Haiti became the world’s first black-led republic and the first independent Caribbean state when it threw off French colonial control and slavery in a series of wars in the early 19th century.

However decades of poverty environmental degradation violence instability and dictatorship have left it as the poorest nation in the Americas.

A mostly mountainous country with a tropical climate Haiti’s location history and culture – epitomised by voodoo – once made it a potential tourist hot spot but instability and violence especially since the 1980s have severely dented that prospect.