Haitian Americans meet to pray for Martine Moïse, Haiti

MIAMI – Haitian Americans met Friday in Miami-Dade County to pray for First Lady Martine Moïse who remained at Jackson Memorial Hospital for over a week. She was injured during the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, 53, in Port-au-Prince, and hopes to attend his funeral July 23 in Haiti’s city of Cap-Haitien.

Groups in different places in Miami-Dade also met to pray for peace in the impoverished Caribbean nation. Florida Rep. Marie Paule Woodson participated in group prayer in Miami. The Catholic Democrat who lives in Broward was born in Haiti’s coastal city of Port-de-Paix.

“As a woman, as a mother, I felt for her,” Woodson said. “I feel what she is going through, losing a husband and having to raise three children by herself now.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also expressed solidarity with Moïse and the Haitian Americans in South Florida. The Little Haiti Cultural Center’s Sounds of Little Haiti, a monthly event, turned into a memorial. There was also a candlelight vigil.

Earlier this week, Moïse, 47, shared photographs on social media thanking JMH’s “team of guardian angels” for their “gentle touch, kindness, and care.” Haitian Americans at JMH responded Friday with a public circle of prayer asking God to protect and heal Moïse and Haiti.

News of the former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s return to Haiti from Cuba made it to Little Haiti Friday. Aristide, 68, a former Catholic priest, ousted Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier in 1986. The Haitian military removed Aristide in 1991 and the U.S. military intervened to return him to power in 1994. He was re-elected in 2000 and survived an uprising in 2004 to live in exile until 2011.

The Haitian American community has been on alert after investigators into Moïse’s assassination found several links to South Florida. Investigators accused Worldwide Capital Lending Group in Weston and CTU Security in Doral of interactions with several of the suspects.

This photograph shows several suspects of the Haitian president's assassination meeting in South Florida.

Colombian authorities reported Duberney Capador and Germán Rivera, retired members of the Colombian military were hired by Joseph Felix Badio, a former Haitian justice ministry official. Haitian authorities reported Rivera was arrested and Capador was killed in a shootout after the assassination.

Biden deployed agents with the FBI and Homeland Security to assist with the investigation and U.S. Marines to increase security at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince.

An FBI agent assisting in the investigation over the assassination of Haitis President Jovenel Moise leaves Moises residence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, July 15, 2021. Moise was assassinated in his home on July 7. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

About the Authors:

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.