Along with our other articles about the election, we want to take a moment to tell our readers about the election of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti, who was elected following the devastating earthquake that rocked the country in 2010. Since his victory, he has sought to improve the lives of Haiti’s citizens, and has done so by making Haiti’s first new constitution since its independence in 1804.
Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in his home on the morning of March 17th, 2018. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died a few hours later. Several hours prior to the incident, the Haitian Army issued a statement warning that the president’s life was in danger. According to the statement, the president had been the subject of three assassination attempts in recent weeks. The first two failed, but the third assassination attempt succeeded, according to the statement. The president’s security detail was already on alert after the recent assassination attempt of another high profile Haitian government official.
Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated Wednesday in his home by a group of unknown assailants, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said. Joseph said the security situation in the country is under the control of the Haitian police and military.
Haiti has suffered from political instability for years, and Moïse rules the country by decree. Critics have accused the 53-year-old president of ruling as an autocrat.
A group of unidentified individuals, some of whom spoke Spanish, attacked and fatally wounded the Republican president’s private residence, Joseph said Wednesday in a statement. The First Lady has been shot and action is being taken.
President of the Republic of Haiti Jovenel Moïse speaks on stage during the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit, 25. September 2018, New York City.
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit
The security situation in the country is under the control of the Haitian National Police and the Haitian Armed Forces, Joseph said. All measures must be taken to ensure the continuity of the State and to protect the nation. Democracy and the Republic will prevail.
The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a security alert early Wednesday morning, which did not mention the murder itself, but rather the current security situation in the country and indicated that the embassy would limit the stay of some staff members on the embassy grounds and close the embassy to all services. The warning also urges people not to travel to Haiti unnecessarily at this time.
Speaking on MSNBC, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday morning that President Biden would be notified of what she called a horrific attack, but that the U.S. government was still assessing and gathering information about the location.
We are ready and willing to help them in any way we can, Psaki told CNN.
The murder will only complicate the situation in a country already going through a deeper economic and political crisis, CBS News’ Pamela Falk reported. COVID-19 infections remain high in Haiti, where few people have been vaccinated against the disease. Food and fuel prices are high due to inflation and more than half of the population lives in poverty.
Last week, the United Nations Security Council, including the United States, expressed deep concern about the deteriorating political, humanitarian, security and human rights situation in Haiti and said the government has the primary responsibility to resolve the situation, Falk said.
According to the Miami Herald, armed men stormed Moise’s home on a hill in the capital Port-au-Prince, posing as agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Video footage analyzed by the Herald newspaper shows armed men demanding that people at Moise’s house lay down their weapons. It’s the Drug Enforcement Administration. Haitian sources told the Miami newspaper that the attackers spoke English and Spanish, and that they were not DEA agents but mercenaries.
Prime Minister Joseph condemned what he called a heinous, inhuman and barbaric act.
This people of over 11 million became increasingly unstable and discontented during Moses’ reign. In a country where 60% of the population earns less than $2 a day, the economic, political and social problems are getting worse: Banditry in Port-au-Prince has risen sharply, inflation is rising, food and fuel are scarce.
These problems come at a time when Haiti is still struggling to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew, which hit the country in 2016.
Rebuilding Haiti 10 years after deadly earthquake
Moise ruled by decree for more than two years after the country failed to hold elections, dissolving parliament. Opposition leaders accuse him of seeking to expand his power, including by issuing an executive order limiting the power of a court to review government contracts and establishing a secret service that reports only to the president.
Opposition leaders have called for his resignation in recent months, arguing that his term legally expires in February 2021. Moise and his supporters have argued that his tenure began when he took office in early 2017, following a chaotic election that necessitated the appointment of an interim president for a one-year hiatus.
General elections would be held in Haiti later that year.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was the president of Haiti assassinated?
The president of Haiti was assassinated on September 16, 2004.
Who are the killers of Haiti President?
The killers of Haiti President are the Haitian military.
Who is the Haitian president now?
Haiti’s president is Jovenel Moïse.
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