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Haitian President Assassinated at his Home

The assassination of President Moise (moe-ees) has stunned Haitians inside and outside of the Caribbean country. Senior Hipolito Novelo spoke to a Haitian Doctor who shared his perspective on this shocking crime.

Dr. Gianni DeCastro, Haitian: “The president had been assassinated inside his house and I was like more in a denial because for me it is unconceivable to have such an event happen.”

Today Haitians woke up to the shocking news that their president, Jovenel Moise and his wife were attacked early this morning at their private residence. Security footage shows a highly coordinated attack by a highly trained and heavily armed group at around one o’clock local time this morning. The fifty-three-year-old Head of State was shot and killed; his wife injured. Haitian Doctor Gianni DeCastro, says he remains in shock. 

Dr. Gianni DeCastro, Haitian: “I am still as a full grown Haitian man I am still under shock. I’m still stunned by this news because for me it is inconceivable that the first citizen of the country even though things were not as at the best for the country in terms of security, social unrest etc, but it is not a reason to get to that level of craziness. To me it is craziness.”

Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph confirmed the death of the President calling the crime heinous, inhumane and barbaric. Some of the killers spoke Spanish, while others spoke English with an American accent, claiming that it was a DEA operation. 

Dr. Gianni DeCastro, Haitian: “There was a lot of videos and images and messages that are of course coming through the internet and the official version is that there was a commando that attacked the president’s residence and he was shot on sight. Why only those two people got shot, you know where were the fifty where’s the guard ? And when you look at the videos that are circulating you hear Spanish speaking, you hear English speaking, you hear you know it’s  DEA operation you know it is so confusing. So again this is what keeps me at the level of frustration and confusion.”

Moise contested the first round of elections in 2015. He received  32.8% of votes but an exit poll showed that he only received 6%. This led to many observers calling the results fraudulent. Thousands took to the streets in violent protests. The runoff elections were postponed. The previous President stepped down in February 2016. A special election was held in November 2016 which Moise won and sworn in as president in February 2017. Since then the country has been in political and social unrest. Widespread demonstrations and riots have broken out, gang violence has increased significantly. Moise faced continued accusations of corruption. The opposition says that his term ended five years after the previous president stepped down. According to DeCastro, the president had many enemies. 

Dr. Gianni DeCastro, Haitian: “It was a very controversial government since three years it was very very bad. We have a lot of political unrest, a lot of controversy, a lot of opposition. It was getting bad. Lately we had a gang explosion situation that we never had before in the country. Port au Prince, the capital, was surrounded by three, four major gangs that were terrorizing the country, the population so things were at a level that we’d never have thought that something like that would happen. Again we proved ourselves and everyone else that it can get worse and this is for me one of the worst experiences of my life. He had a lot of enemies, I think it was one of the presidents that had the most enemies during this time in office so things are a little bit you know of course we’re talking about assassination of a leader.”

The Acting Prime Minister says he takes control of the country though Moise had named, but not sworn in, a new Prime Minister days before his execution. As Haitians come to terms to assassination, the streets of the capital have been abandoned. 

Dr. Gianni DeCastro, Haitian: “Everybody stays at home, everybody is shocked. So people are not getting over, they still can’t believe that our president had been assassinated. Now in the streets you only have a couple of motorcycles with journalists that are taking images. The country is on mute so the only thing you can hear clearly from far away are motorcycles, no cars, there’s nothing happening in the streets. Stone cold.”

Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.