Author Topic: Unrest in Haiti continues [slideshow/video]  (Read 47 times)


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Unrest in Haiti continues [slideshow/video]
« on: February 23, 2004, 12:44:40 PM »   [slideshow/video]

Christopher Columbus lands on the island that became known as Hispaniola. It was originally inhabited by the Taino-Arawak Indians, who referred to their home as "Hayti" or mountainous land.

Spanish control over the colony ends with the Treaty of Ryswick, which divides the island into French-controlled St. Domingue and Spanish Santo Domingo. The island is prized by the European powers for its natural resources, including cocoa, cotton and sugar cane and the French ship in thousands of slaves, mainly from West Africa, to harvest the crops.

After a slave rebellion led by a Jamaican-born Boukman in 1791, Haiti becomes the first black independent state under General Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who declares himself emperor.

After three decades of strife and multiple rulers, the island splits into two nations, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

After decades of delay, fearing that it would inspire its own slaves, the United States grants Haiti diplomatic recognition. In 1889, noted abolitionist Frederick Douglass becomes the U.S. Consul-General.

U.S. Marines occupy Haiti to calm a state of anarchy. The Americans improve the infrastructure while helping to create the Haitian armed forces.

The United States pulls out of Haiti. But the nation remains torn by tension between the wealthier French-speaking mulatto minority and the overwhelming majority of impoverished black Creole speakers.  

Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier becomes leader, declaring himself president for life in 1964 and ruling through terror perpetrated by his notorious street gangs known as the "Tontons Macoutes."  
Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as "Baby Doc" becomes president at the age of 19, succeeding his father who dies in office.

As anti-government protests gather steam, the United States arranges exile in France for "Baby Doc" and his family. He is succeeded by General Henri Namphy.

A charismatic priest from the slums, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, wins a U.N.-organized presidential election, gaining more than 67 percent of the vote.

Aristide is ousted in a military coup and is forced to seek exile in the United States. The coup sparks a mass exodus with more than 40,000 Haitians rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard during a 12-month period.
After several abortive efforts to restore democracy, the United States leads an international force into Haiti, forcing the military rulers to step down. A month later, Aristide returns as president to Port-au-Prince.
Rene Preval becomes president as Aristide is precluded by the Constitution from succeeding himself.

Municipal and legislative elections end in disarray because of a flawed vote count, alleged irregularities and fraud charges. The controversy triggers a boycott of the presidential elections later that year, won by Aristide.

The crisis sparked by the allegedly fraudulent election deepens amid a failure of international mediation efforts, a foundering economy and growing political violence. A few weeks after the nation celebrates its 200th anniversary in January, a rebel movement seizes control of a number of towns in an uprising that poses a formidable threat to the Aristide government.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2004, 08:04:58 PM by Nebuchadnezzar »