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Assassinated Haiti president Jovenel Moise clashes with some businessmen

Haiti’s Port-au-Prince — Before being shot, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise regularly attacked what he called a powerful oligarchy, blaming the plight of the poor.

“After decades of systematic looting of state-owned property by a corrupt oligarchy, Moise said in a March speech,” The country needs a collective awakening. “

According to historians and political analysts, this was a common political strategy in a highly unequal country where Haitian politicians rallyed the poor against the so-called bourgeoisie. It also fueled resentment among some of the business elite against Moise, who became increasingly isolated and more dictatorial, including against business rivals. Haiti’s political and economic crisis has exacerbatedAccording to political analysts, rights activists in Haiti, and US lawmakers.

His painstaking relationship with the business world sheds light on the internal turmoil that struck the country a few months ago. His death on July 7th..Two small security business owners in Haiti have been publicly elected Suspect under investigation So far, an assortment of about 40 Haitian politicians, Miami businessmen, and former Colombian soldiers has been involved. Still, there is no motive for the case being handled by Haitian police with the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Security guards stood outside Haiti’s National Pantheon Museum before the memorial of the late President on Tuesday.


Photo:

Matthias de la Croix / Associated Press

Under Mr. Moise, some businessmen paid a lot of money, saying they used his political power to chase after them to support other political parties. The World Economic Forum has benefited from political ties with the governments of countries ranked 138th out of 141 countries in terms of economic competitiveness, and others have gained favorable benefits, executives and executives said. Analysts say.

In 2019, as power outages worsen, Haiti has revoked millions of dollars in electricity production contracts by an important family-owned group with close ties to political parties against Moise, a businessman familiar with the case. Said a former government official. Police raided the house of a company executive, and the judge ordered the group’s power plant to be seized. At the time, the company accused Moise of launching a “full-scale campaign for political persecution.” The company is currently seeking a solution from the Paris Arbitration Court.

Earlier this month, a Treasury-run anti-corruption unit issued subpoenas to car dealers and supermarket owners to interrogate in an investigation into alleged pension fund fraud. The businessman is Mr. Moise’s former ally who turned his back on him.

Ezer Emile, an economist at the University of Kiskeya in Port-au-Prince, said Moise theoretically did not oppose the leaders of large corporations. “He was against people who were neither his friends nor his political group,” Emile said.

Haiti’s economy has begun to unravel in recent years due to political instability and increasing corruption. In 2019, a street vendor in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince.


Photo:

Dieu Nalio Chery / Associated Press

People protest Port-au-Prince corruption and inflation in October 2019.


Photo:

Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press

A spokesman for the murdered president said he did not use his power to chase the businessman for political reasons.

Laurent Lamothe, a former prime minister and close ally of the late president, said Moise was committed to fighting corruption and implementing the coveted economic reforms against the interests of the families of large corporations. He said most businessmen supported him, but opponents insulted him.

“He was the first person to fight corruption,” he said of Moise. “The president was assassinated in public opinion before his physical assassination.”

Two small business owners identified as security consultants by Haitian police were arrested in connection with the assassination. They were not asked to comment and it was unclear if they had a legal representative.

A businessman involved in a public dispute with the government denied his involvement in the murder. “I condemn the timid acts committed against the president of my country,” said Dimitri Volve, director of Miami-based Societe Generale Denergy SA, or a contract to supply electricity expired in 2019. Sogener, the company that became, said.

Reginald Boulos, a former ally of another businessman, Moise, called the assassination of the president “a dark day for Haiti as a nation.” He added in a text message: “We strongly condemn this horrific and cruel act.”

Vorbe and Boulos have not been nominated as suspects. However, they were on the list of Moise’s five businessmen and political opponents, who were asked by the prosecutor to come to cross-examine the case earlier this month. Both men, now outside Haiti, have sent lawyers to meet with the prosecutor.

Young people standing at the coastal gates of the La Saline district of Port-au-Prince.


Photo:

Matthias de la Croix / Associated Press

A powerful gang controls the swath of the country. People pass a police station near the conflict area between the two gangs in Port-au-Prince in June.


Photo:

jean marc herve abelard / EPA / Shutterstock

Haiti’s business community is small but influential. Many of its leaders are descendants of Syria or Lebanon, causing friction in countries where most are descendants of African slaves who defeated the French overlord in 1804. Increasing tensions are obstacles to rural Haitians like Moïse being born into merchants and tailors in small Haiti towns, according to national analysts and regular Haitians, to invade the bright-skinned elite of the city. Facing

Indeed, as a young man, Moise struggled to become part of the elite, but never considered him a successful entrepreneur, Moise’s friends and business members said. It was. “He was in an area unknown to him,” said a manager who knew Mr. Moïse.

Still, Moise now owns a company that exports bananas and sells auto parts and equipment for drinking water. He came to power with most of Haiti’s business class and financial support from former President Michel Martelly. Michel Martelly ran Moise as president of the Bald Head Party in 2015.

At that time, Haiti was flooded with cash from multilateral lenders and other foreign donors for reconstruction after the 2010 catastrophic earthquake, many of which were politically involved in everything from rice imports to luxury goods. It has benefited the companies with which it is connected.

Haitian police said they had killed four suspects and arrested two others after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. His murder brings more political turmoil to a country that has long been plagued by lawlessness and financial hardship.Photo: Joseph Odelyn / Associated Press

Inaugurated in 2017, Moise inherited what Haitian executives and experts call a well-established system in which people closely associated with power benefit. Haiti, along with North Korea, is ranked 170th out of 179 countries in terms of corruption.

Critics of the Moise administration, especially political analysts, former government officials and businessmen, said they supported the businessmen who supported him at the expense of others who supported various political parties.

“The conflict began there,” said former central bank governor Fritz Alphonse Jean, “a war between the old oligarchy and some newcomers.” Mr. Jean called it “a fierce battle for market share of imported products.”

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Some of the alleged beneficiaries say that top-tier businessmen and former government officials have minimal obligations to import food. Another company benefited from a year-old decree that gave state agencies the exclusive right to import all of the country’s petroleum products, two key businessmen and former government officials said. Efforts to contact company representatives were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, business leaders said Moise’s promise to reform a highly uneven competition was unsuccessful.

During Mr. Moise’s five-year term, Haiti’s economy began to unravel due to political instability and increased corruption. According to the United Nations, millions of people are hungry. The Covid-19 pandemic made things worse. Violent crimes between powerful gangsters The territory of the country also surprised businessmen who felt the government had lost control.

“Previously I was able to call a police car to the police,” said a factory owner. “No, we are now at the mercy of local gangsters.”

Write to Ryan Dube at ryan.dube@dowjones.com, José de Córdobaat jose.decordoba@wsj.com And Kejar Vyas kejal.vyas@wsj.com

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Assassinated Haiti president Jovenel Moise clashes with some businessmen

Source link Assassinated Haiti president Jovenel Moise clashes with some businessmen

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