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Assassinated: Haitian President Jovenel Moïse cut down by mercenaries in his prime

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#Haiti, July 8, 2021 – First Lady Matine Moise has survived the attack on her home which killed her husband, the 58th president of the Republic of Haiti, Jovenel Moise. 

In a story which is heartbreaking, horrifying, angering, confusing and still developing there are many questions including how the assailants managed to infiltrate the usually heavy security surrounding the president.  Security Forces are layers thick; placed in his neighbourhood, on the compound of his home and within the house.  Yet, around 1 a.m. on Wednesday the commandoes got into the private home and gunned down 53-year-old Moïse, his wife was also struck by bullets. 

Now, the first lady is airlifted to medical care in South Florida and prayers are launched in hopes she will pull through despite having sustained critical injuries. 

Weeping has been reported to Magnetic Media… those who loved the president are mortified by the news.

Others who know of the volatility of Haiti which has erupted several times in politically driven protests said it was hot on the ground, and his assassination is not a huge surprise. 

Haiti has in recent years, under the leadership of Moïse has seen controversial and unpopular decisions made.  Old friends like Venezuela, disappointed.  A relationship with China abandoned in favour of Taiwan. New strategies to end food dependency and boost agriculture drawing warnings from the Dominican Republic; allegedly exploitive contracts and policies ended, which have offended the ‘Boujwazee’ and the Church.

Moïse was seen as a maverick, who did what other country leaders had failed to do, but his political naiveté may have cost him his life. President Moïse was also seen as a dictator who refused to demit office and hold a general election as constitutionally mandated.  The confirmation of the assassination came early this morning from the interim PM of Haiti, Claude Joseph. 

Joseph locked down the country; closing sea and air ports.  He barricaded the capital Port Au Prince; not allowing motor vehicles in or out.  Many guess that it must be in an attempt to capture the killers and they were right.  The border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti was closed following the attack. 

Haiti now also facing a possible conundrum as it is unclear how the country proceeds in terms of national leadership.  The acting Prime Minister, because he is “acting” may not be able to assume the role of President. There is no parliament, because constitutionally it had to be dissolved since January 2020 and the Supreme Court Justice, in recent month died, reportedly after contracting the coronavirus. 

On Monday, before his murder, President Moïse announced that he had identified a medical doctor – Ariel Henry – to take on the role of Prime Minister of Haiti.  A move he justified as necessary to guide Haiti through the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Henry would have been the seventh prime minister in four years and would have taken over as Prime Minister of Haiti at the end of this week.

Our news organization was informed there is no such thing as a vice president in Haiti; a change Moïse had hoped to bring if re-elected along with other constitutional changes which had been promoted in a referendum. Some of those amendments were criticised for seeking to give too much power to the executive. An election was announced for September in Haiti. 

Prime Minister Joseph has informed media that he is in charge of Haiti now. 

As for video circulating where you can hear the order to “stand down”, it is legitimate and it is said dark blue trucks pulled into the compound, men posing as United States D.E.A. officers came in and they were the ones who gunned down Moïse. 

“Barbaric”, “cowardly”, “worrisome”, and “atrocious” are among the descriptions of the way Jovenel Moïse met his untimely demise, coming from leaders around the region and around the world.

Turks and Caicos Premier, Washington Misick said it is horrific and “My prayer is that the perpetrators are found and held accountable for their malicious actions and that peaceful resolve and good order can arise from such a horrible tragedy.”   

The murder of Moïse is particularly shocking because civilized countries of the world have come a long way from times when assassination is the way to make the point or win an argument.

From our media house (Magnetic Media) which has spent decades covering the people, places and plans of Haiti, we extend our deepest condolences.

See pages 21, 22 and 23 in our photo tribute to the slain President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse.

Caribbean News

Bob Marley – One Love Actor Endorses Black River Film Festival

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#MontegoBay, May 27, 2024 – The inaugural staging of the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), set for June 28 to 30, is being welcomed by local actor, Cornelius Orlando Grant, who sees the potential of the event in unearthing local talent and attracting investment from the international film industry.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank held at the agency’s Montego Bay Regional Office, Mr. Grant, who stars as gangster Bucky Marshall in the Bob Marley – One Love biopic, said the BRFF could leverage the interest and attention being generated towards Jamaica and its film industry following the premiere of the movie.

“Look at it this way, the Prince (Harry) came to the premiere and his presence attracted extra attention to [the film industry]. The Bob Marley movie is creating and breaking more records… . Just recently it opened in Japan [where]… reggae music and Bob Marley have a big fan base. Furthermore, people in the [diaspora] that I spoke to are saying that when they view the movie, it brought them vibes of home,” he noted.

Mr. Grant said that with Jamaica being positioned as the hub of the Caribbean film industry and with the increasing number of young persons emerging as content creators, “I think now is the time that we can capitalise on this. The Black River Film Festival is doing just that because it is not only incorporating new content creators but also showing students new career possibilities”.

Young content creators, 14 to 18 years old, who wish to enter or are already practitioners in the field of filmmaking will benefit from masterclass sessions during the Festival.

Mr. Grant will be among the speakers during these sessions.

The Ministry of Education, Region 5 will be partnering with the Festival producers at a workshop to be held at St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz on June 28.

 

Photo Caption: Jamaican actor, Cornelus Orlando Grant, gives his support to the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), while addressing a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service Montego Bay Regional Office in St. James.

Okoye Henry Photo

 

Contact: Sharon Earle

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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Caribbean News

CTO to Focus on Aviation at Caribbean Week in New York

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New York (May 16, 2024) – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is set to spotlight the future of Caribbean aviation during Caribbean Week in New York, scheduled for June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora will be the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, will moderate the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

The session will cover topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

The week also features a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions focused on artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

With the support of headline sponsor, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation; gold sponsors Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is poised to be a pivotal meeting for tourism professionals and stakeholders in the region and the Diaspora.

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