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The native Taino Amerindians - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by COLUMBUS in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola, and in 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Haiti. The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean, but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation. In the late 18th century, Haiti's nearly half million slaves revolted under Toussaint L'OUVERTURE. After a prolonged struggle, Haiti became the first black republic to declare its independence in 1804. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. After an armed rebellion led to the departure of President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE in February 2004, an interim government took office to organize new elections under the auspices of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Continued violence and technical delays prompted repeated postponements, but Haiti finally did inaugurate a democratically elected president and parliament in May of 2006.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 8,706,497

Nationality (Noun): Haitian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Haitian

Official Language(s): French, Creole

Major Languages Spoken: Creole, French

Map of Haiti

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Haiti

Country Name (short form): Haiti

Country Name (local long form): Republique d'Haiti/Repiblik d' Ayiti

Country Name (local short form): Haiti/Ayiti

Name of Capital: Port-au-Prince

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Haiti: Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic

Land Area: 27560 sq km

Water Area: 190 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than Maryland

Total Land Boundry: 360 km

Coastline: 1,771 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 1 January (1804)

International Phone Code: 509

Currency Code: gourde (HTG)

Internet Country Code: .ht

US Embassy Location: 5 Harry S Truman Boulevard, Bicentenaire-Port-au-Prince

US Embassy Mailing Address: P. O. Box 1761, Port-au-Prince


Haiti flag

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