By Milo Milfort
Port-au-Prince, September 19 (EFE).- After a week of violent protests, with a weekend of relative calm that allowed the population to stock up in public markets and supermarkets, Haiti was paralyzed again this Monday.
But this was short-lived: Haitians were no longer on the streets, public transport was at a standstill and large companies, public administrations and commercial banks closed their doors after the government called for calm.
Barrels filled the country
Police made an effort to remove the barricades this weekend, but hours later protesters, who are calling for the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, raised them again, blocking large areas of the capital region and surrounding areas. ..
Although Henry announced that petroleum products would be available in abundance after months of shortages, roadblocks and trenches prevented tankers from entering the Varex terminal to refuel.
Fuel shortages were apparently one of the reasons for the protests, which intensified after last week’s announcement that fuel prices would rise again.
All this comes after the prime minister in a message to the nation on Sunday called for calm after a week of protests marked by looting and burning of private and public institutions and even organizations and humanitarian institutions.
“I am asking the people to calm down and stop the violence. We have only one country where we are bound to live together. This kind of violence is not a good solution and it gets us nowhere,” said Henry, who condemned the actions because “nothing can justify the damage seen in recent days” and that Haiti cannot be rebuilt that way. “Today,” he stressed. , “It’s up to us to heal.”
“I am open to dialogue with all those who wish to contribute to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis. I am willing to dialogue with those who have good will except bandits,” he asserted.
The United States condemned the violence
The United States, through its embassy in Port-au-Prince, also “strongly condemns the recent violence, looting and destruction in Haiti, as well as those who instigate these acts for their own purposes.”
The US Legation, a “faithful partner of Haiti” and determined to “support the Haitian people” in this difficult time, said in a statement that opinions must be expressed “peacefully” and respect humanitarian agents and law enforcement.
While partners and international organizations have pledged more than $294 million to Haiti since December, “additional support is urgently needed,” he added.
“We continue to encourage the Haitian interlocutors to reach an inclusive political agreement that allows elections to be held as soon as conditions permit. Haitians across the country and from all social classes must create conditions that allow a democratically elected government to take power as soon as possible,” he said.
The aim is to try to alleviate the severe socio-economic and economic crisis that is affecting Haiti and which worsened after the assassination of then President Jovenel Moise last year.
Added to this is the fighting waged by armed gangs in and around Port-au-Prince, which has left more than 300 people dead and more than 3,000 displaced from their homes.
Web Editing: Natalia Sarmiento