chapter  8
WithAlex Dupuy
Pages 4

The events of 1995 proved that the popular demands for a restructuring of Haitian society remain at center stage politically. Jean-Bertrand Aristide's disavowal of his own prime minister seemed all the more remarkable since it was he who had authorized his advisers—albeit under pressure from the Clinton administration—to negotiate the neoliberal economic program with the foreign aid agencies while he was still in exile in Washington. Aristide pursued a deliberate strategy in abandoning Michel, appointing Werleigh, and halting the implementation of the neoliberal policies. One of Aristide's last consequential political acts consisted of sowing discord in the population, especially the political parties and candidates aspiring to the presidency. Aristide, awash in his image as the spokesman for the voiceless, actively reinforced the tradition of "one-manism" and the personalization of politics. Aristide symbolized those aspirations, and the vast majority of Haitians supported him because they believed he could and would deliver on his promises.