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Royal Caribbean halts stops at private beach in Haiti

Royal Caribbean announced Thursday it will no longer stop its cruise liners at its private beach in Labadee, Haiti, “out of an abundance of caution” as the country struggles with rampant gang violence and political instability.
“Due to the evolving situation in Haiti, and in an abundance of caution, we’re temporarily suspending our visits to Labadee for our entire fleet,” Assistant Vice President Aurora Yera-Rodriguez said in a statement. “We continue to monitor and assess the situation with our Global Security & Intelligence Team.”
The halt in stops will last for at least the next week and continue on a rolling basis afterward, CEO Michael Bayley said.
The company cited warnings from the U.S. government in its decision, urging all American citizens in Haiti to leave the country last week. The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince was also evacuated of nonessential personnel, and a group of Marines was deployed to protect the facility.
Haiti remains politically unstable after gang violence skyrocketed late last month when Prime Minister Ariel Henry left for Kenya to secure a United Nations-backed multinational security force and organized gangs broke out thousands of prisoners. Roaming gangs control about 80 percent of Port-au-Prince, according to the United Nations.
Henry has not been able to return to Haiti, citing the violence and airport closures, and said he will resign, endorsing a U.S.-backed plan for a transitional government council that has faced criticism from some Haitian political leaders.



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