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Haiti: President Moise reaffirms commitment to PetroCaribe probe


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Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise

(CMC) – President Jovenel Moise is promising that no one “will escape justice” as the leader of the radical opposition “Pitit Dessalin” Party Friday called for continued street demonstrations in protest at the illegal use of the PetroCaribe funds.

“Citizen’s demand for light to be made on the use of PetroCaribe funds testifies to the vitality of our democracy I ask all indexed senior state officials who have been actively involved in the management of these funds to be at the disposal of justice,” Moise said in a statement.

“I ask the head of government to give all the necessary support to the institutions concerned, including the judiciary so that shed light on the use of PetroCaribe Funds. Nobody will escape justice. It is a moral duty and justice,” he added.

On Wednesday, at least two people were killed and several others injured as Haitians took to the street to protest against several issues such as the PetroCaribe funds, the cost of living, the minimum wage, the reform of the Constitution as well as calling for the resignation of President Moise.

The demonstrations coincided with the 212th anniversary of the assassination of Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and on Friday, Moïse Jean Charles, the Pitit Dessalin Party leader, said he was encouraged by the turnout.

He said that the demonstrations would continue and called for Moise to step down. Jean Charles also denounced what he termed police brutality and the arrest of six party activists during the demonstrations. He has since called for their release.

PetroCaribe is an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. The alliance was launched on 29 June 2005 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. In 2013, PetroCaribe agreed for links with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), to go beyond oil and promote economic cooperation.

Last month, President Moïse confirmed that he held talks with members of the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Disputes (CSC/CA) and gave a commitment to make available all the resources necessary for carrying out the audit work on the use of PetroCaribe funds.

He said that of 27 million Gourdes (One Haitian gourde =US$0.014 cents) requested by the CSC/CA for the audit work on the use of PetroCaribe funds, 10 million Gourdes have already been released.

On Friday he said that “all firms that have cashed the taxpayer’s money and have not honoured their commitment will be prosecuted wherever they are, according to the law.

“I ask the legal representatives of the state to do so according to the legally required forms,” said Moïse.

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