The Honorable Donald Payne
Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Committee on Foreign Affairs
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.
Dear Chairman Payne,
I am writing to request your support for an initiative that is being organized through CITGO Petroleum Corporation with the support of the Embassy of Haiti and the Embassy of Venezuela in the U.S. to provide shelter and other needed equipment to the Haitian people in their time of need.
In coordination with Venezuela’s embassy in Washington and Ambassador Raymond A. Joseph, Haiti’s ambassador to the U.S, CITGO is organizing a program which will provide large tents with mattresses and blankets to house, in its first phase, up to 10,000 people on a temporary basis. This is vital because it is estimated that up to 1.5 million Haitians are homeless in the wake of the earthquake. A second phase will be financed by CITGO and employee donations, and we hope to multiply the effort through contributions by affiliates, partners, marketers and related industries. This would be aided significantly with your support. CITGO is coordinating with Haitian authorities to ensure that this help is put to best use given the circumstances on the ground.
Much as the rest of the international community, Venezuela was shocked by the scale of death and destruction caused by the massive earthquake. As an oil producing country and a partner to Haiti through the PetroCaribe initiative, Venezuela is providing 225,000 barrels of gasoline and diesel this week to be used for the generation of electricity and other purposes. The shipment will be received by a refinery in the Dominican Republic. Before the earthquake struck, Haiti consumed approximately 11,000 barrels of oil products day. It is estimated that Venezuela’s shipment of gasoline and diesel could help provide electricity for close to one month.
Venezuela has also provided Haiti with various shipments of humanitarian assistance, including food, medicine, tools, equipment and trained soldiers and professionals for search-and-rescue missions and reconstruction.
In the wake of the disaster in Haiti, Venezuela and CITGO will continue doing all they can to help the Haitian people and government recover from the tragedy they have suffered. If you have any questions about the CITGO effort or would like to offer your support, please contact Daniel Cortez at (832) 486-5557 or Gustavo Cardenas at (832) 486-1740.
Bernardo Álvarez Herrera