LGBT Festival cancelled

September 27, 2016

Organisers of a cultural festival in Haiti celebrating the Afro-Caribbean LGBTQ community said Tuesday that it has been called off due to numerous threats of violence and a subsequent prohibition by a government commissioner.

The four-day Massimadi film, art and performance event was supposed to start Tuesday in the capital, Port-au-Prince, but organisers said it had to be postponed as a prominent Haitian cultural institution known as FOKAL and other co-hosts were threatened with arson and other attacks.

“FOKAL has been receiving threats of outrageous violence,” said Lorraine Mangones, executive director of the non-profit Knowledge & Freedom Foundation.

Jeudy Charlot of the gay rights group Kouraj, the main organizer of the event, said he is determined that the arts festival by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Haitians and their supporters will be held at a later date.

Haitian President: Election must happen as planned

August 25, 2016

Haiti's long-delayed presidential vote must take place on Oct. 9 as scheduled to install a legitimately elected leader as soon as possible and assuage concerns about political stability, interim President Jocelerme Privert has said.

Privert's comments come as Haiti scrambles to find funding for its third election process in a year. A history of volatility and missed deadlines in the nation's recent electoral history has raised doubts about the October date.

The results of a presidential vote last year were scrapped after the electoral council accepted a commission's conclusion that many of the ballots were fraudulent, a disputed decision that prompted some in the international community to withdraw support for the elections.

A January runoff was also cancelled after violent protests. Privert said this would not happen again. "I cannot even picture a Plan B," he said. "The risk for the country is too large."

The election will be mostly self-financed as the U.S. government, a major donor to last year's vote, said it would not contribute this time. Privert said $15 million had already been allocated to the provisional electoral council.

Haiti records nearly 100 Cholera deaths

March 16, 2016

The government says it has recorded 96 people have died from cholera during the first two months of this year.


The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) said there were also 7,782 cases of the disease during the period January 1 to February 27. But it said that the trend is towards a decrease in the number of cases following the outbreak U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described as the worst epidemic of cholera in recent history.


Haitians have blamed U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal whom they said carried strains of the disease with them, contaminating a large portion of the country’s drinking water.


The United Nations initially denied any role in the outbreak, and has refused to redress complaints, claiming immunity under a 1946 convention. In January, a US judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by human rights groups seeking compensation for Haitian victims.


The MSPP said that the decline has been observed every week despite the recent rains, saying “this situation demonstrates of a better capacity to control the transmission in outbreak and at the same time the need to enhance efforts to strengthen the management of cases.

Travel to Dominica eased

May 08, 2023

The Dominica government has reinstated the process of issuing visas to Haitian nationals visiting Dominica, Minister of Justice, Immigration and National Security, Rayburn Blackmoore has announced.

However, there will be certain rules and regulations in place.


No more than 25 visas will be issued per month, only one application per applicant, a reduction in processing time and a reduction in the unscrupulous use of the program are among some of the new regulations, he said in a statement.


Approximately one year ago government placed a stay on the issuing of visas to Haitians in order to deal with issues within the system that needed to be addressed. In August 2015, Blackmoore said a new system was being formulated.


Blackmoore said the stay was put in place to strengthen the system of issuing visas. “This decision to put a stay on the issuance of visas to Haitian nationals had to be taken in order to strengthen this state instrument; consequently, a new structure has been put in place within the administrative section in the ministry for processing all visas..,” he said. “I want to implicate that a quota system will also be initiated per month, that is to say not more than 25 visas per month, except in exceptional cases.”

Martelly leaves office

February 07, 2016

Michel Martelly ended his presidential term Sunday without handing power to a successor, in an electoral crisis highlighting Haiti's long struggle to keep democracy on track in the 30 years since the Duvalier dictatorship ended.


Martelly was able to leave office thanks to a last-minute agreement hours before to install a transitional government after prolonged protests that sometimes turned violent.


"During its long road to the promised land, Haiti will remember that a certain Michel Joseph Martelly -- Micky to his people -- loved, gave, and built," he said during his last address as president.


Speaking before lawmakers at parliament in French and Creole, the outgoing president thanked those who accompanied him during the five years of his mandate. He also defended his family against accusations of embezzlement.

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