Haitian culture is permeated by the African
heritage. This applies to dance and music as well as
crafts and painting. In popular culture, voodoo is
Both the traditional and the modern Haitian music
have spread widely. The leading Haitian musicians often
go to Paris or the United States, such as the
world-renowned hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, who has lived
for much of his life in the United States but has always
been strongly involved in his home country, not least
after the difficult 2010 earthquake. however, being
allowed to stand as a candidate in the presidential
election that year was rejected.
Latest population statistics of Haiti, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Haitians who have emigrated have also spread Haitian
dance, such as méringue and compas, abroad - not least
to neighboring countries Cuba and the Dominican
Haitian visual art can be seen on the country's
buses, so-called tap-tap, and on mass-produced
"Caribbean" souvenirs. The country's naïve painting
attracted international attention in the 1940s, when the
artist Hector Hyppolite (1894-1948) was introduced by
the French surrealist André Breton. At the same time,
Hyppolite was a voodoo priest (see Religion) and used
popular ideas in his art. Another naivist painter of the
same generation was Philomé Obin (1892–1986), who
painted crowds, parties, historical motifs and the like.
Together with his students he founded a school in the
city of Cap-Haïtien. Today there is a large group of
young artists who continue this art form.
Edwidge Danticat, born in Haiti in 1969 but now
active in the United States, has written several novels
about his country of birth, two of which have been
published in Swedish: Magic Links and A Harvest of
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Haiti. Artists and albums are also included.
Agreement prepares for transitional government
A number of opposition parties and organizations sign an agreement to form a
transitional government if / when President Jovenel Moïse resigns or is forced
out. Under the agreement, a judge in the cassation court is to be appointed
president and the prime minister appointed by a committee formed by some of the
signatory parties. The agreement covers most of the opposition with the
exception of Fanmi Lavalas, who considers that the cassation court is part of
the system that needs to be changed. Violent protests against President Moïse
have now been going on since early September.
Two dead during new protests
Hundreds of police officers and supporters of them are demonstrating in
Port-au-Prince with demands for higher wages, while government opponents are
conducting yet another protest march. In connection with the protests, a man
shoots at a crowd and hits a person who dies, after which other protesters kill
the perpetrator and burn his body.
Continued demands for the president's resignation
Thousands of Catholics take part in a protest march against President Jovenel
Moïse, demanding he leave his post. In recent weeks, a number of occupational
categories or social groups have demonstrated one by one, all with the same
requirements. Moïse is accused of being both corrupt and incompetent.
The peacekeeping effort ends
The UN peacekeeping operation in Haiti ends after 15 years when the Minujusth
police force (see October 2019) is shut down, according to a
decision by the UN Security Council in April. The peacekeeping operation has
gradually shrunk and is now being replaced by a smaller UN political presence.
New protests against Moïse
Comprehensive protests shake the country and lead to widespread violence in
Port-au-Prince, in particular. The protesters demand President Jovenel Moïse's
resignation and dismiss a proposal for reconciliation and a unity government,
which he proposed in a radio address to the nation a few days earlier. Moïse has
canceled its planned speech at the UN General Assembly due to the unrest. Four
people have died in the last days of violence, with looting and fires.
Senator shoots outside Parliament
Two people are injured when a Haitian senator, Jean Marie Ralph Féthière,
pulls a gun and shoots on his way out of the parliament building in
Port-au-Prince. Féthière claims he defended himself against armed individuals.
One of the injured is a press photographer for the news agency AP and wearing a
protective vest with the word "press" clearly marked. The incident occurs in
connection with the Senate meeting to approve Fritz-William Michel as prime
minister (see July 2019), and protesters gather outside the
building. Severe fuel shortages have contributed to widespread protests against
the government in recent weeks.
New prime minister appointed
President Jovenel Moïse appoints Fritz-William Michel as prime minister,
after Jean-Michel Lapin failed to get parliamentary support (see March
2019). Michel gets the assignment after talks between Moïse and the
Speaker of both chambers, which means that a dialogue between the country's
political heavyweights has now resumed after several months of turbulence. Moïse
has been heavily employed following allegations that he was involved in the
embezzlement of aid (see May 2019). After a couple of days,
Michel, a relatively unknown former employee of the Ministry of Finance,
appoints a transitional government consisting of nine women and nine men. He
becomes the fourth head of government since Moïse took office in February 2017.
