Silence of Haitian monetary authorities amid economic panic, alarming
Haitian monetary authorities are remaining mum as the devaluation of the gourde has helped contribute to an economic crisis within the country. The devaluation is connected to neo-liberal policies promoted by U.S. democratic institutions.
Platform Advocating for Alternative Development in Haiti (PAPDA) Director, Camille Chalmers says the neo-liberal economic development model is a two-edged sword. The upside is it increases Haiti's competitiveness in the global marketplace. The downside is it lessens the purchasing power of Haitian workers, paid in gourdes.
Adding to the crisis, according to Chalmers, are impending fall elections for state and local offices and the presidency. Rumors have been circulating elections won't be held, leading to more government instability. As a result of such predicted developments, people are uncertain, closing their accounts at Haitian banks and sending their money overseas. Chalmers warns, "These issues could cause a social explosion of unrest" He is referring to the 2008 food shortage violent demonstrations.
Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH) has kept quiet about the loss of capital from its reserves. Chalmers wonders if BRH will make a public comment on it. He is sounding the alarm saying, "Monetary authorities need to speak on this grave matter . . . to the population and tell them what measures they will take . . ."
Camille Chalmers is a Professor of Economics at the State University of Haiti, as well as a grassroots organizer in partnership with the Peasants of Haiti.
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