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  • Protesters at an anti-government demonstration in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on February 12, 2019.

    Protesters at an anti-government demonstration in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on February 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 March 2019

The call for this new country-wide protest comes amidst the intensification of the political crisis due to the ousting of former Prime Minister Jean Henry Ceant.

As nation-wide protests and riots have rocked the Caribbean nation since Feb. 7, sectors of the opposition in Haiti announced the resumption of anti-government mobilizations for March 29.

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"Already, I urge you all, the activists who made possible the movement to block the country last February to start occupying the streets," said opposition leader Rony Timothee. The chosen date, as organizers explained, marks the 32nd anniversary of the 1987 Haitian Constitution, adding that the current situation is reminiscent of the atmosphere felt during the pre-1987 era. 

The call for this new country-wide protest comes amidst the intensification of the political crisis due to the ousting of former Prime Minister Jean Henry Ceant. On March 18, Haiti's Lower House of Deputies voted to censure Ceant. Three days later the Ministry of Communication tweeted that Jean Michel Lapin was appointed as interim president until the formation of a new government. 

Yet this did not appease the enraged population, that are still demonstrating against the lack of improvement in basic living conditions, the on-going economic crisis of the island and a corruption scandal regarding embezzlement of Petrocaribe funds, which rose to approximately US$2 billion between 2008 and 2018, according to a partial report of the National Audit Office.

The opposition continues centered on their demand to remove Haitian President Jovenel Moise, whom they regard as the main culprit in for the chaos. It is not only the seizure of power that they are seeking but rather the hope to see the country emerge from political stagnation. 

A goal that heavily depends on the participation of the Haitian youth, deemed as a crucial sector for the movement. "We will not succeed if we leave the young behind. This sector is essential for us, as it must be committed and organized to channel, without distortion, our message to the people," Senator Nenel Cassy told Le National.

However, experts warn that if a nation-wide blockage, such as the one in  February, happens once again, the population will, once again, be affected by the interruption of basic services such as water, electricity, fuel supply and healthcare services. 

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