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#2971: Kersaint replies on Chirac

From: REGINE KERSAINT <reginek@hacof.org>

Chirac is a politician and would not be incorrect at all. Politicians control
with no margin what they are saying. He is not weird. However, I do have hard
times understanding the context of his controversy. Did he mean to say that "
Haiti couldno't have been a Legacy of France due to the ill-state of that
country?". I don't know. But he does know. Is he following the step of Mr.
Ronald Reagan? I don't know either but he seems to be okay.

Robert Corbett wrote:

> From: madison bell <mbell@goucher.edu>
> Guy Antoine's translation:
> >Chirac said: "Haiti n'a pas été, [a proprement parlé] (sic), une colonie
> >française..."
> >  let's look at the verb tense " n'a pas
> >été ", which would translate in English to "has not been".  Therefore, what
> >Chirac said was that "Haiti has not been, properly speaking, a French
> >colony..."
> ...is very exact.  Chirac's phrasing is weird, in a way which I think is
> indicative of political queasiness.  Remember the remarks of Bill Clinton
> on various uncomfortable subjects?
> Also, the "has not been" construction requires a dependent clause to
> relieve it of its grammatical awkwardness, par exemple: Haiti n'a pas été,
> [a proprement parlé] (sic), une colonie
> >française... {depuis que ces maudits negres l'ont rendu un pays
> >independent en tuant la plupart de nos colons}
> or
> Haiti has not, properly speaking, been a French colony {since those
> accursed negroes made it independent, killing a whole mess of our colonists
> along the way}.
> If M. Chirac was an American politician I would write the whole thing off
> to ignorance.  cf George W Bush &c.  I'd assume he just doesn't know the
> history.   But what seems more likely is that he knows enough of the
> history to make him uncomfortable with the question and to provide him with
> a semantic evasion to slide away from it.
> A simple score card of the French/Haitian relationship goes like this.
> 1.      France created the conditions for the Haitian revolution by
> importing enough slaves from Africa to create a population of half a
> million by 1791.
> 2.      Aforesaid slaves, in the process of liberating themselves and
> creating a new nation, killed a good number of French colonists and
> destroyed the property rights of France in its colony.
> 3.      In order to have its independence recognized by France, Haiti was
> compelled to agree to pay a massive indemnity -- so large that it crippled
> Haiti economically for about the next 100 years.
> All which certainly does mean that France's relationship with Haiti is
> rather different than that with its other colonies..... but not that Haiti
> "has not been a French colony."
> msb