Haiti
   
Motto:  L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE (Unity is our strength)
Location:
Haiti, a 80% mountainous country, is located on the Western half of the island previously known as Hispaniola, 80 km east of Cuba and 750 miles south-east of Miami (Florida)  The Dominican Republic occupies the Eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola 
History:
Columbus encountered the island of Hispaniola, populated by Arawak Indians in 1492.   In 1503 the Spanish brought the first African slaves to the island, and in 1697 the colony was ceded to France.  In 1791 a voodoo priest by the name of Boukman started an uprising that was to be led by Toussaint L'ouverture, who launched a general slave revolt.

1 January 1804 Jean Jacques Dessalines proclaimed the island independent. 

Haiti is the world's first "Black Republic" and the second oldest republic in the Western Hemisphere.  The power struggles and political instability that marked Haitian history throughout the 19th century ended in US intervention that lasted from 1915-1934. 
 
Elections in Haiti  in 1990 brought Jean Bertrand Aristide to the presidency.  After seven months in power, he was forced into exile by a military coup on 30 September 1991.   With the help of the international community, Aristide was restored to power on 15 October 1994. 

Following  elections in 1995, Rene Preval succeeded Jean Bertrand Aristide as president.

In 2000, Jean Bertrand Aristide was once more elected to the Office of President
 
Elections: Last elections  2011. Next elections due 2015
 
Ruling Party:  Coalition government drawn from six parties
Major Political Parties:  LESPWA, Struggling People's Organisation (OPL); Fusion of Socialist Democrats (FUSION) /La Fanmi Lavalas; Union; LAA ALYANS; MOCHRENAH, RESPE; RDNP
 
Economic Summary: 
Agriculture remains the key sector in the economy, accounting for approximately one-quarter of GDP.  Forestry and fishing account for a further 7%.   The sector is the principal source of employment for about two-thirds of the population.

Coffee is by far the most important export crop.  Approximately 380,000 peasants are engaged in its production.  However, performance has been on the decline; production in 1995/96 was just 13,000 metric tonnes, compared with 27,000 metric tonnes in 1992/93.   Earnings in 1995/96 were US$10.2m, some 58% of total agricultural export earnings.

Sugar and rice are also traditionally important agricultural commodities.   However, they have both been facing stiff competition from imported commodities.

The Assembly sub-sector is one of the strongest growth areas in the manufacturing sector.  The upswing in this sub-sector is also affording a growing employment level which, at the end of 1998, was estimated at 30,000 with stronger growth projected for 1999.

The tourism sector offers much export possibilities.  The Caribbean Tourism Organisation is assisting the Government towards realising the full potential of this sector.
Airport:  Port-au-Prince International
Status: Independent Republic - 1 January 1804
Capital: Port-au-Prince
Head of Government: 
His Excellency Michel Joseph Martelly
President

Date of Birth:  12 February 1961

Marital Status:  Married

Profession:  Musician, Composer

Political career: 

2011 :  Elected President
 

Area: 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 square miles)
Population:  7,482,000 (1997)
Official Languages: French and Creole
Currency: Gourde
GDP Per Capita(at current market prices):  EC$530 million (1996)
Total Exports:  EC$572.9 million (1995)
Total Imports: EC$3,546.5 million (1995)
Intra-Regional Exports: none
Intra-Regional Imports: none
Business Hours: Commercial: 08:00-17:00 hrs Monday to Friday

Government: 08:00-16:00 hrs Monday to Friday
National Holidays: Independence Day (01 January); Founding Fathers Day (02 January); Agriculture and Labour Day (01 May); Flag and University Day (18 May); Commemoration of the Battle of Vertieres Day (18 November); Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December)
Date of CARICOM Membership:  July 2002
National Anthem: La Dessalinienne

Pour le Pays
Pour les Ancetres
Marchons unies (bis)
Dans no rangs
Point de traitres,
Du notre sol
Soyons seulsmetres,
Marcons unies (bis)
Pour le Pays
Pour les Ancetres
Marchons Marchons
Marchons unies
Pour le Pays
Pour les Ancetres
Pour les Aieux,
Pour la Patrie,
Behons joyeux (bis)
Quand le champ fructific,
L'aime se fortifie,
Bechons joyeux
Pour les Aieux
Pour la Patrie.
Pour le Pays
Et Pour nos Peres,
Formons de Fils (bis)
Libres, firts et prosperes,
Toujours nous serons freres
Formons des Fils
Pour le Pays
Et pour nos Peres
Pour les Aieux,
Pour la Patrie,
O Dieun des Preux! (Bis)
Sous ta garde infinie.
Prends nos droits notre vie.
O Dieux des Preux,
Pour les Aieux,
Pour la Patrie
Pour le Drapeau,
Pour la Patrie
Mourir est beau (bis),
Notre passe nous crie:
Ayez l'ame aguerrie.
Mourir est beau,
Pour le Drapeau,
Pour la Patrie.

Highest National Award: L'Ordre National Honneur et Merite, au grade de Grand-Croix; Plaque d'Or
Favourite Dish: Fried spiced Pork with fried plantain; Rice and Red Beans
   

(August 2005)

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