The Republic of Haiti occupies the western part of the island of Haiti and the nearby islands of Gonav, Tortu, Vash, etc. In the east the country borders with the Dominican Republic. The population is 10.6 million people. The capital is Port-au-Prince (987 thousand residents). Haiti is a former colony of France. This is the first Latin American country to win independence (1804). Prior to the discovery of the islands by Europeans, the Indians of the Taino and Siboney lived here. The Spaniards exterminated the local population and brought slaves from Africa to work on plantations and in gold mines. Now, 90% of the population are black and about 9% are mulattoes. The official language is French, but only 10-15% of the country's population speaks this language. The vast majority of the population speaks the Haitian Creole language, which is based on French, with some borrowings from English and Spanish.
Tourists arriving in Haiti see the majestic mountains, which spread all the way to the sea. The climate of the country is tropical hot, trade-wind. The first rainy season lasts from April through June, the second - from September through November. Haiti is the country of tropical crops, and on the plateau it is possible to grow almost all fruits and vegetables ususal for temperate climate. Agriculture produces coffee, sisal, sugar cane for export. The majority of the population is concentrated along the coast and on intermountain valleys. Only 30.3% of the population lives in cities. The Afro-Christian syncretic cult was widely spread in Haiti, and their special ceremonies are of great interest for tourists.
Climate of Haiti
An average annual temperature is 25 ° C, monthly temperature fluctuations are insignificant. In Port-au-Prince, the minimum temperature is +14.4, the maximum temperature is + 38.9.
The amount of precipitation varies depending on the terrain. 500 mm of precipitation in the valleys, and up to 2500 mm in a number of regions.
There are two rainy seasons: from April to June and from September to November. The rest of the year it is dry and warm. Destructive tropical hurricanes are quite frequent, mainly, from June to September.
Negative impact on the environment is caused by deforestation, which led to a catastrophic erosion of once fertile soils. Wood is used as fuel and as raw material for light industry.
Nature of Haiti
Drought-resistant and saline-resistant vegetation predominates. Plains and leeward slopes are occupied by cacti, often forming forests, shrubby spurfishes, trees resembling mesquite, shrubby saplings. Some parts of the coast are covered with mangrove swamps, and the inner valleys are covered with savannahs and pines. In more humid areas there are trees that are typical for tropical rainforests (akazhu, dalberghia, zantoxilum, guaiacum), and in the mountains - pine trees. Wild avocados grows, orange and mango grows are all here as well.
Many species of insects, but there are no large mammals or venomous snakes. There are plenty of ducks, four species of wild pigeons. Reptiles include three varieties of crocodiles, numerous small lizards.
History of Haiti
After the discovery of the island by Columbus the colonization of the island by the Spaniards began; by 1548 they had already exterminated almost all the Indians. They began to import black slaves from Africa to work in mines and plantations,.
In 1697, according to the Ricksweek world, the western part of the island was handed over to France, abd was named San Domingo. It produced sugar, coffee, indigo, cotton and cocoa. The bulk of the population were black slaves brought from East Africa and accounted for more than 90% of the population.
In the autumn of 1790 there was an uprising on the island, which was preceded by the Great French Revolution in France. The mulattoes, led by Jacques Vincent Auger, demanded equality with the whites. The revolt was suppressed, its participants were executed, but the Constituent Assembly equated blacks and mulattoes with whites.
In August of 1791, a rebellion broke out on the island, led by the Negro-voodooist Alejandro Boukman. With the help of the United States and Great Britain, the insurrection was suppressed, and Bukman was captured and executed.
In 1793, the British invaded the island, fought with France. Spain, which opposed the revolution in France, attracted the rebellious slaves to their side, promising them freedom. In February 1794, the leader of the rebels François Dominique Toussaint moved to the side of France and seized Santo Domingo in May. Then he became the de facto leader of the northern part of the country, and in 1798 he finally expelled British troops from the island. In January of 1801, Toussaint-Louverture abolished slavery, the land of white planters became the property of the Negroes. In 1802, France made an attempt to regain control of the island, an expeditionary corps under the command of Napoleon's General Charles Leclerc landed there. Negro troops were defeated. Toussaint-Louverture was taken prisoner and was taken to France, where he soon died.
