From Galeano's Faces and Masks

1802: The Caribbean Sea

Napoleon Restores Slavery

Squadrons of wild ducks escort the French army. The fish take flight. Through a turquoise sea, bristling with coral, the ships head for the blue mountains of Haiti. Soon the land of victorious slaves will appear on the horizon. General Leclerc stands tall at the head of the fleet. Like a ship's figurehead, his shadow is first to part the waves. Astern, other islands disappear, castles of rock, splendors of deepest green, sentinels of the new world found three centuries ago by people who were not looking for it.

"Which has been the most prosperous regime for the colonies?"
"The previous one."
"Well, then, put it back,"
Napoleon decided.

No man, born red, black, or white can be his neighbor's property, Toussaint L'Ouverture had said. Now the French fleet returns slavery to the Caribbean. More than fifty ships, more than twenty thousand soldiers, come from France to bring back the past with guns.

In the cabin of the flagship, a female slave fans Pauline Bonaparte and another gently scratches her head.