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Building a Constituency for Haiti in the U.S

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Daniels,Ron (Author)
Newspaper Article
Publication Date:
Feb 26-Mar 4, 2009
Jacksonville, FL
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
United States, Haiti, African Americans, Human rights, Caribbean, Equality, Revolutions, US, Black history
Despite the righteous platitudes of the American and French Revolutions, the idea of an independent Black Republic created through force of arms did not sit well with the powers that be in the Capitols of Europe and America. There was virtually universal agreement among the European/White leaders of the time, including President Thomas Jefferson, that the example of Haiti was a threat to their national interests - profiting from the slave trade and/or colonialism in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America. Therefore, it was imperative that Haiti be isolated, marginalized and rendered weak as a "Black nation." Under threat of a new invasion, Haiti succumbed to demands from France to pay millions of dollars in reparations for title loss of property (enslaved Africans and the plantations) incurred during the Revolution. The burden of this debt would cripple Haiti's struggle for development well into the 20th century. In 1915 the U.S. invaded and occupied Haiti until 1934, and has treated Haiti as a neo-colony ever sense.