SALT LAKE CITY — After the recent assassination of its president, Haiti will not return to a functioning democracy until it rebuilds its system of voting, said a former Utah politician.
Assassins killed Haitian President Jovenel Moise (ZHO’-va-nelle MO’-ease) Wednesday in his private home near the capital of Port-au-Prince. Police in Haiti now say they’ve killed four suspects involved in his murder and freed three officers held hostage.
Haiti Police Chief Leon Charles said Thursday the assassination plot involved 28 people, including 26 Colombians and two Haitian-Americans, James Solages, 35, and Joseph Vincent, 55. Police detained 17 suspects Friday in connection with the assassination. A countrywide manhunt is underway for at least eight additional suspects, CNN reported. Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph declared a “state of siege” in Haiti on Wednesday, closing the country’s borders and imposing martial law, according to CNN.
Former Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic to talk about the situation in Haiti.
Love served Utah’s 4th congressional district from 2015 to 2019, and was born to Haitian parents in Brooklyn in 1975.
Haiti’s history of suffering
Haiti’s recent history has been riddled with tragedy, as documented by Wikipedia:
- Democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced into exile by a revolt in 2004.
- Also in 2004, Tropical Storm Jeanne skimmed the north coast of Haiti, leaving 3,006 people dead in flooding and mudslides.
- In 2008, strong storms again struck Haiti; Tropical Storm Fay, Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Hanna and Hurricane Ike all produced heavy winds and rain, leaving 331 citizens deaths and about 800,000 needing humanitarian aid.
- In January 2010, Haiti experienced a magnitude-7.0 earthquake, the most severe quake in more than 200 years. The temblor reportedly killed between 220,000 and 300,000 people, leaving up to 1.6 million homeless. During that time cholera-infected waste from a United Nations peacekeeping station contaminated the country’s main river, the Artibonite, and roughly 10,000 Haitians died.
Mia Love: Moise wanted a brighter future for Haiti
Mia Love told KSL she once met with President Jovenel Moise and talked to him about corrupt judges in Haiti involved in the sex-trafficking of children.
“[The president] immediately went after these judges and immediately held them accountable,” she said.
Love added her father, who follows the country’s politics closely, said Moise’s downfall was he was too forgiving of the people who wanted to do him harm.
“He kind of just brushed it off and wanted to go on to the next thing,” she said.
From the archives: Haiti gets first Latter-day Saint Temple
After the nation suffered through dictator after dictator, Love believed Moise wanted to return Haiti to a state of stability.
Love said she has always maintained that if Haiti could not reform its voting system — the way it elects its leaders — the country could not function as a democratic nation.
“And there was nothing that anybody could do to help them,” she said.
Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.