August 2015 elections. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo Credit: Garry Pierre-Pierre

By Garry Pierre-Pierre

A couple of weeks ago, as the Haitian opposition began preparing its “Lock Down” protests against President Jovenel Moise, the embattled leader made a few moves that caught my attention. Moise quietly backed United States’ position on supporting Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the Trump administration seeks to isolate President Nicolas Maduro.

In the midst of the daily violent and deadly protests, Moise recalled his ambassador to the United States, Paul Altidor. And Moise did not address the nation until late last week, even as calls intensified for his departure from power.

The last two moves are not those of a rattled and embattled leader. Some sources in Haiti have told me that Moise’s confidence stems from his support on the Venezuela issue, guaranteed him U.S. support from opposition groups as protests mounted in cities across Haiti.

In the next few days, the State Department and White House will start leaning on some opposition leaders and businessmen who are leading the protests. There is always the threat of visa cancellation and frozen assets to bring some recalcitrant folks into the fold.


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