james solages and schubert dorisme moise assassination
James Solages (left) and his uncle Schubert Dorisme (right) who spoke with reporters in South Florida on July 8. Photos: Twitter and Onz Chery

The uncle of a Florida Haitian-American arrested in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse said the suspect thought Moïse was “crazy.” James Solages also blamed Haiti’s further deterioration on Moïse because he refused to step down as head of state, the uncle said.

Speaking to reporters outside of his home in Tamarac, a city west of Fort Lauderdale, Schubert Dorisme said his nephew Solages largely stayed out of trouble and recently became an American citizen. He did not live with Dorisme’s family, but used their address for mail. Solages also traveled to Haiti frequently, often visiting his hometown Jacmel, where he aspired to become a mayor, Dorisme said.

Later, in an exclusive interview with The Haitian Times in Creole, Dorisme shared what Solages said about Haiti’s late president. 

“He used to tell me ‘that this Jovenel guy is crazy,’” said Dorisme, 63, who works as a bus driver. “I don’t think he’s capable to do this thing, I think somebody used him.”

The Haitian Times’ full exclusive interview with Schubert Dorisme

The Haitian Times caught up with Schubert Dorisme at his home in Tamarac, Florida. Interview by Onz Chery, video editing by Leonardo March

Solages is one of two Haitian-American suspects arrested in the assassination of Moïse. They were both identified as of Thursday evening as residents of South Florida.

As images of Solages circulated on Thursday, multiple people immediately identified Solages, 35, as a security guard for Dimitri Vorbe, a Moïse critic and businessman who leads Haiti’s SOGENER electricity company. Others in Jacmel told The Haitian Times that Solages was “close” to Vorbe.

But Dorisme said that Solages did not speak highly of Vorbe either.

“He doesn’t like those people,” Dorisme said.

A biography of Solages reportedly lists him as a bodyguard for the Canadian embassy in Haiti. Solages has also described himself as CEO of a charity called Fwa Sa a Jacmel Avan, or “This Time Jacmel First” in English, which serves youth in Jacmel. 

Solages is unmarried and has four children. He made frequent trips to Haiti for his charity and last traveled to the country about two months ago. 

“He was not steady,” Dorisme said. “He was a good boy, but I wouldn’t call him a man.” 

Solages’ mother is also in Haiti, but Dorisme chose not to disclose her location. 

“She’s afraid that people are going to be pointing fingers at her, and she can’t believe James would do something like this,” Dorisme said. 

The Associated Press has reported that 17 suspects in Moïse’s killing have been detained, 15 of whom are from Colombia. Three other suspects were killed by police, and eight others are on the run, Haiti’s chief of police Leon Charles said

Two suspects are Haitian-Americans, including Solages and Joseph Vincent, also a resident of South Florida. 

Email me at onz@haitiantimes.com
Onz Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and ESNY before joining The Haitian Times. Onz is also a Report for America corps member.

Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America fellow. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.

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