ALBA Assistance to People of Haiti

Chavez Writes Off Haiti’s Oil Debt to Venezuela

CARACAS – President Hugo Chavez announced Monday that he would write off the undisclosed sum Haiti owes Venezuela for oil as part of the ALBA bloc’s plans to help the impoverished Caribbean nation after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.

“Haiti has no debt with Venezuela, just the opposite: Venezuela has a historical debt with that nation, with that people for whom we feel not pity but rather admiration, and we share their faith, their hope,” Chavez said after the extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, or ALBA.

He also announced that ALBA has decided on a comprehensive plan that includes an immediate donation of $20 million to Haiti’s health sector, and a fund that, Chavez said, will be at least $100 million “for starters.”

Oil-rich Venezuela is the economic heart of ALBA, which also includes Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Haiti is among several countries that send observers to ALBA meetings.

Chavez said one part of ALBA assistance to Haiti would consist of fuel distribution via “mobile service stations” set to be up and running within a few weeks.

The ALBA plan of aid for Haiti includes support for such sectors as agriculture, production, food imports and distribution, and immigration amnesty for Haitians living illegally in the bloc’s member-states.

Cuba and Venezuela sent assistance and aid workers to Haiti within days of the magnitude-7.0 temblor that left an estimated 200,000 dead and 1.5 million people homeless.

The leftist Venezuelan leader also noted that there are some celebrities who want to work with ALBA, among whom he named actor Sean Penn, who, he said, called him because the members of a team of U.S. doctors now in Haiti want to “coordinate” their activities. EFE
Nine Latin American countries meet on rebuilding quake-hit Haiti
Xinhua News Agency
January 25, 2010

CARACAS: Foreign ministers of nine member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) met here on Sunday to discuss how to help rebuild Haiti, which was battered by a 7.3-magnitude quake on Jan. 12, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced.

In his nationwide televised Sunday TV/Radio Program "Hello, President," Chavez said the meeting will work out a mid- and long-term strategic plan to rebuild Haiti, including the rebuilding of hospitals, waterworks as well as projects to boost farm, food and fishing production.

According to the Hatian Interior Ministry, the death toll had surpassed 110,000 in the devastating quake, which had also injured some 200,000 people and left more than 600,000. Haitian officials estimated that the final death toll could reach 200,000.

For the time being, ALBA's work in Haiti is centered on medical assistance, but its focus will shift to other sectors like education later, Chavez said, stressing that "we have to build schools for the new generations, so that they will not lose their roots."

Chavez said Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa will travel to Haiti next week on behalf of ALBA to discuss how to carry out the plans with Haitian authorities.

Also during the "Hello, President" program, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said he believed "the plan will help rebuild an independent and sovereign Haiti."

The ALBA is made up of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Honduras, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Venezuela Sends Aid to Haiti -- You Can too.

Dear Friends,

Venezuela sent a fifty-strong advance humanitarian aid team, on Wednesday morning, after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake leveled the country's capital Port-au-Prince, Haiti late Tuesday. (See article below suggested ways to help.)

If you want to help the people of Haiti, we suggest you log on to the Canada Haiti Action Network --
*Haitian Red Cross through its international partners in the International Red Cross. Contributions are tax deductible. The Canadian Red Cross is at: You must provide a name and return mailing address in order to receive a tax-deductible receipt:

* Zanmi Lasante/ Partners in Health -- The Zanmi Lasante medical center is located in the Central Plateau of Haiti and delivers health care through a network of clinics in that region of the country. It also trains Haitians as doctors and health professionals.

* Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins sans frontiers
Go to:

*Sawatzky Family Foundation-SOPUDEP School -- The Sawatzky Family Foundation is a registered charity in Canadaand issues tax deductible receipts. Go to:

*Haiti Emergency Relief Fund -- In association with the Haiti Action Committee in San Francisco/Bay Area, this fund delivers resources directly to grassroots organizations in Haiti. Go to:
Venezuelan Humanitarian Team Arrives in Haiti after Earthquake
by Kiraz Janicke

Caracas January 13, 2009 ( sent its first aid airplane to Haiti, a Bolivarian National Armed Force's Hercules C-130, with a fifty-strong advance humanitarian aid team on board, on Wednesday morning, after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake leveled the country’s capital Port-au-Prince, late Tuesday.

The quake, which produced at least 30 aftershocks, including one of 5.9 and one of 5.5 on the Richter scale, may have affected up to 3 million people according to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Federation. The death toll is unknown, but Haiti President Rene Preval said thousands of people had died, while many thousands are injured and many Haitian's lie trapped under rubble. Haitian Prime Minister, Jean Max Bellerive estimated the death toll at more than one hundred thousand.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered the immediate deployment of the aid team on Tuesday comprised of doctors, engineers, search and rescue specialists, and civil protection officers, as well as urgently needed food, water, medical supplies, and rescue equipment. Chavez said Venezuela would send further aid and supplies.

Aid is also beginning to flow from other countries, with Latin American countries being among the first to react. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega sent a team of electricians to help with the repair of power lines as much of the country's electricity and telecommunications systems were destroyed in the quake. Cuba is sending medical supplies and doctors, while Mexico is sending a team of doctors and rescue workers.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon released $10 million from the UN's emergency relief fund to assist aid efforts and called for member countries to do likewise.

Spain has pledged $4.3 million (3 million Euros) and 150 tonnes of humanitarian aid. Franc eis also sending aid and rescue workers. Germany has pledged $2.18 million (1.5 million Euros), the Netherlands $2.9 million (2 million Euros) and Belgium, Sweden and Luxembourg are offering water purification equipment, tents, medical help, and search-and-rescue teams. The United States said it would send a team of 61 rescue workers.

Brazil, which heads the United Nations mission in Haiti has also announced its intention to assist those affected. In a statement issued Wednesday, Brazil's defence minister, Nelson Jobim, urged his country's military stationed in Haiti to "make every possible effort" to reduce the suffering of the population.

The UN mission in Haiti is comprised of 7,000 troops and 2,000 police officers, as well as 2,000 civilian employees from 17 countries.

The UN mission was established in 2004 by the UN Security Council after the kidnapping and deportation of the democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide by the United States.

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Canada, the USA, Spain, France, Italy and Jordan are among the countries contributing military or police forces to the mission.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and is still recovering from the devastating effects of a hurricane that destroyed thousands of homes killed more than 700 people in 2008. Seventy percent of Haitians lives on less than two dollars per day, and half of the country's 8.5 million people are unemployed.

The youth wing of Chavez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has set up a collection point in central Caracas, for donations of food, medicine, clothing and shoes to send to the people of Haiti.

Heryck Rangel from the PSUV youth said, "We young people want to deepen the internationalist character of the Bolivarian Revolution and highlight solidarity as a socialist value. The Venezuelans have to understand that Haiti is a country that has suffered much and now needs our urgent support."
The author of the article above, Kiraz Janicke, will be in Ontario and Montreal on a speaking tour in late February, early March. To request a speaking date for your organization or campus group, get in touch at