I extend the condolences of my Government and the Governments of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to the Haitian people, on the assassination of the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, which was reported to have occurred last night, hours after the 42nd CARICOM Heads Regular meeting ended.
All of CARICOM feel the pain which has been inflicted on Haiti by this killing.
Haiti was embraced by CARICOM because of the historic role played by its proud people in 1804, declaring itself a sovereign state, where slavery was brought to an immediate end.
The Haitian State has had an unstable existence, including an invasion by the USA in 1915, and the epoch of the Duvaliers who turned the state into their private fiefdom.
The United Nations and the Organization of American States were petitioned by CARICOM and others to intervene in order to bring stability to Haiti after Jean-Claude Duvalier unleashed violence on the Haitian people. The first democratically-elected President was inaugurated in 1992, but displaced less than a decade later. The instability continued.
The late President was mired in a debate as to whether his term ended months ago, or continues until early next year. This uncertainty, as well as, the presence of armed gangs determined to claim control over parts of Port au Prince, the capital, made governance extremely complex and dangerous.
The assassination of last evening further complicates the jostling for power that has characterized the Haitian state and its future.
My Government and the Governments of the CARICOM decry the violence that has engulfed our sister-CARICOM state.
CARICOM will continue to work in close cooperation with the Haitian people, the United Nations, Organization of American States and the governments of France and the United States, in bringing a reasonable settlement of the state of uncertainty and instability that now threaten the peace and security in Haiti and our Community as a whole.
We continue to press for Haiti’s development and for it to overcome the challenges of the past that have imperiled Haiti’s development.
Honourable Gaston Browne M.P.
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Chairman of CARICOM