The Haitian government has issued a presidential decree replacing the head of an agency that oversees a new industrial park that the U.S. invested in heavily after the Caribbean nation’s 2010 earthquake.
The office of President Michel Martelly announced Tuesday that he had issued a decree naming business owner Bernard Schettini the new director general of the government’s National Society of Industrial Parks, which oversees the Caracol park in northern Haiti.
It did not say why it replaced former director Georges Sassine, a textile factory owner.
A U.S. State Department spokesman declined to comment on the change of directors. Schettini and Sassine also declined to comment
The U.S. government has invested more than $124 million in the $300-million Caracol park. The project was in the works before the earthquake, and became a top priority for the Obama administration after the disaster that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced another 1 million.
The agency’s general director is charged with overseeing daily operations of the country’s industrial parks and serves as secretary on a board of administration that also includes Haiti’s ministers of finance and commerce and its Central Bank governor.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton hosted an elaborate inauguration for the Caracol project in October. Those attending included American actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller, British business magnate Richard Branson and fashion designer Donna Karan.
Backers say the project will transform the northern part of impoverished Haiti by creating about 65,000 jobs in the region. South Korean apparel giant Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd is the park’s anchor tenant and enjoys duty-free status.
The Martelly/Lamothe has got to stop changing their team more often than most people change their socks.
The world is looking for stability and there can be no stability if
the turn-over prevents anyone from getting a handle on things.
There are rumors of another Cabinet change and this would be – with a
couple of exceptions – a big mistake.