in France, St. Domingue had a population of about 32,000 from France, 24,000 freedmen of mixed blood, and nearly 500,000 African slaves. The native population was extinct. The Creole language found birth in the slave quarters and secret places slaves could meet as their need to support each other and to resist grew. African languages permeated the French with African melody and African drums. English, Spanish and occasional Indian words were gathered into it by chance and attraction. Creole became the heart of Haitian culture, shared with others who were torn out of Africa and carried to European colonies in the Caribbean.
In trials of Haitian-Americans charged with planning to overthrow Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier in the mid-1980s, the most skilled French-English translators and professors of French in the universities of New Orleans could not translate Creole into English for the Court. It is a beautiful, separate language born from the suffering of African slaves of French masters and their determination to maintain their own identity. In Paris, the philosophers of the Enlightenment condemned slavery. Diderot wrote that slavery contradicts nature. Montesquieu observed that when we admit that Africans are human, we confess what poor Christians we are. Abbe Reynal proclaimed that any religion that condones slavery deserves to be prohibited. Rousseau confessed that the existence of slavery made him ashamed to be a man. Helvetius observed that every barrel of sugar reaching Europe is stained with blood. Voltaire's adventurous hero, Candide, meets a slave whose hand was ground off in a sugar mill and leg was cut off for attempting to escape and proclaims, "At this price you eat sugar in Europe."
Few periods in history have given rise to more intense thought and concern about freedom and the rights of humanity, but St. Domingue was a long way away and the wealth of France and its slave masters were not impressed.
Unaware, or contemptuous, of the enlightened views of France's philosophers, "His Majesty" in 1771 considered requests for the emancipation of mulatto slaves in Haiti and other French colonies and authorized his Minister of Colonies to explain his views:
...such a favor would tend to destroy the differences that nature has placed between whites and blacks, and that political prejudice has been careful to maintain as a distance which people of color and their descendants will never be able to bridge; finally, that it is in the interest of good order not to weaken the state of humiliation congenital to the species, in whatever degree it may perpetuate itself; a prejudice all the more useful for being in the very heart of the slaves and contributing in a major way to the due peace of the colonies... Within two decades the people of France and Haiti would provide Louis XVI a clearer understanding of what was in their heart.
In Léogâne in 1772, a Haitian woman named Zabeth, her story recorded, lived a not uncommon life and death. Rebellious, like many, from childhood, she was chained for years when not working, chased and attacked by dogs when she escaped, her cheek branded with a fleur de lis. Zabeth was locked up in a sugar mill for punishment. She stuck her fingers in the grinder, then later bit off the bandages which stopped the flow of blood. She was then tied, her open wounds against the grinder, where particles of iron dust poisoned her blood before she died. Her owner lived unconcerned across the sea in Nantes.
For five years, the French Revolution, consumed with the struggle for human rights ignored the slaves of Haiti even over the protests of Marat and Robespierre and the words of the Declaration of the Rights of Man. On August 14, 1791, the slaves of St. Domingue rebelled. News of the insurrection sent electrifying waves of fear throughout the hemisphere. The slave states and slave owners in all parts of the U.S. and elsewhere in the Americas were forced to face what they had long dreaded, that the cruelty of their deeds would turn on them in violent slave rebellions. Their fear produced hatred and greater cruelty toward the slaves that led to the barbarity of lynchings in the late 19th and early decades of the 20th centuries and the excessive force employed with zeal by police in race riots into the 1960s in the U.S. The struggle of the Haitian slaves for freedom dragged on for more than a decade, the French army caring less and less about the destructiveness of their arms and about the lives of the Haitian people.
President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, both slave owners, supported France in its efforts to suppress the slaves of St. Domingue. Their successors have consistently acted against the rights and well-being of Haitians ever since.
In 1794, after fighting both Spain and Great Britain to control St. Domingue, harassed by the slave insurrection led by Pierre-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, and in need of troops easily recruited from freedman before the rebellion, France declared the abolition of slavery in its colonies. Frightened by the freedom of slaves in Haiti, the next year the King of Spain ceded the rest of the island, Spain's first colony in America, to France. The island was once again, temporarily, united. By 1801, Toussaint Louverture, a slave himself before the insurrection, proclaimed a constitution for Haiti, which named him governor-general for life. Napoleon was not consulted.
Later that year, Bonaparte sent General Charles Leclerc with a veteran force of 20,000 trained soldiers, including Haitian military officers, among them Alexandre Pétion, to crush the "First of the Blacks." In 1802, Napoleon ordered the reinstatement of slavery. Toussaint was captured by ruse and sent to France where he died a prisoner on April 7, 1803. Fearful that Napoleon would succeed in restoring slavery, African and mulatto generals in the French Army joined the bitter revolt against France. U.S. merchants sold arms and supplies to the former slave forces, while the U.S. government supported France. The French army of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by Haitian former slaves. It surrendered in November 1803 and agreed to a complete withdrawal.
Haiti lay in ruins, nearly half its population lost. The African slaves of Haiti had defeated the army of Napoleon Bonaparte. The 12-year war for liberation had destroyed most of the irrigation systems and machinery that, with slave labor, had created France's richest colony and were the foundation of the island's economy.
On January 1, 1804, independence was declared for the entire island in the aboriginal name preferred by the former slaves: Haiti. In September 1804, Dessalines was proclaimed Emperor Jacques I. Nearly all whites who survived the long violence fled the island before, or with, the departing French army.
Profound fear spread among white peoples throughout the Americas wherever Africans were held in slavery. In the U.S. slave states, news from Haiti of the slave rebellion, the emancipation, the imprisonment and death of Toussaint Louverture in France, the failure of Napoleon's effort to reestablish slavery after sending 20,000 professional soldiers for the task, and their final defeat sent shock waves infinitely greater than those of 9-11-2001 two centuries later. Years before Nat Turner and even the earlier slave rebellions in the United States, the fear of slave rebellion became a brooding omnipresence.
