Jean-Jacques Dessalines Descendants to demand $21.7 Billion restitution from France

Following the independence of Haiti in 1804, the defeated French colonists and their government extorted 150 million gold francs from the Haitian government as recompense for French plantation slave masters' profit losses. If Haiti agreed to pay France, it would recognize Haiti's sovereignty. Later France lowered the amount to 90 million gold francs. The mulatto elite who ruled Haiti felt the only way the island could retain its independence and continue to trade with its former oppressor was by honoring the arbitrary debt placed on them.


A couple of times France threatened Haiti with violence and aggression when payments stopped. First in 1853 when French Admiral Duquesne threatened to bomb Port-au-Prince; and again in 1877 when stoppage of payments caused more threats of violence by a French gun-boat.

In 2003 then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide called on France to return the blood money, $21.7 billion. French legislators have given a lot of lip service to this request now being made by the current Martelly-Paul government. France says the request is legitimate, but conversely has written off Haiti as an undesirable place for travelers. French and Haitian people possessed of social consciences are protesting the boycott.

French President Francois Hollande is due to visit Haiti in May 2015. Abolitionist Jean-Jacques Dessalines' descendants across the island plan to make an appearance to remind Hollande they are expecting restitution from France without resorting to international law to get it.

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