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Haitian Ambassador Discusses Ongoing Investigation Into Assassination Of President


Here to tell us more about the situation on the ground is veteran Haitian Ambassador Herve Denis. Welcome, Ambassador.

HERVE DENIS: Good morning.

FADEL: Ambassador, we just heard Jason Beaubien describing an apparently organized group of gunmen who faced little resistance. What would you like to see in this investigation going forward?

DENIS: My first word would be to present my sympathy to the family of President Jovenel and his wife in particularly, and I think she will be able to make it. But with adding what the news are saying, I cannot - you know, I am not in Haiti right now. I'm no longer an official of the government. So I don't have any insight. You know, there is a lot of rumor in social media. So I don't think I am the best person...

FADEL: But what would you like to see in this investigation? I know you're not involved in it, but what do you think is important that needs to happen going forward?

DENIS: I think what is important to do - and the prime minister asked for that and I join him in that - you know, is to call for an international investigation to know what exactly happened. Because we have whatsoever, you know, the international community in Haiti, they involve a lot in the matter of Haiti. They have the expertise and the tools to be able, you know, to know exactly what is happening because we have to stop that kind of act which is a shame for a country and shame for the Haiti people in America. We cannot kill a president in function, whatever the critique was ever against him. But this is not possible. So we call for an international investigation, you know, to make the light over this matter and that will be a signal for the next people to not do this kind of act. And President Jovenel was my personal friend, you know, but I had no opportunity to talk with him lately. So I really - I'm really deeply, you know, concerned about that. It's not the way, you know, whatever the critique they have against him, you know. But it is not a way to end the life of somebody, mainly our first citizen.

FADEL: You know, could you expand a little bit on that? You said that there had been some criticism of him. How did Haitians view Moise?

DENIS: Well, you know, this is the function of a president. You know, when you come, you promise a lot and then - and because of the speech and because of your execution of your mandate, you know, you have some difficulty, I think. This is nothing new. And President Moise, beside of that, he was not a political man from experience. He was a businessman. And then he become president. He promise a lot, and he had a difficulty on the course of the (unintelligible). So he has not been able, you know, to face those challenges. It is - there a lot of challenge. There will be a lot of challenge for the next one in Haiti. So this is not an easy country. So - and that happened and - but there is no reason for those, whatever happened, whatever the way he ruled the country to shot a person that way. We cannot accept.

FADEL: What needs to be done to stave off a vacuum after President Moise's assassination, the chief (ph)...

DENIS: Well, I think it's more than that, you know. Haiti and that one of the - Haiti have to create more opportunity for these people. Haiti - this is fully - more opportunity, create more job. You know, when I was ambassador in Washington, I had the opportunity to renew - to work to renew a major piece of legislature in the United States, which is the CBTPA. And the CBTPA has been able to create 60,000 jobs. So we need more jobs.

FADEL: We'll have to leave it there. Veteran Haitian diplomat Ambassador Herve Denis, thank you so much.

DENIS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.