Ian Thomson

A heady mix of vice and voodoo

By any standards, Haiti represents a great concentration of misery and dashed hopes. From the air, the Caribbean republic is a sun-scorched clinker; deforestation, caused by a ruinous cutting of timber for charcoal, has destroyed much of the green. Since independence in 1804, moreover, a succession of emperors, kings and presidents-for-life has contrived to instil terror in the people.

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