Haiti is in turmoil as Haitians have taken to the street to protest significant increases in fuel prices. But these protests have taken a turn for the worse as citizens have armed themselves, created roadblocks, and in some cases have turned violent.
“At least three people were killed in the protests, including two protesters who were fatally shot as demonstrators clashed with police, The Associated Press reported. It was unclear who shot the two men.
A security guard was also killed after he got out of a vehicle and fired a gun into the air in an attempt to disperse protesters. The Associated Press reported a group of protesters beat him to death.”
The US Embassy has warned all visiting U.S. citizens to stay indoors.
“An estimated 120 American and 100 Haitian guests are staying in a Port-au-Prince hotel where demonstrators earlier tried to set fire to the hotel and get past security, said Stacy Librandi Bourne, an emergency medical professional from HERO Client Rescue who is at the Oasis Hotel.”
The Americans there may be stranded as many airlines have canceled flights to Haiti.
“American Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines said Saturday they have canceled flights to Haiti.”
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“On Friday, Haiti’s Commerce and Economic ministries announced that fuel price increases, including a 38 percent jump for gasoline and 47 percent for diesel, would take effect at midnight.
The now-suspended decision by Moïse’s government to raise prices was part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which requires the country to enact a range of austerity measures.”
The fuel price increase would equal out to about 5/liter or about $20/gallon. Over 80% of the workers make an average wage of $2, so you can see why they have taken to the streets.