President of Haiti arrested after assassination
On Wednesday, a team of gunmen assassinated the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse (Jovenel Moïse) and wounded his wife, and raided the home of the President of Haiti at night. The police killed four suspects and killed him. Two other people were arrested a few hours later because the country was already enduring gang violence and protesting the growing chaos of his increasingly authoritarian rule. .
The chief of the Haitian National Police, Leon Charles, said three police officers who were held hostage by the suspected gunman were released later on Wednesday.
Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said that the police and military control the security of Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, where the dictatorship and political turmoil have long hindered the consolidation of democratic rule.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Joseph called for an international investigation into the assassination. He said that elections scheduled for later this year should be held and promised to cooperate with Moise’s allies and opponents.
“We need everyone to move the country forward,” Joseph said. He alluded to the enemies of the president, calling him “a brave man” and opposed “some oligarchs in the country. We believe these things are not without consequences.”
Although Joseph assured that order would prevail, Haitians were confused about who should control and general anxiety. The authorities declared that the country had entered a “state of martial law” and closed the international airport.
On Wednesday, the usually bustling streets of the capital Port-au-Prince were deserted. There were sporadic gunshots in the distance, public transportation was scarce, and some people were looking for businesses that could provide food and water.
Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, stated that the attack on the 53-year-old Moïse was “planned carefully by foreign mercenaries and professional killers,” disguised as agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. According to the US Embassy, ??DEA has an office in the Haitian capital to assist the government in its anti-drug program.
Joseph said the heavily armed gunman spoke Spanish or English, but did not provide more details.
The President’s wife is critically ill
Edmund said that Moise’s wife, Martin, is in stable but critical condition and is being transferred to Miami for treatment.
He said that Haiti has asked the US government to assist in the investigation.
The Dominican Republic stated that it is closing the border and strengthening security in the area, saying the border is “completely calm.”
Before the general election later this year, Haiti seems to be heading for new turmoil. After failing to hold elections, Moyes has passed a decree to govern for more than a year, and the opposition has demanded him to step down in recent months, saying that he is taking him into another period of severe authoritarianism.
The fragile political situation in Haiti proves that Moise’s protégé Joseph (who was supposed to be prime minister only temporarily) found himself in power.
But Haiti seems to have no other choice. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court may help provide stability in a crisis, but recently died of COVID-19.
The main opposition party said they were very frustrated with the killings.
Their statement said: “Under this painful situation, the political forces of the opposition condemn this heinous crime in the most severe form, which is contrary to democratic principles.”
The parties added that they hope that the Haitian National Police will take all necessary measures to protect life and property, and call on Haitians to “keep a high degree of vigilance.”
‘Nothing is taken for granted’
Alex Dupuy, a Haiti-born sociologist at Middletown Wesleyan University in Connecticut, said that Joseph may currently lead Haiti, even though in a country where constitutional provisions have been irregularly followed, such The situation may change.
Dupuy said that in the best case, the acting prime minister and the opposition party hold elections jointly.
“But in Haiti, nothing is taken for granted. It depends on how the current balance of power in Haiti works,” he said, describing the situation as dangerous and turbulent. He said that the Haitian police force has been struggling to cope with the recent surge in violence in Port-au-Prince, which has resulted in the displacement of more than 14,700 people.
Former Haitian President Michel Martelli, who succeeded Moise, called the assassination “a heavy blow to our country and the Haitian democracy that is struggling to find a way out.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned “The appalling assassination.”
US President Joe Biden said that he was “shocked and sad to hear of the terrible assassination” and condemned “this heinous act.”
Biden said in a statement: “The United States expresses its condolences to the Haitian people. We are ready to help at any time. We will continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres also condemned the assassination and emphasized that “the perpetrators of this crime must be brought to justice,” said UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric. The Security Council arranged for an emergency private meeting on the Haiti issue on Thursday.
Governments in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and elsewhere have also expressed concern about Haiti’s plight.