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Revolution is the overthrow or repudiation of a regime or political system by the governed. It is characterized by a radical and invasive change. It is usually suddenly and violence is experienced. The existing government is replaced by another political system from those who are governed. Haiti is one developing country that has had numerous cases of revolution. Since the year 1800 to date Haiti has recorded nine instances of coup d’état (Heinl, 1996).
Revolution in Haiti
In 1991, there was an issue with the president of Haiti Jean-Bertrand Aristide who had been democratically elected as the head of the country the previous year. In a coup d’état led by Raoul Cedras the government of Jean-Bertrand was overthrown. This was criticized by the United States government, United Nations and Organization of American States. This continued till 1994 when Aristide came back to power as the head of state.
During this period, all sectors and key institutions in Haiti were affected negatively. In terms of political arena, the government failed completely. Cedras encouraged economic dependency in which apart from humanitarian aid he allowed other external aid hence hindering economic independence of Haiti.
The government also failed because there were no laws followed. The constitution did not allow any political system to overthrow the government. Cedras was therefore an illegal president of Haiti. It therefore goes without saying that the due to lack of laws there was poor governance. The political system was not for the people; instead the government protected corrupt government officials and illegal businesses such as drug trafficking.
Economic sector was negatively affected. For example the money invested in other countries was frozen during this period. The sanctions put in place to stabilize the situation also interfered with trading activities. Restrictions on trade led to loss of 60% of private jobs. This translated to approximately one million people losing their jobs.
Due to unfavorable environment, many industries including export were shut down. Cedras and his government remained to benefit from the unstable economy in Haiti. He ensured that he controlled the business environment; supply and distribution of goods and services and thus monitoring the income and profits realized.
The poor suffered. The people of Haiti were denied democracy and economic development. In addition, when Aristede came back to power the people continued to suffer. The external aid that people depended on was discontinued. The poor in this case were the ones who suffered. Moreover, human rights were denied to the citizens. The military used force to get power hence violated Human rights. The basic necessities such as oil and food became scarce (Dupuy, 1997).
Further the natural environment was affected. Environmental pollution such as soil erosion, oil spill in the water bodies and air pollution resulted to health complications. Environmental degradation did not only have negative implications on the human beings but also the plants and animals. This worsened the food security condition. The scarce natural plants and animals were extinct.
Revolution is as a result of struggle by the people and especially the poor. However, they do not end up being leaders of the same. The purpose of revolution is therefore defeated because the promised change is usually not realized after fighting. The leaders and the rich benefit at the expense of the poor. In this case, Cedras and his political system benefited in 1991 to 1994 revolution regime at the expanse of Haitians.
Dupuy, A. (1997). Haiti in the New World Order: The Limits of the Democratic Revolution. Boulder, Colo.: West view Press.
Heinl, R. (1996). Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People, 1492–1995. Lanham: University Press of America.