As word spread among slave populations, exaltation embraced its people who could now believe their day of freedom too would come. The conflict between fear and newborn faith sharpened the edge of hostility that separated slave and master, creating greater tension and more violence. Dessalines' nationalization and democratic distribution of land led to his assassination in 1806 by jealous elements of a new ruling class, both black and mulatto, emerging from the ranks of the Haitian generals. The alliance between the formerly freed – the freedmen or affranchis – and the newly freed – the former slaves – was dissolved with Dessalines' murder. A new ruling class of big landowners and a merchant bourgeoisie supplanted their colonialist predecessors. There ensued civil war primarily between the mulatto Pétion, who was elected president in Port-au-Prince over the south, and Christophe, a full-blooded African, who was proclaimed King Henry I in the north. Christophe committed suicide in 1820 after a major revolt against his rule. Jean Pierre Boyer, who had succeeded Pétion in the South in 1818, then became president of a united Haiti.
Haiti was reviled and feared by all the rich nations of the world precisely for its successful slave revolt which represented a threat not only in nations where slavery was legal, but in all countries, because of their large under-classes living in economic servitude. The strategy of the nations primarily affected, including the U.S., was to further impoverish Haiti, to make it an example. Racism in the hemisphere added a painful edge to the treatment of Haiti, which has remained the poorest country, with the darkest skin, the most isolated nation in the Americas. Even its language, spoken by so few beyond its borders, made Haiti the least accessible of countries and peoples.
In one grand commitment, Haiti, through President Pétion, contributed more to the liberation of the Americans from European colonial powers than any other nation. Twice Haiti, poor as it was, provided Simon Bolívar with men, arms and supplies that enabled the Great Liberator to free half the nations of South America from the Spanish yoke. On New Year's Day 1816, Pétion, his country still in ruins, blockaded by France and isolated from all rich nations, met with Bolívar, who had sold even his watch in Jamaica, seeking funds. He promised seven ships, 250 of his best soldiers, muskets, powder, provisions, funds, and even a printing press. Haiti asked only one act in repayment: Free the slaves. Bolívar surely intended to fulfill his promise and achieved some proclamations of emancipation, but at the time of his death in 1831, not even his own Venezuela had achieved de facto freedom for all of its slaves.
Thus Haiti had achieved the first successful slave rebellion of an entire colony, the defeat of veterans of Europe's most effective fighting force at the time – Napoleon's legions – and made perhaps the decisive contribution to the liberation from European colonial governments of six nations, all larger and with more people than Haiti. Each act was a sin for which there would be no forgiveness. Spain retained effective control over the eastern part of the island after its concession to France in 1795. The Dominicans revolted against Spain in 1822, joining nearly all the Spanish colonies in the Americas. President Boyer blocked Europe's counter-revolutionary designs against Haiti by laying claim to the Spanish lands where he abolished slavery, but Haitian control was never consolidated. The Dominicans declared independence in 1844 which, after a decade of continuing struggle, was finally achieved. In 1825, France was the first nation to recognize Haiti, from which it had profited so richly, but at a huge expense to Haiti through a more sophisticated form of exploitation.
Haiti agreed to pay France 150,000,000 gold francs in "indemnity." The U.S. permitted limited trade with Haiti, but did not recognize it until 1862, the second year of the U.S. Civil War. Haiti, true to its struggle against slavery, permitted Union warships to refuel and repair in its harbors during the Civil War. In 1891, the U.S. sought to obtain Môle Saint-Nicolas on the northwest tip of Haiti as a coaling station by force, but failed. A decade later, the U.S. obtained Guantanamo Bay from Cuba after the Spanish-American war. Môle Saint-Nicolas and Guantanamo are strategically located on the Windward Passage between Haiti and Cuba, the best route from the Atlantic to the Panama Canal. First France, then the U.S., coveted the notion of a base at Môle Saint-Nicolas. Between 1843 and 1911, sixteen persons held the highest government office in Haiti, an average of four years, three months each, but eleven were removed by force and its threat from a still revolutionary people.
During the period from August 1911 to July 1915, in which many Haitians believed their country was being taken over by U.S. capital, one president was blown up in the Presidential Palace, another died of poison, three were forced out by revolution, and on July 27, 1915, President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam was taken by force from the French legation where he had sought sanctuary and killed.
The next day U.S. Marines landed in Haiti and began an occupation that lasted nineteen years. The U.S. invoked the Monroe Doctrine and humanitarianism to justify a criminal occupation. Haiti was forced to sign a ten-year treaty, later extended, which made Haiti a U.S. political and financial protectorate. Shortly before World War I, U.S. bankers, in the most debilitating form of intervention, obtained shares in the Haitian Bank which controlled the government's fiscal policies and participated in a huge loan to the Haitian government, again placing the people in servitude to a foreign master. U.S. capitalists were quickly given concessions to build a railroad and develop plantations. As the Panama Canal neared completion, U.S. interests in Haiti grew.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, than assistant secretary of the Navy, drafted a constitution for Haiti, something Toussaint Louverture had been capable of one hundred and fourteen years earlier. In 1920, while campaigning for the vice-presidency, Roosevelt boasted of his authorship accomplished on the deck of a U.S. Navy destroyer off the coast of Cap Haïtien. Such is the certainty of the U.S. in its natural superiority and right in matters of governance. In 1918, US Marines supervised a "farcical" plebiscite for the new constitution. Among other new rights, it permitted aliens for the first time to own land in Haiti.
Haiti paid dearly. U.S. intervention in education emphasized vocational training at the expense of the French intellectual tradition. The racist implications were clear to the people. The national debt was funded with expensive U.S. loans. The occupying force imposed harsh police practices to protect property and maintain order, but with little concern for injuries it inflicted, or protection for the public. In the spirit of democracy, Haitians were virtually excluded from the government of their own people. Over the years, opposition to the occupation grew, and slowly Americans joined Haitians in protest against it. In 1930, after student and peasant uprisings, President Hoover sent missions to study ending the occupation and improving the education system. The first election of a national assembly since the occupation was permitted that year. In turn, it elected Stenio Joseph Vincent president. Vincent opposed the occupation, and Haitians quickly took control of public works, public health, and agricultural services.
