Haiti’s wounded first lady rips ‘gutless’ killers

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Haiti's wounded first lady rips ‘gutless’ killers

The hospitalized wife of Haiti’s assassinated President Jovenel Moïse Saturday accused her husband’s enemies of wanting “to kill his dream, his vision, his ideology.” 

“I’m alive, thanks to God,” Martine Moïse, 47, said in her first reported statement since the Wednesday raid, in which she was shot multiple times. 

“But I love my husband, Jovenel. We fought together for more than 25 years. During all these years, love radiated within the home. But suddenly, the mercenaries came and pelted my husband with bullets. 

“You have to be a notorious criminal without guts to assassinate a president like Jovenel Moïse with impunity, without giving him the chance to speak,” she added in a recording made at a Miami hospital, where she is being treated. 

“You knew who the president was fighting against.” 

Haitian citizens gather in front of the US Embassy in Tabarre, Haiti on July 10, 2021, asking for asylum after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
Haitian citizens gather in front of the US Embassy in Tabarre, Haiti on July 10, 2021, asking for asylum after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
AFP via Getty Images

While The Associated Press reported that the statement was released by Martine Moïse, The Haitian Times, an English language news outlet based in Brooklyn, claimed the tape was a “deep fake.” 

It said the voice in the audio was different from previous recordings of the first lady, and that her Twitter account, where the recording was posted, was hacked. 

The statement came as Haiti was reeling in the aftermath of the killing, and shortly after a third politician claimed to be the country’s leader

The President of the Haitian Senate Joseph Lambert (C) addresses senator during the ratification session of Prime Minister Jean Henry Ceant's general policy in Port-au-Prince on September 14, 2018.
Joseph Lambert (center) has also claimed power in Haiti.
AFP via Getty Images

Joseph Lambert, who leads what remains of the Haitian Senate, announced that he was voted provisional president by his fellow senators Friday evening. 

But the vote took place among just 10 senators, as the rest of the 30-member chamber left office in January. Since Haiti has yet to hold new elections, those members were never replaced. 

Lambert joined two others seeking to rule the nation since Moïse, 53, was killed. 

Claude Joseph, who had resigned as prime minister, took charge of the government and named himself acting president in the hours after the assassination. Ariel Henry, whom Moïse had named prime minister but had not yet taken office, also claims he should be in charge. 

Members of the Haitian police stand guard outside of the presidential residence on July 7, 2021.
Members of the Haitian police stand guard outside of the presidential residence on July 7, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

The US and the UN have recognized Joseph, who on Friday asked both bodies to deploy troops to Haiti. While the streets are quiet, the fear of violence is widespread. 

A senior US official told Reuters there were “no plans to provide US military assistance at this time.” 

More than a dozen former members of Colombia’s military were arrested for the pre-dawn attack that killed Moïse and injured his wife. At least two were killed in a shootout. Two Haitian-Americans were also arrested, although they have claimed they were only translators in an interview with a judge.

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