Susie Madrak, on C&L yesterday, marshalled the relevant facts:
The thing is, there never was any "deal with the devil" - at least, not the way Pat would lead you to believe. This is from Jean R. Gelin, Ph.D, a Haitian Christian:Sounds like a useful thing to do to help Haiti. Call your Congress critter and tell them you support the Jubilee Act. This would be the kind of reform that would decimate the "shock-docttrine" plans the Owners and Aristos have for Haiti.For quite some time now, several articles on the Internet have mentioned the existence of an iron pig statue in Port-au-Prince as a monument to commemorate Haiti’s so-called pact with the devil through Vodou. The statue would be in remembrance of a pig that was killed during the gathering by the African slaves. In an effort to know more about that rumor, I contacted several authors about the exact location of the pig statue that’s incidentally nowhere to be found in the country. Their answer was complete silence, a simple apology, or just the removal of the reference from their texts.But Maggie Koerth-Baker on Boing Boing finds out Haiti's real deal with the devil:
One writer was grateful to me for pointing out the inaccuracy of her article, and she made the necessary adjustment. But I am sure that the same allusion can be found somewhere in other published pieces of writing and documents. The worst part of the whole picture is that the story is believed by many sincere Christians in America and around the world; and not only do they believe it, they also spread it as fact. The tragedy of our age is that repeated lies are often mistaken for the truth, especially when repeated long enough.Pat Robertson thinks that Haiti is poverty stricken (and earthquake-stricken) because the country made a deal with Satan to help them overthrow the French.Update: mgfarrelly points out another thing I didn't know—the U.S. Congress is currently considering a bill called The Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation. Part of what this bill would do is help countries like Haiti get their debt canceled, without making that cancellation conditional on things like closing down free schools or raising the cost of fresh water. May be a good time to contact your representatives about about this bi-partisan measure.
Back in May, the Times Online provided some slightly better insight into Haiti's past. Beyond a vague assumption that Imperialism had probably screwed Haiti somehow, I didn't know much about the country's history. Reading this story has been nothing short of nauseating.
Summary: Haiti was forced to pay France for its freedom. When they couldn't afford the ransom, France (and other countries, including the United States) helpfully offered high-interest loans. By 1900, 80% of Haiti's annual budget went to paying off its "reparation" debt. They didn't make the last payment until 1947. Just 10 years later, dictator François Duvalier took over the country and promptly bankrupted it, taking out more high-interest loans to pay for his corrupt lifestyle. The Duvalier family, with the blind-eye financial assistance of Western countries, killed 10s of thousands of Haitians, until the Haitian people overthrew them in 1986. Today, Haiti is still paying off the debt of an oppressive dictator no one would help them get rid of for 30 years.
The rest of the world refuses to forgive this debt.
So, in a way, maybe Robertson is right. Haiti is caught in a deal with the devil, and the devil is us.
Just for the record, I am convinced that USer policy was and is designed to make Cuba another Haiti, in revenge for Castro's effrontery in tossing UFC out of the country along with the Mafia...
(*SCUM* = SoCalled Unbiased Media)