Demonstrators in Haiti Are Fighting for an Uncertain Future

The New Yorker, By Edwidge Danticat, October 10, 2019

Early in his term as President of Haiti, in a cartoon that was either meant to caution or mock him, Jovenel Moïse is shown dressed as a Haitian superhero. Eyes closed, he’s standing in the barely lit home of a Haitian family,where he announces that in twenty-three months they will have electricity twenty-four hours a day—even as the father reads a book by candle light and the mother presses clothes with a charcoal-fuelled iron. The couple more or less ignores him while only their baby cheers him on.

In the accompanying article by the journalist Roberson Alphonse, published in Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste newspaper, on August 10, 2017, Moïse is quoted as saying, “When I say the entire country will have electricity twenty-four hours a day in twenty-three months, I will do it.” He added that a President “shouldn’t have to promise that. It’s an obligation, a necessity. A country must have electricity, water, and roads.”

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