Haitian President Assassinated in Early Morning Hours. Who was Jovenal Moïse?
Haiti has been placed in a state of emergency following the assassination of President Jovenal Moïse, killed in the early hours of Wednesday at his private residence near Port-au-Prince.
The wife of the president First Lady Martine Moïse was also shot during the ordeal as unidentified assailants stormed residents speaking Spanish.
Residents reported hearing high-powered weapons being fired at around 1am and seeing men dressed in black as they ran through the neighbourhood, along with sounds of grenades and drones overhead echoing through the early morning hours.
In a video captured of the event, someone speaking English with an American accent is heard saying, “DEA operation. Everybody stand down DEA operation. Everybody back up, stand down.”
But US sources said the assailants were imposters and Haitian government officials said, “these were mercenaries.”
Claude Joseph now stands as the interim prime minister. The government has described it as “a barbaric act.
Here’s what to know about Jovenal Moïse
- The fifty-three-year-old was Haiti’s 58th president.
- Jovenel Moïse was known as the “Banana Man” because he exported bananas. He never held a political office before he came to office in 2017. Moise campaigned under the moniker Neg Bannan Nan or the Banana Man, a reference to his farming roots.
- Moïse was from northern Haiti and the political protégé of former President Michel Martelly.
- Moïse was ruling by decree since January 2019. He was due to held a general election in 2019, but the election was postponed. The election was expected t be held in September.
- Critics of his government said he was holding on to power as his reign became deeply unpopular among citizens.
- Moïse supported changes to the 1987 constitution, which was met with opposition.
- The day before his assassination, Moïse named a new prime minister, Dr. Ariel Henry, to head the government and prepare the country for elections in September for president, a new parliament and local government officials.