“At our darkest times, we are defined by how we individually respond,” Christherson SeeJeanty, Haitian Entrepreneur.
The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, was murdered in his presidential residence last Wednesday at one in the morning. An armed group of men entered his residency stating they were part of the DEA. In the middle of it all, the first lady, Marie Martine Etienne Joseph, was wounded, but has been taken to a hospital in Florida. Prime Minister Claude Joseph has since declared Haiti a state of siege, similar to a state of war, where constitutional rights are suspended under the law. The borders of Haiti were closed immediately after the announcement of the President’s death.
Christherson SeeJeanty, a passionate advocate for his country of Haiti lives in Petionville, about 15 minutes away from where the assassination happened. SeeJeanty is a Haitian entrepreneur who lives on the island and showcases through social media the beauty of Haiti and its people; a side of Haiti that is little known or talked about in the media.
The morning of the assassination he posted the following update:
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Jovenel Moise has been the talk of the citizens of Haiti in protests demanding that he leave office. Moise had the support of the Biden presidency. Jovenel Moise had been guiding Haiti when the elections were postponed in the year 2018; when his term ended, and during COVID-19. His management of the country spread doubt and conflict as he churned a total of seven prime ministers, while strengthening the executive branch, without solutions for the growing poverty.
In February, Haitian opposition parties named a judge as interim leader as an attempt to oust then, President Jovenel Moise, whose term they said had expired.
Mécène’s message brought violence to the streets of Puerto Principe.
In response, Moise declared that his presidential term would not over until February 7 of 2022, but there was widespread disagreement with this measure due to fraudulent claims in a past election and his reelection the year after. President Moise had discussed plans to modify parts of the constitution to boost the power of the executive branch.
“If he is no longer the President, there can be no talk about a coup d’etat” – DW
On Thursday, there was the capture and detention of two Americans and fifteen Colombians as suspects of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. The two U.S. citizens include James Solages, 35, and Joseph Vincent, 55, and it has been said that four of the suspects had been killed. There are also six suspects rounded up in two buildings in Puerto Príncipe. Meanwhile in the government, there has been an indecisive agreement as to who’s in charge now. Claude Joseph said he was head of Haiti’s government, but Ariel Henry, a neurologist who was to be named prime minister and replace Joseph, contradicted Joseph saying that the job was his.
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A US delegation that traveled to the country on Sunday said that “there is a lack of clarity about the future of political leadership” in Haiti – A majority of the Haitian Parliament is calling on a new government to replace interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, declared World News yesterday.
Haiti has asked the United States and the UN to send troops to protect its ports, airport and other strategic sites after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, a minister of the Haitian government said on Friday. The State Department and the Pentagon confirmed that they had received a request for “security and investigation assistance” and said they were in contact with Port-au-Prince, but did not specify whether military troops would be deployed, states ElPeridico.com.
The U.S. has so far declined, but has sent an inter-agency team from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. Democratic Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says the situation in Haiti is “extraordinarily delicate and extremely fragile,” and that the U.S. should not send troops to the country. “Our role should be in supporting a peaceful transition and democratic process for selecting a new leader,” she says.
The Haitian Senate on Friday appointed Joseph Lambert, current head of the Upper House, as provisional president of the Republic, and denies the authority of the interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, who has been in power since the assassination of Moise. The resolution, signed by eight of the ten senators who are still active, considers that Joseph was removed from office last Monday, in the last decree signed by Moise before his murder on Wednesday. At that time, the president appointed Ariel Henry to that position by decree, but the latter was not sworn in before the president’s death.
Meanwhile, Haiti is trying to determine who ordered the attack allegedly carried out by an armed squad of 28 people: 26 Colombians and two Americans of Haitian origin. Of these, 15 Colombians and two Americans were arrested, while three Colombians were killed by police and eight others remain at large, Haitian police said. There is some discrepancy in the numbers with reports from other official sources, reports ElPeridico.com. One of the detainees. Manuel Alberto Grosso Guarín, is the cousin of the presidential advisor for National Security of Colombia, Rafael Guarín, according to the press.
The Haitian capital, paralyzed for several days, has gradually resumed its activities, with more people on the streets and public transport gradually reactivating its service. People have been rushing to stock up on essentials at supermarkets and queue at gas stations to buy propane they use for cooking.
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“We have to start working together. That’s the solution to any change. Until we start doing that nothing is going to change.The mental health of a lot of people, especially those in Haiti, may be at a breaking point. It’s important to be empathetic for each other as we come to terms with this,” Christherson SeeJeanty expressed on his instagram account, signing off, #Haiti #Ayti #WeWillGetThroughThisToo.
My name is Nancy Ortega and I am a current undergraduate student at UC Davis majoring in Animal Science and Spanish, but began my studies at Rio Hondo College. I am the proud daughter of two immigrants and the sister of a Dreamer. My interest in Latin America emerged due to the passion from my high school Spanish teacher. I became interested in the variety of cultures, the unique people, and the history still to be uncovered from underrepresented countries. In Latina Republic, I want to expand the beauty and complexity of Latin America and enrich my mind, as well as that of the readers, throughout this new experience. I look forward to meeting interesting individuals, hearing new stories, and coming out with a fresh mind set.