Hundreds of demonstrators in Cap-Haitien before Moise’s funeral | Voice of America
WASHINGTON / CAP-HAITIEN, HAITITI – Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, on the eve of the state funeral for President Jovenel Moise to be held there on Friday.
The day began with a special mass in honor of Moses, which was attended by members of the presidential political party PHTK. Immediately afterwards, protesters dressed in white in mourning marched through the streets chanting “Justice!
“We say there must be justice for President Moise,” a protester wearing a Haitian flag bandana on his head told VOA Creole. An investigation into Moise’s death has already resulted in more than 20 arrests.
Other protesters shouted slogans against opposition politicians and wealthy Haitians, whom they blame for the assassination.
A group played traditional rara music while marching alongside the protesters. The event ended at the historic site of Vertières, located south of Cap Haitien, where it took place in 1803.
In parts of the Caribbean’s second largest city, tires have been seen burning in the streets. The VOA Créole journalist in Port-au-Prince, who traveled to Cap-Haitien on Thursday, said she saw a group of people trying to set a bridge on fire. Police rushed to the scene to arrest them, she said. The main road to the north was crowded with cars, the reporter said.
Additional security measures are in place as the city prepares to welcome an A-list of Haitian government officials, foreign officials, diplomats and ordinary citizens for Moise’s funeral on Friday.
Moise was assassinated inside his private residence in an affluent suburb of the Haitian capital before dawn on July 7. His wife, Martine Moise, was injured in the attack and was transferred to a hospital in Miami, Florida, for treatment. The first lady returned to Haiti last weekend to help plan and attend her husband’s funeral.
New American envoy to Haiti
Meanwhile, in Washington, the US State Department announced the appointment of a new envoy to Haiti. Ambassador Daniel Foote is a career Foreign Service officer whose experience as a diplomat includes serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Port-au-Prince on two occasions. He was also the US Ambassador to Zambia during the Trump administration.
A State Department statement emailed to VOA says Foote will work with the US Ambassador to “lead US diplomatic efforts and coordinate the efforts of US federal agencies in Haiti from Washington, advising the secretary and deputy secretary by Interim Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and coordinate closely with National Security Council staff the administration’s efforts to support the Haitian people and Haiti’s democratic institutions following the tragic assassination of Jovenel Moise. “
U.S. Representative Albio Sires applauded the nomination in a post on Twitter.
I welcome the appointment by Biden administrator of Daniel Foote as special envoy for #Haiti. It is a positive step towards supporting the Haitian people in restoring their democracy. https://t.co/lpJTxs6iog
– Albio Sires (@RepSires) July 22, 2021
“I welcome the appointment by the administrator of Biden of Daniel Foote as special envoy for # Haiti. This is a positive step in helping the Haitian people to restore their democracy, ”Sires said.
It’s unclear when Foote will arrive in Haiti, but earlier this week White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the United States will send a delegation to attend Moise’s funeral. She did not specify who would be part of the delegation.
Washington diaspora pays tribute to Moses
At the Haitian Embassy in Washington, Haitian Americans and foreign dignitaries gathered for a grim ceremony in honor of Moise. Among the diplomats in attendance was former US Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten. He declined to comment on the event to VOA.
During the well-choreographed program including a slideshow of Moise, poetry, prayers and music, Haitian Ambassador Bocchit Edmond recounted the highlights of Moise’s political career in French and English. He also criticized the New York Times for reporting that Moise was running for a third term. The Haitian constitution prohibits heads of state from running for successive terms.
“They killed the president but not his dream,” Edmond said.
Members of the Haitian diaspora who spoke to VOA after the program expressed sadness and regret at not being in Haiti for the funeral.
“No matter where in the world we live, we can come together to support an event like this,” Jean Junior Morisett told VOA. “I would personally like to go to Haiti to attend the funeral, but unfortunately I cannot. I am therefore participating in this event in honor of the president.
Marie Rachelle Volcy, a member of a musical group who sang during the memorial service, said the Haitian people should know that they are in the thoughts and prayers of the diaspora.
” You are not alone. We don’t know where we are going, we know how it started. Although we are not physically by your side, we share the burden of having lost a Haitian compatriot who was a child of Haiti, “Volcy said.” We will continue to pray and work together for peace.