Mwen se Ayiti. Depi lontan mwen ekziste, mwen te toujou gen gwo solèy ki t’ap klere m men sa pat enpeche m rete fre.
Mwen te gen pye k’ap pile m, ki vle di mwen te abite pa yon bèl ras yon nasyon po wouj.
Christophe Colomb ak solda li yo te vin dekouvri m kòm yon dezyèm paradi.
Depi lè sa yo wè ke lanati mwen bèl yo wè bèl pye bwa, bèl plaj, yo tonbe de pale yo banm pot non hispanyola; ki vle di petit espay.
Epoutan se blofe yo t’ap blofe m, yo te vle gaspiye m epi piye m.
Aprè kèlke mwa yo retounen debake pa pil pa pakèt ak yon bann gwo bato pou yo ale ak sa manman yo ak papa yo te kite pou yo
Yo te mete bèl pitit mwen yo nan esklavaj nan travay fòse. Yo fini pa mouri pase yo pat abitye, se kouche yo te konn kouche tout la senti jounen epi manje vyann boukannen.
La frans tande gen yon ti île, yon ti peyi li batay ak espanyol jiskaske yo twouve yo antant.
Yo siyen yon trete pou yo ka maltrete m.
Lè pitit mwen yo fin mouri (endyen yo) yo debake ale achte nèg an Afrik yo rantre vini ak yo sou yon gwo bato ki rele Negriye.
Nèg sa yo te vrèman imilye, maltrete, yo bay yo non esklav, ki se yon byen mèb, ki gen yon mèt. Esklav sa yo travay du lever au coucher du soleil, yo menm konn touye yo bay bèt manje.
Tout byen m ak ekonomi mwen te repose sou do esklav sa yo nan travay nan jaden kann, nan sikreri, nan boulanjeri, kòm esklav a talan, esklav domestik.
Se yon delivrans lè dwa de lòm te deklare tout moun fèt pou viv lib pa dwe gen kesyon esklav ak mèt.
Sa pot enpeche yo kontinye.
Sou abitasyon breda te gen yon ti nonm ki te rele Toussaint li lite jouk li kapab pou wè sil te ka delivre nèg sa yo men elas lit la te mal pase olye de dyalòg se te zam li te dwe pran.
Mwen kwe dyalòg tap pi bon pou mwen paske ti rès richès ki rete yo tap ret pou pititi mwen.
Dessalines repran lit la pou pi rèd ak yon sistèm koupe tèt, boule kay, aprè seremoni nan Bwa Kayiman anpil kay boule, anpil kout zam tire.
18 novanm 1803 nan batay Ravin Akoulèv anpil blan franse tonbe, anpil richès gaspiye.
An 1804, mwen gen yon peyi. Yon peyi ki plonje nan kriz ekonomik, kriz politik, kriz sosyal.
Kriz politik ak sosyal la fè anpil san koule. An 1805 Dessalines te touye ti rès franse sou pretèks yo se espyon ansyen metwopòl la.
E poutan yo pral touye nonm an 1806 poutèt tè li te vin ak yon sistèm gran pwopriyete tèrèn.
E poutan ti peyizan ki te libere m yo t’ap reklame ti lo tè, ti tè pa mòso misye te kont koripsyon administrativ li te sezi tout tè san papye.
Nou konnen nèg milat yo tap mande tè papa yo te kite pou yo, milat sa yo te mete ak ti peyizan yo.
Yo te rive touye Dessalines 17 oktòb 1806. Aprè sa te vin gen batay de Sibè mwen te vin gen 2 prezidan yon nan lwès ak sid, lòt la nan nò. Lè nèg sa yo fin mouri, Boyer pran la relèv, li peye dèt mwen yo li reyini île la ki te divize an 2 pati kanpay de lès e kanpay lwès.
Si nou wè mwen rakonte nou tray ak tribilasyon mwen, se paske mwen bezwen chanjman.
Chanjman sou tout pwen ke se swa politik, ekonomik, sosyal. Fòk nou respekte konstitisyon mwen an.
Ki vle di:
- Fòk eleksyon onèt e kredib, òganize chak fwa yon gouvènman fin pran manda li.
- Fòk nou sispann sistèm gwo pòch sa kraze kès leta = ogmante plis soufrans.
- Fòk nou kraze sistèm chomaj, chomaj sa ki lage pèp la nan zak malonèt tankou nan fè manifestasyon pou yo ka dechouke.
- Fòk gen inivèsite ak lise pou jèn yo mwen ka edike.
