Haiti’s president killed in assassination, U.S. calls attack a “heinous crime”

The President of the Republic of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, was killed in a shocking assassination attempt at his private residence early Wednesday morning (July 7).

The White House said it was assessing the “tragic attack” and called it a “heinous” crime. The White House also said that President Biden will be briefed on the attack.

A statement issued by Haiti’s acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph said a group of unidentified men attacked Moise’s private home around 1 a.m. and shot and killed him. The first lady also suffered gunshot wounds and has been taken to a hospital for treatment.

Joseph described the attack as an “extremely vicious, inhumane and barbaric” act. He also called on the public to remain calm.

Moise has served as president of the Republic of Haiti since 2017. Haiti established diplomatic relations with the Republic of China in 1956 and is one of the only 15 remaining diplomatic countries of Taiwan.

Moise had visited Taiwan in May 2018. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen also visited Haiti in July 2019.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry issued a statement expressing shock and sadness over the death of President Moise in an attack and the bullet injury to the first lady. “The government and people of Taiwan condemn this senseless act of violence and stand with Haiti in this difficult time.”