strategies for a developing world…

Reflections

Jean-Robert Lafortune
Chairman, Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition
Miami, FL, August 6, 2008

Haiti for long has been the land of enchantment, mystery and mythology.  She was sought after as a prize by all the major Western superpowers during the past 300 years.  As you know, during the colonial era, in addition to the French and Spanish flags that floated all over the island, one must remember that the British flag for almost a decade floated also over Port-au-Prince.

During the post colonial period, although its economy was in shamble, Haiti had still remained the envy of the Germans and French crown in Europe until the U.S Occupation in 1915.   This occupation indeed placed Haiti under the U.S receivership.  Destined to be a great nation through its revolution which proclaimed the universal freedom of mankind, Haiti for some reason has deviated from its original path.  The impact of its revolution, unlike any other revolution in modern and ancient times, has deeply  transformed the political landscape of three continents: In North America, the United States doubled its size overnight through the Louisiana Purchase, in Latin America the revolution has propelled the emancipation movement in the emergence of Simon Bolivar whose commitment to President Alexandre Pétion was to abolish slavery in the continent, and in Europe the loss of Haiti by the French Crown left both France and Napoleon destitute and may have contributed to Napoleon Bonaparte’s abdication at Waterloo.  For over 100 years, Haiti accounted for 40% of France’s wealth.  On his death bed, in his mémoire, Bonaparte admitted that his biggest military mistake has been having not agreed to lead Saint-Domingue through Toussaint Louverture.  The impact of this revolution has been carefully placed under the rogue by the West in order to deny Haiti’s its own greatness in the concert of nations.   There is no doubt that overtime that the West has implemented a policy designed to isolate and strangle the country due to the propensity of its population for social “revendications.”

Within Haiti, we have two parallel societies evolving side by side whose vision and destiny appeared to be mutually antagonistic.  These two societies differentiate themselves through their cultural values, their collective history, religious practices and political attributes.  During the colonial period, Haiti was known as the most segregated territories among the Caribbean Islands.  Although our forefathers were successful to create a nation by vanquishing the “white man’s tyranny,” overnight we have become our own tyrant.

1 Response »

  1. I completely share this overview of our paralleled societies, having come to the same conclusions myself. But then, now what? WE must move beyond this divide and the divisive attitudes held on both sides of it, of course.
    One blockage point is our perception of the Western powers’ preventing our progress by the policies which they apply when dealing with the Haitian State. WE have so lost our combativeness that our governments go along with them, rather than argue against them.
    WE still prefer to ask Westerners for development money-which we steal or waste- rather than take the necessary measures to expand our economy by paying fair wages, lending at equitable rates to another 20% of new entrepreneurs unknown/unrecognized by the established 2%…
    WE still cannot accept that Creole should be the language used throughout the education and legal systems.
    Worst of all problems: there is no WE

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