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France urged to repay Haiti billions paid for its independence

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posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 07:13 PM
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A group of international academics and authors has written to Nicolas Sarkozy calling on France to reimburse the crushing "independence debt" it imposed on Haiti nearly 200 years ago.





"In 2003, when the Haitian government demanded repayment of the money France had extorted from Haiti, the French government responded by helping to overthrow that government."





The letter has also been signed by members of parliament from Europe, Canada and the Philippines, as well as scholars, journalists and activists in France, Haiti, the US, Canada, the UK, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Germany.


www.guardian.co.uk...




posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 07:15 PM
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About bloody time! The "compensation" was completely illegal and should be paid back. IT would greatly help the people of Haiti recover and lift themselves up.

What really disgusted me was France's response to previous demands: overthrow the government!


There is another issue here, however: Other nations dragging their heels with their pledges. If you promise to do something, bloody well do it!



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 08:33 PM
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lol

if everyone is going to paid what have been stolen by the old empires

well, that I want to see

I support that

justice is not very common in this planet

[edit on 17/8/10 by Faiol]



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 08:47 PM
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Yes, it's about time... 200 years of Haitian suffering partly because of this scam the French imposed on them.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 08:54 PM
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Good thought and intention, but one very huge problem..... the Haitian govt is so corrupt hardly any money would get to the actual people. It would just be stolen. So its a catch 22, the money would help make a legit govt, but they cant give it to this corrupt govt. UN is corrupt too. So is the IMF. Don't see a solution here.

[edit on 17-8-2010 by johnny2127]



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 08:54 PM
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Not the first time economic hitmen have ruined countries but this seems like a good thing if it works out!


+2 more 
posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by InvisibleAlbatross
 


It's 200 years. Everyone responsible is dead. The hell if I care. They just want free cash to rebuild. Go sniff up someone's tree who cares.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by Gorman91
reply to post by InvisibleAlbatross
 


It's 200 years. Everyone responsible is dead. The hell if I care. They just want free cash to rebuild. Go sniff up someone's tree who cares.


Echoes my sentiments pretty well. Maybe a little harsher than I would've said, but the truth nonetheless. It's the same as when people in the U.S. get upset when people cry for reparations from slavery. I think you would be hard pressed to find someone so bigoted on ATS that would honestly say they don't think slavery was evil and wrong. But look how far African-Americans have come since then. Look at the boundaries they have tackled. How equality still isn't there, but is in progress. Look at the Jewish people after World War II. Hard work and they have a country to call their own after a genocide that greatly eliminated their numbers(please no Anti-Semitic stabs to derail this thread, I am merely using this to illustrate a point. Blatant defamation of any group of people will be promptly reported, as there is way too much hate on ATS at the moment).

All of this being said, the people of Haiti have it bad. Real bad. I am not going to deny that. But look how much aid they are given. For instance, look how quickly nations rallied to their side following the Haiti earthquake earlier this year. At some point you have to say requests for aid are just greedy.

All in all, I would probably have a much better and easier time believing the need for aid, and would support it if there was not such a gap between the 'haves' and 'have nots' in Haiti. There is a very small wealthy elite that run everything while their people starve.

And that little fact sickens me. The aid from the requested reparations I could almost guarantee wouldn't go to those that actually need it.


-Sliadon

edit: spelling

[edit on 8/17/2010 by Sliadon]



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 09:21 PM
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reply to post by Gorman91
 


No matter what the time frame. It either has to be paid back in one form or the other. They were milked for all they were worth from 1825 until 1947.

www.globalpolicy.org...


Haiti's history is remarkable – in 1804 Haiti became only the second independent country in the Americas, the world's first ‘Black Republic' and the only nation in history born of a successful slave revolt. Haitians won their independence by beating the French army in a bloody twelve year war, but European countries and the United States forced them to pay a second price to gain entry to the international community. The world powers refused to recognize Haiti's independence, while France posted warships off her coast, threatening invasion and the reinstitution of slavery. After twenty-one years of fighting this isolation, Haiti succumbed to France's unjust terms in 1825. In exchange for diplomatic recognition, Haiti agreed to take out a loan from a designated French bank and pay compensation to French plantation owners for their loss of "property," including the freed slaves. The amount of the debt – 150,000,000 French Francs - was ten times that of Haiti's total 1825 revenue and twice the price of the Louisiana Purchase, paid by the United States to France a year before Haiti's independence for seventy-four times more land.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 09:25 PM
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reply to post by TheBandit795
 


Well go cry to a tree that pities you. The son is not responsible for the father's crime.

