✍️✍️✍️ Media Influence On Haiti

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Media Influence On Haiti



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As U.S. deports Haitian migrants, fate of DACA immigrants also hangs in the balance

The cheaper US rice undercut and effectively destroyed Haitian rice farming. A country that was largely self-sufficient in this staple in the s was importing 80 percent of its rice by So if Haiti can no longer feed itself, is this because it is a failed state? The crisis in rice farming also initiated a huge flow of rural people to the capital, because rice cultivators and their families could no longer survive in the countryside. The resulting overpopulation of the capital was a factor in the large number of people killed in the earthquake.

After the quake, Clinton—by then the UN special envoy to Haiti, helping to run the reconstruction effort—apologized to the Haitian people. Haiti imports as much as 50 percent of its food now, mostly from the United States. Today, Haiti is the second-biggest importer of US rice in the world. In , Aristide was overthrown. In , Bill Clinton reinstated him. Aristide served out his truncated five-year term and was elected president once more in , only to be overthrown again, in , this time under Baby Bush George W. He was allowed back into Haiti only in , when President Obama, given various factors, could no longer reasonably prevent his return.

Even so, the current Haitian president, a conservative Duvalierist who is another puppet of the United States, has recently put Aristide under illegal house arrest, fearing his potential as a disrupter as Haiti begins the long-overdue slog to a new round of elections. With his pro-business stance, Martelly is a lot more to the liking of American corporate interests in Haiti than Aristide. Is the failure of the democratic experiment in Haiti the fault of a people who cannot govern themselves?

He was flawed, but so what? Many say the Haitian government is disorganized, but no one is fooled: actually, the Haitian kleptocracy has been carefully organized—especially during the occupation—to be porous and incompetent, to allow for corruption. It exists to feed those politicians who kowtow to outside interests. It is a mechanism into which money is poured and then siphoned off.

The Duvaliers merely perfected what the occupation handed down. Since , the United States has treated Haitian governments as, at best, rubber stamps for US policy, American businesses working in Haiti, and Haitian-run businesses friendly to American interests. For almost the entire twentieth century, only US-approved Haitians could be president. Ever since Aristide was deposed for the second time, in , there has been another occupation of Haiti, this time by the United Nations. They ride around town in casual pickup trucks with gunners in the back, facing the trailing traffic. All of this is done with the ostensible motivation of protecting the Haitian people and keeping things secure.

Obviously if the [agitators are] eliminated, the most docile and the cheapest labor supply that a concessionnaire ever dreamed of will be easily available. Twenty cents a day is the current Haitian wage. Unscientific estimates suggest there are some 10, NGOs operating in a country smaller than Maryland with a population of 10 million. What they do, unintentionally, is substitute their own services for the services that a government should provide.

They prop up the kleptocratic state, a mechanism for distribution of corruption. The end of Haiti, its utter ruin, has been predicted since the state was declared in The outside world believed a country run by former slaves could never survive; Haitians looked around and sometimes agreed. Raynal's admonition was written thirteen years before the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen , which highlighted freedom and liberty but did not abolish slavery. In addition to Raynal's influence, Toussaint Louverture , a free black who was familiar with Enlightenment ideas within the context of European colonialism, would become a key "enlightened actor" in the Haitian Revolution.

Enlightened thought divided the world into "enlightened leaders" and "ignorant masses"; [26] Louverture sought to bridge this divide between the popular masses and the enlightened few by striking a balance between Western Enlightened thought as a necessary means of winning liberation, and not propagating the notion that it was morally superior to the experiences and knowledge of people of color on Saint-Domingue. The existence of slavery in Enlightened society was an incongruity that had been left unaddressed by European scholars prior to the French Revolution. Louverture took on this inconsistency directly in his constitution.

In addition, he exhibited a connection to Enlightenment scholars through the style, language, and accent [ further explanation needed ] What is the "accent" of a text? Like Louverture, Jean-Baptiste Belley was an active participant in the insurrection. The portrait of Belley by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson depicts a man who encompasses the French view of its colonies, creating a stark dichotomy between the refinement of Enlightenment thought and the reality of the situation in Saint-Domingue, through the bust of Raynald and the figure of Belley, respectively.

