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The Haitians are a street gang in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. They are the main rivals of the Cubans, and they vie for control of the poorer neighborhoods of Vice City (Little Haiti and Little Havana).

Description

The gang is exclusively comprised of Haitian immigrants/descendants, and are mainly active in the Vice City Mainland, with their home turf being Little Haiti. Prior to the mission Trojan Voodoo, they will also spawn in Little Havana, often engaging the rival Cubans in gun fights which leave casualties on both sides.

The Haitians are primarily involved in minor street crime, such as robbery, gun crime, and petty theft, but seem to have larger ambitions, as they appear to be engaging in both arms and narcotics trafficking. By 1986, the Haitians are operating a drugs factory out of the ghettos of Little Haiti. The gang is unique in their practice of a corrupted form of Vodou, where it is implied they curse their enemies, as well as speaking in Haitian Creole, French, and English in heavy Haitian accents.

Auntie Poulet, the leader, gives Tommy Vercetti mind-altering drugs to make him use less-than-honest tactics in their war against the Cubans. Vercetti spurred by his friendship with the Cubans, massacres members of the Haitian gang and completely destroys their large drug manufacturing plant (killing many more members in the process), thereby severing all ties with Poulet and the gang. After this, the Haitians become openly hostile to Vercetti and later his gang members. The Haitians do not appear in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, meaning they became active in the city sometime between 1984 and 1986.

Haitian gang members are seen wearing either blue shirts (reading RELAX), white pants and baseball caps, silver sunglasses, or light purple sleeveless shirts, jeans and blue bandanas.

Their favorite radio stations are Flash FM and Fever 105.

Influence

The Haitians are loosely inspired by the Zoe Pound, an active Haitian gang that primarily operates in Miami; both gangs (in-game and real life) practice Haitian Vodou, though the Zoe Pound did not form until 1992.

The outfit worn by Haitian gang members is another of GTA Vice City's numerous references to the TV series Miami Vice. Their clothes are based on a prominent extra seen in the show's pilot episode, in the scene where Ricardo Tubbs first arrives at Miami International Airport. The clothing worn by the Haitian's rivals, the Cubans, is based on another extra walking alongside the first.

The "RELAX" t-shirt might be also a reference to 1983 song "Relax" by the English new wave band Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who were also known for their sloganed t-shirts. The song was later featured in Vice City Stories on the Wave 103 radio station.

Haitian-American discrimination controversy

The third version of GTA Vice City had all references to the Haitian people removed, (along with a number of other trademarks), in response to Cuban and Haitian groups in the United States, who threatened to use action against Rockstar Games, on the basis that they were being discriminated against. A Haitian organization in the US against racism was highly offended by the comments used in the game, such as when Vercetti is ordered to "shoot the Haitian dickheads". Because of this, the word "Haitians" was replaced with "gangsters" in the game's subtitles.

It is very likely that the Haitians were replaced with the Mexican Cholos in Vice City Stories due to the racial controversies stated above, considering the Cubans were renamed as Los Cabrones. This creates a minor anomaly as Little Haiti retains its original name but with no Haitians present.

There was another lawsuit in 2017 centering around Auntie Poulet; however, this centered purely around her imagery being too similar to that of Miss Cleo, an American TV psychic persona (which is ironic, as the real life Miss Cleo voiced Auntie Poulet).

In the Steam re-release of the game, all original dialogue and gameplay is retained.

Mission appearances

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Trivia

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