If your father was Hitler or Stalin, you are still innocent of his crimes and debts until you do the same.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by Gorman91
 


We're talking about countries here, not people.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by TheBandit795
reply to post by Gorman91
 


We're talking about countries here, not people.


I truly do understand the point you are trying to make, but do you honestly think that the government will turn around and give the reparations to the people? Worse than my corrupt American system, Haiti elite control almost all the wealth of that country. We are talking an average per capita income of $1300 USD. Many of our impoverished are able to make close to that in a month.

I doubt the money would help those who really need it.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 09:43 PM
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Tough call. Glad it's not my decision to make.

On one hand, I agree with those saying it was centuries ago and comparing it to slavery reparations. Sometimes you have to get over what happened ages ago instead of making innocent people pay for what others did. And it would be the people paying for it because the funds come from the people (French Taxpayers).

On the other hand, there is a huge conspiracy here. Look into groups like the IMF. I strongly believe it is part of the NWO conspiracy. What they basically do is place countries under stifling debt and poverty in order to have a sort of ownership over the people of said country.

Think of it along the lines of how the bank 'owns' you when they are financing your home, automobiles, and credit cards. Then multiply that exponentially to get an understanding of how these hefty monetary requirements suck the soul out the countries.

But going back to the first point: I simply feel like too much time has passed. The French who accepted the money and the Haitians who agreed to pay it are long gong from what I understand. I'm sorry Haitians were never quite able to get a grip on their society and instead remain a 3rd world country but I don't see how this 'reimbursement' would help at all. But then going back to the other argument, paying for freedom is wrong.

Again, glad it's not my call.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 09:55 PM
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True... I agree with yo Ashley that It is a tough call. I'm still of the opinion that it should be repaid. But then again, I agree with Sliadon as well. The Haitians are also partly to blame for their misfortunes, no matter how smart that is. But besides that, they've been scammed, and have been battling natural disasters almost every years for as long as I know...


As for the economic hitmen part: That still goes on to this day.




posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:01 PM
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I have a simple question.

Why doesn't Haiti use the hundreds of millions it collected in earthquake relief to build better tents and squallier for it's citizens before collecting more money? Where has all that money gone, somewhere else?

I just love it when academics, scholars, and authors get together to demand something based on an ideal world, which is totally nonsense, but it makes perfect sense to them.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
And it would be the people paying for it because the funds come from the people (French Taxpayers).


If nothing else, you could draw a conspiracy from your statement right there, Ashley. France, along with the rest of the world, is in a recession right now. Take into account the smaller growth per year that goes along with that combined with the fledgling Euro dollar. The US dollar (one nation) has been at some of the lowest rates against the Euro (22 countries) in years.

www.seattlepi.com...


Also, notice that France is the number 4 in the world in terms of external debt owed by foreign countries. Not a "terrible" thing as most industrialized nations have sold their debt off to other countries. But when we are looking at a banking conspiracy, remember that in the grand scheme of things only a small few are actually in charge on those mighty, mighty dollar signs.

www.nationmaster.com...


Now to take all of what I said full circle and clear up the point of relevance I am making, the French people are in the same tough bind that the rest of the world is in. If something like this passed, the economic burden would be very great on the taxpayers of France. Everyone on this site remembers how worried the world got this summer with the multitude of riots and protests in Greece when it seems like the nation would implode under itself. Not saying that the same would necessarily happen in France, but every action has a consequence.

So leaving aside the point that the modern Frenchmen has nothing to do with what his forefathers did, and would condemn similar actions today, the economic burden on the taxpayers is unfair.

And again reiterating, unless it could be proven that the money would actually aid those who need it, I would turn a deaf ear to the corrupt politicians in Haiti asking for money. I wouldn't bail out Bernie Madoff after he defrauded more than $18 billion from investors, and I would not bail out politicians who rob the impoverished Haitians.

Good observations on the possible banking conspiracy Ashley.



