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Haiti has been left in turmoil following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7.
The call for help comes after a senior official from the Biden administration official said the U.S. has “no plans to provide military assistance at this time.”
“We definitely need assistance and we’ve asked our international partners for help,” Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph told the AP. “We believe our partners can assist the national police in resolving the situation.”
Haitian police arrested more than two dozen men in connection with the hit. Police reportedly found a D.E.A. cap — indicating that the men who entered Moïse’s under the pretense of being Drug Enforcement Administration agents. Six holsters, about 20 boxes of bullets, 24 unused shooting targets were also found, and four license plates from the Dominican Republic.
“What do we do? Do we let the country fall into chaos? Private properties destroyed? People killed after the assassination of the president? Or, as a government, do we prevent?” Mathias Pierre, Haiti’s elections minister, told AP News in defense of the decision to plead for U.S. intervention.” We’re not asking for the occupation of the country. We’re asking for small troops to assist and help us. … As long as we are weak, I think we will need our neighbors.”
Authorities say the hit squad comprised of 26 Colombians and two Haitian-Americans.
Haiti is often touted as one of the poorest countries in the world, but it’s roots in revolution and bucking against the system, essentially makes it one of the freest. For decades, Haiti has been ostracized from the global community as Europe and the United States, refused to recognize it as an independent republic. Haiti became the world’s first Black-led republic when it declared its independence from France in1804.
Last week, a group of lawmakers pledged their loyalty and recognized Joseph Lambert, the head of Haiti’s senate, as provisional president. They also recognized Prime Minister Ariel Henry, whom Moïse had selected to replace Joseph a day before he was killed.
Joseph condemned the assumed power grab. “I’m not interested in a power struggle,” said Joseph. “There’s only one way people can become president in Haiti. And that’s through elections.”