However, in June of 1802, a tropical fever passed over the island, and the French did not have protection against it, one regiment after another died out. In November, Leclerc died.
Soon, the Haitian generals Dessalines, Christophe and Petion launched another war against the Whites. A year later the French troops fled the country, three quarters of the French soldiers were killed.
On January 1, 1804, the leader of the rebels, General Jean Jacques Jessalin, proclaimed foundation of an independent state in the western part of the island and called it the ancient Indian name “Haiti”. In the same year he declared himself the Emperor Jacques I. In 1805, a constitution was adopted which abolished slavery and introduced a ban on the purchase of foreign property in Haiti. Mass massacre of the Whites was organized in 1804 and a strong army was created in the amount of 10% of the population. The lands were transferred to former slaves, which caused discontent of former military men and planters. In October of 1806, they revolted and proclaimed President Henri Christophe. In October of 1806 Jean-Jacques Dessaline was killed. Because of the internal strife between the blacks and mulattoes, the state split into the "State of Haiti", controlled by Henri Christoph and the "Republic of Haiti", controlled by the mulatto Alexander Petion.
In 1811, Christophe proclaimed himself King Henri I. In his state a noble class emerged, consisting of blacks; schools were founded, an army was created, and trade began to develop.
In the Republic of Haiti, controlled by Petion, a number of measures were taken that gave an impetus to the development of the economy: in particular, the land was given out to small landowners and a one-third tax was abolished. Petion supported the struggle for the independence of Latin America and helped Bolivar.
After the death of Petion in March of 1818, Jean-Pierre Boyer became the president, who managed to spread his influence over the entire island and became the ruler of all Haiti.
Bouyer ruled Haiti until 1843. He obtained recognition from France, but in exchange he had to pay compensation for the confiscated property. In March of 1843, after an armed uprising broke out, Bouillier resigned. He was replaced by Charles Erar, and Santo Domingo separated from the country in 1844.
Until 1847, the country had five governments, after which in March of 1847, Fosten Eli Suluk was elected the President. In August of 1849, he proclaimed himself Emperor Faustin I, persecuted the mulattoes and spent his state money uncontrollably, which led to poverty among the population and the growth of discontent. Attempts to return the Dominican Republic under Haiti’s control failed. In January of 1859, General Fabre Zhefrar overthrew Suluk and tried to lead the country out of the crisis: he took measures to develop the economy, established a marine, art and medical colleges. In 1867 he was deposed. Until 1879, the country was in a state of chaos: governments were replaced one by one. In 1879, General Etienne Salomon came to power; he carried out a number of reforms and extinguished foreign debt. After the fall of his regime, the country once again plunged into a crisis.
The situation worsened even more in the nineteenth century, when the authorities printed quickly depreciated money. The country was swept by inflation.
On January 27, 1914, strikes and insurrections led to the resignation of President Michel Orestes. Mass riots swept throughout the country. In order to suppress the unrest, US marines landed on the island; they occupied the country's Central Bank and seized the country's gold reserves. On February 8 Emanuel Orestes Samor became the President. The continuing unrest led to his resignation. In February of 1915 the pro-American Jean Wilbren Guillaume San came to power. In the capital, riots broke out again, and Guillaume San took refuge in the French Embassy. On July 27, 170 political prisoners were executed in the capital's prison. In response to this, on July 28, an angry mob of urban residents burst into the Embassy, ​​pulled General San to the square, where he was killed with stones.
In August of the same year, under the pressure of the United States, Philip Südr Dartigenave was elected the President. The US command conducted mass arrests and disbanded the army. The situation in the country continued to be unstable, peasant riots constantly flared up. In 1917, Dartigenav dispersed the Legislative Council after he refused to approve the Constitution of Haiti developed by the Americans. In 1918, a new constitution came into effect. She recognized the ownership of real estate and land for foreigners, approved the American occupation. At this time a major uprising led by Officer Charlemagne Peralt was formed. His army consisted of 40 thousand people. In October of 1919, his army attempted to storm Port-au-Prince and overthrow Dartigenava, but his army was defeated, Peralt himself was taken prisoner and executed. By 1920, the guerrilla movement in the country was suppressed, killing more than 13,000 Haitians.
