Taiwan’s embassy in Haiti closed due to widespread protests

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A file photo of Taiwan’s embassy in Port-au-Prince. (Source: CNA)

By Joseph Yeh

TAIWAN / HAITI, (CNA) – The Republic of China’s (Taiwan) embassy in Haiti has been temporarily closed from Wednesday to Thursday due to the latest round of violent protests in several cities in the Caribbean country that started on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday.

The temporary closure of the embassy located at Pétion-Ville, a suburb area in the capital city Port-au-Prince, could be extended depending on the latest situation in Haiti, MOFA said in a press release.

In the meantime, all embassy staff members are working from home, it added.

The decision was made for safety reasons after thousands of people in Haiti’s capital and other major cities organized new protests earlier this week to demand safer streets, more affordable goods, and the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, according to MOFA.

There are numerous reports of roadblocks, burning tires, and rock-throwing in multiple locations throughout the metropolitan Port-au-Prince area over the past few days.

All Haitian government agencies were unable to carry out normal operations over the past two days with some foreign representative offices under attack from mobs, MOFA said.

With the escalating situation in Haiti, the embassy said it has prepared contingency plans in case it needs to evacuate.

It is also keeping in close contact with all Taiwanese businesspersons and compatriots in the Caribbean country and asking them to avoid all unnecessary travel and remain vigilant.

So far, all Taiwanese nationals in Haiti are safe, it added.

MOFA has for the past several years issued its highest-level “red” travel alert for Haiti, one of 14 states that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, due to widespread crime and civil unrest.

Under the ministry’s four-color travel alert system, the lowest level is gray, followed by yellow, orange, and red. A red alert is the highest warning level and advises people to refrain from traveling to the country or region in question.

Since the government announced in 2018 that it would eliminate fuel subsidies, widespread civil unrest has paralyzed Haiti.

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