The Historic Battle of Vertières, Haiti

The Historic Battle of Vertières, Haiti

November 18, 2022 marks the 219th anniversary of the Battle of Vertières in Haiti. Located near the city of Cap-Haïtien in northern Haiti, Vertières is the site of a crucial battle in Haitian history. This battle was led by Jean-Jacques Dessalines and delivered the decisive blow to free the Haitian people from slavery and put an end to colonial rule by routing and defeating the Napoleonic army. It meant the elimination of slavery and led to the proclamation of Haitian independence and the formation of the Republic of Haiti on January 1, 1804.

Beginning in 1791, the enslaved people of the French colony of Santo Domingo rose up in an organized resistance to overthrow slavery and colonial rule. Led by Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the Haitian people successively repelled the European powers of France, Spain and Britain.

The island was officially proclaimed independent from France on January 1, 1804 by the Act of Independence of the Republic of Haiti read by Dessalines in Gonaïves. Haiti then became the first Black Republic in the world.

This indomitable spirit of the Haitian revolutionaries and the Haitian people lives on in their descendants and compatriots, many of whom live and work in Quebec and Canada. The profound affirmation of the rights and sovereignty of the Haitian revolution continues to characterize the people’s unwavering resistance to the interference of foreign powers. From 1804 to the present, the colonial and imperial powers have not ceased to take revenge on the Haitian people who continue to struggle for peace, freedom and democracy without respite.

Today, this battle is not over. Haiti has been dealt many harsh blows in recent times — the 2004 military coup against Haiti’s democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, by foreign powers including Canada, the United States and France; the persecution of members of the Fanmi-Lavalas party of which Aristide was leader, the subsequent electoral coups backed by those same powers; the theft of Petrocaribe funds; the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in the summer of 2021; the shameless corruption in the country with the involvement of corrupt politicians and foreign actors who finance mercenaries to create and maintain chaos; the earthquakes, tropical storms, cholera and so many other tribulations. Despite all this the Haitian people are resisting and fighting to put an end to the foreign takeover of the country and the fomenting of activities to keep it in a state of misery and servitude.

Haiti must obtain justice. Canada must get out of Haiti, out of the Core Group, cease its activities as a servile conqueror on behalf of the United States, provide reparations for its criminal role in Haiti and cease its diplomatic, military and police interference in Haitian affairs.

Full support for the Haitian people’s struggle for their right to decide their own destiny, without foreign interference of any kind!

No to All Foreign Interventions in Haiti!

(Originally printed in TML Daily)