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Haitian voices highlight community pain

Haitian voices highlight community pain

July 9, 2021 at 3:05pm

By Laura Lopez Ramos

In the aftermath of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse's assassination, members of FIU's Haitian Community shared their thoughts on Haiti's uncertain political future, concerns about loved ones and the nation’s collective mourning process.

juliette-saint-louis.jpg“The news of President Jovenel Moïse assassination and the attack on first lady Martine had me shaken to my core. I was very worried about the civil uproar that could possibly take place so the first thing I did was call to check on my dad and Grandma who currently reside in Haiti. This may be the case for many of my Haitian students and fellow peers at FIU. Sometimes it feels like we can never catch a break, but I am still holding on to hope that my beautiful motherland, Haiti will finally have the peace it deserves. Haitians are the most resilient people, and I am so proud to be one.”

Juliette Saint Louis, adjunct professor and lead academic advisor, School of Communication & Journalism and Diversity Equity & Inclusion advocate, CARTA

nicolas-andre.png"It is so outrageous that we as a nation only resort to violence and crime when our political differences outweigh what makes our strength: Men anpil chay pa lou! (Many hands together make the heavy burden light). Haitian President Jovenel Moïse's assassination, as well as many citizens' before him and during his presidency, are gratuitous acts, tarnishing further our ancestors’ sacrifice that led to our country's Independence in 1804. All the unknowns behind this and beyond are very worrisome and predict even somber moments for Ayiti Cheri [Haiti, My Love]!"

—Nicolas André, associate teaching professor and Haitian Creole Program coordinator, Department of Modern Languages & Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center

yselande-pierre.jpg“I grew up in Little Haiti. I saw the struggle and resilience of the Haitian community in Miami. I participated in some of the manifestations (protests) as a kid knowing that my people were fighting for immigration rights, justice and peace in our ancestral home. Never in my wildest dream, I would think to see and read breaking news— the Haitian President has been assassinated. It is sad and difficult to process. Based on my observations from the media and interviews, President Moïse was a confident man, almost too proud but he was still human. Despite what some may think of him politically, he was trying to move Haiti forward. Please keep his family and the Haitian Diaspora in your thoughts and prayers.”

—Yselande Pierre, associate director, Campus Life BBC, Student Affairs

rachel-pierre.jpeg“The news of the assassination of the president was alarming, to say the least. Haitians know the devastation and turmoil that Haiti has been facing for over a decade. It almost seems never-ending. The assassination of the president may be a catalysis for things to come in the country. There may very well be a shift in the political rule in Haiti; however, I am not so sure it will be beneficial for the country. My hope is that justice will be brought to those that committed this dreadful crime.”

—Rachel Pierre, Master of Public Health student and DEI student assistant

linda-champagne.jpg“I find the death of President Jovenel Moïse to be barbaric, unacceptable and cowardly. As Haitians we are naturally very emotional people, have never learned the art of controlling our emotions, passion and have never learned the art of working through our differences. Haitian government officials need to request assistance from the Haitian diaspora and the international community (if necessary) to fully understand how and why this happened. To Martine Moïse, I say we (Haitian-American women) are praying for your speedy recovery, your ability to continue nurturing your children and the possibility of someday continuing your husband’s legacy. As our Haitian motto says: 'L’union fait al force' [union makes strength]. President Jovenel Moïse death will not be in vain.”

—Linda Champagne, associate controller, Financial Systems & Support Service, Controller’s Office

eb-1.jpg"Waking up to the news of President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination had me in a state of shock, which turned to immediate concerns for my close family members who reside in Haiti. The nonstop upheaval that our beloved Ayiti Cherie has experienced is not what our ancestors wanted when they fought for Haiti to become the first Black republic. I’m concerned for my family that resides in Haiti and my parents who are part of the Haitian diaspora during this time— which also includes increasing COVID-19 cases and deaths. As more details of this horrendous assassination come in, we hear about what his wife and kids experienced and the unknown of the political environment in Haiti, I pray for my ancestral land and the mental health and well-being of the Haitian people both on the island and in the diaspora."

—Emmanuele A. Bowles, director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

kensley-youte.jpg“The recent tragedy in Haiti has shaken the entire Haitian community to the core. After hearing the news, I can confidently say that many of us were flooded with emotion. The shock of President Jovenel's assassination can be felt most with the older generation. They have a deeper understanding of the impact that this truly brings. This moment is one that we will all carry in our hearts. And although many of us are still grieving, I am confident that our strong and proud Nation of people will come back from this.”

—Kensley Youte, alumnus, School of Journalism and Communication, CARTA