In August 1934, Franklin Roosevelt, now president of the U.S., to confirm his celebrated Good Neighbor Policy, ended the occupation and withdrew the Marines. When the occupation was over, Haiti was as poor as ever and deep in debt. The U.S. continued its direct control of fiscal affairs in Haiti until 1941, and indirect control until 1947, to protect its loans and business interests. Among accomplishments the U.S. proclaimed for its long governance was a unified, organized, trained and militarized police force. Called the Garde d'Haïti, it guarded Haitians less than it guarded over them.
In 1937, Haiti was weakened by nearly two decades of foreign occupation and subjugation and a huge part of its unemployed work force was in the Dominican Republic laboring under cruel conditions at subsistence wages. The Dominican dictator, President Rafael Trujillo, directed the purge of Haitian farm workers and laborers in an overtly racist campaign of government violence to keep his country "white." As many as 40,000 Haitians were killed. The Organization of American States interceded and forced the Dominican Republic to acknowledge 18,000 deaths for which it paid $522,000 in restitution with no other consequence than an angry neighbor. A Haitian life was worth $29 to the OAS, with most lives unrecognized.
Art flourished in Haiti in the late 1930s. By the mid-1940s, there was a "Renaissance in Haiti." Artists painted furiously on any surface that offered the opportunity. Haitian artists gained international reputations and fame: Philomé Obin, André Pierre, Castera Bazile, Wilson Bigaud, Rigaud Benoit, Hector Hippolyte, and others. Their work commanded prices unimaginable to the poor of Haiti. With the painting, the richness of Haitian culture burst out in music, poetry, literature and cuisine. But more tragedy lay ahead. Vincent served until 1939 when, under U.S. pressure, he retired in favor of Elie Lescot. When he sought to run for a second term, Lescot was forced from office by student strikes and ultimately mob violence in 1946. A military triumvirate directed a new election of the National Assembly in 1946. The Assembly elected Dumarsais Estimé president. Near the end of his term in 1950, the same military triumvirate seized power, forcing Estimé to leave Haiti. Col. Paul E. Magloire, a member of the triumvirate, was then chosen to direct public elections as president. Magloire was in turn forced to resign and leave the country as his term expired in December 1956.
After a period of turmoil, strikes and mob violence, during which several men, then an Executive Council and an Army commander served briefly as provisional leadership, François Duvalier, a physician, was elected president, with Army approval, on September 22, 1957. The brutality, capriciousness, and arbitrary exercise of power and violence by Duvalier provides a classic study of dictatorship in poor countries.
In 1960, he forced the Catholic Archbishop François Poirier into exile to prevent interference and opposition by the Church of Haiti's official religion. Duvalier organized and licensed the notorious Tonton macoutes from among his core supporters to terrorize the people to accept his rule. The terror of Duvalier's long reign is described nowhere better for non-Haitians than in Graham Greene's classic, The Comedians, published in 1966. Greene knew Haiti before Duvalier. He loved the people. He thought they were beautiful. When he returned in 1963, he found the Tonton Macoutes, searches, road blocks, a place where "terror rides and death comes at night." Rebels were in the hills. He stayed long enough to develop material for a book. Before he could return for a last impression, he was warned he should not. He had written a harsh profile of Duvalier in the English press.
Instead he flew to the Dominican Republic, traveled to the border to observe and walked "along the edge of the country we loved and exchanged hopes for a happier future." The Comedians ends on the border, but it contains a testament to the misery and the beauty of the Haitian people and the power of the committed among them. In 1964, Duvalier imposed a new constitution on Haiti which made him president-for-life. To please the U.S., show he knew how to handle problems, and unintentionally confirm the accuracy of the sobriquet Comedians, the death penalty was decreed in 1969 for the "propagation of communist or anarchist doctrines through lectures, speeches, or conversations" and for accomplices in such propagation and persons who merely received or listened to such doctrines.
In 1971, "Papa Doc" Duvalier caused the constitution to be amended to empower him to name his successor and lower the age requirement for the presidency to age 18. He named his son, Jean-Claude, then 19, and died, having extended his dynasty by another 15 years.
Baby Doc's regime was as brutal as his father's, if somewhat more subtle. When President Carter criticized Haiti's human rights record in 1977, a few token prisoners were released. But arrests and disappearances continued. A young Haitian-American, the son of a former officer in Papa Doc's air force who had fled into exile, was arrested for public criticism of the Duvalier dynasty and held in cells under the Presidential Palace where the president could witness the discomfort of people he did not like. A barrage of entreaties for his release were ignored until the eve of the first visit in 1983 of a pope to Haiti. The prisoner was released, taken to the airport with his lawyer, provided first-class seats on an Air France flight to Miami without explanation, or apology.
By 1980, there was a mass exodus from Haiti by sea. The U.S. Coast Guard policy was to interdict boatloads of Haitians fleeing at great risk toward freedom. When it caught boats close to Haiti, it forced them back to what could be death for some. Others caught in the Windward Passage were taken to prison at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo, where they were held as early patrons of a cruel experience which was later refined for Muslims, usually never named or charged, but treated with a cruelty that would make Baby Doc blush.
Other Haitians reached Florida's waters. The bodies of some washed up in the surf on Ft. Lauderdale beaches. Local residents were outraged, or horrified, depending on their character. Other Haitians caught on land or sea were taken to the Krome Avenue Detention Center in Miami. The treatment they endured there caused many Haitians to yearn for the free, if impoverished life, of Cité Soleil or Haiti's northwest, from which they had fled.
