Воскресенье, 18 Ноября, 2018

Haiti civil unrest continues despite fuel hike rollback

Protesters barricade a street in the Port-au Prince suburb of Petion-Ville to protest an increase in fuel prices which the government then suspended Haiti suspends fuel price hike after protesters riot
Kenny Thornton | 11 Июля, 2018, 18:48

A framework signed in February between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Haiti implied the ending of subsidies for petroleum products, which are a major source of the budget deficit.

American Airlines, which had cancelled 10 flights since Saturday, said three of its planes had left Sunday from Port-au-Prince and the northern city of Cap-Haitien bound for Miami and NY.

On Friday, Haiti's commerce and economy ministries announced that fuel price increases - including a 38 percent jump for gasoline, 47 percent for diesel and 51 percent for kerosene - would take effect at midnight, triggering violent protests.

Shortly after, Lafontant announced the suspension of the price hike decision on Twitter, stating that "violence and democracy are fundamentally incompatible". In neighboring Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, oil prices are 43 percent higher.

Roads and intersections were barricaded, and store and vehicle windows in the affluent sections of Port-au-Prince were reportedly smashed. Nearly 40,000 people remain in makeshift camps after an quake killed more than 200,000 people eight years ago, and thousands of others have died from a years-long cholera epidemic.The national police director also pleaded urgently for calm."We understand your right to protest", said Michel-Ange Gedeon. The director also reported that several police cars and at least two police stations were burned.

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With the situation still chaotic, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince on Sunday warned U.S. citizens to shelter in place. Avoid protests and any large gathering of people.

"Due to continuing demonstrations, roadblocks, and violence across Port-au-Prince, the Embassy is prohibiting all non-emergency travel into Haiti by its employees". "Embassy personnel are still under a Shelter in Place order", the dispatch read.

The State Department also expressed its "deepest condolences" to all those affected by the ongoing violence.

The relative calm came amid a strike by mini-bus and taxi drivers, as well as the closure of most businesses.

"When they (thugs) loot and create chaos in the city it hurts us because we need a functioning city to buy what we need". President Jovenel Moise is expected to address the nation in the next few hours. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images) Burning cars that were burned during looting that occurred at a market are seen in Delmas, a commune of Port-au-Prince, during protests against the rising price of fuel, on July 8, 2018.

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