By Wadner Pierre
|The monument of Vertieres in the entrance of the City of Cap-Haitien.Photo Wadner Pierre|
This year Haiti will celebrate its two-hundred-seventh anniversary of Battaille de Vertieres Battle of Vertieres) in which the former slaves and colored people proudly defeated the French army and broke the slavery chain. Battaille of Vertieres was the last battle after which Haiti proclaimed its Independence and –became the world’s first Black republic in January 1, 1804. This war to liberate the country and ban slavery cost the lives of about 160,000 slaves, 60,000 French.
Two of the most powerful countries that lead the United Nations today United States and France were opposed to Haiti’s Independence. For them, the Black Republic represented a threat. Slavery, which continued in the southern USA for over half century after Haiti’s revolution, made black people [Africans] into objects – tools that generated huge profits for the masters. Those who survived the French atrocities in Haiti were the most incredible heroes.
Things were worsened for the newly born Nation when France came back and threatened the Haitian government to pay 150 million francs as a compensation of the goods the French colonizers lost during the Battaille of Vertieres and to recognize Haiti’s Independence. Haiti had to borrow money from the French and US banks. Haiti would therefore not be able to build schools, hospital and University, but instead had to pay the former masters for her independence.
In April 2003 to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Toussaint Louverture, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide asked France to return to Haitians the money. As Michelle Karshan pointed out, “It's not something Haiti came up with by itself. It came up in the context of the summit on race in South Africa. The French leadership itself has acknowledged that slavery was a crime against humanity.” It must be noticed that the Kidnapping of Gen. Toussaint Louverture was the first kidnapping in the Haiti’s history.
The French Government was unhappy and responded through its Foreign Affairs Minister Dominique de Villepin that “there is no way this would happen.” The money that France owed Haiti in 2003 was capitalized to exactly $21,685,135,571.48. Interest, penalties or consideration of the suffering and indignity inflicted by slavery and colonization were excluded.
In retaliation, the French asked President Aristide to resign and backed up the 2004 coup d’etat against the democratically elected Fanmi Lavalas government. French soldiers joined troops from the USA and Canada to carry off the coup on February 29, 2004 and killed and arrested several resisters in the slums where support to the ousted President Aristide was [is] strong.
The three rich countries quickly secured the UN’s blessing for the coup and bribed various other countries to send troops – who eventually came to be known as MINUSTAH. They would mainly provide cover for the Haitian National Police and armed attaches who murdered thousands of Aristide supports over the next two years. MINUSTAN also perpetrated outrages of its own. The rape of a young Haitian man by Uruguayan members of MINUSTAH is only the most recent outrage – and perhaps most irrefutably documented given the clarity with which it was filmed.
Amongst the national and international political figures who asked President Aristide to step down was French Diplomat Herve Ladsous who is the new representative of UN mission in Haiti [MINUSTASH]. Ladsous was also the spokesman for French Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2003 Dominique de Villepin who said, ”The minister [Mr Villepin] recalled that President Aristide bears a heavy responsibility in the current situation and that he should draw the conclusions from the impasse…France's proposals for an interim government and an international force to restore order had been discussed.”
Today, rumors have been circulated that French government offered 8 million Francs as a reward for the arrest of Haiti’s former Pres. Aristide. The nomination of Herve Ladsous last Friday as the head of the UN mission in Haiti has fed the rumors had that France would like to see Aristide imprisoned – for exactly what remains extremely unclear.
Ladsous has a bad record in dealing with black people. In South Soudan, Africa for example the UN soldiers under Ladsous’ leadership inflicted more pain on people they were supposed to protect like they are doing in Haiti today. Voice Of America reported that “He [Ladsous] faces challenges from some governments and communities disenchanted with soldiers who have at times been accused of abusing the people they are sent to protect.”
Haitians who believe that their ancestors fought for a sovereign Haiti sovereign – and continue to resist against the foreign occupation, have no doubt that Haiti is being colonized by France for a second time - though with a facade of legality offered by the UN – a facade that is crumbing in the eyes of the world.