Gas is now unavailable at the fuel stations in Haiti, two weeks after price increases were announced, as gangs have kept state authorities from accessing the major gas storage facility at a port. People are in the streets once more this week to continue peyilòk protests and various ‘dechoukaj’ acts of looting and rioting.
PORT-AU-PRINCE — After yet a third week of protests across Haiti was announced, residents of Mirebalais in the Centre Department took to the streets en masse on Sunday, one day before the strike was to begin. Other locales also began the show of ire against the increase to petroleum products, which are now unavailable at the pumps as gangs continue to bar access to the country’s fuel storage facility.
The country’s transport unions had come forward to denounce the government’s decision to increase fuel prices, and announced to start a general strike throughout the country from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28, if the government does not intend to reverse its decision. According to Jacques Anderson Desroches, president of the Fós Sendikal pou Sove Ayiti (FOSSA), the citizens’ protest is an act of self-defense to defend their rights.
“If the state does not resolve to put an end to the liberalization of the oil market in favor of the oil companies and take control of it, otherwise all the measures taken by Ariel Henry will be cosmetic measures,” Desroches told The Haitian Times.
Along the Delmas thoroughfare Sunday, burning tires emerged around 6 p.m. as well. Traffic was already half paralyzed and people were rushing home when the barricades came up.
The situation underscores what everyone has been saying for the past few days, that another “moment of turbulence” is unfolding in Port-au-Prince.
Following these days of strike in the transport sector, protest movements will continue in Port-au-Prince and in some provincial towns of the country.
For example, Mouvman Sitwayen Konsyan Wanament calls on the population to demonstrate in their area against power and the price of fuel on September 29 and 30. Waldeck Marcelin explained in the local press that Ouanaminthe intends to hold the torch of mobilization.
“There is no possibility of cohabiting with Ariel Henry due to his incompetence,” Marcelin said.
Gas stations remain dry
A week after Henry announced that fuel is available in the country, petrol stations remain without fuel.
Terminal Varreux, the port where the fuel oil is stored, remains blocked by the criminal group G9 Family and Allies, which claimed responsibility for this act. The police have tried, unsuccessfully, to remove the barricade. The gang shot at the police to repel them.
While unavailable, gasoline is being sold at various prices in the streets, or black market. In Pétion-Ville, according to the Macean Jean Philippe, a journalist, the price went from 2,500 gourdes or USD $21.36 to 5,000 gourdes or USS $42.72.
Henry has not commented further on the protests and demonstrations since his address to the nation Sept. 18.