InSITE--Our Troubled Neighbor in Paradise - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

InSITE--Our Troubled Neighbor in Paradise

You hear the name in the news all too often, and now, again, American Marines are on the ground in a place most of us know very little about. Haiti. It's a dangerous place, especially today, best visited on line.

Start with Haiti's official site. It has some of what you'd expect of a nation's spot on the world wide web, and some things you wouldn't. Like a plea from the president for peace. It's two weeks old, and it's not working, you've seen the footage from the streets.

So how did Haiti get into the mess it is today? Skimming the history , it's almost always been like this. Columbus claimed the entire island for Spain, but eventually it split in half, and Haiti became French. Not long after the American Revolution Haitian slaves revolted, and fought for their freedom. Their ancestors have fought ever since. Assinations, suicides, civil war. Thirty- two violent coup d' etats. This one caught my eye. In 1915 American president Woodrow Wilson sent the Marines in, just like President George Bush did. Back then it was to protect the ports and customs houses, as well as train the locals for a national guard. Scroll down to the bottom for another curiosity. The Haiti history lesson stops in 1996.

For something a little more current check out the United Haitians homepage. They have the latest headlines, mostly about the civil war these days. They also have an extensive section on the island, really more than the official government site had.

There's a basic map to get a lay of the land. And two pretty extensive sets of pages on Haitian history. It's not pretty, but reading now will help you understand what's going to happen there in the very near future. Curiously, I wanted to try to end on a high note, and show some pretty pictures of the island, maybe a hope for a bright future, but all their galleries, are empty. Even worse, message boards you think would be hopping with discussions of politics and civil war, are all shut down. Sadly, like the rest of what's become an all too normal, abnormal life on Haiti.

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