Haiti’s government and elected officials say that their country was robbed at gun point in broad daylight in 1825. They want the “admitted” thief France to pay $21.7 billion in restitution to their former colonial subjects. 

Haiti Charges France $21.7 billion for Indemnity!

Haiti Charges France $21.7 billion for Indemnity!

At the same time, the U.S. government is seeking to destabilize and overthrow the then democratically elected governmetn of Jean Bertrand Aristide. Could these two factor be linked? Yes, remember when Haiti waged its insurrection from 1789-1804 they defeated not only France, but America, Spain & Britain as well.

Haitian goverment officials have investigated the “1825 Agreement” that forced the island nation to repay 150 million francs in exchange for its liberty. So, after the people liberated themselves their former captors forced them to pay for their freedom. It seems to me France should have paid Haiti.

Haiti’s restitution claim, is based largely on the research of Dr. Francis St. Hubert, a member of the government’s Haiti Restitution Commission. According to reports, most of his research was done in New York at the Columbia University Library and the Schomburg Center.

“Following the 1804 revolution that expelled France, Haiti was divided into two districts, northern and southern, but was re-united following the death of Henri Christophe in 1820. Under the new president, Jean Pierre Boyer, diplomatic notes began to be exchanged with various French functionaries on the diplomatic recognition of Haiti.

In 1825, France, which was being encouraged by former plantation owners to invade Haiti and re-enslave the Blacks, issued the Royal Ordinance of 1825, which called for the massive indemnity payments. In addition to the 150 million franc payment, France decreed that French ships and commercial goods entering and leaving Haiti would be discounted at 50 percent, thereby further weakening Haiti’s ability to pay.

According to French officials at the time, the terms of the edict were non-negotiable and to impress the seriousness of the situation upon the Haitians, France delivered the demands by 12 warships armed with 500 canons.

The 150 million franc indemnity was based on profits earned by the colonists, according to a memorandum prepared by their lawyers. In 1789, Saint Domingue (all of Haiti and Santo Domingo) exported 150 million francs worth of products to France.

In 1823, Haitian exports to France totaled 8.5 million francs, exports to England totaled 8.4 million francs, and exports to the United States totaled 13.1 million francs, for a total of 30 million francs.”

To add insult to injury, France forced Haiti to borrow 30 million francs from a French bank that was so astronomically high with interest that even after Haiti repayed the money, they were still 6 million francs short.

Just how did these plantation owners justify their back-pay for their property, crops and commodities?

Reportedly, the indemnity payments were needed to restore 793 sugar plantations, 3,117 coffee estates and 3,906 indigo, cotton and other crop plantations destroyed during the war for independence.

France’s high interest rates of repayment smack of the same racist policies the International Monetary Fund (IMF) & World Banks engage “3rd World Countries” in today. Indeed, the G8 has met to discuss forgiving Africa’s debt. Although, simply forgiving a debt doesn’t quite take into account the gross & dross injustice rampant in the world community against the world’s people.

What France engaged in was the progenitor of the IMF, redlining, and other unjust policies designed to inflict & perpetuate economic slavery. In fact, Haiti continues to struggle economically to this day from these policies. Its not by coincidence, rather by design!

Though whats more unacceptable is the cooperation by our heads of state participate in to oppress the masses of people with consent from the ruling class, in this case the French. President Jean Boyer created a Rural Code to repay French embezzlement. He instituted a tariff from 12% to 16% to compensate for the discounts the French gave themselves as a result of using Haitian goods, textiles and commodities.

In fact, Boyer proclaimed the Rural Code a national debt and he held all citizens liable for the illegitimatacy of French claims.

In her book,  “Child Domestic Service in Haiti and its Historical Underpinnings, Mildred Aristide states that the Rural Codes set the basis for de facto apartheid wedge between rural & urban segments of Haitian society. Not to mention, with the Rural Codes, the dominant class (mulatto) of military officers, merchants, and government officials legally established themselves as the country’s ruling elite class.

“Under the Rural Code, agricultural workers were chained to the land and allowed little or no opportunity to move from place to place. Socializing was made illegal after midnight and the Haitian farmer who did not own property was obligated to sign a three, six or nine-year labor contract with a large property owner. The Code also banned small-scale commerce so that agricultural workers would produce crops strictly for export.

The Rural Code was specifically designed to regulate rural life in order to more efficiently produce export crops with which to pay the indemnity. The taxes levied on production were also used predominantly to pay the indemnity and not to build schools nor to provide other social services to the generators of this great wealth, the peasants. “

If this doesn’t remind me of the Black Codes here in the U.S. during the same time period. Isn’t it ironic how governments cooperate to oppress the “people” of the world with the same ignoble regimes. This rural code is responsible for the disproportionate distribution of wealth in Haiti to this day. These “peasants” were forced into ‘work gangs’ to work off the national debt incurred by all citizens not just the masses. So, if reparations are achieved just the masses should recieve economic justice.

Mr. St Hubert & the national bank have estimated the exact amount they have demanded from France as as $21,685,135,571.48 at five percent annual interest.

“France is getting off easy,” Mr. St. Hubert told a U.S. newspaper. If Haiti charged 7.5 percent interest on the money, “France would owe $4 trillion today and much more tomorrow.

“The French can debate whether they want to pay as long as they like,” the researcher said, “but at five percent interest, it will cost them $34 per second.”

  1. Very well done. Do you write for any other blogs? Nicely done, Steven.

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