Monday, February 4, 2013
In 2012, the average per capita income in Haiti was $1,300
To put this in perspective, the Bahamas has a per capita income of $30,400, Barbados has a per capita income of $25,000, and Puerto Rico has a per capita income of $16,300. Even Cuba under communism and American sanctions has a per capita income of $9,900. All of these neighboring countries have a longer experience with slavery, white supremacy, and colonialism than Haiti which was the second country in the Western hemisphere to win its independence in 1804. The one area where Haiti differs from its Caribbean neighbors is that it is the longest running experiment in black freedom in the world. Nowhere else in the Americas were black people as successful in preserving their own African culture or as unmolested by Europeans as they were in Haiti after 1804. In Haiti, blacks used their freedom to recreate the richest colony in the world in the image of the primitive African societies in which the majority of Haitians had been born and were only a few years removed. Elsewhere, the European impact was much more enduring and those colonies have been much more successful after independence.