Today is Day 10 of the manifestations and I have no idea how or when this is going to end. The President spoke a couple of days ago and about 10 minutes later the US raised the travel advisory to a level 4 (the highest possible) which means, “Do Not Travel to Haiti.” The people who have taken to the streets are asking for his resignation, and he made it very clear that he has no plans to resign.
At this point, this country seems to be at an impasse. Those who have taken to the streets are asking nothing less than a resignation from the current President. The President, in his speech, explained that he will not turn this country over to drug runners and gangs. He believes that the efforts to oust him (and this is a legitimate coup attempt) are being funded and planned by people who want to make Haiti even worse than it currently is.
So the question is where do we go from here? What happens next? I have no idea. I cannot even come close to predicting the end of this standoff when both sides seem pretty resolute in their decision. Here are some things that I do know:
- The average Haitian is being hurt severely. As the country is on lock down (read this blog to learn more) food is becoming scarce and expensive, gas and diesel are running out, and even clean drinking water is difficult to find.
- People already are and will continue to starve (not figuratively like we say in American when we haven’t eaten for 6 hours, but literally starve) as food is inaccessible.
- People who are sick, injured, pregnant, etc. will not have access to life saving medical care. This is already happening.
- Those that can will leave the country and this will cause an even greater economic issue because those who can leave are usually affluent.
- People will get desperate and they will come after those they believe have things that they want.
- Criminals and gangs will begin to be emboldened by continued lawlessness around the capital and other places.
The truth is, if the President were to step down, I have no idea who would take his place. I also don’t know if this is an attempt by opposing political parties to take over the Presidency or if it is truly a popular uprising. I also don’t know if the President were to step down if things would get better and how long it would take for that to happen. Unknowns are really difficult, and there are so many of them.
The reality of the current situation is such that I would love to get my family out of Haiti. We have a 3 year old, a 2 year old, and a 9 month old that make these types of decisions much more difficult because if it were just Jess and I, we would stay. On top of that, our 9 month old is not an American citizen, he is Haitian. He came to America on a temporary Visa this past October, and we had an appointment on March 7 to get a new Visa for him. Without a Visa, he cannot travel with us. The only place that can grant this Visa in Haiti is the US Embassy. The US Embassy has been shutdown due to political unrest. What this means is that, as of now, no matter what happens in Haiti we are staying.
Please keep Haiti in your prayers. Things are definitely not improving. Please continue to pray for our family as well as we try to make the best decision for us, All Things New, and our kids. Also, if you have any connection that could help us get a Visa for Ezekyal, we are listening!