Caribbean Project: Explaining The Caribbean

Caribbean

I’m finally wrapping up my research.

At the outset of the “Caribbean Project,” I wanted to investigate 1.) how the culture of the Caribbean was transplanted to South Carolina and spread across the Deep South, 2.) the paradox of how such a wealthy developing region could have a large black majority, and 3.) why Haiti is such a regional outlier. This required taking a closer look at the wider context of Caribbean history.

Here’s my breakdown of the region: the “Caribbean” includes all the islands which are not attached to the Latin American mainland states, Belize in Central America, and Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana in South America.

Caribbean

Northern South America

GDP Per Capita (PPP)

French Colonies

Saint Barthélemy – $37,000
Martinique – $24,118
Saint Martin – $19,300
Guadeloupe – $21,780
French Guiana – $20,904

Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin are overseas collectivities of France. Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana are overseas departments. All of these islands (and French Guiana, which is on the South American mainland) are part of France and thus part of the European Union.

In Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana, over 50 percent of GDP is public spending. In Guadeloupe and Martinique, the bottom three quintiles of the population lives off the French welfare state.

Dutch Colonies & Tax Shelters

St. Eustatius – $40,300
Aruba – $25,300
Curaçao – $20,567
Sint Maarten – $22,000
Bonaire – $19,000
Saba – $16,000

Sint Maarten, Aruba, Curaçao are countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Sint Eustatius, Bonaire, and Saba are Dutch municipalities.

US Colonies

Puerto Rico – $16,300
US Virgin Islands – $14,500

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are US territories.

Non-Independent British Tax Shelters

Bermuda – $86,000
Cayman Islands – $43,800
British Virgin Islands – $42,300
The Bahamas – $31,300
Turks & Caicos Islands – $29,100
Anguilla – $12,200
Montserrat – $8,500*

Even though the Bahamas is an independent country, I am including it on this list because it is a major offshore British tax shelter. The same is true of Bermuda which is located in the North Atlantic, but also belongs in this list.

Independent Countries

Barbados (1966) – $25,000
Trinidad & Tobago (1962) – $19,800
Antigua & Barbuda (1981) – $17,800
Saint Kitts & Nevis (1983) – $16,100
Dominica (1978) – $14,000
Grenada (1974) – $13,500
St. Lucia (1979) – $13,000
Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (1979) – $11,800
Cuba (1902) – $10,200
Dominican Republic (1865) – $9,500
Jamaica (1962) – $8,900
Belize (1981) – $8,700
Guyana (1966) – $8,000
Suriname (1975) – $5,700

The list of independent countries includes the Dominican Republic and Cuba, the second (1865) and third country (1902) to gain their independence in the Caribbean, St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda in the Leeward Islands, all of the Windward Islands (Dominica, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada), Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Suriname in South America, Belize in Central America, and Barbados and Jamaica.

Of the above list of countries, all of them with the exception of the Dominican Republic are members of CARICOM. Within the Caribbean, 40 percent of the tourists who visit the region (stop over arrivals or cruise ship passengers) visit the CARICOM countries, which attracts the largest share of tourist dollars in the region. The Dominican Republic attracts the largest number of tourists who come to stay on vacation.

2 out of the 6 countries at the bottom of the list, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, have been independent for over a century. 4 out of the 6 countries at the bottom of the list (Cuba under Fidel Castro, Jamaica under Michael Manley, Guyana under Forbes Burham, and Suriname under Desiré Bouterse) are there because of the adoption of some form of socialism during the Cold War.

Trinidad & Tobago is an example of the resource lottery – in this case, petroleum.

Haiti

Haiti (1804) – $1,200

There’s a reason why Haiti is ranked at the bottom of our list.

Haiti is the only country in the region which is poorer in 2014 than it was in 1960. Even Cuba, which was under an American and OAS trade embargo for half a century, and which went through one of the most spectacular economic collapses in modern times after the fall of the Soviet Union, and which is still held back by communism, is better off in all kinds of ways than it was in 1960.

210 years of compound freedom is the reason why Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. A glimpse of this can be seen in the mistakes that Jamaica, Cuba, and Guyana – three of the wealthiest countries in the region in the 19th century, but now three of the poorest – have made since independence.

Above all else, it can be seen in the fate of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana, which remained a part of the French Empire and which are now part of France and the European Union, and whose residents live off the French welfare state. There’s also Puerto Rico, which is the manufacturing dynamo of the Caribbean because it is a US colony, and even the Dominican Republic which, unlike Haiti, has welcomed foreigners throughout its history and is now a major tourist destination.