- Fòk gen yon rekonsilasyon nasyonal pou tout moun egal e fòk ekzile nou rantre lakay pou kontinye ede m sitou nan kesyon rekonstriksyon m.
Gen de bagay ki pase devan je m ki pa fè byen, tankou lè yon ap touye lòt oubyen lè siklòn ap fin pote pitit mwen na lanmè sa fè m mal anpil.
Mwen vle sot nan eta mwen ye ya men sa depan de nou.
Nan tèt ansanm, nan viv tankou frè ak sè, nan konn soufrans youn ak lòt n’ap rive rann mwen bèl.
Lè sa tout lòt nasyon ap vle frekante m ansi nou menm tou être ayitien veut dire avoir un drapeau.
Yon drapo ki senbolize lape, dyalòg rekonsilasyon, libète, egalite, ak fratènite.
I am Haiti. Long have I existed, and I have always been shone upon by the bright sun, but it never hindered me from staying cool.
Long ago, my land was trodden by many feet, which is to say that I was inhabited by a beautiful red-skinned race.
Christopher Columbus and his soldiers discovered me and found that, next to heaven, I was the closest thing to paradise.
From that moment they saw my beautiful nature, my beautiful trees and beautiful beaches, they christened me Hispaniola, which means Little Spain.
And yet it was nothing more than trickery and lies — they wanted only to lay waste to me and plunder me.
After some months they returned, they came on and all, with everything their mothers and fathers had left them.
They enslaved my beautiful children, put them to forced work. And they all began to die, my children, because they weren’t used to that kind of work — they were used to lying around all the blessed day eating roasted meat in their paradise.
They signed a treaty so they could mistreat me.
When at last all my children, the Indians, had died, the foreigners left to go buy Africans. They returned with them on great ships known as Négriers.
These men and women were so humiliated, abused. They were calles slaves, which is like being an object, a piece of property with a master. These slaves worked from sunrise to sunset, and could even be slaughted and fed to the beasts.
All of my wealth and economy rested on the backs of these slaves, working in the sugar cane fields, in the sugar factories, making bread, as “slaves of talent,” as domestic slaves.
It was salvation when the Rights of Man were declared, saying that everyone should live free, that there would no longer be slaves and masters.
This was the beginning of the end of slavery in Haiti.
On Breda’s plantation there lived a man named Toussaint. He fought as hard as he was able to deliver his countrymen from slavery, but alas, the struggle was greater than his ability to create dialogue, and in the end he had to take up arms instead.
I think that dialogue would have been better for me than armed struggled, because what remained of my riches would have been better preserved for my children.
Dessalines, again, took up the struggle for a better system. He beheaded, burned houses. After the ceremony at Bois Caiman, many homes were burned; many shots were fired.
On November 18, 1803, at the battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres, many French fell, and many of my riches were destroyed.
In 1804, I was born a country. A country plunged into economic crises, political crises, social crises.
The political and social crises made a lot of blood flow. In 1805, Dessalines killed what remained of the French on the pretext that they were spies of the former métropole.
However, he too would be killed, in 1806, because of his land reform policies.
And nonetheless, the small peasants who had liberated me claimed my land as their own, and Dessalines was against administrative corruption and seized all the ownerless land to be controlled by the state.
We knew the mulatres would demand the land their fathers had left for them, and those mulatres joined forces with the small peasants.
They killed Dessalines on October 17, 1806. After that, there was the Battle of Sibert, and I had two presidents, one in the west and the south, and one in the north. When they at last died, Boyer took advantage of this respite to pay my debts off and reunite the island that had been divided in two.
If you see that I am telling of my trials and tribulations, it’s because I yearn for change. Change in all realms, political, economic, and social. You must respect my constitution.
Which is to say:
- Elections must be honest and credible, organized every time a government has finished its mandate.
- We must stop this system of politicians filling their pockets from state coffers; it only leads to more suffering.
- We must break this system of unemployment. Unemployment leads people to commit dishonest acts, to protest in the streets, to engage in violent dechoukaj.
- We must have universities and high schools so my young people can be educated.
- We must have a national reconciliation so everyone can be equal, and the dyaspora should come home so they can help me, especially in this period of my reconstruction.
There are things that pass before me that hurt me — when people kill one another, or when hurricanes carry my children out to sea, this hurts me greatly.
I want to escape from this state I am in now, but that depends on you.
In putting your heads together, in living as brothers and sisters, in knowing one another’s suffering, you will make me more beautiful.
And when that happens, other countries will flock to me, your desires will be realized, and being Haitian will mean having a flag.
A flag which symbolizes peace, reconciliatory dialogue, liberty, equality, and brotherhood.
– Wescando DUVERT