The Biden administration condemned the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was shot dead by unidentified attackers in his private residence overnight.
“We’re still gathering information,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in an interview with MSNBC, later telling CNN that the assassination is ” a tragic tragedy” and “a horrific crime.”
“We stand ready and stand by them to provide any assistance that’s needed,” she said. “Of course our embassy and State Department will be in close touch but it’s a tragedy. We stand with them and it’s important that people of Haiti know that.”
“It’s a horrific crime and we’re so sorry for the loss,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says about the Haitian president’s assassination. “And we stand ready and stand by them to provide any assistance that’s needed.” https://t.co/PoVy2klZSQ pic.twitter.com/tbdBEQtwjH
— CNN International (@cnni) July 7, 2021
Moise was shot at home by Spanish-speaking attackers, said Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph in a statement, noting that the first lady, Martine Moise, had survived the attack and was being treated at the hospital.
The assassination coincided with “a wave of gang violence in Port-au-Prince as armed groups have battled with police and one another for control of the streets in recent months, turning many districts of the capital into no-go zones,” according to Reuters, sending shockwaves through the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere.
Moise had been accused of trying to install a dictatorship, facing fierce protests since he took office in 2017, and refusing to step down from office after the country failed to hold legislative elections.