PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – Haitian President Jovenel Moise broke with tradition on Wednesday and celebrated the country’s independence day in the capital for security reasons following months of political turmoil.
Moise, whose government has been accused of corruption, denounced graft during his speech at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince and urged Haiti’s elite to work with the government and help create employment.
“We’re still extremely poor,” he said. “Those who continue to get rich find it normal that they do not pay taxes, find it normal that there can be no competition, find it normal that they set prices for consumers, especially when this consumer is the state itself.”
Moise also apologized for the country’s ongoing power outages and renewed his 2016 campaign pledge to provide electricity 24 hours a day, saying it was harder to accomplish than he imagined.
The speech that marked the 216th anniversary of the world’s first black republic was originally slated to take place in the northern coastal town of Gonaives, where Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti’s independence. Continue reading