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Haiti Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Feb 02, 2004

This Travel Warning is being issued to inform American citizens that, due to continued political demonstrations and ongoing civil unrest, the Department of State has authorized the departure of family members and non-emergency employees of the U.S. Embassy on a voluntary basis. Private American citizens should evaluate their own security situations and should consider departing the country. This Travel Warning supersedes the Public Announcement issued January 9, 2004.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer travel to Haiti. Americans are reminded of the potential for spontaneous demonstrations and violent confrontations between government supporters and students and other groups that oppose the government of Haiti. American citizens who travel to, or remain in, Haiti despite this Travel Warning should register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince and enroll in the warden system (emergency alert network) to obtain updated information on travel and security in Haiti. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at 104, rue Oswald Durand, Port-au-Prince. The telephone numbers are (509) 223-7011, 223-6440, 223-6443, 223-6421, 223-6426, 223-6424, 223-6407, 223-7008, 222-0200, the fax number is (509) 223-9665, and the email address is Consular personnel remain available to provide emergency services to American citizens.

There has been significant political tension over recent weeks in Port-au-Prince, Gonaives, Cap Haitien, Petit Goave, Jacmel, and other parts of Haiti. The U.S. Embassy was closed several times due to civil unrest. From time to time the Embassy may close again to assess its security posture. The Embassy's Regional Security Office has recommended that persons associated with the Embassy not remain in downtown Port au Prince after sunset and has at times advised Embassy personnel to remain in their homes when violence has flared.

Since the beginning of the year, some international organizations have decided to draw down their staffs in Haiti. Students and other groups opposed to the government have mounted demonstrations around the country. Haiti's security environment has been deteriorating as President Aristide has continued to politicize the Haitian National Police and used government resources to pay for violent gangs to attack opposition demonstrators. The government of Haiti has not been able to maintain order in Port au Prince or in other cities and in some instances has assisted in violently repressing the demonstrations. Due to severe limitations on travel and communication inside the country, the Embassy's ability to assist U.S. citizens in Haiti is very limited at this time.

American citizens in Haiti should remain vigilant, particularly in public places, avoid large crowds, and not attempt to cross roadblocks. From time to time, the U.S. Embassy may restrict the travel of official Americans or suspend public services. In those instances, the Embassy will keep the local American citizen community apprised through the Warden System and make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.

As the Department continues to develop information on potentially dangerous demonstrations and political unrest in Haiti, it shares that information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at U.S. travelers can also get up-to-date information on security conditions in Haiti by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the U.S. or Canada or on a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.

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