Violent clashes in Haiti between police and protesters over high fuel costs

Haiti_police_protestPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Tuesday February 10, 2015, CMC – Protestors say they will set up new roadblocks on Tuesday following Monday’s clash with police over high fuel costs that left several people injured.

The clashes follow the decision by the police to remove roadblocks in the capital set up by the anti-government protestors.

Earlier, newly installed Prime Minister Evans Paul had said the government would move to assure the safety of law abiding citizens after the protestors had warned people to remain off the streets.

Paul said that his new government cannot lower the price of gas.

It’s not that we do not want to, it’s because we are not able to,” he added.

Last week, the government announced a reduction in fuel prices, reducing gasoline to 195 gourdes ($4.25) per gallon from 215 gourdes ($4.62).

The government said the protests would damage the country’s economy and create “devastating consequences for the most vulnerable people in our population”.

But the protestors who are also calling for the resignation of President Michel Martelly have vowed to continue their action on Tuesday and have warned drivers they would be putting their lives at risk if they enter the city.

The French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country owes Venezuela an estimated US$1.5 billion under the PetroCaribe initiative through which Caracas provides oil on preferential rates to several Caribbean countries.

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