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Haiti - Vertières 218th : Traditional message by Lesly Condé
Message by Lesly Condé :
"Dear compatriots and friends everywhere,
On the occasion of the 218th anniversary of the Battle of Vertières, I have the immense privilege of joining you, wherever you are, to commemorate this glorious event in our history and that of humanity. Vertières is a source of pride for all Haitians, and a reference for all those who are victims of oppression, and who find themselves obliged to face all dangers in order to affirm their humanity, and to guarantee a suitable future for those who will constitute future generations. This commemoration therefore takes on its full meaning for us Haitians because it includes a vibrant message from our ancestors; a message addressed directly to us.
The commemoration of the Battle of Vertières is a celebration of the invincibility of a whole people who are attached to their ancestral traditions and to their humanity. I tell you that even if slavery continued to exist after the defeat of the French colonial forces at Vertières, it was, in reality, the victory of our ancestors that sounded the death knell for this odious but lucrative exploitation of man by man.
However, one cannot avoid to recognize that November 18 is not a date commemorated or even mentioned outside the borders of Haiti or Haitian communities in the diaspora. It is because this world so enamored of freedom, justice and democracy, has never seen fit to cheer for the victory which marked the beginning of the end of the world order of slavery, and the birth of the first sovereign black state. of the New World.
Indeed, November 18 of each year should be commemorated by all nations as the day when, in the year 1803 at Vertières, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, at the head of an army of rebellious slaves, inflicted a clear and humiliating defeat to the slave troops of France, commanded by General Rochambeau.
There are still many who even today find it difficult to digest this eloquent lesson in humility and this remarkable triumph of human dignity. But Vertières belongs first and foremost to Haitians. This is our story. It is our identity. We have real heroes who we must proudly honor. It was in Vertières that the door to freedom opened for the whole world. It is up to us to be proud of our precious identity, and to remind the world that freedom was born in Vertières on November 18, 1803.
Today, our country is experiencing one of the most humiliating moments in all of its history. This time again, we can and must only rely on ourselves. Our ancestors, who have served as inspiration for several peoples, can also inspire us. We can unite. We need to come together to do what no one else can do for us.
Other messages by Lesly Condé 2021 :