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U.S. travel alert: Do not travel to this Caribbean nation, popular spot for cruise ship stops

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The State Department is warning travelers not to go to the Caribbean nation of Haiti even as American military forces are being brought in to shore up security at the U.S. Embassy in Port-Au-Prince.

The Travel Advisory for Haiti remains at level four, meaning all travel to the country is discouraged. Other level 4 countries include Russia, Syria and Burkina Faso.

“The current security situation in Haiti is unpredictable and dangerous. We are aware that there are few or non-commercial options to depart Haiti safely at this time. As they become available, we urge U.S. citizens to take advantage of them,” the US Embassy said in a statement issued this week.

Travelers who are in Haiti are advised to avoid crowds and being outside after dark, keep a low profile and be aware of their surroundings.

Haiti is located on the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic sharing the island to the east. The Dominican Republic is under a level 2 advisory with visitors urged to exercise increased caution.

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The U.S. military presence will protect the embassy and allow non-essential American personnel to leave the area, which has been taken over by violent street gangs, the AP reported.

A do-not-travel alert for Haiti was issued in July 2023 for what the State Department described as “kidnapping, crime, civil unrest and poor health care infrastructure.” Later that month, the U.S. ordered all family members of U.S. government employees and non-emergency personnel to leave the country. American government personnel have been limited to only confined areas around the Embassy and are not allowed to walk in Port-au-Prince, use any public transportation, visit banks or ATMs, drive at night or travel between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Despite the security issues, which included a mass prison break last week, cruise ship lines continue to stop in the country.

Royal Caribbean ships continue to call on Labadee, the cruise company’s property located on a peninsula about six hours drive away from Port-au-Prince, CNN reported. The area is only available to ship guests and visitors do not leave the resort. No security issues have been reported at the resort.

The company said it is monitoring the situation in Haiti.

“The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority. Our global security teams are closely monitoring the situation in the area. At all times, we remind guests to remain aware of their surroundings while ashore and follow all State Department guidelines. Should any changes be required, guests will be notified directly,” a Royal Caribbean spokesperson told CNN.

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