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  • Writer's pictureYasmin Aliya Khan

Unrest in Haiti

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Hello! Welcome to the Global Thread podcast. I’m your host, Yasmin Aliya Khan, and today we’re talking about political unrest in Haiti.

As a born-and-raised American citizen of Indian descent, I’ve carried a nearly lifelong grievance against Christopher Columbus, the guy who, according to legend and not much else, discovered the Americas while thinking he was in India. When he encountered brown people, he put two and two together and called them Indians. Over 600 years later, we still call them that, which is fun for actual Indian people who now have to clarify whether we’re “dots” or “feathers.” Just… so much fun.

But however you feel about him and regardless of how much of the legend of Columbus is actually true, he did land on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea. As you may recall from your high school geography class, Hispaniola is one of the bigger islands in the Caribbean and it’s split into two separate nations - the Dominican Republic and Haiti. At the time when Columbus quote-unquote “discovered” the island, it was already inhabited by a few different native tribes, but for the sake of our story today, we don’t need to go quite so far back. For once.

Before we get started, I want to talk a little bit about racism. I know - it’s not exactly a topic that can or should be casually mentioned in really any context, but it’s pretty central to what we’ll be discussing. I think for most Americans, racism is a thing that’s been so ingrained into our society and culture that a United States without racism is almost unfathomable. Of course, ours is a unique situation in a lot of ways because of the “melting pot” nature of our nation and how it was founded. Issues between groups, even if you were to somehow take slavery out of the equation, were inevitable. Whenever Americans look elsewhere, we tend to see nations with, at least to our untrained eyes, largely homogenous citizenry. We tend to lump people together into groups without accounting for the subgroups that are found within them. We tend to recognize blatant racism, such as what’s going on in China against the Muslims, but we don’t view it as a systemic, historic, or prevalent issue within those nations as we would with our own. This can usually just be attested to our familiarity with our nation’s history and our collective lived experiences, but racism is everywhere. It crops up all the time, even if you’re not looking for it. Sometimes the explanation for why one group is being discriminated against by another really is that simple.

The reason why I’m bringing it up now is because the racism present on the island of Hispaniola today has strong and obvious roots in its history. It’s not a controversial statement to assert that there is racism at play in today’s ongoing conflict between Haiti and the DR, so when I talk about it, it will be quite matter-of-factly. As always, though, you’re welcome to look into it further on your own, you’re reminded that even within seemingly blanket statements, there is still nuance to consider, and you’re encouraged to form your own thoughts and opinions on the matter. And of course, it goes without saying that not everyone from either Haiti or the DR is a racist. That’s not what we’re talking about here.

Ok, so with that said, let’s get into it.


Democracy in Haiti has hit a hiccup. For a nation notoriously plagued with various different issues, from natural disasters to widespread poverty to yes, racism, Haiti can now add “political unrest” to the list. Its current president, Jovenel Moïse, was elected in 2017 under questionable circumstances. Now, Haitians are saying his term was up this past February while Moïse insists that he’s still got another year on his term. Before we get into all of that, though, we should get a better idea of what Haiti’s working with.

I’m sure it must have sounded harsh when I referred to Haiti as “notoriously plagued,” but dare I say, I wasn’t being hyperbolic. Importantly, though, I don’t mean to disparage Haiti. It’s up against a lot and one only needs to take a brief look at its history to understand that many of Haiti’s modern-day trials are the collective result of hundreds of years of direct antagonism towards them. Haiti, despite having some incredible and historic triumphs in its time, has had to struggle against some intense and persistent variables, both internal and external. For these reasons and more, when our former president called Haiti a word that I’d rather not say on my podcast, it mostly served to highlight his historical and cultural ignorance (which is putting it nicely).


So what’s Haiti like today? As I mentioned, Haiti is located in the Caribbean Sea on the western portion of the island of Hispaniola, with the Dominican Republic making up the rest of the island. They’re neighbors, but they’re not friends. We’ll get into why that is later.

With Haiti taking up roughly one-third of the island, a mountainous middle serves as a physical barrier between the two nations. Its capital city, Port-au-Prince, is also its largest city, and its main industry is small-scale agriculture, which comprises about 40% of its economy. Even with that, most of Haiti’s food supply is imported from other nations, like the US, making it dangerously dependent on foreign aid.