As opposition to Baby Doc grew and his hold on power weakened, vibrations of rebellion in Brooklyn, Queens, Miami, and other Haitian communities in the U.S., resonant with those throughout Haiti, rose and fell with conditions in the beloved country. The Duvalier signature means of intimidation – bodies of its most recent victims left casually in the streets and byways to remind the people the next morning of the price of disobedience – became daily fare.
The U.S., to defuse outcry and support for revolution, sent recruiters – agents provocateurs – house-to-house and through the streets, to find and recruit young men identified by U.S. intelligence as hostile to the Duvalier regime. Many were escorted to an airfield on Long Island to see a plane without markings loaded with guns to be used, they were told, in the overthrow of the Duvalier regime. A planeload of eager recruits was flown to New Orleans. They were promised training to participate in an invasion of Haiti.
Among these was the youngest son of fourteen children in the Perpignon family, who escaped separately with their mother from Haiti after their father, a prominent lawyer, was murdered by Duvalier in his first days as President. Duvalier had his body dragged through the streets of Port-au-Prince behind a mule for a week.
The men were set up in rooms in a motel and questioned in front of a concealed camera. They were asked why they wanted to overthrow the government of Haiti and encouraged to boast about what they would do when they captured Duvalier.
More than 40 Haitians and Haitian-Americans were then arrested in New Orleans, far from their homes, and charged with violations of the Neutrality Act of 1797, an act U.S. agents and paid assets violate every day. Most were released within a few days when lawyers retained by their families showed up to meet with them. Despite the criminality of the entrapment, and the fact that all freely admitted they were not in condition to capture a Boy Scout camp, some remained in jail for several months. This was late 1985: The last year for Duvalier.
Within the U.S., editors in the flourishing Haitian exile media, risked assassination as befell the courageous anti-Duvalierist Firmin Joseph, a founder of Haïti Progrès, in front of his home in Brooklyn in 1983. Thirteen years later, Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, who headed a U.S.- supported death-squad called FRAPH before and after the U.S. invasion in 1994, found asylum in New York. For other leaders of the 1991-94 coup d'état in Haiti, Washington arranged golden exiles in countries like Panama, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic.
Finally, after nearly 30 years under the heel of the Duvaliers, condoned, if not protected, by the U.S. government, the end had come. On February 7, 1986, Jean-Claude Duvalier and his family, with most of their possessions, flew on a U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane to France, where he has lived safe and comforted by the spoils from the toils of countless Haitians he abused so badly.
The question must be asked: how could the heirs of slaves who defeated Napoleon and who founded freedom in the hemisphere be subjugated to such petit tyranny? This book will help find the answer and the means of ending its furtherance.
A liberation theology priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, trusted because the people had witnessed him share their danger and privation, ran for President in the first real post-Duvalier elections in 1990 over the muted but fierce opposition of the U.S. The U.S. choice, Marc Bazin, who had served at the World Bank in Washington, was provided millions of dollars in direct support and assistance and highly touted in the subservient U.S. media. Aristide with no resources, soft-spoken, but honest, won by a huge margin, with some 67% of the vote. Bazin, who came in second, bought 14% of the vote.
Aristide, despite support from the overwhelming majority of the people of Haiti was driven from office within nine months by the U.S. organized, armed and trained military and police. At least twice he had escaped attempts on his life. Finally on September 30, 1991, with only a handful of Haitian security officers trained by the Presidential Protection Service of France, bearing just side arms and rifles, President Aristide was trapped inside the Presidential Palace. Outside thousands of loyal supporters, a huge Haitian throng, unarmed but offering their bodies as protection, faced an army with overwhelming firepower. The dreaded Colonel Michel François in his red jeep led his police force in assaulting the Palace and the crowd. President Aristide faced the end.
Hundreds of Tonton Macoutes long alleged to have been disbanded, could be seen in their blue jeans and red bandannas milling about the center of the city, a warning to the wary. President Aristide was saved by the intrepid ambassador of France, Rafael Dufour, who with perfect timing drove to the Presidential Palace, placed President Aristide in his limousine, drove to the diplomatic departures area at the international airport, and escorted the president to a plane ready to depart for Venezuela.
Duvalier was flown to life on the French Riviera by the U.S. Air Force. The U.S., fully aware of Aristide's peril, did nothing to protect him.
Within a year, Marc Bazin was Haiti's de facto prime minister. And that is about how long he lasted. Popular protest forced his resignation. The U.S. could install him in office, but for all its power, it could not keep him there.
The richness of Haitian culture and character has survived all these centuries of suffering. The "Renaissance in Haiti" in the 1940s was forced into exile for its open expression, but it was never silenced. Haitian authors and poets like Felix Morisseau-Leroy, Paul Laraque, Edwidge Danticat, Patrick Sylvain, Danielle Georges, artists and intellectuals, musicians and singers carried the torch of Haitian culture and truth abroad. They knew you say democracy and it's the annexation of Texas the hold-up of the Panama Canal the occupation of Haiti the colonization of Puerto Rico the bombing of Guatemala from "Reign of a Human Race," by Paul Laraque. (The full poem is included in this book.) In September 1994, to "stop brutal atrocities" and "restore President Aristide to office," the U.S., having secured United Nations approval, landed a 20,000 troop, high-tech military force in Haiti, accepted, if at the last moment, by the military government of Haiti. It was an army of the same size as that led by General Leclerc who came to destroy the "First of the Blacks." It was called "Operation Restore Democracy." It met no armed resistance, suffered no casualties, but managed to kill several dozen Haitians.
In 1915, an excuse for U.S. intervention had been the slaughter of some 200 political prisoners at the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince.
This time, the U.S. priority was "force protection," the security of its own men. It made no plans or efforts to protect political prisoners, or other Haitians. Once again, Haiti suffered under a U.S. occupation. A lone U.S. Army captain, Lawrence Rockwood, assigned to counter-intelligence and aware of the danger faced by political prisoners held by the FADH, the Armed Forces of Haiti, made a valiant effort to persuade the military command to take quick and easy action to protect prisoners at the National Penitentiary, to no avail. The FADH, generally supported by the U.S., represented the spirit of militarism that had contributed so much to death and human suffering over five centuries in Haiti. The prisoners were not seen as friends of the United States.