While distinguished, the portrait still portrays a man trapped by the confines of race. Girodet's portrayal of the former National Convention deputy is telling of the French opinion of colonial citizens by emphasizing the subject's sexuality and including an earring. Both of these racially charged symbols reveal the desire to undermine the colony's attempts at independent legitimacy, as citizens of the colonies were not able to access the elite class of French Revolutionaries because of their race.

The colony was not only the most profitable possession of the French colonial empire , but it was the wealthiest and most prosperous colony in the Caribbean. The colony's white population numbered 40,; mulattoes and free blacks, 28,; and black slaves, an estimated , Two-thirds of the slaves were African born, and they tended to be less submissive than those born in the Americas and raised in slave societies. The slave population declined at an annual rate of two to five percent, due to overwork, inadequate food and shelter, insufficient clothing and medical care, and an imbalance between the sexes, with more men than women. This relatively privileged class was chiefly born in the Americas, while the under-class born in Africa labored hard, and often under abusive and brutal conditions.

Among Saint-Domingue's 40, white colonists, European-born Frenchmen monopolized administrative posts. The sugar planters, or grands blancs literally, "big whites" , were chiefly minor aristocrats. Most returned to France as soon as possible, hoping to avoid the dreaded yellow fever, which regularly swept the colony. Saint-Domingue's free people of color, or gens de couleur libres , numbered more than 28, Around that time, colonial legislations, concerned with this growing and strengthening population, passed discriminatory laws that required these freedmen to wear distinctive clothing and limited where they could live.

These laws also barred them from occupying many public offices. These men would become important leaders in the slave rebellion and later revolution. Saint-Domingue's Northern province was the center of shipping and trading, and had the largest population of grands blancs. It was the area of greatest economic importance, especially as most of the colony's trade went through these ports. The largest and busiest port was Le Cap, the former capital of Saint-Domingue. The Western province, however, grew significantly after the colonial capital was moved to Port-au-Prince in , becoming increasingly wealthy in the second half of the 18th century.

The Southern province lagged in population and wealth because it was geographically separated from the rest of the colony. However, this isolation allowed freed slaves to find profit in trade with Jamaica, and they gained power and wealth here. After the establishment of the French First Republic , the National Assembly made radical changes to French laws and, on 26 August , published the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen , declaring all men free and equal. The Declaration was ambiguous as to whether this equality applied to women, slaves, or citizens of the colonies, and thus influenced the want for freedom and equality in Saint-Domingue. White planters saw it as an opportunity to gain independence from France, which would allow them to take control of the island and create trade regulations that would further their own wealth and power.

The African population on the island began to hear of the agitation for independence by the planters, who had resented France's limitations on the island's foreign trade. The Africans mostly allied with the royalists and the British, as they understood that if Saint-Domingue's independence were to be led by white slave masters, it would probably mean even harsher treatment and increased injustice for the African population. The planters would be free to operate slavery as they pleased without the existing minimal accountability to their French peers. Saint-Domingue's free people of color, most notably Julien Raimond , had been actively appealing to France for full civil equality with whites since the s.

Raimond used the French Revolution to make this the major colonial issue before the National Assembly. The conflict up to this point was between factions of whites, and between whites and free blacks. Enslaved blacks watched from the sidelines. Leading 18th-century French writer Count Mirabeau had once said the Saint-Domingue whites "slept at the foot of Vesuvius ", [42] suggesting the grave threat they faced should the majority of slaves launch a sustained major uprising.

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Territory of Orleans , suppressed. Spanish Cuba , suppressed. British Jamaica , suppressed. Off the Southern U. Guillaume Raynal attacked slavery in the edition of his history of European colonization. He also predicted a general slave revolt in the colonies, saying that there were signs of "the impending storm". Since white planters refused to comply with this decision, within two months isolated fighting broke out between the former slaves and the whites. This added to the tense climate between slaves and grands blancs. Raynal's prediction came true on the night of 21 August , when the slaves of Saint-Domingue rose in revolt; thousands of slaves attended a secret vodou ceremony as a tropical storm came in—the lighting and the thunder was taken as auspicious omens —and later that night, the slaves began to kill their masters and plunged the colony into civil war.

