PORT-AU-PRINCE, April 14 (Reuters) – A dispute between Haiti and US energy trading is leading to long blackouts and fuel shortages in the Caribbean nation, feeding anger at President Jovenel Moise's government following the collapse of a supply deal with Venezuela last year
The capital of Port-au-Prince's fragile power grid was dealt to blow when Novum Energy Trading Corp. suspended shipments in February, leaving residents without electricity for days and many gas stations with no fuel at the pumps
Novum says the government owes it $ 40 million in overdue payments for fuel. Haitian officials did not reply to requests for comment.
The Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, Haiti OPEC member of the United States of America, which offers several financing programs for its hydrocarbons, diesel and other products through a program called Petrocaribe.
But the scheme in Haiti, a fortress of Haiti – a nation of 11 million people – to return to international markets.
Novum, which has supplied Haiti with fuel for more than four years, stepped up its shipments. Petrocaribe unraveled deal. Novum said it supplied 80 percent of Haiti's diesel and diesel needs last year.
On Feb. 27, Novum anchored a vessel carrying 150,000 barrels of gasoline off Port-au-Prince until the payment dispute could be resolved. (19659002) “The cargo is about to be half-hearted.”
Yuri Chevry, mayor of Port-au-Prince, a sprawling city of more than 2.6 million people, said electricity and gasoline shortages had been made worse in Haiti.
“It's a It was a lot of repercussions, “he said.
Chris Scott, Novum 's Chief Financial Officer, said the vessel would not dock until the government could pay. He said that these measures had been taken “fairly regularly” since mid-2018 as they had begun.
“They need to pay in order to be able to discharge,” Scott said
A governmental official, who asked not to be identified, said fuel distribution companies in Haiti. That in turn meant the government could not pay the U.S. company for the fuel.
The official said other companies were still supplying Haiti with fuel. He did not provide details.
The scarcity of fuel and growing economic problems has increased, but it has reached $ 229 million in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached last month.
“I'm barely surviving,” said 40-year-old Amos, one of scores of hawkers selling black market gasoline on busy street in the capital. On bad day, he earns little more than 50 cents. “
Protesters have taken action to remove Moses, a trained businessman who took office in February 2017. They blame him for inflation running around 17 percent , the depreciation of the gourd currency, and for not investigating alleged misuse of Petrocaribe funds by public officials.
Between Feb. 7 and Feb. 27, the protests pla … the hand of the protesters. He pledged his government would take steps to address people's grievances.
Corruption is a perennial concern in Haiti. The nation ranked 166 from 183 countries in Transparency International 's Global Survey of Perceptions of Corruption last year – only Western Hemisphere.
International pressure has grown for an investigation. In a March 20 letter, 104 member of the US Congress asked President Donald Trump's government to support investigations into Petrocaribe in Haiti, pointing to the alleged misuse of $ 2 billion in low-interest loans under the scheme.
At the height of the Petrocaribe program, Venezuelan fuel oil covered 70 percent of Haiti's needs. Venezuela provided long-term financing for flexible terms, with a maximum of 2 percent and a two-year grace period.
Petrocaribe included a fund for infrastructure and social projects in member countries.
By April 2018 (19659002) After the lapsed program, Haitian energy companies lacked the power of the United States. (19659002) Andre Michel, an opposition leader looking at the alleged corruption of Petrocaribe, said it was difficult to estimate how much was stolen but the signs of misuse of funds appeared compelling.
“No serious projects have been completed: no hospitals, no campus, no roads, no housing projects,” he said.
An oft-heard lament on the streets of Port-au-Princ it is that while trillion pilfer politicians, Haitians go hungry. Roads in the city are the remains of a deadly 2010 earthquake can still be seen at practically every corner
Destiny Legain, a small business owner, whose shop is a stone's throw from the presidential palace, said Haitians would be scarred by the Petrocaribe scheme for years to come.
“That money is going to be paid to Venezuela one way or another,” he said. “If it's not me, it's my kids that are going to have to pay.”
Reporting by Anthony Esposito in Port-au-Prince; Additional reporting by Marianna Parraga in Mexico city; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Lisa Shumaker