These famous words pronounced by Raul Castro in commemoration of Haiti 210 years independence. "We will not forget this remarkable historical coincidence that today 1. January - 210 years - the first revolution triumphed in the Latin American and Caribbean region, which was also the first and only victory of the revolutionary movement led by black slaves who fought against this odious system and both the national independence".
Cuban medical teams have played a great role in treating Haiti's earthquake victims. Cuban Medical Internationalism is a Cuban programme, (since the Cuban Revolution in 1959, as part of Fidel Castro's international medical mission) of sending Cuban medical personnel overseas, particularly to Latin America. They were the first to arrive in Haiti with several hundred health personnel. The Cubans, immediately after the earthquake, had set up medical camps among the debris and revamped the collapsed hospital facilities very quickly. The Cuban doctors, nurses, and other health personnel had worked day and night non-stop, Operating rooms were opened 18 hours a day. However, it is a striking fact that there was little mention in the media that Cuba had sent several hundred health personnel on the ground before any other country. Dr Mirta Roses, the director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) who acted as the coordinator between the Cuban doctors, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a host of health sector NGOs, had described the aid provided by Cuban doctors was "excellent and marvelous". In the recent past, a medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans has operated all over the earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti. They have treated over 30,000 cholera patients (around 40% of the total cholera patients) in Haiti. Since 1998, Cuba has trained 550 Haitian doctors for free at the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina en Cuba (Elam). Presently another 400 students are receiving free medical education in Cuba.
To publicly recognize Toussaint Louverture as one of the first in the fight to abolish slavery a statue was unveiled in his honor at the Museum of the New World of La Rochelle France. The city of La Rochelle played a very important role during the period of slavery. This great leader fought until his death for the abolition of slavery.
On Wednesday, May 20th, in the presence of the Mayor of La Rochelle, the Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow and a Haitian official delegation, a statue of Haitian revolutionary and a leader of independence, Toussaint Louverture (1743-1803) has been unveiled in the courtyard of the Museum of the New World of La Rochelle France. Toussaint Louverture (nicknamed The Black Napoleon) was a former slave, in 1801, promulgated an autonomist constitution for the colony, with himself as governor for life. But in the next year he was forced to resign by forces sent by Napoleon Bonaparte. The 2.80 meter high bronze statue in the costume of governor of the French Republic of Santo Domingo, is a tribute to him for abolishing slavery in the country. Toussaint Louverture died in 1803 in a cell in Fort de Joux (Doubs, Savoie).
Look at this picture. French government has a big load hanging on top of country. It is the Haiti debt that it owes and it involves restitution for the money the young nation was obligated to pay to France after they fought for their independence. Ironically, French president François Hollande who visited Haiti in May, 2015 stated that We have a moral not financial debt to Haiti".
Two hundred years ago, when Haiti became the first independent black republic after defeating the army of then French Monarchy, it vowed to pay the French ruler, King Charles X an "independence debt of 90 million gold coins". The extorted bounty was distributed among the white slave owners for the loss of "property" they claim to have suffered as a result of the abolitionist Haitian Revolution. Thus, the country was forced to pay most of its national wealth to the French for own freedom. This barbaric ransom was collected between 1825 and 1947 through a French ordinance that threatened to re-enslave self-liberated Africans. This could be a good reason for present suffering of the country. As per 2003 estimate, the Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide demanded $22 billion from France as the cost of restitution. On Saturday, May 9th, during the inauguration of the Caribbean Centre of Expressions and Memory of Trafficking and Slavery (ACTE) in Pointe-à- Pitre, Guadeloupe, the French President François Hollande had said that "in Haiti, I will pay the debt we have." Although his announcement received a rousing applause from the audience, but according to the French National Palace, nowhere he had mentioned that France would be repaying the Haitian independence ransom of $23 billion (at present value). His statement indicating moral debt only without mentioning any monetary value was criticized in Haiti because the collection of the ransom for independence is undoubtedly an act of immoral and illegal turpitude.
Here is a view of a group of Haitians who were not so happy with the visit of Francois Hollande in Haiti in May, 2015.
