40 years later.
the morning of December 25, 1963, an impressive contingent
of heavily armed soldiers and "macoutes" proceeded
to kidnap Lucien Daumec. He was 41 years old. Several
friends gathered at his house were also taken away along
with his 17 years old son Frantz. Two months later,
the senator Dato Daumec would undergo the same fate.
They were never to be seen again just like thousands
of victims of the Duvaliers' hereditary dictatorial
régime, who had Fort-Dimanche as their final
place of rest.
Lucien Daumec was one of the young journalists of "La
Ruche" who organized the strike of January 7, 1946,
which led to the fall of Mr. Élie Lescot's controversial
regime and shook the bases of the archaic structure
ofHaitian society. These young journalists aspired to
be associated with the vast antifascist movement of
the time and to offer an alternative to the country,
other than the recycling of accessories of the old political
system. They had the ambition of completing the independence
movement of 1804 and to pull the country out of its
antiquated political system.
History decided differently. At the beginning of 1941,
Mr. Élie Lescot was chosen by President Vincent
to be his successor and, as a simple matter of formality,
this choice was ratified by the National Assembly on
April 14, 1941.
Sectarian autocrat who asserted that the country was
not ready for democracy, which was itself incompatible
with the customs and habits of the Haitian people. Mr.
Lescot did not waste any time, once appointed, to bring
all the executive powers under his control and to declare
a state of siege. The Armed Forces, the Justice Department,
and the Legislative Corps would function under the strict
supervision of the self-proclaimed Commander in Chief
of the Army, Mr. Lescot himself.
was not the first to bring about the question of skin
color in the Haitian societal fabric; this issue was
well rooted in our history. But under his government,
this issue was retrofitted and carried out to its paroxysm.
By underscoring the superiority of the mulatto over
the darker Haitian people, he made skin color the primary
criterion for becoming a public servant or holding public
office. And the consequences of such practice on the
black bourgeois who saw themselves driven out of public
posts and even private companies were catastrophic.
The economic policies of Lescot were as catastrophic
and resulted in a general impove-rishment of the population.
He sequestered resources of the country for the benefit
of his entourage and friends and, under the pretext
of war, he confiscated enormous acreages of land from
the peasants to give them to Foreign companies such
as Shada for the production of hévéa.
In Foreign affairs, his policies were designed, in his
own words, as faithful images of the American policies,
which explains his solidarity upon declaring war to
Germany, Italy and Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbour
by the Japanese in December 1941. The goods of the citizens
of these countries who resided in Haiti were sequestered
and then given away to the friends of the regime.
Despotism, total submission in favor of foreign interests
thereby sacrifizing those of the country, such were
the characteristics of this government, which resulted
into a general dissatisfaction. And it is in this context
that "La Ruche" was conceived.
January 7, 1946, the newspaper launched its call for
a general strike and on January 11, the game was over.
Lescot left for exile and a military junta assumed the
power until the election of Dumarsais Estimé
by the National Assembly in August 1946.
country enjoyed two exiting years of democratic fervor
during which the struggle of the labor-union movement
earned to the working masses the adoption of certain
measures, in particular those related to the minimum
wage, maternity leave, legislation on mandatory arbitration
in cases of labor-related conflicts, as well as the
establishment of the Institute of Social Insurance.
year 1946 also facilitated the emergence of the middle
class on the political scene although it is the faction
the most reactionary, the most retrograde that occupied
and continues still to occupy all networks of power.
Contrary to those who usurped and assassinated 1946
and grew rich from its remains, Lucien Daumec had demonstrated
all his life a commitment to the ideals of democracy,
freedom and social justice that this movement shouldered.
1946, we meet him again, as a trade-union militant through
the Federation of the Haitians workers affiliated with
the PCH of which he was member. Graduated from the Institute
of Ethnology and, later from Law School, he is engaged
in teaching and journalism. After "La Ruche "closed,
he founded a weekly newspaper, “La Voix des Jeunes,”
and later, contributed its regular chronicles to the
newspapers the “ Nouvelliste" and "Le
October 1957, he is appointed Chief of Staff of Duvalier's
Cabinet but, shortly thereafter, on November 5, 1958,