In 1802, Napoleon sent two fleets to reconquer the French Caribbean: one sailed to Guadeloupe under General Richepance, where it succeeded in restoring slavery and killing the rebel mulatto leader, Louis Delgrès, at the battle of Matouba; the other sailed to Saint-Domingue under General Leclerc, where it failed to restore slavery and white supremacy, and was defeated by Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

Haiti failed because it was set free …. free to stand on its own two feet, which meant free to fall on its face. It will take an entire book to explain how the legacy of freedom – incompetent and corrupt leaders, militarism, political instability, external debt**, fiscal irresponsibility, racial conflict, civil wars, environmental destruction, the collapse of capital intensive agriculture, overpopulation, and fear and loathing of foreigners – conspired to destroy Haiti while these forces were held in check elsewhere in the Caribbean by white supremacy and colonialism.

* Although Montserrat was destroyed by a volcanic explosion in 1995, it is still far better off than Haiti less than 20 years later.

** Guadeloupe and Martinique don’t have an external debt. As part of France, their debt is part of France’s national debt.

Note: There’s still one loose thread to tie up … Barbados, an independent country with Haiti’s demographics, which is the most successful black country in the world. How did Barbados, the cradle of Caribbean slavery, come to be the most commonly cited example of a successful free black population anywhere in the world?

About Hunter Wallace 9509 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

8 Comments

  1. Here’s an example of “compound freedom”: as your first official act as head of state, you massacre the White population, which 1.) earns your country the enmity of France, 2.) alienates a key foreign ally (the United States), 3.) and alarms your neighbors (Great Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden) and you follow that up by invading Santo Domingo, thereby alienating Spain.

    Now that you have exterminated the Whites, you have set in motion a perpetual struggle for power between the blacks and mulattoes. By banning foreign investment, you kill your export based plantation economy, which will never be rebuilt, and send capital and technical expertise fleeing across the Windward Passage to Cuba where your backward neighbor is transformed almost overnight into a major commercial rival that competes with you in world markets in staple commodities.

  2. Roads?

    Who needs roads? Who needs railroads? By exterminating the White population and making “black power” your national lodestar, you are now responsible for developing your own infrastructure. Good luck competing with your European-controlled neighbors like France while they rebuild their plantations and infrastructure in Guadeloupe or the Americans while they build railroads and the latest steam-powered sugar mills in Cuba.

  3. Here’s another point: Black Haiti was the most ethnocentric state in the Western Hemisphere. Did any blacks say “wait a minute, the whites are pretty good at ABC better keep em content so we get the cargo?” Did any of them even say it?

  4. Barbados, an independent country with Haiti’s demographics, which is the most successful black country in the world.

    I realize that Haiti is allegedly 95% black and Barbados is allegedly 93% black, but I guarantee you that this is not the case. Can I prove it? No. But anecdotally speaking, the typical “black” Bajan is coffee-and-cream coloured, not much different from the typical African American. They probably have a similar mix on average, about 80%-85% African and 15%-20% European. The typical Haitian is *much* darker, just like the typical West African. I would go so far as to say that your typical Haitian “mulatto”, like Michaëlle Jean, is about as dark as the average “black” Bajan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micha%C3%ABlle_Jean

    “Blackness” is celebrated in the English-speaking Caribbean the same way it is in the US. If there were any truth in racial self-identification, then the overwhelming majority of African Americans would be classified as mulattoes instead of blacks. To a lesser extent the same goes for Barbados, where I would guess that a large minority or small majority of self-described “blacks” have at least some white ancestry. This is not at all the case in Haiti.

    How did Barbados, the cradle of Caribbean slavery, come to be the most commonly cited example of a successful free black population anywhere in the world?

    Barbados is a small country, with a population of only about 280,000. So a few very wealthy residents can bring its per capita income waaaay up. Like this guy for instance:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Melnyk

    Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin are overseas collectivities of France. Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana are overseas departments. All of these islands (and French Guiana, which is on the South American mainland) are part of France and thus part of the European Union.

    I’m only adding this because I know you’re a stickler for accuracy, Hunter, but St Barts recently left the EU. The other French Caribbean territories are Outermost Regions (OMRs) of the EU, while St Barts and all the British and Dutch Caribbean territories are considered Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), not technically part of the EU.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Member_State_territories_and_the_European_Union

  5. “Caribbean I’m finally wrapping up my research.”

    Please make your next project closer to home and one that would have more relevance towards Southern independence. Honestly, most Southerners could care less about the history of the Caribbean, regardless of context. It’s way too nuanced a topic to have any relevance to them.

    Here’s a good example of something better: ever heard of the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s day for good luck? Well, if I’ve heard correctly, it stems from the Civil War. As the Yankee imperial army was laying waste to civilian properties and burning everything in sight, they left the peas alone, thinking them animal feed (or inedible). The people rejoiced at this because they wouldn’t starve.

    If Southerners were to hear of this kind of brutal treatment (and its white wash from history), it might go a long way towards building an emotional core for the independence movement — especially if it could be tied to modern mistreatment (Salon is a good source for anti-Southern articles, MSNBC too).

    Other good topics: Camp Douglass (80 Acres of Hell) and 38 Nooses (largest mass execution on American soil performed by the Yankee army and approved by St. Lincoln himself).

Comments are closed.