Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Sorry to rain on the jubelee parade.

The current PC remembrance initiative is largely criticised because of it's bigotted slant. Which is: That France, at a certain point, let go - out of generosity, historical, philosophical magnamity? - the slaves towards liberty and equal rights.

That, of course, is a white man's lie. It is bull crap.

The truth is that Napoleon's armies, the most modern war machine of its time, were utterly defeated by a Haitian black general who led an insurgent army of slaves and - interestingly - helped by a few dozens of freedom loving Polish and Prussian Landsknechte.

The truth is further that France, who had become a citizens republic, never accepted the loss -  perceived as a humiliation by black people - and tried to re-instate the slave system on Hispaniola. And when they saw that that wasn't going to fly, they ransacked, looted and stole, together with the US, the entire treasury of the free Haitian nation.

They bankrupted it's the government and boycotted their goods.

Is it a coincidence that France still marches in lockstep with the US imperialists when it comes to plunder Haiti and oppress the people of Haiti? Today?

I want a French history book which contains an article and a photo of the French president on his knees in front of the war for liberty memorial in Port au Prince begging the people for forgiveness.

Like Willy did in Warsaw in 1970, or Heidi did in Namibia in 2003:

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 04:50:48 PM EST
Help me understand more about American exploitation of Haiti. I was under the misimpression that the principal problems of Haiti circled around corruption.
by asdf on Sun May 14th, 2006 at 04:49:19 PM EST
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I just picked up you message. It's been raining (the literal version) all weekend here in Massachusetts so no need to be sorry to add rain here. The is no question that French colonial history as is it is taught in French schools today leaves a lot to be desired with the history of San Domingue/Haiti being a key example. Thanks for the addition. My first novice diary at ET, although not about Haiti, was about this issue of colonial history. More to come in my Bordeaux diary (which is taking longer to finish).

As for the "PC remembrance initiative largely criticised because of it's bigoted slant" there were indeed controversies over the commemorations and how to commemorate. For local activist in Bordeaux who have been working for several years to shine a light on the slave trade past of that port and have had remembrances for the past 9 years I think the national push was a welcome one to shine more light on the subject. However, it, in of itself, is not an end but a means to an end.

by Alexandra in WMass (alexandra_wmass[a|t]yahoo[d|o|t]fr) on Mon May 15th, 2006 at 11:27:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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