Monday, May 20

Humanitarian flight from Haiti lands in Fort Pierce with 7 passengers fleeing violence

Seven people landed in Fort Pierce on Thursday night after a flight from Haiti.

The flight, which was organized by a nonprofit called Missionary Flights International in Fort Pierce, is one of the few flights bringing people from the country to the United States. The U.S. State Department also chattered flights to Miami, while other Americans escaped the country to neighboring Dominican Republic.

Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, has seen an increase in violence from armed gangs after its prime minister announced his resignation earlier in March. The country is trying to create a transitional government since the country hasn’t held an election since its president was assassinated in 2021.

Jules Casseus was one of the seven people who landed in Fort Pierce on Thursday night.

Casseus lives in a community called Limb in northern Haiti, said he’s far away from the violence, yet it’s difficult to get supplies.

He said he was nervous he’d have to stay in the county because he sat on the tarmac in Cap-Haitien for two hours, but he said he’s happy to be on U.S. soil.

“That’s a big plus. It’s a big thing for me,” Casseus said. “For a time, I thought I was going to spend another night in Haiti.”

Casseus said he was nervous “trouble” could start and shut down the airport. He said he’s a United States resident and his wife has been in Jacksonville since October.

His friend, Paul Omeus, picked him up from the Treasure Coast International Airport.

Omeus said the toughest part is trying to live with Haiti’s crisis. He also disagrees with the plan to create a transitional government with seven council members until the country can hold elections.

“The hardest part is carrying on,” Omeus said. “What they are doing is wrong for the country. We cannot have seven presidents. It’s a ridiculous thing they are doing with the country.”

He said he blames the U.S. government for the consistent problems within the country. Omeus said he would like to see the United States support Haiti similar to Ukraine, which has received more than $2 billion in support in its war with Russia.

According to press releases, the U.S. Agency for Assisted Development (USAID) has given Haiti millions of dollars over the years.

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