Haitian struggle - the greatest David vs. Goliath battle being played
out on this planet
final battle that ended slavery and colonialism in Haiti
Ezili Dantò/HLLN, Nov. 22, 2008, Haitian Perspectives
Hello William Mandel,
You write, Mr. Mandel, that the "greatest battles ever fought
on this planet," by any measure you wish to use, were those by
the Russians in defense against
Hitler in World War II. The Russians
lost 27,000,000 lives. That is beyond all comparison with those of any
other country in any war ever fought."
This is Ezili Dantò of HLLN and I write you here to respectfully disagree.
Vertieres was the greatest battle ever fought because it created a different
paradigm to rival that of the Euro/US tribes on this planet. But if
we are simply looking at it from the viewpoint of lives lost, I’ll
go there with you also. For, how many Africans lost their lives to the
European Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade - Estimates range up to 100million
It's the greatest battle, William Mandel, because in the annals of HUMAN
HISTORY, no humans, no sentient beings, SO TERRORIZED, for so long -
300 unendurable years, had ever defeated their tormentors.
Even Spartacus didn't accomplish what the Africans were able to do at
Vertieres. The Haitian Revolution is the only successful revolution
of an enslaved population in recorded WORLD HISTORY.
The example you gave in terms of Russian lives lost is horrendous. And
this African woman would never minimize any lost of human life or compete
for a prize in terms of suffering. Suffering is suffering and untenable.
But if you’re going there, I’ll take the ride, in memory
of all the African Ancestors and say let’s look at the reality,
How long had the Northern tribes been slaughtering each other in Europe
before they took it global - over 2000 years at a minimum!!!
How many of each other do you think they murdered before Hitler
came along? How many during their 100-year war, during the Middle Ages,
during the European witch hunts where they slaughtered their own wives,
women, daughters and girl children in the Church’s many anti-superstition
campaigns based on getting rid of women power at that time in Europe?
How many of each other did the European tribes slaughter during the
Spanish Inquisition? What was learnt from these wars for domination
and economic power? Anything? How many of each other did the French,
British, Spaniards, Dutch, et al, terminate before they reached Ayiti
and annihilated the Tainos, brought in enslaved Africans to do work
they wouldn’t deign to do and 300 years later, those enslaved
beat, IN COMBAT, the French, the English, the Spanish and then the French
at Vertieres to end the unspeakable torture?
Yes, Vertieres was the greatest battle for human dignity ever fought.
But of course, as the descendants of those brave African men and women
who first put liberty into application for all of humanity, you could
say, William Mandel, we can't see this any other way. Would slavery
of Africans and direct colonization have ended but for Vertieres? Uhmmm?
We won our independence IN COMBAT against the French, the English, the
Spaniards, a US embargo, and then crushed the French at Vertieres once
and for all. That crushing defeat led also to the rise of the United
States as a world power in contrast to those we defeated so directly
and doubling its size with the Louisiana Purchase. Haiti though, now
would face centuries of the European tribes with their US derivatives
coming together as "white" to keep it contained in poverty
and for European cultural supremacy to dominate. And so, the five Latin
American countries that tiny Haiti helped liberate in the Americas from
Euro enslavement and colonialization, pressured by the US/Euro "white"
alliance, would not invite Haiti to sit at the equivalent of the first
OAS region meeting. The US would prevent, for over 60 years, with an
embargo similar to the one they have on Cuba right now, any trade with
Haiti. France would not stop trying to re-enslave the Africans who had
crushed them, until they had ushered in ecclesiastic colonialism and
forced on Haiti an Independence
Debt that forced Haitians to close all rural schools –
and go back to something like sharecropping as was done to Black Americans
after the Civil War in the US - an Independence debt which the US took
over, adding on more usury interests rates onto the back of a non-allied
Black Haiti and Haiti was compelled to keep paying and did not finish
paying off until 1947. Thomas Jefferson paid $15million dollars for
the Louisiana Purchase, an area that made up 13 new US States. Haiti
was forced, at
gun-point, by the Euro\US tribes to pay $150 million
- ten times the amount paid for the Louisiana Purchase - for an independence
it had won IN COMBAT after giving 300 years of free labor to the French/Spanish
combined and for an area smaller or equal to the State of Rhode Island...not
to mention that amount kept being re-negotiated at their Northern predator
bankers’ and Robber Barrons’ whims, whenever these folks
needed to finance something in the North or elsewhere...
