University of Miami Inter-American Law Review


Haiti’s claim for restitution of the debt coerced by France in exchange for Haiti’s 1804 independence has unique legal advantages that can open the door to broader reparations for the descendants of all people harmed by slavery. But in order to assert the claim, Haiti first needs help reclaiming its democracy from a corrupt, repressive regime propped up by the powerful countries that prospered through slavery and overthrew the Haitian President who dared to assert his country’s legal claim. This article explores Haiti’s Independence Debt, and the fight for restitution of it, in the context of two centuries of continued struggle between Haitians asserting their independence and countries enriched by slavery trying to limit the power of Haiti’s example.