Haitian opposition continues anti-government demonstrations in Port-au-Prince

Haitian opposition continues anti-government demonstrations in Port-au-Prince

Today, thousands of protesters from opposition parties will gather in Port-au-Prince to demonstrate against President Jovenel Moise. President Moise and

Protesters march to demand an investigation into what they say is the alleged misuse of Venezuela-sponsored PetroCaribe funds, in Port-au-Prince

Photo: Reuters/Andres Martinez Casares

Today, thousands of protesters from opposition parties will gather in Port-au-Prince to demonstrate against President Jovenel Moise.

President Moise and other high-ranking Haitian officials were implicated in the PetroCaribe scandal, which alleges the mismanagement of development aid from 2005 to 2016. These Venezuela-sponsored funds came from oil wealth, with the intention of bolstering social programs.

Haiti has a long history of corruption, and the opposition is demanding that the government provide more transparency in the political process. Violent nationwide protests in late November drew thousands to the streets; ten demonstrators were killed amid street barricades, fires, gunfire and faceoffs between protesters and counter-protesters.

Opposition protests continued earlier this month on December 9 and 10, and today’s rallies will likely draw even larger numbers. After last month’s protests, today’s demonstrations could again turn violent, particularly in Port-au-Prince.

However, the government has not caved to protesters’ demands before, and, regardless, underlying economic issues remain. If President Moise expanded social programs he could quell some discontent, but this would be difficult in the cash-strapped country. However, despite continued protests, Mr Moise will likely maintain his leadership over Haitian politics.

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