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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

CHTA President calls for “Dynamic Tax” to address high cost of air travel

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#CaymanIslands, September 26, 2022 – The President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is recommending a tiered “dynamic taxation system” as a novel and potential solution to address ongoing concerns about the high cost of air travel within and to and from the region.

Calling for a flexible approach to levying airline taxes, CHTA’s President Nicola Madden-Greig said one of the major constraints facing Caribbean travel is the heavy burden of taxation, and governments could well consider successful revenue management tactics employed within the tourism and aviation sector.

Understanding that the full removal of taxes may be challenging, the CHTA president suggested a tax policy that is responsive to international travel demand seasonality. “For example, governments can affix a higher airline ticket tax in the peak winter season and lower taxes in the summer when demand is weak,” she said, adding that giving consumers better prices to drive visitation during the slow season could boost tourism, commerce and intra-regional VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) travel.

Speaking recently at IATA Caribbean Aviation Day in Grand Cayman, the successful Jamaican hotelier said the economics of such a variable policy may in fact result in a net gain in tax revenue to Caribbean governments. “As travel becomes more affordable and we stimulate more travel, this will result in more local spending, and consequently an increase in local tax collections,” she said, underscoring there will be an overall net benefit to the consumer thanks to lower ticket prices.

“I think it’s a concept that should be explored,” said Madden-Greig, who argued that a well-developed strategy could address diverse perspectives on taxation. “There’s a way to do it that allows for flexibility so you still have taxation on the front end, but when you need to drive demand, you can reduce those taxes and make up the difference on the tail end,” she said. The taxation details however must be transparent, she warned.

Madden-Greig, the Jamaica-based Group Director of Marketing & Sales at The Courtleigh Hospitality Group, said she hopes to explore the “dynamic taxation strategy” at the upcoming Caribbean Travel Forum, taking place at CHTA’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 3 to 5, 2022.

“This could definitely answer the call for reduction in taxes, but not a reduction necessarily all year-round,” the CHTA president explained, suggesting that policy makers could consider alternate tax regimes for regional and international flights in order to drive multi-destination and intra-regional travel.

She admitted that research is required on the technological options to implement the system: “It may not be an immediate solution, but it’s a solution we can work towards.”

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Caribbean News

WHO rejects report, claims it managed Cornavirus Pandemic well

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

September 18, 2022 – The World Health Organization is rejecting suggestions that it moved too slowly to contain the COVID19 pandemic.

In a press release on Thursday, the WHO says there were ‘omissions and misinterpretations’ made by the Lancet Commission in its report ‘Lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic’ which criticized the organization as ‘delayed and vague’ in its reaction.

Lancet had claimed The WHO was too slow in its response time in the early weeks leading to swift global spread of the coronavirus. In reply the entity said “the Commission does not convey the full arc of WHO’s immediate, multi-year, life-saving response”.

The agency detailed its response in the first weeks of the pandemic saying that behind closed doors they were meeting with member countries and creating information packages on how to test for and treat the unknown virus.

It also defended the timing of its announcement of the pandemic (which the Lancet Commission said was too slow) noting that the first meeting of the emergency committee occurred only after only nine international cases and no deaths outside of China and while it was not declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) it was noted that it could become one quickly.

It was declared a PHEIC seven days later.

The WHO also says not only did it repeatedly warn of the possibility of human to human transmission it warned countries to start screening at entry points and provided early access to personal protective gear.

At the same time there were agreements between the entities. Lancet maintained that with strengthening the WHO should still be in charge of worldwide pandemic response.

Additionally the WHO did say it agreed with some of the commission’s observations including chronic underfunding of the UN and some of its recommendations including the importance of multilateralism, solidarity and cooperation when facing pandemics.

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Caribbean News

TCI’s Faion Hicks on roster for Denver Broncos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – Faion Hicks made history as the first TCI American player to be drafted into the NFL when he got hitched to the Denver Broncos several months ago.

Despite being drafted to the practice squad and not the main game night roster, Faion, we had hoped would see some game time in the team’s Monday Night Football debut for the season.  Denver Broncos were on September 12, up against the Seattle Seahawks.

Practice squad players who are assigned to a team and practice with the team but do not play any games unless they are elevated.

Practice squad players are eligible to be elevated and play official games three times per season.

If Faion is elevated to the roster more than three times this season he will be signed to the main roster officially. Many successful and all-star NFL players started out on the practice squad.

Once the regular season ends practice squad players are usually signed to reserve or future contracts by their team.

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