HAITI CHAOS: President Flees the Country — US Embassy Staff Evacuated — Biden Mulls Sending Troops

HAITI CHAOS: President Flees the Country — US Embassy Staff Evacuated — Biden Mulls Sending Troops

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti is currently undertaking the evacuation of certain personnel from the nation's capital due to the escalating gang violence in the vicinity.

"Heightened gang violence in the neighborhood near U.S. embassy compounds and near the airport led to the State Department’s decision to arrange for the departure of additional embassy personnel," stated the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince on Sunday. Notably, the embassy continues to operate despite the situation.

To address the surge in gang violence across Port Au Prince, the U.S. State Department has requested the Marine Corps to deploy a security team to Haiti, as reported by a defense official to the Marine Times military newspaper. Maj. Mason Englehart, a Corps spokesman for Marine Corps Forces South, explained that deploying a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams (FAST) platoon is an option should the State Department request assistance in securing the U.S. Embassy.

FAST teams, specializing in noncombatant evacuation operations and rapid deployments for safeguarding national assets, have previously been deployed to Haiti in 2010 after an earthquake struck the island.

As gangs continue to control infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and even an international airport, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry is facing a precarious situation. In one instance, gangs released over 4,000 inmates, unleashing a wave of hardened criminals into the population.

Facing challenges upon his return to Haiti, Henry, who traveled to attend a meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and sought international police assistance in Kenya, found himself unable to land in Port Au Prince due to airport restrictions. Forced to fly into Puerto Rico, he was denied landing in the Dominican Republic.

In 2023, over 8,400 people in Haiti were injured, kidnapped, or killed, doubling the figures from 2022, according to reports. Approximately half of Haiti's 11 million people require humanitarian assistance, yet the country has received only $17 million out of an estimated $674 million needed.

Amid the escalating violence and chaos, the U.S. Embassy in Haiti is advising all Americans to leave and cautioning that it cannot assist in arranging private charter jet flights due to reduced operations.

"U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible by commercial or other privately available transportation options, in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges," stated the embassy.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre clarified that while there are no immediate plans to deploy troops to Haiti, the U.S. is not pushing for the prime minister's resignation. The focus is on finalizing a political accord and restoring democratic order through free and fair elections.

Despite the absence of immediate plans to send military forces, Kenya has agreed to send police officers on a security mission to Haiti. The State Department spokesperson emphasized that ensuring the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas remains a top priority. Haiti's political turmoil, ongoing violence, and suspension of elections since 2021 have created a challenging situation with CARICOM leaders aiming for a resolution by 2025. Gang leaders openly declare their intention to dismantle the Haitian government, with former police officer turned gang leader Jimmy Chérizier stating, "our goal is to break the system. We are fighting against Ariel with the last drop of our blood."

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