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#5086: A few observations (fwd)

From: oloffsonram <oloffsonram@globelsud.net>

Schools opened this week and I have yet to see the crowds of children 
in colorful school uniforms on their way to school. Heavy rains and 
strikes have added to the uncertainty of life in Port-au-Prince. A 
friend of mine came in from Jacmel and said the phones haven't been 
working for a while. The gourde, which spent a considerable time at 15 
to the dollar, is now at about 23 to the dollar. This makes me wonder 
if the gas price increase still has a ways to go. If the gourde has 
devalued about fifty percent and gas prices have gone up forty percent, 
the price increases haven't yet addressed the dollar increase in fuel 
on the international market. Consumer prices are going up everywhere. 
The marches don't have certain products from the countryside. The most 
talked about quote on the streets is President Preval's statement 
telling those who can swim to go ahead and swim.
My impression is that we are headed for one of Haiti's gloomiest 
periods ever. The ruling political party doesn't seem to understand the 
necessity of a good relationship with the business and international 
community. The creation of an investor climate. It could be their 
downfall, unless of course Castro or Columbia is planning to invest a 
few billion in Haiti....

Richard Morse