Sunday, February 29, 2004

Ja: Requiem for Haiti

The article is written by a Haitian woman, Myrtha Desulme. Read the entire thing. Here's her conclusion:

When on January 1, 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, standing at the edge of a new dawn, drunk with euphoria, pronounced the Declaration of Independence, he stated:

"Citizens, It is not enough to have expelled from your country the barbarians who have for ages stained it with blood ... It is become necessary, by a last act of national authority, to ensure forever the empire of liberty in the country which has given us birth ­ I have assembled on this solemn day, those courageous chiefs, who have lavished their blood to preserve liberty. Generals, unite with me for the happiness of our country; the day is arrived, the day which will ever perpetuate our glory and our independence ... Let us swear to the whole world, to posterity, to ourselves, to renounce France forever, and to die, rather than to live under its dominion, to fight till the last breath for the independence of our country ndependence or Death! Let these sacred words serve to rally us ..."

The requiem is for the dream of Dessalines, who thought that he could build a black empire, in the New World, even while surrounded by a sea hostility. Two hundred years later, Haiti is still not free. But the Chinese word for crisis is written with two signs, one means danger, and the other, opportunity.

Let us work to see to it that this bicentenary crisis is nothing more than the labour pains, leading to the birth of a new and peaceful Haitian Republic.

Desulme's implication is that Haiti's lack of freedom may be due to the hostile forces around her. Well, what about the anarchic ones inside her?


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