-Sliadon



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by TheBandit795
 


Countries are entities ruled by people. In the same way the current administration is not responsible for the nuking of Japan. Countries do not pass on their faults to those who did not do them. That's one of the primary reasons the US has elections. Because we don't want faulty people in office long.

I mean, this really is basic rights of man stuff. Why are you forgetting these basic concepts of responsibility.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:07 PM
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reply to post by hinky
 


Where has that money gone is a good question, indeed! While many groups have claimed their purpose,

www.cnn.com...

There have been issues of possible corruption with funds, even from people hosting events. Wyclef Jean found himself in a precarious situation following the unfolding of events,

www.eonline.com...

and there were many scammers posing as Jean siphoning funds to themselves.

Add on top of that the regular corruption in Haiti and you begin to see an idea of where the money is going.

Unfortunately, the money issues in Haiti dive much deeper than the millions of dollars from the relief funds...


-Sliadon



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:15 PM
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The only way to make sure that some of the money gets to those who need it would be to fly around the country dropping money from the air.

It sounds silly on its face, but think about it; does Joe Haiti have a better chance of getting some money this way? or would giving it all to politicians in Haiti be a better way to get the money to him?

Exactly. Drop it from planes.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:28 PM
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I think a little bit of more recent Haitian history is in order here, since Gorman91 and Sliadon believe that all the bad stuff happened 200 years ago.

The international meddling and injustices started on day one in 1492, when the first whites slavers (Spanish) set foot on the island of Ayiti (Haiti), and continue unbroken to today. **This is not to neglect or forgive the atrocious exploitation of the general Haitian population by the political and business elite of Haiti.

Do a bit of research on the brutal U.S. and French-backed dictator Papa Doc Duvalier and his Tonton Macoutes, who when he died after holding power from 1957 to 1971, left his charming 19-year-old son, Baby Doc, to plunder the country from 1971 until he was ousted in 1986. Upon Baby Doc's departure to cozy exile in France, he packed his plane with loads of whatever remaining treasure Haiti had.

Do a bit more research on what happened after the U.S., France and Canada tried to replicate an Asian model of sweatshops in the Caribbean, when J.B. Aristide tried to raise the minimum wage from $1.76/day to $2.94/day (depending pegged exchange rate)….along with other reforms. Haitian industrialists weren't too happy. Also, USAID clearly had issues with this. It launched a series of programs to campaign against the increase, stating that "wage systems should not be the forum for welfare and social programs," and that they would jeopardize Haiti's "comparative advantage" as a low-cost labor force. The result >> The first coup against Aristide. This one in 1991 under Papa Bush.

Do a bit more research on what happened after Aristide again tried to implement economic policy that was not to the US-French-Canadian liking, including again increasing the minimum wage. This, on top of Aristide demanding, in November 2003, that France return the money that Haiti was forced to pay it… The result >> The second coup against him. This one in 2004 under Baby Bush, that had J.B. Aristide and family spirited away to Africa.

Along with those Aristide years: Here's an example of more fun in Haiti: The IMF, World Bank and USAID imposed extremely harsh loan terms on Haiti in 1996. The USofA pressured other nations to withhold credit from Haiti in 2001. Haiti, which had been able to sustain itself with its own rice production and have extra for export, was forced to abandon its own agricultural programs, lower tariffs and take in US rice and other imports.

Just two of many incredible side notes on the "restitution" >> "reparations" that Haiti was forced to pay to France from 1825 to 1947 for having kicked out the brutal French slave masters: 1. For a long time, the amount of money that Haiti was directly providing to the French budget was enough for one out of eight French persons to live off of. 2. If you ever do a Google Earth search of the island of Hispaniola, you'll see that the Haitian side is almost denuded of trees, while the Dominican side is lush with greenery. One reason is firewood and clearance for agriculture. The other, more perverse reason: Haiti had to cut down its own forests to sell timber to help raise the $$ to pay the French "reparations."

So while France was allowed to collect on having been kicked out by Haiti, Haiti is not allowed to demand the return of this money that was extorted from it??

Sources for the above are mostly from my own notes from long interest in this subject. Some most recent details come from listening to Amy Goodman interview various specialists, academics, diplomats… on her Democracy Now program.





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