Following an official notice of fuel price increases at the pump by the Government of Haiti, violent protests erupted. Major casualties include Deli-Mart, a major supermarket. Several cars parked in front of Hotel Best Western and Royal Oasis were burned to the ground.Barricade erupted in many streets, including the road to the only airport, preventing people from flying out of the country.
On Friday, July 6, 2018, when the civilians were busy with the Russia quarter-final world cup matches, the Government quietly published an official notice of fuel price hike at the pumps. As per government statement, this was done in order to comply with the IMF's "Staff-Monitored Program" (SMP) signed last February. Haitian daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste reports, prices for gasoline were to rise 38% while diesel prices were to go up 47% and kerosene 51%. The revised prices for the petroleum products, effective from July 7, 2018, in Haitian Currency, will be as follows (per gallon): Gasoline: 309 Gourdes; Diesel: 264 Gourdes; and Kerosene: 262 Gourdes. Before the rise, the prices for these products were: gasoline 224 gourdes; diesel 179 Gourds and kerosene 173 Gourdes.
The announcement triggered days of violent civil unrest, demonstrations erupted on Friday in Port-au-Prince. Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville was ransacked, banks and stores in Delmas were looted, many flights were either cancelled or rescheduled. Three people were killed on Friday as protesters used burning tires and barricades to block major streets. Demonstrations also broke out in Cap-Haitien, the second-largest city, as well as in the communes of Les Cayes, Jacmel and Petit-Goave. Following the riots, Haiti's Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned on Saturday. As per last news, the Haitian government bowed to pressure and suspended the fuel price hike on Saturday after widespread violence.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told during a briefing, generalized fuel subsidy put a significant strain on Haiti's fiscal accounts. Earlier this year, Haiti signed a $96 million low interest agreement with the IMF and reduction of subsidy was one of the terms of that agreement. The country is currently facing double-digit inflation, a depreciating currency and slow growth. It also has a budget deficit of more than $150 million.
Here is a Haitian caught by the police during a protest against the election results.
Most Haitians and opposition parties are of opinion that the presidential election of October 25th and its published result are a sure mark of treachery committed by the outgoing President Martelly and his men. Regular protest against this "electoral coup d'état" on the streets has become a regular affair. On one of such similar demonstrations of protest on November 20th, a gang of about 20 hooded men in a white pickup (license plate number 1-00692) armed with machetes, hammers, pipes and guns, attacked the marchers of several opposition parties in the Delmas 95 district. The police present on the spot turned a blind eye. A young man was shot dead and one marcher was wounded in the head by a machete. The Haitian police have arrested a demonstrator with machetes at the end of a march in Port-au-Prince.
November, 2002, Himmler Rebu, an ex-Haitian Army colonel, of Haiti's National Progressive Democratic Party, addressing a march of anti-Aristide government demonstrators.
Himmler Rebu is an ex-Haitian Army colonel in the leopard unit who jointly led the Platform of Haitian Patriots in the 2010-11 general elections with Dejean Balisaire and their party own 1 seat. Rebu led a coup attempt in 1989 against a provisional military government, and since then he kept a low profile until he was resurfaced again on November 17, 2002. On that day, he was seen addressing in a march of 15,000 anti-government demonstrators along with Evans Paul demanding Aristide's exit. Rebu told his audience to "Rise up." He said, he cannot maintain his silence because Aristide is ruining the country. He also accused then Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide behind the assassination of Haitian journalists Jean Dominique and Brignol Lindor at an anti-government rally in Cap-Haitien. Rebu claims that he has always been against any disorder irrespective of the nature of the chaos, whether it is in intellectual, political or in tactical field.
Here is a picture of Senator Steven Benoit as he was wounded by rubber bullet during protest.
The Government of the Republic of Haiti has expressed its anxiety over the issue that different demonstrations organized to challenge the results of recent elections are becoming increasingly violent, defying all the code of conduct for peaceful demonstrations. On November 18, 2015, one of such demonstrations has even vandalized the noble inaugural ceremony of the renovated historic site of the 'Battle of Vertières' on the day of its 212th anniversary. The protesters disobeyed the separators marking the boundary of protests and forcefully wanted to enter the premises of CEP. On November 18, 1803, Haiti won Independence from France in The Battle of Vertières. The enslaved Africans successfully led a revolution for their freedom in a two month long battle to become the first country in the world history to ban slavery and become the world's first Independent Black republic.
Here is a picture of Rapper Izilan under the custody of Haiti Police.
Haitian Police Arrest Rapper Izolan on Trumped-Up Charges: Atmosphere of Repression Builds in Capital of Port-au-Prince
Rapper Izolan, member of LAPEH party, was arrested along with Petion-Ville deputy candidate Jacques Vilsaint. Activist Andre Fadot claimed the arrests were baseless.
