Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

US Embassy in Haiti Warns Americans to 'Shelter in Place' Over Riots

US Embassy in Haiti Warns Americans to 'Shelter in Place' Over Riots

People run away to protect themselves from police officers while cars burn in the garage of the Royal Oasis hotel during a protest over the cost of fuel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Saturday.

The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince on Sunday warned U.S. citizens to shelter in place as well.

But his administration bowed to pressure after demonstrators took to the streets in protest.

Haiti's Commerce and Economic ministries Friday said they would lower fuel subsidies in a bid to generate more tax revenue to better fund government services, which translated to a 38 percent jump for gasoline and 47 percent for diesel.

The missive - sent to all American State Department employees in Haiti - came as a crisis unfolded in Port-au-Prince.

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Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant, after the riots, announced the temporary suspension of double-digit government hikes to prices for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene on Saturday afternoon.

Volunteer groups from several USA states are stranded in Haiti after violent protests over fuel prices canceled flights and made roads unsafe. "Flights are canceled today [Sunday] and the airport has limited food and water available". Only a few miles into the journey, the group encountered individuals demanding payment for access to the roadway.

"We urge USA citizens in Haiti who are safe to contact their loved ones directly and/or update their social media status", the embassy stated. The friend called him to say that the road ahead was filled with similar impromptu "checkpoints", McFarlin said. "They weren't government or police", McFarlin said. "And that's when they decided that, at that point, it was wasn't worth it, to try to make it to the airport", Jill Kramer, the parent of one of the teens told CNN affiliate WFLA. "Just people taking advantage of the situation".

"The team is safe, and are being very well cared for by the Mission of Hope staff", the church reported on Facebook Monday morning.

The cancellation of flights stranded church groups and volunteers from a number of other USA states, including South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. "All other Embassy personnel are still under a Shelter in Place order", the U.S. State Department said on Sunday, July 8, via its official Haitian Embassy website. Avoid protests and any large gathering of people.

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