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Jovenel Moise’s end of mandate : Letter from former haitian ambassador Paul Arcelin to Patrick Leahy, president pro tempore of United States Senate


Thursday, February 18, 2021


Honorable Senator Patrick Leahy


Paul Arcelin, former ambassador of Haiti

DATE:                   February 17, 2021


Haiti ‐ Jovenel Moise’s end of mandate on February 7, 2021 – A follow‐up to your public position following the publication of a joint study by Harvard, Yale and New York University

IMPORTANT ‐ Please forward the present letter to Senator Patrick Leahy that was published in todays edition of the newspaper called “Haiti Observateur.”

Senator Patrick Leahy
37 Russel Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Honorable Senator Leahy,

The Haitian people have manifested their unwavering gratitude with respect to heroic actions that you have taken in favor of returning to democratic rule in Haiti. I am a proponent of the right of self-determination of the people, a cardinal principle anchored in modern international law: jus cogens.

Accordingly,  I  strongly  denounce,  condemn,  and  reject  any  decisions  by  some  of  our  foreign  allies  to support the illegal occupation of the National Palace by de the facto president Jovenel Moïse – a catastrophe in progress and amplified with each minute of silence observed by the United States of America on this grave issue.

It is my honest assessment, Honorable Senator, that the time to act about Haiti’s fate was yesterday. I will always stand for justice for the Haitian people, as opposed to paying allegiance to one man. As a former diplomat  who  represented  my  country  in  several  strategic  posts  around  the  world,  I  welcome  your intervention calling on Secretary Antony John Blinken to accord a particular attention to this deepening crisis in Haiti.

Your intervention may have inspired the annexed masterpiece publication penned by a coalition of legal scholars affiliated with some of the most reliable schools of law at Harvard, Yale and New York University. These U.S. scholars relied heavily on in situ analyses, capturing both the spirit and the letter of the Haitian Constitution  and  the  laws  of  the  land.  It  is  worth  noting  that  the  reference  (134-1  and  134-2)  do  not constitute two distinct articles from which zealous lawyers may conveniently pick and choose1.

In fact, the electoral law of 2015 that specifically governed Jovenel Moïse mandate, consistent with the letter of Article 134-2 of the Haitian Constitution, established a clear, unequivocal term at 239 (a): “The term of office of the president of the republic shall end on the 7th of February in the fifth year of his term of office, regardless of the date of his entry into office.” It might not be fair, but until it is changed it remains the law of the land.

Many  reports  at  your  disposal  clearly  show  that  Mr.  Jovenel  Moïse  has  been  engaged  in  grave  State sanctioned human rights violations and other serious crimes leading up to this current illegal occupation of the National Palace.  In fact, former president Jovenel Moïse returned to civilian life since February 7, 2021. As a result, he can be arrested, prosecuted, and tried, based on applicable law and international conventions.

Finally, Haiti is a rich country. We the people stand against all policies aimed at keeping the country on the payroll of US taxpayers. Such an approach, in many instances, cover up policy failures, as illustrated in the rise and upcoming fall of Jovenel Moïse. As the First Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere, our DNA absolutely  is  incompatible  with  any  form  of  repression  or  dictatorship.   Haitian  lives  do  not  matter  to Jovenel Moïse. Jovenel Moïse must go. And Jovenel Moïse will go, if Black lives truly matter to the Biden- Harris administration.

Best regards,

Paul Arcelin
former ambassador
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Mobile via WhatsApp: +509 3678 7909

1  On the one hand, to dissolve Parliament. On the other, to justify the introduction of a dictatorship in Haiti.

P.S.: Joint Statement from U.S. Human Rights Clinics on the Constitution and Human Rights Crisis in Haiti (Harvard. Yale and NYU)

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