Street Car during Antoine Simon Presidency

Street Car during Antoine Simon Presidency

Anthony Simon as a President of the country in 1909 realized the role of modernity, technology and industrialization in a country's development. He understood how a good railway network can hasten the economic growth in Haiti. During his time, velocipede (early bicycles having pedals attached to the front wheel) became popular, people attended movie shows, gramophone, telephone, sewing machine, and camera became common objects in wealthy families..... In short, the country silently entered the age of modernity.

It was his opinion that export revenue from "fig banana" would be enough to finance his dream railway project between Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien. The government of Anthony Simon raised a loan of 65 million francs in France on abusive terms to finance his railway project. His critics complained of serious diplomatic and financial difficulties and warned of the threat that the Americans may invade Haiti in pretext of earlier McDonald's contract (that contained massive dispossession of land). In reality, most of President Simon's plans were some forms of utopia that never materialized in his lifetime in the beginning of the last century. His plans created more evils than good. To satisfy American planters, Haitian banana growers were taxed, electrification and paving of the streets increased the import bill through increased number of imported cars.

President Antoine Simon played dangerous gamble with Haitian economy and placed it in either win or ruin in debt for generations situation. The loan costs heavy obligations to the poor Haitians who paid with their pocket until the last penny. In 1972 Luckner Cambronne, a high-ranking political figure in François Duvalier's regime said the country did not need any railway and he systematically dismantled the railway track between Port-au-Prince and St. Marc. Here is how the incredible adventure of railway that cost so much tears and blood of the unfortunate Haitians ends.

Read more about haiti transportation, haitian transportation, Railroad, Train, transportation

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