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Haiti in Brief

The first time I saw Haiti was on BBC news; that was several years ago. There was a disaster in Haiti, I cannot recall what it was exactly but I remember seeing Africans and the poor living conditions. I immediately knew that there is no country in Africa called Haiti, in the news it said Caribbean. I knew Caribbean was somewhere in South America, clearly I was clueless. The first thing that struck my mind when I saw all those Africans was ‘what are these Africans doing in a foreign land, why don’t they come back home if the living conditions are so bad?’ I felt so bad for them.

I actually knew a bit about Haiti while living here in Belize because there are Haitians here and more after the recent earthquake. I now know the reasons why the Africans are living there is because it is
their country. After being forcefully taken away from their motherland Africa during slavery time they fought their Europeans masters and in the end they defeated them and conquered the country.

It is one of the first countries ever to be conquered by slaves from their European masters. It is also the oldest black republic and the second oldest republic in the western hemisphere after the United States. The African slaves gained independence of this country and they named it Haiti in 1825.

After their independence, the British, France and United States imposed an embargo and they demanded to be paid around 90 Million gold francs for compensation for their loss of property which included slaves, land and equipment of the previous colonialists. Haiti finished paying the debt in 1947. I was surprised when I learned that it took them more than 100 years to pay for their freedom and independence.

So that is why even if it has been independent for nearly 200 years, it is still one of the poorest countries in the Americas and the whole world. It was still undergoing political revolution just like many African countries when the recent earthquake struck that has brought it back to square one.

It was interesting when I saw Haiti for the first time and after the earthquake how undeveloped it is especially because we see in the media that Africa is the most undeveloped continent in the world. I did not expect to see something worse than Africa in the American Continent. Maybe one day in the near future it will be stable and they will be able to celebrate their independence.

More information about Geographic, environmental, political and economy of Haiti

Do you think Haitians were treated fairly after their independence?


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