Former Haitian president Michel Martelly says he remains supportive of any effort to ensure accountability within the Venezuela-led PetroCaribe initiative even as he acknowledged that he had previously made a joke about the situation. “I reiterate my confidence in state institutions to conduct fair and impartial investigations in order to preserve the principle of the presumption of innocence and to establish the guilt of any institutions or individuals who deserve it if is the case,” Martelly said.
PetroCaribe is an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. The alliance was launched on 29 June 2005 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. In 2013 PetroCaribe agreed to link with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), to go beyond oil and promote economic cooperation.
The former president reacting to debates in the media and social networks regarding allegations that funds were ‘stolen’ from PetroCaribe, acknowledged that he had jokingly said that he had invested funds from the PetroCaribe in the El Rancho Hotel.
“It is no secret to anyone …that during my services, I often liked to use humor and even self-mockery, to demystify certain news and entertain my audience.
“I note the turmoil and the comments aroused by a statement that, the artist that I am, made several months ago concerning certain investments, Best Western, Marriott, NH El Rancho among others.,’ said Martelly, who left office in February 2016.
On Wednesday, President Jovenel Moïse confirmed that he held talks with members of the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Disputes (CSC/CA) and gave a commitment to make available all the resources necessary for carrying out the audit work on the use of PetroCaribe funds.
He said that of 27 million Gourdes requested by the CSC/CA for the audit work on the use of PetroCaribe funds, 10 million Gourdes have already been released.
Moise said that the balance will be disbursed from October in next year’s budget.”