Death of President Moise
Early on the morning of July 7, 2021, someone assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moise in his home. The entire Caribbean nation is in shock as it now does not have a leader during its most trying times. With the death of President Moise, the political and economic unrest in the country may only grow.

Who was Jovenel Moise?

President Jovenel Moise was a Haitian politician who rose to power in the country in the 2016 election. Moise’s win underwent debate because of his early actions both inside and outside of the political sphere; most of the controversy started after he won the presidency with less than 18% of the popular vote. However, he took office in early 2017 despite the allegations against him.

During his reign as the 58th president of Haiti, Moise ruled the nation as a “cold-blooded dictator” according to The New York Post. After Haiti’s parliament disbanded, Moise continued to rule without holding elections for the country after his term ended in February 2021. While Moise tried to increase his power, human rights violations ran rampant across the island. Some thought that Moise’s administration and street gangs carried out many of these violations. These attacks on Haitian citizens left hundreds dead and thousands displaced. Some also accused Moise of arresting his political opponents for attempting to start a coup. Moise also had seven different prime ministers during his career, announcing the rise of the last one the day before his assassination. The Haitian ambassador to the U.S., Bocchit Edmond, stated that Moise’s rule was “among the worst in recent memory.”

The Death of Jovenel Moise

After many years of political unrest, gunmen attacked the president one early July morning in 2021. CNN stated that the assassination was a “highly coordinated attack by a highly trained and heavily armed group.” The Haitian government is seeking the shooters while the entire country has entered “a state of siege” which prohibits travel in or out of Haiti and installs martial law.

Reportedly, the assassins were members of a local gang who the current political and economic climate of Haiti angered. Reports have stated that the police are looking for someone who has “high-caliber” weapons and who speaks both Spanish and English. The assassins have claimed to be members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, but this has not yet received confirmation.

Looking Ahead

The death of President Moise has left Haiti in greater turmoil than ever before. With no clear replacement in sight, the already fragile nation is on the brink of collapse. The nation has seen an immense rise in kidnappings and murders associated with gang violence. Approximately 60% of Haitians live in poverty without access to welfare. Over 4 million Haitians do not have ready access to food and thousands of children are experiencing malnutrition. The country has also faced many disease outbreaks including COVID-19 and cholera which have further dampened the situation. Recent natural disasters left the island in disparity and with a wide economic gap between the poorest and richest in the nation. With the head-of-state dead, conditions could worsen as the country recovers from closed borders and lower tourism rates.

However, human rights conditions could improve after Moise’s passing. Expectations have determined that anti-government protests could decrease as the nation recovers from the assassination. According to Human Rights Watch, under Moise’s rule, political killings and torture happened often. The criminal justice system has also been under scrutiny due to false incarcerations, sexual assault and poor prisoner hygiene. With the death of President Moise, these conditions in the country will hopefully improve once Haiti garners new leadership.

While it is unsure how Haiti will find a new president, new Prime Minister Ariel Henry is the assumed leader of the island nation at this time. Henry will hopefully have a positive impact on the nation during this trying time because of his past with the cholera epidemic and fight against the country’s poverty epidemic. Although his political future remains uncertain amidst recent allegations, Henry’s presence could help aid conditions for Haitian citizens.


Currently, there are many charities and organizations working to help Haiti. Habitat for Humanity, a housing organization that helps those without shelter, has operated in Haiti for many over 27 years, mostly working in hurricane disaster relief. Habitat for Humanity in Haiti has rehomed many and countless others have received aid via food drops. Just in 2021, Habitat for Humanity has sworn to help rebuild a majority of the 12,000 houses which an earthquake destroyed. It is also operating search and rescue teams in the area.

KORE, a charity focused on Haitian aid, is working to improve the agricultural system of the nation to build a better economy. KORE first emerged in 1988 and works directly with farmers to improve livestock quality and production. It also helps the malnourished population of Haiti directly.

The work of KORE and Habitat for Humanity has been extremely beneficial to Haiti. Hopefully, through their continued aid, conditions in the country will improve through these trying times.

Laken Kincaid
Photo: Unsplash

Democracy in Haiti
An unidentified gunman assassinated Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, in his residence on July 7, 2021. The assassination marked a new chapter in Haiti’s tumultuous history of governance. Never possessing true legitimacy, years of institutionalized corruption and patronage to Haiti’s small business elite characterized Moïse’s time in office. People accused Moïse and some of his top staff of embezzling billions of dollars in foreign funds. He had no intention of leaving office, and instead closed Haiti’s parliament and delayed legislative elections. In Haiti, the thought of democracy in Haiti – with free and fair elections – is a distant dream.

Internal corruption has led to governance that prioritizes the interests of the nation’s wealthy minority, holding the prosperity of Haitians hostage in the process. The country has yet to reflect the true democratic will of the Haitian people. For far too long, the Haitian people have suffered due to their country’s political turmoil. They deserve a government that will work fervently towards providing economic opportunities and an educational infrastructure that will benefit future generations.

The Heart of Haiti

While resilient at its core, Haiti is one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Furthermore, the country never recovered from the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed over 250,000 people. The COVID-19 pandemic has recently exacerbated its already deteriorating infrastructure. Lagging behind the rest of the world, Haiti has not administered any vaccines. Despite a lack of basic resources, the Haitians refuse to give up. Family farms and women-led food markets in urban hubs have transformed the national economy. As a result, hope is undergoing restoration in a population that its own elected officials have unfairly marginalized.

