Chavez Offers Limitless Fuel To Haiti

President Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuela would provide Haiti with all the gasoline and diesel that it needs.

[Global: Americas]

In response to severe gasoline shortages that have plagued Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck the island nation on January 12, President Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuela would provide Haiti with all the gasoline and diesel that it needs.

He made the announcement on his weekly talk show, Alo Presidente, on Sunday, January 17.

A shipment of 225,000 barrels of gasoline and diesel from PDVSA, Venezuela’s state owned oil company, will be received on Thursday by the Refineria Dominicana de Petroleo, S.A. (Refidomsa) refinery in the Dominican Republic for use in Haiti. The shipment will include gasoline and other oil products for the generation of electricity and for vehicles, including airplanes.

Prior to the earthquake, Haiti consumed 11,000 barrels of oil products per day.

Since the earthquake struck, Haiti has suffered gas shortages that have hampered search-and-rescue operations, the delivery of aid and basic reconstruction efforts.

On January 13 Venezuela sent a C-130 transport plane to Port-au-Prince with supplies, tools, food, doctors and a specialized humanitarian team. A second flight carried needed medicines, sanitation equipment, water and a variety of food products. Since the earthquake struck, Venezuela has sent over 5,000 metric tons of foodstuffs for use in Haiti.

A sixth shipment of humanitarian assistance took place on Monday, January 18, with two cargo ships bearing 125 soldiers and humanitarian workers, 616 tons of foodstuffs and 116 tons of machinery for reconstruction.

On Monday two additional shipments from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA, in Spanish) left the coastal state of Carabobo with 4,761 tons of foodstuffs.

Venezuela’s links to Haiti are historic. Venezuela’s first flag was created in 1806 by independence hero Francisco de Miranda while in Haiti.

Additionally, one of Simon Bolivar’s most important expeditions for Venezuela’s independence in 1816 was support by Haiti’s then president, Alexandre Petion, who asked in return that Bolivar free slaves held in Venezuela.

Since 2007, Haiti has been part of Venezuela’s PetroCaribe initiative, through which it has received its oil at preferential financing rates and benefited from the direct commercialization of hydrocarbon products without intermediaries.

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