Haiti

Haiti✯ [PDF] ❤ Haiti By Philippe Girard ✼ – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Why has Haiti been plagued by so many woes Why have multiple US efforts to create a stable democracy in Haiti failed so spectacularly Philippe Girard answers these and other uestions examining how col Why has Haiti been plagued by so many woes Why have multiple US efforts to create a stable democracy in Haiti failed so spectacularly Philippe Girard answers these and other uestions examining how colonialism and slavery have left a legacy of racial tension both within Haiti and internationally; Haitians remain deeply suspicious of white foriegners' motives many of whom doubt Hatians' ability to govern themselves He also examines how Haiti's current political instability is merely a continuation of political strife that began during the War of Independence Finally Girard explores poverty's devastating impact on contemporary Haiti and argues that Haitians particularly home grown dictators bear a big share of the responsibility for their nation's troubles. This was a terribly biased book that tries to blame all of Haiti's leaders for the country's poverty Yes the Duvaliers were examples of when this proved true but so many of the economic problems of Haiti post Duvalier are the fault of the new world order foreign investors the IMF and World Bank etc Clearly the author has swallowed neoliberal rhetoric whole If you're looking for an objective history of Haiti don't read this one The author goes out of his way to push his thesis that Haiti's troubles are due to corrupt leadership and not to the racism of the international community nor to the legacy of slavery I'm not entirely convinced but this stated bias doesn't keep this from being a well balanced history that emphasizes the recent past over the revolution and other distant events Very interesting of Haiti's history Girard has nailed it If I were going to write a book on Haiti where I have been resident for a year this is what it would have looked like in my imagination obviously; in reality it would have been nowhere near as good This is part history part socio economic analysis part advocacy I suspect that many would charge some Haitians in particular that the narrative is too soft on the damaging effects of foreign intervention and I would sympathize with that view However the political elite and what Girard refers to as the predatory class are clearly the root of the majority of the challenges facing the country As he suggests in the final chapter it seems unlikely that a hero is going to rise from the ashes to take the country forward a la Lee Kwan Yew or Paul Kagame It seems likely that the populace will rise spurred on by a communal sentiment of ça suffit to demand that their government that the individuals at the top of their government and those who aspire to retain the rewarding status uo remember that there are ten million plus people in Haiti and that ninety percent of them deserve far better Despite his over the top insistence on free market capitalism as the solution to all of Haiti's woes Girard provides a well researched and accessible account of the country's rocky history The strength of the work is its insight is on the post Duvalier period and insistence that Haiti is not ultimately without hope The work would have benefitted from footnotes and a balanced summary of the causes of Haiti's instability He tends to see Haitian presidents as one dimensional despots who singlehandedly plague Haiti with an endless cycle of non development He hits on some important and hard truths but could have added much subtlety to his assessment A pretty good primer on Haiti's history Need to take the author's very one sided view that Haitians are at fault for everything with a pinch of salt But accessible and very readable Good overall primer on Haiti although you kind of get the sense that Girard just really doesn't like Haiti at all Maybe it's just me In depth examination of the history of Haiti A good number of opinions you may or may not agree with While not overly technical it will take you a little time to get through Conclusion Haiti is very complex And it is a disservice not to recognize that when trying to help there I read this history in anticipation of a trip to Haiti this summer Reading Haitian history is a foray into the fallibility of the human soul Rectification of Haitian problems will reuire a change in the hearts of all those that reside in or deal with this troubled nation Columbus Spanish DominationChristopher Columbus arrived on Haiti’s northern coast in 1492 and landed in a magnificent natural harbor that he named Mole Saint Nicolas From there Columbus made his way East to the bay where the city of Cap Haitien would later be built The Santa Maria hit a reef in Haiti and foundered Columbus had to leave some crewmembers on shore The abandoned crew were killed by the Taino natives This was the beginning of a blood thirsty and murderous history that has continued to this day Columbus noted in his log that “ the natives appeared submissive and could likely be easily enslaved” Columbus and later Spanish colonists were