Haiti: Venezuela cancels Petrocaribe debt

Venezuela foreign minister Nicolas Maduro said on June 2 that Venezuela’s announced cancelling of Haiti's debt of US$395 million with Petrocaribe was now official.

Petrocaribe is a program under which the Venezuelan government offers discounted oil, to be paid back over long-term low-interest loans, to Caribbean and Central American nations.

Maduro made the announcement after the World Summit on the Future of Haiti. The summit was held in the Dominican Republic with the participation of representatives from 50 countries.

Maduro said $198 million of cancelled debt was “available to be invested in health and education projects”.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez first announced plans to cancel the debt at an emergency meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) held in January to discuss the reconstruction of Haiti.