Haiti is a country located in the Caribbean. With a population of around 11 million people, it is the second-most populous country in the region. Haiti is a presidential republic and its military consists of two branches: the Army and National Police Force. The Armed Forces are responsible for defending the country’s borders and sovereignty, as well as providing security to its citizens. In terms of defense spending, Haiti spends approximately $20 million annually on its military, making it one of the highest defense spending nations in the Caribbean. The country also participates in several United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions such as those in Lebanon and Syria. Haiti is also a member of both the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Organization of American States (OAS), and has close ties with other CARICOM members such as Jamaica and Barbados. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Haiti.
Haiti has no military units. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that HTI stands for Haiti. The police forces (2008) amount to about 2,000 men. The military forces were disbanded in 1994 and replaced by an interim force of 3,000 men with security missions and 4,000 men with police missions.
The UN has cut its military presence significantly; there is still a support organization (UNTMIH). Canada and the United States have voluntarily provided approximately 1,300 military personnel and 230 civilian police officers to the UN during a transitional period. The UN (2008) has taken back responsibility with observers and associations from 19 nations, including Argentina, Brazil, Jordan, Nepal and Uruguay.
Shortly before 5 p.m. On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of the quake was just 25 km from the capital Port-au-Prince. Only a few of Haiti’s houses are earthquake proof and are of poor quality due to the country’s poverty. The quake therefore had dramatic consequences. About 100,000 people were killed, 300,000 injured and 1 million homeless. Like most other houses in Port-au-Prince, the presidential palace collapsed.
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While most of the world sent relief, field hospitals and digging teams to dig for survivors of the ruins, the United States sent marines. 10,000 Marines occupied nodes around Haiti and especially around the capital. Among other things. the airport was occupied and the United States managed to prevent relief transports, which instead had to be diverted to the Dominican Republic and therefore reached too late. The United States feared that the earthquake would open a flood of refugees in the direction of the United States, and even indicated that the military occupation was intended to prevent looting. However, General PK Keen of the US Southern Command subsequently had to admit that the crime had actually fallen in Port-au-Prince in the weeks following the quake in the period before.
In the heels of the Marines, Christian fundamentalists came from the United States. They started abducting children. First was the explanation that they were orphans, then that “they would have a better life in the United States”. In early February alone, Baptist missionaries from Idaho were charged with abducting 33 Haitian children.
While the United States concentrated on military occupation and child abductions, relief organizations, European and especially Latin American governments began a race in time to save the needy Haitians. Cuba alone sent 100 doctors to Haiti to treat the wounded.
Only after a month did the Haitian civil administration finally get back on track, and in April it began moving the hundreds of thousands of homeless people away from the low-lying areas. The fear was that the rainy season would trigger epidemics as the sanitary and hygienic conditions were chaotic.
In October 2010, cholera broke out in the country’s refugee camps. Genetic studies of the cholera strain later confirmed that it had been brought to Haiti by UN troops from Nepal. The poor sanitary conditions in the country provided a good breeding ground for the spread, and in the next 3 years 8,300 Haitians died of cholera. The epidemic remains under control. The UN has since done everything possible to escape from the legal and financial responsibility for bringing the disease to the country.
The parliamentary and presidential elections were postponed from February 2010 to November. Mirlande Manigat from RPND got 31.4% of the vote, followed by Inites Jude Celestin with 22.5%. In third place cameMichel Martelly from Repon’s Peyizan with 21.8% of the vote. The close race triggered a serious political crisis. In December, supporters of Martelly pitched to Inite’s party headquarters in Petionville, and several planned retellings had to be postponed. The OAS recommended that Celestin be disqualified for electoral fraud, but without being able to come up with good arguments – except that the United States supported this position. In the midst of this crisis, Baby Doc Duvalier returned to the country in January 2011. He was met by charges of corruption and theft. However, the main reason for Baby Doc returning home was that he had spent the several hundred million US $ he brought out of the country in 1985, and now did not have a cent on his pocket. Following international pressure, Celestin was removed from the field in February, making it clear that the election would stand between Martelly and Manigat. 2nd Election rounds in April 2011 were characterized by the fact that Manigat surprisingly got fewer votes than in the first round, while Martelly got 3 times more. He therefore won the election with 67.6% of the vote and was elected to the presidential post the following month.
The former government party Inite won the parliamentary elections and got 33 seats in the House of Representatives and 5 in the Senate, while Altenativ got 14 and 5. Martellys Repons Peyizan had to settle for 3 seats in the House of Representatives and none in the Senate. In other words, a parliamentary situation was created where the president and Congress were completely out of step.