The official name is the Republic of Haiti.
It occupies the western part of the island of Haiti in the group of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean Sea and a number of small islands – Gonave, Tortyu, Vas, etc. The area is 27.8 thousand km2, the population is 7.1 million people. (2002). The official language is French. The capital is Port-au-Prince (884 thousand people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day January 1 (1804). The monetary unit is the gourde. Member of the UN, KLA, CARICOM, etc.
Geography of Haiti
In the north, Haiti is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, in the south by the Caribbean Sea, in the east it borders on the Dominican Republic, in the west the Windward Strait separates Haiti from Cuba.
Haiti is an island nation. The total length of the coastline is approx. 1450 km. The terrain is rugged. The coast is mostly rocky, heavily indented. From the northwest to the southeast, the territory of Haiti is crossed by mountain ranges and massifs. The summit of La Selle (2680 m) is the highest in the country.
There are many rivers on the island. The main ones are Artibo-nit (321 km) and Cul-de-Sac with Lake Somatre.
32% of the country’s total area is occupied by cultivated land, 16% by pastures, 7.2% by forests, and more than 50% by mountains.
The climate on the island is tropical, trade wind. On the coast, the average temperature in January is +22°С, in July +28°С. It is colder in mountainous regions (January – + 7 – 14 ° С). The rainy season is April to June and September to November.
Population of Haiti
According to Countryaah, the average annual population growth is 1.42%. Birth rate over 31%, death rate approx. 15%, infant mortality 93 people. per 1000 newborns (2002). Average life expectancy is 49.5 years, incl. women 51, men 47 years (2002). Age structure: 0-14 years old – 39.5%, 15-64 years old – 56.3%, 65 years and older – 4.2%. 50% of the Haitian population is under the age of 25. The female population (3 million 583 thousand people) numerically exceeds the male population (3 million 483 thousand). The ratio of urban and rural population is 30%:70%. Haiti has an extremely low literacy rate. 45% of residents over the age of 15 can read and write. 95% of Haitians are blacks, the remaining 5% are predominantly mulattoes (2002). Although the official language of Haiti is French, the majority of the population speaks the local Creole language, which has developed from African dialects and borrowings from the French vocabulary.
According to the religious composition, 80% of Haitians are Catholics, 16% are Protestants, and 4% are adherents of other religious denominations. 90% of the country’s population still practices the Afro-Christian religious cult of water (vaudou) – a kind of symbiosis of African pagan religions with elements of Christianity. Since April 2003, Voodoism, along with Catholicism, has been officially recognized as the equal state religion of Haiti as one of the spiritual components of the country’s national identity.
History of Haiti
The island of Haiti, called Hispaniola by the Spaniards, was discovered by H. Columbus on December 6, 1492. From con. 17th century (1697) the western part of the island passed into the possession of the French crown, receiving a new name – San Domingo. As a result of the victorious revolution of Negro slaves led by Toussaint Louverture (1791–1803), slavery was abolished in Haiti (1801) and political independence was won (1804).
The founder of independent Haiti was an associate of T. Louverture, General Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1804–07), after whose death the country broke up into two separate states: the “Negro empire” of Henri Crisof in the north (1807–20) and the “mulatto republic” Alexandre Pétion in the south (1807–18), after whose reunification in 1822 Haiti became a single republic.
From Ser. 19th century the dominant position in Haiti was occupied by US capital.
In the 1st floor. 20th century Haiti survived a 20-year occupation by the United States (1915-34, which went down in the country’s history as the “Second War of Independence”).
In the 2nd floor. 20th century the longest was the 30-year rule of the Duvalier dictatorship: the founder of the dynasty, Francois Duvalier (1957–71) and his son, Jean-Claude Duvalième. (1971-86).
The starting point for the transformation of Haitian society is the overthrow of the Duvalier dictatorship (February 7, 1986). During 1986-96, the country experienced a chain reaction of military coups: political power on the island changed 9 times.
The first civilian, democratically elected president of Haiti was the former Catholic priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide (who came to power on February 7, 1991). His reign was interrupted by another military coup (September 30, 1991) and political expulsion from the country. The three-year confrontation between the military junta of Raul Cedra and the de jure government in exile (1991-94) ended with the restoration of the democratic regime of Aristide (1994-96) with the active participation of the United States and the world community (the UN Security Council resolution on Haiti was adopted).
After the second election of Aristide to the presidency (2001-06), Haiti entered a period of protracted socio-political crisis, which has been going on for more than 3 years.
The political situation in the country was complicated by severe economic sanctions imposed on Haiti by the world community (since July 2000, the OAS resolution on Haiti).