Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Toussaint L'Ouverture, The Precursor

April 7, 2008

Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Precursor
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

From France, the 1789 Revolution presented the rest of the world with its paradigm of liberty, equality and fraternity. The new winds blowing across the Old Continent traveled all the way to the island of Hispaniola, then under French rule.

Led by Boukman, the slaves from the French side revolted in August 1791. Shortly after, Toussaint Louverture became the main leader of the insurrection.

His African grandfather taught him to read and write while Toussaint worked as a driver for the estate’s owner.

He learned his military skills in the Spanish army, but when he realized Spain’s only purpose was to destabilize the French without abolishing slavery, he rose up against his former chiefs, achieving the grades of Major General in 1796.

Wherever he went, he would free the slaves and urge people to render the plantations active again.

The fight against Britain –also deployed on the island’s French side–was much more difficult, but he finally secured control over the colony and expelled the British armies in 1798.

While governor of Saint Domingue, he was captured by general Leclerc in 1802 and shipped to France, where he was put in prison.

One major figure of the Revolution, L'Ouverture died on April 7, 1803.
However, on January 1, 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines proclaimed the independence of Haiti. (SE)

7 de abril 2008
Louverture, el Precursor

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