A former French colony, French is still Haiti’s official language. Over 95% of the population is African, descendants of slaves imported by the French from western and central Africa. With a very young and mostly illiterate population, academics and skilled workers are few and far between, which doesn’t bode well for either the current economy or the nation’s future. (World Population Review)

According to the World Bank, Haiti is the poorest country in the entire western hemisphere, and it ranks 169 out of 189 on the Human Development Index. With increasing levels of poverty and a widening wealth gap, Haiti’s economic issues are getting worse, not better. Over the past few decades, its GDP growth has been slow, up until 2019 when it actually started to regress thanks to mass unemployment, currency depreciation, inflation, etc.

Geographically, Haiti is mostly covered in mountains. In fact, its name is derived from the Arawak word for a mountainous land. The flatter plains areas are the best for agriculture, but they’re also where all the people live, so space is tight, in that respect. Furthermore, that land has been overcultivated, starting back from the time when it was under French rule and continuing to this day, resulting in withering topsoil and erosion that many scientists fear is irreversible. This isn’t a good outlook for a nation so dependent on agriculture and subsistence farming.

Speaking of mountains... Mountains can be found along, what? Fault lines! Yes, Haiti is prone to earthquakes, and I’m sure many of you remember the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti back in 2010. The nation still hasn’t recovered from the damage, nor from the economic impact of the earthquake. Remember how approximately 40% of its economy comes from agriculture? This industry and its workers were hit particularly hard during the earthquake, further exacerbating the nation’s economic decline. And speaking of mountains and farming, the mountains can literally get in the way of rainfall. Because of the natural topography blocking the humid trade winds coming in from the east, Haiti doesn’t see nearly as much rain as the Dominican Republic does. This can lead to widespread food shortages and increased reliance on foreign aid. Of course, hurricanes don’t care about a few measly mountains, so Haiti is still vulnerable to those. (Britannica)

By now, you should be starting to see how the deck is stacked against Haiti - and we haven’t even gotten into its history, yet.


Have you ever seen “Pirates of the Caribbean?” I feel like everyone has, at this point - the first one, I mean. Jack kept talking about the island of “Tortuga.” I don’t remember what he was doing there or why he was talking about it (it’s been a while), but it makes sense that he was interested in it. Tortuga is an island off the coast of Haiti that served as a pirate stronghold back in the 17th and 18th centuries. I believe Pirates of the Caribbean was set somewhere around this time, not that I’m relying on Disney for a historically accurate depiction of the time and place, but yeah… Tortuga is now part of modern-day Haiti.

When our friend, Christopher Columbus, landed in what would come to be known as the Americas, he landed in present-day Haiti. It’s not like he turned up in Virginia or something - he never actually came to North America. After claiming the entire island for Spain, he then proceeded to decimate its native population by way of forced labor in gold mines and European diseases, as was the thing to do in those days. Today, very little, if anything, remains of the island’s native population.

Once the supply of natives had been exhausted, the Spanish started importing slaves from Africa with many of them eventually suffering the same end as the natives.

While the Spanish were busy settling and cultivating the land mainly on the east side of the island, the French were getting cozy over on the west side… and they were getting quite bold about it.

Ah, the French. What a time it was to be French! Under the rule of King Louis XIV, France was seeking to grow its European borders. In the 1670s, France took on the Dutch in a campaign that ultimately yielded some territorial gains, but it put a pretty significant dent in the French coffers. By the time a peace treaty was signed, France was a powerful nation with a power-hungry monarch sitting at the helm - and it had lost the favor of many of its neighbors and former allies.

In the following years, France would continue to upset its neighbors, even at one point creating a pseudo-refugee crisis by removing religious protections towards Protestants and forcing them to flee. All the while, the other European powers were each embroiled in their own conflicts against one another, both in Europe and abroad in their colonies. Notably, England was dealing with Scotland, the French were funding conflicts abroad, and Spain was being ruled by Charles II, the famously inbred Hapsburg monarch who is honestly deserving of an entire podcast episode of his own. All it took was France to act out - again - and before they knew it, they were involved in the Nine Years’ War.

The war took place from 1688-1697, and at this point, the other European powers had formed a Grand Alliance against France in an effort to curb their expansionist pipe dreams. The alliance consisted of the Holy Roman Empire, England, Portugal, the Dutch, and Spain. Because these participating nations held plenty of colonies abroad, their European conflict played out on several different fronts.

So down on Hispaniola, the pirates were more active, particularly on the western portion of the island and on Tortuga, so the Spanish kept more to the east. Following the Nine Years’ War, a treaty was signed where Spain handed over the western third of the island to the French. With that, the French set up an official colony. Now, we’ve got the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo in the east and the French colony, Saint-Domingue, in the west.