As Haiti navigates this transition of power, it is ever as important for the international community to support the Haitian people. Following Moïse’s assassination, White House press secretary Jen Psaki professed, “We again stand ready to provide support, provide assistance, in any way that is formally requested by the government there. We’re looking forward to hearing from them on what they would request and how we can help them through this period of time.” The next month will prove to be vital in ensuring the restoration of democracy in Haiti. As U.S. officials and other members of the international community offer hands of assistance, it is crucial that their vested interests remain out of the picture.

What is Next?

While uncertain, the road to democracy in Haiti is promising. Legislative elections are now scheduled for September 2021, but Haiti must first solve the predicament of who will be the country’s interim president. Nevertheless, this is a monumental moment in Haitian history. The world will have to see if Moïse’s death will ignite unity across Haiti, bringing peace to its people who have long experienced immense poverty. It is up to Haiti’s political leaders to prevent democratic backsliding and in turn, forge a brighter future. Likewise, international organizations such as the United Nations and World Health Organization (WHO) must continue to amplify their presence in Haiti during this turbulent time. Achieving true democracy in Haiti is possible, but much more groundwork is necessary.

– Conor Green
Photo: Flickr

Plan for Haiti
On July 7, 2021, tragedy struck. Someone shot and killed Haitian president Jovenel Moïse at his private residence located in the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. After the death of President Moïse, police murdered four suspects during a gun battle. Meanwhile, the authorities arrested the other two. With authorities in Haiti not identifying the suspects, natives have been on edge trying to put pieces of the puzzle together. This has led to questions regarding who the suspects are, why they committed the crime and what is the next plan for Haiti is.

The US’ Response to Assassination

Acknowledging the mishap, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, expressed that “Those responsible for this heinous act must be brought to justice. The United States echoes calls for calm, and we are committed to working together to support democracy, rule of law and peace in Haiti.” U.S. President Joe Biden gave his take on the situation, adding, “The people of Haiti deserve peace and security, and Haiti’s political leaders need to come together for the good of the country.” The Pentagon press secretary John Kirby reveals that the U.S. focuses on gaining an understanding of how to investigate this crime and attaching a criminal name to it.

President Biden’s Administration plans to send the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to Port-au-Prince to brainstorm ways the U.S. would support the Caribbean amid the chaos. The U.S. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced a delegation meeting with the Haitian government to discuss organizational structures to gain a better understanding and met with Haitian national police currently investigating Haitian President Moïse’s assassination.

Past US Involvement with Haiti

In the past, the U.S. has provided aid to Haiti. Looking back at Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake, the U.S. offered humanitarian assistance, in other words, to promote human welfare. The priority areas of focus for the U.S. have been economic growth, poverty reduction, improved health care, food security, human rights, improved democratic institutions and building a more reliable Haitian National Police team. Economic growth became possible in Haiti; thanks to the U.S., there was an opening of 14,000 jobs in the apparel industry at the Caracol Industrial Park after the 2010 earthquake. Furthermore, 27,000 new jobs emerged in the year following Haiti’s natural disaster.

The employment rate increased through the work of Local Enterprise and Value Chain Enhancement, as well as Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments. Democratic Institutions were able to develop with the United States funding of a 10-megawatt power plant to provide 24-hour electricity to the Caracol Industrial Park and five collectives surrounding the park. They provided electricity to more than 14,000 households, businesses and government institutions.

Food Security in Haiti

Food security increased thanks to the U.S.; it helped 70,000 farmers increase crop yields. Haiti received assistance in part because the U.S. “introduced improved seeds, fertilizer, irrigation, and other technologies to more than 118,000 farmers through food security programs.” For human rights, the U.S. targeted The Haitian National Police. The U.S. assistance programs have impacted the HNP through an increase of 15,300 officers. Because of this change, more Haitians now have access to police officers; another advantage of the increase is the ability to evaluate police commissariats – also known as police stations in the United States.

In health care, the United States’ assistance has resulted in improvements in child nutrition and mortality, access to maternal health care and the control of HIV/AIDS. Former President Barack Obama’s Emergency Plans for Aids Relief involved U.S. government interventions contributing to the maintenance of HIV reduction, keeping it at 2% for a decade. To give a better perspective of what changes took place, the U.S. government placed 164 clinics across Haiti in August 2019. As a result, 73,000 children received vaccines, skilled professionals operated on 24,500 births and 40,000 women could access routine health care for pregnancy.

Plans for US Involvement in Haiti

With the U.S.’ ability to support Haiti in the past, there is no doubt a plan is in the works. Paski looks back at her trip to the nation, “This is just the beginning of our conversation. We will remain in close touch with law enforcement, with Haiti, about how we can assist and provide assistance moving forward.” Haiti has requested that the White House send troops to help stabilize the country. The Interim Claude Joseph iterates, “We definitely need assistance and we’ve asked our international partners to help.” As there is no president in power as of now due to the death of the Supreme Court President Rene Sylvestre from COVID-19, State Department Spokesman Ned Price has advised, “It is still the view of The United States that elections this year should proceed.”

With an international support system for Haiti after the death of President Jovenel Moise, a plan for the island to get back on track is in the works.

– Alexis Jones
Photo: Unsplash