Haiti is by far the poorest and least developed country in the Caribbean. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of HTI and acronym for Haiti. The income and class differences are huge. Wages in industry are among the lowest in the world, and unemployment is constantly high. But despite the country’s poverty, there are many millionaires. Especially the rural population is heavily taxed, while the rich have very low income and wealth taxes. The corruption within the administration is widespread. The social tensions and enormous poverty among the broad masses have been the breeding ground for the turbulent development in Haiti with political chaos and mass escape.
Large sections of the population are malnourished. Epidemics and diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria are common and the same applies to venereal diseases. There is a shortage of both doctors and hospitals. The problems with poor sanitary conditions and malnutrition are the worst in urban slums, while rural areas generally have better houses and less food shortages.
During 2002, at least 30 journalists were attacked or threatened with death threats by supposed supporters of the government, and several journalists and their families decided to leave the country. In July, journalist Israel Jacky Cantave was abducted and abused. He decided a month later to leave the country. In May, the Journalists Without Borders organization had put Arisitide on its black list of media oppressors. After visiting the country in 2002, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission issued a report expressing concern about the fragile foundations of the Haitian rule of law and the serious threats journalists face in the country. At the same time, the Organization of American States (OAS) envoy in freedom of speech could report an increase in the number of assaults against journalists.
2004 Independence for 200 years and US coup
The 200th anniversary of Haiti’s independence, on January 1, 2004, was marked by mass demonstrations across the country. It was one of the biggest offenses of the opposition in recent years, and at the same time managed to carry out a comprehensive strike. The opposition was assembled under the designation «The Group of 184» and consisted of a wide collection of political parties and NGOs. It tried to use the anniversary to call the international community to the attention of the possibility of electoral fraud during the upcoming parliamentary elections, and for Aristide to stand for a 4th presidential term in 2005. CARICOM President Jamaica President Percival Petterson sent In a letter to Aristide, he wrote: “The Caribbean is very concerned about the information on rising political instability in Haiti”.
Throughout 2003 and 2004, the OAS sought to push the government and opposition to an agreement on the composition of the electoral commission, thus securing greater legitimacy around the parliamentary elections to be held in 2004. In contrast, the opposition demanded the creation of a transitional government led by a representative of the Supreme Court and a government council made up of 9 ministers. During his attendance at the US Monterrey Summit in January 2004, Aristide declared that elections would be held within 6 months, without setting an exact date.
However, during February 2004, the situation is running smoothly. Armed gangs are formed around the country attacking Aristide’s terrorist corps, Cameres and the police, gradually gaining control over ever larger parts of the country. In late February, the militias reach Port-au-Prince, and on March 1 Aristide is sent into exile. He states that he was in a coup when the US ambassador sought him out with armed guards and put him on a US military flight to the Central African Republic. Here, the government tries in vain to close its mouth, and then Aristide manages to get to Jamaica, where he continues his attacks on the United States. Boniface Alexandre is inaugurated as provisional president, but Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean countries refuse to recognize the new president and transitional government. At the same time, the United States is sending its Marines to Haiti.
On March 12, Prime Minister Yvon Neptune will be removed from the post and replaced by a provisional government led by Gerard Latortue. Neptune is in prison for over a year, charged with manslaughter in an alleged massacre in Saint-Marc. UN people are skeptical of the lack of evidence and demand that he either be released or tried. He is formally charged in September 2005, but is never tried and finally released in July 2006.