Appearing on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, the Haitian ambassador to the United States rightfully took offense to the televangelist Pat Roberston's outrageous claim that Haitian slaves made a "pact the the devil" for freedom from the French. Said Robertson: "The Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other."
Ambassador Raymond Joseph schooled Robertson on his warped view of American History: "I would like the whole world to know, especially America, thanks to the independence of Haiti ... when the slaves rose up against the French army, a powerful army ... the U.S. was able to gain the Louisiana Territory for $15 million. That's three cents an acre. Thirteen states west of the Mississippi that America [gained]. It also helped Latin America become free."
Cost of the Purchase in present day terms: Only about $213 million.
On the other hand: Haiti's independence came at a much steeper price. Port-au-Prince was forced to re-pay Paris the sum of 150 million francs or the modern equivalent of $21 billion. Crushing debt service to France consumed most of its national budget until about 1950. And thanks to the two generations of the Duvaliers looting the treasury, multinational banks, IMF and World Bank are significant creditors and have refused to forgive loans. If Haiti did make a pact with the "devil", that devil was the French government, the greedy multinational banks and Washington DC.
Watch the Haitian ambassador school a right-wing televangelist, WHEN YOU JUMP ...
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