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History As It Happens

Oct 26, 2021

Haiti, synonymous with generational poverty, misrule, and human misery, is reeling from a series of calamities as grave as any the island nation of 11 million people has suffered through. In July gunmen assassinated president Jovenel Moise, whom the opposition had accused of attempting to illegally prolong his term. The political crisis remains unresolved. In August a powerful earthquake killed more than 2,000 people and injured 12,000, recalling the devastating 2010 quake and the ensuing failure of donor relief to rebuild the country. And as the year draws to the close, Port-au-Prince is considered the kidnapping capital of the world as armed gangs operate with impunity. The weak central government is unable to control the gangs in a security vacuum caused by the departure of a U.N. lead peace-keeping force in 2019. In this episode of History As It Happens, historian Alan McPherson, an expert in U.S. foreign relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, discusses the roots of Haiti’s struggles, which date to its founding as the first free Black republic in 1804.