Haiti's Burden of History

Lobo Tropical

Silver
Aug 21, 2010
3,515
521
113
I confess that I know next to nothing about the colonialism of the great European powers in other hemispheres.

The United States has not been what would be considered a successful colonial power - as might the English be - for example. The British, in this hemisphere, left its colonies, including the United States, with a firm system of rule of law.

I lived in Grenada, back in the early 70s, when they were just getting independence from Great Britain - at Great Britain's insistence. One of the main fears that I heard was that they would no longer have access to the High Court in Jamaica.

The British took a man, Eric Gairy, who had led revolts of the sugar cane workers down the chain of islands, gave him a short course in leadership, and turned the country over to him. At the time of independence, what Gairy was asking for was a jet port, so that tourists from the United States would not have to overnight in Barbados before flying on the next day to Grenada.

Evidently Washington or the British could not be bothered with such a small expense and waited until Maurice Bishop took over -- Calling himself the "New Jewel Movement - and "Marxist Leninist" - (I knew him - a very educated but hardly militant lefty) - who invited in Cuba - who did indeed Build That Airport... Big enough for fighter jets.

The US has simply tried to Make The World Safe for Capitalism... It has not sent "settlers" for the most part..

Even the "colonization" of Puerto Rico has not been like that of - say - like that of France in Martinique - which is actually a part of France.

Even now, a majority of Puerto Ricans do not speak English. Their education is in Spanish. Their court system is in Spanish. Only their Federal Courts are in English.

When the US occupied-( up until about 1958, I think when we pretty much gave up except for holding Roosevelt Roads Navy Base & Vieques & Culebra - now gone after 2001)
they lowered the Puerto Rican flag and put up the Stars and Stripes - tried to outlaw Spanish.

Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917 in order to fight in WW1.

But the Jones Act from 1912, which forbids shipping into Puerto Rico in any ship made out outside the US (there are some exemptions for some shipping from the DR), keeps the DR in a "semi-colonial lock down. There has never been an election in which a majority of Puerto Ricans who have voted for Statehood.

(Nor, I expect, will it ever be granted)
"Upon declaring independence, Haiti claimed a singular place in world history. The Haitian revolution, lasting from 1791 to 1804, culminated in the first independent nation in the Caribbean, the second democracy in the western hemisphere, and the first black republic in the world."

The sad reality is that Haiti has not been able to establish viable governmental control and organization.

Descendants of former African slaves live on all Caribbean islands and have been able to make a life for themselves.
Maybe it is because colonial governments installed proper structures.

There are today few countries worth while living in, while most of the world is in chaos and under dictatorships.
The few good countries are predominantly the former colonials, who established governments, democracies and structures.
Most of the refugees economic or political, are trying to get into those maligned former colonial countries.

Ask yourself why?

 
Oct 13, 2003
2,789
83
48
instagram.com
Dear MountainAnnie,

I am glad to see you are still alive and hopefully well enough.

You are aware of my position on Haiti as one of the world's most unruly, chaotic countries in the world. If they ever found their feet and set aside their squabbling then a nation could be built.

But from the early days of the revolution that has never happened as one dictator fought and followed another, and building prestige projects and living in empire style emptied the coffers of the nation. the earthquake was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Per capita Haiti received the most aid money in the world but it only led to enriching the criminal gangs that are in power. It is a completely failed narco state where the rule of the gun is the only rule.

Don't get me wrong, there are many decent Haitians but they suffer under the hands of the evil-doers.

Years ago when I stood on Pico Duarte the difference was so obvious. The Haitian side was completely bare, like locusts had passed through it. The Dominican side still verdant and green, Both former colonies, but the picture is clear.
 

ctrob

Silver
Nov 9, 2006
5,590
775
113
I had thought that it was important to notify those in the Dominican Republic as to how very serious things were on the other side of the border.

I have done so.

It is the worst crisis there in living memory.

And I think most reasonable people agree with you on that. Even without seeing it first hand, we know that Haitians are living in horrific conditions right now and are experiencing some of the worst atrocities imaginable.

But, a lot of people understand that there is not much that can be done. It's not that we lack compassion, but once a country breaks down into that level of unrest/lawlessness, it has to run it's course. There is no "magic bullet" that can fix it. Just look at Somalia - perfect example of the exact same thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lobo Tropical

USA DOC

Bronze
Feb 20, 2016
2,982
650
113
I had thought that it was important to notify those in the Dominican Republic as to how very serious things were on the other side of the border.

