OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) — Canada raised its travel alert for Haiti late Thursday, warning its citizens against all travel to the Caribbean island nation after violent anti-government protests trapped Canadian tourists at a beachside resort.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is “deeply concerned by the unfolding events in Haiti.”
The upgraded federal advisory followed the temporary closure of Canada’s embassy in Port-au-Prince.
Gun violence and blocked roads, meanwhile, cut off a group of about 100 Canadian tourists staying at the all-inclusive Royal Decameron Indigo Beach resort from the airport on Sunday.
“Avoid all travel to Haiti due to civil unrest throughout the country,” the Canadian foreign ministry said on its website.
“The security situation could further deteriorate quickly. You should consider leaving by commercial means while they are available.”
Officials said Ottawa continues to work with tour operator Transat to find a safe way out for the trapped Canadians. They have been asked to stay put, for now.
Clashes between police and protesters left at least one dead on Wednesday in Port-au-Prince, bringing to at least seven the number of people killed since protests began a week earlier.
The protesters, angry about skyrocketing inflation and the alleged theft of nearly US$2 billion in Venezuelan oil relief to the island, are demanding President Jovenel Moise’s resignation.