"Resentment toward Vincent" by Jacques Stephan Alexis (1922-1961)

An excerpt from Alexis’s Compère général soleil (1955), translated by Carrol F. Coats. Alexis was a Marxist writer and activist who, like many others, resented how President Vincent settled the border massacre with Trujillo. In his novel, he portrays Vincent and his successor, Elie Lescot (given the name Jérôme Paturault), as immoral corrupt.

The Council of Ministers had been stormy. President Vincent was furious. He was fulminating. [Jérôme] Paturault remained by his side.

"You understand, Paturault, that with those pigs [corrupt ministers], my government will quickly become unpopular…."

Paturault raised his head. Things were serious, more serious than he had thought. The president had made a decision. His instinct to find a way to stay with the president had been right.

"Of course, you thought this out very well, President. A change of ministers will pacify people, but…."

Paturault turned green. The president gave out a peal of laughter.

"You are the only person I’ve told about this, so nobody will know anything. Right, my dear future ex-minister?"

… Paturault was trembling. Was this man cynical enough to tell him all of that and to throw him out with the others? …

"Ah! I feel so alone, Paturault. So alone! I have no support. They’re all after me. Alone! Jérôme, do you remember when we were at the Lycée Pétion?"

Paturault was observing him through lowered eyes. He had taken enough. Now it was time to give him a little scare…


"Yes, President! Those were the times! Who would have thought that one day I would be handling your secret correspondence with Trujillo?"

Vincent did not flinch.