The assassination of Jovenel Moïse is leaving the poverty-stricken nation further in the lurch. American media across the board paint Haiti’s situation in a tragic light.
Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was murdered in his home by a group of assailants pretending to be American Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
- The assassination, in which Moïse’s wife Martine was also injured, triggered a two-week state of emergency amid increasing gang violence and social unrest.
- Two suspects were arrested while six were killed in a shootout with Haitian police.
- The Haitian government is calling on the United Nations Security Council to conduct an investigation into MoÏse’s assassination.
- President Joe Biden offered the United States’ assistance to the Caribbean nation and condemned the “horrific assassination.”
- The New York Times postmortem biography of Moïse painted a frank picture of a businessman with little experience in governing being accused of corruption from the first days of his presidency.
- The Daily Beast’s coverage focused on the political aftermath, noting the assassination has created a political game of musical chairs: Normally the President of Haiti’s Supreme Court would “take over the reins of power” but that person died of COVID-19 recently and has not been replaced.
- Slate also painted a dire picture of the situation in Haiti, reporting that the assassination was just part of a calamitous environment ripe with corruption while the coronavirus, an “acute malnutrition crisis”, and violence is dragging the island nation down.
- Breitbart added a wrinkle to the story not reported elsewhere: Moïse had been resisting calls in the Haitian business community for closer relations with China and the economic benefits that would follow it.
- The timing of the assassination is noted in the New York Post’s coverage, saying it came shortly after Moïse’s nomination of a new prime minister and leading up to presidential elections that had been delayed.
- Mary O’Grady wrote in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section on what she characterized as Haiti’s two hundred years of “institutional failure”, saying political instability has been “constant” with annulled elections, crony capitalism, and drug trafficking among dictators. The Moïse assassination was just the latest chapter in Haiti’s broken history.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021