There was excitement and happiness around Haiti on Saturday as gas stations in the capital Port-au-Prince reopened after a gas blockade by a local gang was finally lifted after two months of tension.

After two months of seizing control of a key fuel terminal in Port-au-Prince as a way of forcing the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, the G9 gang announced last week that they will be lifting their blockade of the fuel terminal and allowing tanks guarded by armed police officers to distribute the fuel to the country, according to the AP News.

The crippling gas blockade was triggered by Henry’s announcement that fuel prices in Haiti will no longer be subsidized, allowing a gallon of gas, for example, to increase its rate from the equivalent of $2 to the equivalent of $4.78. The price increase affects the country immensely, as many earn less than $2 a day in the country, ABC News reported.

Despite the price increase, many are excited and jubilant over the reopening of gas stations in the country, with many yelling, “There’s gas now! There’s gas now!” as much of the capital’s vehicles lined up for fuel at the stations.

The gas blockade has been a kneecap in the country for months, forcing hospitals to reduce critical care and for groceries and convenience stores to operate less hours. It also forced small business owners like 35-year-old Davidson Jean-Pierre into unemployment because of being unable to transport goods and equipment due to a lack of gasoline.

“I would call this the day that life begins again,” Jean-Pierre said. “My team is going to get back on their feet.”

Others, however, like driver Marc André, are worried about the full effects of the fuel price increase in the country’s economy, which is already suffering high inflation as well as an increasingly large portion of the population is dipping deeper into poverty.

“They raised the gas at the wrong time, when the economy is not functioning,” André said. “The gasoline looks like a savior, but at the same time, it’s going to bring hardship for a lot of people.”

Haiti Gas Stations Reopen Rep. Pic
After a local gang forced a fuel blockade for two months that caused a slowdown in Haiti's economic life, gas stations in the country have reopened on Saturday, causing celebration and concern with much of the population. This is a representational image. Julian Hochgesang/Unsplash.

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