Klaus Eberwein, former Director General of Haiti’s FAES – an agency tasked with allocating government funds for social and economic development projects – was found fatally shot in the head on Tuesday, July 11, in a hotel in Miami, Florida. Ruled a suicide by the Miami-Dade medical examiner, the 50-year old entrepreneur and ex government official was scheduled to testify that very day before the Haitian Senate’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission as part of their investigation into misappropriated PetroCaribe funds.
The immediate reaction of the blogosphere was to pin it on the Clinton suicide machine, which has been garnering renewed attention as a result of the suspicious death of Republican political operative and financier, Peter W. Smith.
At a protest in front of Clinton Foundation headquarters in New York back in 2015, Eberwein joined other Haitian activists accusing the charitable organization of defrauding the people of Haiti and using them as a cover to funnel millions of dollars in kickbacks to foreign governments through the foundation. Eberwein is quoted as saying that the Clinton Foundation “are criminals, they are thieves, they are liars, they are a disgrace.”
Ironically, Eberwein was himself a byproduct of Clinton influence-peddling. After the chaotic post-earthquake election of 2010, the OAS (Organization of American States) sent an ‘expert’ mission to the devastated country to analyze the results and concluded that fraud had taken place, forcing a run-off election that put Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly, a neo-Duvalierist pop-musician, in power. Then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, flew to Haiti herself to install Martelly who was seen ever since as an American puppet. Klaus Eberwein was his Advisor and appointed by him to the directorship of the Social and Economic Assistance Fund (FAES).
Meanwhile, Bill Clinton was co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, charged with planning and approving millions of U.S. Government-funded recovery projects, as well as co-leader with George W. Bush in the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund that raised millions more. The Clintons, through their foundation, their high ranking position in the Obama administration and decades of carefully cultivated political alliances in Haiti made themselves the conduits for billions of dollars coming from around the world for ostensible disaster relief. Seven years later, with Haitian earthquake victims still living in tents, the question of where all that money went is still unanswered.
Maybe Klaus Eberwein knew where the bodies were buried and his silence could not be purchased. It is also possible that Eberwein was up to his elbows in corruption himself and what he knew was as likely to incriminate him, as well as whoever he decided to throw under the bus. Then again, this story doesn’t end with the Clintons and their penchant for turning up in the backstory of high profile self-immolations.
Follow the Oil
Given the current obsession in the U.S. media about supposed Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election, it’s inconceivable that no one has even bothered to mention the egregious intervention by the United States in Haiti’s 2010 election. Beyond the infamous conclusions reached by the OAS, slammed as a politically motivated in a report issued by the DC-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, the U.S. continued to challenge election results in legislative and senatorial races on the small island to force Unity, the party of Aristide, from government.
The reason for the aggressive push against the legitimate government of the Caribbean nation was revealed in a series of cables published by WikiLeaks that show the U.S.’ growing frustration with Aristide’s successor, René Préval, who was committing the cardinal sin of courting Cuba and Venezuela. Chavez had already laid the groundwork with the previous administration for an oil-for-food-type program between Venezuela and Haiti called PetroCaribe, but it was not until Préval took power in May of 2006 that the agreement was signed. The pact would allow Haiti to obtain the vital resource at a very low interest rate, delayed payment plans, which could include payment in goods. The Haitian government would then resell the oil to finance much-needed government spending projects. A fantastic deal for a developing country like Haiti.
In August of that same year, the treaty was officially ratified by the Haitian parliament and the international oil companies blew a gasket. With the U.S. Embassy firmly behind them, Exxon and Chevron – two of four oil companies operating in Haiti - engaged in sabotage refusing to purchase any of the PetroCaribe oil. Total, the French oil giant was ambivalent. Only Dinasa, the local oil company pledged cooperation with the PetroCaribe plan.
A Wolf at Haiti’s Door
The following year, 2007, Hugo Chavez arrived in Haiti and received a national hero’s welcome. Among the items on his agenda was the announcement of a trilateral collaboration agreement between Haiti, Cuba and Venezuela to bolster Haitian infrastructure and healthcare.
So far, the efforts of American geopolitical strategists were failing. Former Coca-Cola executive, Vicente Fox’s ‘Plan Panama Puebla’, designed to counter Chavez’ PetroCaribe initiative, fell flat and the South-South cooperation would prove to be so successful that the U.S. establishment moved in as soon as nature provided the opportunity.
The destructive earthquake brought down all the hope that Haitians had built since recovering from another U.S.-sponsored coup a few years before. But this time around, “Haiti’s most important and reliable bi-lateral partner,” as Ambassador Janet Sanderson defines the U.S., would make sure hope remained far off shore.
Chavez is dead and Venezuela is on the verge of annihilation. Cuba is teetering on the edge and Donald Trump is President of the United States. If you were Klaus Eberwein, an idealist who fought to change the wretched fate of his fellow countrymen, perhaps booking a room in a two-story motel in Miami and putting a bullet through your head doesn’t seem like the worst idea.