[Colonialism Reparation] Newsletter 11/17

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Haiti - France

On 7 April 2003, on the occasion of the bicentennial of the death of Toussaint Louverture, the Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide announces that he will ask France to pay back the "independence indemnity" with the relative interests.

In 1825, after almost two centuries of colonial occupation, Charles X, king of France, with the dispatch of a fleet composed by twelve war ships, forces Jean Pierre Boyer, president of Haiti, to accept the famous ordinance by which, in exchange for the French recognition of the Haitian independence, the payment of 150 million gold francs is established (then reduced to 90 million in 1838). Haiti succeeds to pay off this enormous debt only in 1947.

The Haitian government creates therefore during 2003 the Haiti Restitution Commission, that esteems in over 21 billion dollars the sum, interests included, to return, without considering the reparations for two centuries of colonial occupation.

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Colonialism Reparation


Reparations to the Caribbean


On September 22, 2017 in New York during the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize Wilfred Elrington recalled that [...] through the Caribbean Community, we are also leading the charge for reparation of the victims of slavery and their descendants [...], while the Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Louis Straker said that [...] a substantial part of the backdrop or context of the continuing socio-economic challenges of the nation-states of our Caribbean civilisation is the awful legacy of underdevelopment which European colonialism has bequeathed to us as a consequence of native genocide and African slavery. The international campaign for reparations from the former colonial powers to assist in repairing this malignant legacy is urgent and timely. It deserves the full support of this Assembly particularly within this decade, declared to be focussed on the upliftment of persons of African descent [...].

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The end of the Empire

The Superpower That Fought Itself -- And Lost by William J. Astore is the article that we propose you for "the end of the Empire".

"When it comes to the “world’s greatest military,” the news has been shocking. Two fast U.S. Navy ships colliding with slow-moving commercial vessels with tragic loss of life. An Air Force that has been in the air continuously for years and yet doesn’t have enough pilots to fly its combat jets. Ground troops who find themselves fighting “rebels” in Syria previously armed and trained by the CIA. Already overstretched Special Operations forces facing growing demands as their rates of mental distress and suicide rise. Proxy armies in Iraq and Afghanistan that are unreliable, often delivering American-provided weaponry to black markets and into the hands of various enemies. All of this and more coming at a time when defense spending is once again soaring and the national security state is awash in funds to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars a year.

What gives? Why are highly maneuverable and sophisticated naval ships colliding with lumbering cargo vessels? Why is an Air Force that exists to fly and fight short 1,200 pilots? Why are U.S. Special Operations forces deployed everywhere and winning nowhere? Why, in short, is the U.S. military fighting itself -- and losing?" ...

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