MAGLOIRE, Paul Eugène

  • December 1950 – December 1956


  • Smith, Matthew J. Red & Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change 1934-1957
  • Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Haiti: State Against Nation
  • Bonhomme, Colbert. 1957. Révolution et contre-révolution en Haïti, de 1946 à 1957.

Actions and Consequences

  • A cadet of the first graduating class of the new military school created by the Marines during the U.S. occupation. Trouillot says this education Magloire received from the occupiers gave him “a taste for strong-arm tactics. “
  • By 1954, the urban middle-class had enough of Magloire’s authoritarian shenanigans, which were then manifested with increases in the state violation of civil and political liberties of its citizens.
  • Magloire clapped back at the opposition. In one of the rare instances of the use of Haitian publically, he warned his enemies he was quite comfortable with using violence to shut them down: “Today, I am putting my Kanson Fè back on to deal with the rascals.”
  • Haitians love to give folks nicknames. And so Haitians being Haitians, from that point forward, he was derisively known as Kanson Fè.
  • Despite unofficial censorship at the time, Haitians even wrote songs featuring Kanson Fè, which were played on the radio.
  • Built the Minoterie, a state-run flour mill
  • Built Cité Magloire, a set of affordable dwellings. (A decade or so later, Duvalier would build a similar cosmetic undertaking–his housing project of Cité Simone (named after his wife).
  • In 1954, Hurricane Hazel hit, destroying about 50% of the cacao crop & 40% of the coffee crop. As a result, Haiti couldn’t no longer take advantage from the rise of coffee prices at the time.
  • Prior to Hazel, the rise in coffee prices (from 16% in 1953 to 24% in 1954) created the illusion that Magloire was “doing something” for the country.
  • Magloire rebuilt the town of Cabaret, which later became Duvalierville
  • Built Ciment d’Haïti, a cement factory
  • Brought in the Reynolds company, the aluminum conglomerate, to manage a bauxite mining operation
  • Built the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, at the time, was the only hospital in rural Haiti. According to Michel-Rolph Trouillot, it was by far “the best adapted, technically, to the country’s needs.
  • In late 1956, with his presidency coming to an end, Magloire tried to illegally extend his term. He was forced out by a strike in December 1955.