ezilidanto@margueritelaurent.com   Island of Haiti is almost a billion years older than previously believed

Cuba's living embodiment of history
Stephen Gibbs, Ciego de Avila, Cuba | BBC News | Wednesday, 22 June, 2005

"I am 125 today," beamed Benito Martinez, as he joined the birthday party at his local old people's home in this central Cuban city.

Dressed in his Sunday best of freshly-ironed shirt and trilby hat, he seemed determined to prove that laughter and music are the secret of a long and happy life.

A huge, toothless grin formed over his well-aged face as he grabbed the hand of one of his young nurses. They began to dance to the tune of a local guitarist.

Those legs of his might date back to the 19th Century, but they still have plenty of rhythm.

Benito Martinez's life story is short on detail, but very long on years. He says he was born near the Haitian town of Cavaellon in 1880. Looking for work, he travelled over to neighbouring Cuba by steamship in the mid-1920s. He planned to stay for only a few months, before going back home.

But he never left. He says he worked for a while on one of the biggest ranches in eastern Cuba, which happened to be owned by Fidel Castro's father.

He later helped construct the original highway across Cuba, before settling down in a small farming community outside Ciego de Avila.

Hard work
A few weeks before the birthday party, we sat together, on old wicker rocking chairs, outside his small one-bedroom shack.

Benito lives alone, although a local helper cooks and cleans for him. He has never been married and never had any children.

Castro: One of the proudest boasts of the Cuban revolution is that it has managed to raise life expectancy of its citizens.

You see those trees there," he says, pointing at an avenue of tall Cuban Royal palms. "I planted every one of them." He then shows me with great pride the small vegetable plot, which he still tends.

Hard work, not the pleasures of family, are what appeared to have sustained this determined man over the decades. He drinks alcohol only occasionally, no longer smokes, and eats mainly rice, stewed black beans and fresh vegetables.

His claim to be the world's oldest person has the backing of the Cuban government. Benito Martinez is the star attraction of the country's recently formed 120-Club, an organisation promoting healthy lives for Cuba's most elderly citizens. No recollection

One of the proudest boasts of the Cuban revolution is that despite being one of the poorer countries in the world, it has managed to raise life expectancy of its citizens to 77 years, equal to that of the US.

The last time the club met earlier this year, Cuban experts said that they believed Benito Martinez was probably around 119. Comfortably older than the current official world record holder, a Dutch woman who is 114. There is, however, no definitive proof of Benito's claim

Although it does appear certain that he has lived in Cuba for the last 80 years, what is unproven is how old he was when he arrived from Haiti. He has no birth certificate or any other documentation.

He speaks a little Creole, yet he has almost no recollection of what, if he is 125, would be the first 40 years of his life. But his conviction is convincing.

I ask him his age a final time. He looks me straight in the eye. "Believe me," he says. "I know the year when I was born. 1880."


The Island of Haiti is almost a billion years older than previously believed

Long distance: Research shows ancient rock under Haiti came from 1,000+ miles away Filed under Research, Sciences on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Source: University of Florida news

Lava on the Caribbean island of Haiti (colonially named Hispaniola) indicates deep rock is 1 billion years older than previously thought

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Earthquakes and volcanoes are known for their ability to transform Earth’s surface, but new research in the Caribbean has found they can also move ancient Earth rock foundations more than 1,000 miles.

Two University of Florida geologists are part of a team that found lavas on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola – home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic — that suggest the area is underlain by rocks almost a billion years older than previously believed. Until now geologists thought Hispaniola (HLLN/editors note, not the reinstated colonial name "Little Spain" but the "Island of Haiti" or Island of Ayiti"- Se pa kado blan yo te fè nou. Se san zansèt nou yo ki te koule.) was relatively young from a geological perspective and rocks there should be no older than the Jurassic period, around 150 million to 160 million years ago.

An article published Sunday on the Nature Geoscience website reports the team found that unusual lavas resulting from relatively recent volcanic activity had occurred in the region of the same fault system that caused the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The existence of this volcanic activity, which probably occurred less than 1 million years ago, is unexpected as it postdates the previously known active volcanism in this part of the Caribbean by at least 40 million years, said Michael R. Perfit, a professor and chairman of UF’s department of geological sciences

The most surprising discovery came from chemical analyses of the lavas which were found to have compositions similar to lavas found inside stable interior parts of continents. A detailed examination of the chemical data suggests that the source for these lavas is derived from mantle rock that originated at least 1,000 miles away.

