Haiti first lady airlifted to Florida for medical treatment after being shot

The men who attacked Haiti President and First Lady Jovenel and Martine Moïse were "mercenaries" who allegedly posed as American DEA agents.

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First Lady of Haiti Martine Moïse was airlifted out of the country and transported to Miami after being shot during the attack that killed her husband, Haiti President Jovenel Moïse, early Wednesday. 

Mrs. Moïse, 47, was transported to Fort Lauderdale from the sovereign nation and then taken to Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, Local 10 News reported. 

First Lady of Haiti Martine Moise (above) was transported to Miami after being shot during the attack early Wednesday that killed her husband, Haitian President Jovenel Moise. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

According to the report, she was wounded with gunshots to her arms, her thigh and had severe injuries to her hand and abdomen. Police surrounded her as she was taken off the air ambulance and put into a private one for transport to the hospital.

President Moïse, 53, was elected in 2017. Calls for his resignation began in 2019 and eventually escalated to a political crisis after years of alleged corruption, the mismanagement of natural disasters, rising violence and, most recently, the coronavirus pandemic. He dissolved the nation’s parliament last January.

The Miami Herald is reporting that the men who assassinated Haiti’s president were “mercenaries” and “assassins” who allegedly posed as American DEA agents, according to Haiti’s interim national police chief Leon Charles. Four of the assailants were killed, and two were arrested.

“At the moment I am speaking to you now the police is engaged in a battle,” Charles said Wednesday. Authorities are “determined to do their job” of protecting the population, he emphasized.

President Haiti Jovenel Moise
President Haiti Jovenel Moise addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

An article published by theGrio on Thursday questioned what President Moise’s assassination means for the impoverished nation and its citizenry. Written by Wen-kuni Ceant, it opined “with no clear succession of power, it is up to the people of Haiti to navigate this new power vacuum and the international community to support and uplift them.” 

“The chaos and unclear succession of power has left Haitians and the diaspora alike grasping for straws on what the future of Haiti will look like,” wrote Ceant. “The president of Haiti’s Cour de Cassation (Supreme Court) would naturally be the next in power — but the recent death of the last Supreme Court president, Rene Sylvestre, from COVID-19 complications makes matters even more perilous.”

“No Supreme Court president, no senate, and no parliament. Not to mention, the neighboring Dominican Republic has closed its borders, and all flights in and out of the country have been immediately suspended until further notice,” Ceant noted.

Yesterday, U.S. President Joe Biden tweeted, “We are shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the attack on First Lady Martine Moïse of Haiti. We condemn this heinous act — and stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti.” 

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