HAITI: Shod, by Order

Sound trucks blared the order: "Wear shoes when you come to town, put on clean clothes, look tidy and decent. It is a shame to go walking around barefoot in your country's capital." Having just raised the minimum wage in Haiti from 50¢ to 70¢ a day, up-&-coming President Dumarsais Estimé was out to improve the appearance and living standards of his mouse-poor people.

He had borrowed from the book of Henri Christophe, the slaveborn general who helped free Haiti from the French, in 1811 proclaimed himself King Henry I. A Christophe decree,...

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