Haitian

//Haitian
Haitian 2017-04-18T00:01:54+00:00

Haitian Translation Services

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Native Speaking Haitian Creole Translators

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About Haitian

Haiti is a country situated on the western third of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba. A former French colony, it was one of the first countries of the Americas, after the United States, to declare its independence


History

The Hispaniola’s indigenous Arawak (or Ta no) population suffered near-extinction in the decades after Christopher Columbus’s arrival in 1492. The island was eventually repopulated by the late 17th century with African slaves to work the sugar plantations.

In 1697 Spain ceded the western third of the Hispaniola – which was then called Saint-Domingue – to France. It became one of the richest colonies in the 18th century French empire. On August 22, 1791, the slave population revolted, which led to a war of attrition against the French. They defeated an army sent by Napol on Bonaparte and declared independence on January 1, 1804.

Haiti then established the world’s first Black republic, making a commitment to end all slavery everywhere. Threatened by this attack on slavery and colonialism, the United States and Western Europe instated sanctions against Haiti. In addition to this economic blow, in 1852 France demanded “reparations” to former slaveholders, amounting to 90 million gold francs (equivalent to $21.7 billion today).

Haiti has since become the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has been plagued by political violence and corrupt dictators for most of its history. In 1957, Fran ois Duvalier, “Papa Doc”, ruled the nation, becoming dictator in 1964. He was known for his army of sunglasses-clad volunteers, the Tonton Macoute. He was followed by his son Jean-Claude Duvalier, “Baby Doc”, at the age of 19, in 1971. “Baby Doc” was deposed in 1986.

Over three decades of dictatorship followed by military rule ended in 1990 when Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president. Most of his term was usurped by a military coup d’etat, but he was able to return to office in 1994 and oversee the installation of a close associate to the presidency in 1996.

In 2000, Aristide was elected president in a process some claim was rigged, though there has been some confusion between the scandal within the senate election (where the senators in question resigned) and the election of Aristide. Resentment over this and widespread corruption boiled over on February 5, 2004, 200 years after the Haitian Revolution, an armed rebel group calling itself the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front took control of the Gona ves police station. This rebellion then spread throughout the central Artibonite province by February 17 and was joined by opponents of the government who had been in exile in the Dominican Republic.

On February 29, 2004, President Aristide left Haiti. He alleges he was kidnapped from Haiti by a group of Haitians and unidentified Americans; the US alleges that he requested rescue. The State department of the United States subsequently provided a chartered plane to the Central African Republic, where Aristide left with his own bodyguards and entourage. Pursuant to Haiti’s constitution, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Boniface Alexandre took over as interim president.