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9553: Written in Blood (Saint-vil says: mèsi anpil) (fwd)
From: Jean Saint-Vil <email@example.com>
Thank you for your response Mr. Heinl. Although disappointed, I do respect
your decision not to back up your matter-of-fact statement that the U.S. has
«so often helped Haïti in the past». It seems to me that this is the kind
of statement that can and ought to be effectively weighted on the basis of
cold hard historical facts. Emotions not withstanding, if the U.S.A has
helped Haïti, Americans, Haitians, or anyone interested to know should be
able to identify the specifics of this help.
I would, respectfully, suggest that some pointed questions could be asked in
order to determine whether your statement is based on sound facts or not.
Did this U.S. help materialise itself in 1791, when Africans in Haïti were
fighting against the forces of slave-holding White Supremacy?
Is it truth or fiction that the U.S. sold defective guns to Toussaint
L'ouverture and even collected from this famous Haitian freedom fighter
money for guns that were never delivered to him?
Did the U.S. help to Haiti materialise in terms of ready recognition of the
Black Republic in 1804 ? or is it true that it was no earlier than 1860
(when racial slavery became illegal on its soil) that the U.S finally
recognised Haïti's independence.
Did U.S. help to Haiti materialize at the turn of the century when great
scientific discoveries were fueling the industrial revolution? Or is it true
that, instead, U.S governments were actively encouraging internal strife in
Haïti (playing north against south / black blacks against mullato blacks in
1888 -89) with the goal of securing control over Môle Saint Nicholas.
Did U.S. help to Haiti materialise in 1914-15?
I am at awe to note how WIB indicates in great detail how Haitian President
Zamor was deposed after refusing to sell out to the 1915 white supremacist
superpower, yet tries energically to absolve the U.S. by concluding that the
it was «on the verge of intervening to SAVE the Zamors when their regime
collapsed too soon for Marines to arrive». I am puzzled by this incredible
conclusion, in view of evidence that the authors had access to very good
information about what really went down in 1914-1915. In fact, the author
makes a special effort to discredit the articles published by The Nation
which, of course do not support the «benevolent Captain America» theme.
As for what transpired between 1915 and 1946, I find that the following two
testimonies summarize quite well the kind of help Haïti seems to have
received from the U.S.
1) U.S. Major General Smedley Butler ( I paraphrase because I don't have
the original source at hand but a Kreyòl translation I made of it & from
which I am re-translating)
«I spent 33 years and 4 months serving my country as a military man…during
this period I spent most of my time playing the role of strong-armed bully
for the interests of Wall Street and of our banks. All in all, I was useful
as a crook working for capitalism. In 1914, I helped pacify Mexico and
Tampico for Ameriken oil companies. I helped the National City Bank suck
away wealth from Haïti and Cuba etc…I was compensated with nice medals,
honour and promotion for my troubles. But, when I take a look at all these
things that I have done, I feel that Al Capone himself could take a few
lessons from me because he was operating his mafia ring in three cities
whereas we, in the Marines, were doing it on three continents ».
Common Sense (1935) cited in Lionel Paquin's « The Haitians, Class and
Color Politics» (1983).
2) «For the duration of this war I would like your government to think of
Haïti as another state of the Union of which I am governor» Elie Lescot (one
of a host of mulatto puppets put in power by white supremacist Uncle Sam -
starting with Dartiguenave in 1915), The quote is taken from Written in
Blood, p 510.
As for the role of the french Catholic priests, one needs only take a look
at very reliable books such as «Les Marrons de la liberté» (Jean Fouchard,
1972) and Laennec Hurbon's « Les Mystères du Vodou» to see how, most of
these robed warriors served as very efficient and powerful agents of both
official and unofficial White Supremacy in Haïti. Of course there were a few
exceptions, and there may well have been a difference or conflict between
Vatican-approved white supremacist mercenary and that of the rogue french
priests that were doing their thing on the island. However, from my
perspective, the saying that best describes this situation is «senkant kòb
ak degouden - pase pranm m a pase chèche ou» (a quarter or 25 cents - same
difference» rather than "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king"
. I find strange that the «Rejete» ethnocide and religious terrorism of
1940-42 is almost ignored (Thanks for the reference Allen) in a book that
many consider to be the most complete history of Haïti ever written in
Nonetheless, so many intriguing religious details are recounted in the book.
E.g.: «Early in the new year, after due consultation with spiritual
advisers, the president donned his magical Secte Rouge scarlet robe and,
assisted by Dodo Nasar, chief bocor of the Palais National, made two dire
ouangas-à-mort: one for the Marines' commander, the other for John F.
Kennedy….On 22 November - what other date? Asked Haitians - John F . Kennedy
died in Dallas. When word reached Duvalier, champagne was served in the
Now, for someone who thought he was well versed in both conspiracy theories
having to do with the Kennedy Assassination and with Haitian common
knowledge, I must say I jumped off my seat when I read this part. «What
other date? Asked Haitians!!!».
I thank Mr. Heinl as as well as the other American list members, including
those who wrote directly to me saying they too found WIB' author to be
overly patriotic and biased but felt it better not to voice such opinion
openly on the list.
«… delighted to see that you have understood the underlying bias of the
Heinl WRITTEN IN BLOOD», said one.
«In order for Americans to see the truth about the US and Haiti, they must
first lose their innocence and come of age. Some of us never do. Some of
us need to see the USA as the good guys and we have been fed propaganda to
support that need all our lives», said a second.
Yes, Allen, Haitian writers are not at all immuned against bias. Although,
one can at times prove that their bias is also, strangely enough,
anti-Haitian. But, that's another impossible and endless debate.
To me, the moral of this story is: we are all human and, after all,
rationality and emotionality have no nationality.
Now, how about a new script for Dany Glover's dream project:
«Home of the Free / Land of the Brave: the story of the Haitian People for
real - to be Written with courage».
Respè epi lapè Boukmann ak nou,
«Depi nan Ginen bon nèg ap ede nèg!»
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