Whites kept control of only a few isolated, fortified camps. The slaves sought revenge on their masters through "pillage, rape, torture, mutilation, and death". The masters and mistresses were dragged from their beds to be killed, and the heads of French children were placed on spikes that were carried at the front of the rebel columns. The planters had long feared such a revolt, and were well armed with some defensive preparations. But within weeks, the number of slaves who joined the revolt in the north reached , Within the next two months, as the violence escalated, the slaves killed 4, whites and burned or destroyed sugar plantations and hundreds of coffee and indigo plantations. Though demanding freedom from slavery, the rebels did not demand independence from France at this point.

Most of the rebel leaders professed to be fighting for the king of France, who they believed had issued a decree freeing the slaves, which had been suppressed by the colonial governor. As such, they were demanding their rights as Frenchmen which been granted by the king. By , slave rebels controlled a third of the island. The Assembly granted civil and political rights to free men of color in the colonies in March Apart from granting rights to free people of color, the Assembly dispatched 6, French soldiers to the island.

Meanwhile, in , France declared war on Great Britain. The grands blancs in Saint-Domingue, unhappy with Sonthonax, arranged with Great Britain to declare British sovereignty over the colony, believing that the British would maintain slavery. He further thought that taking Saint-Domingue, the richest of the French colonies, would be a useful bargaining chip in eventual peace negotiations with France, and in the interim, occupying Saint-Domingue would mean diverting its great wealth into the British treasury. Spain, which controlled the rest of the island of Hispaniola Santo Domingo , also joined the conflict and fought with Great Britain against France.

The proportion of slaves was not as high in the Spanish portion of the island. Spanish forces invaded Saint Domingue and were joined by the rebels. For most of the conflict, the British and Spanish supplied the rebels with food, ammunition, arms, medicine, naval support, and military advisors. By August , there were only 3, French soldiers on the island. Sonthonax sent three of his deputies, namely the colonist Louis Duffay, the free black army officer Jean-Baptiste Belley and a free man of colour, Jean-Baptiste Mills to seek the National Convention 's endorsement for the emancipation of slaves near the end of January, It abolished slavery by law in France and all its colonies, and granted civil and political rights to all black men in the colonies.

The French constitutions of and both included the abolition of slavery. The constitution of never went into effect, but that of did; it lasted until it was replaced by the consular and imperial constitutions under Napoleon Bonaparte. Despite racial tensions in Saint Domingue, the French revolutionary government at the time welcomed abolition with a show of idealism and optimism. The emancipation of slaves was viewed as an example of liberty for other countries, much as the American Revolution was meant to serve as the first of many liberation movements. Georges Danton , one of the Frenchmen present at the meeting of the National Convention, expressed this sentiment:.

Representatives of the French people, until now our decrees of liberty have been selfish, and only for ourselves. But today we proclaim it to the universe, and generations to come will glory in this decree; we are proclaiming universal liberty We are working for future generations; let us launch liberty into the colonies; the English are dead, today. In nationalistic terms, the abolition of slavery also served as a moral triumph of France over England, as seen in the latter half of the above quote. Yet Toussaint Louverture did not stop working with the Spanish army until sometime later, as he was suspicious of the French.

The British force that landed in Saint-Domingue in was too small to conquer the place, being capable only of holding only few coastal enclaves. The French planters were disappointed as they had hoped to regain power; Sonthonax was relieved, as he had twice refused ultimatums from Commodore John Ford to surrender Port-au-Prince. The main British force for the conquest of Saint-Domingue under General Charles Grey , nicknamed "No-flint Grey", and Admiral Sir John Jervis set sail from Portsmouth on 26 November , which was in defiance of the well-known rule that the only time that one could campaign in the West Indies was from September to November, when the mosquitoes that carried malaria and yellow fever were scarce.

