Barbados Reparations Task Force leads Quest for Slavery Compensation
The International Black Reparations Summit was hosted by New York City in early April. Participating nations included CARICOM (representing the Caribbean), France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, South America, and the U.S. Many high-profile invitees attended including U.S. activists Jesse Jackson of PUSH and Danny Glover, African-American actor. They were among those representing the fields of academics, law, politics, activism, and history.
Many aggrieved nations have been seeking reparations for the descendants of African slaves transported along the Atlantic corridor. Martinique, for example, filed for reparations from France in 2005 for a sum of 200 billion Euros to compensate for the damage Martinique slave descendants suffered as a result of displacement from their homeland.
Saint Domingue on island of Hispaniola was once the most lucrative part of French colony on the Caribbean island from 1659 to 1809. But a slave revolt in which the battle of Vertierre or Vertieres was pivotal ended the colonization. With support of British government ended the French rule in Saint Domingue and the French were forced to withdraw themselves from this European colony in 1803.
The decisive encounter between General Rochambeau of the French army and the separatist British supported leader General Jean-Jacques Dessalines is known as 'War of Vertières'. General Dessalines who was born as a slave led the struggle against the French. The British weakened the French by naval blockades and supplied weapons and ammunitions to General Dessalines. Sensing danger, Rochambeau shifted French headquarters from Port-au-Prince to Cap Français. Dessalines went on capturing places one after another like Jacmel, Cayes, Jérémie and Léogane. When the French Commander surrendered himself on October 3 at Port-au-Prince, stage for physical attack was set on Le Cap Français.
Aid-donor agency Petrocaribe has dispensed funding dollars to begin restoration work on Palace of 365 Doors in Petite-Riviere, Artibonite, part of Artibonite North Department. The Palace was designed by architect Louis Dupeyrac as a presidential home for King Henri Christophe in 1820. Christophe commissioned the project because he wanted a potent symbol of his dominance over the abundant and verdant agricultural lands of the Artibonite plains. For unknown reasons the palace was never completed.
Over a century later, the abandoned building had deteriorated significantly. Under President Stenio Vincent, funds were allocated to restore Palace of 365 Doors in Petite-Riviere, Artibonite. Restoration work included laying corrugated steel floors, spreading a layer of cement over its exterior surface, and covering windows with wood shutters. Not a true restoration, it was done to stop any further deterioration and shield it from the elements.
Did you see the show that President Michel Martelly when he visited the Citadelle Laferrière this year?
The staff that was present at the time was blamed for the state of disrepair of our National pride Citadelle Laferrière.
Michel Martelly was not willing to either listen to or accept any justification provided by the employees or representatives from ISPAN.
In the Battle of Vertieres near Cap-Haitian which is considered to be the decisive battle that eventually earned Haiti its independence, General Francois Capois, Capoix-la-Mort, occupied a key position in it.
Historians tell us that on November 18th, 1803, the leader of the Haitian rebels Jean-Jacques Dessalines ordered Capois lamort Brigade to take Fort Vertières, Capois raised several unsuccessful attempts until
Capoix, mounted on his great horse, led his brigade forward despite storms of bullets from the forts. As he is approaching Charrier, his horse was hit by a cannon and fell. However, Capois picked himself up, took his sword, stood up and ran again to the head of his soldiers shouting always "Forward! Forward".
This was the last battle of the Expedition Santo Domingo. The battle took place in Vertières Vertières near Cap Francais, now known as Cap-Haitian. It involves a troop commanded by General Rochambeau for the French Colonizer and General Jean-Jacques Dessalines, leader of the slave rebellion.
On November 18, 1803 , Jean-Jacques Dessalines ordered François Capois (Capois lamort) Brigade to take Fort Vertières, located on a hill near the city of Cap-Haitian. Capois raised several unsuccessful attempts by had to go back due to heavy fire from the fort.
After the third attempts where many of his forces received many casualties, Capois-La-Mort asked his force to follow him, shouting: "Forward! Forward". At one point, his horse was hit by a cannon and fell, but Capois took his sword, stood up and ran again to the head of his soldiers shouting always "Forward! Forward".
Barriere Bouteille or the three Booths at southern entrance of Cap-Haitian were found painted in pink which is the official color of the government of Michel Martelly.
What is next?
Will we see soon a new and improved pink Citadelle Laferrière? while we are at it, why not the Sans Souci Palace?
According to some witnesses, they woke up one day and saw the three booths of Barriere Bouteille painted in pink with no explanation what so ever.
This is the end of an era once again in the history of Haiti. The Government announced that the non-profit aid group of Sean Penn will oversee the demolition of the wrecked National Palace, free of charge. According to Government spokesperson, Lucien Jura, Penn's J/P HRO group will begin the demolition in the next 10 days. Sean Penn holds the title as ambassador-at-large for Haiti.
The crumbled Haiti National Palace has symbolized the level of destruction that took place in the Port-au-Prince area following the 2010 earthquake. Thousands of buildings were destroyed and over 200,000 people died.
Haiti national palace, a historic monument in deed.
A total of four buildings so far has held the title of Haiti National Palace of Haiti, going back to the colonial period. It has held various titles and was the residence of Colonial Governor General, to emperor and president.
On Thursday, July 19, 2012, the president of Haiti, Mitchel Martely was full of anger. This was due to the state of the conditions he found at the Citadelle Laferrière. The president had made a tour at the citadel and was accompanied by various senior officials in the government. Among them included the president's advisor Gregory Mayard Paul, the Minister of Culture, Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin, the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Yvone Alteon and other senior officials at the Institute for the Protection of National Heritage, ISPAN. ISPAN has the responsibility for the restoration of the Citadelle which is a tourist attraction site in Haiti.
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