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Haiti - Politic : Moving tribute of President Martelly to Toussaint Louverture
01/11/2014 11:41:34

Haiti - Politic : Moving tribute of President Martelly to Toussaint Louverture
Saturday, President Michel Martelly, paid tribute at Fort de Joux (Doubs, Savoie) sits atop a rocky outcrop at 1,000 meters above sea level, to the independence hero, Toussaint Louverture, who was imprisoned by order of Napoleon Bonaparte, for having opposed by force of arms, to the restoration of black slavery.

The orders given by Bonaparte, specified that Toussaint Louverture "must receive proper treatment, that he will be sufficiently heated and dressed," but the climate of the mountains remains unbearable for a Caribbean man already sick. Toussaint Louverture died in his cell, April 7, 1803, five months after his arrival and before the independence of Haiti.

It is in the cell of Toussaint, on the ground floor of the dungeon vaulted building, measuring 6.50 m by 3.90 m that President Martelly has collected "I come here moved, throat tied, measure the price of courage, convictions, determinations of a man [...] The Haitian homeland is forever grateful to you, General," which he described as "black Spartacus".

"Here at Fort de Joux, a part of our history has been written ! This dungeon saw die one of the greatest humanists the world has ever known," declared the First Lady, Sophia Martelly.

The visit of President Martelly, is a historic first because until now no Haitian head of state in office, had never visited Fort de Joux.

"Toussaint Louverture has matured the great dream of freedom, he realized that the future of nations lies in their ability to free themselves mentally through education and dialogue to understand [...] He died far from us, he created us, he left us a country, we had to come for him," declared President Martelly on the sidelines of the ceremony marked by the interpretation of the two national anthems, "La Dessalinienne" and "La Marseillaise".

The team of Fort de Joux, who welcomed the President Martelly and with him all the people of Haiti has sent us some details "[...] the Fort de Joux was the first place of memory related to slavery and its abolition. In 1901, a ceremony was held to mark the establishment of a commemorative plaque. Then in 1927, a major event welcomed the General Nemours, who lodged into the cell of Toussaint, the Haitian flag, that Toussaint had not known. In 1937, a street Toussaint Louverture
was inaugurated in 1954 and a monument in his memory was installed. In 1972, two vocational schools have merged and took the name of Toussaint Louverture, in 1983, 1989 and 1998, other events took place and in 2003, major commemorations have marked the bicentenary of the death of Toussaint Louverture."

The Haitian community has about fifty members in the region some of whom fled the dictatorship of the Duvalier regime. Guided tours, entertainment and educational programs are offered regularly on this site.

HL/ TB/ HaitiLibre

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