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Today in Haitian History - April 17, 1825 – French recognition of Haitian independence 

While Haiti had enjoyed nominal sovereignty since 1804, France never acknowledged the independence of its former Perle des Antilles. Consequently, eager to establish more formal relations with the United States as independent nation, Jean-Pierre Boyer saw the necessity of obtaining French recognition at all coast. Indeed, in exchange for irrevocable admission of Haitian independence, the young Republic agreed to settle a charge of 150M francs, to be paid in five separate instalments of 30M each. The arrangement also guaranteed preferential treatment to France in all matters of trade

The indemnity placed Boyer (and all subsequent governments) in a delicate position. With annual revenues reaching 15M francs, even if it assumed payements for the next 10 years (to reach the 150M agreement), this left the Haitian treasury with nothing for defence, infrastructure, education, or any other domestic concerns. In effect, the indemnity placed Haiti in a neo-colonial relationship vis-à-vis her former metropole, this, even after the actual price was re-negotiated under Louis-Philippe’s July Monarchy. 

The indemnity question remains a much debated terrain in French and Haitian historiography as most scholars still speculate as to the actual year of the its resolution. While most accept that by 1888, Haiti reimbursed most of the 1838 re-agreements, some argue that the indemnity was settled in the 1930s with Sténio Vincent’s administration. Others however, maintain that it was finalized in 1946, when all interests on loans were paid off as Dumarsais Estimé assumed office. Whatever the case may be, few would deny the grave impact the indemnity had on Haiti’s overall development.

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Original Image Courtesy of: Histoire des Antilles et des Colonies Françaises, Espagnoles, Anglaises By Élias Regnault, Frédéric Lacroix, Ferdinand Denys.

New Blink-182 Guitarist Matt Skiba: ‘A Lot of Things Have to Happen Before We Can Make Any Solid Plans’

Matt Skiba has a tour coming up with Alkaline Trio and a second album, Kuts, on its way from his other band, the Sekrets. But the guitarist acknowledges that his new role playing in Blink-182 means there’s yet another consideration when it comes to putting together his calendar these days.

“There’s a lot of things that have to happen before we can make any solid plans or any solid statements,” Skiba tells Billboard. “I don’t really know what the status is, but we are hopeful to do more stuff in the future. How soon that’s going to be, I don’t know.”

Skiba was tapped by bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker early this year to fill in after parting ways with guitarist Tom DeLonge. Skiba played with Blink for a pair of club shows and at the Musink festival, and he reports that, “the experience was really great. We clicked. We had a really great time together. I’ve know the Blink guys for 15 some odd years, so we were already friends but we’d never played music together. But it went really well and the shows went really well. The fans are really happy. I’m sure there’s some disgruntled fans, but it seems the majority of people were really impressed with what we put together.”

Read the rest @ the source