Haiti Cherie



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Welcome to Haiti!!!

HAITI, the pearl of the antilles,


  • Name: Haiti (In Taino: Ayiti - place of the high mountains)
  • Land mass: 27,750 Km2, stretching from north to south 200 km and from east to west about 300Km. Adjacent islands: La Gonâve, la Tortue, l'îles à vâche, les Caïmites, la Navase.
  • Location: Between 71°20' and 74°30' longitude west and 18°0' and 20°6' latitude north.
  • Relief: Mountains represent 3/4 of the land surface with altitudes between 2000 and 3000 metres. Morne La Selle (2.680m.), Morne Macaya (2.347m.), Morne du Cibao (2.280m.) and Morne Bois-Pin (2.235m.)
  • Borders: Shares the island with the Dominican Republic according to the lines drawn in the treaty of January 21, 1929. Maritime borders with the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Colombia.
  • Temperature: Annual average varies between 21° and 33°C

Salvador de Madariaga

Schocken Books

New York 1969

 Pages 268-269, 273

 Bolivar arrived in Port-au- Prince on December 31st, 1815, in the evening, and was received by Pétion, President of the Negro Republic, on January 2nd, 1816. Haiti was the only free Republic in the New World outside the United States. Pétion received Bolivar cordially and made an excellent impression on him. "I hope much of his love of liberty and justice", he wrote to Brion immediately after the interview. His decision to settle in Haiti as a base for his liberating expedition was momentous. Henceforth the republican cause was committed to a policy of equality of rights between whites and blacks on the Main Land, and therefore to the abolition of slavery. Both sides in the Venezuelan wars, had, of course, wooed the blacks with promises of emancipation; but never had either of them committed itself to the cause of the Negroes as openly and clearly as when Bolivar called on Pétion and sought his help against Spain. For the race of men brutally brought to the New World to toil in slavery for the whites, that day was a day of victory and, if not of revenge, of compensation. That white visitor whom Pétion received with an affable smile was Simon Bolivar, the direct descendent of that Simon Bolivar, brought up on the same island two centuries earlier, who, settled in Caracas, had called on Philip II to seek permission to import several tons of black slaves yearly in Venezuela.

 Pétion made the freedom of his brothers a condition for his aid. Bolivar wrote to him (8.ii.16) that he was accablé du poids de vos bienfaits, and added: En tout vous êtes magnanime et indulgent. Nos affaires sont presque arrangées, et sans doute dans une quinzaine de jours nous serons en état de partir. Je n'attends que vos dernières faveurs; et s'il m'est possible j'irai moi-même vous exprimer l’étendue de ma reconnaissance. Dans ma proclamation aux habitants de Venezuela et dans les décrets que je dois expédier pour la liberté des esclaves je ne sais pas s'il me sera permis de témoigner les sentiments de mon coeur envers Votre Excellence, et de laisser à la postérité un monument irrécusable de votre philanthropie. Je ne sais, dis-je, si je devrais vous nommer comme l'auteur de notre liberté.

 Could Simon de Bolivar have guessed that a descendent of one of those negroes he was importing under license by the ton, and one of his own descendants, and a namesake of his to boot, would some day change places in the tragicomedy of life, and that a Simon Bolivar write in court-like style that he owned his liberty to the son of a slave?

..On April 10th, 1816, an expedition sailed from Aux Cayes to liberate Venezuela. It had been financed by the Haitian State and the Curaçaoan mulatto Louis Brion... In the case of Haiti, the motive was a natural desire to liberate the Negroes of Venezuela not merely from Spain but from serfdom as well; and this fact, coupled with the predominantly Negro composition of the troops that Bolivar was taking over, led to the belief that Bolivar was sailing to found a Negro republic in Venezuela.

 All authors mention the army chiefs and officers on board; and Ducoudray waxed both eloquent and merry about the women also; but no one speaks of the "other ranks".  This gap is both filled and explained by Bolivar, who, in 1816, referring to his second expedition, told a friend that "his friend Pétion was helping him wiyth four hundred men and the necessary transports". Therefore Pétion had also supplied the rank and file for the first -- and, as will be seen anon, about twice that.




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Last modified: July 12, 2007