Four hundred years ago, a Portuguese ship named the São João Bautista traveled across the Atlantic Ocean carrying a load of captive Africans from Angola, in southwestern Africa, to the “New World.” Seized by two English pirate ships, the captive Africans ended up in the British colony of Virginia, founded just 12 years earlier, the first permanent English settlement in North America established by the Virginia Company of London in 1671. Only twenty survived the journey. Jamestown, Virginia soon became one of the main areas for the arrival of enslaved Africans. The sale of the 20 Africans to the owners of tobacco fields began the Atlantic slave trade on which the United States was built. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Slavery
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.
“Should I not let it be known to later generations that Alexander Petion is the true liberator of my country?” said Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan leader who liberated South America from Spanish rule, to Alexandre Petion, the first president of Haiti. Continue reading
Telesur (April 1) – Cuba pledged its support Friday to the Caribbean Community’s quest to receive an apology and compensation from European powers for the transatlantic slave trade.
The Caribbean Community or CARICOM, which has 15 states as members, wants reparations from the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands in an initiative it says is based on diplomacy and engagement, without resorting to confrontation.
“We support the just demand for compensation hoisted by the Member States of the Caribbean Community,” said Ana Silvia Rodriguez, Cuban ambassador to the United Nations.
“People from the third world are still feeling the effects of the inhuman exploitation of people in their homelands and these peoples clearly deserve compensation for the horrendous crimes committed against their ancestors,” said the diplomat during address to CARICOM officials.
Last October, on an official visit to Jamaica, British Prime Minister Cameron acknowledged the “wounds of slavery run very deep” but avoided speaking on the issue of reparation.
Cameron, the first British prime minister to visit Jamaica for the last 14 years, said the slave trade was one “from which history has drawn the bitterest of lessons.”
“Slavery was and is abhorrent in all its forms. It has no place whatsoever in any civilized society, and Britain is proud to have led the way in its abolition,” but offered no compensation.
In late February the chairman of the CARICOM Sub-Committee on Reparations, Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart sent a letter to the British Foreign Office, on behalf of the 15-member countries, for London to formally acknowledge the region’s demands for payment for the transatlantic slave trade.
CARICOM has reportedly given the British office two years to respond to its call, but warned that it is prepared to bring its complaint to the International Court of Justice in The Netherlands.
Cuba highlights the importance of strengthening the activities of international organizations on issues related to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade
Intervention by the Permanent Alternative Cuba Representative to the United Nations, HE Ambassador Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal, in item 118, “tracking the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade” Commemorative Meeting on the occasion of the International Day remembrance of victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 70 UN General Assembly – March 29, 2016
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Slavery and the transatlantic slave trade are among the most serious crimes against humanity that have not been adequately studied, nor its consequences in today’s society duly recognized.
Tragedy and unspeakable horror was the fate of some 15 to 20 million men, women and children that the trans-Atlantic slave uprooted from their homes and were sent to the Americas as commercial cargo receiving an inhumane, unjust and despicable treatment.
Cuba attaches particular importance and sensitivity to the commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Cuba supported and cosponsored the Resolution 61/19 of the General Assembly commemorating the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and appointed the day we commemorate today.
Major players in the different stages of the wars to exercise self-determination
Colonial plantations of Cuba emerged as part of this cruel trade, as about one million 300 thousand Africans were taken by force from their villages and families and sold as slave labor on the island. Freed slaves and their descendants, have been major players in the different stages of the wars that allowed the Cuban people to exercise self-determination.
Cuban identity, therefore, was the result of a process of acculturation occurred with the contribution of various ethnic groups in difficult first colonial, then neo-colonial environments. We are a mixture, in the main, of the Hispanic and African. We also influence Asian and Native American peoples.
The Cuban people are most proud of their African roots, which are present in our character and our cultural manifestations. Cuban culture and nationality emerged and nourished African heritage. Cuba has also provided the sweat and blood of hundreds of thousands of their children to contribute to the emancipation of Africa, a continent to which all humanity will always be indebted.
There is a lot of gold stained with the blood of slaves
There is a lot of gold stained with the blood of slaves, and much of the wealth generated produce shame and reproach. The fate of peoples of the third world was altered greatly by inhuman exploitation and it is these peoples who clearly deserve compensation for the horrendous crimes committed against their ancestors.