The arrests followed weeks of demonstrations against the preliminary election results widely considered fraudulent.
Izolan has been released but other LAPEH party members remain incarcerated.
There has been an atmosphere of increased repression, with police fighting many thousands of protestors.
Here is a picture of the newly renovated Ciné TRIOMPHE. During a protest against the government of Michel Martelly the protesters took their frustrations on the new movie theater by vandalizing it. Many glass windows were broken by rock throwers
The rehabilitation and modernization of the "Triumph" (earlier it was called Ciné Théâtre Triomphe ), in a construction of seismic building built, began in December 2012 with a cost of around US$7 million and it was first scheduled to reopen on February 2014. However, after a series of rescheduling, the work of renovation was completed and was awaiting for inauguration in December 2014. For several years there was no proper theater in Haiti. The renovated 'Triumph' includes three areas, two movie theaters and a place reserved for conferences. Its first room has a capacity of 450 seats and a scene that can support 50 performers at a time. The second room can accommodate 306 people. Both of them have been equipped with state of the art audio and video equipments. The theater also houses well furnished, all-inclusive dressing rooms. However, on December 18, while the renovated movie house was awaiting the official inauguration, some Aristide vandals came and smashed the place into an unusable state. This is an exhibit of Aristide's power politics and Lavalas welfare philosophy for people of Haiti!
Haiti's Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe as decided to call it a quit by resigning.
Lamothe Replacement needs Parliament Approval by January 11th
Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe has decided to resign after being asked by President Martelly to step down. He will leave with other government ministers as recommended by the Consultative Commission (CC). Lamothe said in his resignation speech, during his time in office the ". . . country has undergone a deep and dynamic transformation . . . in benefit of its people" President Martelly said he has welcomed the CC's recommendation of Lamothe's replacement, but will confer with senior officials to come to a consensus about who will replace him.
The resignation of Lamothe will make the present political stalemate more difficult to unravel: Parliament must approve the new prime minister, and no one knows if a replacement can be nominated soon enough should Parliament need to be disbanded.
Here is a picture of a protest taking place on December 12, 2014 against the Government of Michel Martelly. One thing that was very different in this protest, instead of security being provided by Haitian police, this time it was reinforced by UN peacekeepers who did not hesitate to fire on the protesters.
This was taking place as the government is trying to calm the situation. Haiti's opposition parties are pleased Prime Minister Lamothe has agreed to step down. President Martelly made the decision to ask for Lamothe's resignation, following the Consultative Commission's (CC) recommendation he leave to help break the political impasse so far irresolvable.
The crisis the government faces is the possibility Martelly could rule by decree in January, if Haitians can't go to the ballot box and vote by January 11th. Failure to hold elections by then means the Senate will lack a quorum of 16 senators, and cannot hold sessions, effectively dissolving Parliament. The CC recommends a consensus government be put in place, partially made up of opposition members, and breaking up the electoral council. Lamothe appeared on a national broadcast to announce his resignation and point to his accomplishments: a reduction in poverty and cutting the crime rate in half.
Here is a picture of a supporter of former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide carrying a picture of his leader.
While celebrating the eighth anniversary of ouster on February 29, 2012, several thousand supporters of Jean-Bertrand Aristide accused the Martelly administration for doing nothing enough to improve people's lives. They pointed out the mounting political conflicts between the President and his critics on issues of rebuilding the nation since the 2010 earthquake. The volume of the crowd hinted the level of support for the former President. Protesters accused Martelly of holding dual citizenship that could bar him from the President's office. However, the government had firmly denied such allegation. Recently, in the last August, 2014, Aristide was summoned to testify in court before a magistrate conducting an investigation into corruption and money laundering. His supporters have warned that major protests would erupt, if any politically motivated arrest is carried out on Aristide.
There has been a Protester in Fort Liberte where the population is demanding to be connected industrial park Caracol electricity source
Surge in Violent Uprisings as Year Ends
Reports emanating from Port-au-Prince said an investigation by officials regarding a violent street demonstration near the Dominican Republic border claimed Haitian police officers went on a shooting rampage, injuring 13 people. This confirmation came from Northeast Senator Jean-Baptiste Bien-Aime.
In another incident, Fort Liberté demonstrators demanded they be provided with electrical service from the Caracol power plant at the industrial park close by.
A third incident in a Port-au-Prince neighborhood found three protestors shot by pro-government protestors.
A bloody demonstration scene in Fort Liberte on Thursday, November 28 left 13 people injured by, as yet, unknown elements. Senator Jean-Baptiste Bien-Aime, a politician in the opposition party, would have the nation know that the injuries were as a result of the police, while attempting to clear the blocked main road, firing on the protesters, while the spokesman for the National Police, Frantz Lerebours, remains cautious about disclosing what happened and how many people were wounded without more information.