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Haiti in Turmoil

Travel Tuesday, continuing violence spreads across Haiti, The Times reports expectations of Boris to join campaigning for the general election, and indications that US consumer inflation expectations will hold steady for the year ahead.

Travel Tuesday: Haiti

Haiti, the name “Haiti” itself means “mountainous land” in the Taíno language. The country is characterised by breathtaking mountain landscapes, making it a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Population (2023) 11 million

GDP (2023) $38 billion

GDP Per Capita (2023) $3,185

Annual Economic Growth 0.6%

National Animal Hispaniolan Trogon

Major Export Vetiver Oil

 

Haiti’s PM Henry Resigns Amidst Turmoil

Violence is continuing to spread across Haiti as rival gangs attack government buildings, police stations and the country’s international airport in opposition against prime minister, Ariel Henry.

In the last few hours however, Ariel Henry has announced his resignation via a video address from Puerto Rico. Here, he stated that “The government that I am leading will resign immediately after the installation of [a transition] council”. Earlier this month, Henry had flown into Nairobi in an effort to bring Kenyan police officers to Haiti to help restore order.

But with Haitian officers outresourced, it is estimated that rival gangs, under the collective leadership of Jimmy Chérizier, now control more than 80% of Port-au-Prince. Unrest across Haiti has been particularly prevalent ever since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021 who had served in the country’s highest office from 2017. The ensuing Prime Minister Ariel Henry has widely been viewed as corrupt and has not held an election.

Humanitarian conditions remain dire in much of Haiti with over 15,000 people being displaces since in the latest stretch of violence. Moreover, last week, some 3,700 prisoners escaped in a jailbreak from two facilities in Port-au-Prince and Croix des Bouquets.

Countries including the US evacuated non-essential staff from Port-au-Prince amidst growing concerns for their safety. Attention now turns to whether such a council will be able to hold the country’s first election since 2016, amidst gang violence and worsening humanitarian conditions.

Westminster

In the UK: Boris is back. Sort of. The Times is reporting that he’s expected to join campaigning over the general election, with a focus on the red wall. The relationship between the former PM and his successor is said to have thawed over recent months, with them issuing a joint statement over Ukraine on the two-year anniversary of the invasion – though there were question marks over whether his quick trip to Venezuela last month was approved by Number Ten!

Rishi will certainly welcome the support after Lee Anderson, former deputy chair of the Conservative party, defected to Reform yesterday. Mr Anderson was a prominent tory figure, and will no doubt go on to be an outspoken Reform MP – their first member of parliament – though we weren’t aware until yesterday that he was previously a Labour MP from 2015 until 2018, until being suspended by the party and subsequently defecting to the Conservatives.

It’s not clear yet whether any other conservative MPs will follow in Lee Anderson’s footsteps, but a source close to Rishi Sunak has said that if ten MPs were to do so then he would call a snap election. It’s unclear whether Mr Anderson has any kind of following I the party, but for Conservative MPs there could be a deliberation between defecting to Reform and standing with the hope of retaining their seat, or staying loyal to the party in the hopes of still being there and part of the rebuild if the election goes as badly as polls are suggesting.

Great Expectations

Yesterday, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicated that US consumer inflation expectations for the year ahead held steady at a three year low of 3%. This came as consumers upwardly revised expectations for the next three from 2.4% to 2.7% and 2.5% to 2.9% for the next five years.

Inflation continues to remain one of the hottest topics of conversation in the US. Indeed, according to one poll, inflation and prices was registered as being the most salient issue for the Presidential election with 20% of respondents saying it was the most important consideration.

Following behind this was healthcare and immigration at 14% and 12% respectively ahead of jobs and the economy at 11%. Further down the list was climate and environment at 8%, national security at 6% and taxes and government spending at 6%.

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