Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. But it certainly didn’t get to be that way on its own accord. Years of colonial theft by Western powers have left the Caribbean nation depleted — though by no means broken — and the country has a long history of resiliency.
The New York Times, with the help of several historians, recently published a special report series on the generations-long economic extortion of the country by France and other Western nations. The injustices done to the country are well documented, yet, for many, the Times’ piece was an eye-opening read. In it, reporters investigate the cardinal corruption that would ultimately damage Haiti’s economy and political stability.
Just as the legacy of slavery in the United States has created a gross economic disparity between Black and white Americans, the blatant acts of theft and financial coercion by Western powers greatly hindered Haiti’s ability to prosper — the fallout from which we witness today through Haiti’s ongoing turmoil.
Here are five ways France and the U.S. plundered Haiti and forever impacted its sovereignty.