By Emma Okocha
”On August 22,1791, Boukman, presided together with an African born Priestess and conducted a ceremony for slaves of Saint Dominique .
A pig which symbolized the wild, free untameable spiritual power of the forest and ancestors was sacrificed and an oath was taken to fight to death….And they got together and swore a pact to the Devil …they said, We will serve you if you will get us free from the French’Â And so the the Devil said , Ok , it’s a deal. And they kicked the French out.
You know the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since , they have been cursed by one thing after the other. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle. On one side is Haiti, desperately poor. On the other side is the Dominican Republic, prosperous, healthy, full of resorts. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God.”
Evangelist Pat Robinson, On the Haitian Earthquake, Christian Broadcasting Network Jan, 13, 2010.
”Following the example of the Spaniards in Cuba and the English in Jamaica, the French brought 1,500 dogs to hunt down the blacks…and they cut open the belly of blacks who they had bound to a post.
At the sight and scent of the blood, the dogs threw themselves on the blacks and devoured them in a twinkling…..The French burned alive, hanged, drowned, tortured and started again their habit of burying blacks up to the neck near nests of bees and wasps.
They chained 16 of the insurgent generals to a rock where they wasted away for 17 days. Another thrown to a dog showed no anger, but stroked them and encouraged them while he presented his limbs to be destroyed….These are the men, said Lemmonier – Delafosse, we had to fight against.”
”When the French Commander put to death 500 blacks and buried them in a large hole, dug while they waited for execution, the insurgents raised gibbets of branches and hanged 500 whites…. burned San Domingo flat so that at the end of the war it was a charred desert.”
”The first attacks have driven the rebels from the positions they occupied, but they fell back…and in the insurrection, there is a veritable fanaticism. These men get themselves killed, but they refuse to surrender.
What happened in San Domingo after, is one of those pages in history which every schoolboy should learn, and most certainly will learn, some day. The national struggle against Bonaparte in Spain, the burning of Moscow by the Russians that fills the histories of the period, were anticipated and excelled by the blacks of the island of San Domingo.
For self-sacrifice and heroism, the men, women and children who drove out the French stand second to no fighters for independence in any place or time.”
– C.L.R.James, The Black Jacobins, New York:Vintage Books, 1989 Page 343-349.
”It is my duty to remind you that the Haitian Government cannot fail to express in all occasion the solidarity with the Ibos whose ancestors played a capital role in the Glorious Epopee of 1804. Their relentless courage in the battlefield inspired the First Independent NEGRO Republic in the world.
That Republic which for over a century and half incarnated Negro dignity was on record the first National army to defeat Napoleon Bonaparte, Europe’s greatest war General.”
– Haiti’s President for Life, His Excellency Dr. Francois Duvalier’s Letter to the UN Secretary General U Thant, On The Emergency Humanitarian Catastrophe In Biafra, August 19,1968. Also Responding to the Appeal led by Dr. Douglas, President of the Council on Afro- Jamaican Affairs, Kingston, Jamaica, July 29th, 1968.
Christopher Columbus did not celebrate his landing in the Americas. On a Friday, October 12, 1492 he landed Watling Island in the Bahamas. At San Salvador, he had asked the natives to show him the goldmines.
To assuage his disappointment, he was advised by the native Red Indians to try his luck in Haiti. Columbus and the Spanish who were the most advanced Europeans of that period, moved into Haiti and annexed the the rich Island.
Giving the Island the new name of Hispaniola, the Spanish introduced Christianity, forced labour, artificial famine, rape, strange diseases and murder. In fifteen years since they arrived, the native population was reduced from some one million to about sixty thousand.
In a dramatic, intriguing twist of history, a Dominican Catholic Priest, LasCasas, concerned with the dwindling numbers of the persecuted natives, proposed to King Charles V of Spain ”to authorise the importation of the more robust Negroes from populous Africa.” In 1517, the Spanish King gave the green light and 15,000 slaves were exported to San Domingo, and thus a Priest and a Christian King, unleashed on the world the American Slave trade!
In 1629, some wondering Frenchmen entered the little Island of Tortuga, some six miles off the north of San Domingo. They were followed by the English, the Dutch and other Europeans; men of all crimes, debtors, fugitives from justice.
Tortuga like the paradise that was the entire island, had a healthy forest where millions of wild cattle roamed and these Europeans set upon these animals, hunting them for their food and hides. In their feverish rivalry and murderous campaigns for the control of the Island, the Spanish, the English and the French slaughtered one another.
To prevent the French from further intrusion , Spain in 1629, organized a massive hunt of the wild cattle and killed all the animals they could find. They needed to ruin the cattle business for the French. The French in retaliation, planted cocoa, and sugar cane.
The raids escalated and these Europeans introduced into the Island the scorch earth burning of any part of the island that was not in their control. In 1695 the Treaty of Ryswick gave the French the western part of the Island.
Whatever may be the assertions of the octogenarian Evangelist, Pat Robinson, Haiti despoliation started when the world Super Powers, Christian Religious leaders, glorified and prospered in the inhuman transaction of Trans Atlantic slave trade.
Haiti, a former paradise on the Antilles, was and still the consequence of that epic, last stand of the magnificent, enduring African civilization which refused to kowtow to those agents of Lucifer who had operated the forced and the most brutal shipment of the Negro slaves.Â Afraid of being totally wiped out from the face of the earth, the slaves reached for everything including, beckoning to their African gods to save her people from that human holocaust.
The symbol of the God of the Whites was the cross, ”the god of who created the sun which gives us light, who rouses the waves and rules the storm, though hidden in the clouds, he watches us.
He sees all the white man does”. So completed Boukman’s call for Haiti revolution of which Pat Robinson described as a covenant with the devil, a Voodo god. Call it Vodoo or, Vodun or Yoruba Lucumi, Boukman might as well must have been praying to the Ibo god of Amadioha or Anyanwu, the god of the sun. For the sun means Anyanwu in Ibo and oath taking is still a sacred undertaking and practised among the Igbos.
In this context who is then the true God?Â The God of Slavery or the God of Liberty? Amadioha will break your old neck, Robinson.
The scientist point to a deforested Haiti as the main casual agent of the earthquake. For the burning is as old as Haiti, the hatred, the poison bitterness and the scorch earth policy antecedented Haiti. The little island was not big enough to contain the unending wars;
Between the Super powers and the rising powers, between the nations, between the fugitives and the buccaneers, between the races; the Whites, the Blacks and the Mulattoes, between the propertied and the slaves, between the invaders and the natives. Between the Christians, the Catholics, the born agains, their God and the pagans, their Vodoo and their Dantor, Ezili, Shango, Anyanwu and Amadioha.