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Lecture

AIDS and Haiti I - May 26 (L03)


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT204H1
Professor
Leslie Jermyn

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AIDS and Haiti I
-Taino: the indigenous people of the Caribbean, now extinct because of colonial
interference;
oPureblood Tainos are extinct, some belief that Taino blood continued on within
mestizos (half-blood)
-Hispaniola: the name given to the island now split as Haiti and Dominican Rep. by the
Spaniards
-Creole: the language spoken by Haitians, and other Caribbean people. It is a language
derived from a pidgin that has become nativized (acquired as a primary language by the
children)
oPidgin is the simplified language used between two groups of people with no
common language between them, for example, the French and the indigenous
people they interact with in their Caribbean colonies
oE.g., Haitian creole features a French vocab superimposed on West African
grammar
-Spain has claimed the island since the late 15th c., when Columbus landed, and it
exploited the island for its resources. They imported African slaves as workers into Haiti
because by the 16th c., the Tainos, because of foreign diseases, intermarriage and
forced labour, became virtually extinct. Spain later ceded Haiti to France in the late 17th
c.
-France turned Haiti into their richest colony sugar plantations and coffee farms
-Hierarchy = Frenchmen > Affranchis (mulatos children of Frenchmen and
slavewomen) > Slaves
-Affranchis became the merchant-class
-1804: Haiti became the first independent (black) colony
oPolitical threat to the Europeans, esp. Americans who were pro-slavery
oIndependence was fought for slave uprising
-After kicking out the French, the affranchise became the new elite
-For what the Haitians did, France demanded reparations 10 years’ worth of profit (150
million French francs) was to be paid by the Haitians (1825) or else the French would
declare war because its for the profits lost from the slave trade
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-Haiti cannot generate the payment from local efforts (that would be too easy for them
and bad for the French) so they have to borrow from French banks, through which the
French continued to profit at the expense of the Haitians
oThey cannot use their own money in paying off the reparations because it is in
French francs, and if they use money made through their own efforts, then they
can, at the same time, develop their country, which is the one thing the Western
powers are trying to prevent
-This reparation is an attempt to punish and cripple the Haitian state
-The Haitians had to agree because the French were backed by the other Western
powers (i.e., the US = pro-slavery)
-1947, the loans were all paid off
-Reparations structured how the Haitian gov’t do things must export to acquire foreign
currency to pay
oCannot use the profits acquired by selling locally (“local efforts mentioned
earlier)
oThus the Haitian kept producing the exportable produce of before sugar and
coffee
-Rural code: rural people had to stay in the countryside to farm, to not step foot in the city
(rural means African), prohibited from socializing and going out around midnight,
prohibited small-scale commerce
oDesigned to keep farmers within the countryside to maximize produce and to
prevent rebellious organization, as well as forcing the Haitians to be totally
dependent on importing essential goods and on the production of exportable
goods
-France does not want Haitian profits to be used for domestic development
oE.g., 1884-1990, Haitian gov’t built 32 high schools only within cities and towns
oProfits mainly used for paying the reparations
-Around this time, America started to industrialize (late 1800s)
oThey did not use direct colonialism but used their military power to discipline the
native gov’ts in the American way
-1915, president deposed , preceded American invasion of Haiti
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