PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The U.S. State Department no longer urges American citizens to avoid all travel to Haiti, but says they should still “carefully consider” before traveling to the island.
The new travel warning issued Monday softens language from one released in January, when the country was suffering election-related violence, that “strongly urged” citizens to avoid all travel.
The current one cites crime, a renewed cholera outbreak and an inadequate infrastructure as concerns.
The Jan. 20 advisory noted that “the number of victims of violent crime, including murder and kidnapping, continues to increase in Port-au-Prince.” That language was omitted from the new advisory.
The earlier warning also noted violent protests that surrounded the November elections. References to the tire-burning, rock-throwing demonstrations that gripped Port-au-Prince have been dropped from the current advisory.
Port-au-Prince and the countryside have been relatively quiet in recent months.
The revised advisory comes as Haiti’s new president struggles to install a government and take charge of rebuilding Haiti after last year’s earthquake.
President Michel Martelly has seen his first two picks for prime minister rejected by lawmakers and he hasn’t yet picked a third nominee.
The amended warning also takes into account a second surge in cholera, which has killed more than 5,800 people and sickened 409,000 since an outbreak began in October, according to the Health Ministry.
The disease saw a second spike in early summer as the rainy season began. Health workers fear the waterborne disease could spread again as the current hurricane season reaches its peak.
Haitian officials and business leaders have long said the U.S. travel warnings are exaggerated and unfairly discourage tourism and foreign investment.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.