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Several countries close their embassies in Haiti

Several countries close their embassies in Haiti

Several countries announced the temporary closure of their embassies in Port-au-Prince for security reasons, as demonstrations rocked many Haitian cities after government aid on fuel ended.

The diplomatic headquarters of the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, said in a brief statement Thursday that it would be closing its “doors to the public until further notice” due to the “deterioration of the safe situation” in the neighbourhood. country.

“Our phone lines and social networks will remain open,” added the Dominican delegation in Port-au-Prince.

The Canadian Embassy also announced its closure, effective Thursday. The Mexican office indicated on Tuesday that it would remain closed “until further notice,” while the Spanish embassy took similar measures on Wednesday.

Major cities in Haiti have been paralyzed by demonstrations in response to the lifting of government fuel subsidies, in a country wracked by extreme poverty. Many roads were closed, public transportation was halted, and many shops and businesses closed for fear of looting.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Ariel Henry, saying the state lacked funds to continue government support, announced that prices for gasoline and other fuels would rise sharply.

Diesel and kerosene prices will almost double, rising from about 350 gourdes (2.9 euros) to nearly 670 gourdes (5.5 euros).

And the Ministry of Communications justified on Twitter, “Funding to continue importing petroleum products amounts to 9 billion gourdes per month, that is, double the state’s monthly salaries.”

He added that “receipts recorded in customs” are not enough to pay subsidies for petroleum products.

The announcement angered residents who have already experienced insecurity and poverty, who depend on fuel for transportation, but also for electricity or cooking.

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The Dominican Embassy advised its nationals in Haiti to “exercise caution, limit travel and, where possible, pack basic necessities” such as food and medicine.

Relations are tense between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, particularly over the immigration issue.