The French were finally able to get to work, and they had a ton of debt to pay off from all of their wars. The 1600s were expensive for them.

For now, though, Saint-Domingue was thriving. The French buckled down and transformed it into a productive and prosperous land while the Spanish found themselves embroiled in another war back home following the death of their sovereign, King Charles II. Saint-Domingue came to be known as the “Pearl of the Antilles,” eventually becoming one of the most profitable colonies in the world primarily from sugar and coffee exports. The French set up plantations on the land and by way of an aggressive slave trade, they secured an inexhaustive and cheap labor force.

With a seemingly neverending supply of Africans to work the land, the French were raking in profits. As is often the case with slavery, the conditions were so brutal that naturally occurring population growth amongst Africans was slow. So… they just imported more - more than anywhere else in the North American colonies. The French colonizers then started to procreate with the Africans, eventually creating a whole new class of mulattos. As a result, Saint-Domingue had the largest population of free people of color in the colonies.

Which is kind of cool! But they didn’t like that!

Meanwhile, there was a group called the “maroons.” They were runaway slaves who went to live in the mountains, separate from society. One of these maroons was called François Makandal and in 1757, he organized a widespread rebellion against the slaveholders. By activating his extensive and widespread network, he had slaves poisoning the drinking water of their households. As more and more French slaveholders got sick and died, they finally figured out the culprit, found him, and burned him publicly at the stake lest any other slaves decided to take up his mantle.

The French then had to decide how best to manage their growing colony of affluent and subversive non-whites. Those of mixed race enjoyed more freedoms than the Africans, usually in the form of wealth and property inheritances, including their own slaves in some cases. Predictably, the French eventually started to resent that, fearing a loss of power or specialness or superiority or whatever despite being the minority population group.

One report from a French colonial administrator described the situation thusly:

“These men are beginning to fill the colony and it is of the greatest perversion to see them, their numbers continually increasing amongst the whites, with fortunes often greater than those of the whites . . . their arrogance increases in proportion to their wealth. They bid on properties that are for sale in every district and cause their prices to reach such astronomical heights that the whites who have not so much wealth are unable to buy, or else ruin themselves if they do persist. In this manner, in many districts the best land is owned by the half-castes. . . These coloreds imitate the style of the whites and try to wipe out all memory of their original state.”

For starters, they were no longer allowed to “imitate the style of the whites,” with restrictions imposed on how they dressed. They also sought to repress African cultures and religious beliefs. Many of the Africans came from different tribes along the African coast, so there was already a good amount of cultural variation amongst them, making them easier to suppress. The “divide” part of “divide and conquer” was already done. Their religious beliefs, many rooted in Vodou, were determined to be illegitimate and nonsensical as opposed to Catholicism - do with that what you will - so Africans either had to practice in secret or abandon their beliefs. Beyond that, the free people of color were discriminated against in many of the usual ways - they weren’t allowed to marry the French, they were restricted in where they could go and how they were allowed to assemble, they weren’t allowed to hold certain professions or elected office, etc. What were they allowed to do? They were allowed to lend money to the French and, of course, they were required to serve in the French military.

And then came the revolution…

Haitian Revolution

As you’ve probably realized, we’re coming up on the 1770s now, when the US declared independence from Britain. The French aided us in our fight, providing significant monetary and military aid. This not only put the French in quite the financial pickle, but it also gave the Haitians some ideas.

The following decade, the French found themselves dealing with their own revolution, further destabilizing the nation. With the French revamping their constitution and determining a new path forward, the free Black and mulatto populations in Saint-Domingue were blocked from representation. This move lacked foresight considering that many free Blacks and mulattos were actively gaining wealth and influence while also growing in numbers. Instead of granting them a seat at the table, the French in Saint-Domingue treated them even more brutally than before, even killing them and their white allies. In turn, more of the enslaves deflected to become maroons, which led to more brutality from the French, and so it went…

As the French Revolution kicked into high gear, France became increasingly unstable. Taking their cues from the US, the French asserted the rights of man - freedom, liberty, property, etc. - but the French colonists rebelled against this. They sought independence from France in an effort to make larger profits off of their productions, but the African population opposed independence fearing even more unchecked persecution from the French colonists and increased limitations placed on what few rights they already had.

