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By Keith Bernard

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Mar. 21, 2024: As a keen observer of history and current affairs, I cannot help but draw attention to the striking parallels between the current state of Haiti and one of the most noteworthy events in French history, the storming of the Bastille. Just as this pivotal moment marked the beginning of profound change in France – Haiti’s former colonizer, Haiti finds itself at a critical juncture, grappling with deep-rooted issues and yearning for transformative reform.

People walk past the body of a dead person as at least 10 bodies of gang members lie in the streets following the exchange of gunfire between armed gangs in Petion-Ville on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti on March 18, 2024. (Photo by Guerinault Louis/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, symbolized the uprising of the French people against oppression and tyranny, leading to the French Revolution and the collapse of the monarchy. Similarly, Haiti, a nation born out of a historic slave revolt and the first successful slave rebellion, is now facing a crisis of governance, economic instability, and social unrest.

Much like the grievances of the French populace against the monarchy, the people of Haiti are demanding accountability from their leaders, an end to corruption, and the fulfillment of basic needs such as access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. Moreover, in Haiti because of a vacuum caused by lack of political leadership, gangs have taken to the streets looting and murdering citizens while demanding justice and equality for the oppressed citizenry, they alleged to represent.

Consequently, just as the French Revolution was fueled by ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity for centuries, these fundamental rights remain unattainable for the first independent black republic in the world. Haiti has faced centuries of exploitation, political instability, and foreign intervention, hindering its development and progress.

Therefore, it is imperative for both the international community, especially Caricom and the Haitian leaders to recognize the urgency of the situation and work towards sustainable solutions that address the root causes of Haiti’s challenges in the 21st century. Moreover, history has shown us that ignoring the grievances of the people can lead to further turmoil and unrest.

In conclusion, Caricom leaders need to genuinely stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti as they strive for a brighter future. By acknowledging the parallels between these two historical moments, all can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of governance, power dynamics, and the quest for freedom and justice.

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