We won’t mention the gunboat diplomacy of the Germans, French, Spaniards,
et al … over the centuries, or the pillage and plunder of Haiti’s
gold reserves, which the US Marines flew out of Haiti during the 19-year
US occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934. Or, the virtual re-enslavement
of Haitians, deforestation, environmental degradation, stealing peasant
lands for big business, et al… that went on during this reign.
Or, Mr. Mandel how many Haitians were slaughtered by the Americans?
I mean whose counting, right? But understand, Mr. Mandel, the US/Euros
still cannot stomach the significance of the Battle of Vertieres…
But, to quote Michel Sanon great poem
on the matter:
Who is to tell me when
To celebrate my history?
Who is to tell me
When to dress my wounds
And to reminisce
My trials, my sorrow
When to shed tears
Over my brave children
And to glorify their names?
They suffered and died
Every bloody month
Of the bloody year.
I was born
Of abject inhumanity
With the noble destiny
Of carrying the sword
Of precious humanity
In a New World
Cursed by the West Storm
And raped by the powers
Of greed, wickedness, and death.
I am the mother of martyrs
Of survivors and overcomers.
Alone, I faced the wrath
Of this world's powers...
So, Dessalines’ descendants continue to fight the US/Euro powers
to make stick the victory at Vertieres...that battle goes on today,
William Mandel. How many Haitians do you think have been slaughtered
in the intervening years????
Is it more than 27million since the
first Euro/US battle vying for the soul of the people of the South began?
You write, Mr. Mandel, that the "greatest battles ever fought on
this planet," by
merely applied to Europe colonialist procedures
|"It would be useful
to study clinically, in detail, the behavior of Hitler, and of Hitlerism
and to reveal to the very distinguished, the very humanist, very
Christian twentieth century bourgeois that he has a silent Hitler
in him, that Hitler inhabits him, that Hitler is his demon, that
if he vituperates, it is by lack of logic, and, in sum, what he
does not forgive Hitler is not the crime in itself, the crime against
man, it is not the humiliation of the man in himself, but the crime
against the white man, the humiliation of the white man, of having
applied to Europe colonialist procedures which till now were reserved
to Arabs in Algeria, coolies in India, and Negroes of Africa"
--Aime Cesaire, Discours sur le colonialisme,
1955 (Excerpted from V.Y. Mudimbe's The Idea of Africa,
any measure you wish to use, were those
by the Russians in defense against Hitler in World War II. The Russians
lost 27,000,000 lives. That is beyond all comparison with those of any
other country in any war ever fought."
I, sir as Dessalines’ descendant, respond that you can tell your
story, but this one is our history and we say what is “the greatest
battles ever fought on this planet." And
the Haitians who stood on the hill of Vertieres, watching French general,
Rochambeau leave with his dogs come to re-enslave them with their tails
between their legs in DEFEAT, knew that after 300-years of European
enslavement, that that was the greatest battle ever fought. Sorry, we’re
telling our story, now. This voice you don’t know, because it’s
been minimized, vilified and discounted. But not today. This moment
has been fought for over 500 centuries...
And in today, at this moment, we, Dessalines’
descendants, respond, Nou La! (We're still here!) and that
“the greatest battles ever fought on this planet” by any
measure you wish to use, are those by today and yesterday's Haitian
men, children and women who took up and take up arms against the US/Euros
in the so-called New World to live as independent, African, Vodun and
free Black peoples without interference. It's a David and Goliath struggle
and the greatest story never told.
