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Archive for Haiti

Newsline: US Embassy in Haiti requests more Marines, security personnel amid violence

The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has requested additional security personnel including Marines as the Haitian capital has been gripped by days of protests over a government plan to raise fuel prices and cut food subsidies, according to multiple reports. A request made by the embassy includes a Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit consisting of about 13 Marines and other personnel to reinforce existing embassy security, CNN reported. The request has been approved by Trump administration officials, the network added. Staff at the embassy have been instructed to shelter in place by State Department officials, and a travel advisory urging U.S. citizens to stay away from the airport unless absolutely necessary was issued.



Newsline: U.S. embassy in Haiti warns Americans to stay inside amid violence over fuel prices

The U.S. embassy in Haiti warned Americans to shelter in place due to ongoing protests in the capital. Several airlines also canceled flights in and out of Port-au-Prince, the embassy said. The Haitian government on Saturday suspended a fuel price hike after violence in Port-au-Prince and the northern city of Cap-Haitien. Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant had originally said the country needed to raise prices to balance the budget and gave no indication he would back down. But his administration bowed to pressure after demonstrators took to the streets in protest.


Newsline: Canada’s embassy in Haiti taken for $1.7 million by gang of swindlers and fraudsters

Canada’s embassy in Haiti was overrun by a criminal organization after more than a dozen locals hired to work at the diplomatic mission in Port-au-Prince swindled more than $1.7 million through numerous schemes and frauds, internal investigation reports reveal. An internal probe of the embassy’s finances and staffing from 2015 to 2016 uncovered systematic fabrication of documents, fraudulent bills, forged signatures, misdirected cheques, secret commissions and personal use of Canada’s diplomatic license plates. A Canadian court has now branded the local embassy employees a criminal organization.


Newsline: Petition demands closure of the Haitian consulate

A Petition, which demands that the British government acts immediately to close the Haitian consulate in the Turks and Caicos Islands, is currently in circulation. It was launched in light of the recent influx of illegal sloops into the Turks and Caicos Islands. The strongly worded petition has been published on social media sites including Facebook and Twitter. It states: “We, the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, have had enough of the illegal entry of persons violating our border on sloops, sea going vessels and boats from the neighboring country Haiti. “In recent times the significant increase has enraged our people and caused widespread fear amongst the population. “It is a threat to our overall security. We desire to see a cease in diplomatic normalcy with Haiti until the illegal entry stops. “We demand an immediate closure of the Haitian consulate in Providenciales, which we believe is a tool used by illegal migrants in facilitating their efforts at illegal entry and illegal residency.


Newsline: Anti-Trump protest in Haiti temporarily shuts US Embassy

The U.S. Embassy in the Haitian capital was closed Monday as demonstrators gathered outside to protest President Donald Trump. More than a 1,000 people marched toward the embassy. They were prevented from reaching the gates by barricades set up by Haitian police. Officers in helmets and carrying shields eventually fired several rounds of tear gas after some protesters threw rocks at them outside the heavily fortified compound. Many Haitians were angered over reported disparaging remarks about Haiti by Trump and his administration’s decision to end a program that gave temporary legal residency to about 60,000 Haitians in the United States. The embassy said it would be closed for the afternoon and directed employees in a statement to keep away during the protest. It reopened on Tuesday.


Newsline: Haiti police prevent anti-government protesters from reaching U.S. Embassy

Protesters in Haiti, who demanded the departure of President Michel Martelly and decried U.S. political interference, were stopped short of their goal of reaching the U.S. Embassy Friday to air their grievances. Angry, some started throwing rocks at Haitian National Police and United Nations troops. Police fired warning shorts and tear gas, quelling the protest on the 26th anniversary of a bloody election-day massacre in which dozens of voters were hacked and shot to death at a Port-au-Prince high school by soldiers and gunmen. The Nov. 29, 1987 violence halted Haiti’s first free and fair general elections following the 1986 departure of dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. While about 600 demonstrators opted to mark the day laying flowers at a school site, several thousand others marched toward the embassy. Police, who had secured the embassy’s premises since Thursday with metal barricades, stopped the demonstrators and launched tear gas when they tried to reach the diplomatic post another way.


Newsline: American based at embassy in Haiti dies in car accident

The U.S. government said that an employee at its embassy in Haiti has died following a car accident in the poor Caribbean nation. A statement written on behalf of the administrator of U.S. Agency for International Development, Rajiv Shah, said that USAID Foreign Service Officer Antoinette “Toni” Beaumont Tomasek died in Haiti on Saturday. Her death came after a car accident on June 26. She was 41. The statement, issued after an inquiry from The Associated Press, did not give a precise cause of death. In Haiti, Tomasek worked as a community health specialist who focused in the areas of water, sanitation and education. She began working for the USAID mission in Haiti in May. The California native and former Peace Corps volunteer joined USAID in 2009, where she worked in Indonesia. Here she set up a program that offered grants to local organizations seeking to prevent and treat tuberculosis.