Thousands of Haitians took to the streets of the capital recently as they called for President Jovenel Moïse to step down. He is responsible, according to the High Court of Auditors, for the mismanagement and disappearance of the funds of PetroCaribe.
Two weeks ago, judges of the High Court of Auditors, in a 600-page report, laid out a litany of examples of suspected corruption and mismanagement of PetroCaribe, a development programme sponsored by Venezuela.
The Bishops’ Conference of Haiti (CEH) reacted to this new case of mismanagement: “We have read with caution and dismay the two reports issued by the Supreme Audit Office (CSC/CA) on the management of projects financed by the PetroCaribe funds,” reads the note of the Bishops sent to Agenzia Fides, the news agency.
“These project a clear and overwhelming light on the bewildering magnitude and gravity of the evil of corruption in its various political and operational mechanisms. The generalised corruption becomes an endemic evil, a degrading fact, an organised robbery. It has become a real social scourge that afflicts our institutions and therefore seriously undermines, both from an ethical and economic point of view, the development of our country.”
The protesters are demanding further investigation into the fate of funds from subsidised Venezuelan oil shipments under the PetroCaribe programme.
The Haitian bishops deplore that “our country is systematically impoverished by the bewildering greed of certain unconscious leaders who do not take into account the difficult situation of people in difficulty. Such leaders do not help the progress or development of the country. The Haitian population is suffering the […] harmful consequences of these acts […] because of the political instability that is raging in Haiti.”
The bishops’ text highlights that “the time has come for change, a real radical change … We ask the people to distinguish those who are really looking for their good. In order for things to change, new men and women are needed at all levels of power and public offices. This is why our intervention intends to put the political protagonists in front of their responsibilities”.
The note bears the signatures of Bishop Launay Saturné of Jacmel, President of CEH and of all the bishops of CEH. —Agenzia Fides