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Fri Dec 30, 2016, 06:39 PM

Caribbean Nations Seek Reparations for Slavery and Native Genocide

Caribbean Nations Seek Reparations for Slavery and Native Genocide


December 30, 2016
by Philip Perry


“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” James Joyce, Ulysses



We are familiar with slavery and the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, two of the greatest horrors of world history. What we often don’t consider is what residue of that time is with us today. Recent studies show that trauma inside the brain can be passed down from one person to the next. This was observed in the offspring of those who suffered through the holocaust. But for how many generations is such trauma carried forth? And what effect does it have on the individual, their community, country, or corner of the world?

After the horrors of colonization, most nations were left to fend for themselves and plodded ahead as best they could, enduring widespread trauma and with little resources to modernize. Now, 22 Island nations that make up The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), are calling for reparations for slavery and the genocide the indigenous peoples.

The trade and political organization has assembled the Caribbean Reparation Commission. They in turn framed the Reparatory Justice Program—a 10-point plan which is being aimed at their former colonizers. The plan includes: an apology, reparations to help the descendants of slaves, aid for the remaining indigenous peoples, psychological rehabilitation, a plan to eradicate widespread illiteracy, technology transfer, robust health programs to help combat the “public health crisis” in the region, aid for building cultural institutions to frame what has happened, and a cancellation of debts.

Prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer has said that the Caribbean’s inability to acquire wealth and develop their societies is directly associated with these historical legacies. CARICOM has enlisted the help of UK-based lawyer Martyn Day. Day is famous for winning compensation for Kenyans tortured under British rule during the Mau-Mau uprising of the 1950’s. Although these European states admit to their slave-owning past, representatives say they do so in a general way. None have officially apologized, for fear of being dragged into court.

More:
http://bigthink.com/philip-perry/caribbean-nations-seek-reparations-for-native-genocide-and-slavery

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Reply Caribbean Nations Seek Reparations for Slavery and Native Genocide (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2016 OP
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #1
Brother Buzz Dec 2016 #2
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #3
Igel Jan 2017 #5
guillaumeb Jan 2017 #6
Judi Lynn Dec 2016 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2016, 07:20 PM

1. Haiti was still paying "reparations" to their former masters, the French,

until the 1970s. The French colonialists basically took all of the forest lumber as part of the reparations, as well as massive amounts of cash.

All because the Haitians dared to believe in the same liberté, égalité, et fraternité that was the basis of the French Revolution.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 30, 2016, 07:39 PM

2. The border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 30, 2016, 08:42 PM

3. An excellent and illustrative example of colonial rape of a country.

Basically all of the tropical hardwood forest was cut down to supply French naval and furniture needs.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 02:09 PM

5. Don't ignore the last 120 years.

Yes, deforestation happened because of reparations payment in timber. For that, we can blame imperialism. However, I've been around clear-cut land that's just used for timber and nothing else--and 10, 15, 20 years after it's clearcut you know what's there? Trees.

Yes, deforestation happened because of monoculture. Some before breaking with France, but a lot of it after breaking with France. For that we can blame some small landowners but also large land holders.

Yes, deforestation happened *and accelerated* in the 20th century because Haitians used a lot of charcoal, and that comes from wood. For that we can blame commoners.

After that, we can blame ecological degradation that helps keep woodlands and shrublands from recovering.

Blaming imperialism doesn't explain the current state of affairs nor does it explain why it's not improving. It's an answer that prevents a solution.

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Response to Igel (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 03:47 PM

6. My point it that colonial thievery in the form of "reparations"

impoverished Haiti. And that massive financial drain was one part of the problem. As well as US interference to protect US capitalists. The Duvalier Family was also part of the problem with their theft of money.

Haiti is also the site of an economic zone where US industries can take advantage of near-slave level wages.

As to the last 120 years, the reparations only ended mid-twentieth century, not 120 years ago.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2016, 02:46 AM

4. Many thanks to guillaumeb and Brother Buzz for the stunning information.

Had no idea the French overlords even took Haitians' essential forests away, in addition to saddling the poor workers with the debts incurred by the plantation owning overclass.

That view of the difference between the D.R. and Haiti is astonishing, and grotesque. Had no idea at all.

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