I want to pause for a second to point out that many of the driving forces behind this budding revolution centered around free and wealthy people of color rather than enslaved ones. The free people were asserting their rights in a colony where they had, by now, grown up. They were contributing members of society, in many cases running more profitable and prolific plantations than the French colonists, and they were still seen as inferior. When one of them demanded he be allowed to vote, he was captured and killed. This particular fight wasn’t about slavery, at least not initially. It was about representation in government, civil rights, and unavoidably, racism.

But make no mistake - the enslaved people weren’t happy either. They just had different reasons for being unhappy, reasons that I assume are obvious. In 1791, a historic slave revolt occurred. Black people in the territory weren’t allowed to assemble in large groups past a certain time, so they organized in secret, eventually unleashing a crippling siege against their white oppressors. Not only did they inflict the same brutality against the French that they themselves had been subjected to, but they burned plantations - hundreds of them. Without plantations, there was no need for labor, but more importantly, without plantations, the French were bleeding money. As I’m sure we all know by now, the only meaningful way to enact meaningful change is to hit someone’s wallet. It’s no secret that atrocities are shamelessly perpetuated as long as they’re still profitable.

In response and in a desperate attempt to quell the rebellion, the French did something unprecedented - they ceded to the rebels’ demands, granting the free men of color their rights and even abolishing slavery in some areas. Other enslaving nations couldn’t believe this was happening and began to fear similar revolts in their own colonies, but for France, they literally couldn’t afford to lose control of Saint-Domingue, their own Pearl of the Antilles. Bear in mind, though, that what France decreed and what the French colonists enforced were often two different things. The revolts continued and its supporters grew by the thousands.

Eventually, the British and the Spanish came to support the rebels, not so much because they believed in their cause, but more so because they didn’t like the French. The Spanish wanted the French off of their island and the British wanted Saint-Domingue and all of its riches for itself, first supporting the rebels, and then re-enacting slavery wherever they were successful. Needless to say, they made a lot of enemies. Ultimately, this proved to be incredibly costly for the British, who were still fighting with the French following the US and French revolutions.

Ok, I need to move this story along because we’ve got lots more to get to, so let’s talk about the rebels briefly. The Haitian Revolution is considered one of, if not the most successful slave rebellion in recent-ish history. One of reasons they were successful was because the mainland French were distracted, broke, and ganged up against by their enemies. Also, the rebels employed guerilla-esque techniques that we’ve seen to be successful throughout history and today. Intimate knowledge of the land and the people that populated it, as opposed to the colonizers who couldn’t be bothered to learn about those they had enslaved, allowed them to hide from prying eyes in the mountains and network effectively with those sympathetic to their cause, even while being denied the right to assembly and freedom of religion. Religion comes into it because even though the French tried to suppress the practice of Vodou in the territory, they simply couldn’t. The Africans, though they came from all over Africa, were decently connected to one another through this belief system, and the rebellion was largely organized by a Vodou high priest and priestess. On top of that, the rebels were seriously underestimated by the French colonists, in large part due to just overt racism, and otherwise due to the fact that they really thought they had these rebels on lock.

As mainland France sought to negotiate with the rebels in the hopes of keeping the peace, the slavers on the island became more dissatisfied and refused to acquiesce to what was being asked of them. They were afraid that if they gave a little, their slaves would increasingly ask for more. They were afraid of losing their livelihood because they couldn’t work a plantation on their own and they couldn’t afford to pay for labor. They chose to risk more violence now in exchange for better control of their slaves in the future rather than admit that the jig was already up. The ones who did support negotiations did so primarily because they recognized that they were mistreating these people and didn’t want to be retaliated against. So much for the Golden Rule, am I right?

Skipping ahead a few years, the Spanish and British were defeated, with yellow fever playing a huge role in driving up the death tolls on all sides. Napoleon made a brief attempt to reinstate slavery in the territory, but after a while, he didn’t want to invest much more time, money, or men in the French-American colonies, especially after selling Louisiana to the US in 1803. The following year in 1804, Haiti became the second colony in all of the Americas to gain independence, following the US. It also became the first Black republic in the world.

And as I’m sure is no shock to most of you, they were punished for the audacity of independence.

Having inherited a land that had been ravaged by war, lands that, by the way, had already been ravaged from the over-cultivation of a few crops, they struggled economically from the get-go. France, salty about what they lost, implored other colonizing and enslaving nations to make an example out of the Haitians before their own slaves revolted against them. The Haitians were cut off from existing trade routes and were crippled economically. The US, for its part, didn’t even acknowledge Haiti’s independence. Years later - and you guys are going to love this - the French made the Haitians pay reparations to THEM for the cost of the Haitians obtaining their independence.

