CHÈF AN NOU (OUR LEADERS): Soulouque's foreign policy was centered on preventing foreign intrusion into Haitian politics and sovereignty. His main issue was the Dominican Republic, whose independence from Haiti in 1844 after the Dominican War of Independence ended 22-years of Haitian rule during the Unification of Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic's white and mulatto rulers were considered as his “natural” enemies and the country's independence was, in his view, a direct threat to Haiti's security. In 1849, Soulouque launched his first invasion of the Dominican Republic, but his army fled after 400 Dominicans put up resistance at Ocoa. A second invasion followed in 1850 which was checked by diplomatic opposition from the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. In the third and final invasion in 1855, Soulouque marched into the Dominican Republic at the head of a 30,000-man army which fled at the first shot.
Soulouque also found himself in direct confrontation with the United States over Navassa, an island which had been seized from Haiti on the somewhat dubious grounds that guano had been discovered there. Soulouque dispatched warships to the island in response to the incursion, but withdrew them after the United States guaranteed Haiti a portion of the revenues from the mining operations. The question of who Soulouque really was is heavily disputed. Virtually no official government records of cabinet meetings exists. According to Latin American scholar Murdo J. MacLeod ("The Soulouque Regime In Haiti -- 1847 - 1859: A Reevaluation.", Caribbean Studies/Vol. 10. No. 3): "We are left with his policies as they are discernible, with an assessment of the men whom he used to govern, and with our evaluation of how correct his appreciation of the situation really was. In every case we must conclude that Faustin Soulouque was a man of high intelligence, a realist, a pragmatist, and a superb, if ruthless politician and diplomat. There is no denying his patriotism and his ability to impose domestic tranquility."
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