“We can use the trace element and isotope information recorded in lavas and other environmental samples as sort of ‘inorganic DNA’ to trace their origin, migratory pathways and age,” said George D. Kamenov, a UF associate in geology. The department’s state-of-the-art plasma mass spectrometer was used to measure precisely the abundances of lead, strontium and neodymium isotopes in the lavas.

The team of geologists found the ratios of these isotopes did not match any rock substrate found nearby or anywhere else on the Caribbean islands. Instead the isotope ratios matched billion year old rocks like those existing in Central and South America today. These crustal fragments are likely surviving portions of an ancient supercontinent known as Gondwana. By contrast, lavas found in island arcs such as the Greater Antilles are formed by oceanic plates being thrust under other oceanic plates or continents similar to what is currently happening around the so called “Ring of Fire” around the Pacific Ocean.

Perfit said the findings suggest that as the Caribbean tectonic plate moved between North and South America it captured a rifted piece of ancient continent that had formed the foundation of Central America. Subsequently this fragment migrated eastward, likely for more than 1,000 miles, to its current position in Hispaniola. This implies that continental material can be transported in the upper mantle for thousands of miles and survive more or less intact for billions of years with such fragments serving as “cores” around which islands and eventually continents can grow.

The research suggests the possibility that the fault system in the region can be “leaky” and can be a place where volcanic activity occurs. Although it is uncommon, sometimes major transform faults (called leaky transform faults) penetrating tens of miles into the Earth’s crust serve as conduits for magma to reach the surface. One example of this is the southernmost boundary of the San Andreas Fault in the area of the Salton Sea in Southern California.

“In addition to earthquakes in such fault zones you may get volcanic activity, but we can’t use this to predict earthquakes or say there will be a volcano in Haiti in the near future,” Kamenov said. “Although the volcanism we found occurred only a million years ago, we can’t say if it will happen again or not. In addition, there are known hot springs and travertine deposits east of these volcanoes indicating that the geothermal activity continues today.”

The study was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, the National Science Foundation Latin American Cooperative Program, the Dominican Republic government’s Dirección General de Minería and the University of Florida.

See also , Dessalines Three Ideals - What Ayiti Calls Forth?
-Media Lies and Real Haiti News (Ezili Dantò /August 2007) ,
-The two most common neocolonial storylines about Hait

- The Veil of Blood - Ignorance is no Defense
by Ezili Dantò, May 9, 2008
- Adam Hochschild's neocolonialism (Ezili Dantò/2004)
- What white mindsets feed on is not so eye-opening, just typically parasitic, fearful, self-serving, narcissistic and delusional (Ezili Dantò/2007)
- Examples of Neocolonial journalism,
-The Slavery the Media Won’t Expose (HLLN counter-narrative links),
- The three false Haiti stereotypes: That Haiti has no resources, is overcrowded & violent - (Haiti is only overcrowded in parts of Port au Prince) -Pointing Guns at - -Violent Haiti is a myth (2011 update -UN makes in 2011 over $860,000 per year in Haiti)
- The manufactured fear, racist myths and false stereotypes about Haitian brutality and violence
- UN Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Aid Workers raping, molesting and abusing Haitian children
- Haiti’s Riches
- HLLN Links to US free trade fraud that promotes famine in Haiti
- US False Benevolence – 93% of all foreign aid to Haiti returns to US hands, less than 1cent of every dollar goes to Haiti gov.
- The real Haiti foreign aid - comes from the over 2billion per year in remittances sent by the Haiti Diaspora.
- No other national group anywhere in the world sends more money home than Haitians living abroad.
- Does the Western economic model and calculation of economic wealth fit Haiti, fit Dessalines' idea of wealth distribution? No. Fact is Haiti masses own more land than all other populations in the Caribbean, but their property and informal entrepreneurialship (labor) are not computed in WB and IMF indexes...their labor is valued only if they are wage-earners (in mostly US sweatshops). Yet, 70% to 80% percent of Haitians are peasant farmers. That is what US aims to destroy.
- Economic proposals that make sense for the reality of Haiti
- The Western vs Real narrative on Haiti (Ezili Dantò/2007)
- HLLN's Media Campaign (Ezili Dantò/2004)
- Creating New Paradigms for Haiti: Why it's critical to re-create and adapt Ancestors' Vodun Psychology (Ezili Dantò/2008)
- Haiti Epistemology
- Proposed solutions to create a new paradigm

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