Thursday, January 01, 2009

Today in Caribbean History

New Year's Day marks the remembrance of two significant events in Caribbean History--Haitian Independence Day and Cuban Liberation Day.

On 1 January 1804, following history's first and only successful slave rebellion, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti's independence, making Haiti the second independent country in the Western Hemisphere and the first Black Republic in the world. Today, Haitians throughout Haiti and the Haitian diaspora will eat soup joumou (squash stew) in remembrance of this momentous event.

On 1 January 1959, Cuban revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro succeeded in wresting power from right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

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