not settlers they were “conuistadors” ambitious nobles and merchants who despised manual labor and sought to conuer the natives kill their leaders enslave the people and make away with a uick windfall of gold and spices The author relates the story of the Taino Haitian princess Anacoana who the Spaniards asked to organize a feast for the arrival of their Governor But when Anacoano had gathered all her finest people for the festivities the Spanish set the meeting hall on fire and wiped out the Taino leadership The Taino commoners were subseuently put to forced labor in the gold mines and on the plantations The author relates another story of Hatuey a Taino resister who persisted for years in guerilla warfare against the Spanish Hatuey eventually fled to Cuba but was pursued by the Spanish and captured there in 1512 Hatuey was sentenced to be burnt alive Before the burning a Franciscan friar suggested to Hatuey that if he would repent and convert to Catholicism he would go to heaven and his captors might show mercy and put him to death in a humane way To this Hatuey inuired as to whether or not Spaniards went to Heaven? When the Franciscan responded that Spaniards indeed did go to Heaven Hatuey responded that he would prefer fire and hell to going where there would be Spaniards A young Spaniard named Bartolome de Las Casas was so profoundly shaken by witnessing the burning of Hatuey that he embraced religious orders and spent the rest of his life defending the cause of the indigenous peoples of the Americas He wrote of his experiences “ I saw here cruelty on a scale no living being has ever seen or expects to see” Within two generations Spain’s cruel exploitation of local laborers combined with the plight wrought by European diseases resulted in the complete disappearance of the Taino population in nothing less than “genocide” The FrenchBy the 1600’s Spain had killed off all the Haitian natives taken what little gold there was and moved on to promising riches in Mexico and Peru All that really remained on the island was a small Spanish presence in the east The western part of the island became an overgrown tropical forest overrun with the wild cows and pigs introduced by the Spanish Eventually a mixed lot of French settlers began to accumulate in Haiti being primarily those desirous of distancing themselves from French courts such as naval deserters and runaway indentured servants These Frenchman chose Haiti because the Spanish presence on the other end of the island was negligible and because of the seemingly inextinguishable supply of wild pigs and cattle for food These French vagabonds eventually started attacking the many Spanish galleons passing by Haiti and became pirates The island of Tortuga off the northern coast of Haiti became an independent pirate state protected by a large fortress In 1697 the Treaty of Ryswick gave France the western third of Hispaniola and the colony of Haiti was born France began to grow sugar cane which was the oil of the 18th century So valuable to France was Haiti Martiniue and Guadeloupe that it relinuished all of her other North American possessions including Canada and the US after losing the Seven Years War in 1763 But attracting settlers to Haiti was difficult The French King rounded up criminals orphans and prostitutes to ship off to Haiti under the guise of cleaning up the streets of Paris Drunken revelers in French ports would sometimes awaken in the hold of ships bound for Haiti having unsuspectingly signed away their freedom during a night of carousing Haiti harbored a colorful mix of Parisian prostitutes descendants of pirates and other undesirables of French society But European indentured workers could not withstand the hard work associated with producing sugar which reuired clearing the land planting weeding cutting cane and boiling the juice So the importing of African slaves occurred throughout the 18th century Many of these Africans similarly died in great numbers; but the French simply imported Nevertheless the Africans soon outnumbered the planters as much as a hundred to one Out of their fear the planters resorted to cruelty even sadism to keep the Africans subdued An army officer Baron Wimpffen visited Haiti in 1788 and described having dinner with one of the white settlers who after her black servant brought out an overcooked dish had the servant thrown into the oven and himself roasted In the same year planter Nicolas Lejeune burned off the legs of two of his female slaves who he thought were conspiring to poison him American scholars describe colonial Haiti as one of the cruelest slave societies in the world Accounts of past French atrocities fuel Haitian nationalism todayMakandal was an African born slave who was embittered because he had lost an arm while working on the sugar plantations Makandal was taken from the Congo at age 12 He claimed various magical powers mixing Allah Jesus and African gods in some sort of syncretic fusion typical of the Haitian religious tradition After escaping he organized a conspiracy to kill the planters by poisoning them He created poisons from island herbs and distributed the poison to slaves who