Why doesn’t Haiti work? Why do we keep hearing about this small nation and its seemingly
never-ending cycle of natural disasters and political upheaval?
Haiti, poor Haiti - why can’t they get their act together?
I first visited Haiti in 2009 and learned that the answers to these questions are
complex and rooted in Haiti’s birth as a nation in 1804. When Haiti emerged out of
the only successful slave revolution in world history, it was seen as a threat by
all the colonial, slave holding powers. A few years after Haiti gained independence,
France extorted reparations for loss of slaves and territory, payments that went
on until 1946.
The pattern of disastrous outside interference hasn’t changed since, only the players.
As French influence declined, the US stepped in, occupying the country for 19 years,
and propping up the regressive and dictatorial local elite. In the last 20 years
Canada has joined as a junior partner to France and the US in imposing their destructive
political will and making Haiti a poster child for privatization and ‘free’ markets.
Dangerous Hope is a film that focuses on the evolution of Haiti’s democracy movement
and the way it has been thwarted since its inception by the powers within and without.
It examines the key role of Canada, along with the US and France, in the coup in
2004 that removed the last widely supported democratic government in Haiti.
This documentary, currently in production, features over 20 interviews with democracy
activists and scholars, using archival footage as well as exclusive imagery acquired
during the last three years. The film counters the dominant narrative of Haiti as
a failed state requiring foreign management. It is important for us outside Haiti
to encourage and support the popular progressive movement. Please help us to complete
Dangerous Hope: The Struggle for Democracy in Haiti