Photo: © Christian Wisskirchen/HSG
Haiti is for us, a wonderful, unique, culturally-riveting country whose people have achieved amazing things in the face of overwhelming odds.
Haitians fought and won the only ever successful national slave revolution in history. In 12-years of revolutionary warfare beginning in August 1791, they fought and defeated the armies of the three most powerful nations in the world at the time, France, Britain and Spain. And finally France again, first under the inspirational leadership of Touissaint L'Ouverture, then his leading general, Jean-Jacques Dessalines. After the decisive defeat of Napoleon's forces at the battle of Vertières in 1803, Dessalines declared the independence of the world's first black republic on 1st January 1804.
Despite political and economic upheaval during much of Haiti's history, Haitians have developed a unique culture, with art and music that has become famous far beyond its borders.
Yet the media coverage of Haiti often focuses on crisis: natural disaster and its consequences, violence or civil disturbance, coups and political instability or poverty. News pieces invariably begin with the phrase "Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere ..." before going on to report the latest tragic events. (In case you need reminding of how news from Haiti is normally reported please click here for an excellent overview!)
This section of the website tries to provide a more balanced reflection of Haiti and its people. It presents the achievements as well as describing the problems and challenges of the Haitian reality.
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The Haiti Briefing, published in English and French, is the key publication of the Haiti Support Group. Published quarterly, since 1992, it provides our members, Haiti watchers and decision-makers with analysis of Haiti's development issues, reflected through the voices of popular organisations on the ground. Back issues are available in our archive.
To download - the latest issue (no. 73) demonstrates the Haitian government's slide towards authoritarianism - please click here. All issues of Haiti Briefing are now free for all to download! (simply register at the link first if prompted)