RWBF:Chapter Thirteen Development Notes

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  • The adoption of the name Haiti was symbolic of the victory of the oppressed (because of the Taíno - "Ayti" was their name for the island.)
  • Haiti saw some short-term prosperity, but eventually succumbed to debt. The American occupation followed by the despotic reigns of the Duvaliers and subsequent meddling in the process of democracy might have finally done what Napoleon could not - bring this vitally important country to its knees.
  • Haiti continued the fight for independence by supporting Simon Bolivar, among others. For her continuing dedication to the ideals of freedom, she has paid a heavy price. Rather than being the sign of a dysfunctional nation, Haiti's ongoing political turmoil is a metaphor for the larger turmoil that goes on today around the world - who gets to hold power and why? Haiti ping-pongs between rule by the masses and rule by the elite. This struggle plays out on perhaps a subtler scale in our own country and elsewhere.