With this week marking the one-year anniversary of the assassination of then Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, the two leading candidates in the U.S. Senate contest in Florida weighed in on the occasion.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that the assassins who killed Moïse are still at large.
“One year after the heinous murder of former President Moïse, the people of Haiti are still enduring tremendous challenges as a result of the island’s rampant criminal activity and the devastation caused by natural disasters,” Rubio said on Thursday. “It is of the utmost importance that our nation and the international community reaffirm its commitment to support Haitian law enforcement’s efforts to bring the perpetrators of this barbaric crime to justice.”
U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., is the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination to challenge Rubio in next month’s primary. She and her fellow members of the Haiti Caucus also marked the anniversary of Moïse’s assassination.
“One year since Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated, the people of Haiti have faced instability and violence, but they remain resolved and capable as ever to determine their own future. It is critical that the United States reassess our stance towards Haiti and empower civil society actors in a full democratic transition,” Demings and her fellow caucus members said in a statement released on Thursday.
“American and international support of Prime Minister Ariel Henry has come at the expense of a true Haitian-led democratic movement,” they added. “Violence, gang activity, kidnappings, and economic collapse are severe, contributing to Haiti’s mass displacement and out-migration crises. Henry’s government is suppressing basic rights and freedoms, and the Haitian people have seen no justice for Moïse’s assassination.
“A broad and well-organized Haitian-led democratic movement is charting its own course for their beloved but troubled country, and this movement needs our support,” the caucus members said in conclusion. “The State Department must immediately move to complete and release its report on the Moïse investigation, as required by law, and President Biden should withdraw support from Prime Minister Henry and take steps that empower civil society actors to move toward a full democratic transition.”
Elected president at the end of 2016, Moïse was still in office when killed last July. Back in December, the New York Times reported that he was assassinated due to his efforts to crack down on drugs.
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