In November 11, 1915, the Haitian President Sudre Dartiguenave was forced to sign a treaty with ratification by the Haitian Senate The document legitimized the US occupation and put Haitian finances and government under the control of the US for the next 20 years. The controversial amendment also aimed to disbanding the Haitian army and permit foreign land ownership that had been outlawed since the Haitian Revolution. However, the reluctant lawmakers rejected that notion and rather began drafting a new anti-American constitution, but under U.S pressure, that bill was kept undecided by President Dartiguenave till 1929. In 1929, a series of strikes and uprisings against the U.S initiated the withdrawal of U.S Marines from Haiti. In 1934, in concert with "Good Neighbor Policy" introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S Marine was officially withdrawn from Haiti except retaining fews for maintaining economic connections.
Presidential palace of President Villbrum Guilluiame Sam who was assassinated
At the beginning of the 20th century, United States became increasingly concerned with the level of German activity and influence in Haiti. German businesses in Haiti dominated commerce in the entire area.
German nationals controlled over 80 percent of Haiti international commerce. They owned utilities in Cap Haitien and Port-au-Prince, wharf, railroad serving the Plain of the Cul-de-Sac. To get around Haitian law that forbid foreigners from owning land in Haiti, German men were increasingly marrying Haitian women and open businesses.
Although the sphere of U.S influence in the Caribbean started in 1898, in 1915, during the First World War, the U.S President Woodrow Wilson feared that Germany could invade Haiti and establish a military base near the Panama Canal that was built with huge U.S investment. The U.S President had right reasons to worry because then there were many Germans settlers living in Haiti who had financed the rampaging cacos with loans which were almost impossible to be repaid and they were at the mercy of the Germans to invade and restore order.
Following the successful manipulation of German nationals to go around Haiti law to own land
As Germany was rising in power in the late nineteenth century, the Germans had their eyes on Haiti. They began an aggressive campaign dominate commerce in Haiti. One of the major German firms was The Hamburg-Amerika Ligne. In addition, the Germans were interested in the area of banking and agriculture
The German community proved more willing to integrate into Haitian society than any other group of white foreigners, including the more numerous French. Some Germans married into the nation's most prominent mulatto families, thus bypassing the constitutional prohibition against foreign land-ownership. They retained strong ties back to their homeland and often to German military and intelligence networks in Haiti, and also served as the principal financiers of the nation's innumerable revolutions, floating loans at high interest rates to competing political factions. Because of this, they posed an economic threat to American monetary interests and made American political and military leadership fear they were acting as a stalking horse for the imperial government in Berlin
Following the successful manipulation of the 1915 elections, the Wilson administration attempted to strong-arm the Haitian legislature into adopting a new constitution in 1917. This constitution allowed foreign land ownership, which had been outlawed since the Haitian Revolution as a way to prevent foreign control of the country. Extremely reluctant to change the long-standing law, the legislature rejected the new constitution. Law-makers began drafting a new anti-American constitution, but the United States forced President Dartiguenave dissolve the legislature, which did not meet again until 1929.
The Haitian government and different international aid organizations are competing with each other for past few years to reconstruct the dwelling units for the 1.5 million earthquake affected people living in camps, but that attempts have been greatly impeded by the country's weak land administration systems and the resulting disputes over land and property--who owns the land? Land registry problems in Haiti can be traced back to its days of independence since 1804. A practically non-existent land registration system, unclear processes for land transfer and fraudulent land titles are delaying the reconstruction efforts. The catastrophic earthquake has made land claims more complicated. After close to 250,000 deaths, the issues of inheritance are raising a number of questions. Is the owner alive or dead? If he is dead who is the right successor? Certain people returning to their homes have found that it have been occupied by someone else. The earthquake has brought to the light a long standing problem. Literally no one ever had the correct answer for how you buy and sell property in Haiti. The transfer of a land title involves the central tax authority, surveyors and notaries. To avoid related expenses and bureaucracy most land is transferred orally from one generation to the next. Lack of governance and non-existent judicial protection makes enforcement of title difficult. As per United Nations report, less than 5% of land in Haiti is officially accounted for in public land records.
Before the earthquake, the Organization of American States had decided to spend $70 million over a period of seven years to put it in an orderly system as a prerequisite for development of the country. However, at present, the humanitarian agencies and the government have to redouble their efforts to solve the problems of land ownerships. There should be some immediate clear directives, national policy and supports from the local law enforcement authorities, to construct residential units on disputed lands.