North America: Haiti

About Haiti

One of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. Over three decades of dictatorship followed by military rule ended in 1990 when Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE was elected president. Most of his term was usurped by a military takeover, but he was able to return to office in 1994 and oversee the installation of a close associate to the presidency in 1996. ARISTIDE won a second term as president in 2000, and took office early the following year.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Port-au-Prince
Population: 6,964,549
Percent below poverty: 80% (1998 est.)
Language: French (official), Creole (official)
Date of independence: 1 January 1804 (from France)
Form of government: elected government
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, marble, hydropower
Environmental Issues: extensive deforestation (much of the remaining forested land is being cleared for agriculture and used as fuel); soil erosion; inadequate supplies of potable water
Agricultural Products: coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood
Imports: food, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials
Exports: manufactures, coffee, oils, mangoes
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: US 60%, EU 13% (1999)
EXPORTS: US 89%, EU 8% (1999)


Haiti Headlines


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