How the Collapse of Socialist Venezuela Caused Famine in Haiti

Haitian President Jovenel Moise recently admitted that his country "is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis" and called for international assistance to overcome it

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The funds saved through the alliance with Venezuela were to be used for public infrastructure and social programs. However, the Haitian population never saw these benefits. (Global voices.org)

Haiti, the poorest country in Latin America, is once again suffering from famine amidst the unprecedented economic crisis in Venezuela. Its shortcomings would be directly linked to corruption in Petrocaribe and fuel shortages due to the lack of shipments by Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

Over a decade, the regimes of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro managed to buy the consciences of the Petrocaribe member countries with the constant shipment of crude oil that somehow allowed them to sustain themselves. However, when the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela exacerbated, cash dollars became scarce, and oil production fell, the South American country decided to abandon this alliance and with the Petrocaribe nations only to reveal the reality and corruption in nations such as Haiti.

Petrocaribe is an oil alliance of many Caribbean countries with Venezuela to buy oil under preferential payment conditions. The coalition was launched in 2005, and eight years later, Petrocaribe signed agreements with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) to take this partnership beyond oil and supposedly “promote economic cooperation.”

Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who won an allegedly fraudulent election, recently admitted that his country “is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis” and called for international assistance to overcome it.

Haiti had agreements with Venezuela, whereby it received some 60,000 barrels of crude oil a day under much more favorable conditions than the market. More than half of the costs of fuel, which was sold at a steep discount, could be repaid 25 years later at an interest rate of 1%, which supposedly allowed the government to use these benefits to promote economic development.

In return, Haiti supported Venezuela against the United States in regional forums such as the Organization of American States.

According to research, the funds saved through the alliance with Venezuela should be used for public infrastructure and social programs. However, the Haitian population never saw these benefits. The Petrocaribe scandal also adds to the lack of fuel triggered by the crisis in Venezuela.

According to France 24, “one in three Haitians needs urgent assistance to cover their daily food needs. That’s more than 3.5 million people because 60% of the population lives on less than two dollars a day, and the GDP per capita is 870 dollars, eight times less than that of the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Jovenel Moise is drowning in this crisis

In June, Haiti’s Superior Court of Accounts sent its final report on its investigation into corruption related to Petrocaribe to the parliament. The investigation showed that a company owned by Haitian President Jovenel Moise received millions of dollars for several projects that were never executed even though the company received the money.

The Superior Court of Accounts report describes as “serious” how several governments have spent more than 2 billion USD of Petrocaribe funds between 2008 and 2016, half of the resources generated by the program during that period.

As a result of the humanitarian crisis and the corruption scandal, Haitians are out in the streets protesting their discontent with the Moise government. They are demanding his resignation and new elections.

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