Franklin D. Roosevelt on Haiti in 1928

Bob Corbett

I'm working on my library files these days, and today I came across an article by Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1928. "Our Foreign Policy: A Democratic View." In general this article is defending the U.S. from an attack that Roosevelt says the rest of the world is launching that the U.S. is irresponsibly isolationist.

Along the way he says this of the U.S. occupation of Haiti:

"In Haiti a worse situation faced us. That Republic was in chronic trouble, and it as it is close to Cuba the bad influence was felt across the water. Presidents were murdered, governments fled, several time a year. [sic: he really said that!] We landed our marines and sailors only when the unfortunate Chief Magistrate of the moment was dragged out of the French Legation, cut into six pieces and thrown to the mob. Here again we cleaned house, restored order, built public works and put governmental operation on a sound and honest basis. We are still there. It is true, however, that in Santo Domingo and especially in Haiti we seem to have paid too little attention to making the citizens of these states more capable of reassuming the control of their own governments. But we have done a fine piece of material work, and the world ought to thank us." (p. 584)

Foreign Affairs, Vol. VI, 1928. Pp. 573-586.

Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to visit Haiti when, on July 5, 1934 he came ashore at Cap Haitien from the U.S.S. Houston. He met with President Stenio Vincent and an agreement was signed that would have the U.S. marines out of Haiti by mid-August.

This was the only U.S. president to ever visit Haiti as president until President Bill Clinton visited on March 31, 1995.

Bob Corbett


Art, Music, & Dance Book Reviews Film History Library Literature
Mailing List Miscellaneous Topics Notes on Books People to People Voodoo


Bob Corbett