Two USU instructors provided guests with historical and cultural context for the earthquake-ravaged Haiti during their lecture titled “Understanding Haiti” Wednesday, Jan. 27.Bill Furlong from the department of political science and Maria Cordero from the department of languages, philosophy and speech were invited to give the lecture by the Society for International Business and Economic Development (SIBED), a student club house in the Huntsman School of Business.Furlong, who specializes in Latin American politics and has taught the subject for nearly 50 years, presented an abridged history of Haiti. He said Haiti has never been able to establish a long standing government and has been plagued by a long history of revolutions and continual changes in leadership.”This resulted in ruthless dictatorship violence, a lack of education, continuing poverty, ineffective government,” Furlong said.The island was originally colonized by the French and was used as a plantation island. The Spanish laid claim to the eastern side of the island and that colony later gained its independence to become the Dominican Republic.He also described the history Haiti has had with the United States. U.S. Marines entered the island in 1914 because of civil unrest and were stationed there until 1934. Furlong also addressed the issue of the United States intervening in various regimes on the island”Someone once said of all the U.S. interventions in Latin America, this one failed more miserably than all of the others,” he said.
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