A correction to what I feel earlier … black market gas in Haiti is currently selling for between US $ 13 and $ 15 a gallon, while the cost has not changed for some time. I
While the corruption is the same and the impact of the same, I am reminded of the fact that it is inaccurate.
The Accurate Replacement Formula: Increasingly High Rates of Cigarette Cracking and Corruption. still still stands!
ORIGINAL (uncorrected) NEWSLETTER TEXT:
The citizens of Haiti have taken to the streets en masse to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moses, and the regular functioning of life throughout the world country has come to a near standstill. There are literally hundreds of roadblocks on the cities and towns, all built in an effort to put pressure on the president to resign.
Huge protests have become norm, with radical elements as cover to destroy property. Businesses and schools are closed. Government offices are not able to function. And there is a tension so thick and pervasive it seems like a dark otherworldly shadow at the periphery of your vision. Ever present and almost visible, but never quite in focus.
I am sharing my observations with the goal of helping others in their lives in Haiti. 19659002] At the heart of the current situation is how to corruption in the price of fuel and food, both of them cost more, relative to incomes, than in the traditionally expensive cities like New York, London or Paris. 19659002] While the full story goes back to 1804 when the world turned back to its beginnings, the current cycle of dysfunction can be traced to a 2006 agreement called PetroCaribe. This deal allowed Haiti and several other Caribbean nations to buy fuel from Venezuela and pay 60% up front, with the remaining 40% to be paid back over 25 years at 1% interest.
Not only did this arrangement save the Haitian government a lot of money, it actually earned a great deal. This is because the government has a monopoly on importing fuel and they are 40% at a significant profit. The commitment to Venezuela has been combined with the principles of improved agriculture, health, and education. But at least $ 2 trillion of the PetroCaribe windfall was misused, misappropriated and outright stolen by the very officials, in three successive administrations, who were charged with using it to improve the lives of their fellow citizens.
Then last year the PetroCaribe program stopped when Venezuela's oil production tanked. The Haitian government had to start buying the fuel elsewhere. Since then they have never had enough cash on the market. Shortages have been getting worse and worse. Gas, diesel and kerosene have been obtained because they are more expensive than they are.
As fuel prices go up, so too does the cost of just about everything. This leads to exports being more expensive and contributing to the economy. The combined effect of a gradual but steady devaluation of the Haitian gourd over the past few years. This is in turn, because it is more than 50% of the food consumed in Haiti is imported.
There is a general consensus among Haitians from every walk of life that rampant corruption has increased. President Moses may be the poster boy for the ills that is currently afflicting Haiti, but his removal is a guarantee of a significant short-term race correction in the country's governance
So why am I so committed to a country that, while beautiful
The answer is that I know so many smart, brave and committed Haitians, particularly young people, who are making tremendous strides in business, education, the arts, agriculture and public service. But like many places in our world, their voices and the positive progress they are making are often lost in a cacophony of the negative. These powerful change agents have not yet had a chance to come back to Haiti, but I think they are more likely to be in the future.
We need to be fully aware and unflinchingly honest about the many problems that currently beset Haiti. Otherwise we can not begin to navigate the physical and political roadblocks in the process of trying to make a difference. It is not easy, but I want to hear the voices of the many voices rising up to form the chorus of Haiti's future. I invite you to listen and feel the rhythm.