French President says No to Reparations for Haiti
French President Hollande made a visit to Haiti recently. President Martelly glossed over France's unwillingness to pay reparations, readily accepting the $145 million in infrastructure projects from them.
Protestors are frustrated Hollande, like other presidents of France, say it owes ". . . only . . . a moral debt . . . not financial compensation."
France forced Haiti to pay $21 billion for an "independence debt" to guarantee its freedom in 1804.
A new "Haiti Plaza" proudly located in the square of the capital capitol city in Quito to honor two of Haitian leaders and the flame of 1804. In May 2015, Ecuador unveiled the statues of Haitian forefathers, Jean Jacques Dessalines who was the first president of Haiti after its independence and Alexandre Pétion considered as the Father of Pan-Americanism, and the statue of a flame with the inscription of "Haiti 1804".
On Wednesday, May 6, 2015, on a new plaza, located on the square of the capital city Quito, Ecuador unveiled two statues of Haitian forefathers, Jean Jacques Dessalines, the first President of Haiti after its independence and Alexandre Pétion, the second President of Haiti and Father of the Pan-Americanism. There was another statue of a flame with the inscription of "Haiti 1804". As their affiliation with ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America), Haiti and Ecuador both enjoy pretty good relation. Ecuador is a core member of ALBA, and Haiti is an observer state. Their bilateral relation centers on the immigration policy, as Haitian immigration to Ecuador has increased dramatically. Ecuador is a good contributor of several development and stabilization projects in Haiti. Since Martelly's last visit to Ecuador in July 2012, the two nations have deepened bilateral relations and cooperation in areas such as health, migration, education, air transport, technology and infrastructure.
French President Francois Hollande made a surprising statement n regard to the debt to Haiti on his way to Haiti. At the inauguration of a memorial for slavery in Guadeloupe on Sunday, May 10, 2015, he evokes France's 'Debt' To Haiti, but refused to admit that France will pay back the money owed.
Pressure has been mounting on France to pay back the money it has asked Haiti to pay after Haiti's independence. Some believe that this obligation on the new republic after its independence is a major factor in the poverty of te island. In 2013, Francois Hollande evoked France's "debt" toward Africa. In 2010, President Nicolas Sarkozy became the first French seating president to visit Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Over 200 years ago, when Haiti became the first black independent Republic of the world after defeating the army of then French Monarchy, it agreed to pay France an "independence debt. In 1825, the French ruler, King Charles X agreed to recognize Haiti's independence after 14 years of bloody battles on condition that the new Black Republic will pay 150 million gold francs in ransom. It was later reduced to 90 million gold coins and the extorted bounty was distributed to the white slave holders for the loss of "property" they claim to have suffered as a result of the abolitionist Haitian Revolution. Haitians believe that it could be a big reason for Haiti's present suffering because the country was forced to pay most of its wealth to France for own freedom. Between the years 1825 and 1947 (140 years after the abolition of the slave trade), this barbaric and illegal ransom was collected through violent means with an official French ordinance which threatened to re-enslave the self-liberated Africans. On April 7, 2003, the value of the infamous Charles X ransom was estimated at around $22 billion by the Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and he demanded its restitution. For most Haitians, the recent visit of the French President François Hollande to encourage investment is reminding them how their ancestors were punished by the French and forced to pay a big price for country's successful slave revolt for independence.
Sans-Souci palace is located in the city of Milot near Cap-Haitian. It is located at the bottom of the mountain where the mountain top fortress Citadelle Laferriere dominate the Bay of Cap-Haitian.
Sans-Souci Palace was the residence of King Henri Christophe and his family. It took three years to build the Palace which started in 1810 and completed by 1813.
Here is a picture the ceremonie of Bois caiman. It is an intricate part of our fight for our independence. Some people feel that it was a voodoo ceremony and should not be included in our history
The Haitian revolution revers the entire cource of the world. The complicity of Frence and the United States after Haiti fought for his independence
Here is a picture representing the freedom Haiti took from France. That is when the Haitians declared themselves free from the French colonization
Although we are still paying the price for who we are, it is important to know our real place in history so that we can at least teach our children about our history