Haiti's current crisis is rooted in its history of colonialism.
Two hundred years ago a rag-tag army of slaves led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, himself a slave, defeated Europe's finest colonial armies and won independence for Haiti. This remarkable revolution is barely known outside Haiti, but the world's ruling powers have never forgiven the country and its people for their victory.
In the 1700s Haiti (then called San Domingo) was the richest colony in the world. The source of the wealth was the island's lush plantations and the brutal exploitation of half a million slaves captured from Africa.