NEW YORK — In a special report on Haiti published days after Haitian Flag Day, The New York Times looked at the long history of payments Haiti made to France to secure its hard-won independence and how “the ransom” crippled the First Black Republic. The impact of the initial debt, refusal by other nations to acknowledge Haiti as a sovereign country, subsequent punitive international financial deals – including one involving United States-based Citibank, and Haitian rulers’ corruption – all had a hand in creating the under-developed country Haiti is today.
“For generations, the descendants of enslaved people paid the descendants of their former slave masters, with money that could have been used to build schools, roads, clinics or a vibrant economy,” said a recap of the five stories.
The series is divided into five segments with six key takeaways. The first installment – The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers – focuses on how Haiti, “fearful of being invaded and eager to establish trade with other nations,” agreed by force to pay 150 million French francs to France. It also details how Haitian rulers, unable to pay the amount demanded, resorted to taking out loans from France, thus doubling the debt.
To view the full story, please subscribe to The Haitian Times. You can choose a $60 Annual Subscription or a $5 Weekly Pass.
When you join The Haitian Times family, you’ll get unlimited digital access to high-quality journalism about Haiti and Haitians you won’t get anywhere else. We’ve been at this for 20 years and pride ourselves on representing you, our diaspora experience and a holistic view of Haiti that larger media doesn’t show you.
Join now or renew to get:
— Instant access to one-of-kind stories and special reports
— Local news from our communities (especially New York and Florida)
— Profiles of Haitians at the top of their fields
— Downloadable lists and resources about Haitian culture
— Membership merch, perks and special invitations
First-time subscribers also receive a special welcome gift handmade in Haiti by expert artisans! Do it for the culture and support Black-owned businesses.
If you’re seeing this message but you’re already a subscriber, you can log in for immediate access to this story.