Hugo Chavez and the difference he made in Haiti

Hugo Chavez, late President of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, will remain the most iconic figure of 21st century on the World Political Map. The entire population of Haiti will remain indebted to what Hugo Chavez did for Haitian people and Latin America as a whole. There is no denying of the fact that Chavez deeply loved Haiti and its people.

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It was on March 12, 2007 when Chavez visited the then Haitian President René Préval at National Palace of Haiti (that was shattered by the 2010 earthquake) and declared enormous economic aids that were intended for directly aiding the poverty-struck Haitian people as well as sustainable growth of Haiti. These announcements were a part of the PetroCaribe deal signed between Haiti and Venezuela in 2006.

The announcements of 2007 by Hugo Chavez included the following aid programs for Haitian people and economy:

• Building of power stations.
• Expansion of the electricity networks.
• Supply of garbage trucks.
• Supporting the Cuban teams of medical experts deployed widely in Haiti.
• Improving airports throughout the country.
• 14,000 barrels of oil supply to Haiti every day at heavily discounted prices.

The oil supply aid was in particular looked upon as a 'godsend' because the country of Haiti was plagued by extreme power shortages and blackout for several decades. According to the announcements made and the PetroCaribe deal, Haiti was required to pay only 60% of the total oil supply while the remaining 40% could be repaid in installments amortized over 25 years period at a rate of interest as low as 1%.

Hugo Chavez often spoke of PetroCaribe and his follow-up aid announcements as the repayment of the debt the Venezuela owed to Haiti. The debt he spoke of was the support provided by revolutionaries of Haiti to Venezuela in form of printing presses, ships and guns to fight the colonial tyranny during the 19th century.

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Read more: Cuba, Cuban Medical Brigade, Debt, Venezuela, Oil, Hugo Chavez, PetroCaribe, International

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