Reflections on Sovereignty
This concluding chapter considers concepts fundamental to the ‘idea’ of Haiti as rooted in the Haitian revolution and the subsequent evolution of the independent nation. The analysis emanates from a dialogue at the end of a May 2014 symposium on Haitian sovereignty conducted among all panellists. Perspectives of sovereignty and ownership described in the volume contemplate international relations not only on a larger scale, but on an interpersonal level as well. Specifically, concepts of ‘honor’ and ‘respect’ that are present in Haitian greetings are contrasted to the way in which the international community ‘uses’ Haiti. By considering issues of participation and the actually existing needs of Haiti and Haitians, it is argued that the logic of respecting Haiti and Haitians, and their sovereignty as a people and a nation, has often been either absent or under assault. Honor and respect of Haiti and its people, however, are critically necessary elements for their future well-being, now more than ever.
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