The 13-year war of liberation waged by the people of Haiti for freedom and the setting up of their own independent republic 200 years ago is a fact of hisory, but it is a fact that has been pushed into oblivion by European and Euro-centric historiography. Under colonialism history was a weapon used by those who enslaved us to make us forget our real past. In some cases colonized people were even denied a history ('a people without a history') while in most other cases their history was rewritten to make them accept their servitude as a desirable, necessary and natural state of being.
The commemoration of Haiti's struggle is an attempt to unshackle ourselves from the grip of colonial and imperialist historiography. More than that, the renewed awareness that two centuries ago our forbearers were capable of inflicting military defeats upon Western powers and taking into their own hands their future development should inspire us as we face the problems of development in a Western-dominated world.