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American, French hypocrisy

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

I find it quite laughable that France is offering Haiti debt forgiveness to the amount of around US$80 million in light of the recent disaster. In fact, France owes Haiti billions of dollars (in today's currency) that it siphoned from the country in one of the most unfair acts of White supremacy in history - 'reparations' to France for the ex-slave owners' loss of their 'property' following the Haitian Revolution.

It was even more laughable to hear Whoopi Goldberg declare proudly on ABC's morning talk show, 'The View', that "Americans are helping the Haitians because that is what Americans do!" Goldberg's statement was a well-intentioned answer to Americans who feel that their country should not be spending so much time on Haiti. However, it shows the overwhelming self-righteousness and selective historical amnesia that characterise the citizens of rich countries when they offer aid to countries in need.

Economic exploitation

The oppressive regimes of Haitian dictators is one side of the analysis. When we examine the larger picture, we find that this country has suffered centuries of economic exploitation that seriously limited the extent to which it could develop. The reason behind Haitian poverty should be critically examined, discussed and publicised.

The fact is that when the complete history of Haiti is widely exposed, we will find that France, the USA and others have a lot to atone for, and this atonement should materialise in much more than some millions in aid.

I am, etc.,


Kingston, Jamaica