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Cablegate: Alba Aftermath: Haiti Shrugged

VZCZCXRO7593
PP RUEHQU
DE RUEHPU #0829/01 1241951
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041951Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6009
INFO RUEHZH/HAITI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 1524
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 1345
RUEHQU/AMCONSUL QUEBEC PRIORITY 0800
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1213

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PORT AU PRINCE 000829

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (PARA 8, TEXT)

SIPDIS

NSC FOR FISK
STATE FOR WHA/CAR
DRL
S/CRS
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR LAC/CAR
INR/IAA
TREASURY FOR JEFFREY LEVINE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SNAR KCRM HA VE
SUBJECT: ALBA AFTERMATH: HAITI SHRUGGED

REF: A. CARACAS 844

B. PORT AU PRINCE 773
C. PORT AU PRINCE 781
D. PORT AU PRINCE 819

PORT AU PR 00000829 001.4 OF 002


1. This message is sensitive but unclassified -- please
protect accordingly.

2. (SBU) Summary: Media coverage and popular reaction to
President Preval's return from the ALBA summit in Caracas
(ref A) unsurprisingly focused almost entirely on the details
of the agreement between Preval and President Chavez and what
prospects are that Chavez might actually deliver. Of most
immediate interest are Chavez' promises to provide a combined
total of 160 megawatts of electricity (Preval focuses on the
60 megawatts he will save by using low-energy light bulbs) in
Haiti and 100 percent of Haiti's energy (read gasoline)
needs, though most media observers note that promises made by
Venezuela to Haiti under the PetroCaribe accord, signed one
year ago, have gone unmet. Haitians appear to attach no
significance to the context in which Preval elicits these
commitments -- Preval parading with Chavez' rogues gallery of
ALBA leaders -- and evince virtually Q interest in Chavez'
regional agenda. End Summary.

And a Set of Kitchen Knives
----------

4. (U) President Preval on April 29 announced the following
results to the press on his return to Haiti from Venezuela.
The Cubans will replace two million light bulbs throughout
Port-au-Prince with low-energy bulbs. The initiative will
cost USD four million, but save the country 60 megawatts of
electricity, which costs the country USD 70 million annually.
Venezuela promised to repair the power plant in Carrefour,
generating an additional 40 megawatts of electricity.
Additionally, Venezuela will by December of this year build
new power plants across the country to add 30 megawatts to
Port-au-Prince's electrical grid and 15 additional megawatts
each for Gonaives and Cap-Haitian, all of which will use
heavy Venezuelan fuel oil, a more efficient and
less-expensive alternative to diesel. Chavez also promised
supply 100 percent of Haiti's energy needs and improved the
purchase terms. During his visit here last March, he doubled
the Petrocaribe agreement allotment from 7,000 barrels per
day (b/d) to 14,000 b/d (ref B). As Preval explained to the
Ambassador in ref D, Chavez agreed to give Haiti a loan on 50
percent of all fuel that it purchases through the Petrocaribe
agreement. Additionally, Chavez promised to build a
petrochemical complex, a natural gas plant, and an oil
refinery to refine the crude sent from Venezuela.

5. (U) Two Hundred Eight Five Haitian doctors returning from
their studies in Cuba will work to provide basic medical care
countrywide. Cuba will construct two basic health care
centers in each of Haiti's 133 communes and one advanced
diagnostic center in each of Haiti's ten departments. Preval
announced that the equipment and materials for the centers
are already available in Cuba. Cuba and Venezuela will help
Haiti resolve illiteracy with USD 20 million per year for
three years. The three governments will also open an ''ALBA
office'' in Port-au-Prince in the near future. (Note: During
the discussions surrounding Chavez's visit to Port-au-Prince
in March, Preval had referred to
''a tri-lateral cooperation office.'' End Note.)

8. (SBU) Comment: The Haitian media coverage virtually
ignored the ALBA summit's pomp and circumstance, Chavez'
grandiose declarations, and Preval's own address. (Preval
managed to be both brief and rambling, but did make a point
of twice noting that Haiti was not a member of ALBA.) Though
the extravagant promises and commitments that Preval
announced on his return made for splashy headlines and news
reports, most Haitians (including Preval himself) are already
wary and skeptical of Chavez. They remember that Chavez
promised them great things when Preval signed the PetroCaribe

PORT AU PR 00000829 002.4 OF 002


agreement one year ago and are well aware that there is less
electricity throughout the country and that gas prices have
risen since then.
SANDERSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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