Haiti protests carry on despite fuel hike U-turn; flights cancelled

  • Haiti protests carry on despite fuel hike U-turn; flights cancelled

Haiti protests carry on despite fuel hike U-turn; flights cancelled

Major protests erupted Friday in Haiti as the government announced a sharp increase in gasoline prices, with demonstrators using burning tires and barricades to block major streets across the capital and in the northern city of Cap-Haitien.

Fresh looting broke out on the streets of Haiti's capital yesterday as protestors called for a two-day general strike despite the Government's climbdown over controversial fuel price hikes.

The decision to raise fuel prices was part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which requires the impoverished country to enact measures to boost government revenue and services and strengthen the country's economy.

Parliamentary discussions are underway to determine the next steps aimed at calming the crisis, with some elected officials urging the immediate resignation of the prime minister.

As protests gained pace yesterday, one Haitian, Alphonse Charles, expressed both the frustration and the sense of fatalism felt by many of his countrymen.

A member of Flowers' church earlier told an NBC affiliate that 160 people from American churches were waiting out the protests at MOH's office in Titanyen, about 30 miles north of Port au Prince.

An estimated 120 Americans are believed to be staying at a Port-au-Prince hotel targeted by protesters, who attempted to bypass security and set the building ablaze.

A journalist from The Associated Press reported seeing several hundred rioters hurling rocks and breaking windows at the Best Western hotel around 10 a.m. local time Saturday, forcing hotel guests in the neighbourhood of Petion-Ville to remain inside. Haiti is for every Haitian.

"It's the reality of the country: when we live in Haiti we are angry, frustrated with the way things are managed by politicians".

The government has since backed away from the proposed price increase. Several airlines, including American Airlines, Delta and Jet Blue, have cancelled most flights to Port-au-Prince. Only a few miles into the journey, the group encountered individuals demanding payment for access to the roadway. "Today, team members are helping with Children's Church, playing soccer, and relaxing at a nearby pool", myLIFEspeaks said in a Facebook post Sunday.

McFarlin and his group returned to Neply.

But uncertainty remained, and the embassies of France and Canada said they would remain closed on Monday.