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Violence strands U.S. volunteers in Haiti

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 7/09/18, 11:45 am

Riots in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, over rising gas prices stranded some American volunteer groups over the weekend. The U.S. Embassy on Sunday warned its citizens to shelter in place and not try to go to the airport unless they knew for sure their flights would take off. Many airlines canceled flights as violent protests engulfed the city, but American Airlines and Delta Air Lines reportedly allowed some planes take off and land Sunday. 

Church groups from South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama were unable to leave, according to newspaper and television reports. Salil Bhende, a North Carolina dentist, said a group of 16 dental clinic volunteers attempting to leave Port-au-Prince Sunday turned back because of barricades. “It was very difficult to get to the airport, so we just turned around, basically, to be safe,” Bhende said. A proposed increase in fuel prices triggered the protests. Even after the government scrapped the planned price hikes Saturday, demonstrators continued to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. Several people died in the violence.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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