(Author of the recent book Mémoires
Born in Port
au Prince on September 20, 1920.In 1942, he enrolled
in the Haitian Army, when Elie Lescot government
announced the formation of the Haitian Air Force
(Corps d’Aviation). Shortly thereafter,
he was assigned to the maintenance department
as a mechanic.
His devotion to his work did not go unnoticed
by Major Eshelman, director of the Corps. In February
1943, Raymond was given the opportunity to be
trained as pilot. With S/Lt. Philippe Celestin
and Alix Pasquet, he left Haiti to attend the
training at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama.
He graduated as well as the other officers Fighter
Pilots and returned to Haiti to serve his country.
because he never considered himself,in the Haitian
sense of the word, a true SOLDIER, but rather
a civilian in uniform, he resigned in April 1946
few months after the fall of President Lescot.
His resignation was not accepted. Colonel Lavaud
one of the executive members of the junta told
him that his resignation could give the public
the impression that some differences exist among
them in the army. When he resubmitted his resignation
on July 1946, it was accepted and took effect
on August 9, 1946. He remained in the country
as an entrepreneur.
In 1947 he obtained his pilot private commercial
license and worked as pilot for the Dauphin Plantation.
In the 50’ he ventured in the preparation
of lumbers for construction and put together a
Lumber factory in the Plateau Central. To provide
an adequate support of the-day-to-day operation
of the plant, he acquired a small airplane (BT-13)
for quick access to Port-au-Prince in less than
half hour, instead of the two to three day commute
on ground transportation. A field of 1200 feet
long was prepared for landing and take off. The
authorization to fly given by Cerca-La-Source
military center was not an issue and the back
and forth over the island by Raymond became routine.
Several members at the Army Headquarters did not
like the idea and clearance to fly could only
be granted by them in Port au Prince. It became
harder and harder for Raymond to obtain the authorization
to fly and the airplane was most of the time on
the ground and was becoming a burden for the factory.
To avoid further complication, Raymond decided
to sell the BT-13 to the only possible buyer,
the Aviation Corps of Haiti. The field used as
one way, so beneficial short and long term to
the community and the region was left abandoned.
The airplane was used by the Corps d"Aviation
in the transport of mail and passengers for a
long time thereafter.
predicament continued under Paul Magloire, more
than ever before, because he did not approve this
government's politic of favoritism "moun
pa." During the 1957 electoral campaign,
as he explained on his book, Raymond did not endorse
any particular candidate but took a stand against
one candidate - Clement Jumelle - who had declared
that his government would be a continuation of
Paul Magloire's regime.
was skeptical about the nomination of Francois
Duvalier by the army, so like everybody else,
he adopted a wait and see attitude. But in less
than 6 months Duvalier sent the first signal:
"Gratefulness is a weakness". On March
12, 1958, General Antonio Th. Kebreau, the man
who gave Duvalier the presidency was fired by
Duvalier. Kebreau, went into hiding until his
nomination as ambassador to the Vatican and left
the country in January 1959.
second signal came without wasting time. Duvalier
launched his systematic repression against the
population and one of his first victims, Yvonne
Hakim was severely tortured and left without clothes
for death in the middle of the night on Delmas
Raymond did not need more evidence to join the
rank of opponents that was already growing. He
became one of the most farouche opponents of the
regime and participated in many attempts intended
to overthrow Duvalier. In 1961 he met with General
Leonidas Truillo who at that time wanted to eliminate
Duvalier one way or another. But on December 1958
the same Trujilio informed Duvalier that he had
given a load of arms to Raymond on behalf of Louis
Dejoie, ex-senator and ex-candidate who opposed
Duvalier, while in hiding after the elections
(Mémoires d'un Révolutionnaire -
On October 08, 1962 fearing for his life as well
as his family's safety, Raymond crossed the Dominican
border to seek political asylum. The assassination
of Truijilo several months earlier made it possible.
On May 1969, Raymond was one of the pilots of
the B-25 that dropped the bombs over Duvalier
in the National palace.
(See a page of History May 20, 1964)
Congratulations to Raymond for his so valuable
The book Mémoires d'un Révolutionnaire
is " A slice of the Haitian political life
1937 to 1988, of a figther who put everything
on the line "
purchase of the book will soon be available from