Decolonising Haiti

The Jemima Pierre Interview

Gaza may own today’s headlines. With good reason. But Haiti would come a close second in any misery index survey.

Independence without sovereignty. US troops in Haiti, 1994.

Mired in perpetual anarchy, its situation has become a blur to most international news media, except broadcasters like Al Jazeera.

Enter Haitian-born anthropologist Jemima Pierre, a professor at the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia.

An increasingly visible Haiti advocate on US news platforms such as Democracy Now, Pierre is a member of The Black Alliance for Peace’s Haiti/Americas Team.

The Battleground’s Max Sattonnay gave her a wide-ranging interview about the country’s tragic situation and its colonial origins.

Pierre offers a detailed history of Haiti, emphasising its role as the site of the only successful slave revolt in the modern world, which led to its independence in 1804.

She describes its profound economic and political repercussions, notably how France demanded reparations from Haiti in return, crippling its economy for over a century.

The discussion also touches on more recent history, including American and French interventions in Haiti, the impact of such actions on the country’s political and economic stability, and the role of international entities like the UN and Citibank in influencing Haitian affairs.

Pierre criticises the media’s portrayal of the Caribbean country and discusses the negative implications of foreign interventions disguised as aid.

She advocates for a genuine decolonisation process, urging the international community to respect Haitian sovereignty.

Throughout the interview, Jemima Pierre emphasises the resilience and resistance of the Haitian people against ongoing exploitation and misrepresentation.

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Photograph courtesy of Expert Infantry. Published under a Creative Commons license.