Over 30 Americans Arrive in US After Fleeing Haiti

Over 30 Americans Arrive in US After Fleeing Haiti

(RepublicanView.org) – Nearly three dozen Americans arrived in Miami on March 17 after fleeing the island nation of Haiti on a plane chartered by the government.

The 30+ evacuees were trying to escape the nation less than two weeks after the US embassy urged Americans to flee. The warning was issued as unprecedented gang violence takes Haiti’s capital by storm in what its government has called a “deterioration in security.” Militant rebels have already kidnapped and killed civilians and destroyed government buildings.

The situation escalated after thousands of inmates escaped from the National Penitentiary on March 4. The prison was overrun by heavily armed gangs who were determined to liberate the facility. The Haitian government declared a state of emergency shortly after the incident. They began targeting police stations and the nation’s primary airport as civilians tried to flee. The airport has since closed, halting food shipments and threatening a famine. Gangs have also looted aid supplies that were meant to be distributed to the population.

Last week, the US military deployed a specialized unit of Marines to protect the embassy and evacuate its personnel if necessary. U.S. Southern Command said the unit did not intend to engage with gangs unless attacked. The embassy is still open and doing what it can to assist Americans and the Haitian government. They do not currently know how many Americans are still in the country, but the State Department recently said around 1,600 Americans have reached out for assistance. Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the state department, said on March 14 that there weren’t any plans to evacuate. However, nonessential personnel have been sent back to the US.

Avolt Quessa, a resident of Boston who was among the evacuees, said he was visiting his mother in central Haiti when the violence began. He said the situation is “terrible” and noted that one could hardly imagine the suffering among innocent civilians, according to The Miami Herald. The US embassy has been unable to provide ground transportation, leaving Americans responsible for their own transportation to evacuation areas. The State Department is urging them to do so safely.

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