DJ 33 1/3

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Haiti Gets a New Prime Minister

Photo: Getty Images South America

Haiti's designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry will replace the country's interim prime minister.

interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, has been leading Haiti with the backing of police and the military since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

"Negotiations are still in course," Haiti Elections Minister Mathias Pierre said, adding that Joseph would go back to being minister of foreign affairs.

Henry said he would soon announce the members of what he called a provisional consensus government that would lead until elections are held.

"I present my compliments to the Haitian people who have shown political maturity in the face of what can be considered a coup. ... Our Haitian brothers gave peace a chance, while leaving the possibility that the truth could one day be restored," Henry said. "Now it is up to all the national leaders to walk together in unity, towards the same goal, to show that they are responsible."

The U.S. Embassy issued a brief statement saying it encouraged civil society to play an active role in building consensus in Haiti, as it was essential to strengthening democracy.

The upcoming change in leadership comes as authorities continue to investigate the attack at Moïse's private home with high-powered rifles that seriously wounded his wife.

Over 20 people have been arrested in connection with the assassination, including two Haitian Americans and several former members of the Colombian military. Among those arrested, Christian Sanon, is alleged to have orchestrated the attack.

Fears of political instability led officials to call on the US for military support, but President Joe Biden announced no US troops would be sent to stabilize Haiti.

“We’re only sending American Marines to our embassy,” Biden said. “The idea of sending American forces to Haiti is not on the agenda,” he said.

One of the Americans arrested for the assassination of Haiti’s president was an informant for the DEA.

The informant reached out to his handlers after the hit.

Officials did not identify which of the arrested was the informant, but he was first arrested more than 20 years ago for filing false information on a US passport application.

Going by the pseudonym Oliver, he helped bring down drug traffickers, including former Haiti rebel leader Guy Philippe.

A failed Haitian businessman living in Florida was a key player in the killing of Haiti’s president.

Haitian authorities identified Christian Emmanuel Sanon, who once expressed a desire to lead his country in a YouTube video. Unknown in Haitian political circles, associates suggested he was duped by those really behind the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

The suspect is an evangelical Christian pastor and a licensed physician in Haiti, but not in the U.S. Sanon was approached by people claiming to represent the U.S. State and Justice departments who wanted to install him as president.

Sanon, said the plan was for Moïse to be arrested, not killed.

Echoing those sentiments was the Rev. Larry Caldwell, a Florida pastor, who said he worked with Sanon in Haiti from 2000-2010.

“I know the character of the man,” Caldwell said. “You take a man like that and you’re then going to say he participated in a brutal crime of murder, knowing that being associated with that would send him to the pits of hell? ... If there was one man who would be willing to stand in the breach to help his country, it would be Christian.”

Haiti's National Police chief, Léon Charles, said Moïse’s killers were protecting Sanon, as officers found a hat with the logo of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 20 boxes of bullets, gun parts, four license plates from the Dominican Republic, two cars and correspondence, among other things, in Sanon's house in Haiti.

Moise's assassination has thrown the nation into turmoil, as his death leaves a power vacuum and comes as Haiti has been dealing with a wave of extreme violence, a growing humanitarian crisis and a Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo: AFP

After, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated at his own home in Port Au-Prince, his wife, Martine Moïse, who was shot multiple times was flown to Fort Lauderdale.

First Lady Martine Moïse posted a photo to Twitter for the first time.

“Thank you for the team of guardian angels who helped me through this terrible time,” she wrote.

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