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From the opinion page: Don't count Haiti out

January 15, 2010 |  6:03 am

Almost since its inception, outsiders have proclaimed Haiti doomed. In the wake of its 1791 slave rebellion, which led, in 1804, to independence from France and the establishment of the world's first black republic, observers were convinced the island nation would not survive. The sin of the triumphant Haitians was not only their blackness. Even worse, while many professed Christianity, the great majority followed traditional African practices, or voodoo.

More recently, doomsayers have focused on Haiti's corrupt leadership, on its environmental disasters and its failure to find a good fit with globalization. And yet, the country has limped on, defiantly resilient.

With Tuesday's devastating earthquake, Haiti's inevitable demise is again being heralded, most egregiously by fundamentalist minister Pat Robertson, who declared the earthquake evidence that Haiti was under a curse because it had made "a deal with the devil" to get out from under French rule. Well, Robertson is an unvarnished speaker, let's put it that way. But he is not the only one who thinks like this.

-- Amy Wilentz

Continue reading Don't count Haiti out.

Editorial: Helping Haiti help itself.


Audio slide show: Desperation in Port-au-Prince (graphic content)

Photos: Earthquake hits Haiti

Videos: Haiti earthquake and its aftermath

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