By Milo Milfort
Port-au-Prince, Jul 6 (EFE).- A year after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was riddled with bullets on July 7, 2021, at his private residence by a hit squad that included, according to the National Police, both Haitians and Colombians, the chaos in the impoverished Caribbean nation has only grown, according to analysts consulted by EFE.
The investigation into the assassination has been stalled for months and the country’s socio-political and economic situation has not improved, even as national elections keep being postponed in the most beleaguered country in the Americas.
Prevailing in Haiti is a lack of security marked by a dramatic rise in the number of kidnappings of both Haitians and foreigners amid the fragmentation of the country due to the ongoing battles among armed groups fighting for turf and influence over the local populace.
Up to now, Prime Minister Ariel Henry has not been able to open up a dialogue with the country’s other key actors.
According to Dr. Jean Henold Buteau, a professor at the State University of Haiti and a spokesman for the Socialist Alternative party, the situation is “extremely serious,” and he acknowledged the “retrograde” character of the actions of the international community which, in his judgment, put Henry into power.
In Haiti, he said, the men in power have established a “type of strategy of chaos” whereby “the sectors linked to international power have taken control of the state to try and ensure its continuity,” he told EFE.
He said that the country will have no security or any improvement in public services as long as there is no change in those who control political power.
“We believe that an uprising or a demonstration of popular anger is sufficient to impose order upon disorder,” Buteau said.
Moise left behind a moribund economy if one considers the period just before his death. In June 2021, Haiti had an inflation rate of 12.5 percent, and currently inflation has rise to 27.5 percent.
“Today, the situation is worse than when Moise governed. A year later, the economy has moved practically from a situation of decadence to the situation of catastrophe,” said economist Enomy Germain, who added that life is getting more and more expensive every day.
In June 2021, the exchange rate was 91 gourdes per US dollar, but currently 115 gourdes are needed to purchase a dollar on the official market. “In terms of exchange rates, the situation has deteriorated,” Germain told EFE.
He noted that before the former president’s death, the country was experiencing negative growth and that all economic sectors were in decline, a situation that continues today.
“Jovenel Moise is no longer here, but the problems didn’t go with him, the problems stayed, and they’ve even worsened,” he said, recalling the difficulty of obtaining public financing to mobilize resources to enable the country to function.
“This is an economy that has been structurally dismantled for some time,” he said. “The gangs are blocking the country’s economy more than before. The issue of lack of economic security that we’re experiencing is an economic ‘shock.'”
The lack of security issue is yet another problem besetting a country with a desperate social situation. Before Moise’s death, 4.3 million Haitians were suffering from food insecurity, but currently that figure has risen to 4.5 million.
Haitians continue to abandon the country by the thousands, while kidnappings continue to impoverish families who pay the ransoms to get their loved ones back and save their lives.
“The situation is intolerable. It can’t go on like this. For this to stop, it’s the Haitians who must lead the way and build the solutions. Michel Martelly and Jovenel Moise have collapsed the country. Ariel Henry is doing the same,” Henold Buteau said.
Henry’s administration “is a government that has fallen asleep. It’s a government that has absolutely no mission or goal. A government without aims and without concrete action,” Germain said.
“We’re on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe in the country. If we only take into account the cost of living, it’s already enough to say that we’re heading directly for a big humanitarian crisis in Haiti if absolutely nothing is done,” said Germain pessimistically “because we have a government of inaction.”