Quick- What was the second western hemisphere nation to declare its independent from European control?
Canada? - No
Mexico? - Nope
The answer is Haiti.
Why is that important? I will get to that.
First, Haiti occupies the western third of the island Hispaniola. That is the island where in 1492 Columbus ran aground and had to leave men behind, thus establishing a colony.(wikipedia)
Almost 300 years later, revolution broke out. Slaves led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, a former slave himself, fought for independence. Eventually, proclaiming its free on January 1, 1804.
Why is that important?
The mighty United States, who had inspired the revolt, refuse to recognize Haiti as a nation. Why? two reasons : 1) because they were afraid that a Black Nation led by former slaves would cause slaves in the U.S. to revolt, and/or 2) even if there was no revolt slaves may try to escape to be free in the black nation, thus leaving plantation owners with no workers.
So Haiti was on its own for the most part. Their history of coups demonstrates the instability from the struggles they have endured. The U.S. along with other nations have intervened at times but this done more harm than good. 500 years ago there were no third world countries. These were more or less created by greedy white Europeans and to some extent Americans. The current state of Haiti can be attributed to America's lack of interest and trust in a free black nation. When all along we should have been supporting our fellow, free from European control, brothers and sisters. Just another sad part of our American history.