US, Core Group partners abandon Haiti’s interim leader
Port-au-Prince, Jul 17 (EFE).- The United States and the other countries and institutions making up the so-called Core Group effectively repudiated on Saturday the acting prime minister who took charge of the Haitian government following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
Claude Joseph presented himself as the rightful interim leader within hours of Moise’s slaying in the wee hours of July 7.
On July 8, the United Nations special envoy for Haiti, US former diplomat Helen La Lime, said that the world body recognized Joseph as acting head of the government.
Some questioned the propriety of the move, given that Moise had already dismissed Joseph and named a new prime minister, Ariel Henry, while Haiti’s rump Senate insisted that one of its members, Joseph Lambert, should become premier pending elections.
Despite La Lime’s endorsement, neither the US or any of the other Core Group entities – Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union – explicitly recognized Joseph.
In a statement issued Saturday, the various Core Group ambassadors and representatives in Port-au-Prince stressed the need for “a consensual and inclusive government” in Haiti.
“To this end, it (the Core Group) strongly encourages the designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government,” the statement added.
Neither Joseph, who so far has enjoyed the backing of the police and military, nor Lambert responded publicly to the Core Group communique.
But an activist and journalist involved with efforts by organizations to formulate a Haitian solution to the crisis reacted angrily to the Core Group statement.
“This is interference,” Monica Clesca wrote on Twitter. “Worse, this is being done while civil society & political parties are meeting to decide the way forward!”
Late Saturday, the president’s widow, Martine Moise, returned to Haiti from the Miami hospital where she was being treated for wounds suffered in the attack that killed her husband.
Joseph was at the airport in Port-au-Prince to meet Moise as she stepped off the airplane.
Authorities in Colombia said that the Colombian nationals being held for the murder of Moise told investigators the order for the murder came from a former official of Haiti’s justice ministry.
“Joseph Felix Badio, who was a former Ministry of Justice official who worked on the anti-corruption commission with the General Intelligence Service, told Capador and Rivera that what they need to do is assassinate the president of Haiti,” Colombian police director Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas said Friday.
Duberney Capador, a former sergeant in Colombia’s army, died in a shootout with Haitian police following the murder, while retired Capt. German Rivera is among the 18 Colombians now in custody in Port-au-Prince in connection with the crime.
Haitian authorities say that 28 people took part in the attack on Moise’s private residence. The assailants identified themselves to security guards as agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Haiti’s police have accused Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a 62-year-old evangelical pastor and doctor living in South Florida, of having organized the assassination.
Sanon, a complete unknown in Haitian politics, said in a YouTube video that he aspired to lead the country of his birth. But many ask where the pastor, who declared bankruptcy in the US, would have found the money to hire gunmen. EFE