"The Bord-de-Mer" by Gérard Pierre-Charles (1935-2004)
An excerpt from Pierre-Charles’s L’économie haïtienne et sa voie de développement (1993). Pierre-Charles was a Marxist intellectual who led the United Communist Party in Haiti. As one would expect, he had little positive to say about Haiti’s wealthy capitalists.
The Reimbolt, Brandt, Wiener, Madsen, Dufort, and Berne [families] dominate most of the coffee trade [in Haiti].
To export [coffee], it must be prepared. Even once a peasant strips the cherries, they are not yet ready. This is why there is an export sector.
For coffee… there are over one-hundred-and-fifty small and medium institutions in the countryside that provide preliminary preparation. But their work is insufficient. Export houses in the cities prepare the final product. [In these establishments] women are put to work and are exploited without any appreciation.
[The families that own the export houses] hoard most of the profits which they either deposit in foreign banks or spend on luxury goods. Only the Brandts and, to a lesser extent, the Madsens have made an attempt to [save money and] accumulate capital to invest in other industries…. For example there are now factories that make soap and butter. And there is the Brandt textile factory.
All of this is to amass massive fortunes and build luxurious homes.