We Haitians have paid and paid and paid the price
for our sovereignty and for peaceful co-existence with the white tribes
and their surrounding colonies, client states and territories. Here's
how Sanon, describes it:
"Alone, with my hurting hands
I broke the first link
Of the mighty chain
Of human curse
Alone on the traitorous hill
Of the New World
I carried the cross of a race
Into this century
Of furious revolution
Refusing to get crucified.
I've been chained
I've been robbed
I've been raped and stabbed
And I have fought back
Fearlessly, continuously. .
Alone I have paid and paid.
I have paid the senseless price
I have paid the endless price..."
But, the wrath of Euro/US empire lands in Haiti, again and again and
again, the latest in 2004 to undo Vertieres. But it is and will always
be a vain task.
We have no standard war weapons or media machinery or any diplomatic
or military powers to unleash – the tools of combat crawls from
OUR BODIES. And the spirit that runs in our veins that is as old, if
not more ancient, than the sacred land Haiti defends. For, over 50-million
years ago, when the US land mass was still under water, the Island of
Ayiti existed and Africans who recognize this space, have always recognized
it as home. The miracle is that despite the Northern tribes’ barbarity,
intransigence, greed, inhumanity and impoverishment of Haiti since they
got there in 1503, the seemingly meek peoples of Haiti and the South,
be they African-Haitians or the Taino-Haitians before them, remain known,
to one and all as being pure of heart and loving human beings. Still
rising, as Maya Angelou, would say, even amidst the bitter twisted lies,
even within the endless slaughtering to wipe them off the planet.
Why is that? Because death means nothing to the Africans who've lived
in harmony with nature on this planet for so long. And besides, we know,
as HLLN has written - Vertieres cannot be undone..... We’ll take
being pure at heart and extending Vodun energies -sacred energies, before
Although, as Michel Sanon, writes that means each Haitian still connected
to Africa's womb must struggle "Every bloody month of every
bloody year," constantly:
Mother symbol (vèvè) for Haiti's Ezili
With a burning spear
Stuck in my chest.
Sometimes it weakens me
But I always rise
High above the pain
And the wickedness
Of powerful forces
From near and far
To claim my dignity.
I have friends
Who suck up my blood...
From my wounded heart.
Though today I choose to stand
And stand in pride and love
With my dear family
To celebrate in harmony
Our common history
In the month of February
I was alone when in Vertières
I rose to face the Devil
When hell broke loose
Unleashing its fire storm
With waves of flame rushing
To engulf me whole...
Alone in the vast universe
I froze hell over
And walked on its ashes
To create my own history.
Nobody stood by my side.
I alone remember.
It was the eighteenth day
Of a month called
But, this, this greatest story never told, this Haitian David vs. Goliath
struggle we are living with, its ultimate lesson – the ruling
metaphor of Haitian history will be that we burnt the port cities and
retreated inland, for when the time arrives for the world to understand
what was held in sacred trust for all of humanity to reclaim, after
the vampires and parasites are marginalized, their energies balanced
and redeemed. Kreyòl pale, kreyòl konprann. You have your colonies,
we have ours. One day at the Great Crossroads, this Battle
will end, and we'll all meet then and included there will even be the
irreducible essences of those 27,000,000 lives the Russians thought
Li lèd li la
Founder and President, Ezili's Haitian
Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN)
November 22, 2008
(See Michel Sanon's Poem
on Vertieres - Haiti, The Rebel; Bwa
Kayiman, 2008: Reclaiming the Haitian People's Vodun Narrative at Bwa
Epistemology ; Bwa
Bio of Ezili Dantò, 1791; Ezili,
Aset, Isis (Photos);
Three Ideals; Vodun
Konbit and Vodun Lakou ;The
Pivotal Point; Haiti's
First Declaration of Independence, Nov. 29, 1803
Pay this Price for You: Open For Business ; and, US
False Benevolence in Haiti; We are not all the same: All Non-Africans Are Part Neanderthal)
LETTER FROM WILLIAM
Re: [ezilidanto] Selected comments on recent HLLN posts
| Victims of food crisis - Haitian mothers forced to choose which children
will live or die
Saturday, November 22, 2008 12:05 AM
From: William Mandel | To: firstname.lastname@example.org | Cc: email@example.com
The "greatest battles every fought on this planet," by any
measure you wish to use, were those by the Russians in defense against
Hitler in World War II. The Russians lost 27,000,000 lives. That is
beyond all comparison with those of any other country in any war ever
William (Bill) Mandel
Vertieres and Ayisyen Ginen:
Please sign our
on-line petition demanding France pay Haiti back the $22 billion for
the Independence Debt
On-line Petition - in English
On-line Petition - In French
On-line Petition - In Kreyol
At the battle of Vertieres, the African-Haitian
warriors in Haiti beat Napoleon's armies and General
Jean Jacques Dessalines, Haiti's founding father, would then
set down the
law of the land - that no Frenchmen shall ever set foot again
on African-Haitian soil as proprietor and owner. "I
want the assets of the country to be equitably divided"
- said Jean Jacques Dessalines and for that noble desire, two years
later, in 1806, the Mulatto
sons of France left in Haiti assassinated Jean Jacques Dessalines
and his name was forbidden to be spoken for almost 42-years of their
reign in early Haitian history. (Haiti's
First Declaration of Independence, Nov. 29, 1803.)
