PetroCaribe, sanctions and collateral damage

As this is being written, an uneasy calm prevails in Haiti following nearly two weeks of widespread demonstrations against the Government of President Jovenal Moïse. Protesters had been demanding his resignation, blocking roads, burning vehicles and attacking government buildings and businesses in many parts of the country, including the capital, Port-au-Prince.

More protests are planned in the coming days following what many Haitians see as the continuing failure to address their concerns about the disappearance of US$1.7 billion in PetroCaribe funds, between 2008 and 2016, intended for social programmes in Haiti. Among those implicated by a Senate report were former ministers, officials, and senior political figures.

Government’s response to Haitians’ concerns was slow. After days of silence and escalating violence, a combative President Moïse said that he heard the voice of the people. However, he provided little detail about how he intended to respond while indicating that he would see out his full term in office…..

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