In 1929, peasant and student riots broke out in the country, and so did anti-American riots. US President Herbert Hoover sent a commission to Haiti to prepare withdrawal of US troops from the island. Under US pressure, President Louis Borno retired. From March to November, Louis Eugène Roy served as the President; in November of 1930 Stenio Joseph Vincent became the President, and he began negotiations on withdrawal of American troops from the country. In July of 1934, when the President of the United States was Franklin Roosevelt, an agreement was signed to withdraw American troops from the country. Between August 6 and 15 of 1934 American troops were withdrawn from the country, and on August 21, an American flag left the Presidential palace. However, US control over the country's economy remained.
In 1935 a new Constitution was introduced. In 1937, in the neighboring Dominican Republic there was a mass slaughter of Haitians, which almost led to a war between the two countries. The war was prevented when Rafael Trujillo agreed to pay compensation to Haiti. In April of 1941, Eli Lesko became the President of the country. With the outbreak of World War II, he declared war on Japan.
In January of 1946, a general strike broke out in the country, prompting Lesko to resign on January 11. Until August of 1946 the chairman of the military executive committee Frank Lavaux was in power. And for the first time in 30 years the President was a Negro - Dumarse Estime. When he came to power, he granted American companies the right to own land. In 1950, he tried to re-elect a new term, but was not supported by the Parliament and dissolved it. On May 10, Estime was overthrown by the army. In December, Colonel Paul Eugene Magluar became the Ppresident. In 1954 he toughened repression against the opposition. In 1956, he tried to get re-elect. This decision caused a general strike in the country, and on December 12 the regime of Magluera fell.
New elections were appointed. In the period before the election, supporters of various candidates developed a struggle for power. In May of 1957 the former Minister of Education and the head of the Workers 'and Peasants' Movement, Pierre Finigne, became a temporary President. On June 14 of 1957 General Antonio Kebro carried out a military coup and banned the Workers 'and Peasants' Movement. In September the elections took place, which was won by the former Minister of Health, MD François Duvalier.
On October 22 of 1957 Francois Duvalier officially took office as the President and established the bloody dictatorship of the Tonton Makut. He proclaimed the slogan "black power ". He purged the army, banned trade unions and opposition. Through secret police ("Tonton-Makuta") Duvalier dealt with dissidents and kept the population in awe. In April of 1961 Duvalier dissolved the Congress.
In 1961, Duvalier succeeded in re-election to the presidency for a second term. In foreign policy Duvalier focused on the United States. In 1962, during the Caribbean crisis, Duvalier provided the Americans with Haitian ports and airfields. He pretended to be a staunch anti-communist and US ally with a "red threat". In 1963, relations between the United States and Haiti deteriorated when Kennedy accused Duvalier of dictatorship. Then Duvalier publicly announced that he would spell a curse on Kennedy. A month and a half later, on November 22, 1963, Kennedy was killed.
In 1963, relations between the Dominican Republic and Haiti deteriorated. The President of the Dominican Republic assisted the Haitian migrants who fought to overthrow Duvalier. All this led to the fact that the Dominican Republic almost attacked Haiti, but the conflict was settled by the Organization of American States.
When Negroes’ rights movement increased in the United States, and Duvalier said that the United States does not help Haiti much, because most Haitians are black, and they demanded more money to fight the "red threat". In June 1964, Duvalier declared himself a life President.
In 1967-1968 in the country peasants' riots broke out on a regular basis, and attempts to overthrow Duvalier were made repeatedly. In 1968-1969 several groups of migrants landed on the island to overthrow the dictator. On April 14 of 1967, when it was planned to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Duvalier, several bombs were blown up by the rebels in Port-au-Prince, and the celebration ceremony was disrupted. Duvalier responded to the opposition with brutal repression. In April of 1970, a part of the Haitian fleet rebelled against Duvalier: crews of the Coast Guard vessels shelled the presidential palace. The insurgency was suppressed with the help of American aviation.
In the late 60's, Duvalier, suffering from diabetes and heart failure, began to think about his successor. Shortly before his death in 1971, Duvalier amended the constitution, which allowed him to appoint a successor. He chose his son Jean-Claude Duvalier as a successor. The age limit for the presidential post was reduced from 40 to 20 years. But at that time Jean-Claude was 19 years old, and the amendments to the Constitution had to be made again.
