Editor’s Note: The Haitian opposition is calling for the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse over wrecking of the economy and corruption centred around embezzlement by Haitian oligarchs and their patrons from Venezuela’s PetroCaribe oil-discount program. This was a program that benefited the poor and provided funds for development of a self-sufficient economy.
Since last year, Haitians have been demanding an accounting of the PetroCaribe money, which was supposed to be invested in social programs for the poor after the country’s 2010 earthquake, as shown in the above photo from October 17, 2018.
The United States threatened various OAS members like Haiti, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, members of CARICOM, with diplomatic and financial action if they voted in favour of non-interference and respect for Venezuela’s sovereignty. The Haitian government capitulated to the U.S. dictate and voted against Venezuela at an OAS meeting in Jannuary, arousing the fury of Haitians still further.
By ARIEL FORNANI in Haitian Times*
Amílcar Cabral (1924-1973)
By TONY SEED
On January 20, 1973, Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral, leader of the national liberation movement in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde in West Africa, was assassinated, just months before Guinea Bissau won its long independence struggle against Portugal.
Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, part of the ancient Mali Empire; parts of this kingdom persisted until the 18th century. Other parts of the territory in the current country were considered by the Portuguese as part of their empire. Portuguese Guinea was known as the Slave Coast, as it was a major area for the exportation of African slaves by Europeans to the western hemisphere.
Filed under Africa, History
On December 17, at the age of 83, ballet icon Raven Wilkinson, the first black woman to sign a contract with a major company, passed away | PEDRO DE LA HOZ
Raven Wilkinson in costume at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo | historicheroines.org
The Start of the Revolution
On the night of 14 August 1791, a man named Boukman organised a meeting with enslaved Africans in Bois Caiman, in the northern mountains of the island of Santo Domingo (depicted). This meeting preceded the uprising that began on 22 August 1791 and which would pave the way towards Haiti’s independence. The French quickly captured Boukman, who was leading the uprising, beheaded him and brought the rebellion under control. They exhibited Boukman’s head on Cap’s square to show the slaves that their invincible leader was dead. By 1804 the enslaved Africans led by Toussant L’Overture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines had established the first independent Black state in the Americas – sounding the death knell of French imperial ambitions in the Americas, becoming a beacon for enslaved Africans, and leading to the eventual demise of plantation slavery.
Organized rebellion to slavery in Haiti predates the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution. For example, from 1751 until his capture and execution by immolation in 1758, Francois Makandal, a vodoun priest, led a sustained guerilla campaign. The strength of his organization rested on the unity of various maroon (escaped slaves) communities: a unity forged by Makandal on the ideological and philosophical basis of African religions, traditions, values and motifs. Poignantly, the catalyst for the Haitian Revolution 33-years later was the actions of another vodoun priest Dutty Boukman. The Haitian Revolution was the seminal event in the struggle against slavery.
September 23, 1941 – August 21, 1971
George Lester Jackson was an African-American activist, author and member of the Black Panther Party. When Jackson was 18 years old, he was sentenced from one year to life for stealing US$70 from a gas station. He spent the next 11 years in prison, eight and a half of them in solitary confinement. Continue reading
May 25 is marked worldwide as African Liberation Day. Since the 1960’s African Liberation Day has served to advance the cause of the African peoples against colonialism and neo-colonialism which keeps them enslaved. Its precursor was African Freedom Day, established in 1958 and celebrated on April 15, later becoming African Liberation Day in 1963. According to http://www.thetalkingdrum.com: Continue reading
Filed under Africa, History
By ISAAC SANEY*
Martin Luther King and Malcolm X
Today, April 4th, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. King’s influence and impact is profound and lasting, shaping a generation of Black activists, artists, and intellectuals. His assassination’s anniversary is, therefore, a time for serious contemplation of his legacy.
In the years following the 1963 March On Washington, he augmented his eloquent and poignant “I Have a Dream” vision with a deepening opposition to Washington’s foreign policy and to the economic system that produced aggression abroad and inequality and poverty at home. Continue reading