Haiti announces fuel price increases to help public finances- Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

May 15, 2017
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP) — Haiti’s government announced on Sunday fuel price increases of up to 20 per cent in an effort to shore up the country’s disastrous public finances.People in this destitute Caribbean nation rushed to gas stations to top off their tanks before the price rises take effect on Monday.

The government had been negotiating with transport unions for more than a week so Haitians knew an increase was in the works.

Haiti exports only about a billion dollars worth of goods each year and imports more than three times that.

With that kind of deficit and meager tax revenues, the government cannot even keep up with interest payments on debt it has with Venezuela, for instance.

For the past 12 years, Haiti has benefited from a program instituted by the late Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chavez under which Caracas provided some countries of Latin America and the Caribbean with petroleum products at cut rate prices, with the bills payable over 25 years at an interest rate of one per cent.

Since 2008, Haiti has in effect received two billion dollars in loans from Venezuela.

But it has failed to invest that money in economic development policies — the idea behind the Chavez plan — that would raise living standards and put the government in a position to pay back the debt.

Previous Haitian governments have shied from keeping fuel prices in sync with world market prices, fearing inflation that would anger the population.

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COMMENT: HAITIAN-TRUTH.ORG

President Moise is faced with a financial melt-down, created by previous governments.

Funds from Petrocaribe were handled with reckless abandon, with little consideration of how future generations would repay the gigantic loans. They didn’t care because their governments would be long-gone before the piper was to be paid.

The illegal Privert government used its time in control the plunder Haiti’s treasury.

Now President Moise faces the financial realities, but no one wants to pay the price.

Increased gasoline prices are one of the solutions.
However, this will create huge political problems for the Jovenel Moise government.

We wish Jovenel the best in his effort to save the Nation. He needs all the help he can get.

Collins

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