The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Monday said it is “deeply concerned” over the protracted political crisis in Haiti where opposition parties have been staging street demonstrations calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise.
The Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said it is still awaiting a response from the French-speaking CARICOM member country for a prime ministerial delegation to visit.
CARICOM Chairman and St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and the CARICOM Secretariat had confirmed the decision for a team to visit Haiti.
The decision to send a delegation comprising, Chastanet, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and the Bahamas Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis had been taken at the CARICOM Summit held in St Lucia in July this year.
The opposition parties in Haiti have accused Moise of embezzlement but the head of state has defended himself against the report of the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation (CSA/CA) into programmes and projects funded by the PetroCaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.
The report had found that significant shortcomings have been associated with the planning and implementation of development programmes and projects funded by the PetroCaribe Fund.
However, the plans to visit Haiti have been placed on hold as the situation worsened.
“I know that the situation is getting worse there. I know that we were due to first send a technical team to go there, but unfortunately, with the current crisis, that visit by the technical team has been postponed,” Chastanet told the Gleaner news-paper in Jamaica last week.
The CARICOM Secretariat said that it had taken note of the series of demonstrations throughout the country, calling for President Moise to step down, as well as the outbreaks of looting, vandalism, and violence which have led to casualties.
On several occasions, the demonstrations have paralysed the country for days.
The crisis has led to a deteriorating social, economic and humanitarian situation.