Financial and ecclesiastical neocolonialism,
buttress by the French embezzlement of an endless Independence Debt
(1825 to 1947) had begun in Haiti with the assassination of Haiti's
founding father, the first foreign-influence coup d'etat. The struggle
for the masses to bring Dessalines' equitable society into application
continued... and in 1990, the people of Haiti finally succeeded in electing
their own President and lessening the grip of the Euro/US Protestant
and Catholic oppressors to make room for the Kreyol language, Vodun
spiritual and healing system. But these same old forces would unseat
the Haitian people's choice and reinstate themselves and their Christian
missionaries, perverted Catholic pedophile priests, pastors and so-called
educators and NGOs back in place in Haiti. All, with the intention of
destroying Haiti's Vodun/Africanist culture, independence and peoples.
There was a respite in 1994 with the Clinton Administration's return
of President Jean Bertrand Aristide to office for just one year. But
the Clinton mission was changed in mid air and ended up not being about
returning Constitutional rule, democracy and human rights to Haiti,
but about returning the old status quo and defending corporate business
Hideous Dream by By Stan Goff). The
forces of evil, greed, debt and intolerance did not go away. The return
of an unwillingly co-opted President Aristide to office, stopped the
flow of fleeing regufees, stopped the daily killings of innocent Haitians
in Haiti who were leading the popular resistance against the US-assisted-Cedras/FRAPH-military
hunta and anti-democratic economic elite, but it also brought untenable
The return of President Aristide by
the US in 1994 ultimately was about maintaining the old cold-war Duvalierist
neocolonial and business status-quo but under the mask of "democracy."
And, in 2004, 200-years after Haiti's independence, for the first time,
in the annals of Haitian history, French soldiers with the military
help of Canada and the US, landed again in Haiti to disenfranchise Haiti's
masses once again with another coup d'etat against President Aristide
to stop the popular resistance and Haitian revolution taking place in
Haiti. Bush-the-son had returned in 2004 to finish off what Bush-the-father
had started with the 1991 coup d'etat against the Haitian people's popular
choice which was somewhat foiled when he lost re-election for a second
term to Bill Clinton.
The first thing the French soldiers did, upon landing in Haiti in full
military gear in 2004, was go up to the mountain top at Vertieres, where
the African-Haitian ancestors had beaten them more than 200-years before
in combat, and stand there, proclaiming to the starve-through-endless-IMF-free-trade-imposition-Haitians,
that they were RECLAIMING their colony and a new VICTORY.
