| Haiti
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Name: Republic of Haïti
At a Glance
Capital: Port-au-Prince
Population: 6,867,995
Total Area: 10,714 sq.mile
(27,750 sq. km)
Ethnic groups:
95% Black, 5% mulatto,
Arab and European
French ( official, but spoken by 20% of population) all speak creole
80% Roman Catholic—of which majority also practice Voodoo, 16% Protestant
Monetary Unit:
Revenue Per Capita:
Major industries:
Sugar refining, textiles, flour, 66% agriculture, 25% services, 9% industry
Traffic in Port-au-Prince - Haiti
Labor force: 
Abundant unskilled labor. 60% unemployment
Major trading partners:
US (80% Exports / 60% imports) EU (11% Exports / 12% imports)
Presidential Palace - Haiti
Bi-Centenaire Square - Haiti
The Citadelle 'La Ferrière' - Haiti
Century old french style house - Haiti
Very busy street, downtown Port-au-Prince - Haiti
Typical country side _ Haiti
Brief Historical Context

The conquest of the Arawak Island of Haiti in 1492 by Christopher Columbus brought about the elimination of its aborigines and the onset of slavery with the importation of blacks from Africa. Thus began a colonial era on this part of the world, first with the Spaniards who ruled the entire island (which they renamed Hispaniola). Then came the French and later the English, each with their own style to seek wealth and power. After years of struggle among themselves, Spain conceded the western portion of the island known as Saint-Domingue to France with the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697.

This era of slavery lasted three hundred years until the blacks of Saint-Domingue rose against their French colonial oppressors. Led by Boukman, a Jamaican-born slave, the revolt started in 1791 and continued with Toussaint Louverture, a former slave himself, renowned for his military genius. The rebellion ended in 1804 with Jean-Jacques Dessalines, another former slave, who led the final struggle for the country’s independence. Dessalines’ troops defeated Napoléon Bonaparte’s powerful army and gave birth to a new, free nation known as Haiti—the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere.

Isolated by the world powers of the time, which viewed the formation of this new nation as a threatening example to their colonies, Haiti never capitalized on the gains of that revolution. This young nation witnessed a succession of autocratic governments which ended with the American Occupation of 1915-1934.

The post-American years brought about seeming stability that lasted through the 1950’s, until François Duvalier, better known as Papa Doc Duvalier, took the oath of office in 1957 as president of Haiti, presumably for six years. This event, benign in appearance, was about to change the destiny of this entire nation.

Papa Doc Duvalier terrorized the whole country for fourteen years. When he died quietly in the National Palace in 1971, Duvalier passed to his son, Jean-Claude, Baby Doc a legacy of violence. The era of the Duvaliers, father and son, lasted three long decades.

Characterized by a total absence of honesty, decency, and human dignity, a period of decadence permeated all aspects of the Haitian society. The Duvalier regime left the nation with an absence of talented, competent, and honest leaders, as well as a vacuum within the political scene which is still being felt today and will prevail for decades to come!

Excerpt of Fort-Dimanche, Dungeon of Death, page 5.

Young boys playing soccer  - Haiti
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