As the representatives of the Friends of Haiti gather in Montreal to establish "a clear and common vision for the early recover and long-term reconstruction" of the country, the Haitian authorities have estimated that the final death toll on the earthquake is likely to be in excess of 150,000. It truly is a blighted place. On the day of the earthquake I described it as god forsaken, but i quickly decided that was entirely the wrong adjective. Its plight is not in the hands of god. Yes earthquakes and hurricanes are natural phenomena but the ability of a country to withstand the ravages of such disasters and the speed at which they recover is entirely up to people. Brutal and corrupt regimes which were tolerated (some might even say encouraged) by the West have taken their own toll on Haiti and the governments that have followed have not been strong enough to change matters. Over the last week or so I have been thinking about Toussaint Louverture, the black revolutionary leader who liberated Haiti from French colonial power. A former slave. this brilliant strategist, gifted politician and immensely charismatic leader effectively brought about the birth of the Haitian nation in 1804. Those meeting in Montreal would do well to reflect upon Toussaint Louverture and focus on what needs to be done to restore his legacy.