Haiti is running low on fuel again as sweet deal with fuel supplier turns sour

Miami Herald, by Jacqueline Charles, Novermbr 13, 2020

Another sweet deal has gone sour in Haiti.

This time it involves a price dispute between the Haitian government and its latest supplier of fuel, Preble-Rish, the politically connected firm that was linked last year to a group of armed American mercenaries who were arrested in Haiti and then later flown to the United States with the help of the State Department.

Now after doing millions of dollars in business with the Haitian government, the company is lashing out amid a contract dispute over price involving recent fuel deliveries. It is not only pushing back on recent comments made by President Jovenel Moïse during a media blitz this week on Haitian Radio in which he was asked about the soured relations, but the firm says it’s currently in legal proceedings in the U.S. against the government and threatens to sue anyone the government taps to replace its fuel-supplying obligations.

The latest standoff between Moïse’s government and another private investor in Haiti comes while Haitians face not just a scarcity of U.S. dollars on the market but another round of fuel shortages and power blackouts.

At most, say industry insiders, there are just four days of diesel left in the country, which heavily relies on the fuel to keep generators running in hospitals, businesses and private homes.

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