Rockwood went alone, over the wall of the military compound at the airport, found his way to the National Penitentiary, succeeded in gaining entry, and secured the facility. He observed a hundred or more prisoners, several score in conditions as bad as those in any prison of Duvalier, and by his mere presence protected the others. For his effort, though a fourth generation officer in the U.S. Army, he was court-marshaled, threatened with seven years imprisonment, and finally separated from the service as a danger to the morale of the military. He is the perfect military officer for a free and democratic nation and for international peacekeeping. For these reasons, he was no longer acceptable to the U.S. Army.
The U.S. had waited out three years of Aristide's presidency. With most of his term stolen, President Aristide returned to Haiti and served the final year. Although most Haitians called for Aristide to serve out the three years he spent in exile, Washington forbade it. He stepped down. But he did not run from the people of Haiti, and after five years he was elected to his second term at the beginning of the second millennium. With the steady opposition of the U.S., and we know not what acts of subversion by it, the provocateurs of the old establishment seeking to return to the past, and the ever present poverty, progress has not been easy. But a new day for Haiti is essential if the world is to address its greatest challenge: to end the exploitation of the growing masses of poor everywhere in the face of greater concentration of wealth and power in the few who have in their control armies with the capacity of omnicide and media that can veil the truth and mislead the poor to self-destruction.
The challenge for all who seek peace and freedom and economic justice, a decent standard of life for all, and believe the cycle of tragedy and misery for Haiti and all the poor nations and peoples of earth must be broken is to unite in a vision of peace and compassion and persevere until they prevail.
There is no other way to fulfill the promised legacy of Toussaint Louverture as written by William Wordsworth, deeply troubled by Toussaint's imprisonment two hundred years ago. It is the legacy we must promise all Haitians.
TO: TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE
Toussaint, the most unhappy man of men!
Whether the whistling rustic tend his plough
Within thy hearing, or thy head be now
Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den- O miserable Chieftain!
where and when Wilt thou find patience!
Yet die not; do thou Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow:
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, Live, and take comfort.
Thou hast left behind Powers that will work for thee; air, earth, and skies.
There's not a breathing of the common wind That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
Thy friends are exaltations, agonies, And love, and man's unconquerable mind.
JEAN-JACQUES DESSALINES (1804-1806)
Empereur d'Haïti (1804-1806), né vers 1758, en Afrique (actuelle Guinée), mort le 17 octobre 1806 à Pont-Rouge, près de Port-au-Prince.Encyclopædia Universalis [en ligne], consulté le 16 octobre 2016.
Originaire d'Afrique de l'Ouest, Jean-Jacques Dessalines est déporté dans la colonie française de Saint-Domingue (Haïti). Il travaille comme esclave dans les champs pour un maître noir jusqu'en 1791, avant de rejoindre la rébellion noire qui éclate dans la colonie à la faveur des mouvements d'émancipation provoqués par la Révolution française. Au cours des dix années suivantes, il se distingue en tant que lieutenant du leader noir Toussaint Louverture, promu gouverneur général par la France révolutionnaire.
Quand Toussaint est déposé en 1802 par une expédition française envoyée par Napoléon pour reconquérir la colonie, Jean-Jacques Dessalines se soumet au nouveau régime. Bonaparte déclare son intention de rétablir l'esclavage (aboli par la Convention depuis 1794), provoquant une révolte de Jean-Jacques Dessalines et d'autres leaders noirs et mulâtres. Avec l'aide des Britanniques, ils chassent les Français de Saint-Domingue, et le 1er janvier 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, alors gouverneur général, proclame l'indépendance de toute l'île d'Hispaniola sous son nom arawak, Haïti. En septembre, il adopte le titre d'empereur et prend le nom de Jacques Ier.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines continue la politique de Toussaint Louverture, notamment le recours au travail forcé dans les plantations, afin d'éviter un retour à une économie exclusivement de subsistance, mais en manifestant une hostilité bien plus ouverte à l'égard des Blancs. Il confisque leurs terres, leur interdit tout droit de propriété et, peut-être parce qu'il les considère comme des ennemis potentiels en cas de nouvelle invasion française, lance une campagne d'extermination.
Ces massacres et ces lois sur la propriété (qui resteront en vigueur pendant plus d'un siècle) empêchent les Blancs de prendre à nouveau le dessus sur les Noirs, qui composent plus de 80 p. 100 de la population. Jean-Jacques Dessalines exerce aussi une discrimination à l'encontre de l'élite mulâtre. Il est assassiné alors qu'il tentait de réprimer une révolte menée par le mulâtre Alexandre Pétion. Après sa mort, ce dernier et le leader noir Henri Christophe se partagent Haïti, le premier gouvernant le sud de l'île, le second le nord.
Depuis l’opération catastrophique de la police à Village-de-Dieu le 12 mars dernier au cours de laquelle cinq policiers ont été tués, les gangs armés ont vite compris que les forces de l’ordre ne représentaient plus un obstacle pour eux. Ils se sont depuis renforcés et multipliés.
« Combattre le banditisme, le trafic illicite d'armes à feu, démanteler les gangs, seront nos principales priorités », a annoncé le nouveau chef de la PNH, 51 ans, dans son tout premier discours vendredi soir lors de son installation par le Premier ministre Ariel Henry. Pour y arriver, Frantz Elbé dit compter non seulement sur l’appui du gouvernement, mais aussi la collaboration de tout un chacun. Il a promis d’améliorer les conditions de travail des policiers tout en soulignant à leur attention que le moment exige beaucoup de sacrifices en faveur de la population.
