Haiti Finally Swears In An Elected President – With A Little Expat Help

Feb 7, 2017

It has been a year since Haiti has had an elected president. On Tuesday one was at last inaugurated: Jovenel Moïse. And among the witnesses were Haitian-Americans from South Florida who played a role in making it happen.

Haiti’s been torn by violent election chaos since 2015. But businessman Moïse was finally elected President in November and sworn in Tuesday morning in Port-au-Prince.

Present in the U.S. delegation was Omarosa Manigault, a reality TV star who’s now one of President Trump’s communications directors. But so were Haitian-Americans who were part of a historic diaspora observer mission for the November election. South Florida attorney Soeurette Michel was one of them.

“It was a very proud moment," said Michel by phone from Port-au-Prince. "We were very happy. There was a lot of emotion to see that we participate in the process, so it was a great moment.”

Michel says Haitian-Americans are now looking forward to helping their impoverished and disaster-shaken homeland develop.

“We hope Haiti will have more stability," said Michel, "because us in the diaspora just want to try to go back and invest and get the country going.”

Moïse, however, also faces a Haitian money-laundering investigation.