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Haiti Marks 206th Anniversary of Death of Jean-Jacques Dessalines

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 17, 2012

Above: Haiti President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe lay a wreath at Desslines’ statue (Photo: OP Haiti)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti marked the 206th anniversary of founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the first leader of Haiti following its independence in 1804.

Haiti President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe were on hand at an official wreath-laying at the foot of the statue honouring Dessalines, who eventually called himself Emperor Jacques 1.

The two were joined by Supreme Court President Arnel Joseph, departmental delegate for the West region, Gonzague Day, secretaries of state, members of government and other officials.

Martelly called on Haitians to “arm themselves with the courage, bravery and patience” of Dessalines.

He urged them to use Dessalines as a model.

Dessalines served for two years in that position until he was assassinated in 1806, just two years after Haiti had officially become independent.

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