Greece’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias presented a donation of 100,000 euros for Haiti on behalf of the Greek government to the UN’s World Food Programme Deputy Director Amir Mahmoud Abdulla at a meeting in Rome on Tuesday.
The donation, wrote Dendias on his twitter account, “will help address the humanitarian needs of Haiti following the devastating earthquake and hurricane.”
“With this symbolic move, Greece today stands in solidarity with the suffering Haitian people, and does not forget that Haiti was the first country in the world to recognise Greece’s independence in 1822,” the minister pointed out in a second tweet.
RESOURCE | ABOUT HAITI AND GREEK INDEPENDENCE
Haiti was the first independent state to recognise Greek independence in 1822 following the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman empire.
Jean-Pierre Boyer, President of Haiti, following a Greek request for assistance, addressed a letter on 15 January 1822. In the letter sent to Greek expatriates living in France, Adamantios Korais, Christodoulos Klonaris, Konstantinos Polychroniades and A. Bogorides, who had assembled themselves into a Committee which was seeking international support for the ongoing Greek revolution, Boyer expressed his support for the Greek Revolution and compared the struggle underfoot across the Atlantic to the struggle for independence in his own land.
He apologised for being unable to support the Revolution in Greece financially, though he hoped he might be able to in the future. But he articulated his moral and political support for the revolution, notably by filling his letter with references to classical Greek history, demonstrating a detailed knowledge of this history and powerfully evoking the contemporary revolutionaries as the rightful heirs of their ancestors.
Some historians claim that Boyer also sent to the Greeks 25 tonnes of Haitian coffee that could be sold and the proceeds used to purchase weapons, but not enough evidence exists to support this or the other claim that one hundred Haitian volunteers set off to fight in the Greek Revolution. Allegedly, their ship was boarded by pirates somewhere in the Mediterranean and these fighters purportedly never reached their destination.