Few Countries In The World, and certainly none in this hemisphere, could lay more claims to the title “original heroic land” than Haiti. If, indeed, such things mattered in this world, Haitians could rightfully note that, at a time when the dominant secular and religious ideologies defined the African as subhuman and thus “naturally enslavable,” Haitians challenged and defeated the supreme advocates of those doctrines, and their heroism became the stimulus for other liberation attempts.
Not much after independence in 1804, Haitians opened their ports and hearts to all those battling slavery and oppression. Many benefitted from this daring act. Defeated and abandoned by many around him, Simón Bolívar turned to Haiti and they, not once, but twice, acted to help, true to their vows. Quite correctly did Bolívar write Petión that the liberation of America was only one of the debts owed Haiti.