added it to the meals of the plantation owners Thousands were killed and Makandal could not be caught Makandal claimed that he had the ability to transform into a mosuito and fly away when cornered However the French captured Makandal in 1758 Thousands of slaves were brought together to witness his brutal torture and execution by being burnt at the stake But remarkably as the flames consumed him he broke free of the pole Many reported that he made an amazing escape while the French contend they caught him and threw him back into the fire Various supernatural accounts of his execution are preserved in island folklore and are widely depicted in paintings and popular art His public torture and execution is depicted vividly in Guy Endore’s 1934 novel Babouk The “Statue of the Unknown Maroon” shown below is located in Haiti and was erected by the Duvalier government as a monument to Makandal and others who paved the way for the Haitian Revolution that began in 1791Revolution and the Haiti Republic Escaped slaves built mountain strongholds and perfected the principals of guerrilla warfare The Haitian slave revolt occurred from 1791 1804 Many a planter made the painful discovery too late that their most reliable slaves were at the forefront of the revolt Upon seizing power from the French much infighting began among the new black Haitian leaders The Haitian leaders dressed themselves up in royalist garb and wore the insignia of kings In 1793 the French Revolution sent Louis XVI to the guillotine and most of the conservative slave owning monarchies of Europe declared war on France Spain attacked Haiti by land from the Dominican Republic and England with her navy France announced the emancipation of slavery and encouraged the Haitians to fight which they did until the departure of British and Spanish troops in 1798 Toussaint Louverture a black soldier was left to reign in Haiti Louverture had been freed by his master a decade before the revolution and had been an important military figure in the French army Louverture understood that dividing the land into small plots for subsistence farming would destroy productivity and so he preserved the plantations Because the plantations reuired much labor Louverture implemented laws reuiring people to be employed as servants soldiers or plantation workers In 1801 Louverture announced to the world that he was ruler of Haiti and implemented a constitution This action motivated Napoleon Bonaparte to send an expedition to Haiti charged with the task of deporting all prominent black officers and restoring French authority over the island As the French troops landed Louverture ordered his men to burn the cities the plantations refineries and houses in order to deny the French food and income However the French were victorious on the battlefield and forced Louverture into exile where he died in 1803 The French began to divvy up the plantations among themselves However many of the French began to die of yellow fever and other tropical diseases Those that survived held magnificent parties on the French ships and battled over the spoils of war The French general Donatien de Rochambeau organized a weird ball to which he invited all the elite mulatto women and wined and dined them in a room decorated with back crepe and other macabre paraphernalia Rochambeau then led the women into a room where to their surprise their husband’s bodies lay in state They had just unknowingly attended their loved ones funeral As entertainment for Cap Francais’ high society Rochambeau unleashed slave hunting dogs upon unfortunate black servants tied to poles Amidst such atrocities the French suddenly found themselves surrounded by rebel armies that forced them to disembark to sea where they were immediately attacked by British ships patrolling the Caribbean The last French troops departed Haiti in 1804 Black and mulatto officers gathered in the city of Gonaives to declare their nations independence In signing their new Declaration of Independence it was suggested that they “ use the skin of a white man for parchment his skull as an inkwell his blood for ink and the bayonet that killed him for a pen” The first Haitian dictator was Jean Jacues Dessalines who in his early address to the people remarked as follows about white people“ May they shudder when they approach our coastline either because they remember all the exactions they committed or because of our horrifying pledge to kill every Frenchman who soils this land of freedom with his sacrilegious presence” –Jean Jacues DessalinesAnd Dessalines was not joking Over the following months he rounded up all remaining French planters soldiers and merchants from all over Haiti and slaughtered them They were beheaded bayoneted and drowned Dessalines exulted that it was every Haitians duty to avenge the many relatives they had lost to French exploitation Like children brought up in a bad environment the primitives followed the example of violence that had been demonstrated to them by their white masters over the preceding years Dessalines was black not Mulatto and he viewed the mulattoes with suspicion Because of all the violence whites all