The developed countries and their consumer societies responsible for the accelerated and almost unstoppable destruction of the environment, have been the main beneficiaries of the conquest and colonization, slavery and trafficking trans-atlántica, the ruthless exploitation and extermination of hundreds of millions of children of the peoples of the South. They have also enriched the unjust economic order imposed on humanity and international financial institutions created exclusively by them and for them.
Cuba supports the just demand for compensation hoisted by the Member States of CARICOM. Cuba also claims the special and differential treatment required by developing countries, particularly Africa, in its international economic relations. Cuba rejects selfishness and shameful opulence of a few that serve as guidelines to ongoing globalization.
Cuba supports and co-sponsor the draft resolution
Cuba supports and co-sponsor the draft resolution presented each year under this theme by member countries of CARICOM and the African Group. Cuba recognizes the importance of strengthening the activities of the United Nations and other international organizations such as UNESCO in the field. It is the least the international community can do to repair the crime against humanity committed in the trans-Atlantic African to be enslaved.
Thank you very much.
(October 21, 2013) – Cuba endorsed today at the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization (UN) the claim of the countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to their former metropolis for compensation for damage of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.Rodolfo Reyes, Cuban permanent representative to the UN, called the demand fair, which includes recognition by the powers that benefited from slavery such as France, Holland and the United Kingdom, of the atrocities resulting from this scourge, Prensa Latina news agency reported.
The ambassador recalled that the industrialized countries and their consumer societies are responsible for the accelerated environmental destruction, and have been the main beneficiaries of the conquest and colonization, slavery and the extermination of the peoples of the South.
They have also profited from the unjust economic order imposed on humanity (…). That rich and wasteful world has technical and financial resources to repay its debt to humanity, Reyes said in the Assembly that today tracks the theme of the celebration of the bicentenary of the abolition of slave trade.
Reyes added that his country claims the special and differential treatment required by the underdeveloped nations, especially in Africa, in their international economic relations.
Cuba rejects shameful selfishness and opulence (of a few) that serve as guidelines to ongoing globalization, he said.
Reyes announced the support and sponsorship of the island to the draft resolution presented annually by Caricom members and the African Group on the subject, as well as other related initiatives in the UN.
It’s the least that the international community can do to repair the crimes against humanity committed in the trans-Atlantic African slave trade, Reyes said and added that Cubans are proud of their African roots.
Source: Cuban News Agency
Communique issued at the conclusion of the First Regional Conference on Reparations
The Conference was mandated by the historic, unanimous, decision of CARICOM Heads of Government in July, 2013, in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Heads of Government also requested each CARICOM Member State to set up its own National Reparations Committee to document the effects of European genocide against the indigenous inhabitants of the region, the slave trade in and the enslavement of Africans, and the colonization of the country.
The evening began with the unprecedented singing of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ national anthem in both English and Garifuna.
Source: 1804 Caribvoices.org | Read more at: Pan Caribbean Civil Society Reparations Network
Drama at the UN: Caribbean nations sue for reparation
(September 30, 2013) – Here is what Al Jazerra America is reporting :
In a speech Friday at United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves said the European nations must pay for their deeds.
“The awful legacy of these crimes against humanity – a legacy which exists today in our Caribbean – ought to be repaired for the developmental benefit of our Caribbean societies and all our peoples,” Gonsalves said. “The European nations must partner in a focused, especial way with us to execute this repairing.”
The lawsuits – which are likely to amount to a lengthy battle – are being brought by The Caribbean Community, or Caricom, a regional organization that focuses mostly on issues such as economic integration. They will be brought to the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, based in The Hague in the Netherlands. It is not immediately clear when court proceedings will begin.
Cameron: ‘A grandson of the Jamaican soil who has been privileged and enriched by your forebears’ sins of the enslavement of our ancestors’ | TONY SEED
The one British millionaire identified by the diversionary “Panama Papers” is the stockbroker father of prime minister David Cameron. He is deceased. Or rumoured to be.
The Guardian newspaper broke the story in the UK and led with the headline: “The secret $2bn trail of deals that lead all the way to Putin,” complete with a picture of the Russian president, whose name nowhere appears in the massive data leak. Continue reading
Carlota, a heroic woman captive of Lukumi African origin, took up the machete on November 5, 1843 to lead a slave rebellion against the Spanish colonists at the Triunvirato sugar mill in Matanzas Province, Cuba, in which she lost her life. In her honour, on 5 November 1975, Cuba named its campaign in Angola against apartheid South Africa “Operación Carlota,” which culminated in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the defeat of the South African army in pitch battle. Continue reading