Haiti, not the poorest but the richest country in the Western Hemisphere

Used so often in news taglines and stories, the identity of Haiti as the Western Hemisphere's poorest country is probably engrained in most people's knowledge, however, Haiti as the richest country in the Western Hemisphere was once the truth universally known.


Its old moniker was "Pearl of the Antilles", a name it got because of the natural beauty found in its high, lush hills and its richness of resources and culture. The colonial era saw Haiti known as the wealthiest of all the British colonies in the Caribbean. It was influential too, playing a role in the Louisiana Purchase and helping to increase the wealth, reach and might of the United States on the back of the Haitian Revolution.

While Haiti can no longer hold to this sobriquet, except as a means to harken to the past, because of years spent in slavery, under tyrannical rule and through multiple natural disasters and epidemics, what it can hold on to is the wellspring of natural resources it is still in possession of, not the least of which is its people.

Let's not forget, it was Haiti, in 1804, that established the first Black sovereign nation outside of the African continent. They inspired other countries like Jamaica to revolt against slavery, acting as an important impetus to the eventual emancipation of slaves worldwide. The country that can rise above crisis after crisis, for decades, if not centuries, on end and still find things to value other than money, can surely make it out of their current economic state.

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