UN report on gang massacres
The UN reports that at least 26 people were killed in a massacre that took
place in the La Saline slum in Port-au-Prince in November 2018. A local
government representative and a couple of police officers must have been present
when armed gangs attacked residents of the area. The UN report states that the
figure may be higher, based on testimony, and human rights organizations have
previously stated that 71 people died. Several group rapes also took place. The
UN criticizes the police for not intervening and giving the perpetrators time to
get rid of the body.
Protesters demand the resignation of the president
Several thousand protesters march in Port-au-Prince demanding the resignation
of President Jovenel Moïse. Both opposition parties and civic groups are behind
the protest a week after Moïse was accused of embezzlement. Clashes occur and at
least two buildings near the police headquarters are set on fire.
The president is accused of embezzlement
The Supreme Court accuses President Jovenel Moïse of playing a central role
in the embezzlement of Venezuelan aid that would have gone to repair roads. The
charge is linked to the Petrocaribe scandal, which has shaken the country since
the summer of 2018 and triggered violent protests.
Medical protest against deficiencies
Doctors at the State University Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Hatitis's largest
hospital, strike to draw attention to the lack of materials, poor sanitary
conditions and missing wages. According to doctors, there is neither oxygen nor
gloves at the emergency room - when a patient comes in, the staff must send the
relatives to try to procure materials. The rooms at the hospital are overcrowded
and waste management is not working. The striking doctors do their general duty
after completing medical studies and earn only the equivalent of $ 100 a month,
but have nevertheless received no salary for six months.
The government loses the confidence vote
Parliament's second chamber votes with numbers 93–6 to dismiss Prime Minister
Jean Henry Céant and his government, citing that during his six months in power
he failed to improve the living conditions of Haitians. Three members cast their
votes in the vote, which is carried out after a very short debate. Céant calls
the vote unconstitutional and unacceptable because he was not present himself,
and says he does not accept the result. The country is in an increasingly acute
political and economic crisis that has led both the United States and Canada to
discourage its citizens from traveling to Haiti. After a few days, President
Moïse appoints Minister of Culture and Communication Jean-Michel Lapin as acting
Foreigners are arrested with weapons
A group of foreign nationals with military weapons are arrested in
Port-au-Prince. According to police, five Americans, a Russian and a Serb, are
arrested along with a Haitian. It is unclear what the group had for motives.
Police refute charges that they should have hired mercenaries. The situation in
the country remains unstable and both the United States and Canada have urged
their citizens not to travel to Haiti. A group of about 130 Canadian tourists
have been evacuated by helicopters from a tourist resort where they were
stranded due to the unrest.
Mass escape from prison
All 78 interns in a prison in Aquin manage to escape, according to
eyewitnesses, while hostile protesters gather outside the police station next to
a prison. Demonstrations and violence are continuing around the country and at
least six people are now reported to have been killed.
Port-au-Prince paralyzed by protests
The growing and violent protests of recent days have left the streets of the
capital Port-au-Prince largely deserted as the week begins. Schools, shops and
government agencies are closed, barricades have been erected in their quarters
and both fires and looting have occurred. A "contact group" consisting of
representatives of the UN, the EU and the OAS, as well as Brazil, France,
Canada, Spain, Germany and the United States, calls on the government to open a
dialogue on the occasion of the crisis, but so far it has remained silent.
New protests against the president
At least four people have been killed and dozens injured over several days as
new demonstrations were conducted demanding the resignation of President Jovenel
Moïse. The protests began on the two-year anniversary of Moïse's entry, February
7. The anger is great over poor living conditions with a lack of security as
well as electricity and food. Some talk about hunger cravings. High inflation
and a large fall in the currency have contributed to the difficulties. The
Supreme Court has also recently published a report in which over ten former
ministers and senior officials are accused of financial neglect and possible
embezzlement of development aid from Venezuela (see also October 2018).
Moïse also figures in the report as former manager of a company that received
money for a road project without any agreement being signed.