Deeper Reasons Behind Haiti’s Protest

The protest happening in Haiti has made international news all year. My initial observation was that fuel and food shortages, the economic crises, and the demand for President Jovenel Moise’s resignation were the root causes of civilian anger. But further research has unpacked a few more things. The following information comes from Aljazeera.com, by way of Political Economist Keston K. Perry.

Petrocaribe 

  • Haiti joined this Venezuelan solidarity program in 2006, allowing the country to purchase 60,000 barrels of oil at a discounted price.
  • The goal was to free up resources for economic development in infrastructure and agriculture, but billions of dollars of profit disappeared due to corruption.
  • Oil shipments had to stop due to a growing debt to Venezuela, and energy subsidies were removed.

Subsidies

  • The cut-off of oil supplies through Petrocaribe forced the Haitian government to get fuel from US-based energy supplier Novum Energy Corp, owing $130 million to fuel suppliers.
  • This hurt the countries’ population, with its citizens having to pay a high price for abiding by international demands.
  • Keep in mind, over 6 million impoverished Haitians live on $2.41 a day.

Neocolonialism

  • Perry advised that Haiti’s crisis is also the product of Colonialism, Neoliberalism, and an unjust approach to climate change. He states the following:

The environmental degradation, which is exacerbated with each drought and hurricane season, goes back to French colonial rule over Haiti when land and forests were abused, rendering large swathes of the country barren and infertile.

After Haiti managed to liberate itself from French colonial rule in the early 19th century, it fell within the growing US sphere of influence and has been unable to set itself free ever since. The US not only occupied the country for nearly two decades and repeatedly interfered in its affairs, but today it is also supporting a highly unpopular president whose resignation protesters continue to demand.

The United States and Canada have exploited an estimated $20bn of mineral deposits from Haiti. This is new but not surprising news to me, considering the fact that there’s an overlap with our countries’ wealth and global corruption.

Please check out the full article by clicking here. If you have any additional information, feel free to comment below.

Until Next Time…

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