Haiti: Opposition parties announce new rounds of street protests

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Haiti: Opposition parties announce new rounds of street protests

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Feb 21, CMC – Opposition political parties say they will hold fresh demonstrations across Haiti on Friday in their demands for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise, even as the government has started efforts to hold a national dialogue on the situation.

President Moïse has met with the former provisional president, Jocelerme Privert, as part of the initiative after the government indicated that persons who have had the opportunity to serve the Republic can, through their experiences, contribute to the search for adequate answers to the ongoing political situation.

The government said it is convinced “another Haiti is really possible through a sincere dialogue between all the girls and all the sons of the common homeland.”

Moïse also met with the Apostolic Nuncio, Eugene Martin Nugent, with a view to finding a peaceful and democratic solution to the socio-economic and political problems of the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

Prior to the meetings, Moise also met with members of the “Economic Forum” with whom he exchanged views and pledged to make every effort to ensure that the dialogue can start as soon as possible.

Last weekend, Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céant announced a series of initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of living and providing employment for Haitians.

“In this sense, soon there will be a meeting with those who have big business in the country who are in the national production, to see what important decisions we can take together to create more jobs and thus reduce expenses, etc….

“I agreed with the President to meet all the factory owners to discuss with them and see how we can make an extra effort to manage the minimum wage so that workers can obtain an improvement.”

The prime minister said the government will meet with international partners, the Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH), the Professional Association of Banks (APB), insurance companies “to redo the Industrial Development Fund (FDI), for it can once again become a development bank to finance economic recovery and provide young people with access and credit”.

Opposition political parties have been staging street demonstrations in support of their calls for President Moise to step down, 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. At least eight people have died since the start of the demonstrations on February 13.

Over the last weekend, nearly 200 demonstrators burnt an American flag in Port-au-Prince, calling on Russia to assist Haiti to resolve the crisis.

They said this weekend’s demonstration will also call for a national conference to deal with the ongoing situation.

Meanwhile, some countries were re-opening their embassies in Port au Prince, as a tense environment prevails in the Caribbean country.

The Bahamas, which closed its embassy on February 15, said that “following the required consultations, the diplomatic and consular staff of the Embassy of The Bahamas in Port-au-Prince have returned to the Haitian Capital and have resumed their normal diplomatic functions and consular services”.

The Canadian Embassy has re-opened and has resumed normal operations while the consular section of the Mexican Embassy restored its service provisionally.

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