A few hours of electricity a day, every three or four days. More and more expensive drinking water every week. 120 gourdes for one US dollar. Gasoline at the same price for years regardless of fluctuations on the international market. So many portraits of everyday life in Haiti. They have the same origin: the economy is bad and badly administered.

Three poisons have poisoned the Haitian economy and caused the main ills that have hampered the lives of every Haitian in the past 10 years. They are of the same origin: PetroCaribe.

PetroCaribe is the name of an agreement under negotiation since the presidency of Leslie François Manigat in 1988, finally signed and entered into force under René Préval in 2008. 

The famous PetroCaribe agreement, sponsored by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is the basis of all of our latest ills.

First, by granting preferential conditions to Haiti, the PetroCaribe agreement allows the country to benefit from a cash reserve, since Haiti does not pay its entire oil bill. Part of it is used to fund the PetroCaribe fund, co-managed nominally by the two countries.

It must be said that it all starts with a misunderstanding: the chiefs treat the fund as a gift and believe that it is their money that they spend as they please. The Venezuelans know that it is a loan, political moreover, let the Haitians do as they please, renew their confidence each time to have the support of Haiti, a captive market and other advantages. The crab basket is in place.

After controversial initial spending following the hurricane in 2008, a second round of spending after the 2010 earthquake puts PetroCaribe’s money in a vicious path. Continue reading.

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