Hurrycane Matthew How Haiti, the island nation, fell from its once promising start

Haiti, once a symbolic nation for black countries, after Hurricane Matthew, is a shadow of its past as it has been abandoned by the world.

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The flag of Haiti play

The flag of Haiti

(crwflags)
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It is most likely that when you hear 'Haiti', you think about Fugees front man and music star Wyclef Jean.

The talented music producer is arguably Haiti's biggest export. For some people like me who are interested in the origins of supernatural and horror stories, Haiti is the home of voodoo and zombies.

Wyclef Jean new video banned from YouTube play

Wyclef Jean new video banned from YouTube

 

The tiny Caribbean island nation with a population of 10 million people has been in the news because of Hurricane Matthew. According to the BBC, the hurricane has wiped out 90% of southern Haiti. The death toll is also unbelievable with 1000 people confirmed dead.

Days after Hurricane Matthew, it is believed that more people are dead but their corpses haven't been founded because most places in Haiti are still flooded. With Haiti being located in a region that makes it susceptible to natural disasters, the country is one of the poorest countries in the world.

  play (Reuters)

 

There are others factors that have led to Haiti being one of the poorest nations on earth. Bad leadership, reparations to France, and a bloody civil war, debt and deforestation have led Haiti to where it is right now.

Haiti might be a hot mess but at one point in its history, it had more than a glimmer of hope.

Slaves revolt in Haiti play

Slaves revolt in Haiti

(wikimedia)

 

Haiti was once a slave colony that was responsible for the majority of the coffee and sugar produced in the world. It was one of the richest islands in the French colony.

There was a dark side to the riches of Haiti back then. 40,000 slaves were imported to the island yearly and abuse of slaves was rife. Cruel things were done to slaves such as being buried alive and forced to eat excrement.

Things fell apart in August in 1791 when slaves rebelled. The battle between the slaves and the French forces will last till 1803 when French commander, the ­Vicomte de Rochambeau was defeated in battle.

With this victory, Haiti became the first black free nation and also the first independent nation in Latin America. Unfortunately, it was a Pyrrhic victory of Haiti.

  play (Reuters)

ALSO READ: Haiti postpones presidential election because of Hurricane Matthew

The civil war battered the country's infrastructure, including its precious plantations. France, smattering from its defeat forced Haiti to pay 150m francs in gold before it recognized it as a nation. The reparations would drain Haiti even though it was reduced to half the sum later on.

François "Papa Doc" Duvalier play

François ­"Papa Doc" Duvalier

(thedewbreaker)

 

Politically, Haiti didn't fare any better. The nation was unstable with coups and revolts. François ­"Papa Doc" Duvalier who came into power in 1957 is regarded as one of the most corrupt tyrants of the 20th century.

Jean-Claude Duvalier play

Jean-Claude Duvalier

(thefamouspeople)

 

Using Haitian mysticism and his killer squad Tonton Macoute he oppressed his country people. His son Jean-Claude Duvalier (Baby Doc) would continue his father's legacy until 1986 when he was overthrown by an uprising.

Sadly, the island nation hasn't fared better since he left the scene. For Haiti, it has been haunted by its past as it tries to stand on its two legs.

Apart from the recent Hurricane Matthew, decades of corruption and mistakes from the past has this once promising island chained and at the mercy of Mother Nature and nations of the world.

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