Face à l’Opinion: Ambassador Guy Alexandre on the Repatriation of Haitians from Dominican Republic, 22 May 1996

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Download: Face à l’Opinion: Ambassador Guy Alexandre sou Repatriman Ayisyen nan Dominikani, 22/5/1996 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Ambassador Guy Alexandre sou Repatriman Ayisyen nan Dominikani, 22/5/1996 (2)

DESCRIPTION

Haitian ambassador to the Dominican Republic Guy Alexandre discusses the 1996 repatriation of Haitians from the Dominican Republic. While ostensibly those repatriated were undocumented Haitian workers living in the Dominican Republic illegally, in fact many among them had papers certifying them to be in the Dominican Republic legally, or were in fact Dominican-born people of Haitian origin, or simply dark-skinned Dominicans. Alexandre says that while the Dominican Republic is a sovereign nation, it should have notified and consulted with the Haitian authorities before abruptly beginning this deportation process, and that the Dominican Republic should have mechanisms to establish people’s true nationality and identity before engaging in mass deportation. He discusses the relationship between this deportation edict and Dominican electoral politics, as it relates to Joaquín Balaguer (the successor to anti-Haitian dictator Rafael Trujillo) and opposition leader José Francisco Peña Gómez (a dark-skinned Dominican of partial Haitian descent), and those to politicians’ friends and allies on the Haitian side of the border. Alexandre discusses Dominican racial consciousness in general, the history of “whitening” and the erasing of African origins in the Dominican Republic. Interview Jean Dominique.

Face à l’Opinion: Vertus Saint-Louis on Toussaint Louverture, 12 June 1998

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Face à l’Opinion: Vertus Saint-Louis sou Toussaint Louverture, 12/06/1998 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Vertus Saint-Louis sou Toussaint Louverture, 12/06/1998 (2)

DESCRIPTION

Professor Vertus Saint Louis of the Université d’État d’Haïti – who prefers to be called a “student of history” rather than a historian — studied colonial Saint Domingue and offers an original analysis of the circumstances leading to the rise and fall of the architect of the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint Louverture. In this very lively interview, he discusses the conflicts and alliances between “affranchis” (free people of color) and slaves, and mixed-race and Black Haitians, in particular Toussaint’s struggle for southern Haiti against mûlatre General André Rigaud.  (In Haitian Creole, the term “mûlatre” refers generally to lighter-skinned and upper-class Haitians of mixed African and European ancestry, and therefore has connotations of both race and social status, but is not pejorative.) Saint-Louis also discusses at length the economic and military machinations of the British, French, and Americans in the Haitian Revolution. Interview Jean Dominique.