Oh, mesi, Bon Dye, one can imagine Ariel Henry, the interim Prime Minister of Haiti, saying this morning—Thank you, Lord—not because he likes earthquakes or doesn’t care about the people of his country but because a 7.2 earthquake just off shore with hundreds of buildings down and more than 700 counted dead so far, and roads impassable and a tropical storm on the way to create mudslides and more destruction and death is easier to deal with than the investigation of the July 7th assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
A Haitian friend and I have been talking the last few days about the “telenovela” that is the story of Haiti, post-assassination. In the days just after the murder, he said “it feels like an abscess emptying out, which could be good.” Now it feels more like the ranks closing and shutting down the investigative process, such as it is, while carrying out and elaborating the almost comic narrative the authorities have created to explain things and shield the actual perpetrators and intellectual authors….
It’s been 217 years since Toussaint died of cold, exposure, and neglect on April 7, 1803, at the Fort de Joux, on a high hilltop in the Doubs, France. He’d been arrested treacherously in Haiti by a French ally, and the French then had him transported across the Atlantic on the French frigate Créole, after his arrest in Haiti.
A plantain leaf, some plastic, and a piece of nylon string, and the Haitian market woman, top, trying to ward off COVID-19, has managed to duplicate part of the 17th-Century costume designed to protect medical men from the plague.