Haiti’s Martelly, Lamothe Lead Delegation to PetroCaribe Summit in Nicaragua

Above: Haiti President Michel Martelly and PM Laurent Lamothe departing for Managua

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe are leading a delegation to attend the Eighth PetroCaribe Summit in Nicaragua this weekend.

In a statement, Lamothe, who arrives Friday, said the meeting would give an opportunity for the government to decide on a Venezuelan proposal, which aims to extend the PetroCaribe agreement into a PetroCaribe economic zone.

The PetroCaribe programme is a concessional oil programme that has a development funding arm. It is the largest source of foreign investment in Haiti at the moment.

The PetroCaribe economic zone was first broached by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at the most recent PetroCaribe summit in Venezuela last month.

Lamothe said Haiti “has nothing to fear” from a possible strengthening of the agreement.

The Haitian delegation includes seven government officials, including presidential advisor Gregory Mayard Paul, EDH director general Andress Appolon and Minister Delegate for Human Rights Rose Anne Auguste.

Finance Minister Wilson Laleau is serving as Prime Minister during Lamothe’s absence.

Maduro himself visited Haiti earlier this week, the first official visit to Haiti by a Venezuelan Head of State since Hugo Chavez in 2007.