Local Leaders React to Assassination of Haitian President

By P Green

haitian demings holness
AP Photos

As the roughly 11 million people in Haiti and others in the diaspora try to understand and deal with the assassination of Haitian president, Jovenel Moise, some leaders are looking at ways to help the Caribbean nation while expressing outrage at the senseless act.

The killing, which took place on Wednesday morning, has also sent the first lady of Haiti Martine Moise to the hospital with injuries.  She is now in a Miami hospital in critical condition.  It is reported that the killers went to the president’s home claiming to be agents and carried out the gruesome killing.

US representative Val Deming who co-chairs the House Haiti Caucus said in a statement that “The assassination of Haitian President Moïse was a horrific act and stands as a clarion call for swift and decisive action to bring political stability and peace to a nation in crisis.”

She is also calling for “full transparency and an independent investigation.” Representative Deming further stated that the caucus remains committed to working with the Biden Administration in support of equitable, inclusive Haitian-led democracy that “reestablishes rule of law, reinforces institutions of Haitian-led governance, and centers the safety and human rights of every Haitian citizen.”

Broward County Commissioner and aspiring Florida Congressman Dale Holness is proposing a three-point plan for a better and more stable Haiti.

Speaking exclusively to Caribbean Nation Weekly, Holness who is seeking to take the congressional seat of the late Alcee Hastings said it was “strange” that Jovenel’s security force allowed the assassination to happen.

“There should have been a serious battle at least, if that was going to happen.” He said “It’s really a sad day for the Haitian people no matter whether you like President Jovenel Moïse.  This is not the way for someone to be removed from office.”

In outlining his three-step plan to help Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, Mr. Holness said that the three areas that need attention for stability are security, free transparent elections and help from the rest of the world.

“The big crisis of Haiti today is the crisis of security,” he said.  “There are many Haitians who are here who would like to go back and visit their family but are afraid because of the kidnappings and the murders.”

He suggested that the United States, CARICOM, The Organization of American States (OAS), and the UN need to be called in by those in charge of the island and “asked for security help now.”

Regarding the issue of elections, Mr. Holness said that the political leadership in Haiti needs to be unified now and advised that a joint government should be formed from an election process that is “fair, open and transparent.”  This he said will give Haitians confidence in who their government is.

The final step from the future congressman would have the world coming together to help Haiti, with leadership from America. The United States, he said should lead this step, “firstly because it is in our best interest as a country” and “Haiti has contributed in a very positive way to our nation over many many years.”

At the same time, the House candidate suggests that America has neglected not only Haiti but the whole region.  He said evidence can be found in the presence and leadership of America in Latin America and the Caribbean in comparison to Europe.

And as the people of Haiti mourn their loss, Mr. Holness wants them to unite.  He is asking the people in the diaspora to continue supporting their families, civic and social institutions back home because these are the things that hold Haiti together today.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Haitian organization, Family Action Network Movement (FANM), Marleine Bastien, has expressed shock and is saddened by the murder.

Speaking to CNW, she said that there is a lot of fear, outrage and concerns now in Haiti because there is no president, no constitutional government, an illegitimate prime minister, a divided opposition, and a rise in crime and violence.  “There is a constitutional crisis in Haiti,” she suggested and is hoping that everybody on the island including leaders and civil society will unite and speak with one voice because the Haitian people have been crying for change for a long time.

She stated however that even though people wanted President Moise to go, “no one deserves to be assassinated in their own home.”

The FANM founder is asking Haitians living on the island to remain calm and not to continue to put themselves in situations where they are victimized but find ways to unite to bring security and stability to the island.  She also wants her people to find ways to organize to bring national elections that are “free, fair, credible and most importantly, democratic.”



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