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Airlines cancel flights to Haiti amid violent protests over gas prices
11 July 2018, 06:50 | Erica Roy
Haiti suspends fuel price hike after protesters riot
The Haitian Government cancelled the increase amid protests that left several people dead and prompted airlines to cancel flights to the impoverished country.
The demonstrations began after the Commerce Ministry and Economic Ministry issued a joint statement announcing an increase of 38 per cent to 51 per cent for gasoline, diesel and kerosene.
Lafontant then announced on Twitter suspension of the price increases, writing that "violence and democracy are fundamentally incompatible". In his statement, the leader defended the agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which would have called for an end to public subsidies for petroleum products and would have provided the country with an initial $96 million in loans and grants from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In neighboring Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, oil prices are 43 percent higher.
Prime minister Jack Guy Lafontant listends to President Jovenel Moise's speech during Lafontant's presentation in the National Palace of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, February 24, 2017.
Roads and intersections were barricaded, and store and vehicle windows in the affluent sections of Port-au-Prince were reportedly smashed.
Police Director-General Michel-Ange Gedeon ordered officers to crack down on what he called "bandits who disturb the peace and security of the country". They set several cars alight in the parking lot.
A squad-sized detachment of extra Marine security guards has arrived at the US embassy in Haiti as the impoverished Caribbean nation is racked by riots over high fuel prices, a USA official confirmed. Avoid protests and any large gathering of people.
"Due to the security situation, US government personnel continue to shelter in place and USA citizens are advised to do the same". "Embassy personnel are still under a Shelter in Place order", the dispatch read.
"Canada is concerned with the ongoing violence and civil unrest in Haiti". The general strike halted the mini-buses and taxis that most Haitians depend on to get to work or school.
"We're seeing a little bit more calm right now", an American, Stacy Librandi Bourne, told CNN from Port-au-Prince where, the news network said, she was among 50 American tourists, children and missionaries unable to leave the Oasis Hotel because of the unrest. This is Haitian protester Francois Anelson.
McFarlin reported that the church group talked their way past the first roadblock, but soon came to a second roadblock with burning tires on the road.
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