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The native Taino Amerindians - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola. 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 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 forced resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE in February 2004, an interim government took office to organize new elections under the auspices of the United Nations. Continued violence and technical delays prompted repeated postponements, but Haiti finally did inaugurate a democratically elected president and parliament in May of 2006. A massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010 with an epicenter about 25 km (15 mi) west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Over 300,000 people were killed and some 1 milllion left homeless. The earthquake was assessed as the worst in this region over the last 200 years.


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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 149
14 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 4
2,438 to 3,047 m 1
914 to 1,523 m 3 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 10
914 to 1,523 m 2
Under 914 m 8 (2012)

Roadways World Ranking: 155
Total 4,160 km
Paved 1,011 km
Unpaved 3,149 km (2000)

Ports and terminals
Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Jacmel, Port-au-Prince


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  Haiti (Port-au-prince):


  GPS points from Haiti (Port-au-prince)

Pointe Admiral Departement Du Nord-est

Tourpine Departement Du Sud-est

Carrefour Sanon Departement De La Grand'anse

Bois Verna Departement De L'ouest

Saintilien Departement De L'artibonite

Riviere Baille Departement De L'artibonite

Brizard Nicole Departement Du Nord-ouest

Savanette Departement Du Sud-est




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