Like its predecessors, these studies represent an attempt to treat in a compact and objective manner the dominant contemporary social, political, economic, and military aspects of Haiti. Sources of information included scholarly books, journals, monographs; official reports of governments and international organizations; numerous periodicals; the authors' previous research and observations; and interviews with individuals who have special competence in Haitian, and Latin American affairs. To the extent possible, place-names conform with the system used by the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Measurements are given in the metric system.
Although there are numerous variations, Spanish surnames generally consist of two parts: the patrilineal name followed by the matrilineal one. In the instance of Joaquín Balaguer Ricardo, for example, Balaguer is his father's surname and Ricardo, his mother's maiden name. In nonformal use, the matrilineal name is often dropped. Thus, after the first mention, just Balaguer is used. A minority of individuals use only the patrilineal name.
Creole words used in the text may be presented in forms that are unfamiliar to readers who have done previous research on Haiti. The Creole orthography employed in this volume is that developed by the Institut Pédagogique National (IPN--National Pedagogic Institute), which has been the standard in Haiti since 1978.
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