The widow of Haiti’s assassinated leader is seriously considering a run for the presidency, she said in her first interview since the harrowing attack – which she believes was orchestrated by “oligarchs” in the troubled nation.
Martine Moïse, 47, who was badly wounded when her husband, President Jovenel Moïse, 53, was gunned down on July 7 inside their residence, opened up for the first time since the assassination in an interview with The New York Times in South Florida
She said she is seriously considering a run for the presidency once she undergoes additional surgeries on her wounded arm.
“President Jovenel had a vision and we Haitians are not going to let that die,” she told the outlet.
Moïse gave a riveting account of the chaotic moments during the attack.
“The only thing that I saw before they killed him were their boots,” she told the paper of the moment her husband was killed beside her. “Then I closed my eyes, and I didn’t see anything else.”
The assailants then ransacked the couple’s room as they searched for something in the president’s file, she said.
“‘That’s not it. That’s not it,’” Moïse recalled them saying in Spanish several times before one of them finally declared: “‘That’s it.’”
As they left the home, one of the men stepped on her feet while another waved a flashlight in her eyes, apparently to check if she was still alive.
“When they left, they thought I was dead,” she told the Times quietly while flanked by her children, guards and Haitian diplomats in the undisclosed location. “All that blood,” she added soflty.
The former first lady said she decided to speak out because she did not believe that the sweeping probe has answered the primary question of who ordered and paid for the assassination.
Officials have said at least 26 suspects have been detained as part of the sweeping probe into the assassination, including 18 former Colombian soldiers and three Haitian police officers.
Two Americans of Haitian descent also allegedly took part in the assassination. Three of the Colombians were killed by Haitian police.
At least seven high-ranking police officials have been placed in isolation, but not formally arrested, Haitian police have said.
Federal agents raided several locations in South Florida this week as part of the investigation.
Among their targets were two businessmen — Antonio Intriago, a Venezuelan who owns CTU Security in Doral, and Walter Veintemilla, who owns Worldwide Capital Lending in Weston — who are suspected of funding and training the killers.
People who question the Haitian government’s narrative say that none of the people named in the probe had the means to finance the plot on their own.
Moïse, like many of her fellow citizens, believes there must have been a mastermind who gave the orders and supplied the money, according to the paper. She also pointed out that none of the 30 to 40 guards who were posted at the home were hit.
“I don’t understand how nobody was shot,” she told the paper as she floated the theory that one of the country’s oligarchs had her husband killed.
“Only the oligarchs and the system could kill him,” said Moïse, who also provided an account of the night, when she said she rushed to wake her two children, both in their early 20s, and urged them to hide in a bathroom with the dog.
The president grabbed his phone and called for help.
“I asked, ‘Honey, who did you phone?’ He said, ‘I found Dimitri Hérard, I found Jean Laguel Civil,’” his wife said, referring to the officials in charge of security. “And they told me that they are coming.”
Seconds before being shot dead, Moïse told his wife to lie down on the floor.
“‘That’s where I think you will be safe,’” she recalled him saying right before she was hit in the hand and elbow.
“At this moment, I felt that I was suffocating because there was blood in my mouth and I couldn’t breathe,” she told the paper. “In my mind, everybody was dead, because if the president could die, everybody else could have died too.”
Moïse also mentioned Reginald Boulos, a powerful Haitian businessman who has wanted to run for president, as someone who had something to gain from the assassination, though she stopped short of accusing him of ordering it.
The Haitian government, which is investigating an alleged preferential loan from the state pension fund, has brought a number of legal cases against Boulos and his businesses, according to the outlet.
“I had absolutely, absolutely, absolutely nothing to do with his murder, even in dreams,” Boulos told the Times. “I support a strong, independent international investigation to find who came up with the idea, who financed it and who executed it.”
In a statement Friday, the FBI told the Times that it “remains committed to working alongside our international partners to administer justice.”
Moïse said she wants her husband’s killers to know she is not afraid of them.
“I would like people who did this to be caught, otherwise they will kill every single president who takes power,” she said. “They did it once. They will do it again.”