And as most millennials these days can tell you, it’s really, really hard to start a life when you’re starting off in the red. Haiti didn’t pay off the debt until 1947, over a hundred years after it was imposed upon them. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Haiti’s debt amounted to $22 billion in today’s money, and 80% of its revenues - not profits - went towards paying it off. Haiti’s lack of modern-day infrastructure and institutions can be attributed to this. Tack on some seriously heavy natural disasters and, well, the new nation, despite all it had overcome, barely stood a chance.

US Occupation

We won’t get too much into this, but foreign intervention continued to plague Haiti following its independence from France. For instance, the US occupied Haiti in 1915, allegedly to help stabilize it after their president was assassinated, but it was really to monitor our enemies’ moves in the Caribbean and to protect our interests over there. By enacting martial law, we infringed on the rights of the citizenry by taking over control of their banking system, setting up concentration camps, busting up unions, and imposing forced labor, which is a hell of a euphemism. Additionally, we imposed religious suppression and racial segregation, courtesy of our own Jim Crow laws, and according to a representative from the NAACP, “some three thousand Haitian men, women, and children have been shot down by American rifles and machine guns.” Meanwhile, several Haitian leaders were either assassinated or deposed for holding stances that didn’t benefit the US, which only contributed to the instability that the US claimed to be working against. It wasn’t until years of rebellions, thousands more Haitian deaths, and a new administration in the US that we finally left Haiti no better than we’d found it.

Following our departure, the nation still struggled with inexperienced and/or corrupt leaders who continued to exploit and devastate both the land and the population. Even after enacting democratic elections, coups and political unrest were still real problems, with frequent allegations being made against the US for interfering in their elections.

Most recently, the election of Jovenel Moïse, Haiti’s current president, was contested for a year in 2016 before a second election was held in 2017.

While all of this is happening - and I can’t emphasize this enough - the natural disasters, man. In the last several decades alone, major hurricanes have battered Haiti in rapid succession, barely giving the Haitians a moment to breathe in between them, let alone any chance to build back whatever infrastructure it had. The 2010 earthquake displaced about 1.5 million Haitians, and the country simply couldn’t afford to rebuild. Foreign aid was either slow to reach Haiti or just went missing - looking at you, Wyclef. For a country that relies heavily on agriculture, not just as an industry, but as a way for individuals and families to feed themselves, large swaths of farmland was destroyed. Frequent droughts don’t help, either.

Following the 2010 earthquake, the US, under the Obama administration, granted Haitians temporary protected status, which allowed them to come here to live and work. Years later, the Trump administration, in addition to reducing Haitian aid, revoked the protected status, leaving tens of thousands of Haitians vulnerable to deportation. The new administration claimed that Haiti was all better now, so the Haitians abroad could return home - no problem. Of course, that wasn’t actually the case. Even Marco Rubio fought against the revocation, which says something.

Relations with the Dominican Republic

While Haiti has a world of its own concerns, its neighbors have significantly less. The DR is more prosperous, has better farmland, and enjoys a more stable government. They also don’t really like the Haitians, which is a problem because now, there are tons of Dominicans of Haitian descent, as well as Haitians who work in the DR.

This goes back to the 1800s when the Haitians briefly occupied the Dominican Republic, but it was reinvigorated in the 1930s when the DR was being led by Rafael Trujillo. He enacted a policy of “anti-Haitianism,” which is exactly what it sounds like. At the time, the border between the DR and Haiti was pretty loose, with many living along the border crossing it daily. Under Trujillo, the Haitians, even those that were Dominican citizens, were targeted and killed in a pogrom called the Parsley Massacres. Trujillo said it was because the Haitians were stealing from the Dominicans and practicing Vodou, but whatever the actual reason, the death toll from the massacres has been estimated to be anywhere from a few hundred to 30,000 Haitians. Quite the discrepancy.

Following Trujillo, several other overtly racist and nationalistic leaders took control of the nation, institutionalizing anti-Haitian sentiments in the education system and eventually, in government legislation. Speaking very broadly, Dominicans see the Haitians as Blacks, while they consider themselves to be the white descendents of Europeans. The Haitians are often portrayed as aggressors towards the Dominicans, bringing violence and destruction to the DR. Their religious beliefs clash with and offend Dominican Catholics, and Haitians were accused of taking Dominican jobs, which I’m sure will sound familiar to many of you.

