Talk About Haiti
All human beings have a right to freedom and they have the capability of overcoming oppression and injustices such as Authoritarian leadership and slavery just to mention a few. The revolution in the Caribbean is a classic example of how united and focused humans with a common good, can achieve their goal. Ada Ferrer makes a valuable argument that the archives are biased since they are influenced by state powers, but facts have a way of exposing themselves in one way or another. This is evident in the various channels used to extrapolate information on the Haitian revolution such as letters, word of mouth, and human interaction, government documents, and newspapers.
The slaves desire to be free men was strongly expressed in their rebellion against the French under the slave leaders who were mediators between the slaves and the colonialists and as attack organizers. On the other hand, the French leaders were the authorities of Saint-Domingue who responsible for managing the Sugar business, containing attacks, and updating France on the matters on the ground. The Spanish and Cuban authorities had a hand in the Haitian revolution when they sided with armed slaves to fight with the French due to territorial conflict. These authorities felt the need to control the circulation of the Haitian revolution information because of the fear that this information would influences the slaves in Cuba.
Comment on weeks reading
The archives have the responsibility to ensure that historical events are accurate and properly stored for future reference and the appreciation of past activities and for the sake of the knowledge that can be used to understand and tackle similar problems in future.
Question in relation to weeks reading
What efforts or mechanisms can be installed to ensure the independence, accuracy, and honesty of the archives, to avoid the bias illustrated in the Haitian revolution case?
Syrian Uprising vs. the Haitian Revolution
The Haitian Revolution and the Syrian Uprising have search liberty and freedom as the initiator and basis of the conflicts. In the Haitian Revolution, the French forces were keen to maintain Santo-Domingue since it was a highly profitable colony that majored in sugar trade. For this reason, the French forces fought against the slave attacks, and at some point, they tried to stop, the skirmishes via peaceful dialogue, but the slave leader retaliated with demands (Ferrer 25). Similarly, the Syrian Uprising involves an internal conflict between the Ba’ath Party government and rebels who are against the over 40 year’s rule of the Ba’ath government. The civilian protesters initially carried out peaceful demonstrations, but on several occasions, the government forces used excessive force. The civilians of Syria are upset and fed up with the authoritative rule of the Ba’ath party government and it is there wish that actual democratic leadership sees the light of day in Syria. The urge for self-rule in the former Saint-Domingue is similar to Syria’s quest for democracy, citizens want to take up control in both countries, and it is their right to decide the sort of leadership they prefer. The internal conflict in Syria is between the Ba’ath Party government and rebels who are against the over 40 year’s rule of the Ba’ath government. The civilian protesters initially carried out peaceful demonstrations but government officials used excessive force. Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad’s use of excessive force cost him his friendship with other Arab nations and defections from his government (Holmes 1). The United Nations seeks to increase sanctions on Assad’s government to pressurize a halt to the use of excessive force as well as him resignation to pave way for the peoples will (Holmes 1). The recommendation for increased sanctions on Assad’s regime is because of the indiscriminate use of air strikes as retaliatory attacks on rebels, which have killed several civilians in Syria and have a negative impact on Iraq (Holmes 1). The rejections of Assad by his former allies are similar to the rejection of the auxiliary force leaders Spanish authorities in Cuba after the battle loss against France. Both rejections are characterized by similar reasons although the fear of the negative influence of the slave leaders on Cuban slaves was a major reason in the Haitian Revolution case.
In addition to armed attacks on French forces, some of the Haitian Revolution slave leaders used scare tactics such as mass killings as a method to pressurize the French to give in. Cuban born officer Casa Calvo, was not pleased with this draconian act such that he sent an urgent message to the governor of Havana to forbid the entry of the Slave leaders into Cuba (Ferrer 27). Assad is using similar scare tactics whereby his forces raided a hospital in Yarmouk Camp and made arrests of injured persons as they searched for rebels (Holmes 1). The impromptu arrests and the indiscriminate airstrikes are meant to kill the Syrian spirit that searches for democracy. The mass killing of the French residents of Saint-Domingue is part of the reason that led to the rejection of the Haitian Revolution slave leaders by Cuban authorities. In Assad’s case, apart from rejection by allies, he is destined to face mass murder charges and other human rights abuse at the International Criminal Court if captured in the near future. In the current age, fighting injustices is relatively easier since the United Nations and other watchdogs are constantly on the lookout for injustices against humanity, and they take steps towards stopping these injustices. Unlike in the period of the Haitian Revolution period whereby slavery and slave trade was accepted, and there did not exist a central independent body that would act as a watchdog for injustices on humanity.
Ultimately, Santo-Domingue succeeded in its fight for freedom, got independence in 1804, and changed its name to Haiti (Holmes 33). Haiti’s success did not come easy since they had previously lost battle to the French in 1795 (Holmes 26). Despite the loss, their persistence for freedom later bore fruits. Syria experiences a similar obstacle in the form of abuse from Assad, but their persistence, and the pressure and intervention of the international community, will ensure the restoration of peace in Syria and a new beginning as a true democratic nation. There is hope for Syria due to recent successful interventions by the international community, which include the cessation of Muammar Gaddafi’s Authoritative rule in Libya and the cessation of Hosni Mubarack’s dictatorial rule in Egypt, paving way for democracy.
Ferrer, Ada. Talk About Haiti. Text
Holmes, Oliver. Syrian troops storm Damascus refugee area, chase rebels. Rueters. (2012). Retrieved on 9th Sep 2012 from: < http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/08/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8860TF20120908>