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#2185: An additional response to Lance Durban from Max Blanchet
From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>
There are obvious differences between Durban
and me regarding the role of exogenous factors in the
development of Haiti. And I doubt that much can be
done to bridge them. To buttress my position, nonetheless,
I invite him and others in Corbettland to ponder two facts
that no fair-minded historian would deny:
o) the nefarious impact on the development of Haiti in
the 19th century of the debt paid to France. During the
presidency of Jean-Pierre Boyer, Haiti agreed under duress
to pay France 150 million gold francs and it took the country
nearly a century to pay off the debt.
o) Much closer to us, the equally nefarious support
- diplomatic, economic, military, political - given the brutish
Duvalier dysnaty by the American Government. A dynasty
largely responsible for the advanced state of decay the
country finds itself in today.
And you seem to expect us to view all of this with
Some of us do remember our dead after all!
In addition, there is a puzzling reference to the"Arabic"
community in Haiti as not viewing itself Haitian. I
have grown up with Haitians of Lebanese/Palestinian
(a more accurate appelation) backgroung -- the Salibas,
Kouris, Soucars, Issas, Georges, elatriye -- in Les Cayes.
These folks were very much part and parcel of our society.
This did not come about easily - for cultural, racial and other
reasons- and those of us who now live as immigrants in the
US have a greater appreciation of their travail.
In addition, many of these people made great contributions
to Haitian society as entrepreneurs (duly noted by Durban,)
doctors (Dr. Assad), artists (Issa El Saieh), political activists
in the struggle for democracy and social justice (Georges and
Antoine Izmery who paid the ultimate price.)
To use a broad brush to describe them as not perceiving
themselves as Haitian is to malign that community.
Truly, Durban needs to move beyond the facile and
superficial to begin to appreciate the nuances of
Haiti's complex reality.