Haiti is a black country. And not because 95% of its population are dark-skinned descendants of Africans. And because her past, present and future are black as night. Since Columbus’s caravels landed on the shores of the beautiful tropical island at the end of the 15th century and it was declared Spanish, local history has followed one of the most brutal scenarios in the world. It continues to this day. The country is in total ruin, the authorities have no control over the situation, there is practically no economy, the population is in poverty. And plus the constant natural disasters that have “loved” the long-suffering state – not a single natural disaster in the Caribbean can happen without affecting Haiti. It is tormented by tsunamis, earthquakes, and floods. It seems that heavenly powers have cursed this country, forever plunging it into the abyss of natural, economic and political chaos.
A place where there is no economy
Haiti could be called the “island of bad luck.” However, the stana occupies less than half of the island of the same name. On its eastern part the Dominican Republic is doing well. It has hundreds of luxury hotels, good roads, endless quiet beaches and thousands of tourists on them. The country also has gold deposits, which provides serious support to the economy. Haiti’s neighbors are Jamaica and Cuba. The first mines bauxite and aluminum, the second exports cigars, coffee and granulated sugar throughout the world.
Haiti has all this too. Sugar cane and coffee, like in Cuba, bauxite, like in Jamaica, gold deposits are almost richer than in the Dominican Republic. But Haiti’s economy is a transit of drugs, scanty agriculture and subsistence on UN humanitarian aid, which, having barely reached the country’s territory, is immediately stolen and sold at exorbitant prices in the markets. What is the reason for such a backward state, why do the people of Haiti live worse than their ancestors 200 years ago? The “special” way in which the country developed is partly to blame for this. But not only. People and their attitude to life are the reason why Haiti cannot rise from its knees and is unlikely to rise in the foreseeable future.
The Spaniards named the tropical island they discovered Hispaniola, which means “little Spain.” From the history of the Incas, we know about the atrocities of the conquistadors in South America. But the history of the indigenous population of the island of Haiti remained in the shadows. Meanwhile, the descendants of Columbus completely exterminated all the Indians of Hispaniola. I’ll clean it up. Without leaving a single person behind. But somehow it was necessary to mine the gold discovered on the island, so caravels with black slaves from Africa sailed to Haiti. Several decades later they became the indigenous population of the island.
But not only colonial wars took place in the region, but also the division of territory between European countries. In 1620, unable to resist the French invasion, the Spaniards moved to the eastern part of the island, and the western part became a colonial possession of France.
Saint-Domingue (as the French called their part of the island) was the real “pearl of the Antilles” – the most valuable treasure in the colonial crown of France and the richest possession in all of America. And it was not only about gold, but about coffee and sugar, with which Saint-Domingue provided half of Europe.
The island still employed exclusively black people, of whom there were 500 thousand. With them there are 30 thousand whites and a small layer of coloreds – children of the French from mixed marriages. The merciless exploitation of blacks bore its “fruits” – in the 19th century, an uprising against slave owners broke out in Haiti. France fought for several years with the rebellious colony, but it failed to cage yesterday’s slaves. In 1825, she recognized the independence of Haiti. But before that, the rebellious black population massacred all the whites on the island, including women, old people and children. Moreover, not only wealthy planters, but in general everyone whose skin color was lighter than that of the aggressive majority.
Dictatorships and uprisings
Well, then the construction of a new independent state began with endless military coups, dictatorships, uprisings, rebellions and revolutions. Former slaves who gained independence did not feel it very much. They still had to work on the coffee and sugar cane plantations, only not for the white owners, but for their more fortunate compatriots who managed to grab a fat piece in time. The country’s first president did not see anything wrong with this, and when there was an uprising of dissatisfied people in Haiti, he decided to suppress it by force. It didn’t work out. The crowd tore the president to pieces. And this is not a figure of speech – he was literally torn to pieces on the street.
Since then, the history of Haiti has been going in a vicious circle. Dictators succeed each other, giving themselves exotic titles. In the short history of this country there was both King Henry and Emperor Faustin I, and the whole world knows about the reign of the famous “Baron Saturday” – dictator Francois Duvalier. The man who proclaimed the cult of voodoo as the official and main religion of the country and defiantly stuck needles into the doll of the American president exterminated almost a quarter of the entire population of Haiti.