Lucia, and Guadeloupe. At this point, Toussaint, for reasons that remain obscure, suddenly joined the French and turned against the Spanish, ambushing his allies as they emerged from attending mass in a church at San Raphael on 6 May He said he did not seek independence from France, and urged the surviving whites, including the former slave masters, to stay and work with him in rebuilding Saint-Domingue. Within two months of arriving in Saint-Domingue, the British had lost 40 officers and men to yellow fever.

At this point, Pitt decided to reinforce failure by launching what he called "the great push" to conquer Saint-Domingue and the rest of the French West Indies, sending out the largest expedition Britain had yet mounted in its history, a force of about 30, men to be carried in ships. In Dublin and Cork, soldiers from the th , th , th , and th regiments of foot rioted when they learned that they were being sent to Saint-Domingue.

General Ralph Abercromby , the commander of the forces committed to the "great push", hesitated over which island to attack when he arrived in Barbados on 17 March The French had built a deep defensive ditch with palisades, while Forbes had neglected to bring along heavy artillery. On 11 April Colonel Thomas Maitland of the 62nd Regiment of Foot landed in Port-au-Prince, and wrote in a letter to his brother that British forces in Saint-Domingue had been "annihilated" by the yellow fever. One British officer wrote of his horror of seeing his friends "drowned in their own blood" while "some died raving Mad". Toussaint retook the fortress at Mirebalais. In March Maitland returned with a mandate to withdraw, at least from Port-au-Prince. However, Toussaint sent a message to Balcarres, warning him that if he persisted, to remember that Jamaica was not far from St Domingue, and could be invaded.

Maitland knew that his forces could not defeat Toussaint, and that he had to take action to protect Jamaica from invasion. In the end of , Maitland withdrew the last of his forces from Mole St Nicholas, as Toussaint took command of the fortress. Many of them joined Toussaint's army. Between and , the expedition to Saint-Domingue had cost the British treasury four million pounds and , men either dead or permanently disabled from the effects of yellow fever. After the departure of the British, Toussaint turned his attention to Rigaud, who was conspiring against him in the south of Saint Domingue. Taking no prisoners, Rigaud's predominantly mulatto forces put blacks and whites to the sword.

Though the United States was hostile towards Toussaint, the U. Navy agreed to support Toussaint's forces with the frigate USS General Greene , commanded by Captain Christopher Perry, providing fire support to the blacks as Toussaint laid siege to the city of Jacmel , held by mulatto forces under the command of Rigaud. In the early 21st century, historian Robert L. Scheina estimated that the slave rebellion resulted in the death of , Haitians and 50, European troops.

Geggus points out that at least 3 of every 5 British troops sent there in — died of disease. One of the most successful black commanders was Toussaint Louverture , a self-educated former domestic slave. After the British had invaded Saint-Domingue, Louverture decided to fight for the French if they would agree to free all the slaves. Sonthonax had proclaimed an end to slavery on 29 August Louverture abandoned the Spanish army in the east and brought his forces over to the French side on 6 May after the Spanish refused to take steps to end slavery. Under the military leadership of Toussaint, the forces made up mostly of former slaves succeeded in winning concessions from the British and expelling the Spanish forces.

In the end, Toussaint essentially restored control of Saint-Domingue to France. Louverture was very intelligent, organized and articulate. Having made himself master of the island, however, Toussaint did not wish to surrender too much power to France. He began to rule the country as an effectively autonomous entity. Toussaint defeated a British expeditionary force in In addition, he led an invasion of neighboring Santo Domingo December , and freed the slaves there on 3 January In , Louverture issued a constitution for Saint-Domingue that decreed he would be governor-for-life and called for black autonomy and a sovereign black state.

