Hopes of reaching a consensus to move the country out of its dismal state were dashed when the
stakeholders needed help finding common ground after five days of talks moderated by the Caricom
advisory group. The Caricom envoys struggled to move discussions among the political stakeholders
closer to an agreement to resolve the country’s crisis. However, there was no movement on the part of
the parties. All were recalcitrant in their stance, with opposition parties maintaining their requirement
for the interim prime minister to resign before any talks or engagement. In contrast, the prime
minister’s allies stood in opposition.
When they arrived in the country on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, the envoys had numerous
meetings with political actors and civil society, and what at first were rumors of a breakthrough were
later confirmed as a rumor. According to Liné Balthazar, president of the Parti haïtien Tèt kale (PHTK),
who condemned the purported progress in the discussions as a rumor, argues that his party and the
Collectif du 30 Janvier are not in negotiations with the government because there’s no visible sign of
the Prime Minister’s willingness to seriously negotiate an exit from the crisis despite the expiration of
the December 21—2022 agreement.
Emmanuel Ménard, leader of the la Force Louverturienne Réformiste and a signatory of the joint
Kingston declaration, stated that formal political negotiations have not started with the current
government because facilitators have been engaging several actors `and the documents in circulation
are only proposals concocted by various sectors. Mr. Menard’s group advocated for a negotiated
solution to restore executive power to address the security problem as a priority and to create necessary
conditions for holding general elections, among other things. With the constitutional order broken due
to the absence of republican institutions, a national agreement is required to pull the country out of this
crisis that is destroying the economy and condemning the population to flee the country. Furthermore,
it is a crisis that threatens the political and security stability of the subcontinent as Haiti has become a
fertile ground for illicit trafficking and terrorism at the service of extremist ideologies.
Meanwhile, the unprecedented support for canal construction on the Massacre River in Ouanaminthe
has inspired others in other parts of the country to consider building their respective canals. This is the
case of the Bois Landry community in Bourry, the first communal section in Torbeck, where some
thirty members of the community, who are primarily farmers, have come together to join forces to build
and rehabilitate approximately 3.4 km of irrigation channels to supply water to the vast plains of
Grassette and “Ti Ginen,” where farmers struggle to till the arable lands, because of lack of water.
According to Jean Emilson Joseph, an agronomist and communications manager of the seven-member
group undertaking the project, members of the collective are farmers and community members. They
only want to channel water to the plains. And like those in Ouanaminthe, the farmers plan to seek
nationwide support at home and from the Diaspora to build the canal and obtain the tools and
protective gear needed to continue the construction. They are beginning the construction with the first
1.34km of the canal and then connecting it to another 2.5km to ensure that water is available for the
Elsewhere, customs officials are lauding their efforts at getting the private sector to commit to fulfilling
their tax and customs obligations and introducing transparency in the agency. With the new
administration of the agency, statistics on the agency’s operations are readily available. One can easily
track and compare import tonnage and the amount of revenue collected. According to the statistics, the
agency collected nearly 9 billion gourdes in October 2023 compared to the millions collected in 2022.
Of this amount, one billion gourdes come from revenue on petroleum products, without a single gourde
coming from the border with the Dominican Republic. It’s worth recalling that last year, October was a
challenging month, marked by the aftermath of a peyi lòk and the blockade of oil terminals. Imports

were at their lowest a year ago, with nearly 74 million kg of goods leaving customs in October 2022
compared to 173 million kg in October 2023. One way to appreciate the agency’s achievement is to
compare the performance between October 2020 and this past October. In October 2020, the tonnage of
imported goods was nearly 808 million kilograms, while revenues did not reach 4 billion gourdes.
Some may attribute this year’s record to the exchange rate of 132.85 gourdes to the US dollar this
month compared to 63 in October 2020. In 2023, revenues in dollars amount to approximately
US$60m, compared to around US$63m in 2020. The record is not at the level of the value perceived in
dollars in 2023. However, it’s about the tonnage of goods: 173 million kilograms in 2023 compared to
808 million kilograms of imported goods in October 2020. More than four times fewer goods were
imported between these two periods. The revenue difference results from new customs valuation
calculation methods, bringing more revenue to the state coffers. For this new fiscal year, the General
Customs Administration’s team intends to enhance the working conditions of customs officers and
optimize the customs valuation system for imported goods to be more efficient in its various missions
and more effective in revenue collection. At the same time, many large and small traders continue to
complain about the excesses and abuses suffered in customs and the limited available remedies.
Finally, an earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale was felt in the communes of Petit-Goâve and
Grand-Goâve around 5 am this Tuesday, with an aftershock felt around 6:11 am, according to the
Director of the Bureau of Mines and Energy, Geologist Claude Prepetit. The earthquake’s epicenter was
located at a depth of 9 km at sea level between Miragoâne and Petit-Goâve. Though the geologist could
not provide any details related to possible damage caused by these seismic vibrations, the earthquake
caused great panic among the populations in the affected areas. Some of the residents hastily left their
homes to seek shelter elsewhere, afraid of the possible collapse of their homes. Schools and
government establishments were affected as these establishments were constructed with concrete, and
the fear of destruction caused a halt in activities in these structures.
Dela Harlley

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