LatinNews Daily - 17 April 2023

US sanctions another prominent Haitian politician

Haiti: On 5 April US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced visa restrictions and financial sanctions against former president of Haiti’s lower chamber of deputies Gary Bodeau (2018-2020) for “his involvement in corruption”. As well as visa restrictions which render Bodeau ineligible for entry into the US, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) also designated him under the Global Magnitsky sanctions programme, as a result of which his financial assets in the US have been blocked. According to Ofac, Bodeau was involved in several corrupt schemes in which “he engaged in efforts to influence the outcome of Haitian political appointments, including facilitating and soliciting bribes worth millions of dollars”. These include paying officials to secure votes while he sought ministerial position appointments, and soliciting a bribery payment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from senior government officials in exchange for his political support in 2018. The Treasury also states Bodeau offered to deliver a successful vote in the lower chamber for a prospective ministerial appointee in 2019 in exchange for millions of dollars paid out by businessmen through individual payments to deputies. As well as Bodeau, who has also been sanctioned by Canada, the US has designated other prominent Haitian politicians, former senators Rony Célestin and Richard Lenine Hervé Fourcand, last year.

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