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Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, struggles with continuing political and economic turmoil. Republic of Haiti and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea. Haiti's first century of independence was characterized by political instability, ostracism by the international community and the payment of a crippling debt to France. Political volatility and foreign economic influence in the country prompted the U.S. to occupy the country from 1915 to 1934. Following a series of short-lived presidencies, François 'Papa Doc' Duvalier took power in 1956, ushering in a long period of autocratic rule that was continued by his son Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier that lasted until 1986; the period was characterized by state-sanctioned violence against the opposition and civilians, corruption, and economic stagnation. After 1986, Haiti began attempting to establish a more democratic political system. Photographs by James P. Blair with text by Charles E. Cobb, Jr., “Haiti -- Against All Odds" was published in the November 1987 issue of National Geographic Magazine.