Here's a look at what you need to know about Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti makes up the western one-third of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The eastern two-thirds of the island is the Dominican Republic.
About Haiti: (from the CIA World Factbook)
Land Area: 27,750 sq km (slightly smaller than Maryland)
Population: 9,893,934 (2013 estimate)
Median age: 21.9 years old
Ethnic Groups: Black 95%, mulatto and white 5%
Religion: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3%
GDP: $12.44 billion (2011 est.)
GDP per capita: $1,200 (2010 est.)
Timeline: 1492 - Christopher Columbus lands on the island and names it Hispaniola.
1697 - Spain recognizes France's claim to the western third of the island.
1791 - Slaves rebel against plantation owners. Toussaint L'Ouverture, a former slave, takes control and writes a constitution.
January 1, 1804 - Haiti gains independence from France. Haiti is the second oldest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere after the U.S.
1804-1915 - Over 70 different dictators rule Haiti.
1915 - U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sends Marines to Haiti to restore order. The U.S. occupies Haiti until 1934.
1946 - Army officers take control of Haiti's government.
1949 - Army officers take control of the government again after rioting breaks out.
1950 - Army officer Paul Magloire is elected president.
1956 - Magloire resigns after rioting breaks out; the army takes control of the government again.
1957 - Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, a doctor, is elected president.
1964 - Duvalier declares himself president for life and rules as a dictator.
1971 - Haiti's constitution is amended to allow the president to choose his successor. Duvalier chooses his son, Jean-Claude, who is 19.
April 1971 - After his father dies, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier declares himself president for life. He uses a secret police force called "Tontons Macoutes" (bogeymen) to enforce his policies.
1986 - Duvalier flees the country after a revolt. Lieutenant General Henri Namphy runs the country and tries, but fails, to get rid of the Tontons Macoutes.