Monday, February 24, 2014

What U.S. rulers owe Haiti

The United States supported repressive reactionaries in Haiti even before its independence in 1804. The first foreign aid granted by the U.S. — $750,000, a tremendous sum then — was sent to French slave masters in Haiti to put down the rebellion. This was done during slave-owning George Washington’s administration, under the direction of slave-owning Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.

This aid did not derail the noble, bold, tenacious and ultimately successful liberation struggle of the Haitian people. Even though the army that France sent to Haiti committed genocide, killing an estimated half of the Haitian people, the roots of the struggle were too deep to be crushed. They went deep into Africa, since more than half of the members of Jean-Jacques Desslines’ army were born in Africa. Dessalines declared Haiti independent in 1804.

Ricardo Seitenfus, a Brazilian diplomat with the Organization of American States, says, “The original sin of Haiti was its liberation. In 1804, the Western world was colonialist, slave-owning, racist, basing its wealth on conquered lands. The revolutionary model of Haiti created fear in all the big powers.” (Le Temps, Dec. 20, 2010)

No comments:

Post a Comment