Reportedly, some of these French soldiers that came with Bush Regime
change, even went to a few old plantation sites in the North of Haiti,
pushed the Haitian peasants off the land, at gun
point, and re-claimed the area for their heretofore beaten slave-owning
French foreparents. This happened in 2004 behind the mask of Bush Regime
change, ousting President Aristide in order to bring human rights and
good governance to Haiti! And also, in 2004, Haitians died alone, fighting
the return of Rochambeau's dogs through Bush Regime change, UN occupation
and World Bank neoliberal privatization and endless debt policies that
are the causes of the food crisis, and weak state of governance, right
now in Haiti. AND, Between 2004 and 2006, these forces murdered some
14,000 to 20,000 Haitians.... None of these perishing Haitians will
die in vain, just as no matter France's current illusions because of
the support it gets from the Franco-phony Haitian rich, Vertieres shall
never be undone. Ayisyen Ginen, we've metastasized back
on August 14, 1791. There's no cure for France, or any other tyrant
in Haiti looking to undo African-Haitian existence and Vodun culture.
Nou lèd, nou la.
Our mobilization has always been stronger than military arms, than the
U.S. low intensity war against Haiti and NGO or missionary tyranny.
Pay this Price for You: Open For Business ; US
False Benevolence in Haiti.)
Honoring the Revolutionary war veterans
of Haiti, honoring our Ginen Ancestors, honoring
the loses and denying the obliteration from the history books of the
indigenous Blacks in the Americas who arrived in the Americas earlier
than 100,000 years before Christ, honoring the Taino-Haitians
and remembering those Haitians who lost their lives fighting against
this current Euro/US occupation of Haiti, in 2004 HLLN stepped up and
committed never to forget these injustices, to keep them alive and to
NEVER stop demanding that France pay back the $22 billion dollar Independence
Debt it forced an isolated Haiti, with no military allies, to pay before
it would formally stop trying to put its people back into slavery and
recognize their independence. President Jean Bertrand Aristide was the
first and only Haitian president to ever demand repayment of this money.
This is one of the prime reason for France's participation in the 2004
coup d'etat. The Franco-phony Haitian, Gerald Latortue, whom Bush appointed
as Prime Minister in Haiti after their schock and awe coup-kidnapping,
assured France that the debt was VOID.
We wrote then as now, NOT SO. Latortue was not
legally competent to denounce the $22 billion debt owed by
France to Haiti.
The African warrior, General Jean Jacques
Dessalines, Haiti's founding father, wanted an equitable distribution
of the countries asset with the African masses sharing in the wealth
they had fought for. The Eurocentric mulattos, with support from the
Euro/US tribes, refused this new paradigm of economic distribution and
the assassination of Haiti's founding father began the first of Haiti's
33 foreign-influenced coup d'etats to date in Haiti. The most recent
subversion of the Black masses in Haiti, would occur, on February 29,
2004 by George W. Bush's Haiti regime change, conducted by the US Special
Forces in ousting and exiling President Jean Bertrand Aristide via an
unmarked rendition plane headed to the Central African Republic and
ushering in a UN proxy occupation for the US/France /Canada.
The Haitian people's struggle continues...This
Haitian struggle is the greatest David vs. Goliath battle being played
out on this planet. The
people's demand for Haiti's $22 Billion STANDS.
Seven pursues this debt by using our reach to constantly
remind one in all of that the Haitian people's demand for payment of
the independent debt continues and was not voided by Bush regime change.
Haiti has been an international crime scene since February 2004. All
our newly incurred injustices metered out on the masses of Dessalines
descendants by France are symbolically addressed in Campaign Seven.
So, please if you have not already done so, consider signing HLLN's
on-petition demanding France return Haiti's $22 billion for the Independence
Debt and posting a letter of this demand to your nearest French embassy.
(See also, Sarkozy's
visit to Haiti: A Buzzard Looking For a Free Meal? But Haitians Demand
Back The Independence Debt and Claim Haiti's Sovereignty,
February 17, 2010.)
...France must pay back Haiti's ($22billion)
independence debt obtained through gunboat diplomacy and intimidation:
On-line Petition - in English
On-line Petition - In French
On-line Petition - In Kreyol
November 22, 2008
Sarkozy's visit to Haiti: A Buzzard
Looking For a Free Meal? But Haitians Demand Back The Independence Debt
and Claim Haiti's Sovereignty, February 17, 2010
Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network