The Citadelle Laferrière or, Citadelle Henri Christophe, or simply the Citadelle (in English, spelled Citadel), is a large mountaintop fortress located in northern Haiti, approximately 17 miles (27 km) south of the city of Cap-Haïtien and five miles (8 km) uphill from the town of Milot. It is the largest fortress in the Americas and was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site in 1982—along with the nearby Sans-Souci Palace. The mountaintop fortress has itself become an icon of Haiti. The Citadel was built by Henri Christophe.
Henri Christophe (6 October 1767 – 8 October 1820) was a key leader in the Haitian Revolution, winning independence from France in 1804. On 17 February 1807, after the creation of a separate nation in the north, Christophe was elected President of the State of Haiti. On 26 March 1811, he was proclaimed Henri I, King of Haïti. He is also known for constructing the Citadelle Laferrière, [which has withstood many earthquakes].
Christophe's kingship was modelled in part on the enlightened absolutism of Frederick the Great. Thomas Clarkson, the English slave abolitionist, held a long written correspondence with Christophe which gives insights into his philosophy and style of government (Griggs and Prator). The king sought an education for his children along the lines of the princelings of Enlightenment Europe. [His subjects rebelled, against his tough love doctrines.]
Despite his efforts to promote education and establish a legal system called the Code Henri, King Henri was an unpopular autocratic monarch. In addition, his realm was constantly challenged by that of the South, which was ruled by gens de couleur. Toward the end of Christophe's reign, public sentiment was sharply against what many perceived to be his feudal policies, which he intended to develop the country. [Wiki]
Haiti and the blacks!
by Loose Canon, Sunday Standard
24.01.2010 4:23:39 PM
I hope black people will learn a lesson from the earthquake that hit Haiti. If they don’t learn anything from it, then I throw up my hands in despair and give up.
Let’s start with a few basic facts.
Until the earthquake, I never knew there was a place called Haiti. I was taught geography at school but I cannot remember a time when the mistress told us about Haiti. It must have been one of those insignificant countries that we had no reason to know about.
I was fairly good at geography because I knew which country was on which continent. I also knew many capital cities. But as for Haiti I was clueless.
Now the whole world, including myself, knows about Haiti. I heard news of the earthquake on the radio. I wondered where Haiti was and what sort of people lived there.
Finally, when I switched on the television, I was informed that Haiti is an island out in the Caribbean. Television pictures revealed a place populated by black people.
From the non-stop television coverage of the earthquake, I got to learn about the history of Haiti. It was not a good history lesson. It would seem throughout its existence Haiti has suffered a series of natural calamities. In the process it has sunk even deeper into poverty and deprivation.
Like all places populated by black people, Haiti is poor. As I watched the television images, I felt very sorry for that forsaken place. Then I was hit by a thunderbolt.
I wondered what if there were no white people. You see, when the earthquake hit Haiti somebody had to come to its assistance. There had to be a rescue effort. The Haitians who survived of course did their fair bit by digging out their families from the collapsed ramshackle buildings.
But such was the scale of the devastation and the loss of human life that a bigger effort was needed. For that sort of work, you need heavy lifting gear and other sophisticated rescue equipment. I have been following the story of the earthquake keenly. I can attest to the fact that the first people to arrive with sniffer dogs were white crews from all over the world.
The aero planes that set off carrying water and food were from white countries. Not only that, the teams of volunteer doctors that I saw on television comprised white people from across the world. As the sniffer dogs went into action, the organized rescue teams that carried the stretchers were made up of white people.
It was announced that a mobile hospital was on the way. It was coming from a white country. For all intents and purposes in the aftermath of the earthquake, Haiti was literally swarming with white people. They had all arrived to save the poor blacks. And the locals were so happy to see them. Granted there were teams from the Orient such as the Chinese and Japanese. They too had quickly left their homes and families to go and assist the stricken people of Haiti.
