U.S. Embassy Urges Americans to Leave Haiti Amid Unrest
American Citizens Advised to Depart as Soon as Possible
The U.S. Embassy in Haiti has issued an advisory urging Americans in the country to leave as soon as possible. This warning comes amid ongoing unrest and political turmoil.
Security Concerns and Infrastructure Challenges
The embassy highlighted the current security situation and infrastructure challenges in Haiti. It emphasized the need for U.S. citizens to depart the country using commercial or private transport.
Caution and Avoidance of Demonstrations
- Travelers are advised to use extreme caution while moving around Haiti.
- Avoiding demonstrations and large gatherings of people is highly recommended.
- If encountering a roadblock, turning around and reaching a safe area is crucial.
Previous Evacuation and Unrest
Last month, non-emergency government personnel and family members of diplomats were evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. The decision was made following heavy gunfire near the compound and the resulting influx of Haitians seeking protection.
Haiti’s Gang Violence Crisis
Haiti has been plagued by gang violence since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021. Armed gangs have gained control over significant parts of Port-au-Prince, leading to killings, rapes, and displacement of civilians.
Problems in Handling the Crisis
Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry has called for an armed multinational force to address the crisis, but the response has been limited. The United States has deferred to Canada to lead the force, with no definitive action taken yet. In the absence of a unified effort, civilians have organized armed vigilante groups for self-defense.
Flight Availability and Departure
The embassy warns that flight availability may be limited and advises U.S. citizens to book their seats several days or even weeks in advance. American Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit, and domestic carrier Sunrise Airways are currently servicing flights to and from Haiti.
High Cost of Tickets
Ticket prices have surged due to limited availability. For example, a one-way ticket on American Airlines from Haiti to Miami on September 6 is selling for almost $2,000.
Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.