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Raymond Joseph, Haiti’s Ambassador to the US, has done a
wonderful job debunking Pat Robertson’s idiotic comments about Haiti’s supposed pact with the
devil. Using Robertson’s logic,
the devil also wanted the US to acquire the Louisiana Purchase and 13 new
states, and also Latin America to become free from Spanish colonialism. Both were
direct results of the Haitian revolution.
Napoleon only decided to sell Louisiana to the US after his efforts to
re-take Haiti were defeated, and later Haiti was the base from which Simon Bolivar
sailed in his effort to overthrow Spanish colonialism.
The reasons for Haiti’s sad condition are complex, and the
US government has played a significant role in its misfortunes. If it matters, historically Haiti’s rulers and oppressors have been Catholic, and Voudon was only recognized as a religion in Haiti in 2003, despite it having been practiced throughout the country’s history by the vast majority of its citizens. Voudon can not be blamed for Haiti’s problems, but it did help make a powerful US possible…
One of the best places to donate in my opinion is Dr. Paul Farmer’s center in Haiti. It is here. A truly wonderful book about his work is Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. Farmer’s site also has an excellent bibliography on Haiti, though not so much on Voudon.