From Global to Local: Central Florida Haitian community reacts to killing of President Jovenel Moise

Moise was gunned down by a group of people inside his home.

The news of Hait’s president, Jovenel Moise’s killing has rocked the world and hundreds of thousands of Haitians living in Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The news of Hait’s president, Jovenel Moise’s killing has rocked the world and hundreds of thousands of Haitians living in Florida.

“This is a devastating story.” Endy Paul, a Haitian who moved to Orlando 12 years ago said. “At the end of the day, this is one thing that I can say, he was a father. He was a husband; he was not just a president.”

President, Jovenel Moise, 53, was gunned down by a group of people inside his home.

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“There is a lot of emotion of uncertainty. Some of them have thought ‘hey, are we gonna have a civil war?’” Paul said.

He still has family members on the island and an orphanage. He said the morning of the attack, the director of the orphanage called him in fear.

“One thing he tell me ‘Endy, we’re scared, and we don’t know what to do from now.’ The kids in the orphanage were crying,” Paul said.

As news broke out of the assassination, Endy said businesses closed their doors and street vendors stayed home.

“They shut down their doors. I’m talking about grocery stores, I’m talking about, you know, people that selling in the streets. They’re scared to go out,” he said.

A sad day for Anderson Dovilas who left Haiti in 2001 after the deadly earthquake. Dovilas said he came to Florida in search of better opportunities because after college he couldn’t find work. Since leaving, he’s established a non-emergency medical transportation services company. But he hasn’t forgotten about his people back home. Through his nonprofit, he provides educational and cultural resources to empower and enrich the youth in Haiti.

While living in Haiti, he saids he was aware of the nation’s failing political system.

“The democracy that we fought to have 30 years ago right now is a sign that we are losing it,” the 36-year-old said. “Since 4 years the whole country has been controlled by gangs. We are asking our family please get to a safe place, cause we know when these things happen, there’s gonna be all kind of rioting, looting.”

And he fears the killing will inflict more chaos on the unstable Caribbean country already enduring extreme poverty, violence, soaring inflation and protests by opposition supporters who accused the leader of increasing authoritarianism.

Dovilas said the biggest question is how did gunmen access the presidential home?

“How can you explain to the people that this President had you know he had 4 layers of security and still got killed. This is showing to the world that we are so unorganized,” he said. “I didn’t like a lot of his policies but the most important thing is we are talking about the leader of a country. So, whether we were supporting him or not, this is his life. You killing him in front of his children where his wife is now hospitalized, this is inhuman.”


About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.