Good Threads Blog Revival
We are going to once again try to keep up a semi-regular blog. We will be posting about Haiti, the needlepoint industry, businesses designed to do more than just profit, our sister non profit the Joan Rose Foundation and the development of our business.
Currently we are struggling logistically as Haiti is having massive protests. The people want the current president, Jovenel Moise, to step down. Jovenel, his political party and cabinet are at the center of a major embezzlement scandal. The Venezuelan state oil company, PetroCaribe, loaned Haiti 2 billion dollars from 2009 to 2013 or so. That money was supposed to go towards developing Haiti but was instead brazenly stolen by members of Haiti's upper class and political class. Haiti is still on the hook to pay the 2 billion back and the people are understandably furious. On top of that the UN has dramatically scaled back operations and no longer takes part in policing or active security enforcement. They had played the role of police for over a decade before this change. The Haitian Gourde has also fallen from 45 Gourde to the US dollar in 2015 to 94 Gourde to the dollar today. Haiti buys over 70% of its food in dollars and also buys cement, and almost all material goods in the country in dollars, as Haiti produces little. The combination of rising prices, massive corruption, no jobs and a weak security force has resulted in an unstable Haiti. This affects us mostly in that we cannot get to Port Au Prince to send our products to the US. Generally the protests only shut the country down for a few days but they have stretched into weeks before and if things continue to deteriorate could get even worse than that.