Following celebrations commemorating the 215th anniversary of Haiti's victory against France, the nation has been overtaken by protests due to allegations of political corruption. 

The Associated Press reports public areas such as schools and businesses have been shut down as authorities attempt to curb the unrest. Six to eight people have died. 

Protesters took to the streets demanding Haitian President Jovenel Moïse resign after his failure to investigate corruption allegations. As early as Sunday, protests broke out. 

Moïse also reportedly refused to celebrate Haiti's historic November 18, 1803, victory in the northern city of Cap-Haïtien. Instead, he opted to honor the nation's revolutionaries in Port-au-Prince, reports the Miami Herald.  

“The time for fighting is over,” Moïse said. “Today, it’s time for us to come together to break the chain of underdevelopment, the chain of blackouts [and] chains of misery that make a lot of us forget who we are. It’s time for us to work together to construct a Haiti that will make our forefathers proud.”

To appease protesters, the president has offered to hear the grievances of both sides. 

This minor conflict is a smokescreen according to Al Jazeera. Moïse's worries stem from $3.8 billion Haiti received from Venezuela in an oil assistance program. Since the devastating 2010 earthquake, Venezuela gave the nation below-market value oil to help rebuild the ravaged island nation as part of a program called the Petrocaribe fund.

Moïse removed two high-ranking officials and 15 minor advisers who may have misused funds from office last month, reports Al Jazeera.   

The number of civilians injured has climbed into the dozens. Authorities have arrested at least 23 people. 


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