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A History Of The First Revolution In The Americas

219 Years of Haitian Independence.

Celebrating 31 years of solidarity with the anti-colonial grassroots struggle for dignity, democracy and self-determination of the Haitian people!

On January 1, 1804, Haiti became an independent republic, following the revolution which had begun 13 years earlier as a rebellion of enslaved people against slavery and French colonialism.

Previously known as Saint-Domingue, it was the most profitable colony in the world, generating greater revenue than all of the continental North American colonies combined. This immense wealth was generated by the sweat and blood of enslaved Africans who were being worked to death in their tens of thousands on coffee and sugar plantations.

Shortly after the French revolution, which supposedly espoused the ideals of “liberty, equality and fraternity,” on August 22, 1791 enslaved people rose up, demanding those ideals be realized, and slavery and colonialism abolished. Over the coming years, the rebels successfully defeated the combined armies of the world’s biggest colonial powers: France, Spain and Britain. The 1804 declaration of independence abolished the colony of Saint-Domingue and reinstated the Indigenous Taíno name of Hayti. Europe and the US then promptly ostracized the fledgling republic, causing severe economic hardship.

In 1825, France finally agreed to recognize Haiti’s independence, provided it compensate former enslavers to the tune of 150 million gold francs ($21 billion today) – a ransom which deeply impoverished the government and was not fully repaid until 1947. The United States only recognized Haitian independence in 1862, but this did not prevent it from invading and occupying it in 1915.

Guests:  Pierre LaBossiere and Judith “Mirk” Mirkinson of The Haiti Action Committee. 

Pierre is Haitian born.  He is a veteran labor and human rights activist, a co-founder of Haiti Action Committee and a board member of the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.

Judith’s work focuses on women in Haiti:  organizing and over coming sexual violence, the impact of the United Nations and militarism. And US interventionism. For the National Lawyers Guild, she co-wrote a report on the 2018 Lasalin Massacre.



Additional links:

Haiti Action Committee

Haiti Emergency Relief Fund

The Lasalin Massacre and the Human Rights Crisis in Haiti

WTF is Going on in Latin America & the Caribbean is a Popular Resistance broadcast in partnership with Black Alliance for Peace Haiti/Americas Team, CODEPINK, Common Frontiers, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Friends of Latin America, InterReligious Task Force on Central America, Massachusetts Peace Action and Task Force on the Americas.

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