The assassination of Jovenel Moise: Haiti going from bad to worse

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The assassination of Jovenel Moise: Haiti going from bad to worse
Fecha de publicación: 
8 July 2021

The fatal shooting of President Jovenel Moise at his private residence in Port-au-Prince by an allegedly group of professionals who spoke both English and Spanish languages, fuels the spiral of crisis that has ravaged the Haitian nation, very-much affected by politics and mother nature.

The President’s wife was also wounded. She was later sent to a hospital and it was said to be airlifted to Miami.

Simultaneously, and soon after the shooting, the Haiti’s ambassador to Washington confirmed that the mercenaries who murdered the President were impersonating U.S. agents and have likely fled the country already.

“It was a well-planned attack and they were professionals,” ratified ambassador Boxita Edmond to journalists: “We have a video and we believe they were mercenaries.”

The killers posed as DEA agents at the residence of the Haitian head of state, but their behavior was weird, different to that of U.S. agency's agents, Edmond added.

The crime occurred amid a political crisis and a final outcome was expected by the elections to be held next September. These elections had been postponed since 2018.

Moise had stayed in office for the last couple of years through decrees, and he had announced he will not be part of the plebiscite.

In addition to the political crisis, kidnappings for ransom had skyrocketed in recent months, which portrayed the growing influence of armed gangs in the Caribbean nation, reported AFP.

Moise had ratified several days ago that a plot against him was brewing, but not orchestrated by opposition groups disputing his power, or the all kind of gangs shooting at each other at the capital and other cities of the country but by powerful interests that he could never spot.

In the last year, several major Haitian public figures have been shot to death; for instance, the chairman of the National Bar Association, which was labeled by the President as a killing carried out by Haiti’s oligarchy.

But Moise, a wealthy man, was also part of that oligarchy and was still in office exceeding the legally-mandated deadline for a president, as his serving time as President was supposed to end last February.

Few days ago, he appointed a new Prime Minister, the seventh since he took office, but the latter had not time to take over. Therefore, the outgoing Prime Minister Claude Joseph is now serving as interim President of Haiti, a nation that is now under martial law, heavily patrolled by the army and the police, while its borders with the Dominican Republic —that nation issued a state of alert— are closed.

Regrettably, an assassination is never justified especially when it leads to the worsening of the already unstable situation in Haiti, which, we highlight, have suffered strong political blows and natural disasters in recent years.

The President was facing a strong opposition in sectors of society that believed his time in power had expired.

Besides the presidential, local, and legislative elections, a constitutional referendum is scheduled to be held in Haiti next September after it has been postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic, while no vaccines batches have arrived at this impoverished nation.

The constitutional reform, backed by Moise and aimed at strengthening the executive power, has been rejected by the opposition and several entities within the civil society.

The current Magna Carta was drafted in 1987 after the fall of Duvalier’s regime, and states that “every popular consultation tending to modify the Constitution by way of referendum is absolutely forbidden.”

The experts have also affirmed that it is impossible to organize a consultation due to the prevailing insecurity.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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