PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – Western countries have condemned the acts of violence occurring in Haiti and are urging all stakeholders in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to “move the political dialogue forward in ways that advance the interests and aspirations of the Haitian people”.

The Core Group, comprising Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the United States, the European Union, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations, has issued a statement in which they “strongly rejects the acts of violence perpetrated on the sidelines of demonstrations in recent days”.

The Group which was formed in 2004 to promote dialogue with the Haitian authorities and to contribute to the effective action of the international community in Haiti, said they were also deeply saddened by the loss of life and offered their sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims.

Protestors have been demanding that President Jovenel Moise resign for 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.

But in a radio and television broadcast earlier this week, Moise dismissed calls for his resignation.

“It is within the framework of the democracy that the Haitian people elected me president in elections free and honest as the wish the Constitution.

“During the five years of my presidency, no one, I mean nobody, whatever the pretext, cannot threaten the interests of the country or put the nation in danger.The strength of any democracy, it is the respect of the law.”

Moise said the opposition should wait for the next general election if they want to attain power, reminding them that the political battle must be about ideas and dialogue and not violence in the streets

“I asked the Prime Minister to meet people in all sectors and all tendencies…and to make all the arrangements to ensure security lives and goods,” he said.

At least nine people have to date died since protests began several days ago.

In their statement, the Core Group said that acts of violence seeking to provoke the resignation of legitimate authorities have no place in the democratic process.

It welcomed the commitment of the government to continue the dialogue and “calls for an inclusive dialogue between all the actors of the national life to get out of the crisis that the country is going through and to meet the expectations of the population.”

In a separate statement, Washington said that as a long-time partner and friend of Haiti, it shares the country’s desire for a better future for its people.

“The United States supports the human rights of people everywhere to freely express themselves and peacefully protest, and supports the Haitian government as it safeguards both those rights, and the security of public and private property.

“We encourage meaningful dialogue to address points of disagreement and find lasting solutions without violence. We urge all parties and leaders to work together to move the political dialogue forward in ways that advance the interests and aspirations of the Haitian people.”

The United States said that it wanted to commend the professionalism demonstrated by the Haiti National Police (PNH) in maintaining security and preserving public order since November 18.

“The United States recognizes the democratic legitimacy of the government of Haiti, its elected institutions, and elected officials. We urge the Haitian government to continue its efforts towards strengthening the rule of law, good governance, and anti-corruption efforts to ensure political and economic stability. Continue reading

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