Temir Porras, Venezuelan Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, sustained a meeting with Haitian officials this Friday in the country’s capital Port-au-Prince in order to "strengthen support and cooperation between the two peoples” of Haiti and Venezuela.
"We have a bi-national fund and we would like to take it where Haitians need it most: and that is housing, agricultural production and re-launching tourism," Porras said.
This Friday’s meeting was part of a cooperation plan to aid development in Haiti, which was severely hit by an earthquake in January 2010. It was also the first to take place since the 11th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), where the project was agreed earlier last month.
The Venezuelan Vice-minister explained that Caracas wants to help president Martelly's government "to make basic education universal and to boost health policies." He also pointed out that the Venezuelan government will provide both financial help and technical assistance to the Haitian government in these two fundamental areas.
"Venezuela contributes to Haiti through its main strength: energy, oil, fuel."
In the last ALBA Summit it was agreed to keep supplying Haiti’s three main power plants, built by the Venezuelan government in the wake of the earthquake, with necessary fuel, and to keep providing the country with oil under preferential terms through the regional organisation, Petrocaribe.
Lamothe expressed his gratitude on behalf of Haiti for the all of the international support that the country had received in the last two years. Nevertheless, he pointed out that "it is necessary to keep moving forward towards the reconstruction of the country, not just from a perspective of humanitarian aid, but also with a focus on long-term projects which will contribute to overcoming the current situation."
The Haiti Foreign Affairs Minister underscored that the government’s goal is to transform his homeland into a developing country by 2030 with projects that "increase the life quality of the population and make the economy to grow."
"Ministers of every sector involved in this development plan and their relevant work teams will be present here today to work directly with the members of the Venezuelan delegation and to explain to them in person what they plan to do with their contribution," said Lamothe prior to the meeting.
The official visit comes as thousands of Haitians took to the streets of Port-au-Prince last week, claiming that the national government had not done enough to alleviate their situation since the earthquake hit over two years ago. They also demanded an end to the United Nation’s MINUSTAH operation on the island.
According to reports of the meetings released by the Venezuelan government yesterday, both countries had agreed to create a “mixed society” to carry out and monitor the various development projects on the island.
Edited by Venezuelanalysis