Haitian Food Riots Lead To Ouster of PM

Hell Up In Haiti

After weeks of unrest in Haiti due to food shortages, the Prime Minister has been ousted by a majority Senate vote. Rioters have been clamoring at the gates in Port-au-Prince, looting stores, burning cars and assaulting motorists to protest the rising costs of rice, beans, cooking oil and other amenities.

The Prime Minister, Jacques Edouard Alexis ignored a plan presented by the President Rene Preval to slash rice prices and the Senators reacted by ousting the PM for not complying with the requests. The week long riots, which reportedly claimed five lives were quelled by pleas by Preval. The island which is home to 19 million Haitians is experiencing a rise in food costs said to be part of a larger trend that is arising in “Third” World countries (Africa) across the globe.

Now that Alexis has been removed, Preval is preparing to shave $8 off of sack rice, bringing it to $43 from $51. International donors and businesses will account for $3 off that tab, leaving Haitians responsible for coming up with the difference on their $2 a day salaries. The removal of Alexis is bringing some relief to residents of the island though,

“When he was prime minister, he did nothing to lower the high cost of living. I hope things will change with a new prime minister,” said Jean Pierre Jean-Baptiste, 29, an electrician.

There is no assurance though if this will be enough to stem the violence.

“If they don’t further lower the price I think people are going to protest more. There will be problems, more unrest. Even the National Palace could be set on fire because we are in trouble.”

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