Le nouveau chef de la police nationale estime qu’il incombe à tout un chacun d’apporter sa contribution au redressement de la sécurité du pays. « Le haut commandement de la police nationale, avec l’appui du gouvernement, va prendre des mesures afin de sensibiliser et motiver les policiers sur l’accomplissement de leurs tâches à ce carrefour historique de la nation haïtienne », a déclaré Frantz Elbé, un policier de carrière. « Nous allons renforcer les dispositifs de sécurité à travers tout le pays, spécialement dans la zone métropolitaine en vue de prévenir les cas de kidnapping, empêcher les malfrats de commettre leurs forfaits, permettre à la population de vaquer paisiblement à ses occupations », a promis Frantz Elbé.
Après la publication le jeudi 21 octobre 2021 dans le journal officiel de la République, Le Moniteur, de l’arrêté nommant Frantz Elbé directeur général a.i de la police nationale, le Premier ministre a procédé jeudi soir à son installation à la direction générale de la PNH. « Le temps est au travail. Nous voudrions que la paix publique soit rétablie, que nous retournions à la vie normale et que nous retrouvions la voie de la démocratie. Enfin, nous voudrions organiser des élections. Nous souhaitons bon travail et succès au nouveau DG a.i », a déclaré Ariel Henry.
Au nombre de 162 groupes armés répertoriés en 2019 sur le territoire national, « il faut ajouter de nombreuses bases latentes, peu connues mais tout aussi potentiellement dangereuses », constate Le Nouvelliste dans un document de la Stratégie nationale pour le désarmement, le démantèlement des groupes armés et la réinsertion des individus désarmés (SNDDR), élaboré en étroite collaboration avec le Programme des Nations unies pour le développement (PNUD), le Bureau intégré des Nations unies en Haïti (BINUH) et plusieurs autres partenaires. « De manière concomitante on observe la circulation d'un flux important d'armes et de munitions illégales, soit 2 700 armes selon les estimations de la PNH (2018) », ajoute le document.
« Ces dernières années furent marquées par l'expansion de groupes armés sur l’ensemble du territoire dans des communautés vulnérables et précaires en milieu urbain, périurbain et rural. Ces groupes se multiplient et créent des alliances formelles et non formelles qui les rendent plus forts. En 2004, on comptait officiellement 34 groupes armés. En 2019, un diagnostic fait par la mission onusienne (MINUJUSTH), en appui à la PNH, a recensé au moins 162 groupes armés sur le territoire, dont plus de 50% dans l’aire métropolitaine », lit-on dans le document de la SNDDR.
Selon la SNDDR, ces groupes ont des motivations mixtes : économique, politique et de contrôle territorial, « ce qui explique les conflits et les violences entre groupes opposés. Les principaux facteurs déclencheurs de ces conflits sont d’une part, le contrôle de territoire dont les enjeux sont à la fois économiques, politiques et hégémoniques. D' autre part, dans certaines zones, les investisseurs du secteur privé qui y ont d’importantes entreprises achètent, sous des formes diverses, sécurité et protection de leurs investissements (bâtiment, personnel, etc.). Il y a aussi des ressources telles que les marchés publics, les réseaux de distribution d’eau, les stations de bus et de « tap-tap », etc, desquels les groupes armés tirent des revenus importants ». ___
Speaking to reporters after meeting with his South Korean counterpart in Seoul, Special Representative Sung Kim https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/us-nuclear-envoy-visits-skorea-amid-nkorea-missile-tension-stalled-talks-2021-10-23 said the United States is committed to exploring "sustained and substantive diplomacy" with North Korea. "Our goal remains the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," Kim said. "That’s why Pyongyang’s recent ballistic missile test, one of several in the past six weeks, is concerning and counterproductive to making progress toward a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula."
Pyongyang so far has rejected U.S. overtures, accusing Washington and Seoul of talking diplomacy while ratcheting up tensions with their own military activities. On Thursday, the North said the United States was overreacting to a submarine-launched ballistic missile test that it called self-defensive, and questioned https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/nkorea-says-us-overreacting-over-submarine-missile-test-2021-10-20 the sincerity of Washington's offers of talks, warning of consequences.
That launch violated multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to North Korea's neighbours and the international community, Kim said. "We call on the DPRK to cease these provocations and other destabilising activities and instead engage in dialogue," he said, using the initials of North Korea's official name. "We remain ready to meet with DPRK without preconditions and we have made clear that the United States harbours no hostile intent toward DPRK."
South Korean nuclear envoy Noh Kyu-duk said Sunday's talks with Kim had included "serious" discussion of Seoul's proposal to formally declare an end to the state of war that has technically existed since the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty. South Korean officials see such a declaration as a gesture of goodwill to get talks started. Kim said Washington was discussing ways to make progress with North Korea, including the South's end-of-war proposal and possible humanitarian aid projects.
Migrants walked in the early morning, starting out before dawn, to avoid the burning heat. Mostly from Honduras and El Salvador, many were accompanied by small children. By midday on the second day of their march they reached the town of Huehuetan, in southern Chiapas state.
Unlike previous marches, the one that started Saturday from Tapachula did not include as many Haitian migrants, thousands of whom reached the U.S. border around Del Rio, Texas in September. Tens of thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti have been waiting in the southern city of Tapachula, near the Guatemalan border, for refugee or asylum papers that might allow them to travel, but have grown tired of delays in the process.
On the first day of their march, the migrants pushed past a line of state police who were trying to stop them. There were minor scuffles and a small child suffered a slight head wound, but the migrants continued on their way. They made it only a few miles (kilometers) to the nearby village of Alvaro Obregon Saturday before stopping to rest for the night at a baseball field.
José Antonio, a migrant from Honduras who did not want to give his last name because he fears it could affect his case, said he had been waiting in Tapachula for two months for an answer on his request for some sort of visa. “They told me I had to wait because the appointments were full,” said the construction worker. “There is no work there (in Tapachula), so out of necessity I joined this group.” He said he hopes to make it to the northern city of Monterrey to find work, adding “We’ll go on, day by day, to get as far as we can.” Police, immigration agents and National Guard have broken up smaller attempts at similar breakouts earlier this year.
