TheUnited States of America became more interested in the matters withinHaiti during the cold war period. During this era, Haiti state wasmore aligned to the capitalist bloc, who was the greatest enemy tothe communist bloc. The capitalists incorporated non-governmentalorganizations, corporations, and foreign governments that conspiredwith some local elites to brazen resource theft as well as encouragepoverty among the citizens. The Haiti government, present during thattime, used coercion of joining the communist state as an exploitativetool to the Americans. However, their contact can be traced back to1919, when U.S.A quelled and dismantled the Haitian army. Haitipeople are characterized by a rich voodoo culture, which has shapedboth their social and political life. In this paper, I am going todescribe a man`s dream of leaving Haiti, the voodoo culture, thedismantled army, and joining the American forces.
TheHaitian Voodoo is a monotheistic religion (Rigaud, 36), which has acomplex view of the universe. It is characterized by Africanreligions that were carried during the slave trade period. However,the features have continued to emerge the contemporary new world. Thevoodoo has also incorporated modern religions like Catholicism theflair of the religion can be traced from Senegal to Mozambique.
Thevoodoo calls for a very radical engagement between the living and thespiritual world (Deren, 30) to them the hierarchy of beings isintact. There is a smooth transition from the living to the dead, whojoin the spiritual world that is usually depicted as the divinity. The man is made up of a soul and a physical body at death the twoseparate from each other. The soul should conversely be reclaimed bya priest through a special ritual and placed in a vessel that isplaced in the temple this is sometimes done after the death of theindividual, and, usually, it is conducted on an annual basis. It isbelieved that after a certain period of time, the spirit joins thebroader ancestral pool, from which the archetypes of the voodoopantheon arise and always considered among the many terms of theSupreme Being (Deren, 30). During the rituals, the bodies are usuallyinvoked to respond to the prayers to come into the place of the soul,in the living hence, making human being and God one. During thismoment, the Haitians` are considered to be in a holy moment possessedwith spirits. As they put it, they go to the temple to talk about theSupreme Being, dance to the voodooist, and eventually become God.
Inthe dream, the man is wondering how he has left a more radicalreligion that leaves several people astonished. He wonders if in theUnited States of America there are people who can be possessed byspirits to the point of cutting themselves and carrying burning coalwith bare hands. Will he find people within the U.S army who willaccommodate his animal sacrifice culture? Will they allow him, inthis case, to offer the blood of a precious thing in his life as asacrifice? He dreams of coming back and create awareness about suchbeliefs that have no logical basis as well as the adoption of lessradical religious practices.
TheHaiti revolution provided the foundation of the Haitian army Infact, the defeat of the French brought out the strength and theabilities that the army had (Renda, 56). The fact that a Haitianconstitution has many loopholes has always made it possible fordictatorial army factions to rise to power. At some point, themilitary dictated almost every sphere of the Haitian life. Themilitary officers ascended to administrative powers forcefully andput the municipal management under their control. According to thediplomats the country had been turned into a military camp.
Duringthis period, the army did not put in any energy to protect the rulinggovernment and at times it was used to pull down the governments inpower. The increased political challenges subsequently led to theattraction of the foreign powers. This resulted into the immediateoccupation of the USA in 1915.
InFebruary 1916, the United States of America disbanded the Haiti army,which was approximated of having 9000 men (Renda, 57). The generalmilitary was overhauled and dismantled two years later. Despite this,Haiti government took steps towards rebuilding its military towardsthe end of December 2011. A special commission was put in place toconsult with both local and international communities, with an aim ofcreating proper restoration of the country’s military.
Inthe dream, the man thinks of how he will leave Haiti and join theAmerican marine, come back home, and bring back the public propertythat had been looted by the corrupt army officials. He also dreams ofmodernizing the military, the medical sector, infrastructure, andbring in more developments in his country.
Deren,M. DivineHorsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti.New York: Thames and Hudson, 2013. Pg 23-33.Print.
Renda,A. TakingHaiti: military occupation and the culture of U.S. imperialism,1915-1940.ChapelHill: the University of North Carolina Press, 2010 pg 52-57. Print.
Rigaud,M. Secrets of Voodoo.New York: City Lights Publishers, 2011 pg. 35–36. Print.