Haiti, I am sorry
We misunderstood you
One day we’ll turn our heads
And look inside you…
—David Rudder, “Haiti”
About 22 years ago I was a part of a New England delegation that travelled to Haiti to demand that Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president of Haiti after years of dictatorship, be allowed to assume the office he had won fairly and squarely.
We met with the United States Ambassador to Haiti, but nothing came of it. Our pleas, like so many others, were like voices crying out desperately in a wilderness of deceit and deception. Continue reading Haiti, we are sorry→
In defiance of the rapid community spread of Covid-19, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, kept the promise he made on Emancipation Day 2019 to unveil T&T’s first emancipation monument—the only live public event on Emancipation Day 2020.
Like many thousands of other Trinbagonians, I missed the commemorative spectacles of the longest day in the Pan-African Festival’s calendar. But instead of regrets, the occasion motivated me to reexamine the intellectual underpinnings and contradictions of Britain’s 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act. Continue reading Emancipating old narratives of ‘emancipation’→
(The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the OAS. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are his own)
The effect of the inappropriate depiction of Haiti, El Salvador and all African nations as “shit hole” countries is a matter that the people of the United States of America and their government and Congress should contemplate seriously. Continue reading No regrets for making Haiti a ‘shithole’?→
At the outset, it must be stated quite equivocally that the order for the global apology for the European enslavement of Afrikans is as follows: The Roman Catholic Pope of Rome, first; second, the governments of Spain and Portugal; in third place are the governments of Britain, France and the Netherlands; in fourth place is the government of the United States. Continue reading Apology for Slavery and Reparations: Updated→
Despite billions in aid which were supposed to go to the Haitian people, hundreds of thousands are still homeless, living in shanty tent camps as the effects from the earthquake of January 12, 2010 remain.
The earthquake devastated Haiti in January 2010 killing, according to Oxfam International, 250,000 people and injuring another 300,000. 360,000 Haitians are still displaced and living hand to mouth in 496 tent camps across the country according to the International Organization of Migration. Most eat only one meal a day. Continue reading How the International Community Failed Haiti→
August and anyone who is anyone has left Paris (and other Europeans cities) for the country for vacation. As one looks at the shuttered apartment windows, the empty streets (except for places such as Champs Elysees Avenue) and the barely-filed cafes that inundate the city and its sidewalks one realizes that everything will remain in abeyance until September when Parisians return to work and attend to their business again. Continue reading Messengers of the Invisible→
BEFORE the Herculean task of reconstructing Haiti can begin, the current relief programme must reach every Haitian. It must first ensure that all those who suffered physical and mental trauma during and after the earthquake are properly treated. Last week I made reference to amputations being done with hacksaws and without anaesthetic. Hello! Anaesthesia was introduced in the mid-19th century! The US military has large numbers of field hospitals equipped a wide range of medications to meet such emergencies. Where were they? Continue reading A few good men…and women→
THE FRENCH COOPERATION Minister Alain Joyandet accused the U.S. of “occupying” Haiti rather than helping in the wake of the devastating January 12, 7.0 earthquake. Doctors Without Borders and officials from the Caribbean community expressed similar frustrations, as US military personnel controlling the airport turned away their planes. With just under 20,000 U.S. boots on the ground in Haiti or just off shore, the U.N. military force has augmented its numbers to around 12,000. Still, more than two weeks after the disaster, Haitians lack water, food, medicine, shelter and equipment to dig out those that may still be alive under the rubble. Continue reading Q & A with the State Department on Haiti→