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Haiti

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Facts & Figures

President: Michel Martelly (2011)

Prime Minister: Laurent Lamothe (2012)

Land area: 10,641 sq mi (27,560 sq km); total area: 10,714 sq mi (27,750 sq km)

Population (2012 est.): 9,801,664 (growth rate: .888%); birth rate: 23.877/1000; infant mortality rate: 52.44/1000; life expectancy: 62.51

Capital and largest city (2010 est.): Port-au-Prince, 2.143 million

Monetary unit: Gourde

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Index
  1. Haiti Main Page
  2. Unrest Stifles Development
  3. Despite Intervention, Haiti's Infrastructure Remains in Tatters
  4. Political Turmoil Continues
  5. Devastating Earthquake Exposes Weaknesses in Infrastructure
  6. Former Dictator Returns and a New President is Elected
  7. President Martelly Struggles to Form Government
  8. Prime Minister Resigns Causing More Political Chaos
  9. Tropical Storm Hits Nation Still Recovering from Earthquake

Geography

Haiti, in the West Indies, occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. About the size of Maryland, Haiti is two-thirds mountainous, with the rest of the country marked by great valleys, extensive plateaus, and small plains.

Government

Republic with an elected government.

History

Explored by Columbus on Dec. 6, 1492, Haiti's native Arawaks fell victim to Spanish rule. In 1697, Haiti became the French colony of Saint-Dominique, which became a leading sugarcane producer dependent on slaves. In 1791, an insurrection erupted among the slave population of 480,000, resulting in a declaration of independence by Pierre-Dominique Toussaint l'Ouverture in 1801. Napoléon Bonaparte suppressed the independence movement, but it eventually triumphed in 1804 under Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who gave the new nation the Arawak name Haiti . It was the world's first independent black republic.

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