Rioting in Haiti led to all flights in and out of Haiti being canceled Saturday including mine from Cap-Haïtien on American Airlines. No one was willing or able to fly in or out due to the violent rioting in the streets of the capital of Port au Prince and the northern town of Cap-Haïtien beginning Friday after the Brasil – Belgium match and throughout Saturday. Roads blocked all over the country using iron chains, burning tires and semi trucks. People are stranded including me and a number of other foreigners from America and Switzerland, South African and Dominican, among others. Vandalism and looting is widespread as smoke billows into the Haitian sky. Buildings being destroyed including the Best Western and the Oasis and cars being set on fire. It was complete and total chaos here in Haiti on July 7, 2018. All have been advised to stay indoors and try to remain calm while fear permeates the air stifling all of us as we wait in anticipation as to what will happen next.
Why is this happening? It turns out the government thought it was smart to announce a 51% increase in gas prices during the FIFA World Cup on Friday as perhaps they thought Brazil would win and such would soften the blow or perhaps they thought the local people were too busy watching the match to care about the press conference. Whatever the reason, they were wrong. As the Haitians licked their wounds over Brazil and the government’s announcement regarding the fuel hike made its way to them, the Haitians turned into mad dogs, took to the streets and began destroying everything in sight.
I still cannot fathom why protestors turn on their own communities. It is like what I say regarding resentments. “Resentments are akin to someone who drinks poison thinking it will kill someone else.” Similarly, destroying your own neighborhoods, businesses, vehicles and the like and trampling over your own people and stealing from them makes zero sense to me.
As a world traveler going to all the countries in the world and Haiti being Country 85 for me, I’m used to expecting the unexpected but as I sit in my hotel up on the hill looking down, I sigh knowing that I cannot leave this island or, for that matter, even this hotel given the violence and dangers that await me on the streets. I am safe here for now and expect to remain so unless, of course, the rioters begin looking for someone else to blame or that tropical storm allegedly headed straight for Haiti on Monday makes a direct hit.
If you have any questions or any comments about the Haiti riots, please submit them in the form below. Then go unlock the Travelirvana in you but perhaps pick another place to visit until the tension dies down here in Haiti.