"And you know, Christy, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French … and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you, if you get us free … true story. And so the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal'. And they kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free, and ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other …"
- US televangelist preacher and Republican Party politician Pat Robertson's racist comments on the Haitian revolution, in which Black slaves overthrew French rule and then defeated Napolean's army. He was speaking on the January 13 edition of his TV show The 700 Club..
Robertson also explained Haiti's extreme poverty on the supposed "pact with the devil", ignoring the centuries of exploitation of the former French colony by US and other Western powers. He ignored the fact that when the Haitian republic was founded by former slaves in 1804, a crippling global economic embargo was imposed by the US and Europe.
Robertson also ignored the nearly three decades of US-backed brutal dictatorship by "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier, which was overthrown in 1986. He also ignored the US-backed military coups that overthrew pro-poor President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1991 — and again in 2004. Haiti remains occupied by foreign troops. Aristide's Lavalas party, which enjoys significant support from the poor majority, is banned from running in elections.
Below, you can watch the dignified response, with a short and sharp history lesson, from Haiti's ambassador to the United States: