From Sun Nov 17 10:30:05 2002
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 08:34:28 -0600 (CST)
From: Bob Corbett <>
To: Haiti mailing list <>
Subject: 13709: mrapollon One Meaning of Vertieres (fwd)

From: Marlène Apollon <>

La bataille de Vertières continue

By Louis Mercier, 18 November 1936

Extract of a speech given by my maternal grandfather, Louis Mercier, at Vertieres on November 18, 1936 (my translation). Will we be better listeners than the folks of 1936?

The battle of Vertières goes on for us. We are still in the grasp of the forces of evil and destruction. All the stupid and deadly prejudices are still alive in our hearts and we still have a colonial mentality. We still haven't erased all traces of slavery. The vast majority (of our people) still live in ignorance, abject poverty, humiliation and this doesn't revolt us. The rules of hygiene are not observed. Our cities still don't look like modern cities and our countryside is too neglected. We are not yet great builders and we walk on too much devastation .Even today, we still don't want to be idealistic to become real Haitian citizens, to purge ourselves of fanaticism, hatred, to adopt and implement the noble laws of social justice and human solidarity, rid ourselves completely of all the viruses that poison our hearts and our brains: Cast prejudices, place of origin prejudices, relicts of a cursed past that we have to shed completely. Our ancestors have made immense efforts for liberty and fraternity. Don't let their sacrifices be in vain. Don't let those foreigners that our history fascinates and who admire us be disappointed by the sad spectacle that we offer. Life is beautiful only under the invigorating shadow of a great dream and in the framework of an admirable country where all the noble activities can be fostered, where intellect, willpower and reason are applied to maintain Justice, Goodness, Fraternity, godmothers of all progress.

Let's open our hearts to love. Let's develop every social program that will improve the lot of the wretched. Let's take the firm resolution to work to the point of sacrifice for the good of our country. That the only way we will grow. The fight goes on and we must remain in control of the field. Let us repeat, let us repeat unceasingly that truth that will liberate us: