Protesters bar Haiti's president from visiting historic site

Protesters bar Haiti's president from visiting historic site
Accompanied by First Lady Martine Moise, center right, and and acting prime minister Jean Michel Lapin, center left, President Jovenel Moise, center, arrives to lay flowers to mark the anniversary of the death of Haitian revolution leader Jean Jacques Dessalines, at Champ de Mars, adjacent to the National Palace, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday Oct. 17, 2019. President Moise has been facing ever more violent protests demanding his resignation fueled by anger over corruption, inflation and dwindling of basic supplies, including gasoline. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s embattled president has been forced to hold a private ceremony amid heavy security for what is usually a public celebration of one of the country’s founding fathers.

Jovenel Moïse and other officials appeared Thursday at the National Pantheon Museum in downtown Port-au-Prince. Hundreds of armed police officers closed down the surrounding area as protesters demanding his resignation began to gather nearby.

Moïse did not speak and left after the brief ceremony to commemorate the death of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, whose rule ended in 1806 following a military revolt. Protesters had prevented Moïse from visiting the site where the ceremony is usually held.

Anger over corruption, inflation and scarcity of basic goods has led to large protests that began five weeks ago and have shuttered many businesses and schools.