Is Venezuela Giving “Bad Gas” to Haiti?

Declaration of Haiti Liberté

On May 14, 2006, Venezuelan Vice President José Vicente Rangel signed a PetroCaribe accord with newly inaugurated Haitian President René Préval. Credit: Kim Ives/Haïti Liberté

As a part of the PetroCaribe alliance, Haiti imports almost all of its gas from Venezuela. The alliance was created on Sep. 7, 2005, and, along with Venezuela, it includes 19 countries (among them the Caricom countries): Antigua and Barbuda , Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Suriname, St. Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and The Grenadines. Haiti joined the group in May 2006 after the election of President René Préval. Honduras followed in December 2007, followed by Guatemala in July 2008.

Through the largest Haitian daily newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, we have suddenly learned that the quality of the fuel sold in Haiti is bad, this according to a purportedly scientific study by some anonymous expert who has just made a great discovery, like Christopher Columbus.

What lies behind this article? It is important to try to pinpoint the precise objectives when a major Haitian importer of vehicles anonymously states that: “The state, by ordering petroleum of poor quality through PetroCaribe, and oil companies by agreeing to sell the bad quality gas as good, are carrying out a scam. We are nominally sold gasoline which is 95 octane, however it is 86 or even 84 octane which is available.”

“The gasoline’s poor quality causes serious problems to newer vehicles too,” said another car dealer anonymously. “To achieve acceptable performance, an unusual proportion of additives is added to the gasoline. With these additives in too great a proportion, the risk is that they present a public health problem. These are carcinogenic elements.” (See Le Nouvelliste, Jul. 27, 2017: “Bad gas from Venezuela … does the state contribute to defrauding motorists?”)

The tone is serious, even threatening. First of all, in an article of such importance, why are all the quotations of statements by various Haitian personalities aimed at denigrating and sabotaging the Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) anonymous? Attributed statements are the exception and are from well-known bourgeois pocket-patriot reactionaries like Reginald Boulos, Laurent Tesserot, and Carl-Frederic Behrmann, all subservient to capitalist interests.

We, of Haïti Liberté, condemn and with all our might this product manufactured without doubt in the CIA’s laboratories or their diplomatic storefronts.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Why is it, then, that poor Haiti is the one and only unfortunate victim of this “poor quality” gas when all the other countries in the PetroCaribe alliance had never had to complain about it? Is this not a way of sabotaging the concrete and active solidarity between Venezuela and Haiti, the by-product of Venezuela’s historical and moral debt to Haiti as articulated and championed during the progressive era of Chavez and now Maduro? Is this “discovery” without convincing proofs, which reeks of propaganda, the product of the imagination of a class of gravediggers in the service of imperialism?

This ploy will not succeed since Venezuela is proud of Haiti: “Our republican history began to be written in Haiti, which has become a beacon of liberty for all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was in Haiti that the Liberator Simon Bolivar found support, and support in the most difficult moments, for the Great Nation’s emancipation,” declared President Maduro on Jan. 1, 2017.

We have to consider the “timing” of this “discovery”. Why start complaining so loudly now about the poor quality of Venezuelan gas, a decade after it started shipping to Haiti? And, what is worse, the article of Le Nouvelliste comes at the very moment when the Venezuelan government is beset by violent, and even terrorist, attacks aimed at changing the regime. Why this coincidence?

Faced with this conspiracy to overthrow and destabilize Latin America’s progressive and revolutionary regimes, the Haitian people must maintain the internationalist line of our ancestors Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Alexandre Pétion…

“Venezuela does not want to sell anything other than the [poor quality] gas to Haiti,” said another anonymous source “close to an oil company,” according to Le Nouvelliste. What a joke! Isn’t this some kind of game by shameless agents of imperialism who, despite their pressure, have not succeeded in convincing the current Haitian regime to align itself with their positions? For lack of arguments and proper weapons, they use improper weapons like lying in order to manipulate Haitian public opinion against the on-going Bolivarian Revolution. Such outrageously underhanded tactics are the Empire’s strength and are used by its legions of agents who recycle lies in certain media both inside and outside the country.

It does not befit Haitian dignity when mercenaries and lackeys, posing as journalists, allow themselves to be bought by the dark forces to say and do anything, just like death squad leader Emmanuel “Toto” Constant and “rebel” leader Guy Philippe did, and they are both now in the jails of their boss.

The director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Michael Pompeo, has just publicly revealed that “America has a deep interest in making sure that [Venezuela] is stable and as democratic as possible” and “we’re working hard to do that.” He said that he personally met with officials in Colombia and Mexico “trying to help them understand the things that they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world, and our part of the world” because “we are hopeful there can be a transition in Venezuela.”

Thus, through this article of Le Nouvelliste, we see a real internationalization of the destabilizing propaganda and violence against Venezuela by a specific sector. It reflects that international imperialism and its agents everywhere are focussed on the case of Venezuela, in order to crush the Bolivarian Revolution whose principal sin is to not accept that the Venezuelan people’s fate should be in the hands of corrupt multinationals. Imperialism refuses to allow people choose their own leaders. This is why it seeks to stop the Bolivarian Revolution’s irreversible march.

Faced with this conspiracy to overthrow and destabilize Latin America’s progressive and revolutionary regimes, the Haitian people must maintain the internationalist line of our ancestors Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Alexandre Pétion against the capitalist system which, through colonialism, only oppresses and exploits other countries’ resources. Faced with these threats, militant Latin America must form a united front, without which it risks being colonized again by the imperialist powers.

May the victory of the Venezuelan people be realized through its true and legitimate leader Nicolas Maduro!

Long live the revolutionary people of Venezuela!

Down with the propagandists of imperialism!


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