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The Haitian Court of Auditors on Monday pinned the calamitous management, by the various governments that have succeeded since 2008, of the PetroCaribe funds, these hundreds of millions of dollars of aid offered by Caracas. The projects launched through this program have ignored the basic principles of managing public funds, denounces the institution.

The Superior Court of Accounts ofHaiti deplores, in a new report published Monday, August 17, the fraudulent and often illegal management, by the various ministries and administrations, of hundreds of millions of dollars of aid offered by Venezuela between 2008 and 2016.

Projects initiated without a needs assessment or even an estimate of costs, repeated violations of public procurement standards: on more than 1,000 pages, judges spare no institution.

“The investment projects and contracts related to the PetroCaribe fund have not been managed in accordance with the principles of efficiency and economy”, accuses the Court of Auditors.

Six governments since 2008

Set up at the initiative of former President Hugo Chavez, this program has enabled several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to benefit from loans from Venezuela as part of a mechanism for the delivery of oil on preferential terms.

The six Haitian governments that have followed one another since 2008 have launched projects worth nearly two billion dollars, most often without worrying about the basic principles of the management of public funds, accuses the audit.

The Haitian Court of Accounts also denounces the lack of cooperation from the institutions, which prevented its investigative work. For example, the judges could not trace a single contract for the construction of an industrial park and 1,500 houses on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince: which was the most ambitious public urban development project initiated. following the 2010 earthquake stopped in 2014.

No prosecution

More than 46 million dollars were however paid to a single company, Constructora ROFI S.A., which belongs to Dominican senator Félix Bautista, sanctioned for corruption by the US Treasury in June 2018.

In their previous report on the PetroCaribe fund, the judges had pinned the current President of the Republic Jovenel Moïse, accused of having been at the heart of a “embezzlement scheme” before taking office.

Against the recommendations of the Court of Auditors and despite popular demonstrations organized since 2018, no prosecution has yet been conducted by Haitian justice against the dozens of former ministers and senior leaders involved in the PetroCaribe scandal.

With AFP

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