By Abayomi Azikiwe
A new round of popular unrest in Haiti on October 27 has left two people dead and many others injured. On October 25 and 27, the embassies of France and Canada were firebombed by angry crowds. Since August the rising price of fuel sparked protests calling for economic relief and the immediate resignation of President Jovenal Moise.
Moise, who represents the Haitian Tet Kale party, is accused of corruption and failure to address the monumental social problems facing the Caribbean nation which is still the least developed in the Western Hemisphere.
During the events of October 27, those marching against the government were fired upon by an unidentified individual, fatally wounding one person. The crowd set upon the assailant and killed him in retaliation.
The current administration in Haiti has been under scrutiny since it came to power in February 2017 amid accusations of malfeasance. A nationwide rebellion in the early months of 2019 shook the foundations of the administration. Unrest during the final days of October represents the seventh straight week of renewed opposition activity. Over two million children have not been able to attend school due to the fuel shortages and demonstrations while the humanitarian situation inside the country is worsening.
Moise has appealed to the United States for material assistance. The U.S. appears to maintain its support for the government while calling for dialogue between the opposition forces and the current administration.In a radio broadcast on October 28, Moise told the listening audience that: “I am hooked on reforms. I want to talk about constitutional reform, for example. I want to talk about the reform of the energy sector, the digitization of the public administration. Today we are in an acute crisis, but we can take advantage of this crisis to make this crisis an opportunity. We need stability in the country and to find that stability, we have to attack the system….”