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February 17, 2019 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Since Feb 6, 2019, massive protests have paralyzed Haiti.

At issue: corruption. Specifically the PetroCaribe scandal. Under this program, begun by Chavez under former president René Préval, Haiti has received approximately $4.6 billion dollars of aid from Venezuela, but with very little to show for it. A January report from the Superior Court of Auditors suggested that nearly $2 billion of the funds had been diverted.

The recents protests were launched in August by a Haitian in Montreal asking on Twitter "Kot kòb petwo karibe a?", or where is the PetroCaribe money? The movement has been gaining momentum (NYT) since then.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of current president Jovenel Moise, whose election in 2016 was marred by massive protests regarding irregularities, and whose legitimacy is in question, the election having been widely contested and having a lower than 20% participation rate. (Previously).
posted by molecicco (7 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Pulling for you, people of Haiti. Lord knows you sure could use a break.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:23 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]

Jake Johnston,author of the NYT link, is a great source for on the ground info from Haiti (@JakobJohnston).
posted by molecicco at 10:11 PM on February 17

Haitian police arrest five Americans who claimed they were on a ‘government mission’.
posted by adamvasco at 2:15 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]

Wild. At first I thought it's not so strange to see a bunch of heavily armed foreign nationals. All wealthy people in Haiti hire professional protection services, often foreigners. But this no plates, "we're on a government mission" business... And then, that people connected to the Moise administration are trying to get them released. Wow.
posted by molecicco at 10:37 AM on February 19

Let us drift back to not so long ago when we heard about some other Americans in Haiti saying they were kinda sorta on a mission from the (a) government.

This is why I think Trump's child-separation border policy is built especially for these evangelical child-stealers. Remember this when you hear about how many of the kids are now in Michigan or some other location across the country from where they were apprehended, and, predictably, from where their parents are detained.
posted by rhizome at 12:42 PM on February 19

"In 2015 and 2016, backed by the international community, political and economic actors made a Faustian bargain in the name of “stability.” They decided to allow fraudulent and violence-plagued legislative elections to stand, and rerun them at the presidential level."
I recall the US embassy's statement during the last election to be along the lines of "we ask the Haitian people to allow the democratic process to complete". There was basically no acknowledgement of the widespread and demonstrable irregularities that people were protesting. It sounded an awful lot like "yes it's bullshit but please stop complaining, we're making this happen and you can't stop us".
posted by molecicco at 5:56 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]

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