On April 21 of 1971, Francois Duvalier died. His death was announced only a few days later, for fear of riots. "Baby Doc" continued the work of his father. Under him, a part of the "Tonton-Makut" was transformed into "Leopards", which did not change the essence.
Ruling of "Baby Dock" did not last - in January of 1982 an attempted uprising occurred, and in 1984 the country started a riot. In July 1985, Jean-Claude declared himself the President for life, but at the end of the year massive uprisings began against the dictator, which could no longer be stopped by political or military methods. On February 7 of 1986, the US Navy blocked the Port of Port-au -Presentation. The dictator and his family fled the country to France.
The power in Haiti went to White General Henri Namfi. However, the positions of Duvalier's supporters were strong, and they continued to terrorize the population. In January of 1988 the leader of the Progressive National Democrats Association, Leslie Manig, won the election. He did not find support from the army, and the leftist opposition accused him of agreeing with Duvalier's supporters. On June 20 of 1988, Manig was overthrown, and Henri Namfi, who continued the persecution of the opposition, returned to power. On September 17 of that year he was deposed. The new military leader of the country was Prosper Anvil, who continued the policy of his predecessor. Mass protests resumed in the country, and on March 10th he was overthrown.
On December 16 of 1990 Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected the President, a former Catholic priest, an adherent of the "theory of liberation". He was going to carry out a series of political and social reforms, but his plans met resistance in the Parliament and in the army. On September 29 of 1991 Aristide was overthrown, and the power in the country was in hands of General Raul Sedra, who began terror against Aristide supporters.
The US refused to recognize the Cedar regime. In 1994, the UN imposed an embargo on the import of any goods, except food and medicine into Haiti. The United States aimed at returning the overthrown Aristide back to the country and demanded that Sedr resign. A wide propaganda program was launched against the Haitian regime, and ships of the American Navy arrived to the shores of Haiti. On September 19 of 1994 3,000 US marines landed on the island, and on October 15, the deposed Junta Aristide returned to the country and assumed the duties of the President. He reduced the army and disbanded the security service, then created the political movement –"Lavalas."
On December 17 of 1995 the candidate of Lavalas, René Préval, won the election. Having come to power, he began reforms of a neoliberal nature, which aggravated the existing difficult situation in the country. In 1997 mass strikes began in the country, often escalating into clashes with the police. "Lavelas" Movement split; supporters of Aristide created their own movement – "The Lavelas Family".
In 2001 Aristide returned to power in the country. An "alternative government" was formed, headed by self-proclaimed President Guarg. In 2003, Guarg was arrested. The Aristide government refused to hold early Parliamentary elections.
In economic policy, Aristide used unpopular measures, making a number of concessions to the IMF, which complicated the situation in the country.
On February 5 of 2004 an anti-government revolt started in Gonaïves, headed by the "Revolutionary Front for the Resistance of Artibonite". The rebels occupied the north of the country, almost all major cities and surrounded the capital. They demanded the resignation of President Aristide. On February 29 of 2004 Aristide resigned and fled the country. The interim president was the chairman of the Supreme Court of Haiti, Boniface Alexander. He asked the UN to send international forces to the country to restore order. In April of 2004 military contingents from the United States, France, Canada and Chile were introduced to the country. On May 14, René Préval was elected the President of the country. The situation in the country remains unstable.
The policy of Haiti
In accordance with the Constitution of 1987, a Haitian citizen who is at least 35 years old and has lived in the country for at least five years can be elected a President. The President is elected by universal direct secret ballot for a period of five years. He can be re-elected for a second term only after five years, the possibility of election for a third term is excluded. If during the elections no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes (50% plus one), then a second round is held, in which two candidates who have won the majority of votes take part. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the country; he negotiates and concludes international agreements, promulgates laws, proposes the candidacy of the Prime Minister. All decisions of the head of the State are subject to approval by the National Assembly (Parliament). The President exercises executive power jointly with the government.
Legislative power is exercised by the National Assembly, consisting of two chambers - the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The last parliamentary elections took place in May of 2000. Both chambers are elected by universal direct secret voting of citizens: senators – for 6 years (every 2 years the senate is updated by one third), and deputies – for 4 years. The quantitative composition of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate is not constant; it is determined by the electoral law. The National Assembly, elected in 2006, will consist of 30 senators and 99 deputies.

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