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History of Haiti Zoltan Grossman. Colonized by French French ruled sugar plantations harshly in western half of Hispaniola. African slaves began speaking French Creole. Only successful slave revolt, 1803 Haiti becomes independent under revolutionary leader Toussaint L’Ouverture.

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Colonized by FrenchFrench ruled sugar plantations harshly in western half of Hispaniola.African slaves began speaking French Creole.


Only successful slave revolt, 1803Haiti becomes independent under revolutionary leader Toussaint L’Ouverture


Poverty, instability, dictatorshipNo help from Europeans, Americans.

Became poorest country in Western Hemisphere


Poverty, instability, dictatorshipDesperately poor Haitians chop down trees;deforestation can be seen on border





U.S. Marine OccupationMarine Major General Smedley Butler, 1933“War is just a racket…. I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster ….I helped make Mexico… safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. …. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints.”


Duvalier DictatorshipRawlings made nearly all baseballs in Haiti until 1986.(Workers made $1,300/year)


1986 Revolution“Baby Doc” Duvalier ousted, but 4 years of military dictatorship & refugee crisis


1991 Military CoupAristide ousted by Haitian military;Duvalier’s thugs return for revenge on poor;enormous numbers of Haitians leave by boat (many died at sea)


1980 = Economic Migrants = Sent Home

Late 1980s-Early 1990s = Refugees = Asylum

Today = Economic Migrants = Sent Home

Changing Status:

Haitian Boat People


1994 InterventionU.S. forces intervene to returndemocratically elected Aristide to office.


1994 InterventionAristide disbands military (thugs remain free); but he did not have much power to change society


2000 ElectionAfter interim leader René Préval (1996-2001), Aristide elected again.Opponents accuse of corruption, violence, vote-rigging.


2004 RebellionU.S. denies World Bank aid package to Haiti.Former military soldiers & thugs team up withsome former Aristide followers to fight his police.


2004 RebellionU.S. does not back up democratically electedleader, but asks him to leave to avoid bloodbath.Rebels celebrate his departure.


2004 InterventionU.S. Marines land again, along with French & Canadians.Will thugs again seek revenge, and trigger a new refugee crisis? U.S. Coast Guard blocking refugees.


René Préval Government

Aristide ally re-elected, 2006

Brazilian UN “peacekeepers”

raid Cité Soleil, other Lavalas

communities; Left criticizes Lula

Privatization proceeds, coupled with

oil price hikes