Key Terms: Past and Present

For brief presentations on key topics in Haitian life (past and present), click on the links below.  Then scroll through the presentations with the arrows.  For full screen viewing, click on the “more” option below the image screen when viewing the presentation.

This presentation focuses on the eradication of the Creole Pig in Haiti.  The United States and other countries eradicated the pig due to the threat posed by the Asian Swine Flu Virus. New breeds of pigs were introduced in Haiti which did not flourish and negatively affected the economy.

Haiti has been called a “Republic of NGOs” because of the enormous number of “Non-Governmental Organizations” (often called non-profits in the U.S.) that are working there.  Many of these are aid organizations and religious organizations that aim to help Haiti; however, the overwhelming number of NGOs has caused problems, according to some critics, weakening the authority of the state by locating social services in an unregulated private sector of the economy.

This presentation focuses on MINUSTAH, the name of the UN mission in Haiti.  The UN became involved in Haiti in 1990, officially forming MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) in 2004. Despite a goal of serving on Haiti’s behalf, their presence has been a subject of great contention.  Many Haitians believe that the nation is being occupied by the UN, and not supported by it.

This presentation looks at the October 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti and examines causes, controversies, treatments, prevention methods, and the current state of cholera in the country. The presentation defines and describes the disease and then focuses on the reasons why Haiti was particularly susceptible to the disease and its spread after the January 2010 earthquake. It also explores the controversy concerning the Nepalese U.N. soldiers as the carriers of the disease. A cholera outbreak occurred in Nepal just before the arrival of the Nepalese battalion from an area experiencing the outbreak, and a joint French-Haitian investigation was conducted from November 7 to November 27, 2010 to clarify the cholera source. The presentation also looks at the steps Haitians are taking to prevent and treat the disease today.

In 1994, under pressure from the U.S., Haiti eliminated the importation fee (tariff) on rice sold in Haiti that was produced elsewhere, including the U.S.  When the Haitian market was flooded with inexpensive rice grown in the U.S., Haitian rice production collapsed, farmers lost their livelihoods, and a huge number of Haitians moved from rural areas to the city of Port-Au-Prince.  This presentation explores the history of the controversy over rice tariffs and the effect of importation of U.S. rice in Haiti.

The Haitian Indemnity controversy is a key event in Haitian history that has effects in Haiti to this day.  In 1825, France demanded a payment of 150 million French Francs ($12.7 billion today), in exchange for recognizing Haiti as a legitimate state.  France said that the money was needed to repay the French for the slaves they lost during the Haitian Revolution, which ended in 1804.  Because the Haitian economy was isolated from trading partners without such recognition, Haiti agreed to pay.  And Haiti has been in debt ever since.

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