By NAN Contributor
News Americas, TORONTO, Canada, Weds. July 11, 2018: Governments of Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S. are all warning against travel to the Caribbean nation of Haiti.
Canada on Tuesday, July 10th, warned against “all travel” to Haiti. The Canadian government blamed it on the “ongoing tensions throughout the country.”
Its warning came a day after the U.S. State Department updated its travel advisory to level four as it urged American citizens to also not travel to Haiti because of “civil unrest and crime.”
The U.S. also urged its embassy employees in Haiti not to walk in city neighborhoods, including Pétion Ville or travel there after dark. And CNN reports indicate that the US embassy in Haiti requested additional US Marines and State Department security personnel to bolster current security amid the riots that are taking place.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all but essential travel to the cities of Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Martissant and Bel Air neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince “due to the high risk of criminal activity.”
The updated travel advisories from the three countries comes amid widespread civil unrest and violent demonstrations in the French Caribbean country, which continues despite the rolling back of a fuel increase by the government.
“Protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable,” the U.S. travel advisory warned. “Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents or emergencies.”
Anti-government protesters in Haiti organized a general strike Monday after violent fuel protests left at least four people dead. Demonstrators marched on the parliament building before being turned back by police, and protesters set fire to a tax office in the Tabarre area of the city.
People set fire to cars near a Best Western hotel on July 7, 2018.
The Haitian government suspended the proposed fuel price hike Saturday after widespread violence broke out across the capital. The government had originally said it would raise fuel prices by as much as 50 percent to balance the budget.
Several Americans are stuck in Haiti.
Martelly Family Flee To Neighboring DR
Meanwhile, the family of former Haitian President Michelle Martelly, reportedly has fled to the Dominican Republic.
Listin Diario reported that the Martellys arrived in the Dominican Republic through the Maria Montez International Airport on Sunday afternoon, in a helicopter from Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.
The paper quoted a source as saying the group included Martelly’s wife, Angela Pierre Jean-Baptiste, and the ex-president’s children, Michel Yani, Bianka Christy J., Michael Alexandre, Michael Olivier, Olivia Michael, Kahlil Michel-Olivier and Melaika Michael Martelly.
Th paper is also reporting that DR airport authorities, civil and military security, as well as the Customs Directorate have been put on high alert, as it is expected other important Haitian families, could flee to the DR given the rising violence in Haiti.
Haitian Minister Announces Pending Resignation Then Withdraws It
Haiti’s new minister of communication and culture, on Tuesday announced he was going to resign on Twitter but then later withdrew it.
Guy Delva, a former journalist turned government minister, tweeted: “The president has an extraordinary vision for this country and it is a great pleasure for me to have had the opportunity to work with him,” Delva posted. “However, I regret to announce that I will be resigning ….”
Delva moments later said he is staying on after President Jovenel Moise declined to accept the resignation.
His announced resignation came as political voices demanded the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant on Tuesday for a failed attempt at raising fuel prices which sparked four days of unrest.
Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Gary Bodeau went on national radio to ask for Lafontant’s resignation. “The prime minister is a great doctor. The nation will be grateful, but as prime minister, he has run its course,” he said.
Bodeau said he and Senate President Joseph Lambert warned President Jovenel Moise they would not back him on the increase.
A number of civil organizations, including the Analysis and Research Center for Human Rights (CARDH) called for action from the Haitian president on Monday. “President Jovenel Moise will have to bear the consequences,” they said.