Haiti’s history of poverty lies in a continued pattern of theft of its resources for that past two hundred years. In 1825 France demanded repayment for Haiti’s liberated slaves. For decades Haiti was bankrupted by these repayments — France was backed up by the U.S., Spain, and Britain. The U.S. has not only occupied Haiti on several previous occasions, it supported the most corrupt of governments on the basis that they were anti-communist. Both we and France owe debts to Haiti. Aristide, the elected president whom we removed in 2004 estimated that France owed Haiti $21 billion:

“Why $21 billion? It’s the modern equivalent of the 90 million francs Haiti agreed to pay France in 1825, in return for official recognition of Haiti’s sovereignty. For two decades following Haitian independence in 1804, the former mother country, with the support of the United States, Britain and Spain, enforced a crippling embargo, accompanied by a threat to recolonize and reenslave Haiti if indemnity wasn’t paid for lost property — i.e., slaves. Haiti, once France’s richest colony, agreed to pay the price — more than twice the value of the entire nation at the time — but could only afford to do so using high-interest loans from French banks.”

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2004/01/04/reparation_day/

Google has a number of other sites that support this pattern of impoverishment and abuse of Haiti.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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