It is obvious to everyone that this was a devastating earthquake and the work to repair Haiti and return it to a modicum of normalcy will take many years. Somebody had to commit funds to this effort. Most of the countries that have committed funds to aid the recovery are white. In fact, it would seem the whites are running the show in Haiti.
What is my point?
My point is that ever since Haiti was hit by the earthquake I have not seen any of my folks from Africa. Unless the television cameras deliberately ignored them, I never saw a rescue team from my motherland. Nor did I see any sniffer dogs from down here.
Heck, I never saw a single traditional doctor busy divining where to find people buried under the rubble.
Haiti is a land of black people. I would have expected the place to be swarming with black people helping their own. They were nowhere to be seen. I never saw any ships from black countries pulling into the harbour.
As the air traffic circled above the small airport, none of the planes was reported as coming from Africa. The blacks were nowhere to be found. They issued tepid statements of condolence to the people of Haiti and a few of the African countries donated small amounts of cash.
Granted that was better than nothing. But I must say I was disappointed. I was sad because the blacks did not behave as I had expected. You see, for far too long black countries have been insolent to the point of being abusive. They have a tendency of insulting the white man and telling him to keep out of their countries. In Fact, black people have the temerity to tell white people they can perfectly survive on their own.
So I had expected the black countries to be consistent and behave true to form. Why didn’t black countries tell white countries to stay away from Haiti because we were quite capable of leading the rescue effort? We should have insulted them as we often do at international forums.
There, our countries insult white countries and accuse them of imperialism and neo colonialism. I was extremely disappointed when our countries failed to accuse white people of practicing imperialism and neo colonialism by coming to rescue the blacks of Haiti.
We should have told them we have better sniffer dogs that have been taught only to rescue black people. We should have told their ships to stay away and their planes not to overfly Haiti because we were up to the job with our own ships and aeroplanes.
We should have brought in our traditional food instead of the strange rations the Haitians are not accustomed to.
I am so disappointed by the black leaders that I hope never to hear them again bleating about how bad white people are. The earthquake in Haiti was the most opportune time to show the whites, once and for all, that we don’t need them.
From now onwards, I want black leaders to shut up and never accuse ever white people of being bad. I am sick and tired of big words such as imperialism and neo colonialism which are unable to rescue victims of the earthquake.
I hope this is not the last earthquake that hits a black country. I want the next one to specifically hit the residence of Old Man in Harare. Then we will see if he will abuse the white crew coming to rescue him and Pretty Face!
» » » » [Sunday Standard (PDF)]
Haiti's Avoidable Death Toll
Walter Wiliams, A Minority View
January 20, 2010
Walter Wiliams Page at George Mason University
Some expect Haiti's 7.0 earthquake death toll to reach over 200,000 lives. Why the high death toll? Northern California's 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was more violent, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, resulting in 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, about eight times more violent than Haiti's, and cost 3,000 lives.
As tragic as the Haitian calamity is, it is merely symptomatic of a far deeper tragedy that's completely ignored, namely self-inflicted poverty. The reason why natural disasters take fewer lives in our country is because we have greater wealth. It's our wealth that permits us to build stronger homes and office buildings. When a natural disaster hits us, our wealth provides the emergency personnel, heavy machinery and medical services to reduce the death toll and suffering. Haitians cannot afford the life-saving tools that we Americans take for granted. President Barack Obama called the quake "especially cruel and incomprehensible." He would be closer to the truth if he had said that the Haitian political and economic climate that make Haitians helpless in the face of natural disasters are "especially cruel and incomprehensible."
The biggest reason for Haiti being one of the world's poorest countries is its restrictions on economic liberty. Let's look at some of it. According to the 2009 Index of Economic Freedom, authorization is required for some foreign investments, such as in electricity, water, public health and telecommunications. Authorization requires bribing public officials and, as a result, Haiti's monopolistic telephone services can at best be labeled primitive. That might explain the difficulty Haitian-Americans have in finding out about their loved ones.
