Haiti. According to Countryaah, the municipal and congressional elections, which have been postponed since 2011, were further delayed during the year due to political controversy over the new permanent electoral authority. The situation caused concern in both the US and the UN over the activities of public authorities and independence in Haiti. The dismissal of judges who were set to investigate corruption in the administration was particularly serious. President Michel Martelly was forced to establish a provisional electoral authority in early April. The situation was a “step 22” in that the president’s action was actually illegal because it should have been carried out by Congress, which, however, due to the lack of a functioning electoral authority, was not complete. In mid-October, large demonstrations were held in the capital Port-au-Prince in protest of price increases and President Martelly’s authoritarian style.
While Haiti was still struggling with institutional problems, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and Police Chief Godson Orelus announced in August that the security situation in the country had improved significantly. Among other things, the US Department of Foreign Affairs revised some of its recommendations for Americans regarding visits to Haiti, and increased investment in tourism as important to the country. Several crime syndicates had been dissolved through successful police actions. The UN Secretary-General announced at about the same time that the UN stabilization force MINUSTAH would gradually be reduced in size and eventually replaced by a smaller force in 2016. MINUSTAH enjoyed still very low confidence in the country since the outbreak of the world’s worst cholera epidemic in 2010 by foreign soldiers in the UN -truppen.
Haiti – Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti; 928,000 residents (2012), including suburbs 1. 8 million. Port-au-Prince, located at the far end of the Gulf of Gonâve, is the country’s dominant city and main port. A large part of the population lives in shanty buildings in miserable conditions. The international airport has connections to the USA, Puerto Rico and Europe, among others, and has the Caribbean’s largest freight traffic. Port-au-Prince’s center bears colonial touch with grand buildings.
In 2010, the city was hit by a powerful earthquake and nearly 225,000 people were killed. Earthquakes damaged many of the city’s most important landmarks, including the presidential palace, parliament, cathedral and several hospitals. The city has still not recovered from this disaster. The situation worsened further in 2012 when the country was hit by tropical cyclone Sandy.
Port-au-Prince, founded in 1749 as a French residence under the name of L’Hôpital, has repeatedly been subjected to severe destruction by earthquakes, fires and hurricanes, most recently through the earthquake in January 2010. The city is the country’s commercial and transport center. In Port-au-Prince there are universities and medical faculty.