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Subject: For All Nails 96a- Dominique, pt. 1

Port-au-Prince
Republique Jeffersonist de Hayti
March 9, 1963

        Colonel Georges Laval was not a happy man.  Looking around him, he
was sure he wasn't the only one.  Like Laval, the members of the
Committee de Liberte General wore fancy white dress uniforms.  The
military had played a crucial role in establishing the Jeffersonist
republic, and the Committee which controlled it.

Robert Philippe was not a member of the Haytian military per se.  The
chief of the Gendarmes de Surete therefore was the only man in the
room not wearing white.  The uniform of the security police was,
perhaps ironically, black.  Standing before the Committee, Philippe
looked very intimidating.  He was tall, but also very muscular.  He
looked, as Laval thought all secret policemen must look, like a man
constantly searching for a target.  At least most of the time.  Now he
looked, like the rest of the Committee, half shocked, half enraged.
He paused only a second before starting his report.

"As I'm sure most of you know, last night a group of black insurgents
struck at our holding facility [1] outside Fort Liberte at exactly
12:17 pm.  One or more mortars were used to disrupt the guards and
damage the walls enough to allow raiding parties to rush the prison
from all sides.  They seized one of the control rooms and managed to
release most of the prisoners.  They used the rioting this caused to
escape without a single casualty. We, on the other hand, lost 14 dead
and 21 injured."

Philippe took his seat.  As usual, his reports were short and to the
point.  He liked to leave it to the others to ask questions to get the
information.  Also as usual, Andre Santerre, Chairman of the Committee
and President of Hayti, asked the first question.  "How many prisoners
escaped?"

"The center was one of our smaller ones, only housing about 500
prisoners, most of whom were common criminals.  All but about 50 have
been rounded up.  We expect to get most of the rest in the next few
days.  However, the center also held seven ADN commanders who were
being transferred west.  They, as you might expect, are among the
missing."

"Does this mean it was the ADN?" asked Colonel Louis Brun, de facto
Minister of Justice.

"Well, we can't be sure since we didn't capture anyone, but I think it
pretty much goes without saying", responded Philippe.  Laval nodded.
Although a good portion of the black population hated the Jeffersonist
government, the Armee des Noirs was the only major armed resistance
group left, mostly because it had eliminated all the others.

"Gentlemen," said General Henri Champion, de facto Minister of War,
"this attack represents a serious escalation by the insurgents.  We
must respond, but at the source of the problem.  We all know that the
Dominicans are arming the ADN.  They want to see us subjected to
nigger [2] rule so they..."

"The Dominicans hate the blacks as much as we do," Laval cut in.  As
the Committee's foreign affairs expert and de facto Foreign Minister,
it was his job to keep the discussion grounded in reality.  Largely
because his job involved putting a good face on what the racialist
government did, Laval had been picked because of his moderate views.
"Besides, they have CNA backing.  Blacks are not an insignificant
group there.  They even have a black finance minister." [3]

Before Champion could respond, Santerre cut him off.  "The aristocrats
of the CNA and Dominicana [4] need to be taught a lesson.  Our Mexican
allies in the struggle against the aristocrats will come to our aid,
as they have done since the revolution."

Laval thought that Santerre sometimes took the Jeffersonist rhetoric a
little too far.  The movement had gained popularity among the petites
blancs [5] and especially the rank-and-file military in the waning
years of the aristocratic Republic, but the officers had only picked
up on it at the last minute, as a means of cloaking their ambitions
and at the same time gaining crucial Mexican support.  That was why
the military's overthrow of the civilian government in 1957 was called
a "revolution".  Personally, Laval thought of Jeffersonism as a useful
tool, and nothing more.

Saying so, however, would have been less than wise.  Instead he
responded, "Mercator doesn't want conflict with the CNA.  He wants
peace with the CNA so that he can develop the bomb.  That's why he's
pushing for this non-aggression pact in Geneva. [6]"

That brought a thoughtful silence.  Santerre was the first to speak.
"Georges is right.  We will pursue the rebels, and take vengeance on
the local population if they are not caught. We will not move against
Dominicana, at least not for the time being, but we cannot rule out
this option if future provocations occur.  That is all."  These last
words had come just as Champion had been about to say something.  Now
he had no choice but to shut his mouth, and rise to leave with the
rest of the Committee.  Laval felt he had won a victory, although only
a temporary one. [7]

[1]  prison camp

[2] I'm not sure if this word has a French equivalent in OTL, but I'm
sure one would have developed in the ATL Hayti.

[3] Carter Monaghan

[4] lower class whites

[5] This is the name used on the map posted on the shwi index, so I'll
use it.

[6] Described in FWOAN, p. 393-394

[7] Sobel says nothing about St. Dominique in FWOAN, so I'm creating
my own history here to fill in.  If anyone has any disagreements, feel
free to voice them, although I'll be on vacation for about a week and
won't be able to reply till I get back.  Basically, because there was
no French Revolution, St. Dominique stays under French control for a
much longer period of time, gaining independence, as someone
suggested, in the 1880's.  Control passes to the white colonists, who
form a republic, which is, of course, based on repression of the
blacks.  Gradually, the progressive whites begin to push for black
equality, and this reaches a peak in the 1950's.  The military, which
is opposed to racial equality, overthrows the republic and establishes
a "Jeffersonist" republic, for the reasons described above.  After
all, Jefferson wasn't exactly known as a champion of black liberty, in
the ATL or in OTL.  By 1963, Hayti is a combination military
dictatorship and racist state.  Whites are at the top of the pecking
order.  Under six years of military rule, the gap between "grands
blancs" and "petites blancs" evident under the republic has begun to
fade.  Mulattoes played a crucial role in the independence movement,
and were gaining a grudging respect from whites, but the military
views them with fear and mistrust.  Blacks are at the very bottom with
no civil rights.  I've set this incident several years back from the
current FAN action in the early 70's, because it seems like we've got
enough action going on in those few years.

-Joe Horan