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Church groups to stage silent march in Haiti

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) – The Haitian Conference of Religious (CHR) has announced plans for a “national silent march” across the French-speaking Caribbean Community country today, as it warned of the “unprecedented humanitarian crisis” as opposition forces demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise.

In a statement, the CHR said it has taken note of the “unprecedented humanitarian crisis in which the country is in the process of tipping over”, and the situation “is the result of a much deeper crisis affecting the very foundations of our coexistence in its political, economic, social and religious dimensions”.

It has also been critical of the “total bankruptcy of our republican institutions – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary – and the responsibility of our political, intellectual and economic elites in the deterioration of the situation”.

The religious group said as a result it was calling “on the conscience of everyone, especially the head of the executive power, to take note of the seriousness of the hour and make a wise decision for Haiti accordingly.

“Due to the insensitivity and indifference of different political actors to the future of the country, because of the general climate of insecurity, we find ourselves obliged to keep the doors of our institutions closed until a happy outcome of the crisis is found in the best time,” it said.

“We are in solidarity with the victims of this crisis, that has already lasted too long, by donating blood to the Haitian Red Cross, visit of hospitals for the delivery of the product of our collection of drugs and medical equipment. In deep communion and in permanent solidarity with our suffering people, we will walk in silence from 9:00 am on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 (today) in all major cities of the country to pray, celebrate our faith, and implore divine graces on our country and our people.

“We will go from the church of Christ the King to go the sanctuary of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Bel-Air, and finish with a Eucharistic celebration to be presided over by our archbishop,” said the CHR.

“We invite the clergy of our 10 dioceses and the faithful Catholics, members of all other religious denominations, all socio-professional sectors, all men and women of good will to join us in raising the cry of our pains,” the CHR said in its statement.

The political and economic crisis in Haiti was triggered by the publication in January 2019 of a report on the Venezuela-funded PetroCaribe oil initiative, under which Caracas provided oil and other petroleum products to Haiti under a preferential agreement.

Moise, who came to power in 2017, has denied any wrongdoing and has named former Prime Minister Evans Paul to head a team that would hold discussions with all stakeholders to discuss a way forward.

Moise, meanwhile, has urged Haitians to “identify their real enemies”, and again warned that the system which deprives the country of developing is alive and well in the country.

“The system has the capacity to regenerate each time. The people must be able to identify their real enemies,” he said last week, adding “this system that generates misery, poverty, exclusion, has come to an end and we must work together to prevent it from regenerating,” he said.

Last week, the Caribbean Community (Caricom), of which Haiti is a member, said it was “deeply concerned” over the protracted political crisis in the country, and that it was still awaiting a response from President Moise for a good offices prime ministerial delegation to visit.

The decision to send a delegation, comprising Caricom chairman and St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and The Bahamas' Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, had been taken at the Caricom summit held in St Lucia in July this year.


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