In August, National Guard troops in riot gear blocked several hundred Haitians, Cubans and Central Americans who set out walking on a highway from Tapachula. Mexico requires migrants applying for humanitarian visas or asylum to remain in the border state of Chiapas, next to Guatemala, for their cases to be processed. In January, a larger caravan of migrants tried to leave Honduras but was blocked from crossing Guatemala. The marches are reminiscent, but nowhere near as large, as the migrant caravans that crossed Mexico in 2018 and 2019.
“We need to be shown that the promises of your administration to prioritize the return of our family members are not empty. Now is the time for action. Now we need you to bring our fellow Americans home,” the letter states. The letter reflects growing concerns within the hostage community that the Biden administration's foreign policy agenda does not prioritize the release of hostages, and that legal and political actions have complicated rather than advanced efforts to get captives released. In some cases, the letter to Biden asserts, the families feel as if they're in a “worse” situation now than eight months ago.
The U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan without bringing home Mark Frerichs, an American contractor abducted there in early 2020, and six American oil executives who'd been under house arrest in Venezuela were ordered back to jail this month following the extradition to the U.S. on corruption charges of a businessman who prosecutors say was a major conduit for corruption by President Nicolás Maduro’s inner circle.
The Biden team has been short on high-profile detainee and hostages releases so far. It was an area of keen interest to President Donald Trump, who in keeping with his unconventional approach to foreign policy appeared open to outside-the-box machinations with regard to hostage negotiations, such as a high-level but ultimately unsuccessful trip to Damascus aimed at getting journalist Austin Tice home. He also invited American captives who'd been freed during his administration to appear with him at the 2020 Republican National Convention.
The families note in the letter that they were optimistic following a February call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Since then, though, they say they have been unable to meet with Biden or with his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, “which leads us to believe that your administration is not prioritizing negotiations and other methods to secure their release. “When we do meet with other officials we feel we are being kept in the dark about what the U.S. government intends to do to free our loved ones,” the letter says. The White House had no immediate comment Monday.
The letter was signed by family members of 26 American hostages and detainees held in countries across the world. That includes the mother of Trevor Reed, a Marine imprisoned in Moscow on charges of assaulting a police officer in Russia; the sister of Frerichs, and the wife of Jeffrey Woodke, an aid worker taken from his home in Niger in 2016.
Others who signed include the families of nine Americans jailed in Venezuela, who joined together more than a week ago in a separate critical letter of the White House approach to their cases. The lack of urgency is especially troubling to the family of José Pereira, the former president of Houston-based CITGO, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state owned oil company. Over the weekend, Pereira was rushed from jail to a private clinic in Caracas for emergency treatment for a cardiac condition that his family says hasn’t received medical treatment since his detention four years ago. John Pereira says that although the Biden administration isn’t to blame for his father’s arrest he expected more from the new U.S. president.
“Our feeling is that they do more,” said Pereira, who along with the families of eight other American detainees in Caracas sent their own letter to Biden a week ago urging U.S. officials to sit down and talk directly with Maduro’s government.
“This goes beyond politics. It’s a humanitarian issue. They have to sit down to talk.”
Avec le temps, la personne atteinte a de plus en plus de difficulté à mémoriser les événements, à reconnaître les objets et les visages, à se rappeler la signification des mots et à exercer son jugement. En général, les symptômes apparaissent après 65 ans et la prévalence de la maladie augmente fortement avec l’âge. Cependant, contrairement aux idées reçues, la maladie d’Alzheimer n’est pas une conséquence normale du vieillissement.
La maladie d’Alzheimer est la forme de démence la plus fréquente chez les personnes âgées; elle représente environ 65 % des cas de démence. Le terme démence englobe, de façon bien générale, les problèmes de santé marqués par une diminution irréversible des facultés mentales. La maladie d’Alzheimer se distingue des autres démences par le fait qu’elle évolue graduellement et touche surtout la mémoire à court terme, dans ses débuts. Cependant, le diagnostic n’est pas toujours évident et il peut être difficile pour les médecins de différencier la maladie d’Alzheimer d’une démence « à corps de Lewy », par exemple.
Y a-t-il une différence entre le vieillissement normal et la maladie d’Alzheimer? Selon Judes Poirier, chercheur à l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale Douglas, l’Alzheimer peut être vue comme une forme très accélérée de vieillissement55. En théorie, si nous vivions jusqu’à 150 ou 160 ans, il est quasiment certain que nous aurions tous l’Alzheimer. D’après le chercheur, pour que l’Alzheimer survienne dans la soixantaine, il faut être prédisposé à la maladie par l’hérédité, les habitudes de vie, etc.
La maladie d’Alzheimer touche environ 1 % des personnes âgées de 65 ans à 69 ans, 20 % des personnes ayant de 85 ans à 89 ans et 40 % des personnes ayant de 90 ans à 95 ans1. Au Canada, environ 500 000 personnes ont la maladie d'Alzheimer ou une maladie apparentée.
On estime que 1 homme sur 8 et 1 femme sur 4 en souffriront au cours de leur existence. Dans la mesure où les femmes vivent plus longtemps, elles sont plus susceptibles d’en être atteintes un jour.
En raison du prolongement de l’espérance de vie, cette maladie est de plus en plus fréquente. On estime que, d’ici 20 ans, le nombre de personnes atteintes doublera au Canada.
L’atteinte du cerveau
La maladie d’Alzheimer se caractérise par l’apparition de lésions bien particulières, qui envahissent progressivement le cerveau et détruisent ses cellules, les neurones. Les neurones de l’hippocampe, la région qui contrôle la mémoire, sont les premiers touchés. On ne sait pas encore ce qui provoque l’apparition de ces lésions.
Le Dr Alois Alzheimer, un neurologue allemand, a donné son nom à la maladie, en 1906. Il est le premier à avoir décrit ces lésions cérébrales, lors de l’autopsie d’une femme morte de démence. Il avait observé dans le cerveau de celle-ci des plaques anormales et des enchevêtrements de cellules nerveuses désormais considérés comme les signes physiologiques principaux de la maladie d’Alzheimer.
