protests paralyze the country after a radical increase in fuel prices


These protests follow the government decision to suspend or to drastically reduce fuel subsidies.

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This is an extremely sensitive issue in a country where gasoline is as rare as it is essential. Several Haitian cities, including the capital Port-au-Prince, are paralyzed on Wednesday, September 14, by demonstrations triggered by the government’s decision to suspend or drastically reduce fuel subsidies.

The main roads are blocked by barricades, public transport is at a standstill and many businesses or public institutions have kept their doors closed after the attack on certain businesses by demonstrators. Prime Minister Ariel Henry said on Sunday that fuel prices would rise as subsidies cost the state too much.

The protests intensified on Wednesday, when the government formalized the suspension of subsidies on diesel and household fuel, and the reduction of those on gasoline. The prices of diesel and kerosene will almost double, going from around 350 gourdes (2.83 euros) to nearly 670 gourdes (5.69 euros).

This summer, a double shortage of petrol and electricity had brought several provincial towns to a standstill. Haitian gas pumps regularly run dry, forcing residents to turn to an overpriced black market. The country, over which the gangs are increasingly extending their hold, has been stuck for years in a deep economic and political crisis.

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