Posted on July 9, 2018

Haiti Fuel Protesters’ Anger Turns on President Moise

BBC, July 9, 2018

Anger at a fuel price hike has turned into violent demands that President Jovenel Moise step down.

At least four people have been killed in three days of protests against a steep hike in fuel prices imposed by the Haitian government on Friday. Protesters set alight cars and blocked roads in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and other towns.

The double-digit hike in the price of petrol, diesel and kerosene was part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to increase Haiti’s government revenue. It triggered widespread anger and in some areas, such as Delmas, protests descended into looting.

Even though the government announced a temporary suspension of the measure on Saturday, that seems not to have quelled protesters’ anger with many demanding that President Jovenel Moise step down

The government argues that fuel subsidies are costing the government too much but many of those protesting said they were fed up with not being able to afford basic goods, such as rice and cooking oil, and that the 38% increase in petrol would make it even harder for them to make ends meet.

But while some of those in looted supermarkets grabbed food …

… others seemed to make off with whatever they could.

In Petion Ville, smoke could be seen rising from burning cars and barricades while looters carried away their stash.

Police arrested some alleged looters who had entered a bank office in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

But in other areas of the capital law enforcement seemed to be absent.

Protesters, who say the suspension of the price hike is not enough, have threatened to start a two-day national strike on Monday.

With many streets still blocked by burning barricades, the French and Canadian embassies said they would remain closed on Monday.

President Moise has urged protesters to “go home”, but with some lawmakers joining in the calls for his resignation, his position seems far from secure.