Entire Haiti Embassy Evacuated

(Cupventi.com) – In a series of late-night operations shrouded in secrecy, the United States has initiated the evacuation of its embassy personnel from Haiti. This action comes in response to a surge in violence, as groups of heavily armed gang members attempted to overtake the political heart of Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital.

Simultaneously, the German foreign ministry disclosed that its ambassador, along with representatives from other European Union countries, has departed for the Dominican Republic due to the escalating security concerns. This move underscores the international community’s growing apprehension about the stability of Haiti and the safety of its diplomatic staff.

The catalyst for this dramatic turn of events was a concerted offensive launched by Haitian gangs on February 29. Their aim: to overthrow the current government. This audacious push has seen these gangs commandeering police stations, prisons, and hospitals, as well as besieging key infrastructures such as the port and the airport. These actions have plunged Haiti into a state of turmoil, highlighting the dire security situation that grips the country.

Caught in the midst of this chaos is Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who found himself unable to return to Haiti and stranded in Puerto Rico. The timing could not have been worse, as his government faces widespread unpopularity, and a U.S. official has ominously suggested that its collapse could be imminent.

The situation escalated dramatically when, late on Friday, numerous gang members converged on Champ de Mars, a central area in Port-au-Prince known for its governmental and diplomatic buildings. In a bold move, they set ablaze the interior ministry—a building constructed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake—and launched an assault on the presidential palace. However, they were eventually repelled by security forces.

The significance of holding Champ de Mars cannot be overstated. It’s seen as a pivotal area, with one police officer ominously stating in an interview with AyiboPost, “If Champ de Mars falls… it’s the end.” Reflecting the severity of the situation, the local newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported on the gangs’ systematic campaign to displace the police from this strategic area, declaring, “Downtown Port-au-Prince has fallen; there is no doubt about it anymore.”

Lionel Lazarre, a leading figure in the national union of Haitian police officers, voiced his concerns to AyiboPost, revealing the dire circumstances facing the police force, “The police are on their knees,” he said, encapsulating the desperate situation for law enforcement in the face of relentless gang assaults.

Despite the police maintaining control over Champ de Mars as of Sunday, foreign nations have urged their citizens to exit Haiti. The risk of Prime Minister Henry’s administration collapsing imminently has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the country’s future.

Amid these dire circumstances, the Miami Herald reported that U.S. Marines have been deployed to Port-au-Prince to bolster embassy security and assist in the evacuation of non-essential personnel. This operation, carried out under the cloak of darkness, underscores the gravity of the security situation in Haiti.

The German foreign ministry, through a spokesperson, confirmed the departure of its ambassador and other EU representatives to the Dominican Republic, citing the perilous security conditions in Haiti. They plan to continue their work from this neighboring country until the situation stabilizes.

Since Prime Minister Ariel Henry assumed office following the assassination of Jovenel Moïse in 2021, Haiti’s security has deteriorated significantly. Gangs, deeply entrenched in the country’s political landscape and financed through kidnapping, drug trafficking, and extortion, now exert control over a staggering 80% of Port-au-Prince. This recent upheaval marks a significant expansion of their influence.

Daniel Foote, the former U.S. special envoy to Haiti, shared his insights, suggesting that the unrest might subside if Henry resigns. Nonetheless, Foote argues that the situation has reached a critical point, necessitating a substantial international intervention led by a major economy experienced in police-capacity building. He criticized the planned deployment of 2,000 Kenyan police officers as grossly inadequate, labeling it at best a waste of resources and at worst a perilous endeavor.

As the crisis unfolds, El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, known for his stringent anti-gang measures, has offered his assistance, contingent upon a United Nations Security Council resolution, consent from Haiti, and funding for the mission. This proposal introduces a potential new player in the effort to restore order in Haiti.

In the backdrop of this unfolding disaster, Caribbean leaders are set to convene in Jamaica to deliberate on the crisis. Guyana’s president and current chair of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Mohamed Irfaan Ali, emphasized the urgent need for a political resolution, highlighting the stark contrast in the number of deaths in Haiti compared to other global conflicts, underscoring the grave humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Caribbean nation.