Mayor cancels Haiti trip in light of unrest


NEW YORK (AP) _ Mayor Michael Bloomberg canceled his trip to Haiti scheduled for Sunday because of unrest in the strife-torn nation, his office announced Friday.

Bloomberg’s decision comes a day after U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said he was “very disturbed” about the situation in Haiti, which is in the midst of a two day general strike and has been gripped by political violence for several months.

In a statement released Friday, Bloomberg press secretary Ed Skyler said: “In light of recent conflict in
Haiti as well as the recommendations from the State Department, specifically the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, the mayor has decided to postpone his trip to the country.”

Bloomberg intends to visit
Haiti later this year to help celebrate the 200th anniversary of its independence.

The mayor will go to
Jamaica on Sunday as planned, according to the statement.

Since mid-September, at least 45 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded during demonstrations.

Tensions have been rising since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s party won legislative elections that observers said were flawed. The opposition refuses to participate in new elections unless Aristide steps down, but he says he will serve out his term until 2006.