In response, Napoleon Bonaparte dispatched a large expeditionary force of French soldiers and warships to the island, led by Bonaparte's brother-in-law Charles Leclerc , to restore French rule. Bonaparte ordered that Toussaint was to be treated with respect until the French forces were established; once that was done, Toussaint was to be summoned to Le Cap and arrested; if he failed to show, Leclerc was to wage "a war to the death" with no mercy and all of Toussaint's followers to be shot when captured.

It will be safeguarded for you, since it has been only too well earned by your own efforts. Do not worry about the liberty of your fellow citizens". In a letter to Jean-Jacques Dessalines , Toussaint outlined his plans for defeating the French: "Do not forget, while waiting for the rainy reason which will rid us of our foes, that we have no other resource than destruction and fire. Bear in mind that the soil bathed with our sweat must not furnish our enemies with the smallest sustenance. Tear up the roads with shot; throw corpses and horses into all the foundations, burn and annihilate everything in order that those who have come to reduce us to slavery may have before their eyes the image of the hell which they deserve".

And forbidding burial, he left stacks of corpses rotting in the sun to strike terror into the French detachments as they toiled behind his flying columns". Leclerc ordered four French columns to march on Gonaives , which was the main Haitian base. My troops are exhausted with fatigue and sickness". On 25 April , the situation suddenly changed when Christophe defected, along with much of the Haitian Army, to the French. Louverture agreed to this on 6 May Leclerc also gave Toussaint a plantation at Ennery. He died months later in prison at Fort-de-Joux in the Jura Mountains. Throughout the countryside, guerrilla warfare continued and the French staged mass executions via firing squads, hanging, and drowning Haitians in bags.

For a few months, the island was quiet under Napoleonic rule. But when it became apparent that the French intended to re-establish slavery because they had nearly done so on Guadeloupe , black cultivators revolted in the summer of Yellow fever had decimated the French; by the middle of July , the French lost about 10, dead to yellow fever. However, the Poles were told that there was a revolt of prisoners in Saint-Domingue. Upon arrival and the first fights, the Polish platoon soon discovered that what was actually taking place in the colony was a rebellion of slaves fighting off their French masters for their freedom.

Many Poles believed that if they fought for France, Bonaparte would reward them by restoring Polish independence, which had been ended with the Third Partition of Poland in As a result, many Polish soldiers admired their opponents, to eventually turn on the French army and join the Haitian slaves. Polish soldiers participated in the Haitian revolution of , contributing to the establishment of the world's first free black republic and the first independent Caribbean state.

As Leclerc lay dying of yellow fever and heard that Christophe and Dessalines had joined the rebels, he reacted by ordering all of the blacks living in Le Cap to be killed by drowning in the harbour. His successor, the Vicomte de Rochambeau , fought an even more brutal campaign. Rochambeau waged a near-genocidal campaign against the Haitians, killing everyone who was black. No one would eat fish from the bay for months afterward, as no one wished to eat the fish that had eaten human flesh.

Dessalines matched Rochambeau in his vicious cruelty. At Le Cap, when Rochambeau hanged blacks, Dessalines replied by killing whites and sticking their heads on spikes all around Le Cap, so that the French could see what he was planning on doing to them. Many on both sides had come to see the war as a race war where no mercy was to be given. The Haitians burned French prisoners alive, cut them up with axes, or tied them to a board and sawed them into two. Dessalines won a string of victories against Leclerc and Rochambeau, becoming arguably the most successful military commander in the struggle against Napoleonic France. Napoleon then turned his attention towards France's European enemies such as Great Britain and Prussia. With that, he withdrew a majority of the French forces in Haiti to counter the possibility of an invasion from Prussia, Britain, and Spain on a weakened France.

With Napoleon's inability to send the requested massive reinforcements after the outbreak of war on 18 May with the British, the Royal Navy immediately despatched a squadron under Sir John Duckworth from Jamaica to cruise in the region, seeking to eliminate communication between the French outposts and to capture or destroy the French warships based in the colony. The Blockade of Saint-Domingue not only cut the French forces out from reinforcements and supplies from France, but also meant that the British began to supply arms to the Haitians. He lost interest in commanding his army and as James wrote, he "amused himself with sexual pleasures, military balls, banquets and the amassing of a personal fortune".