Voici les 2 types de dommages qui apparaissent dans le cerveau des personnes atteintes :
La production excessive et l’accumulation de protéines bêta-amyloïdes dans certaines régions du cerveau. Ces protéines forment des plaques, appelées plaques amyloïdes ou plaques séniles, qui sont associées à la mort des neurones.
La « déformation » de certaines protéines structurales (appelées protéines Tau). La façon dont les neurones sont enchevêtrés est alors modifiée. Cette forme de lésion s’appelle la dégénérescence neurofibrillaire.
Les lecteurs de par le monde de ce grand auteur de renommée internationale ont lu Gouverneurs de la rosée, Les Fantoches, La Montagne ensorcelée et sont sortis revigorés d’idées fortes exprimées dans un style littéraire de haute qualité. Quand on reviste les articles qu’il a semés dans les pages des journaux, le même ton de l’homme de plume soucieux de la forme et du fond capte l’attention du lecteur. Romain cultive l’écriture avec une âme d’artiste. Sa poésie en témoigne grandement.
Jacques Romain a laissé à la postérité de beaux morceaux de poésie dans des pages de revues et de journaux. Pour attiser votre curiosité de lecteur, évoquons : « Midi », « Pluie », 1927 – juillet. « Cent mètres », « La Danse du poète-clown », « Noir », « Le Buvard : Insomnie », « Le Buvard : Le Chant de l'homme », . « Corrida », « Miragôane », « À jouer aux billes », « Échappée », « Surgi d'une natte de paille peinte » « Absence », « Angoisse », «Attente» 1928 – « Mirage », « Appel », « Je rêve que je rêve », « L'Aube », « Quand bat le Tam-Tam », « Langston Hugues », « Guinée », « Madrid », « Nouveau Sermon nègre ».
Une poésie pour l’oreille
Romain est un poète délicat. Sa poésie est une musique pour l’oreille. Quand il cisèle un chant pour la pluie, toute la magie se déploie dans ses vers ailés. Le poète nous emporte vers ces gouttes d’eau qui tombent des nuages vers le sol. Cette pluie devient légère et douce dans la lyre du poète.
« La pluie, monotone dactylo, tapote
Aux fenêtres closes.
Des lumières tremblotent
Dans l’obscurité dense.
Des éclairs, serpentins géants,
Tordus à des pans
De ciel noir.
Déploie ses voiles de moire
Sur les lointains
Où pleure sans bruit
Des roses qui s’effeuillent. »
Vitamin C provides an array of health benefits, though it doesn't get nearly as much attention as vitamin D. That's probably because far fewer Americans are deficient in it, says Dr. Gail Feinberg, chair of the primary care department at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine. "Most people are getting a daily dose of vitamin C from their routine diets," she says.
Still, it's important to appreciate the benefits of vitamin C, because without it, we'd all have scurvy – a now-rare disease in developed countries that can cause swollen, bleeding gums and other wounds. Here's what else you need know about this under-appreciated vitamin:
What Is Vitamin C?
Also known as L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that if you take in more than your body needs, you pee it out. (Fat-soluble vitamins like A and D, on the other hand, are mostly stored in your fat tissues and liver, and are eliminated more slowly.) Because your body doesn't make vitamin C itself, you have to consume it, either in foods that naturally contain it or that are fortified with it, or with supplements, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
Here's where the research stands on vitamin C's various benefits:
Protection against free radicals. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which means it helps protect against damage from free radicals, or molecules that can damage your cells. Your body is always generating free radicals, but certain experiences like smoking, sunbathing and even exercising can bring on more. Because vitamin C is a free-radical scavenger, balancing the inflammatory cascade with vitamins and other anti-inflammatory nutrients (like selenium, zinc and vitamins A and E) and not letting inflammation spin out of control can help you feel better, says Robin Foroutan, an integrative registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Tissue health. Vitamin C is also key for skin and hair, bone and joint, and cardiovascular health because it's "an important cofactor in our own synthesis of collagen," Foroutan says. In other words, it helps your body process collagen, which is well-known to keep those tissues young. In the case of blood vessels, that means keeping them flexible and able to easily constrict and expand.
Eye health. Your eyes contain high concentrations of vitamin C, which may help explain why some research has shown that people with vitamin C-rich diets may be less likely to get cataracts. Also, vitamin C may be helpful for individuals with a certain kind of age-related macular degeneration, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily could help slow the disease. It's important to keep in mind that vitamin C and other supplements aren't a cure for AMD, but they could help slow it in some people with the early to middle stages of the disease, according to the academy.
Weight control. Some research has linked vitamin C consumption with a lower body mass index and body fat percentage, although exactly why is unclear, Foroutan says.
Nutrient absorption. Vitamin C also partners with iron for optimal absorption, especially when the iron is not from meat, says Isabel Maples, a registered dietitian based in Haymarket, Virginia, and a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To improve iron intake, pair a vitamin C-rich food with one that's rich in iron.
Such combinations of iron and vitamin C include:
Orange juice with breakfast cereal.
Tomatoes and beans in chili.
Bell pepper strips dipped in hummus.
Spinach with steak.
Many people believe that vitamin C is something of a "magic bullet" in fighting colds and that it can shield you from an array of other serious, chronic conditions. But studies suggest that reputation is overstated. Here is where the latest research stands regarding vitamin C's efficacy in fighting colds and several chronic conditions:
Cold prevention. There's a popular myth that vitamin C can prevent or shorten colds. But this idea – which took hold in the 1970s – isn't backed up by research. Clinical studies "failed to demonstrate (vitamin C's) efficacy" in fighting colds, according to research published in Frontiers in Immunology in 2020.
Disease prevention. While some people believe vitamin C may help prevent conditions ranging from heart disease and cancer to depression and Alzheimer's disease, there's not enough research yet to support these claims, Feinberg says.