I have done so.

It is the worst crisis there in living memory.
Annie... the people in the DR will see for themselves how serious things are in Haiti...as its coming here fast.....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lobo Tropical

Lobo Tropical

Silver
Aug 21, 2010
3,515
521
113
I had thought that it was important to notify those in the Dominican Republic as to how very serious things were on the other side of the border.

I have done so.

It is the worst crisis there in living memory.

If anyone is aware of the Haitian situation, It is the Dominicans.
They are living with the results of having a failed state as their dangerous neighbour.

The greatest importance for me is, that Haitian chaos does not spill over into the Dominican Republic.
The DR is under grave threat because of the Haitian failed State and has very limited resources to defend itself.

The world is in a very unstable period, which should concern all of us.
What has been build can quickly be destroyed.
Africa under independent African governments is in chaos.
Somalia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Libya, Congo, Sudan, Nigeria, Mali,

Mexico, Central and South America have corrupt and unstable governments.
China, Russia, Moslem countries 57 of them, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan most of Southeast Asia, the Spread of Islam.

We can only hope that the DR and the world can keep it together.
None of us will be able to solve Haitis problems.
We can only hope that the Dominican Republic can avert disaster and survive peacefully.

Maybe colonialism wasn't the worst crime, but brought structure and development.
Under self government many have proven to be incapable, descending into dictatorships and theocracies.


 

Naked_Snake

Bronze
Sep 2, 2008
1,769
161
63
Maybe colonialism wasn't the worst crime, but brought structure and development.
Under self government many have proven to be incapable, descending into dictatorships and theocracies.
Exactly my point. Independence and majority rule are overrated if the emancipated countries in question can't exercise their sovereignty in a sober and responsible manner, as Teddy Roosevelt would say (and as much horror this one provokes on progressive types out there, he had a point). Hence my admiration at Toussaint's contrition in not wanting to declare independence of the country as the British constantly goaded him to do. Events have proven his far sightedness in spades.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NanSanPedro

ctrob

Silver
Nov 9, 2006
5,590
775
113
Maybe colonialism wasn't the worst crime, but brought structure and development.
Under self government many have proven to be incapable, descending into dictatorships and theocracies.

Very true. Colonialism did exactly that, and benefited many. Not saying there wasn't negatives associated with colonialism, but look at the present state of things.

Maybe countries can can advance to a level of incompetence, just like a person can in their employment. It's called the Peter Principle. A person can be promoted, rise in the ranks, till they are not competent at that level of employment - and begin to function poorly. I'm sure there was a time that Haiti was well run? With smaller gov't and simpler goals? Maybe they should have stayed that way.

What they need now is a Benevolent Dictator. But that won't happen right away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lobo Tropical

CristoRey

Welcome To Wonderland
Apr 1, 2014
9,577
5,632
113
Very true. Colonialism did exactly that, and benefited many. Not saying there wasn't negatives associated with colonialism, but look at the present state of things.

Maybe countries can can advance to a level of incompetence, just like a person can in their employment. It's called the Peter Principle. A person can be promoted, rise in the ranks, till they are not competent at that level of employment - and begin to function poorly. I'm sure there was a time that Haiti was well run? With smaller gov't and simpler goals? Maybe they should have stayed that way.

What they need now is a Benevolent Dictator. But that won't happen right away.
So long as Haiti is being run by Haitians it will be a failed state.
They have proven it. The best case scenario for Haiti would be
for a country like China to buy it however that would cause a
whole new set of problems for the rest of the world.
 
Oct 13, 2003
2,789
83
48
instagram.com
Seems my post (before the fact) was very much spot-on.

The Haitians are in the clutches of the SA-drug cartels, just like many countries in SA). Nothing but civil war might solve that.

The Dominicans are not that much better off in terms of nacro influence.

As long as a country doesn't have the means to indepently support itself, it is open for exploitation by outside forces.
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
39,069
4,092
113
So long as Haiti is being run by Haitians it will be a failed state.
They have proven it. The best case scenario for Haiti would be
for a country like China to buy it however that would cause a
whole new set of problems for the rest of the world.
Even the Chinese would fail miserably and return home with broken chopsticks.

Haiti's burden of history just seemed to become a tick heavier.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DR Solar