“Our Man In Haiti: George de Mohrenschildt and The CIA In The Nightmare Republic”
Thursday, March 14, 2013
My book is called “OUR MAN IN HAITI.” The title contains two Graham Greene references. It echoes “Our Man In Havana,” while the term “Nightmare Republic,” derives from Greene’s novel, “The Comedians.” Under the Duvalier regime, Haiti became for its people a “nightmare republic,” a designation that the painting on the cover suggests was not by any means permanent.
Here in a painting by the Haitian artist Gary Dorsainvil, we see neatly dressed, orderly Haitians, with picket signs evocative of the deep and abiding aspiration of the Haitian people to control t heir own destiny. They face five soldiers with guns trained on them as they continue to demonstrate, with signs that read “Vive La Liberte.”
The figures on the cover of “Our Man In Haiti” represent to me the descendants of the Haitian slaves of 1804 who determined that, no matter what, they would not submit to slavery ever again. They are a people who deserve better- their primordial crime having been to cast off their chains, no matter that the alarmed Great Republic to the North would keep hold of its own slaves for another half century and visit unrelenting economic subjugation on the Haitian people almost as if in retaliation for its great embarrassment.