Corruption is rampant. Haiti ranks 177th out of 179 countries in the 2007 Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. Its reputation as one of the world's most corrupt countries is a major impediment to doing business. Customs officers often demand bribes to clear shipments. The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom says that because of burdensome regulations and bribery, starting a business in Haiti takes an average of 195 days, compared with the world average of 38 days. Getting a business license takes about five times longer than the world average of 234 days -- that's over three years.
Crime and lawlessness are rampant in Haiti. The U.S. Department of State website (travel.state.gov), long before the earthquake, warned, "There are no "safe" areas in Haiti. ... Kidnapping, death threats, murders, drug-related shootouts, armed robberies, home break-ins and car-jacking are common in Haiti." The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns its citizens that, "The level of crime in Haiti is very high and the police have little ability to enforce laws. Local authorities often have limited or no capacity to provide assistance, even if you are a victim of a serious crime." Crime anywhere is a prohibitive tax on economic development and the poorest people are its primary victims.
Private property rights are vital to economic growth. The Index of Economic Freedom reports that "Haitian protection of investors and property is severely compromised by weak enforcement, a paucity of updated laws to handle modern commercial practices, and a dysfunctional and resource-poor legal system." That means commercial disputes are settled out of court often through the bribery of public officials; settlements are purchased.
The way out of Haiti's grinding poverty is not rocket science. Ranking countries according to: (1) whether they are more or less free market, (2) per capita income, and (3) ranking in International Amnesty's human rights protection index, we would find that those nations with a larger free market sector tend also to be those with the higher income and greater human rights protections. Haitian President Rene Preval is not enthusiastic about free markets; his heroes are none other than the hemisphere's two brutal communist tyrants: Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro.
Haiti's disaster demands immediate Western assistance but it's only the Haitian people who can relieve themselves of the deeper tragedy of self-inflicted poverty.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
» » » » [George Mason. Univ.]
Former NBA journeyman Paul Shirley says he's not donating a 'cent' to Haiti earthquake relief
BY Andy Clayton, Daily News Sports Writer
Originally Published:Wednesday, January 27th 2010, 11:34 AM
Updated: Wednesday, January 27th 2010, 12:28 PM
Shirley signs a pair of ten-day contracts with the Bulls in 2004 and plays seven games with Chicago.
Paul Shirley, whose brief NBA career included 18 games and 33 points with three teams over three seasons, is not in the giving mood. At least not when it comes to the people suffering in Haiti after an earthquake devastated the island nation on Jan. 12.
Shirley writes on flipcollective.com why he won't be joining the millions from around the globe sending money to support the Haitian relief efforts.
"I haven't donated a cent to the Haitian relief effort. And I probably will not.
"I haven't donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don't give money to homeless men on the street. Based on past experiences, I don't think the guy with the sign that reads "Need You're Help" is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don't think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either.
... Shouldn't much of the responsibility for the disaster lie with the victims of that disaster?"
Shirley, who played at Iowa State before his short NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns, knows his opinion makes him part of a "miniscule minority."
He continued: "Shouldn't there be some discourse on how the millions of dollars that are being poured into Haiti will be spent? And at least a slight reprimand for the conditions prior to the earthquake? Some kind of inquisition?
Something like this?:Dear Haitians –
First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.
As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it's possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shacktowns?
And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?
The Rest of the World
The essay, posted on the FlipCollective Web site on Tuesday, has already cost Shirley one job.
Shirley was fired from his freelance gig with ESPN on Wednesday.
In a brief statement announcing the firing, the cable sports giant wrote: "The views he expressed on another site of course do not at all reflect our company's views on the Haiti relief efforts. He will no longer contribute to ESPN."
The magnitude-7.0 earthquake killed as many as 200,000 people, leaving hundreds of thousands of survivors homeless, hungry and injured.
» » » » [New York Daily News (PDF)]
» » [‘[Haiti] not an earthquake disaster; but a lack of European Engineers disaster’]
» » [Why is Haiti Overpopulated? Should restavac Haiti “stew in its own juice”?]