In 2013, the Dominican government implemented a policy against any Dominicans of Haitian descent, regardless of whether or not they were born in the Dominican Republic. Whereas before, if you were born in the DR, you had Dominican citizenship, that’s no longer the case. To make matters much, much worse, the policy was retroactive, meaning that Haitians born in the Dominican Republic from 1929 onward were stripped of their citizenship and subject to deportation. Thousands of these Haitian Dominicans were suddenly rendered stateless, institutionally unwelcome in their own home.

1929, y’all. That’s over 90 years. Many of these Haitian Dominicans have never lived in Haiti. They’ve lived and worked in the Dominican Republic their whole lives. This is a policy that spans several generations of people. My grandfather was born in 1929 and I can’t imagine that someone like him at 90-something years old could be deported from a country he’s lived and worked in his whole life.

To complicate matters for the Haitian Dominicans further, they are not allowed access to schools or well-paying jobs. Those with jobs in the DR are sometimes deported after they’ve completed their work but before they’ve gotten paid for it. Even Haitians from Haiti who frequently sell to and trade with the Dominicans are treated unfairly in their business dealings.

Again, these are not Haitians who were living illegally in the DR. They’re natural-born citizens that are being targeted. And I always like to remind people that just because this is a nation’s policy, it doesn’t mean that all Dominicans are anti-Haitian. These laws are enforced by a nationalistic government with police force. Many, many Dominicans oppose the measures taken against the Dominicans of Haitian descent.

Jovenel Moïse

Now, under the presidency of Jovenel Moïse, violence in the streets of Port-au-Prince is skyrocketing. The people are protesting Moïse for refusing to step down as president. They claim that his term ended back in February, but Moïse asserts that he’s still got another year. The confusion stems from Moïse’s controversial election when he didn’t actually take office until a year after he was initially elected. The protesters are upset that despite promising to fight instability and government corruption, both have gotten worse in Haiti. Gang violence has increased, and now, people are being kidnapped for ransom off of the street.

Moïse, who’s backed by the global superpowers, including the US, insists that he’s continuing to fight for the Haitian people, but he’s not bothered by the protests against him, insisting that protests and disagreements are normal and welcome parts of democracy. Ok fine… but kidnappings? Police killings? Not so much. Also, he’s dissolved Parliament, so he’s basically governing by decree, putting him one step closer to authoritarian rule.

President Biden is now hearing calls to drop support for Moïse, but whether or not he will is obviously yet to be seen. In the past, he’s criticized Trump’s treatment of Haiti and its people, stating,

“The Trump Administration is abandoning the Haitian people while the country’s political crisis is paralyzing that nation. As president, I would press for dialogue to prevent further violence and instability.”

While a promise to “press for dialogue” is super vague, the first part of that quote makes his stance on the issue pretty clear. However, disapproving of something is very, very different from actually doing something about it. What can Biden actually do in this case? At the very least, he can publicly renounce support for Moïse, but more practically, he can reinstate the aid money that Trump had reneged on. Offering aid wouldn’t be enough, though. For a nation rife with corrupt leaders, aid money rarely gets to the people and places that need it most, so aid workers would need to find a way to work around that. He can also grant Haitians temporary protected status again, especially since Trump revoked it in the midst of Haitian deportations from the Dominican Republic.

Unfortunately, issues such as this one are always many, many smaller issues rolled into one “conflict,” going back centuries, and politicized to hell. Resolving them not only involves solving the pressing issues, such as police brutality, gang violence, and kidnappings, but also institutional ones - wealth inequality, systemic racism, government corruption and authoritarianism, a lack of civil rights, poor infrastructure, poor education systems, a perpetually suffering economy… to say it’s overwhelming is an understatement. Foreign intervention, apart from providing resources, can often do more harm than good, a lesson that Haitians have learned time and time again throughout their history. I don’t know what the endgame is here, but the Haitian diaspora is already far-reaching. We’ll have to keep watching.

That’s it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening! If you’d like to read a transcript of this episode, you can do so at, or if you’d like to help support this podcast, you can head over to Any and all support is greatly appreciated as it allows me to keep doing what I do for you. Thanks again, I’ll talk to y’all soon.


JSTOR; The Depopulation of Hispanic America After the Conquest: Livi-Bacci, M. (2006). The Depopulation of Hispanic America after the Conquest. Population and Development Review, 32(2), 199-232. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from


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