Raoul Cédras

Joseph Raoul Cédras (born July 9, 1949) is a Haitian former military officer who was the de facto ruler of Haiti from 1991 to 1994.

Raoul Cédras
Raoul Cédras.jpg
Raoul Cédras, with Philippe Biamby in the background
Leader of the Haitian Military Junta
De facto
In office
September 30, 1991 – October 8, 1991
Preceded byJean-Bertrand Aristide (as President of Haiti)
Succeeded byJoseph Nérette (provisional)
Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Haiti
In office
July 2, 1991 – October 10, 1994
PresidentJean-Bertrand Aristide
Joseph Nérette
Émile Jonassaint
Preceded byHerard Abraham
Succeeded byJean-Claude Duperval
Personal details
Joseph Raoul Cédras

(1949-07-09) July 9, 1949 (age 73)
Jérémie, Haiti
SpouseYanick Prosper
OccupationMilitary officer


A mulatto, Cédras was educated in the United States[where?] and was a member of the U.S.-trained Leopard Corps.[1] He also trained with the Spanish military.[2] Cédras was chosen by the US and France to be in charge of security for the 1990–91 Haitian general election,[1] and subsequently named Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces by Jean-Bertrand Aristide in early 1991.[1] Under Aristide, Cédras "was one important source for the CIA, providing reports critical of President Aristide."[3]

De facto leader of Haiti (1991–1994)Edit

Cédras, Lieutenant General in the Forces Armées d'Haïti (FAdH; the Armed Forces of Haiti) at the time, was responsible for the 1991 Haitian coup d'état which ousted President Aristide on 29 September 1991.

Some human rights groups criticized Cédras's rule, alleging that innocent people were killed by the FAdH military and FRAPH paramilitary units. The US State Department said in 1995 that in the three years following the coup "international observers estimated that more than 3,000 men, women and children were murdered by or with the complicity of Haiti's then-coup regime."[4]

While remaining the de facto leader of Haiti as commander of the country's armed forces,[5] Cédras did not retain his position as head of state, preferring to have other politicians as official presidents. As required by Article 149, of the 1987 Haitian Constitution, Haiti's Parliament appointed Supreme Court Justice Joseph Nérette as provisional President, to fill in until elections could be held. The elections were planned for December 1991, but Nérette resigned and was replaced undemocratically by Supreme Court Justice Émile Jonassaint.

Under the delegation of U.S. president Bill Clinton, the former President Jimmy Carter, accompanied by Senator Sam Nunn and General Colin Powell, urged Provisional President Émile Jonassaint to relinquish his control in 1994, in order to avoid a potential invasion. Jonassaint resigned.[6][7] General Cédras had indicated his desire to remain in Haiti. However, the Americans did not think this was the best solution and convinced the General that in the national interest, he should consider departing for Panama. The United States reportedly gave Cédras $1 million and rented three properties as incentive to leave power.[8][9]

Later lifeEdit

After leaving Haiti, Cédras went to Panama where he remains.[10] Aristide then returned to power in Haiti and was forced into resigning again in 2004.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Whitney, Kathleen Marie (1996), "Sin, Fraph, and the CIA: U.S. Covert Action in Haiti", Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas, Vol. 3, Issue 2 (1996), pp. 303-332. p321
  2. ^ Freed, Kenneth (October 9, 1994). "Despite Rumors, Military Ruler's Fate Looks Settled". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  3. ^ Whitney 1996:322)
  4. ^ quoted in Whitney (1996:322)
  5. ^ LAWRENCE A. PEZZULLO, Clinton's Errors: Where Policies Went Awry HAITI: POLICY AND PRIESTS U.S. And Haiti -- Uneast Partners, Turbulent Past The Baltimore Sun, September 25, 1994
  6. ^ Uphold democracy
  7. ^ Usa Today article
  8. ^ Klaas, Brian Paul (2016). The Despot's Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy. p. 116–117. ISBN 9780190668013.
  9. ^ Freed, Kenneth (14 October 1994). "U.S. Gave Cedras $1 Million in Exchange for Resignation". No. 48. MIT. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Trial Watch : Raoul Cédras". Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-01-15.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by President of Haïti
Succeeded by