South Florida Man Stuck in Haiti Amid Anti-Government Protests - NBC 6 South Florida

South Florida Man Stuck in Haiti Amid Anti-Government Protests

"At this point, I feel like I'm trapped."

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    Local Man in Haiti As Anti-Government Protests Continue

    Jacob Payen can't leave Haiti as protestors took the streets for the fifth day of demonstrations against economic mismanagement and corruption. NBC 6's Laura Rodriguez reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019)

    One South Florida man is saying he can't leave Haiti and is calling the situation in the Carribean country chaotic as protestors took the streets for the fifth day of demonstrations against economic mismanagement and corruption.

    Protesters are angry about skyrocketing inflation and the government's failure to prosecute embezzlement from a multi-billion Venezuelan program that sent discounted oil to Haiti. Demonstrators stoned president Jovenel Moise's home over the weekend, demanding his resignation, and clashed with police. At least one person is dead.

    "They blocked all the streets. You cannot have access to any stores or banks. Everything is shut down," Jacob Payen told NBC 6. He lives in South Florida but owns a construction business in Haiti. 

    Payen is currently in Port-au-Prince and can't get out.

    "I was trying to access my house," he said. "I have no access to my own place. At this point, I feel like I'm trapped. I would love to go home because my wife and kids are in Florida, and for the time being, I don't want to be here at this point."

    A group of international representatives from the United Nations and the Organization of American States has called on Haiti's politicians to enter dialogue over the escalating crisis.

    "I didn't grow up here," Payen said. "I was in South Florida most of my childhood, so seeing all of this happen, I'm kind of terrifying (sic) ... I want to go home."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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