A group of Canadian, US and French activists calling itself the Committee for the Reimbursement of the Indemnity Money Extorted from Haiti (CRIME) is taking credit for a fake announcement on July 14 implying that the French government will pay Haiti 21 billion USD in reparations.
“It is most unfortunate that the Quai d’Orsay has been so ungrateful, and frankly, uncooperative, with our bold initiative to improve the French government’s reputation in Haiti,” stated the group’s spokesperson Laurence Fabre.
“The real hoax is how little France, as well as the U.S. and Canada, have offered Haiti in earthquake relief, relative to what Haitians are owed in reparations,” she added.
The group today issued the following statement to the media:
The French government has stated that it is considering legal recourse against us.
This is very fitting, as it is our concern with crimes that led us to make this false announcement. We are the Committee for the Reimbursement of the Indemnity Money Extorted from Haiti (in French, le Comité pour le Remboursement Immédiat des Montants Envolés » d’Haïti, and in both languages spelling CRIME).
But is a spoof website such a grave crime, compared to what the French have done in Haiti:
-The forcible capture, commerce, brutalization, torture, murder and enslavement of millions of Africans over more than two centuries
-Expropriating 90 million gold francs from Haiti as an indemnity for lost French slave-trade profits following Haiti’s independence, and saddling Haitians with an illegitimate debt that Haiti paid France for 122 years
-Actively helping to overthrow Haiti’s democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, on February 29, 2004 in large measure because he had the temerity to demand that France reimburse Haiti the “independence debt” with interest amounting to about $21 billion. This was the first time a former slave colony officially requested reparations from a former colonial and slave-owning nation.
- Promising to Haiti through pledged contributions to UN agencies, NGOS and the Red Cross some $180 million, but six months later, not one centime has been delivered to Haiti, according to the UN’s humanitarian aid tracking site Relief Web. Meanwhile the French secretary of state for overseas development traveled via private jet to a conference on aid for Haiti at a cost of $143,000.
We leave it to the court of world public opinion to judge: Who are the real criminals?
UPDATE: as of the afternoon of Friday, 16, the website diplomatiegov.fr was reportedly shut down by the French government. However it will soon be up again at its new home–diplomatiegov.info. And you can still watch the video of announcement on Haiti reparations at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsF62O3N6sAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsF62O3N6sA.