Haiti's president vows reforms after days of unrest

Businesses, banks reopen in capital after violence, protests

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Haiti was slowly getting back to normal Monday after more than a week of violent demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise over skyrocketing prices that have more than doubled for basic goods.

Banks and businesses reopened and public transportation resumed in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Schools are expected to reopen Tuesday.

Moise has refused to step down, though his prime minister, Jean-Henry Ceant, said over the weekend that he has agreed to reduce certain government budgets by 30 percent, limit travel of government officials and remove all nonessential privileges they enjoy, including phone cards.

The latest violent demonstrations prompted the U.S. government to warn people last week not to travel to Haiti as it urged Moise's administration to implement economic reforms and redouble efforts to fight corruption.

In his only television interview since the crisis, Moise told Local 10 News anchor Calvin Hughes about his immediate plan to restore order in Haiti. He vowed to cut the price of rice in half, add 200,000 new manual labor jobs such as cleaning streets and picking up trash and cut government corruption.

"We have to react quickly to this crisis because it is a multifaceted crisis," Moise said.

A new government investigation released last month says a number of corrupt Haitian officials squandered $2 billion from an energy program that subsidized oil from Venezuela.

Thousands of protesters chanted, "Where is the money?" during the violent protests.

Moise said he's working on answers with Minister of Justice Jean Renel Sanon.

"To fight corruption, you have to have a strong system," Moise said. "My executive branch is doing everything it can to be able to provide everything that's asked for, to be able to continue this investigation and find out the truth that the Haitian people deserve to hear."

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