Martine Moïse, spouse of the slain president, returns to Haiti: NPR

Haiti’s Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph gives a press conference in Port-au-Prince on Friday, the week after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse on July 7th. Joseph Odelyn / AP Hide caption

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Joseph Odelyn / AP

Haiti Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph gives a press conference in Port-au-Prince on Friday, the week after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse on July 7th.

Joseph Odelyn / AP

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Martine Moïse, the wife of the assassinated President of Haiti, who was injured in the July 7 attack on her private home, returned to the Caribbean on Saturday after being released from a Miami hospital.

Her arrival was unannounced and took many by surprise in the country where more than 11 million people are still raided by the murder of Jovenel Moïse, authorities say Haitians, Haitian Americans and former Colombian soldiers were involved.

Martine Moïse stepped off the flight at Port-au-Prince Airport in a black dress, black bulletproof jacket, black face mask, and her right arm in a black sling as they slowly plan the steps of a seemingly private one by one. She was greeted by Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph and other officials.

Earlier this week she tweeted from the Miami Hospital that she couldn’t believe her husband Jovenel Moïse was gone “without saying one last word,” she wrote. “This pain will never go away.”

On Friday, government officials announced that Jovenel Moïse’s funeral would take place on July 23 in the northern Haitian city of Cap-Haitien and that his wife was expected.

It came hours after a key group of international diplomats snubbed the man who currently rules Haiti on Saturday by urging another politician, Prime Minister-designate, to form a government following Moïse’s assassination.

Joseph led Haiti with police and military support, despite Moïse announcing his successor the day before the president was assassinated.

Joseph and his allies argue that the designated successor, Ariel Henry, was never sworn in, despite promising to work with him and Joseph Lambert, head of Haiti’s inactive Senate.

The declaration was issued by the core group consisting of ambassadors from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the USA, France, the European Union and representatives of the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

The group called for the creation of a “consensual and inclusive government”.

“To this end, she strongly encourages Prime Minister-designate Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government,” the group said.

US officials were not immediately available for comment. A UN spokesman declined to comment, except that the UN was part of the group that issued the statement. An OAS spokesman said: “At the moment there is nothing more to say than what is in the declaration.”

Henry and Joseph’s spokesman did not immediately return messages for comment.

The group also called for “all political, economic and civil society actors in the country to give their full support to the authorities in their efforts to restore security”.
Robert Fatton, a Haitian policy expert at the University of Virginia, said the statement was very confusing, especially after the UN official said Joseph was responsible.

“More confusion in a very confusing and confusing situation,” he said.
The question of who should take office was made more difficult by the fact that the Haitian parliament did not function because most MPs had expired due to a lack of elections. And the chairman of the Supreme Court recently died of COVID-19.

A day after the assassination, State Department spokesman Ned Price stated that Joseph was the incumbent in office and served as acting prime minister prior to the assassination: “We continue to work with Claude Joseph,” he said.

On July 11, a delegation of representatives from the US Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and the National Security Council traveled to Haiti. They checked critical infrastructure, spoke to the Haitian National Police, and met Joseph, Henry, and Lambert for a joint meeting.

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