PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Feb 14, CMC – President Jovenel Moise has cancelled a visit to Italy as opposition inspired protests for his removal from office continued in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.
Moise was due to attend the two-day meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which began in Rome on Thursday.
The International Italian-Latin American Organization (IILA) said that the Haitian President would be absent for the ceremony taking place at the headquarters of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Haiti remained paralysed for yet another day as the demonstrators took to the streets in their demand for Moise’s removal after accusing him of not investigating allegations of corruption in the previous government over PetroCaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. They are also demanding fresh elections and jobs.
Gunshots, fiery barricades, vandalism and looting prevailed in the country as thousands of people led by opposition politicians gathered near the National Palace Square resulting in clashes with security officials.
Several foreign embassies have been closed and some have announced the evacuation of non-essential staff.
At least two people were reportedly killed on Wednesday and more than 20 others injured.
The Ministry of Culture condemned the attack on the National Television of Haiti, where at least six vehicles and a mobile unit and two generators were burnt by armed men were masks.
An investigation has since been launched to determine the attackers and the Ministry of Culture said “significant damage” had been dome.
“The Ministry takes this opportunity to condemn all recent violent initiatives in the country, while at the same time encouraging various forms of democratic expression and freedom of opinion,” it added.