Senior U.N. Official Cheering an Investigation over Misuse of PetroCaribe Funds

The Haitian government is not happy with the comment made by Susan D. Page, a special representative and head of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH). As per Haitian foreign minister, Antonio Rodrigue, in last February, Ms. Page exceeded her authority by welcoming an investigation into the alleged misuse of Venezuela-sponsored PetroCaribe funds by the previous Haitian administrations. Ms. Page reportedly made an applaud on the corruption inquiry into the alleged siphoning $2 billion oil loans from Venezuela as PetroCaribe money. These embezzlements happened between 2008 and 2016 under the administrations of former presidents Rene Preval and Michel Martelly. According to minister Rodrigue, Ms. Page's attitude is harmful to the political and institutional stability acquired during the past few years.

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Recently, the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) issued a press release welcoming "the assignment of investigating judge (Paul Pierre) to pursue the PetroCaribe court cases filed by about 20 private citizens." It also stated that Haiti is ranked near the bottom of Transparency International's corruption report. Earlier in November 2017, a Senate commission released a 650-page report on PetroCaribe-related corruption. The report suggested involvement of top officials from previous administrations in inflating government contracts, funneling money to non-existent companies, no-bid contracts for projects that were never finished, and a host of other financial crimes. Even current president Jovenel Moïse was named, allegedly overbilling the government on a $100,000 contract to install solar lamps back in 2013 when he was a relatively unknown businessman.
Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who is from the same political party as Martelly, has faced criticism for not pursuing corruption as actively as he had vowed to.

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Read more: corruption, PetroCaribe, Government, Health, Disaster

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