Jovenel Moïse is no longer entitled to reside at the National Palace, even till February 7, 2021. The January 1st gesture at the birthplace of the nation is like a concerted decision to put an end to his mandate.
On the 217th anniversary of Haiti’s independence, the Haitian people showed Jovenel Moïse that they are no longer joking
New York 8 janvier 2021 ((rezonodwes.com))–It has been obvious for more than a year that the Haitian people have rejected Jovenel Moïse as president. Other than in numerous demonstrations throughout his five-year term, they have reiterated their verdict eloquently on January 1, 2021. The commemoration of Haiti’s Independence Day provided them an opportunity to show to all their rejection of that citizen as Head of State. Not only was he forbidden to make the traditional pilgrimage to Gonaïves as all presidents have done in the past, but the opposition collectively gathered there in his place to receive the honors generally reserved for the country’s First Citizen.
In that light, Mr. Moïse is no longer entitled to reside at the National Palace, even till February 7. For, the January 1st gesture at the birthplace of the nation is like a concerted decision to put an end to his mandate.
Indeed, for two consecutive years, the Head of State has been denied access to the City of Independence, depriving him of the prerogatives reserved for the presidency on January 1st. The people of Gonaïves, backed by the entire nation, had challenged President Moïse months before the commemorative date of Haiti’s independence, stating that he was not welcome there. He was left to muse about how his excesses and the criminal acts characterized by his policies have soured the citizenry. Undoubtedly, he understood the legitimacy of the people’s challenge. Their anger is such that only his removal will satisfy them. It would have be foolhardy to con-front them. So, he complied, staying far away from Gonaïves.
Without the splendor and luxury customarily displayed for the trip to Gonaïves, on January 2nd, Ancestors’ Day, the president organized a ceremony at the Champ de Mars, that some deridingly call “low level mass.” Thus, did he deposit a floral wreath at the MUPANAH, the Museum dedicated to Haiti’s heroes, steps away from the National Palace.
It was a meaningless gesture, a ceremony in a hurry, not even taking time to deliver the traditional speech on this commemorative date. It was as if he were in a rush to leave the premises, for fear of a confrontation with armed men roaming around. After all, attacks on official caravans had resulted in the death of two Palace police officers and injury to others, in addition to their being robbed of a large sum they were carrying. Also, the attackers made off with their cell phones and service weapons.
To be noted, never before events commemorating Independence Day have been so poorly covered by the national press. Even official government organs gave only partial coverage to that part of the ceremonies held at the National Palace. Also, the brief stopover of Jovenel Moïse with the First Lady and their entourage at the MUPANAH left people thinking that they were doing their out most to avoid any unwanted encounter. Overall, it seems that the president only feels safe in the “fortress” that is the official residence of the Head of State, notwithstanding any ceremony in memory of the Ancestors.
On the 217th anniversary of Haiti’s independence, the Haitian people showed Jovenel Moïse that they are no longer joking. Though he had threatened to unleash his gorillas on the city of Gonaïves, he wisely changed his mind. So, he left the City of Independence to the people of Gonaives and other national communities who joined them to commemorate the 217th anniversary of the birth of the nation. Unprepared financially to celebrate Independence Day, the citizens of that city welcomed and gathered behind the leaders of the opposition in commemorating the day.
Indeed, as early as 7 a.m. on the morning of January 1st, as expect-ed, the president was absent from Gonaïves. In his place, all the staff of the anti-Moïse opposition were present. The representatives of the members of “La Table de concertation”, (the various groups united), Senator Youri Latortue, the former mayor of Gonaïves Neil Latortue, as well as many other members of popular organizations were present. They layed a wreath of flowers in the main plaza of Gonaïves. Then they all attended the traditional Te deum, the church service, at the city’s Cathedral, officiated by Bishop Yves Marie Péan.
Opponents joined their voices in reiterating that, come February 7, Jovenel Moïse’s must clear out from the National Palace. It is unavoidable, they maintain. Others are less patient, insisting that he should leave much earlier.
However, in the majority, political actors on the scene are focused on February 7 as the date for the president to vacate power. As far as they are concerned, all measures have been taken to that end. Devoid of all legitimacy, Jovenel Moïse is no longer welcome at the National Palace.
Board of editorial of Haiti-Observateur
VOL. LI, No. 1 New York : Tel : (718) 812-2820; • Montréal (514) 321-6434; • Port-au-Prince: (011 509) 223-0785 • Paris (33-1)43-63-28-10 6- 13 janvier 2021