over the Caribbean became horrified by the Haitians and wary of doing business with them This immediately put the country on an ill fated course as the most educated people were killed Those who had organized labor engineered building projects administered the government and other professionals were all slaughtered Those that remained were illiterate and unskilled Dessalines included Throughout the 19th century and to some extent even today potential trading partners have stayed away from Haiti Immigrants that flocked to the New World refused to go to Haiti Dessalines banned foreign ownership of land in Haiti Like Louverture Dessalines forced the peasants to remain on large sugar plantations Dessalines maintained a vast army that enforced order and humiliated mulattoes Civil StrifeIn 1806 civil war broke out and Dessalines was lynched by his own officers The country became divided between black and mulatto leaders Henri Christophe a black came into control of the northern plain and Alexandre Petion a mulatto controlled the western and southern provinces Christophe continued the forced labor that Dessalines had used and instituted a police state Christophe built a network of massive fortresses the most impressive of which was Citadelle La Ferriere shown first below and the mansion Sans Souci for himself shown second below Christophe set up a network of schools In contrast Petion started carving up the colonial plantations and dividing them among his soldiers This resulted in small subsistence farming and a plummet in sugar production Petion created schools only for the mulatto elite Petion died in 1818 and Christophe died in 1820 Jean Pierre Boyer a mulatto took over for Petion and then reunited the whole country under his rule Boyer carved up the plantations in the north and abandoned Christophe’s beloved schools From this point until today small scale farming has been the norm and sugar exports diminished As the population increased people had to feed their families on ever dwindling parcels and clearing land in Haiti’s mountainous terrain caused severe soil erosion This focus on low margin foodstuffs and misguided agricultural policies explains why Haiti today is a nation of peasants eking a meager living off a few acres of bare hillsides In 1825 France finally agreed to recognize Haiti’s independence in exchange for 150 million francs earmarked to indemnify French planters who had lost their fortune in Haiti Amazingly Boyer agreed to these terms but Haiti ultimately found itself incapable of paying the sum and had to resort to usurious external financing at 70% par Haiti ultimately defaulted on its debt and banks became wary of loaning to the country Boyer also expended State funds on US organizations that offered free passage to Haiti promising black men and women they could live free in Haiti on their own plot Five hundred black Americans arrived on Haiti’s southern coast but they returned after only a year To blame was the language barrier poverty and epidemics The failure to attract and retain settlers was one of Haiti’s biggest missed opportunities Boyer attacked and defeated the Dominican Republic and Haiti occupied the whole island for 23 years The Dominicans regained their independence in 1844 Haiti’s repeated attempts over the years to retake the Dominican Republic have failed Faustin Soulouue came to power in 1849 Soulouue was from a family of slaves and arose as a solider The great French writer Victor Hugo wrote of Soulouue that “ he was a black Napoleon” as he was freuently derided as a black emperor who aped European courts with his aristocratic pretensions Soulouue was the first Haitian leader to practice Voodoo openly Soulouue promoted blacks to the highest ranks of government substituting skin color for competence Soulouue continuously attacked the Dominican Republic mimicking European imperialism He harassed and killed prominent mulattoes He doubled the military forces and relied on the military to retain his power He spent a fortune on royal pomp and unsuccessful forays into the Dominican Republic He defaulted on foreign loans extorted funds from Haitians and printed so much money as to make the currency near worthless Fabre Nicolas Geffrard a disaffected officer assembled troops and marched against Soulouue in 1859 sending Soulouue into exile There followed political mayhem in which presidents were overthrown with such regularity that civil disturbance became the norm At each revolution property valued at several million dollars went up in flames No one wanted to invest money in Haiti under these circumstances Each president that was overthrown left with the national treasure thus keeping Haiti in persistent poverty Economic growth could not spring up under these circumstances Schools roads factories and sewer systems were neglected Recurrent epidemics and fires occurred State revenues rewarded and financed an oversized army This continued until in 1915 when the US decided to intervene The Review is Continued in the first comment below

Ebook  ↠ Haiti PDF/EPUB ¿
  • ebook
  • 256 pages
  • Haiti
  • Philippe Girard
  • English
  • 16 February 2014
  • 9780230112902