In the summer of , when war broke out between the United Kingdom and the French Consulate, Saint-Domingue had been almost completely overrun by Haitian forces under the command of Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Two days later an independently sailing French frigate was chased down and captured in the same waters. The British, led by Commodore John Loring gave chase, but one French ship of the line and a frigate escaped. Another ship of the line was trapped against the coast and captured after coming under fire from Haitian shore batteries. The remainder of the squadron was forced to fight two more actions on their return to Europe, but did eventually reach the Spanish port of Corunna.

By this point, Perry observed that both sides were "a little mad" as the pressures of the war and yellow fever had taken their toil, and both the French and the Haitians fought with a reckless courage, seeing death in battle as preferable to a slow death by yellow fever or being tortured to death by the enemy. Rochambeau, seeing defeat inevitable, procrastinated until the last possible moment, but eventually was forced to surrender to the British commander—by the end of the month the garrison was starving, having reached the conclusion at a council of war that surrender was the only way to escape from this "place of death".

On the night of 30 November , 8, French soldiers and hundreds of white civilians boarded the British ships to take them away. Soon after, the few remaining French-held towns in Saint-Domingue surrendered to the Royal Navy to prevent massacres by the Haitian army. Meanwhile, Dessalines led the rebellion until its completion, when the French forces were finally defeated by the end of Although he lasted from to , several changes began taking place in Haiti. And the Wall Street Journal offered slide shows of pictures of the devastation taken by individuals on the ground. Even Web sites without the resources of a traditional news organization were able to find and assemble useful information from social media.

For example, Alex Howard of the Web site digiphile used search technology to relay posts on Twitter feeds coming from people within 50 miles of the earthquake. He also discovered pictures that had been posted on sites like Twitpic that illustrated the extent of the damage. One photo was of a devastated building that was soon featured on the home pages of CNN. Both former prisoners live in England. Next, following links to stories about Haiti, was a report that actor Michael C.

The main theme of the most-viewed news videos on YouTube last week was the use of surveillance video. Three of the top five videos prominently featured such footage. The top video was from last May of a drunken bus driver in New York state who got lost and put the students at risk. The driver recently pled guilty to 37 counts of reckless endangerment and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Fortunately the students were able to evacuate on their own. She caused thousands of dollars of damage and police released the tape in an attempt to identify and catch the woman.

The report also included interviews with travelers expressing concern over the demonstration of poor security practices. Surveillance video from the Associated Press of a drunk New York state bus driver who led the students on a chaotic ride in May. An Associated Press report about a man who snuck into a terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport after the guard had left his post. The New Media Index is a weekly report that captures the leading commentary of blogs and social media sites focused on news and compares those subjects to that of the mainstream press.

The expansion of online blogs and other social media sites has allowed news-consumers and others outside the mainstream press to have more of a role in agenda setting, dissemination and interpretation. PEJ aims to find out what subjects in the national news the online sites focus on, and how that compared with the narrative in the traditional press. A prominent Web tracking site Icerocket , which monitors millions of blogs, uses the links to articles embedded on these sites as a proxy for determining what these subjects are. Using this tracking process as a base, PEJ staff compiles the lists of links weekday each day. They capture the top five linked-to stories on each list 25 stories each week , and reads, watches or listens to these posts and conducts a content analysis of their subject matter, just as it does for the mainstream press in its weekly News Coverage Index.

It follows the same coding methodology as that of the NCI. This process allows us to compare the New Media commentary, based on the Icerocket list of links, with the commentary in the traditional press. Note: When the NMI was launched in January , another web-tracking site Technorati was similarly monitoring blogs and social media. The priorities of the bloggers are measured in terms of percentage of links. Each time a news blog or social media Web page adds a link to its site directing its readers to a news story, it suggests that the author of the blog places at least some importance on the content of that article.

PEJ measures the topics that are of most interest to bloggers by compiling the quantitative information on links and analyzing the results.

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