Haiti

Dieu Nalio Chery / AP via Miami Herald

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.

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<a href="https://twitter.com/UNHaiti/status/805826804497993728">Nations Unies Haïti</a>

It was seven years ago today, at 4:53 p.m., that Haiti was violently shaken. In just 35 seconds, the 7.0 earthquake destroyed much of the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and claimed more than 200,000 lives.

Just over three months ago, on Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew dealt another devastating blow to the country. The Category 4 storm’s 145-mph winds tore through Haiti’s southern peninsula, washing away farmland — one of the island nation's “breadbaskets” — along with vast swaths of homes and trees, and killing hundreds of people.

LEON NEAL / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

This week on The Florida Roundup...

Businessman Jovenel Moise will be the next president of Haiti, the country announced. His victory ends a drawn-out and difficult election process that has stretched on for 14 months.

Moise is a wealthy businessman who made his fortune exporting fruit (he's known as the "Banana Man") and has never held office. He's from the same party as former President Michel Martelly, and won handily in a crowded field.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Two Haitian women are haggling over the cost of carrots and green squash along a sidewalk in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood.

They're standing at Bernadette Dubreide's  fruit and vegetable stand on Northeast Second Avenue.  Regulars call her Madam Dubreide.

JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES

This week on The Florida Roundup...

2016 was a big year. It played host to a long contentious and historic election with Donald Trump winning the presidency--with a big hand from Florida. 

Nadege Green / WLRN

The dead bodies haunt Wislande Philippe.

“There were so many who died,” said Phillipe, 29. “Pregnant women. Children. You’re walking past them and there’s nothing you can do help them.”

Philippe is one of thousands of Haitians who have taken a perilous 11-country journey from Brazil to reach the United States.  

Markenson Germain sits on a rickety, pieced-together bench, devouring fork after fork of poul fri (fried chicken) sizzling over a bed of rice and beans, a staple of Haitian cuisine. He keeps his head down, smiling every so often as he fills up on the savory, delicately spicy dish.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Black and African-American voters played a key role in electing Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 -- but didn’t turn out with the same enthusiasm in 2016.

 

That has a Miami-area group getting together to talk through what’s next. They call themselves the Living Room Project.

THE MIAMI HERALD

This week on The Florida Roundup...

Courtesy of Wilgens Moise

Heavy rains continue to ravage areas hard-hit by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.

Haiti's Civil Protection Agency has confirmed at least 10 dead, including three children, after torrential downpours earlier in the week. November is rainy season on the island-nation; with more rain forecasted, some fear additional deaths and damage to existing homes and businesses that were not obliterated by Hurricane Matthew. 

Health officials are also concerned about the spread of an already deadly cholera epidemic. 

Konpa music has dominated the Haitian music industry for decades. But while the genre’s roots are firmly in Haiti, today its leading bands are often not. This year, the top two albums came from bands right here in Miami, which many now consider the “capitol of konpa.”

For years, the United Nations has refused to publicly acknowledge that its troops were the source of a massive cholera outbreak in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake.

But now the U.N. is accepting "moral responsibility" for the outbreak that has sickened nearly 800,000 people and killed more than 9,000 others.

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Thirteen-year-old Ivana Fenelon walked up to me outside a church and primary school in Camp Perrin the week after Hurricane Matthew had leveled most of the homes in Pérénie, the rural hamlet where she lives with her family, a three-hour walk into the mountains. “I want to talk too,” she said, as I finished an interview about the hurricane with a farmer from another nearby town.

“What he’s saying is important,” she explained. “There must be some things that are very painful for him that he’s telling you about, so I’ll talk too.”

The Sunshine Economy: Haiti, Help And Hurricane Matthew

Oct 24, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety

Drive down on Lucy Street in Homestead, take a right at a school painted pink, then a left at the stop sign and you will find yourself surrounded by Haitians in a horseshoe-shaped apartment complex. They've come to Homestead, most of them from Southern Haiti, the same mountainous peninsula that was hit by Hurricane Matthew Oct. 4.

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