Haiti from Toussaint l’Ouverture to today

This video is called Toussaint Louverture – Haiti (Death Certificate & Signature).

From British daily The Morning Star:

A revolution ignored

(Sunday 10 February 2008)

Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment by Peter Hallward
(Verso, £16.99)

MICHAL BONCZA reads Peter Hallward’s edge-of-the-seat expose of the shocking history of colonialism, tyranny and rebellion in Haiti.

These days, the mere mention of Haiti brings on an overwhelming sense of dread and foreboding.

It is the most salient and vicious example of meddling US imperialism with its textbook two-faced approach to sovereignty, human rights and democracy driven by xenophobia and deep-seated intolerance.

A friend who spent a long time there working with an international organisation trying to secure implementation and strict observance of democratic procedures and principles complained frequently about the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest democracy” systematically obstructing any such initiatives on behalf of the local people.

Haiti has literally nothing of value left that might tempt an imperial power except for its people’s indomitable spirit of resistance and rebellion passed down through the generations from L’Ouverture and Dessalines.

The slave rebellion of 1791, with its living heritage, remains the singular most astonishing political accomplishment of the western hemisphere.

Here is a clue. Talleyrand, the most effective European diplomat ever and, during the French Revolution, co-author of The Rights of Man, wrote thus to the US Secretary of State James Madison: “The existence of Negro people in arms, occupying a country it has soiled by the most criminal acts, is a horrible spectacle for all white nations.”

Say no more. What followed was an embargo which, in its severity, was not dissimilar from the one visited on another “insolent” island, Cuba, close to 200 years later.

The sophisticated new social and political ideas of European Enlightenment and, paradoxically, the ideals of the French Revolution were put into rigorous practice by black revolutionaries such as the proto-socialist Dessalines.

“We have all (negroes and mulattoes) fought against the whites. The properties we have conquered by the spilling of our blood belong to us all. I intend that they be divided with equity.”

But they weren’t. The nouveau riche, arriviste elite of opportunists had other plans. In October 1806, Dessalines was assassinated.

As Hallward points out, “The colonial race war with France was over, Haiti‘s postcolonial class war began.”

And so it continued for the next 200 years. The mulatto oligarchy has clung to power by a succession of murderous regimes of which the names of “Papa and Baby Doc” Duvalier became synonymous with crimes against humanity.

The cycle is temporarily broken when the ideals of the slave rebellion are given new impetus by the catalytic adoption in the 1980s of the theology of liberation. Enter the revolutionary and charismatic priest Father Bertrand Aristide.

From March 2011: Exclusive Interview with Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide From His Flight Home to Haiti: here.

Video: Watch our report on Aristide’s return to Haiti: here.

For more on Haiti‘s controversial election, read Dan Coughlin’s article “Haiti Abstains” in The Nation.

WikiLeaks: US knowingly supported rigged Haitian election: here.

The Haitian elections were marked by wholesale fraud, disenfranchisement and gross intervention by Washington and the so-called “world community,” both bent on installing a pliant regime to help suppress the population: here.

Amy Goodman’s weekly column, “Aristide’s Return to Haiti: A Long Night’s Journey Into Day.” READ/PODCAST: here. See also here.

Haitians Face Imminent Eviction From Makeshift Tent Camps By Landowners in Haiti. @sharifkouddous reports: here.

Haiti: US opposed minimum wage rise, cables show: here.

Haiti finds itself with a president-elect with ties to the extreme right — thanks to a concerted effort by foreign powers to continue thwarting the social justice aspirations of the Haitian people: here.

Haiti – USA : Deported Haitians are illegally detained in Haiti: here.

Haiti’s Displaced: Caught Between Greedy Landlords and an Absentee Government. Vince Warren and Laura Raymond, Truthout: “Recently, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) delegation in Haiti visited the Barbancourt II displacement camp in Port-au-Prince. This camp is home to 310 families who lost their homes in the earthquake and have set up tents, tarps and corrugated metal structures with the few possessions they have left on the corner of an industrial company’s property. We talked with camp leaders and other residents who told us that the owner has notified them that they will be evicted in a week. This is the latest in what has been a series of threats; last November, the owner showed up with 24 police with guns drawn”: here.

Deportations to Haiti: Still a Death Sentence. Vince Warren, Carrie Bettinger-Lopez and Sunita Patel, Truthout: “The massive earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, left nearly 300,000 Haitians dead and over 1.2 million more displaced and homeless. Overnight, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere was catapulted into a crisis of unthinkable proportions. Basic sanitation, adequate food, potable water and shelter were absent…. The situation is particularly bad in Haitian detention centers – where deportees are locked up and where cholera has already claimed approximately 60 lives”: here.

Anti-Rape Legal Experts Mobilize for Change in Haiti: here.

8 thoughts on “Haiti from Toussaint l’Ouverture to today

  1. Workers walk out over cholera

    Dominican Republic: Doctors and nurses at one of the country’s few hospitals that can treat cholera patients went on strike on Thursday after a nurse got infected.

    They’re demanding better conditions at Francisco Moscoso Puello Hospital, which often has no water, little medication or a way to safely to dispose of waste.

    Nurse Ramona Rivera is suspected of catching cholera this week while handling patients’ waste at the hospital in Santo Domingo.



  2. Pingback: Cholera and occupation in Haiti | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Haitian cholera caused by foreign soldiers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Haiti in ruins | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Haitians keep fighting against oppression and poverty | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Haiti and South American slavery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Haiti elections, stop imperialist meddling | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.