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President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, assassinated in home

The assassination of Haiti’s President, Jovenel Moïse, is the final blow, following years of mass protests demanding his resignation.

Reports claim that a group of armed men, dressed in black, stormed the President’s home in the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

Moïse’s wife was injured amid the flurry of bullets that killed the former banana exporter.

Jovonel
Image: Oregon Public Broadcasting

US President, Joe Biden took to Twitter to express his condolences, condemning the “heinous act.

It is assumed that the group who carried out the attack were posing as members of a “US drug enforcement operation“.

Haitian ambassador, Bocchit Edmond, says that he believed this to be the work of professional assassins and that the group had no affiliation with any US entity.

It appears tensions had been mounting for a while regarding Moïse’s presidency.

Since becoming President of Haiti in 2017, the nation plummeted further into crisis, experiencing an increase in gang attacks, which according to human rights groups, resulted in the death of at least 240 people.

Rapid inflation and deteriorating living conditions contributed to civilian frustration towards Moïse.

Jovonel
Image: The New York Times

This sparked the #FreeHaiti hashtag on Twitter, with protestors claiming “Jovenel is a dictator“.

Moïse denied this label, despite refusing to hold elections for parliament in January 2020 and dismissing the country’s mayors in July 2020.

In his first year of Presidency, Moïse was accused by the Haitian Senate of embezzling around US $700,000 of public money to fund his personal banana business.

As a result, his track record did not herald a bright future for the now deceased.

It appears Haitian’s were fearful that history would repeat itself.

Moïse’s leadership brought back memories of François Duvalier and Jean-Claude Duvalier’s 30 year dictatorship.

During this time, the people of Haiti were murdered and subjected to rampant injustice for the benefit of its dictators and their international relations with the U.S.

Similarly, protests led to change, where Jean-Claude Duvalier fled, leaving his country in a state of economic and social crisis.

In light of Haiti’s tumultuous presidential history, the assassination of Jovenel Moïse may have been an act of fear for the country’s crumbling welfare and frustration with its leaders for fuelling this.